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Guys, could you look at the photos and see if by your experience this pallet comes apart? I need to drill it to fit a new pivot as one has snapped. 
The smallest collet i have is 1.4 mm so I might need to put it in my larger lathe with a 3 jaw chuck and a dedicated drill tail stick to drill and fit the new pivot. 
Really annoyed as the movement was going when I realised that I put the ratchet wheel on the wrong way round, proceeded to strip the movement happy that it was going and somehow, don’t know how the pivot got snapped on the pallet so a bit miffed now as I know I don’t have one of these in the spares box!!!

cheers for any help

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Gentlemen and ladies ( if we have any ) I do believe I have some success. A day of manipulating the hairspring and lots of coffee we have the results of my endeavours here for you to see. Thanks to everyone that gave advice and hints and tips and the asked for criticism, all very much appreciated.
There were many failed attempts at making the pallet staff and some very successful ones that I broke the pivots off when burnishing them, I have learned a lot about turning by hand on my very old 6mm Lorch lathe so I’m happy with that, even happier that I’ve also got quite handy on the Jacot tool, so another skill learned ( still a long way to go on all fronts though ) but i am after all just a tinkerer and not a skilled watchsmith. 
Enjoy my failures, there’s a picture of most of them sat in tray, I’ll keep all them as reminders that you just gotta keep trying.

 

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I have done this repair. The centre arbour is friction fitted. Making a new one is a reasonably simple job with a lathe. However the height clearance is critical to get it to lock correctly with the escape wheel. 

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Cheers guys, luckily for the height there is a stepped part on the arbor where the pallets seat so as long as I can turn to that exactly then fingers crossed we are good to go.
I shall attempt to drill and fit a new pivot first, hopefully tomorrow, I will post pictures of progress.
wish me luck!!

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Possible, but not easy. According my experience you will need about the same time for drilling or making a new staff on the lathe.
Frank

I would make a new staff using the old one for measuring.


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Well I started on my larger lathe and was going fine but my 3 jaw Chuck doesn’t close enough to allow me to turn the job and do the other end, so I had to leave that one.
I then decided that I could put my drill chuck from the tail stock into the chuck as that closes enough to accept the job, had Wayne too much wobble, it just wouldn’t sit right.
turn between centres next, was going ok but took bits just too big so could get proper shoulders etc so again left that idea.
finally got my Lorch 6mm lathe our and started turning by hand, just can’t seem to get a good straight edge by hand so finished off with file, even got the pivots to fit the plates.
then disaster, I snapped a pivot whilst finishing it off with the pivot file, so I’ll start again tomorrow and see how I get on.

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Ok none of that worked very well so back to the drawing board, the problem is I’ve not got a full set up for turning between centres on my Lorch lathe, so I went ahead and cracked on  if only for practice with the gravers and sharpening them. 
What I can say is that I can turn faster by hand than I can on my Axminster engineers lathe!!

the only thing is I can’t seem to get absolutely straight edges yet, again it’s down to practice. 

So how have I got on, well I’ve had 3 attempts all with varying success but none up to the standard that is required, what I need is a few more collets of smaller sizes, my smallest is 1.4mm so i need to go under 1mm and I’ll have this arbor smashed. 
The largest diameter on this job is 0.73mm, if i can get a collet to fit that then I can turn rhe job around and finish the pivots much better.
So bearing that I’m mind when you look at the pictures these have been turned from right to left in a single collet starting with 2mm blues pivot rod.

Will start again next week after the weekend 

Open to comments, hints, tips etc etc 

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Ok none of that worked very well so back to the drawing board, the problem is I’ve not got a full set up for turning between centres on my Lorch lathe, so I went ahead and cracked on  if only for practice with the gravers and sharpening them. 
What I can say is that I can turn faster by hand than I can on my Axminster engineers lathe!!
the only thing is I can’t seem to get absolutely straight edges yet, again it’s down to practice. 
So how have I got on, well I’ve had 3 attempts all with varying success but none up to the standard that is required, what I need is a few more collets of smaller sizes, my smallest is 1.4mm so i need to go under 1mm and I’ll have this arbor smashed. 
The largest diameter on this job is 0.73mm, if i can get a collet to fit that then I can turn rhe job around and finish the pivots much better.
So bearing that I’m mind when you look at the pictures these have been turned from right to left in a single collet starting with 2mm blues pivot rod.
Will start again next week after the weekend 
Open to comments, hints, tips etc etc 
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First of all, file you tool rest to get a smooth flat surface, else the pivot will match the pattern of your tool rest. Second, rough cut the first level that holds the staff and use the staff to ride up the shaft that you are making until you get twice it's width from the shoulder. I have made two youtube videos on how to make a balance staff. Hear is the latest one.

Now the trick with the pivots is to use a stone to finish them off, and you need a bergeon jeweled ruler to measure until you get the right size. Then use a burnisher to finish off the pivot. Leave enough pivot to do final adjustment for size. I use a pivot lathe or a jacot tool with the lanterns to shorten the pivot. Do NOT shorten too much or you will need to start all over again. Finishing off the pivots takes the most time...and you need to be very deliberate and patient. I have had a few failures over the years, but have now figured this out. I use gravers that are carbide as well and very small. I start out with 6 mm triangular graver, the typical one, and then go to a flat 4mm mm tip and then a flat 2mm tip. The I use a 2mm rounded tip to get to cone shape on the pivot. Here is another video where I am fine tuning a balance staff pivot for an elgin. And I show the gravers I use.



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Also let me know if you need more advice. I wrote a lot more but it didn't seem to publish it. Made another video showing the gravers I use 4mm flat, 2mm flat, then 2 mm round to finish off the cone on the pivot end. Also remember to make the staff pivots a little long to size it properly once the basic pivot is finished and be for you stake on the roller table. Here is the video:


Good luck

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Huge thanks for the advice, and yes well spotter with regard to my tool rest, I shall be addressing that on Monday.
Im limited on my gravers at the moment I have 4 and all are diamond shaped and differing sizes, I need a nice lozenge shaped and square shaped one for other work. But first I need to get more comfortable with turning.
Having to stay at home at the moment is good as i have spent more time working through all the watch/clock projects that I have lying around in the last week than I have in the last 6 months.
I shall watch your video’s with great interest and take away as much as I can from them.

Thanks for the words of encouragement and the extra info mate  

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Huge thanks for the advice, and yes well spotter with regard to my tool rest, I shall be addressing that on Monday.
Im limited on my gravers at the moment I have 4 and all are diamond shaped and differing sizes, I need a nice lozenge shaped and square shaped one for other work. But first I need to get more comfortable with turning.
Having to stay at home at the moment is good as i have spent more time working through all the watch/clock projects that I have lying around in the last week than I have in the last 6 months.
I shall watch your video’s with great interest and take away as much as I can from them.
Thanks for the words of encouragement and the extra info mate  

No problem and stay safe


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Ok had another go today and I’m going to wait until the other collets arrive. I managed to find 3 in France that I bought yesterday and are currently in the postage system. 
I got a good pivot on the one I did this morning but there’s no way I can do the other pivot until I can turn the job around and hold it in the smaller sized collet.
So it’s a waiting game now, so I’ve a few Balance  staffs that need changing so I’m going to get on with them for now until I can carry on with this job.

Edited by transporter

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Ok had another go today and I’m going to wait until the other collets arrive. I managed to find 3 in France that I bought yesterday and are currently in the postage system. 
I got a good pivot on the one I did this morning but there’s no way I can do the other pivot until I can turn the job around and hold it in the smaller sized collet.
So it’s a waiting game now, so I’ve a few Balance  staffs that need changing so I’m going to get on with them for now until I can carry on with this job.

I did another video on YouTube on the equipment needed to make balance staffs.





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A man of many talents including cards and guitar, thanks for the video mate, I’ll keep going at this pallet arbor, a few more or many more attempts and I’ll get it done!!

Never give up


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I'm going to suggest you turn what you can of it then turn it around and stick it in a wax (shellac) "chuck" to finish the other end.. it can also be further finished on a jacot tool with the help of a tiny Bergeon drive dog.

The Wax cheucks are just some brass in a collet, drill and heat, put some shellac in, heat a bit more and put staff in, keep warm so you can power the lathe slowly, while centering and allowing to cool - the part will hopefully be running true. People sometimes use superglue (can be disolved in acetone) rather than Shellac.. be wary of heating the spindle and headstock if using Shellac.

 

Jonathan

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I'm going to suggest you turn what you can of it then turn it around and stick it in a wax (shellac) "chuck" to finish the other end.. it can also be further finished on a jacot tool with the help of a tiny Bergeon drive dog.
The Wax cheucks are just some brass in a collet, drill and heat, put some shellac in, heat a bit more and put staff in, keep warm so you can power the lathe slowly, while centering and allowing to cool - the part will hopefully be running true. People sometimes use superglue (can be disolved in acetone) rather than Shellac.. be wary of heating the spindle and headstock if using Shellac.
 
Jonathan

Old school. You can finish the complete balance staff without waxing or dogs. That is the very difficult method.


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That’s the way I’m doing it now, although the wax chuck is an idea, although I have no shellac but do have superglue, but I’m loath to use that. What I could do though as an experiment whilst I wait for my other collets to arrive, is to use a brass bush, cut a slice in it mount that in a step collet and then mount the Half turned pallet arbor in the bush ( now looking like a hairspring collet ) and try turning the last bit that way.........
Who knows it might just work, I’ll post pictures to let you know later today

Edited by transporter

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Ok, a good graver day so far, my idea of a brass collet in a step chuck was almost a goer, but I wouldn’t be able to get close enough to the job, so I used one of my other collets and I hate to say it “superglue” to glue the reversed arbor so that I could turn the final pivot. 
It almost worked but the super glue gave out and it came out of centre and became unworkable. I SHALL STRIVE TO GET THIS DONE!!! Just need to wait I think for the new collets to arrive. 
 

 

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Ok and another attempt, started doing the thicker of the two ends, pivot done and size done. Grabbed a small brass bush with 2mm outer diameter, I then got a broach and cut it out to just under the 0.77 mm diameter of the arbor, that’s now glued onto the arbor and is ready to be fitted into my 2mm collet.
Fingers crossed, if anything I’m getting more turning practice in this week than I have in the last 6 months 

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On 4/7/2020 at 12:21 AM, jdrichard said:


Old school. You can finish the complete balance staff without waxing or dogs. That is the very difficult method.


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Those are traditional ways, and not the only ways, however I just quite like them from being things I learned about early from easily accessible (hand-me-down) older books.. It took a few hours from getting my first watchmakers lathe to getting to grips with my first wax chuck as a teenager, that was a fair time ago.

Probably 12-15 years ago a speaker came to a BHI meeting with his lathe and a camera or digital microscope, to show the process of making a staff in one on a projector screen. He was said to have once produced (if my memory's correct) 10 in a line, end to end. Personally, I don't feel it's really necessary (or for that matter desirable) to have to produce them in such vast quantities that saving some minutes and seconds are make or break.

I'm in two minds with the Jacot tool, sort of precision and prettiness vs fiddliness. Admittedly, not really a beginner friendly option - using one is a skill, as is finding a good used example.

The wax chuck method takes a bit of practice but is cheap and accurate.. I usually find it more easily effective with something like the smallest size of creme brulee burner/ gas soldering iron as seen in the Roger Smith hand finishing videos, for tempering the hands.

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To the poster,

I have tried superglue for grinding some glass to size (not a crystal) when it was too small to hold between pads. The main difficulty is getting everything as needed before it sets. With the brass in the collet, you can make the hole to be a snug fit with the part so there's a little less accuracy required in getting the part centered while the glue sets. There may be some youtube videos from people who use superglue.

My experience is with Shellac for this as it can be reheated. I've found it's handy to have a bit from time to time - it can be mixed with meths to produce french polish, vintage camera coverings are sometimes held with a thicker mix of dissolved Shellac. There's also a black shellac product for filling numbers on clock dials. It is traditionally used for holding pallet and roller jewels in position. Every now and then I find some other use for it.

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