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Technique to untangle hairspring coils ?


mikepilk

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Taking this balance from the cock, I managed to get the hairspring coils tangled. 

Does anyone have a technique to untangle the coils?

Last time this happened, I tried to pull the coils apart with 2 pairs of tweezers - accidentally released the pressure on one pair ..... 
and I'm still looking for a new hairspring on a (very very hard to find) Universal Geneve Cal 267

This is a cheap Poljot - but I'd still like to figure it out.

Thanks

Mike

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If you're able, remove the hairspring via the collet, this frees up the weight of the balance.

I find a combination of either 2 #5 tweezers or one of those and an oiler with a 10X loupe works reasonably well, the key is patience, if you feel yourself getting impatient walk away for a bit.

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4 minutes ago, m1ks said:

If you're able, remove the hairspring via the collet, this frees up the weight of the balance.

I find a combination of either 2 #5 tweezers or one of those and an oiler with a 10X loupe works reasonably well, the key is patience, if you feel yourself getting impatient walk away for a bit.

I'd just put the hairspring back on after tightening the collet. I thought I was suddenly getting great amplitude and no beat error before I realised the collet was loose !

I put it on a balance tack to work on, but that didn't seem to help.

I recently bought a stereo microscope which makes fiddling with hairsprings so much easier.  I always found it very difficult with a 10x loupe as the working distance is so small.

I was thinking of pinning it down, then running a fine oil round the coils starting from the collet.

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Pinning down and running a needle through circles as you say, works, I have done it many times, but you may find that stud  hinders untangling specially as you get to outer coils. I always unpin and seperate the stud from HS. Like so                                          Remove HS off of the wheel. Re instal stud back in stud holder hole, tighten its screw, push on the sharp point of micro pin with flat face of a thin screwdriver and grab the thick end of the micro pin in tweezers to shake it loose, repeat several times pin will eventually loosen and come out.                                                                                    Proceed to untangle. You may find circles out of round /center/ unlevel.   Removing the stud greatly increase chances of success.    Good luck

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Most adapt their own methods. I find using a microscope & fine tweezers & a needle works normally. But manipulating hairsprings is extremely difficult because too much manipulation will result in the spring breaking. I speak from experience.  A donor movement is the best route if possible, finding the correct hairspring replacement is also difficult.  This in many ways is why horology becomes compulsive. 

I know this is now obvious but the handling if the balance and hairspring requires the utmost care and attention. Watch Marks vids and see how a pro treats this area. 

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I have used a piece of paper with a small slit. Starting at the collet and moving the paper in a circle to follow the coil . This keeps the tangled part above the paper and easier to untangle with tweezers as you rotate the paper and move your way outward.

Thoughts?


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1 hour ago, jdrichard said:

I have used a piece of paper with a small slit. Starting at the collet and moving the paper in a circle to follow the coil . This keeps the tangled part above the paper and easier to untangle with tweezers as you rotate the paper and move your way outward.

Thoughts?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Genius! That's a great suggestion. I will need to try that.

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I managed to get the tangle out without taking the hairspring off. I used a clean oiler and ran it outward from the collet. Then some fine tweezers to lift the coils. I have good a couple of kinks to sort out. 

New balances are available from Cousin's for only £10 but I wanted to learn how to do this. 

Thanks for to suggestions. 

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  • 2 years later...
On 11/12/2019 at 5:54 AM, jdrichard said:

I have used a piece of paper with a small slit. Starting at the collet and moving the paper in a circle to follow the coil . This keeps the tangled part above the paper and easier to untangle with tweezers as you rotate the paper and move your way outward.

Thoughts?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Could you describe this in a bit more detail? Do you mean you slot the hairspring collet into the slit of the paper and rotate the hairspring under the paper?

Also, how do you remove the hairspring without distorting the arms of the balance wheel, or kinking the hairspring where it attaches to the collet? I haven’t had good experience with lever type tools, or using a blade.

So far, I had hairsprings that started with tangled but still flat, to untangled but out of flat in multiple locations, to unrecoverable.

Edited by ifibrin
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