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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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That alignment is an attractive aspect of this method. I'm not sure how perfectly I could mark and tack weld the feet without index points or going to too much labor. This method lets you just line it up and carry on with your day. Thanks for the comment.

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Hi Check out this link   http://www.dirkfassbender.de/dial-feet-soldering-machine.html.   I build one of these and it works very well , there was a topic on the site regarding this subject.  The ones featured similar to the one I build for about £25 does the job and there is no harm to the dial surface. check out the search on site top right for the topics.

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I have tried it before. Tried to pulse weld a brass wire to a brass dial. The paintwork on the front got damaged. Maybe because I didn't use any heatsink. Also I wasn't using an Orion, just a cheap Chinese pulse welder. But it's a copy of the Orion, with a retracting electrode holder too. 

I also have to admit that I haven't had enough weld time with this machine. Probable need many more hours of practice before I attempt any real repairs. ?

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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 with dial face marking. as stated the machine cost around £20 to make and it works. Not rocket science.

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Watchweasol is correct. Because of the zinc in brass, it tends to burn rather than melt under many heating conditions. Better to solder it or use copper.

I've had one of those Chinese rigs for a while and really found it useful for the price paid. I could take in repairs that some other jewelers around here couldn't. I just needed a little more control and found a great deal so I scooped up the Orion. I'm excited to see just what its limits are. Because you can tailor the ramp of energy, you can supposedly get stronger welds because it allows the metal to cool slightly slower. That doesn't help with this application, but for prong replacements near heat sensitive stones and costume jewelry repairs it will be a godsend.

So as I understand it, the machine you refer to building is a resistance heating unit. This Orion has a function like that. I'm just going to find an old scrapper or two in my basement and do some experiments. If I find no success I'll build one of those. I guess that's the best way to learn in the end anyway.

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  • 1 month later...

I Have an Orion 250i welder and have briefly looked into this.

I used some old tag water damaged dials. Using it in pulse mode, i found it did more harm than good so i put it down to the zinc content. i plan to try using tack mode with the below.

If i get time, i plan to dig out my old staking set and replace the punch guide with a delrin or similar non conductive one and my idea is to end up with a holed type punch (positive) that can clamp the foot into and the base (negative) that i can make attach a clamp for the back of the dial. Also, the beauty of using a staking set is it has centre punch for centering exactly where it was originally. One thing with the Orion, the power settings are precise and consistant and that should help with adjusting for different dial thicknesses.

I'm thinking the way forward is using tack mode and solder, with which type i don't know but i think in paste form will be easier. i still have a few dials to experiment on.

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Thanks for the comment!

I've found similar things in my experiments since this post, and I also really like the staking set idea.

I see that you're a new member as well, so welcome to the forum! I hope that it's as rewarding for you as it has been for many of us here. Great to have you aboard.

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Hi  This is the machine I build it uses a 12v battery charger as a supply because it has an over current feature, Its quite simple also attached are examples of the solder joint and note the dial face is unmarked. So to do a quality job does not need a degree in  Neuclear science. Its just a simple adeptation of Dirk Fassbenders machins inspire by the one in Wesley R Doors book on Rettrofitting.  As mentioned before cost £25. and a few hours work.                

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Hi Hector It is infact quite a simple yet effective design,  The power input through the two jacks at the back left +ve and -ve. The posative has an in line fuse and is connected to the jack (red) on the right into which plugs the carbon rod(salvaged from batteries) . The Negative connects to the post and table where the dial is fitted via a switch and a power indicator is fitted across the out puts.  So when the dial is on the plate and screwed down the dial wire is positioned in the top rail onto the dial with flux and a solder chip  the carbon rob is applied and the power swiched on.  The rod completes the circuit and an arc forms at the joint melting the solder.  It takes a little practice in determining the length of the power application.   If I can find the origional design I will post it. 

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I watched the video last night. I noticed that the alligator clip was not connected to the circuit. Hence Mark had to use a tweezer to hold the copper wire and press down on the dial to complete the circuit. Also, should the piece of chamois leather be wetted to keep the dial cool?

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Hi Hector The method as I use it is that the post or clip which holds the dial is one half of the circuit and the carbon rod is the other half. So when the dial is set up you can protect the face from the crocclip teeth on the dial face, the other side of the clip contacts the surface of the dial.  The dial foot wire is prepared and held in contact with the dial, a lillte flux and solder chips or solder paste placed at the contact point,  then the carbon rod is introduced to the wire. The current flows down the wire creating an arc at the contact point and makes the joint, similar to arc welding. The knack is to watch the joint and as soon as the solder flows remove the rod and switch off the current, and the power.  The dial face will be unmarked and a good joint obtained. As per my previous post. The dial foot wire is the interface between the posative and negative contacts and can be held in place with whatever method you choose.  Some use a third hand to hold the wire in place others make a jig but the end result is the same.  Whether you use damp chamois or dry matters not as long as the dial face is protected from the crocadile clip teeth.   Hope this is clear enough If not I will try to take a set of pictures at each stage of the proceedings.           cheers

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Yes, exactly. That's why I found it strange that in the video, there was no electrical connection to the crocodile clip. If you observe in the video, the wire was connected to the brass block where the dial is supposed to be screwed down. The electrical circuit was only completed when Mark pressed the dial foot wire firmly on the dial. I don't know if the machine was designed that way or the connecting wire had fallen off.

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  • 1 month later...

First, a Happy, (and above all) a Healthy New Year to everyone ?

Second, does anyone have any experience using the reaming tool that Mark uses in his Dial Feet Repair Video ? My experience is that the centering point broke immediately....that created the first problem. The second problem is that the reamer itself is located off center in the shaft and seems to be non replaceable. The third problem is that the shaft itself has so much side shake in its bushing to make forming a circular recess in a precise location impossible ! Maybe I was unlucky and bought a "Monday" tool....but I don't think so. Apart from the scary soldering tool does anyone know of an alternative to these (not so) cheap Chinese tools?

Cheers, Mike

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This has been discussed at length before So If you use the search tool at the top right of the home screen and have a look.   I build my own tool to solder the feet back if you want further information PM me and I will be glad to share the information       cheers

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Hi WW, thanks for the reply. I did a search before I posted my query and the comments were interesting but I was hoping to hear from someone who actually uses one of these tools. It's early yet so I'll keep checking back.  It would be nice to hear from Mark of course.... but I doubt that will happen ?

Mike

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