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After about 6 months of working on watches I feel I have reached a point I where its time to take stock, make plans and spend more money. here are my thoughts.

The tools

My original tools acquired over the first few months were:

Bergeon screwdrivers 050, 080 and 160.

Bergeon movement holder.

A quality pair of tweezers.

A loupe I had already cheap but it works fine.

Rodico, oil pot Moebus 8000/4 and the red Bergeon oiler twice as I snapped the first one using it to try and remove a broken pivot.

 A canon pinion puller found cheaply by luck on the net.

A blower

A cheap and useless Presto type hand remover which I replaced with a cheap pair of lifters also useless. I am awaiting a set of Horotec ones. Cheap tools really are the false economy that people say they are.

Pegwood

A demagnetiser and ultrasonic cleaner  

I use closable 8 compartment plastic trays, one for the movement side and one for the dial side, having more than once dropped parts containers and spilt the entire disassembled watch onto the floor.

The victims

I really would advise against buying cheap movements as I have found them hard to work on due to poor quality. I have obtained a number of decent movements, well jewelled for a few pounds at a time with AS and ETA movements among them which are more forgiving to work on.

Its worth getting two of the same movements to prrovide reference and spare parts for the bits broken and lost. Which leads on to

The mistakes

All the usual problems here, flying springs, snapped pivots and mangled hairsprings. Patience, practise and experience have helped reduce these. Taking photos as you go along is essential but some extra notes are needed to recollect which way up parts such as jewels go in reassembly.

I have also crushed and lost parts under my hand when concentrating.

The successes

I have a rotary watch which I took apart and runs well all the others are in various states of disrepair.

The next steps

 I need to fill the gaps between screwdriver sizes, add to my tweezer collection and learn to sharpen screwdriver blades.

Develop a proper oiling regime with the appropriate oils.

I have not done anything with mainsprings, crystals, gaskets or regulation.

Any suggestions and comments most welcome.

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Hi HSD, good moniker....

You have a success under your belt which means that you're on your way.

Screwdrivers, looking at what I use most I reckon you would benefit from either a 100 or a 120 (both if you can run to it), a 200, and a 300. As for sharpening them search eBay for "watchmakers screwdriver sharpener" for an inexpensive jig to help keep things true, and a fine grit oil stone of some description, failing that you can always use 600 grit wet or dry paper on a piece of glass.

For tweezers you might want to look out for a couple of Dumont No.5 or equivalent for hair spring work. Don't stint on quality here though.

For oils you would get a marked improvement with something a little lighter for your train wheel and balance pivots, Moebius 9010 or equivalent would be the obvious choice, this can also be used for pallet stones although not ideal. Also if you are likely to encounter automatics then a breaking grease for the main spring is an essential. Wars have been fought over the fine details of lubrication but I would be surprised if anyone would shoot me down over the above as at least a starting point. From there you can add almost as many refinements as you wish (and can afford).

M/S winders are a good idea if you can stretch to them, otherwise perfecting the art of hand installing springs can get you by, and an inexpensive crystal press will address most of your crystal needs.

But the big one (in my opinion) is regulation, and the ability to see what differences you have made. To that end having a TimeGrapher or suitable computer programme that can reliably show you amplitude, beat error, and rate, and give you a timing plot is a must for your wish list. This will allow you to see the difference between using Moebius 8000 and 9010 on the balance pivots, what happens when you over oil the pallet stones (or forget to altogether), whether or not the watch is in beat, etc. The list goes on.

I'm sure others will add to the above since everybody has their own ideas. But most of all just keep practising. The more you do it the better you will get.

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"A canon pinion puller found cheaply by luck on the net."  These can be problematic.  I have a couple and with them have managed to break several center wheel posts and sweep seconds posts--just recently in fact.  At an AWCI class I recently took, I mentioned this to my instructor who said the best thing to do with a canon pinion puller would be to either throw it away or sell it on eBay.

Hand removers.  I don't like them.  I use levers instead.  I think a lot of watchmakers use levers.  But use them with some kind of a dial protector to protect the dial from scratches.  (NB: I see you've already converted to lifters.)

Tweezers.  I usually work with brass tweezers though I also like the Dumont No. 5.  Also for holding watch hands check out the type F (Fontax or Horotec) polished steel tips Horotec 12.301-F1 or 12.302-F1.  They're expensive but I've found them a boon for picking up hands on the edges in order to prevent scratches on the faces of the hands--especially important for lumed hands.

Well honed screwdrivers are a must.  Not only that but, depending on the watch, you have to re-hone them to fit the screw; some screws having wider slots than others.  Sometimes I have to make the blade thicker.  I've been told to do a flat grind, not a hollow grind.  When one looks at how a screw blade should fit into a screw to minimize slippage and avoid mangling the edges of the screw slot, it makes sense.  I'm still learning this one myself!!!  I use a Bergeon screwdriver sharpener on an India stone.  But my instructor said the best results come from hand filing crosswise i.e., perpendicular to the direction you sharpen using a device like the Bergeon sharpener.  I've been practicing this but still not all that good yet.

Properly faced tweezers are also important to hold a part reliably i.e., avoid flyers.  I like the inside--the gripping part--to be slightly rough to give positive grip.  I use a very fine grit sand paper and clamp down (not too hard!) on it with the tweezer blades and draw it through a couple of times.  (I'd be interested in some feedback on this)

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My stuff:d7dbaa424b3b71bf0bdb67c370ab21b4.jpg3d5e5b541b69daa5770aa4cffc2bf517.jpg4b020db316cd493b7ec9624f0ebe0c40.jpgde05355febc3ea650923f4c6a3b762af.jpg56bf2e928a7658a28302e1857e8db444.jpg28d6be0994295e87d5c3c7b878e3b946.jpg2142c932365d27fd32b40745716154c5.jpg71e9fe84731b0d588ebaa8a42a9bf0ec.jpg
Recommend not getting a crystal lifter. You need a lathe to make balance staffs among a boat load of other work. You need a Seitz jeweling set for basic jewel replacement. Need palate fork jewel oil as well as 9010 and D5(research wour oils). Need a good Crystal press. I have one that is old and useless(the one in the upper left of the big tools folder), and a really good one that works like a charm and I have used it to put on snap on backs as well(one on the upper left of the big tools picture)

I use both a android based timer and a PC based timer and they both work well. Beat error needs to be adjusted at times and the timer is invaluable for this. Basically the impulse Jewel needs to be aligned with the centre position of the pallet fork impulse pins. Any specific questions, please ask. I have repaired various watches and chronographs and a many vintage pocket watches (about 95). I have also successful made balance staffs using the original as a model to make the new one...usually broken pivots. I have also screwed up a few hairsprings and leaned my lessons. Read a lot prior to doing the work and then read again. Many books and videos and help on watch repair and lathe work.4cd7d9e4252b9fb63b128bdf9ac0268d.jpgbf503d47998f48d253343aef03b7ab8d.jpgAfter the balance staff install.c9ed580b6c8fde238cb0417794c08f91.jpgAnd working.


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Thanks for the suggestions. I have picked up some 9010 and this thread has helped me plan a way forward. I will get a timegrapher but when I have maybe ten watches that I have cleaned and actually run for a day, I will set about the more detailed work. At the moment it is still proving a challenge to get watches running freely. I partly wish just out of interest I had kept a running tally of expenses but then again maybe not.

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I would certainly like to see that. I also think the order in which things are bought is vital as there is often a lot of dead money in hobbies. My personal budget is fairly modest so i add things in a priority order of what is needed next to get a particular job done. This can be frustrating but i am learning that watchmaking has a lot of frustrations like searching the room repeatedly for a spring that has been stuck to my jumper all along. Maybe there needs to be a thread on bad purchases if there is not one.

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I usually use a Bergeon presto hand lifter. Never had an issue with it, but the copies are terrible. You can dress Indian hand levers to work well, and also use them for lifting hairsprings. 

I couldn’t work without a timegrapher. You can’t easily evaluate poise and adjustment without one. 

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If no HS, how did you come up with your name.:lol: 

No cleaning machine?

In my book a true repairman got dameged parts inventory. Just couple days ago,  I explained how I use a broken arbor to avoid overtighthening or damaging a tube.

Damaged parts have good sections that were produced for best fit.

Regards

 

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I would certainly like to see that. I also think the order in which things are bought is vital as there is often a lot of dead money in hobbies. My personal budget is fairly modest so i add things in a priority order of what is needed next to get a particular job done. This can be frustrating but i am learning that watchmaking has a lot of frustrations like searching the room repeatedly for a spring that has been stuck to my jumper all along. Maybe there needs to be a thread on bad purchases if there is not one.

Here are my small tools


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jdrichard very informative video thanks. I had been wondering how some stuff was done and now I have seen the tools. Also surprising how many very specific tools there are for various processes.

There are a different tool for almost every process. Most of the tools I have are very useful. My larger tools for jeweling, staking and crystal work are mandatory. Other tools such as my hairspring vibrator or only needed if you plan on changing a hairspring. Tricky work.


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After about 6 months of working on watches I feel I have reached a point I where its time to take stock, make plans and spend more money. here are my thoughts.
The tools
My original tools acquired over the first few months were:
Bergeon screwdrivers 050, 080 and 160.
Bergeon movement holder.
A quality pair of tweezers.
A loupe I had already cheap but it works fine.
Rodico, oil pot Moebus 8000/4 and the red Bergeon oiler twice as I snapped the first one using it to try and remove a broken pivot.
 A canon pinion puller found cheaply by luck on the net.
A blower
A cheap and useless Presto type hand remover which I replaced with a cheap pair of lifters also useless. I am awaiting a set of Horotec ones. Cheap tools really are the false economy that people say they are.
Pegwood
A demagnetiser and ultrasonic cleaner  
I use closable 8 compartment plastic trays, one for the movement side and one for the dial side, having more than once dropped parts containers and spilt the entire disassembled watch onto the floor.
The victims
I really would advise against buying cheap movements as I have found them hard to work on due to poor quality. I have obtained a number of decent movements, well jewelled for a few pounds at a time with AS and ETA movements among them which are more forgiving to work on.
Its worth getting two of the same movements to prrovide reference and spare parts for the bits broken and lost. Which leads on to
The mistakes
All the usual problems here, flying springs, snapped pivots and mangled hairsprings. Patience, practise and experience have helped reduce these. Taking photos as you go along is essential but some extra notes are needed to recollect which way up parts such as jewels go in reassembly.
I have also crushed and lost parts under my hand when concentrating.
The successes
I have a rotary watch which I took apart and runs well all the others are in various states of disrepair.
The next steps
 I need to fill the gaps between screwdriver sizes, add to my tweezer collection and learn to sharpen screwdriver blades.
Develop a proper oiling regime with the appropriate oils.
I have not done anything with mainsprings, crystals, gaskets or regulation.
Any suggestions and comments most welcome.
Im at about the same point you are. Next level is hair springs and balance assembly disassembly. I have a giant magnet like 6 inches by 15 inches I use to sweep areas. It has been a life saver. If you want I can send you one as I have an extra. I just dropped a bit of cash on lubes. There is a guy in france that repackages mobes lubes in smaller quantities at a cheaper price that I found so the pain wasnt so bad. Anyhow. Im pretty much rudderless but its been fun. Thanks for sharing.

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Im at about the same point you are. Next level is hair springs and balance assembly disassembly. I have a giant magnet like 6 inches by 15 inches I use to sweep areas. It has been a life saver. If you want I can send you one as I have an extra. I just dropped a bit of cash on lubes. There is a guy in france that repackages mobes lubes in smaller quantities at a cheaper price that I found so the pain wasnt so bad. Anyhow. Im pretty much rudderless but its been fun. Thanks for sharing.

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I like this topic, thanks for some really good tips. I especially agree with the point you made about spending a little more money on better quality movements like eta and as, and if possible buying a second identical movement for spares and reference. I recall wasting so much time and funds on cheap movements which frustrated me as they were too worn to ever run well. Not knowing this, I would blame my skills, and on more than one occasion threatened to quit the hobby.

I would also like to add, that it’s a nice idea to buy movements in a case. That way you can get some enjoyment out of wearing and using your successful repairs. You might also choose to sell them on afterwards for a small profit, hopefully funding your next movement.

Regards
Deggsie


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Hello,

As a new member to this art, I really appreciate these kinds of post, and this forum/site in general. Let's me know what I might be getting into and what I will need down the road as I learn more by reading, listening and studying. I think I made a good choice here in this forum over the others, and nothing against the other sites, this one seems to be more personable and down to earth.

I will continue to look, study and learn from you all for your experience. Tools, that I can relate to, years of precision electronics assembly optics, and repair here. Suggestions and comments in this topic has helped me tremendously and I really appreciate it.

Cheers,

George

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Hello,
As a new member to this art, I really appreciate these kinds of post, and this forum/site in general. Let's me know what I might be getting into and what I will need down the road as I learn more by reading, listening and studying. I think I made a good choice here in this forum over the others, and nothing against the other sites, this one seems to be more personable and down to earth.

I will continue to look, study and learn from you all for your experience. Tools, that I can relate to, years of precision electronics assembly optics, and repair here. Suggestions and comments in this topic has helped me tremendously and I really appreciate it.

Cheers,

George

I have made a video on tools and a boat load of videos on repair JD Richard on YouTube. Just trying to help.


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