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Easy out for watch screws?


PaulnKC
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All,

I recently acquired a beautiful 1954 Omega with a near-mint 266 movement.

321645587_s-l1600(7).thumb.jpg.bfcf7d9200dbed07ac2fa6d807cb5263.jpg

I am thrilled with the condition of this watch.

However, there is one fault that I'd like to take care of if I can.

You can't tell in this picture, but one of the movement screws is broken with about half of the screw stuck in the base plate.

Is there anything like an easy-out for watch-size screws? Or some other method for removing a broken screw? I don't want to risk damaging the plate as it is in otherwise near-perfect condition. And the broken movement screw still has enough threads to function.

BUT - if there is a safe way to extract the broken part, I would like to do.

I can post some pics of the screw and plate (if that would help), but I would have to post those later, as I don't have them with me.

Many thanks,

-Paul

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Is it stuck solid, then it could be cross threaded. If not with some gentle persuasion with a correctly fitting screwdriver it should undo. Looking at all of the screws they are bruised so it has been serviced before with poorly fitting screwdriver head. I now use T shaped tipped screwdrivers using a Horotec sharpener. Although expensive less chance of slips and scratches. 

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10 minutes ago, clockboy said:

Is it stuck solid, then it could be cross threaded. If not with some gentle persuasion with a correctly fitting screwdriver it should undo. Looking at all of the screws they are bruised so it has been serviced before with poorly fitting screwdriver head. I now use T shaped tipped screwdrivers using a Horotec sharpener. Although expensive less chance of slips and scratches. 

clockboy,

Yes - you are correct about the service and screw heads.

But both movement screws come out without trouble. It's just that one  is broken in half with the broken off part sitting in the base plate.

So, it's functional as-is, but ideally, I'd like to remove the broken part and get a new (unbroken) movement screw.

My question is about removing the broken off bit still in the base plate. For larger mechanical assemblies there is something called an easy-out that can be used for this task. I don't know if they make them small enough for watch movement screws. I doubt it.

-P.

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29 minutes ago, clockboy said:

Sorry I don't understand is the picture you have posted show the broken screw. For removing broken screws I have used this on a few occasions. 

clockboy,

That's my bad - I did mention in my original post (in the last sentence) that I could post more relevant photos, but would have to be later.

I will post a pic this evening that will show the situation directly.

But the tool you are showing looks like it has lots of potential!

Since you have used the tool - maybe you could have a look at the pic I post later and let me know what you think.

Many thanks!

-Paul 

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Hi The tool mentioned by clock boy is the one, Failing that try a sharp needle and try to turn the screw out as normal being careful.  If its cross threaded  then use the tool as mentioned. If all else fails either leave as is or drill it out.

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There's a lot of pics of that Chinese one, not one of which shows the tools radially aligned any closer than maybe 1mm... and they are all drills, the Bergeon has sort of round "claws" to grab into the screw and help it turn. Maybe with some re-work it could be OK...

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1 minute ago, nickelsilver said:

There's a lot of pics of that Chinese one, not one of which shows the tools radially aligned any closer than maybe 1mm... and they are all drills, the Bergeon has sort of round "claws" to grab into the screw and help it turn. Maybe with some re-work it could be OK...

Yeah,

I also noticed.

I try to buy quality tools whenever possible. I have never been disappointed with Bergeon or Horotec (which is most of my tools).

-Paul 

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8 hours ago, clockboy said:

Sorry I don't understand is the picture you have posted show the broken screw. For removing broken screws I have used this on a few occasions.

Here is a better pic - still not awesome, but you can see the tip of the broken screw coming through the base plate at about 9:00 (based on the photo orientation - not the orientation of the plate; i.e. the far left). It's a little tough to recognize because the silver screw looks similar to viewing the movement holder threw a screw hole.PA261980.thumb.jpg.0a893f2aae5ce3d79954293dbca6750a.jpg

In any event, I have ordered the Bergeon tool - and have high hopes that will do the trick.

 

Now - the next question - where to find an appropriate replacement screw?

Thanks to all who commented.

-Paul

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9 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

Will you keep us posted with how useful the bergeon tool turns out.

Has the other end of the screws come out of the hole, I use nail clipper grasp it end.

 

 

Will do.

And good idea on the nail clippers.

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An easy and cheap way to remove broken screws is to use alum powder.

You have to remove all steel parts from the plate with the broken screw and you let it sit in alum powder mixed with water. You have to check it regulary but in about 24h, the steel from the screw will become soft and you will be able to poke it off with a toothpick and clean it very easily. I used this method once for a 1966 Omega watch and got perfect results.

Of course, you shouldn't use it on a movement with steel parts still on it as it will dissolve them but plates made of brass will not be affected by this product.

Here is the one I used and purchased at a local grocery store: https://www.helloflavour.ca/en-ca/our-brands/club-house/products/herbs-and-spices/spices/alum-powdered

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27 minutes ago, thierry said:

An easy and cheap way to remove broken screws is to use alum powder.

You have to remove all steel parts from the plate with the broken screw and you let it sit in alum powder mixed with water. You have to check it regulary but in about 24h, the steel from the screw will become soft and you will be able to poke it off with a toothpick and clean it very easily. I used this method once for a 1966 Omega watch and got perfect results.

Of course, you shouldn't use it on a movement with steel parts still on it as it will dissolve them but plates made of brass will not be affected by this product.

Here is the one I used and purchased at a local grocery store: https://www.helloflavour.ca/en-ca/our-brands/club-house/products/herbs-and-spices/spices/alum-powdered

thierry,

Very cool! and thanks for posting.

It never hurts to have options.

-Paul

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I have tried the Alum method with some success but it is slow. I must say the Chinese tool Paul shows looks impressive and a nice price. One method I did use was to use a series of micro drills into the broken screw then un-screwed with a small screwdriver.

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I had a major screw issue and had to put the movement in my Lathe and drill out the screw. If you need to know the technique to do this I shall provide it. I used the screw removal tool and it did not work for my situation. Screw was locked in way too tight and it was the screw for the mainspring arbor.


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9 hours ago, thierry said:

You have to remove all steel parts from the plate with the broken screw and you let it sit in alum powder mixed with water.

What is to add, is that the water should be hot, at least initially. That accelerates the action of the solution.

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10 hours ago, jdrichard said:

I had a major screw issue and had to put the movement in my Lathe and drill out the screw. If you need to know the technique to do this I shall provide it. I used the screw removal tool and it did not work for my situation. Screw was locked in way too tight and it was the screw for the mainspring arbor.

Thank you jdrichard.

I would be interested to know the technique - and I would also be interested to know about the lathe that you used.

I don't think I'm close to buying one of those at the moment - but maybe in the future.

I think for my current situation, if I can't remove it with the Bergeon extractor tool, then I may try the alum powder - or may just leave as-is for the time being. Since, as I say, the broken screw will screw in to the plate.

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20 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Will you keep us posted with how useful the bergeon tool turns out.

Has the other end of the screws come out of the hole, I use nail clipper grasp it end.

Yes - the tip is through the other side, but the way the plate is formed, the tip doesn't sick out where it can be grabbed. So, can't try the nail clipper method on this one.

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Thank you jdrichard.
I would be interested to know the technique - and I would also be interested to know about the lathe that you used.
I don't think I'm close to buying one of those at the moment - but maybe in the future.
I think for my current situation, if I can't remove it with the Bergeon extractor tool, then I may try the alum powder - or may just leave as-is for the time being. Since, as I say, the broken screw will screw in to the plate.

fa0398a0e62bca3724bb817f4e14e986.jpgArbor with Broken screw.0b9b0c1f57dfab616779feed32a8637b.jpgAfter the screw has been drilled out5c8e06d9405a82d7c08e87609030736f.jpgMy Lathe with the tale stock drill bit.

The process is to put the movement in a three jaw plate holder. Then find center with a graver and create a cone with an absolute center. Then, using circuit board drill bits, find a size just smaller than the diameter of the broken screw. When you drill through , it will leave a hollow screw that will crack when pried slightly with the tip of a screw driver.



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8 minutes ago, jdrichard said:

...
The process is to put the movement in a three jaw plate holder. Then find center with a graver and create a cone with an absolute center. Then, using circuit board drill bits, find a size just smaller than the diameter of the broken screw. When you drill through , it will leave a hollow screw that will crack when pried slightly with the tip of a screw driver...

jdrichard,

Very cool - thanks for posting. And nice macro photography. :)

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