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Blacklab last won the day on February 22 2016

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About Blacklab

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    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 02/02/1960

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    That nice bit in the corner of North West Essex
  • Interests
    Motorbikes. Sailing. Taking things apart. Science. Travel. Good food. Beer. History. Aircraft. Engineering. Aston Martins (can't afford one). Problem solving. Rough shooting. Labradors. Springer Spaniels. Cocker Spainels. Dark, politicly incorrect and daft humour. E-cigs.

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  1. After a total of about 50 hours of simmering in alum solution the bleed screw finally dissolved - the same area circled on the new screw measuring 12x6mm, with no adverse affect on the aluminium calliper: No drilling, damaged threads or seat, it goes to show how useful the skills learnt from watch making can be.
  2. Slightly off watches, but having used this method successfully on broken stems in crowns in the past, I have moved onto larger items, namely removing a broken steel bleed nipple (circled, under the cloud of bubbles) from an aluminium motorcycle disc brake calliper. Not quite there yet after about 5 hours of gentle simmering, but heat certainly speeds things up... Note the item is placed in the alum solution within a glass pyrex bowl or it would eat the steel saucepan!
  3. Philip, slate cleaned and stained & oiled first, then engraving overfilled with acrylic gold paint, surplus paint carefully scraped back with razor blade then waxed. Hope this helps.
  4. I posted this in subject Smiths TY yesterday: 'Some Smiths go for silly money unfortunately these don't tend to go for too much, best keep an eye on flebay sold listings to give you an idea of the value. As for refurbishment I think the costs would far outweigh the value, I just do them for fun'.
  5. Just checked a couple of my Smiths Astrals & there is no kink in either spring, they appear the same as yours & run fine. Have you demagnetised or is the spring in need of further degreasing?
  6. Ryan, is there a hallmark on there to confirm its gold? my one is just 5 micron gold plated as stamped between the lugs below 6.
  7. Ryan - Some Smiths go for silly money unfortunately these don't tend to go for too much, best keep an eye on flebay sold listings to give you an idea of the value. As for refurbishment I think the costs would far outweigh the value, I just do them for fun. Pip - thanks for the kind words. The dial was in good condition, just a bit dirty. Sometimes Rodico alone can be used but if particularly bad clean with a sable brush with the dial immersed alternately in lighter fluid then and a weak washing up detergent/water solution and finally rinsed in water then thoroughly dried. I have posted i
  8. Tricky that one Roy. The print is starting to go so probably best left alone. I did do a similar one a while back by reprinting the dial using Adobe Indesign & an Epson P50 printer onto thick photo paper initially, but eventually used opaque white water slide paper onto the original brass dial as this supported the movement in the case (& forgot to take a picture of the final result). However the dial wasn't textured like yours, so may not work as well.
  9. The 2451 was renumbered as 6601 during the early 60's. Don't have any myself but complete balances (part number 310.660) are readily available from Cousins and elsewhere..
  10. Thanks for the kind words all. Tmuir if you want to re silver a dial (presuming you haven't in the past) look no further than here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1JxGUgcHnE special thanks to oldhippy for the heads up on this in an earlier post.
  11. Thanks O.H. I do agree that its probably German as I have seen similar on searches, nothing positive as yet but I will keep looking.
  12. After a rather long pause I finally got round to putting it all back together again. I do respect your advice O.H. but in the end I did re silver the dial & frame: The movement was dipped in Priory clock cleaner & polished as reqd. Reassembly went without any major incident: Hands cleaned & re blued, new leather pads fitted to strikers, case cleaned with Priory polish reviver. Before & after: Apart from cleaning off the crud on the gongs these were left as is, along with the side & back fabric & mesh grills. Going like a train, gongs &
  13. Really sorry to hear that Rob. Fleabay is getting beyond a joke from people selling polished turds for hundreds to the fact that you cant give buyers negative feedback. They get their fees & don't give a toss.
  14. Welcome Darren. Here's something I posted a while back that you may find useful: "Smiths produced clocks & watches from 1851 eventually opening a factory in Cheltenham producing the high end watches equal to the Swiss such as the Deluxe, Astral & Imperial ranges. The factory closed in 1970. Also a factory in Ystradgnlais, Wales, originally & joint venture with Ingersoll (not the American one) producing lower end pin levers such as the Smiths Empire & Ingersoll Triumph range & eventually a jewelled lever used in the Streamline range (see here: http://www.watchrepairtalk
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