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dieale2

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dieale2 last won the day on August 19

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About dieale2

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  1. dieale2

    Stereo Microscope

    I got a BL StereoZoom 7: 1-7x zoom range, 10x WF eyepieces, and 3" of working space. It's a fairly high magnification and the working distance is lower than a StereoZoom 4. Someone recommended a working space of 8". I can confirm that. A working space of 3" isn't enough to screw anything in, my screw driver hits the pod. However, the microscope still was great for inspecting parts. It's an entirely different world from loupes and compound microscope. With this microscope, you could hold the piece and move it around while maintaining high magnification. With my compound, the image is reserved so it can be hard to move it around to check jewels. Unfortunately, I had to return my microscope because it was more damaged than the listing shown. Frustrating, but I ultimately returned the item without paying for S&H because it was SNAD. Anyway, I am thinking of getting a microscope with Barlow lens 0.5X and 2X. That way I can use one for general disassembly and another for inspection. Amscope sells microscopes with this configuration, they are about $500 which is reasonable for a new microscope. I can probably get another microscope in reasonable condition and buy the barlow lens separately.
  2. I tried using water and it had two big issues. First, water melted the shellac. I couldn't believe it and thought it was heat. But I ran the same pallet fork in mineral spirits and it was fine. It could be the detergent and ammonia solution I used, but again I need to confirm it. Edit: turns out it was the detergent and ammonia I was using. This woodworker dissolved shellac in water using borax which is a common detergent. Since I also added ammonia, it probably made te situation worse. Learn new things everyday... Edit2: Another thread. A chemist mentioned using ammonia would dissolve shellac. Second, sometimes I leaves parts in the cleaner for long periods of time because I forget or need to do something. Turns out mineral spirit and water separate each other. You end up with a pool of water at the bottom and you end up rusting parts because of that. Acetone dissolves water since they are both polar. Seems like that's a better choice for a rinse if you want to use water based cleaners.
  3. How did you got the tiny bit out? Btw, if you look to the right of the ranfft listing, you see a bunch of movements in that family. You can buy one of those and stick it in your movement if you struggle to find one of your model. Check out Jules Borel watch parts database. They have a listing of all the parts and their interchange so in theory, you could buy one of those movements and swap parts. Edit: I realized JohnR basically said the same thing higher up in the threads. Although Jules Borel is free to use for anyone.
  4. Using things lying around to actually fix a problem is always genius to me. Duct tape is not included in that definition.
  5. dieale2

    Porcelain dials

    Pretty impressive that these hundred year old dials survive an ultrasonic bath. Brushing a modern dial can make me nervous! Although I am still not 100% on ultrasonic. I feel like it could open up new cracks from all the vibration. Clearly people use it to great success but I learnt that it's good to be paranoid about damage in watchmaking. From the old books I read, they suggest just using soap and water with some gentle scrubbing. If it was me, I'll do that.
  6. Mainsprings are a PITA for me. For manual winders, you can do both hand winding and using a winder to great effect. Although, if you don't want finger oils on the mainspring, winders are the way to go. I find my latex cots frequently get stuck in the mainspring. For automatics, you probably want a winder. Its not easy to start hand winding an automatic mainspring with that bridle attached to it. At least for me I didn't find it easy. As someone else pointed out, a set of vintage is the way to go. You can find them easily under $50 for the two most common sizes.
  7. You can also just use a degreaser with water as a first stage then rinse with acetone. Aqueous solvents can be as good as petroleum based ones. Here are some interesting case studies complied by the EPA. Imo, a lot people are using lighter fluid because that's what watchmakers of the past used. Watchmakers used the best they had which was benzene or lighter fluid. But the world is a different place and there are many solvents available especially for non-hazardous ones. More choices more confusion...
  8. I found this post to be useful. Especially the part about refining petroleum. I really don't like using lighter fluid because the purity of it is a pot shot. I was using Publix Quick Light and it leaves a lot of residue. The problem here is that they aren't meant for cleaning things. They COULD be pure naphtha but they could also not be. It's depends on the brand and not everyone has access to the same thing. Also, I get dizzy when I stand over parts soaked in lighter fluid. I use acetone to rinse it off but it's still a PITA. I try to find all my solvents at Walmart or Home Depot because I am cheap. But it's confusing as hell to figure out what these products actually are. They are named by convention and not chemistry, so names like "paint thinner" could mean different things to the manufacturer. For example, Klean Strip sells "Paint Thinner" and "Odorless Mineral Spirits." According to them, odorless mineral spirits is a purer version of paint thinner. But since you can use odorless mineral spirits as a paint thinner, it's confusing as to what "Paint Thinner" is... Also, there are different types of solvents. Acetone is different from petroleum distillates. Since it's basically nontoxic and dries extremely fast, it's probably a good rinse solution. I am probably going to use a petroleum based solvent and then rinse with acetone. For me, I will probably stick with "Klean Strip" line of products since they are cheap, widely available, and looks like high quality. For petroleum based solvents, there is "VM&P Naphtha", "Odorless Mineral Spirits", "Paint Thinner", "Xylene" and "Toluene." I am already having a hard time remember these names... The differences between them is the boiling point. They have different properties and cleaning "powers". Not sure which is the best for cleaning watch parts since they all can clean grease.
  9. I been at this for about a year and I learnt a lot of things the hard way. I don't see any thread about lessons learn the hard way so I'll start here. Tea leave holders are not good parts holders. The two halves don't clamp down hard enough and small parts will slip through. Hairsprings are hard. Mainsprings are fragile. Just because someone been in business for 40 years doesn't mean they can't mislead you about vintage watches. Do you homework and don't only take the seller's word. If you don't know what an expensive vintage watch supposed to look like, don't buy it. You will not save money by buying a bunch of "cheap" watches. You can't (or shouldn't) oil a watch with a single oil and grease. Organizing a lot of parts is hard.
  10. dieale2

    Timegrapher microphone

    By the end of it, I learned that watch ticks are very different than instrument sounds. They are significantly quieter and that's why there are special purpose machines for these things. General mics work but noise is always going to be an noise and you can't see things like the unlocking tick because it's so quiet. In the end, I don't really mind the fact I got nowhere, it's the life of DIY. Broken watches or broken electronics, same sort of fun.
  11. On the topic of treatment, another idea is mass. Pocket watch gears are much bigger and heavier than wrist watch gears. If you drop a pocket watch, the forces on the jewels from the pinons is going to be much larger than a wrist watch.
  12. Hello folks, I got a Elgin movement with a couple of cracked jewels. Also it looks like I need to replace every jewel hole because all of them are horribly out of shape but that's another post. Anyway, reading around on the internet, I noticed that cracked jewel holes are a common problem on pocket watches. However, I don't see any questions about cracked jewels on wristwatches. I mainly work on wristwatches and I never saw a cracked jewel on any wristwatch movement. It's probably my inexperience, but it seems like cracked jewels on wristwatches don't happen that often.\ Is there something about pocket watches where the jewels are more prone to cracking? Is it something about the quality of early rubies? Thanks,
  13. dieale2

    Timegrapher microphone

    I tried to use a piezo pickup for detecting watch ticks instead of the normal mic. The idea was that piezo only pick up vibrates and not noise from the room, so the signal should be very clean. I used an old buzzer from a crappy step measure thingy, bought a piezo preamp for guitars, and hooked everything up. I originally bought a piezo pickup for instruments but it was useless. The signal turned out to be too weak for my laptop to work correctly. I needed a much stronger preamp or something else. It was a lot of hassle to wire everything and using a normal mic worked fine anyway... So I just tape my mic to the movement holder, manually flip the holder over for positions, and see the results on my computer. It works 100% fine and I realized I completely wasted my time doing all that preamp crap. Plus I just used my mic I had from my desktop so I didn't need to buy the preamp at all.
  14. dieale2

    Timegrapher microphone

    https://tg.ciovil.li Tg timegrapher is designed to work with conventional and noisy microscope. Just install the software and plug in your mic. Works very well in a quiet room. I tried to make a contact mic with a preamp and it totally failed...
  15. I am in the US so i could probably just get my tools from eBay since there's a bunch of them here.
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