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Jheric

Recoiling balance spring using sewing needles

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Hello,
Have someone had experience using sewing needles for recoiling springs?
I saw a comment on youtube, his a veteran watchmaker and have been recoiling springs for about 60 years.

This was his original post

"Thank you for your honesty, only I am nearly 80 years old and have been recoiling balance springs for about 60 years. I don't use tweezers, I use two VERY small sewing needles with the tip of the eye end ground back leaving what looks like a two pronged fork then with the pointed end pushed into a piece of peg wood. These fine eye ends of the needles fit nicely between the coils of the spring with the spring sitting in the forks. It works well for recoiling and flatting the the spring. But you do have to be very calm with steady hands. Good luck."  - Keith solloway

I think this would be a very interesting topic.

 

 

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Hi  I Have actually made some of these tools , I fitted mine into some three eights dowel rod, I like the  OP have found these useful as I think they give greater control, but like all balance spring work with either tweezers or these tools it requires great care and a steady hand. 

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I find bending is too harsh as you create a localised bend and results in metal fatigue. Using the ground down needle eye generates a lot of pressure at the point where the spring leaves the eye. That is why using tweezers to hold the spring while applying pressure is also risky.

My preferred method is to support one side of the spring with a slightly large tool like a 0.7 or 0.9 screwdriver and use a thin rod to rub on the other side. This creates a bend with a larger radius (think English Wheel but in two dimensions). Since the bend has a larger radius any metal fatigue is lessened. This method makes very small changes so the risk of overbending and having to bend it back again is lessened. The trick with manipulating hairsprings is to make small movements.... and like anything with hairsprings, one small misstep will ruin your day.

For out of flat hairsprings.... now thats another story.

Anilv

 

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Hi Jackie.. Sorry to say I don't have a technique..if I succeed it usually down to luck. Only tip I have is to fix the 'out-of-flat' before trying to get the hairspring concentric and in between the regulator pins.

Anilv

 

 

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