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About duncanbootmaker

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  1. G'day Mike, It's been a while since you posted, but this is the way I was shown to stop a verge drivetrain. Fold over the edge of a piece of paper and cut a dart out of it. If the point of it is too long and fine I snip it off. Then poke it through the contrate wheel. Can't cause any damage as it's structure is way softer than any of the components. One of the old texts I have, as a PDF, by Berthoud, says to stop the train by means of a hair or piece of paper. I'm wondering if the hair he's referring to is pig's bristles? They were in use for all sorts of things back in the 1700's, and would be stiff enough to do it. I use them as needles on the threads I hand sew my shoes with, and they are very resilient things Hope this was helpful. Cheers Duncan
  2. G'day @Oldhippy, Yes, I know it won't keep time anything like a lever watch. Bernard said that if we can get it to within 15mins a day, then we've got a good one. But at the moment it's gaining nearly 5 hours a day! I have two other, mostly complete, verge watches that I'm practicing on for fusee disassembly/clean etc. I love working on/with very old tools, mechanisms, watches because of the large amount of hand work that went into them, and the much simpler tools used in their creation. Thanks @Tmuir. Glad to see there's a watchmaking school over there. All the best with your studies. Cheers Duncan
  3. Around a month ago a good friend of mine, Bernard, who’s a watchmaker, gave me a, circa 1800, verge watch to have a go at restoring; he figured I had the patience for it The case is a much younger brass one, and it was missing hands and a crystal. I’ve since made a pair of brass hands to tide it over, make it look more complete, and to see how it’s going in regards time keeping. Yeah… about that It would seem that sometime in it’s past a healthy chunk of the hair spring got broken off, and it was gaining 1/4hr per hour. I’ve reduced a length of music wire to approx the width of the original, by about .0015” thick, and hope to wind up a 4 coil test replacement (the current one has 3 coils, which some of the old watches made do with, but I’m going to give myself a bit of room to move). But that’s a story, and experiment, for another day. The verge has had problems with getting enough depth, sometimes going into ‘palpitations’ and running double speed, and the ‘scape wheel has no spare end-shake to increase pallet depth. I remembered that the verge’s top bush (in the balance cock), apart from being quite worn (making a suitable sized drill bit was one of my, unsuccessful, excursions today ) was drilled a little off centre, whether by design or sloppy workmanship I don’t know. Double checking it’s placement showed that it was about an hour’s rotation off being in line with the ‘scape pivot and closest approach. The drawings roughly show where things were before adjusting. I carefully scribed a faint reference line across the top surface of the bush, going ‘North-South’ in relation to the balance cock foot, whittled a bamboo press pin and tapped out the bush into a little hollow in a block of wood, re-aligned the bush and pressed it home. The end result is that the watch is running again (seems not quite as fast as earlier), and in all positions; recently it had stopped working in ‘pendent up’ position, kind of the most important position for a pocket watch So, did a new thing today and it’s not as scary a prospect making a new bush for it in the near future (once I’ve successfully made a suitable drill bit), a bush that I think I might put a screwdriver slot in the top of to help with adjustments. I would like to make, at some stage, a two part bush with a ‘dead hard’ steel ‘end stone’, similar to some they did back then. Anyway, hope you enjoyed my little discoveries today. Cheers Duncan
  4. I did a couple of sketches of what I could remember about making the verge blank. Apologies to whoever posted this idea somewhere on the 'net. I can't remember or find it again. And the filed back to the center line idea. I'm no expert so the side view of the verge and crown wheel may be all wrong Cheers
  5. G'day Scouseget, I know you posted several months ago, but in case this would still be useful or, at least , interesting, here's a link to a Tasmainian's web site where he has translated a bunch of 18thC watchmaking books, some covering making a complete verge watch from scratch, and provides them as free PDFs; no strings attached. http://www.watkinsr.id.au/18th.html I made copies of the files, and then deleted the text from the duplicate. When reading them I open each one and have the complete book in one window, and just the illustration plates in a second one, so I don't have to scroll back and forward. And as there are only 12 - 20 plates per book, I've printed them out (2 per A4, in booklet mode, that I then stapled together into an A5 book with folded card cover) so that I can read the text on my iPod, when I'm out places, and look at hard copy illustrations I've been hunting through the 'net trying to find a page I looked at recently that showed making a verge staff on the lathe, but no go yet. What he did was turn up the staff with a bulge at the location of each flag, then filed away the excess. They made mention of, I think, a French technique where they would file the leading face of the flag right down to the center line of the staff, thereby being able to get the staff's pivot line closer to the crown wheel's teeth. I hope this has been a help. Cheers Duncan
  6. George, this chap in Tasmania has free PDFs of 17thC watchmaking texts he's translated that you can download. I made a duplicate of each one and then deleted all the text pages on it so that I can open two windows, one with the whole book, and one with just the illustration plates next to it, to save myself scrolling back and forward whilst reading. I also printed out the plates. http://www.watkinsr.id.au/ Cheers Duncan
  7. G'day George, Holding something in your hand, that was made around 200 years ago, and listening to it tick away and do what it's meant to, is a wonderful thing And the hand work and engraving they put into these... boggles the mind. I have 2 part verge fusee watches from the early 1800's that I picked up for $5 each, and a complete one that's a bit older (sans hands and crystal) that was given to me by a watchmaking friend who thought I'd have the patience to made the hands and tinker with it until it goes satisfactorily. Making progress All the best with your restos. and hope you can get a 1700's watch soon. It will be a joy to wear. Cheers Duncan
  8. G’day all, Here’s my little collection of watches. Some are complete, some are not Some years ago, with saved up birthday and Christmas money, i bought an 1877, key wind, American Watch Co. Full Hunter; Stirling silver English case (that’s a few years older than the workings), engraved balance cock and 9ct gold balance wheel. This is my everyday watch, when it’s not too hot to wear a waistcoat A Swiss Acurex, 17 jewels, bought for a few dollars from an Op Shop (Ozzie version of a Thrift Store). This has seen service for when the above mentioned temperatures arrive. Unreliable now, so probably needs a service. Not worth paying for one, so will wait until my knowledge and skills are high enough. A Smiths pocket watch, pin lever, some of the wheels are just stamped out. Bought it a couple of years ago figuring that it might be a, non precious, watch to learn on. Plastic lens was all scuffed. 40mins of sanding and polishing cream fixed that. Balance wheel was sloppy as all else, and my dad said that one of the balance pivots was probably a screw. The one up under the dial was, so I fine tuned it. Within a week it had come loose again, so I put a dot of Lock Tight on the thread, re-fine tuned it, and left the dial off in case of recurrence (the dial’s only held on with bent tabs). Sits on my desk in a wire stand as my desk clock. Recently my Wife and I found a little shop in a nearby town that has the remains of retired watchmaker’s stock, both working watches and parts ones. I’ve been raiding his $5 tub. So far I have two fusee works, both missing the balance wheel and pallets, and a couple of other bits on each. One is by John Anderton of Huddersfield (found him on a list and he had his shop there in the 1820’s), and the other one is R. Cunningham of Liverpool, with an older style of regulator. No dials. Hope to tinker, and make parts and dials for them over time, but even if I can’t get them going, just having watch works that were made 200 years ago, and at $5 each I love hand work and engraving. The next 4 watches and works, also from the $5 tub, started ticking when given a gentle rock. In fact the first one, the workings of a Lombard Vernon & Co. pocket watch, that were sitting in a zip lock bag, started ticking away when I turned the bag over. I haven’t been able to find anything so far on the ‘net about them, and the main brass chassis, with the regular ‘works in it, has a white metal 1/2 plate on top with a collection of damaged springs and cams on it. Wondering whether it was a chimer or something. Missing winding stem (and anyway it’s grotty so running it is probably a bad idea in it’s present state). Quite a few jewels. The Odd Ball watch of the lot: A wind up ‘digital’ pocket watch! I had not seen this sort of thing before (though have now looked them up on the ‘net and seen some Very expensive versions, mostly wrist watches. ‘Liga’ brand, Swiss made. Pin lever. Ticked when rocked in the shop, but wouldn’t wind (no resistance or click). Thought it might be a broken mainspring, but $5 what’s to lose In the car I popped off the back with a screwdriver to find the clickspring rattling around loose. Found where it was supposed to be, fitted it, and, hey presto, winds and runs under certain circumstances. Have largely cleaned it, including the grotty celluloid window, and hope to get it going properly soon. A nice watch to learn on as it doesn’t have as many wheels as a conventional hands watch. Love watching the hour wheel flick over (a pip at the ’30’ position on the Minute dial engages a star wheel under the Hour disk). Have, since the photo, put the front watch case on my lathe and finished it with a fine grit, leaving a nice, subtle, radial polish. Heuer stop watch. Will run for a few seconds at a time. Very clean inside. No winder or crystal. Missing movement restraining screws (what’s the official name for those?) Generic Swiss made watch. The hour hand was bent around the minute hand, and once dis-entangled the watch spontaneously ran for a 1/4 Hour. Hour hand didn’t survive No winder, but apart from that, a new crystal and making an hour hand, it may be a goer without much work. Marathon over. Hope you enjoyed it. Cheers Duncan
  9. G'day @xxraven, From another Aussie. I just joined up a couple of days ago myself. Cheers Duncan
  10. Forgot to ask, @transporter, does it need to be recording to look at the screen or can it work as a direct monitor? Cheers
  11. Nice. I just looked up ebay and, once I'd sifted through a lot of higher magnification, but smaller screen ones, I started coming across the type posted above by @transporter. The couple of sellers I looked at gave choices for which power plug you would like. Might go on a future wish list
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