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DanB last won the day on August 1

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  1. Yes, I nudged it to the right and it didn't take much for it to loosen. I had applied Marvel penetrating oil to the screw and let it sit overnight so that might have helped. At the outset when I didn't know it was left handed, I did give it a little nudge to the right but it didn't move and I didn't want to make matters worse if I nudged too hard. I did buy a can of coke just in case and now I can enjoy it with some popcorn!
  2. Hi all, Mystery solved - the ratchet wheel screw is left handed. Wow. I briefly thought that could be the case, but still being new to this (just under a year with the tweezers) I assumed that most if not all crown wheel screws are left handed, ratchet wheels are right. Oh well, lesson learned. I looked for technical info on the movement on the AWCI site but could only find parts info. I should have checked the Ranftt page sooner (thanks Klassiker for that reminder). So the screw is out now, no damage done. Thanks again to all. Dan
  3. It's a 16.5 ligne/36.6mm movement. It really is almost identical to the ETA/Unitas 6497 except the motion works are at 12:00 since it's a pocket watch. I didn't think that the ratchet screw could be cross-threaded which would really make it stick if it is, but based on how flush it's lying to the ratchet wheel, that may not be the case. The good news is I have a spare parts 6497 movement to call upon in case anything gets really botched up related to the barrel and arbor, so there's not much to lose by trying different techniques. Plus the watch was passed on to me by a friend who knew of my recent interest in this stuff (so nice when that happens) so it's not an heirloom or anything extremely valuable. Thanks again for weighing in. Dan
  4. Hi Mike, Thanks - I'll give the penetrant a try. I was also thinking of running the bridge and its attached barrel assembly through the ultrasonic using the extra fine watch cleaner and cleaner rinse to see if that loosens it up. I'm thinking this can't hurt, though my one worry is, what if the micro-shaking of the ultrasonic loosens the barrel arbor cap and the mainspring then goes flying? This stuck screw is such a surprise given the condition of the movement (no corrosion). Could be the last person to work on it just bared down too hard when tightening it. Dan
  5. Thanks for the suggestion. When I have just the bridge with barrel attached, should I remove the mainspring, or soak with it inside the barrel? If I try to remove the mainspring before the soak, I'm thinking it may be a little tricky to detach it from the arbor, though I'd feel better not soaking the mainspring in coca cola.
  6. Hi all, Just started disassembling a Gruen pocket watch with a Unitas 285 movement, Gruen 497. It's very similar to the Unitas 6487 but has a date. The ratchet wheel screw won't unscrew. The movement is clean - no rust to speak of - so I know that can't be the culprit. I have used a lot of force and no progress. I assume this is a regular right-handed screw unlike the crown wheel which is left-handed. Any chance this ratchet wheel screw is left-handed? Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated - Thanks!
  7. Just put a new mainspring into the barrel of a Hamilton 661. The end where the barrel arbor gets installed is very tight making it very difficult to squeeze the barrel arbor in. I'm afraid to try to spread that end of the mainspring with tweezers to enlarge it, and it's very difficult to do at any rate. I've done about 20 mainsprings so far without a problem using my tweezer holding the barrel arbor and working it in. Any suggestions for how to squeeze in a barrel arbor on a tight mainspring end? Thanks
  8. Hi Saswatch88 Pulling it with some extra effort worked. I hadn't heard of a split stem, but I am very new at this. After all that, and after taking some baby steps on disassembly of the self-wind mechanism (not like an ETA 2824, that's for sure) I decided I'm not quite ready to take this apart. I'll wait until I've got more experience, but may try to find someone who I'm confident can do the clean/lube/adjust the right way. Too much sentimental value to take the risk of messing it up myself. Thanks again for the help.
  9. Thanks so much! I took a look at some of those videos and I'll give that technique a try. Prior to your advice, I did try pulling the crown out with a bit more force than usual but was concerned about causing damage so I held back. DanB
  10. Hi all, Just wanted to say hello (a newbie to this forum). I got started with this new hobby in November, took Mark's course levels1 and 2, plus the TimeZone course, levels 1 and 2, and am hooked. Fortunately I live near Otto Frei making getting parts, supplies, and tools a breeze. I look forward to participating with you all in this horological journey. Best, DanB
  11. Hello all, This was my father's Gotham watch that my mother gave to him in 1942. It's an automatic, and although he stopped wearing it in the early 60's (he passed in 2000), it still runs with decent amplitude. I'd like to disassemble, clean, lube, and adjust it, but I don't know how to remove the stem to get at the movement. In the "Gotham 3" photo you can see the movement coming slightly out of the case, but I have not figured out how to release the stem to remove the movement completely. Any ideas? Thanks Dan
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