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Everything posted by AndyHull

  1. You may be surprised to know that one of your watches is featured in the collection of the V&A museum. Source:- http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1160743/hopalong-cassidy-watch-timex That's some pretty creative cardboard engineering going on there. The one in the V&A pictures is described as being located in the collection of the V&A Museum of Childhood. https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/transforming-the-va-museum-of-childhood This is presumably not directly related to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh which I visited many times when I was young.
  2. Sadly this is missing its balance, dial, minute wheel, hands, bezel and glass. It should look like this example. (Image source https://www.catawiki.com/l/5306421-bulia-depose-old-clock-ca-1930 ) Possibly a forlorn hope that I'll be able to make it run, but nothing ventured... Well actually £3.75 ventured, including postage, but at that price, I won't be crying in to my beer if it never runs. The inverted dial and long stem suggests this was possibly from one of those new-fangled automobile thingies. It might even possibly be from a heavier than air flying machi
  3. Possibly a "Sir Oscsar" from Weltzeit AG? Microlisk lists a few possibilities but the others are German from the Black Forest and your watch is Swiss. http://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=280&suchwort=Weltzeit&searchWhere=all#sucheMarker
  4. It seems "yon loons and quines fae Balmoral" had a soft spot for Metamec clocks. Actually, come to think of it she spent more of her time at Scone, but that's neither here nor there. However the company was still producing some "Horological Products" of quality in 1990 it appears.
  5. Today, something a little different as a lunchtime project. Not a watch, but somewhat similar in that is has hands and a hairspring. This is the mechanism from a Taylor "Stormguide" banjo style aneroid barometer and thermometer. Needless to say, owing to its condition when I purchased it, it also qualifies for the 404 club. I have a couple of other barometers, one of which I've had for many years, which I fixed up as a kid, and another that we got as a wedding anniversary gift. This one has obviously been dropped. The shaft for the hand was bent, and the hand w
  6. I stripped and cleaned the 1950s Metamec Electric clock today. It had been lying in "covid quarantine" since its arrival a few days back. As well as the missing wooden detail, it also has a slight fault. The original cable was held in place by two recessed grub screws and a cable clamp of some description. The clamp is missing as is one of the grub screws, which is not a huge issue as I can probably replace those with something modern relatively easily. However the second grub screw is stuck in place and its head has been stripped off, so I will need to figure out whether I wa
  7. Love 'em or hate 'em, you gotta admit, they are "interesing". The manufacturing tolerances are not as fine as a quality mechanism, but that is part of their appeal from an engineering perspective. They do have some clever shortcuts in order to keep the price down. Furthermore despite their built to a price nature, they also seem to have passed the test of time remarkably well. I'm not sure the same can be said for some of the more modern offerings. Cheap quartz mechanisms tend to be a lot lest robust than clunky "clockwork toy" Timexes.
  8. MN-45 oil appears to have characteristics (viscosity) very similar to hydraulic oil (mil-h-5606 for example). https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mdigmJSSMew/VKGFH6ZJJRI/AAAAAAAAZCQ/phYNso0yLng/s1600/oilviscosity.jpg Another potential supplier of MN-45 oil. https://bora.in.ua/en/ukraine_import/chasovye_masla/mn-45.html
  9. Wot?! No backup.... Snifff.... Been there. Lots. Many years ago I worked as a field engineer installing and maintaining multi user accounting systems. One customer had a flood, or to be more accurate a large part of Glasgow got flooded, so they had no computer, no backup tapes. The real killer though was that he bank vault in the bank at the other end of the street, where they stored their off site backup... was also flooded. Just goes to prove, you can never have too many backups. They eventually resorted to keying in all of their customer details from old reams of p
  10. Rather surprisingly I did have the correct crystal in my stash. I think that looks a whole lot better don't you? One more item removed from the to do list.
  11. Well I guess I forgot to order a crystal for it, partly because it has one of the most ravenous arm hair eating band I've ever encountered, which kind of spoils the fun of wearing it. The monster hair puller is the original Seiko steel strap I might add. However it is a classic Sekio 5 design (from 1981), and it seems a waste to have it just sitting around unworn, so I put a leather strap on it and I'll measure the crystal this evening and order one... probably.. if I don't get distracted by something else. Who knows, I might even have a crystal in stock, and be able to strik
  12. BTW if you are asking yourself "Should I be worried about radioactive potassium in bananas"...
  13. You might also like this. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17021/17021-h/17021-h.htm
  14. You all might find this interesting and amusing. FRICTION, LUBRICATION AND THE LUBRICANTS IN HOROLOGY. BY W. T. LEWIS Prest. Philadelphia Horological Society. ILLUSTRATED WITH HALF-TONES AND DRAWINGS BY THE AUTHOR. CHICAGO: GEO. K. HAZLITT & CO. 1896. Copyrighted 1896, by W. T. Lewis. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/35001/35001-h/35001-h.htm
  15. A black dialled Swatch Irony today. This is another design classic, and also a bit of a Marmite watch. Either you love it or you hate it. I'm a big Marmite fan myself. The only thing that lets it down in my opinion is the lume. Yes, the hands are nice and bright, but there is absolutely nothing else on the dail or case that is lumed, so it may well be sitting glowing gently on the bedside table next to you as you stare at it bleary eyed, but unless you reach out and grab it to figure out which way up it is, you have absolutely no idea what time it is. Even with i
  16. Very nice. I've seen a couple of instances of copies of this classic spaghetti western watch being offered for sale. If the original could do what it does in the film, it must have been a pretty spectacular piece of technology given how small it was, how loud it apparently was, how many notes it could sound, and how long the spring for the chimes lasted. I suspect there was a lot of artistic license used.
  17. At last, something unique to put on my CV.
  18. I'm sitting here writing this while smugly munching on a hot Christmas mince pie. The reason for my smugness is simply that I finally got round to sorting one of those annoying little problems that sit at the bottom of the to do list forever. When I picked up my Olympus microscope (at least ten years ago), the lock on the carrying and storage box was broken and the key was missing. However the other evening I had one of those "I wonder if that might work?" moments. I have a couple of new desk locks lying around. These cost about two quid each on ebay and come in a variety of differen
  19. If the item wasn't working, then whoever owned it may simply have used it as a display piece, and in order to make it look its best (to their eye) they gave it a "nice shiny coat" of whatever inappropriate finish they had to hand. The uniform nature of it makes me think it probably came out of a rattle can, in which case xylene (dimethylbenzene) or even something like butanone, also known as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) might be necessary to dissolve it. All of the solvents I've suggested should be used in a well ventilated area. Also... wear gloves.
  20. Assuming it is shellac, and assuming that it is not a thick layer, then perhaps brushing it with alcohol on a small paint brush rather than soaking it might be a better way of removing it. From the description it could be that someone sprayed it with a rattle can of acryllic clear coat, which may or may not be removed by alcohol. Try some your solvent on an area that isn't too important. Clear coat might require something more aggressive like acetone to remove it.
  21. I plead insanity your honour. As a result of my insanity and my inability to locate the off button on ebay, there is another (lopsided) Metamech on its way to me. In fairness the first one has just had the final touches put to its shellac and looks almost new. I'm not sure if my woodworking skills are up to matching the missing piece of this latest one however, so I may need to do a little creative thinking on that score. This one is even older than the first and has the magic start button on it and the patented "tick" which you can switch on or off. As to the date
  22. Well what else could I be wearing? Sssshhh.. don't tell anyone you saw that bit.
  23. I think what this all boils down to is... Always wear gloves if you are removing anything toxic or radioactive. No need for lead lined ones, just something that will stop you absorbing stuff through your skin. A couple of pairs of standard latex "covid proof" ones will probably be fine. Even if you have worn gloves, (and particularly if you haven't) wash your hands carefully afterwards. The same rules for radium apply for other relatively common hazards such as lead, mercury, cadmium, low levels of asbestos and arguably even chrome. They and their compounds are all cumulative toxins
  24. I hope you held on to it. Some of the early Sinclair calculators are now collectible.
  25. Mechanical calculators are pretty clever devices. Here's one from my Youtube favourites.
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