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Fraczish

How do you guys remember where everything fits???

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As a student of Marks course, I've been recently taking apart and reassembling standard 3 hand manual movements. I've just about got the ability to remember what most parts are and where abouts they fit. I write lots of notes.

After watching some of the other walkthroughs and guides (fascinating as they are) I can't believe I will ever be able to remember the numerous parts involved with more complicated movements. Even by adding a calendar and Automatic winder the number seems to greatly increase. Especially screws:o

Can I ask what people methodology is for overcoming this? Is it lots of notes? Or diligence in the dust trays? Or photography perhaps? 

Be great to hear how experienced people do it.

Thanks again.

Edited by Fraczish

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Practice is the main thing, beyond that it's also safe to assume that every part has a purpose and will fit where it is intended (don't force anything).. this isn't always the case, particularly with 19th century watches which were rather handmade - similar screws may be found with punch marks to indicate which goes in each hole, or jewel locations, etc.. in this case the screw threads may not be identical like modern threads. On modern movements some bits like the bridge screws are pretty interchangeable, usually with a shorter screw to clear the keyless works.

If in doubt take pictures, I use my phone camera for stuff which is likely to cause some questions - usually for camera shutters but it applies to anything new to me.. and having a few pictures afterwards can be nice to look back on too. I'd recommend taking a picture of the keyless works for the first few times - occasionally I still find little springs are going to be difficult to remember to get their places correct - say if they're the same size but only have some slight difference.

Lastly there are some guides, forums, and blogs which can be helpful for gaining an insight into other peoples practices or solutions to problems.

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Hi  Remembering where the bits go comes with experience, also photographing  as you go and keeping parts and screws together with their associated plates etc. So its a combination. and also having to hand tech sheets and manuals.    I have attached a couple of PDF's to get you started.        cheers

TZIllustratedGlossary.pdf TimeZone Watch School Home.html

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For unfamiliar movements I take photography. In addition, on those with a variety of screws, I sometimes re-fit screws during disassembly. 
 

I often find screws swapped around on movements, especially when there are different lengths of screw with the same head. So: others don’t always get it correct. 

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53 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi  Remembering where the bits go comes with experience, also photographing  as you go and keeping parts and screws together with their associated plates etc. So its a combination. and also having to hand tech sheets and manuals.    I have attached a couple of PDF's to get you started.        cheers

TZIllustratedGlossary.pdf 4.2 MB · 3 downloads TimeZone Watch School Home.html 8 kB · 2 downloads

I'm unable to download the Time zone pdf unfortunately? 

Also is there a resource for tech Sheets or is it a Google job? I'm aware that Cousins have quite a few available

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I was thinking about your original question of how do we remember where everything fits we don't.

Watch repair is all about practicing continuous practicing lots of practicing. Taking marks course just gets you started you still need lots of practice the definition of lots of practice is your entire life. Learning watch repair is not something you learn overnight.

Then it's really really helpful to understand what every single component in the Watch is for and how the watch Works.

ideally you should have really good problem-solving abilities. Because unfortunately With watch repair that's going to be required. Because as pointed out above even if you took photographs you may find that others perhaps didn't put the watch back together the way it was supposed to go together. Or things don't work and you're going to have to  figure out why they don't work or why the?

Then today with cameras take lots of pictures of everything if you've never seen it before photograph it. If you never look at the pictures again that's fine but it's always nice to know you had a picture of anything that bothers you.  Then if you're into note taking do that. Then if you're really enthusiastic I would keep a journal of every single watch you do. Especially if there are other your own personal watches. That way years From now you can go back and look at what you did To the watch how it's running now choices you made especially for lubrication Like was that a good choice for that lubrication or maybe it's a bad choice.

Then cousins is very good for tech sheets. But as a reminder not every single watch will have a tech sheet

Then in case you're curious about my answer of we don't remember is because those of us who've worked on a lot of watches can assemble a watch that we've never seen before. If you understand what all the basic components are how they look how they go together for the most part we don't have to memorize we just know where everything goes. But we also recognize when you should have a picture and feel annoyed when we don't have a picture.

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I think memory is less important than understanding.


If you understand what the part does, then you should be able to figure out where it goes.

Having said that, taking notes and pictures will help, both with the understanding, as you learn, and with those situations where it is less than obvious what goes where. 

I recently took apart a Sekonda with date complication. I've taken apart and re-assembled several of these recently, and every time I do so, I can't for the life of me remember which way round one of the springs goes.

I'm not sure what this proves, maybe Its an age thing, or maybe, and more likely, its because I don't actually remember every part of every movement, but actually figure most of it out based on experience.

As it happens I also have pictures of that particular movement, and there are others on line, so the issue doesn't cause me any grief.

If you have any doubt about a particular assembly or disassembly step. Stop and think.You will save yourself a lot of time in the long run, if you take the time to think.

If you can't figure it out, ask.

There are no daft questions, but there are many  people too daft to ask questions.

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Pictures don’t always help so I always use these compartment trays, these I get from a hobby store in the paint section. But Esslinger sells nice ones with lids....each piece I remove goes into one compartment with its respective screws. Each compartment represents a step. When i reassemble I work backwards. As far as a bridge that uses different length screws you can always attach the bridge and look from the sides and tell where longer screws will go. Or by seeing where they screw in from under. Kinda hard to explain but just observe and you will get the picture.

D821222F-AC1D-454B-8FA5-F8552403F5C7.jpeg

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Forgot to add when I clean the parts I use mesh compartment trays. But in the beginning I used mini glass vials filled with cleaning fluid and each one was numbered and I also numbered the compartments of the tray. So each tray section would correspond with the glass vial. I still use this method today when dealing with an unfamiliar movement. But if you have disassembled and reassembled enough movements you kinda start to just know where everything goes, kinda like when you move to a new town you don’t know where everything is, you use gps a few times get to know your area and grid, then you just know.

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On 5/28/2020 at 10:35 AM, watchweasol said:

Hi I have just test loaded the timezone PDFs both worked ok   are you using Adobe reader

Still can't get it which is odd won't even download, I get a "S3.amazonaws.com" error... But I can load the TX file no problems. 

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8 minutes ago, Fraczish said:

Still can't get it which is odd won't even download, I get a "S3.amazonaws.com" error... But I can load the TX file no problems. 

works ok here....I guess it is as said, practise over and over again...I am just a very moderate amateur and I notice that due to work I sometimes can't work on watches for months. When i then start again, I have to look at Mark's video's again ...I find these a great help.

A  good friend of mine is working as a professional watchmaker which shows his daily experience when I visit him...In a glance he sees what is wrong with a movement and knows exactly how to interprete readings on a witschi.....so a lot of practise

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1 hour ago, Watchtime said:

works ok here....I guess it is as said, practise over and over again..

I think when it comes to being able to positively identify how parts fits and which screw goes where the best approach is to take pics or even video, AND store parts in labelled sectors. Because some mov't are really unusual with all screws being different, or there maybe a long gap time before re-assembly, and in any case one needs to move on expeditiously before "practice kicks in". 

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Thanks everyone for the great responses. 

Hope I get enough time to practice being just hobbiest currently!

4 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi It seems to be a conflict between the amazon server, access problems. what operating system are you using I am on win 10 O/s and adobe reader.    

Just my mobile platform. Chrome browser, Android O/S. 

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