Hi there,I have replied to Karl and told him what I have done.I removed the balance cock and left the balance in situ with the stud mounted in position to see how much the spring was out of round.After about 1 hour of gently stroking and manipulating the spring I have managed to get it looking almost the correct shape.On replacing the balance cock and gently placing the spring in the regulator pins the movement sprung into life.The amplitude has come up dramatically so I will be tweaking this movement to see if I can improve the performance.Photos of the Timegrapher display and an identical type of stud and screw that I have from a scrap movement that I have obtained for spares.Regards,Seth.
I have one of the machines John mentioned above that heats the stearic acid to make a vapor. It works great, but I do in practice use Fixodrop on customer watches. If you want to try the vapor method it just needs to be heated to about 80 degrees C, with the parts in a basket or something not in contact with it, in a container that can be closed. 30 to 60 seconds is enough time.
The first liquid epilame that Moebius marketed was Aretol, which was stearic acid in a solvent carrier. I don't know what the solvent was, but it wasn't alcohol. I have spoken to old watchmakers who mixed their own using pure isopropyl alcohol (99%) mixing 1:100 by weight. I have tried that and find that it leaves a visible film, didn't follow up with different ratios as I have the vapor method and Fixodrop. But if you try it with alcohol don't worry about it melting your shellac, it only needs to be in contact a few seconds. In fact the above machine, the Greiner U2, uses alcohol as the rinse for all the parts. The way it is designed the balance and fork get rinsed by themselves for a short time in fresh alcohol (it distills the alcohol continuously), then dried as the other parts get rinsed and the rinse is drained back into the distiller then regenerates for the final rinse. It's a very cool machine.