Jump to content

Dial feet repair - All techniques


Recommended Posts

Hi unusual that there are no clamps or screws on an ETA, but as long as the dots clear everything , calendar work etc ok   belt and braces approach..  What calibre is the watch ETA what? mechanical or quartz.  It helps to know these things to fomrulate an accurate opinion.  cheers 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 207
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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.

Posted Images

It's an ETA mechanical, calendar parts removed.  No clamps because holes for feet drilled into mainplate post-manufacture.  So when removing a stuck-on dial, it will just pull apart with minimal pressure, no peeling or twisting action needed?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, I've had to use dial dots on old seiko 5 watches because of broken dial feet which is common on some older ones. Generally speaking a screw driver gently prying will easily remove the dial without any difficulty or damage as they are only holding the weight of the dial in place, as watchweasol said you have to make sure that the dial is spot on before sticking, or you will have to remove and try again.When service time comes around just put new dial dots on again no problem. No need for shellac. Hope that's what you want to know 

Edited by Graziano
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used these with a drop of epoxy and these feet were very successful. 

My technique was to put the feet into the movement, for a couple trial runs of setting the face in place on the movement resting on the feet pads.  In my case I used a small O-ring around the Cannon pinion output that the dial hole would center on. I would then put a drop of epoxy on each pad and lower the dial into place, centered around the pinion o-ring.  I should note that I put a thin layer of cellophane (saran wrap) down over the movement pressing the feet through it so that there was no chance of epoxy squeezing out onto the movement.

Having an engineering background I understand sheer force, and there's a lot of surface between these pads and dial-back, providing more than enough strength to hold the dial for many years (providing the epoxy does not give out). Not as good as welding but second-best and I was very happy with the outcome.

Edited by Wdc
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Food for thought!

I should add for those with problems regarding clearance.  On one dial where clearance was an issue, I placed the pad face down on a diamond filing plate,   working it back and forth, reducing the thickness of the pad,  giving me the clearance I needed.  I was also prepared to file away sections of the pad had it up hit anything in the mount, but it was not necessary.  

Providing you don't file the pad too close to the post, you should be fine. This being said, there are watches were they just won't work.

Good luck to anyone using these 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

There has been some discussion in the past regarding the possibility of glueing dial feet. No really good glue was reported. However, my dentist suggested the use of 3M dental cement. She uses it for pemanent gluing of crowns etc. The strongest for metal cementing is  3M ESPE  RELYX UNICEM 2. It is expensive but available on eBay with some limitations according to country. Here is an example of a test on a scrap dial.  6 mintes working time and after setting at room temperature for one hour I was able to lift, with the dial foot held by pliers, a 500g weight placed on the dial. Good enough as an alternative emergency repair when soldering could harm the dial finish.

3M.jpg.841e82ce099b9c12b9ecd8d4626d79fd.jpg

402053771_dialfoot.jpg.6e527b9d1322f14c071d691cf407c739.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to know!

You're right about the price... Ouch!

Years ago I used to use a product called Evo Stik TX 528 thixotropic contact adhesive to glue 8 x 4 foot sheets of stainless steel to walls and ceilings and just about anything else. It's adhesion was quite amazing. Not quite in the ball park of what you're talking about though, but it would be interesting how it did with dial feet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a less expensive single-use version of  this cement called the 3M ESPE  RELYX UNICEM APPLICAP.  But it needs two tools, the first to crimp and mix the components and the second to extrude the cement. If you have a friendly dentist who would lend the tools this could be a low-cost solution.

applicap.jpg.cf724df0fb7982426c59382c5f210693.jpg

Edited by Watcher
grammar
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You might like to explore the world of surface mount electronic component assembly too. For example if you need to dispense tiny amounts of solder to fix dial feet in the traditional manner, you could borrow some tricks from SMD assembly.

s-l1600.jpg

Solder paste in syringes. This comes as leaded and lead free. I would suggest using the stuff with lead in as it flows better, and melts at a lower temperature, this minimising the heat that will transfer to the dial face, but ROHS stuff is available if you prefer to avoid lead.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Solder-BGA-SMD-Tin-Welding-Paste-Flux-XG-Z40-10CC-Needle-Soldering-Glue-25-45um/132416227698?hash=item1ed49f4972:g:pTQAAOSwCcZaHQXn

Just grab the keywords from that example and look for similar stuff.

There are also several different types of glue. For example single part "red glue".

s-l1600.jpg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FUJI-Seal-glo-NE8800T-SMT-SMD-Red-Glue-Adhensive-for-BGA-Chipset-Solder-RoHS/171643196779?hash=item27f6bb556b:g:g-0AAOSw6sRa3bSt

 

UV cure glues, like  LOCA Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive, often used for cellphone glass

s-l1600.jpg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TP-2500-UV-Glue-LOCA-Liquid-Optical-Clear-Adhesive-For-Cellphone-Glass-Lens-cu/283626728293?hash=item4209786b65:g:v2wAAOSwBChbXcWg

You would need a UV cure lamp for this, but there are lots of UV LED torches and UV cure nail polish devices to be had for a few dollars which will do the trick.

There are also specialist hand tools to "pick and place" various tiny electronic component items that might prove useful with watch components.

Edited by AndyHull
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic, but has anybody tried using dental cements to repair enamel watch dials?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=3M+ESPE++RELYX+UNICEM+2.&_sop=15&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=dental+cement&_sacat=0

There are any number of tools and colour options, so it should be possible to place the repair, and colour match the original finish with a good degree of precision. Would this work? It seems it should, as tooth enamel is similar in harness to the glass enamels used on watch dials, and dental cements would therefore seem like a good match in terms of bonding, flexibility and so forth. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy Hull, the solder paste at the top of your post looks interesting.  I'm trying to repair some modules from quartz watches which are mostly damaged by battery leakage, so some tracks eaten away, pusher contacts vanished etc.  I'm dealing with features like closely spaced 0.2mm wide tracks, soldering 0.1mm wire on top to regain continuity. It's the nearest to micro-surgery that I'm likely to get and my success rate with 22g solder and a needle point iron under a microscope is not great.  Would the solder paste be any easier to use do you think, and would a hot air gun be a better bet than a soldering iron?  I'd appreciate your views.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Slightly off topic, but has anybody tried using dental cements to repair enamel watch dials?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=3M+ESPE++RELYX+UNICEM+2.&_sop=15&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=dental+cement&_sacat=0

There are any number of tools and colour options, so it should be possible to place the repair, and colour match the original finish with a good degree of precision. Would this work? It seems it should, as tooth enamel is similar in harness to the glass enamels used on watch dials, and dental cements would therefore seem like a good match in terms of bonding, flexibility and so forth. 

 

Yes, I'm a dentist and I have tried. The problem is, in dentistry, we are trying to get our materials tooth coloured and translucent. Dental materials will not mask out darker material beneath it. 

Recently I experimented with UV cured nail polish. But again, the colour saturation and opacity is not enough. I can get whites almost the same colour as porcelain dials by adding titanium oxide powder and blending it till the opacities match. UV varnish is quite viscous and cures with a substantial film thickness. For porcelain repair, it might work. But for touching up printed designs, maybe not so good. Another problem is matching the surface gloss.

One more thing, UV varnish doesn't adhere to metal that well. Probably when this lockdown is over and when I get back to my clinic, I will experiment with priming the metal with a dental bonding agent first.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KayMan said:

Andy Hull, the solder paste at the top of your post looks interesting.  I'm trying to repair some modules from quartz watches which are mostly damaged by battery leakage, so some tracks eaten away, pusher contacts vanished etc.  I'm dealing with features like closely spaced 0.2mm wide tracks, soldering 0.1mm wire on top to regain continuity. It's the nearest to micro-surgery that I'm likely to get and my success rate with 22g solder and a needle point iron under a microscope is not great.  Would the solder paste be any easier to use do you think, and would a hot air gun be a better bet than a soldering iron?  I'd appreciate your views.

I have not tried repairing a watch pcb yet. But for bigger pcbs with track damage, I will do point to point repair with a thin strand of copper wire.

You will need sufficient good copper on the board to do this. The kind of damage I see when a battery leaks is usually so bad that there is no copper left on the board. I haven't found a solution to this kind of problem yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Watcher said:

There has been some discussion in the past regarding the possibility of glueing dial feet. No really good glue was reported. However, my dentist suggested the use of 3M dental cement. She uses it for pemanent gluing of crowns etc. The strongest for metal cementing is  3M ESPE  RELYX UNICEM 2. It is expensive but available on eBay with some limitations according to country. Here is an example of a test on a scrap dial.  6 mintes working time and after setting at room temperature for one hour I was able to lift, with the dial foot held by pliers, a 500g weight placed on the dial. Good enough as an alternative emergency repair when soldering could harm the dial finish.

3M.jpg.841e82ce099b9c12b9ecd8d4626d79fd.jpg

402053771_dialfoot.jpg.6e527b9d1322f14c071d691cf407c739.jpg

    the path of rentance is useing  double back tape.  vin

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

The kind of damage I see when a battery leaks is usually so bad that there is no copper left on the board. I haven't found a solution to this kind of problem yet.

It is possible to replace the entire track, using self adhesive copper tape. This is a delicate operation, and I generally don't rely solely on the copper tape's adhesive, but instead use epoxy or at a pinch cyanoacrylate. Once you have the new track laid down, with care, you can bridge solder to whatever remains of the old track, but a better bet is to solder a fine strand of wire across the joint to join the old and the new. If the PCB material has been eaten away, then you will need to fill in the hole, and this is also best done with epoxy. 

 

This video is a reasonably good example of how this process is completed. Working on watch modules of course adds an extra layer of complexity, but it is doable.

Edited by AndyHull
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I'm in the process of building my own out of an old ATX PC power supply. I would be interested in the specs of the purpose built item to see how close they are to my DIY efforts.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 2 dental spot weldind cum soldering machines. One from the 70's and the other only a few years old.

Both are able to melt dental solder which has a melting point of about 700°C. I got a bottle of low fusing solder paste recently but I haven't tried it out yet. With normal electrical solder wire, I managed to get a good joint but not without creating a singe mark on the face of the dial.

It would be good to know the soldering parameters of a proper dial feet soldering machine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

It would be good to know the soldering parameters of a proper dial feet soldering machine.

Indeed.

It came with some solder paste thrown in. But I have also purchased some paste as recommended by another BM a long time ago - apologies, cant remember who. And so, we shall experiment and see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only real success I have had (no fancy machine,,) has been with solder paste which works at a low temperature . On the dial side I had it resting on a damp cloth.The tricky bit is the correct positioning of the new dial feet especially if it has a date window. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

I have 2 dental spot weldind cum soldering machines. One from the 70's and the other only a few years old.

Both are able to melt dental solder which has a melting point of about 700°C. I got a bottle of low fusing solder paste recently but I haven't tried it out yet. With normal electrical solder wire, I managed to get a good joint but not without creating a singe mark on the face of the dial.

It would be good to know the soldering parameters of a proper dial feet soldering machine.

There was a discussion on the subject right here on WRT like eighteen months ago,, Someone said he used to solder dial feet all day at a bulova repair center it was, spoke of lower temperature , less than 400 I beleive, emphesised on prep the spot the feet solderes to, used grind stones to flatten the remains of the old feet and dril bit to make dent where the feet was to sit in. claimed no damage to the paint. 

Be nice if I can find the thread.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys! I recently got the above mentioned tool and I have an old Rolex here with dial dots holding on an aftermarket dial. The dial has some damage due to other issues going on with the poor watch being abused, but the client doesn't want to opt for a new dial.

I really dislike dial dots and glues inside of a movement whenever I can avoid it, but I'm a little concerned about damaging the dial finish with even a very precise welder like this.

Does anyone have experience tacking dial feet on with a laser or pulse arc welder? I've seen some resistance soldering techniques used, but no info on this in particular. I think it can work, but it can't hurt to reach out for tips. Heat sinking, settings, anything like that is a bonus.

Thanks a bunch guys! Always fun coming to the forum.

 

84469-8743749.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • jdm changed the title to Dial feet repair - All techniques
  • jdm pinned this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • So, i received some distilled water today and cleaned a watch with it, and now the parts are all clean and shiny, no more whitish deposit. Im very happy with the result. These old Elma machines are really rock solid and do a pretty damn job, still after 50 years 🙂
    • Actually I checked here: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/silicone-chemical-resistance-d_1879.html It lists silicone as "not resistant" to petroleum ether. Is this incorrect in practice? For rubber, I think i confused benzene with benzine. My mistake.
    • Mine would be the usual Timex bought in the late 60's, it lasted a few years and was probably my first attempt at a watch stripdown, as I tended to strip everything down in those days ;), can't remember if it was dead before the stripdown, it was afterwards and consigned to the bin shortly thereafter. Paul
    • Thank you.  My son is now taking an interest too so he may be the one to deal with the movement while I set about repairing the case.  He seems to have a photographic memory when it comes to taking things apart and putting them back together.  Proved that when he was 4 years old and was given an Airfix type model as a Christmas gift.  It was quite a complicated model, way above his age range but he got fed up waiting for his father to help him with it so did it himself.  It was a landing craft model with a lot of very small pieces.  He couldn't even read properly at the time.  His father told him to take it apart and put it back together again so he did - without looking at the diagrams.  Wind on 30 years later and he's still the same.  The PC he's got, he built himself. Who knows.  This could be the start of something good.
×
×
  • Create New...