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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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12 minutes ago, mathias said:

es efectivo con el pegamento ,esa es una aria muy comun por caidas  tienden a romperse y la unina solucion es pegandolas 

I can understand what you say, but why are you using Spanish in an English forum?

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I have used the dial foot machine with good results , but it takes practice and cleanliness to get the best results . To be honest ,...although I love tools , I don't think that the number of times I have actually used the machine merits the cost .

Like most tools:)

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somewhere in the 500 project que is a dial foot repair.   I've been thinking of how to hobble together a resistance solderer (the key is low voltage, like 1.5, then it should be able to solder copper).  I made a spot welder once by wrapping thick speaker wire around a old sodium light ballast so would probably go along those lines; cheap and lots of current available.

Thinking more about it, the strength of soft solder is around 5000 psi.   Two part epoxies are something like 1000-2000 so are weaker.  However 1 part thermal set epoxies can get to 5000 psi - if the stuff sticks, it should be easier, and less risk.  

Has anyone tried the 1 part heat cure epoxies?  You have take them to around 120C I believe - any issue with lacquer or other finishes at those temps?


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I'll copy transfer the points with my "dial feet position gauge" to a sheet of paper and measure the distances and angles. Then I 3D print  simple dial holder which I use to transfer the correct positions.

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Hello to all. My post is all about the situation when I have to reattach a watch dial to the movement, but when the original watch dial feet are broken or, in this case, missing. 

I have added sticky pads, and tried to put it all back together. However, there is just not a tight enough fit of watch dial to movement. And this means I cannot properly reattach the hands as there is less space on the dial. 

I tried pressing them together more, but also no good. And I don't want to handle the dial too much with or without finger cots. 

WHY won't the sticky pads stick properly? 

Is it possible I have, inadvertently, bent the watch dial? It is only a small cheap one, but even so I hope I didn't. 

What to do that I haven't done already? 

Sorry the photos are in a strange order, but it wasn't easy uploading them. I think you can see what you need to. 






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Hi  The answer to your problem is to use dial dots these are small foam double sided dots which you stick to thr front plate and then re attach the dial carefully lining up the center hole before pressing the dial home firmly.

The dial feet can be resolderd on using a dial foot machine or a small jig to hold the wire. If done correctly no harm comes to the dial this of course is cot possible with dials with plastic faces and watches with calendar works as they foul up.

If you wish to you can PMessage  me with your address ( If in the UK) and I will post some dots to you.  They are available from most parts suppliers.    Cheers 

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Hi W they look a tad too big. The dots are made specificaly for the job of retro fitting watch movements, I have used them without any problems. The watch you are working on looks like a Miyota 2030/35, I have used them on this type of movement ok. make sure the dial and front plate are clean and free from oil, a wipe down with Isopropyl alchohol and when dry try again. The offer still stands I have a few sheets. If you only need a few .

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Thank you very much for your advice and the offer. I am not often in the UK these days, so I wouldn't be able to pick them up so soon. I see Cousins have some, as do ebay. 

But do you have some advice on how to NOT break the copper dial feet when taking the movement off the dial in times when you need to? Obviously they are good things to keep on, but are not made for pulling, bending etc. 

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Hi  W  removing the dial without breaking the feet off takes care . there are differnt ways the dial is fitted, some use small screws on the edge of the movement which must be loosend prior to removing the dial, and some mainly quartz with plastic frames are just friction fit, the method of removal remains the same. Withe the dial loosend if screwed insert a screwdriver between front plate and dial and twist a small amount then do the same at the other dial foot, continue like this untill you can grasp the dial in your fingers and lift straight up from the movement avoid twisting .   all the best

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Hi  as jdm remarked they dont fit all, watches with calender work can be a problem due to clearance and I have seen in order for the dial to fit correctly the front plate sometimes has to be reduced to allow for the extra metal on the foot, Its a case of try it if it fits its a bonus if not do whats required to get the fit you require.

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Given how delicate dials are, are there any potential issues when dial dots or tape are used to stick a dial to a movement when there are dial feet going into the movement?  I want to make sure that removing a dial stuck on by tape or dots doesn't require twisting or tilting the dial away from the movement when it comes time to service it.

While I'm at it, do ETA dial spacers hold onto the movements at all or are they loose?  The option to dial dots I am considering would be using shellac to temporarily glue the dial to the spacer.

Why am I worried about attaching the dial when there are feet?  The holes in the movement do not have clamps, and I gather that best practice for longevity of the watch is to have the dial attached to the movement.  Thanks for any feedback on this!

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