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Dial feet repair - All techniques


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Hi  I have found these diagrams, they are what I based mine on  although mine uses an external power source, the use of a transformer makes it portable, I am at the moment redesigning one with a trans

Brasswire doesnt work well at all. Most if not all dial feet are copper which is the best. I have done several dials using a machine I build similar to the Fassbender machine and never had a problem w

Years ago I would use what were called dial spots. Little spots you pealed off and stuck them on the movement. You could remove the dial with no trouble at all.

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While waiting for my flux to arrive from Germany, I did much experimentation on junk dials. I finally found a solder that worked. I ended up using a solder paste that I found on Amazon. This makes the job real easy as you don't need to cut up and align little bits of solder. I used a small applicator to apply a dab of paste to the dial and the foot. The paste has flux in it so no need to flux separately. When soldering you need to keep the current flowing for a few secs. You can see the paste boil and then you'll see a flash of shiny metal as the lead melts. When that happens - heat off!

For the feet, I used 20 gauge copper wire.

Pic is from my Baume & Mercier GMT Capeland that had the dial glued to the movement!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ive got a bit of a mad Accutron project in my head at the mo...

I would like to get a generic unsigned dial of the correct diameter and fit to a 2180. The problem is the feet. They are Never where you want them!

Is it possible--or are such items available, that look a little like tiny drawing-pins that could be fixed to a dial by adhesive after removing the dials original feet?

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the  original pins were brass wire soldered on a brass dial,  or the like.  to  re locate the pin  or pins is near imposible..   so;  double back tape (spots mentioned above)  is the way to go for one or all pins.  vinn

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I have a mixed assortment of Bergeon, copper dial feet, they've been somewhat helpful, but without soldering them in place somehow, or unless there's a particularly good industrial cement out there, the feet won't be very secure and may snap loose during the fitting of the movement/hands. (not being supported by the frame and case, this is when they're most vulnerable) A lot of people really like the dial stickers but I've worked on so many watches that weren't running properly, offered to fit a new movement to the watch, and after taking the hands off seeing that the canon is grinding up against the inside of the center dial hole and finding the movement wiggles on the dial... I really try to stay clear, I'd rather try a fix that was more all or nothing than have a situation where the movement might drift slowly out of place and start malfunctioning, leading to confusion/complication. 

 

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I did do a lot of experimenting & research with this & the issue is you have to generate heat without staining the dial side. I found the best result was to have the dial side on a damp sponge & to use solder paste. However it still was not perfect the resistance machine is the way forward but a lot of money. My advise is to clean the inside of the new dial adjust the new dial feet to the correct height then attach them to the watch. Then the dodgy bit. Attach with a glue such as JB weld & put a piece of thin plastic around the feet (in case of spillage) and attach the dial & leave for 24hrs. 

 

http://www.nmia.com/~vrbass/models/solderer.pdf

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I do similar to clockboy and glue copper dial feet. I use the same technique, except that I cut a small piece of plastic and pierce a very small hole in it before putting the dial foot through the hole and screwing it to the movement. This ensures a tight fit of the plastic around the dial foot, to prevent spillage. I use fast drying 2 pieces epoxy resin. 

This technique was learned the hard way. Believe me it takes a lot of effort to remove the resin once in the movement!

i notice that solder machines specific to this task are now on eBay at £200. Probably from China, and a fraction of the cost of Swiss made ones. Almost tempted

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Dirk,

I used your link before...I should have paid more attention to the pictures rather than get hooked on the video. I'm used to the electric schematics but your pictures tell it all...save for a very near future project! Thanks!

Cheers,

Bob

PS. Where did you get the hardware and the housing? Where is the pdf you mention on your page? The zinc-carbon battery, is it a car battery? Sorry about all the probably naïve questions....It's been a while I did electronics.

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  • 1 month later...
On June 26, 2015 at 9:22 AM, bobm12 said:

Check this out Lawson!

 http://www.dialrestore.com/ 

I just purchased one of these machines  .  I hope it's as good as advertised .

Screen shot 2016-10-30 at 1.58.53 PM.png

 

I just didn't like the idea of adhesive dial dots . I have received watches from ebay sellers that had these holding the dial on and didn't mention them in their ads , The dials always seemed to skew after a while and I have a concern that the stem may not line up properly because of added space between the dial and the movement .

 I have thought about using the dial feet I see for sale with a broad platform that would have to be glued on somehow , so then I have a concern about glues or adhesives in the watch that may give off corrosive fumes . And then there is the issue of proper alignment of the dial that would present itself no mater the form of dial foot replacement .

I recently was lucky enough to find a replacement dial for a vintage Hamilton Polaris electric watch I just got .  The watch was advertised as having been serviced recently , but it would run and stop when I got it . Ir's a front loader and when I took out the movement I found a broken dial foot . I thought that the dial was possibly interfering with the hands as I had a little bit of dificulty installing the movement back into the case and even getting the 2 piece stem to join because the dial and movement was moving around  , which of course , might lift the hands from the cannon pinion , hour wheel , and center wheel pinion . 

Even though I was lucky enough to find a replacement dial for this vintage watch , it still cost me another $25 + shipping . 

If this new machine works as advertised I can repair the original watch dial and sell the replacement one .  Also all of the Seiko diver dials I have with broken foot issues .

I have my fingers crossed that this machine works out .

Aloha , Louis

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Excellent Luis....now we will know if it really is as good as it seems to be! Please, report back how you fare. This is one tool I have been entertaining to buy for quite a while...I just couldn't get myself to finally do it.

Cheers,

Bob

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  • 4 weeks later...
22 hours ago, jnash said:

very interesting , only problem i can see with this is that if the dial was more precious, it would burn through and damage it 

Yes one has to be really careful. Soldering tin has a melting point under 300 Celsius while degrading of organic materials (for example acryl resin) starts at 400-500 Celsius. If ithe solder swarf is smelting one ha to take away the flame. 

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  • 2 months later...

Purely out of curiosity, what is the correct way to replace dial feet if they come off?  I imagine the heat from soldering would ruin the paint on the dial side, but drilling and riveting certainly doesn't seem the right way to go either.

Being an amateur I could see a tube of JB Weld coming in handy but even I wouldn't go that route with with a proper watch.

Any thoughts from the more experienced crowd?

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