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Dial feet repair - All techniques

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i'm counting on you, rodralph. this do it yourself stuff is great.

Thanks. I had to put my DIY projects aside for a little while to focus on other personal matters, but will update the other thread once I make more progress.



I updated the site including some answers: http://dirkfassbender.de/dial-feet-soldering-machine.html


Thank you for adding the details on your site. I like the idea of using the probe assembly as a rod holder as my original idea was to use a small soldering iron instead.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, 35€ compared to 300$ US made or 625€ from Bergeon, so we can not talk really about cost. As I want to make dials for some pocket watches it will be well worth it.


The cost of making this machine is negligible compared to the cost of buying one, especially if you only use it a couple of times a year. I've been playing around with the idea of using a high voltage power supply like those used for laptops. I have several of those bricks laying around. I just need to find the time to do it.


Good work.

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  • 3 months later...

Seems that most people are using 60/40. Here are some pics of the solder and flux. I had a better result this time, but I still seem to be getting rather weak joints. I am using brass wire for the feet which I believe should have similar soldering properties as copper. I thoroughly cleaned the dial back to a shiny smooth finish. I filed the end of the wire flat and smoothed the end and sides with emory paper to nice shiny finish. i dabbed a bit of flux on the dial and on the foot. Placed some tiny bits of solder near the joint and hit the current. MOst of the time the solder rides up the side of the foot a bit. Doesn't seem to flow into the joint. Have tried different combinations of flux location, vertical pressure on the foot, etc. No luck :(


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Vinn - I will take some pics of my "jig" when I have some spare time. To answer your question though - the actual dial I am repairing (have been using a junk one for now) still has the spots where the original feet were located. Having said that, when I clean up the back to prep for soldering I will likely loose those locations. I was planning on scribing some cross hairs to keep the location. That should do the trick. If not, I will locate the new feet in the movement plate, put some ink on the tips and carefully place the dial on and remove - that should mark the location, but I prefer the first method. Happy to entertain better ideas though!!!

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No time like the present! Here's the setup. I bought the machine on ebay last year for $30. Works on same principle as the one in the link I sent previously. You'll notice that I am holding the dial in a movement and have attached the ground lead to the holder. Using a "third hand" setup to support the foot in a pin vise. When I apply the current, I can also press down on the top of the pin vise if more pressure is desired. I use a piece of pith wood to press down since I don't want to touch the vice itself. Not sure if that would shock me, and frankly don't want to find out :)

You can see one of my seitz tools in the background. Was experimenting using that to hold the foot in place as well. Not enough clearance to work with a longer piece of wire though.



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Understood. I tried that last night with similar (not good) results. I used a fiberglass scratch pen to clean the surface of the dial. I think that should be rough enough????

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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To mark the position of the dial feet, place the movement into position on the dial (face down and sometimes more secure putting back in case) and with a thin jewellers twist drill in a pin vice, guide it through the dial foot hole and turn in the correct direction of the twist drill. This should make a good mark on the back of the dial. Repeat for the other hole(s).

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  • jdm changed the title to Dial feet repair - All techniques
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