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Scouseget

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About Scouseget

  • Rank
    Watch Enthusiast

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Interests
    Woodworking, Fly fishing, Bushcraft, Trying not to drive my wife up the wall.

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  1. Larry Fford, aka Uncle Larry, has decided to call it a day and retire. He was the nicest used watch and clock tools supplier in my opinion, on the web. I bought most of my good used tools from him, including a Levin watchmakers lathe, a Levin cross slide, and myriad other tools and supplies over the years. These tools were always in good shape, very reasonably priced, and quickly shipped from his home base in Ontario, Canada. He will be sorely missed as he had a fantastic selection and was great to work with. He'll be selling off his remaining stock over the next few weeks, and will be closing his website at the end of January. If you're in the market for some good used tools, I advise you to visit his website at: http://www.execulink.com/~lfoord/tools.html Here's his announcement: Dec 1/2018. Due to ill health and too many birthdays, I have decided to retire effective today. On Monday Dec 3rd I will upload (most of) the remaining inventory, then close down between Christmas and New Years. We will reopen Jan 3rd at which time our webpage will be converted to various discounts, and the page will die on Jan 31st. I cannot find the words to properly describe my feelings....it has been a long run, with a lot of fun, a bunch of friendships...THANKS! Please note I have no financial affiliation with Larry, other than being a very satisfied customer who was pleased to buy some of his goodies over the years. Cheers Roger Adams
  2. Thanks for this Duncan, it's going to be very helpful and will remove the excuse I've been mentally making to myself to keep this project on the back burner. This will supplement an article I was able to find by Henry Fried, entitled "The Verge Fusee Watch - Part II, How to make a Verge for a Watch", which is available for download from the NAWCC library for members. I like your idea about splitting out the text from the illustrations so don't need to keep flipping between pages, something I've always found frustrating and time wasting. Richard Watkins website is a treasure trove of excellent info on pocket watches, which I find I'm increasingly drawn to as I have a few friends who have purchased old British and American pocket watches over the years and have foolishly chosen to hand them over to me for repair and maintenance. Again, many thanks. I'll let you know how the fabrication of the verge goes. Best Regards Roger
  3. Hello from very smoky Edmonton, which is downwind from the over 600 wildfires currently burning in British Columbia. But I digress.......... I've been given a couple of late 18th century verge fusee pocket watches to fix, and have had good success with one of them, which is now reassembled and running amazingly accurately given its age. The other one is a different story however, and the main problem is that the balance staff is damaged beyond repair so requires replacement, however Walmart is currently out of them! Anyway, obviously the only way this watch will run again is if I can make a replacement staff, and while I have the watchmaker's lathe, and tools, I don't have the expertise and there just doesn't seem to be anything on the internet, including YouTube, on how to go about doing this. Given this, does anyone have a link they can post showing this, or failing that, any other suggestions regarding this issue? Can anyone suggest a book that clearly shows how to go about this? The photo shows a typical verge balance and you can see the tricky staff with its two pallets. Thanks, and best regards
  4. Well the clock is now running really well after much pivot polishing and re-bushing, the bushes for which I made on the lathe from scratch. I used the coated galvanized wire as advised, and it looks good except for a couple of what are probably minor points. The first is that one of the galvanized wires has developed a vicious triple twist when the weight comes off and I cannot get rid of them. It's probably not a problem long term as once the movement is reinstalled in the case and the weights attached, then the wires will never be relaxed but being as **BLEEP** as I am, I'm not very comfortable with this situation. The second is how to knot up the unused end that anchors the cable. The usual knots used for catgut don't work so I've wrapped the free end around some wooden dowels but I'm sure there must be a better solution than that, yes? As always, any help will be much appreciated. Cheers Scouseget
  5. Based on old hippie's advice, I decided to go with coated galvanized wire rather than catgut or nylon. This should last a lot longer than catgut but will probably detract from the authentic look a bit. If the owner doesn't like the look, then it's a fairly easy task to change it to catgut at a later date. At the moment I'm learning how to make bushings as the bearing holes in the brass plates are pretty well all oval and very sloppy; it's amazing what 250 years of use can do to a bearing surface. Not surprisingly the pivots aren't in too bad a condition and can be burnished to an acceptable finish but, alas, not the brass. I'm finding working on clocks a lot easier than watches, though there's still lots to learn of course.
  6. Thanks for your insight oldhippy. Coated galvanized wire makes sense as it shouldn't age or stretch nearly as much. As this will be stronger size for size compared to catgut, can it be thinner? The reason I ask is that the clock has two different diameter catgut ropes at the moment, one being 1.4mm dia, and the other 1.5mm dia so could I use just 1.4mm galvanized cable for both or perhaps even thinner than that? Also, should this be special clock grade galvanized wire or any stranded and coated galvanized wire from say a hardware store? I did try to find such wire at a big clock repair online store but it wasn't available in coated, i.e., just stranded galvanized cable and only seems to be available in 1.2mm dia. They also had brass cable which they indicate can also be used for such an application - what do you think of this? FYI, the weights are 16 lbs each
  7. Hi from warmish Edmonton, where the winter is almost done - for now! I'm working on an old grandfather clock for a friend, probably 18th century, that is weight driven. This was overhauled about 20 years ago apparently, and the watchmaker used "catgut" for the cords. These have now hardened and are unusable as they are so stiff. I went on the Perrin's website and they offer catgut but state that this is usually used for clocks with wooden pulleys, however the clock I am working on has all brass pulleys. My question therefore is, should I use catgut, or should I use nylon or other synthetic? I don't think the owner will have a preference for catgut from an authenticity point of view and will be fine with whatever I use. What would actually happen if I used catgut with brass pulleys? Would nylon or other synthetic damage the brass pulleys over time? If you can give me your thoughts of the pros of cons of both, I'd appreciate it. Thanks as always. Roger Adams
  8. Hi, you'll be happy to hear it's warmed up considerably in Edmonton, it's now all of minus 13 degrees - where's my margarita? I've just overhauled a 1908 Waltham, size 16S, open face pocket watch. It want reasonably well, though I had to cannibalize another old Waltham for replacement parts. I also fitted a new the balance staff. Anyway, I do have a problem, which is regulating it accurately. I got the timing almost right, at least in the dial up position, by judicious use of timing screws. Final adjustment was going to be by the regulator, so t that end, I ensured the hairspring was located between the pins. What I then found was that this made no difference to the timing, well perhaps a fraction of a second. The hairspring is an overcoil type and the regulator pins act on the inner radius of the hairspring, i.e., the radius that the stud connects to the bridge at. The hairspring doesn't then gradually extend out to the outer coils but rather abruptly doglegs over at a pretty severe angle; I hope I've explained this ok. I'm sure I could get this running as accurately as a watch of this age is capable of, including in positions using the timing screws, however I would still like to have a regulator that actually regulates. Any suggestions you may have will be appreciated. In a similar vein, I've noticed that very few old watches seem to behave themselves on the timing machine, I mean the traces are "noisy", as in all over the place, and frequently the timing machine will not establish the beat rate automatically, and won't lock in even when set manually at the traditional 18,000 BPH as it keeps resetting itself. This never occurs with newer watches so I'm wondering if it's just unrealistic to ever expect really old watches to run well enough for a timing machine to be of use. I usually simply time them using a stop watch over time and can usually get them to run reasonably accurately. Any thoughts on this issue?
  9. I've been using a Canon Stylus Tough model, which is a point and shoot but with manual overrides should you ever need them. It has a 4X optical zoom, and an excellent macro mode. What makes it outstanding for me is that its drop proof (to 2 meters) and waterproof (to 15 meters) , so not only does it serve excellently for this hobby, where it resides on my bench, but also for fishing. I photograph every step when taking apart a watch, and will even take a shot of every screw I've removed by placing it sideways over the place it came out of so I know which screw goes where when reassembling the movement. It's far better to take too many shots than too few as it costs nothing and may just really simplify reassembly. I've attached a shot of a small Incabloc so you can see its macro capability. I'm sure a lot of point and shoot cameras have similar macro features but few are as bullet proof as this camera.
  10. Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for, thanks very much. I think I can now get the dimensions I need to make one, or at least try to make one myself. It'll be an interesting exercise but should be doable - I think! Best regards
  11. Hi from Edmonton, where it's currently a balmy -20 deg C - but I digress.... I'm currently servicing a lovely Longines pocket watch, circa 1941, which needs a new balance staff. I don't have the old one (please don't ask why; let's just say it magically disappeared) but have identified its Bestfit catalog number. The problem is of course that Bestfit is no longer in business so I'm hoping that they also printed supplemental info with the actual dimensions of the staffs included in their main catalog. I get the feeling I'm probably living in a dream world however as I can't find anything that indicates such supplemental info exists but on the off chance, does anyone know if it does, and if so, where I could access it? To illustrate how difficult this has been so far, I have purchased another seemingly identical Longines movement (for parts), also a 18.89 caliber, but it's balance was a different size so that didn't work. I then sourced a balance shaft from Europe but, you guessed it, it was also the wrong size. Longines actually produced 4 different models of the 18.89 caliber pocket watch, and apparently they all have different size balance staffs - why??? It's time I manned up and made my own balance staff as I do have a watchmaker's lathe and everything needed for making one, well other than the expertise to do so, but it's about time I at least tried but, alas, no dimensions for the reasons stated above. Any help you can give will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  12. Hi all from frigid Edmonton; currently minus 30 degrees - but it promises to warm up around May so it's not too bad really! I'm currently working on an ETA 2824-2 movement and removed the hairspring to untangle it (another story for another day), which I managed to do successfully. Unfortunately I'm having a real problem reinstalling the hairspring back on the cock as the stud is actually held in a really tight fork, rather than by the more normal method of locking the stud in with a small screw. The fork is really tight and I'm sure they use a special tool at the factory for this, one that expands slightly to spring the fork open a bit. Alas I have no such tool and despite my best efforts, cannot persuade the stud to seat itself back into the fork without the risk of doing irreparable harm to the spring. FYI, I was able to wedge the stud out of the fork by judicious use of tweezers but no such option is available for reinstalling it. As always, your help will be very much appreciated.
  13. Yep, despite everyone who's ever worked on a watch telling me to be careful, I still managed to strip a thread in a watch currently undergoing servicing, and yes, it was indeed a left hand thread. I'm stymied as to how to effect a repair on this as my miniature tap and die set doesn't include a left hand tap of any size, let alone the one I actually need. Any advice that works will be most appreciated and is worth at least one beer, or even a case of beer if it works really well and is fairly easy to do. Yours in embarrassment - Roger from Edmonton.
  14. Hi all from sunny yet curiously nippy Edmonton. I have a number of Oris watches, all of which use ETA movements. I made the terrible mistake of dismantling one of these for servicing without sufficiently documenting, or more importantly photographing, it as I was doing so. This watch uses an ETA 2836-2 movement but it's extensively modified as the default design has day and date rings, and a sweep seconds hand. The modified movement that Oris uses does away with the day ring, uses a separate small seconds hand, and uses a sweep date hand. Comparing features it couldn't be much more different from the base design. So what is my question, well it's how do I get hold of a datasheet for the modified design? I've already got an ETA datasheet for the basic design, which is useful for about 75% of the reassembly, but doesn't show any of the extensive mods. Reassembly isn't self-explanatory unfortunately, well at least not for someone with my limited expertise, so what do I do to resolve this problem? There is of course a moral to this sad tale, namely don't attempt to service a complicated watch without fully documenting the process, and especially photographing every step of the dismantling. And perhaps don't bite off more than you can chew as in build up your expertise with basic movements before taking on anything this complicated. Any help you can give with this will be greatly appreciated, especially if you can point me in the right direction regarding getting the correct datasheet. Note I've tried to locate the modified movement datasheet on the internet without success. Thanks, and merry Christmas everyone.
  15. I've been having lots of fun, and a good deal of frustration, working with a couple of English fusee pocket watches from around 1875. Surprisingly, I've been able to semi-master the intricacies of the fusee cone (dismantled, cleaned, lubricated, and reassembled) and chain (which was broken but I was able to repair it with the tiniest of rivets ), but am being presently stymied by a broken English lever arbor pivot on one of them. One end is not only broken but also missing so I can't establish the diameter, so my question is, are the pivots usually the same diameter on both ends of any arbor? This can be for a balance, lever, or indeed any other wheel arbor? Can we make that assumption, and if not, how do you make a replacement arbor, which is next on my work list for this watch, if you don't know what diameter to make it? I do realize that I can simply try the remaining arbor in both jewel holes and try to establish the size that way, but it's a bit inexact and frankly I don't know how much clearance is normal, i.e., if a jewel hole is, say, 0.15mm, what size should the corresponding pivot size actually be? I see that occasionally jewel gauges come on sale on E Bay, but these appear to be rare beasts at the best of times, and are usually prohibitively expensive so is there another method of measuring a jewel hole size? Finally, why wouldn't the pivots be the same size on an arbor? Presumably the loading on each of the pivots would be the same so logic dictates that the sizes could also be the same, or am I missing something and making too many assumptions? As always, thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this. The first photo shows the broken arbor. The second is the fusee opened up. Amazing precision given the technology of the day I think.
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