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Balance tack?


KarlvonKoln

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Made one of my own.  My remaining pieces of 1/4 inch brass were narrow so I had to adjust the measurements a tad.  But it functions very nicely.  I like that it supports the wheel at a predetermined distance and does not allow the hairspring to hyper-extend.  A nice tool in theory, and I plan to put it into practice and judge how often I use it and how it performs.  Thanks for all these replies to my query, folks.  You have given me the more thorough discussions I was seeking.

20201207_175732.jpg

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6 minutes ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Made one of my own.  My remaining pieces of 1/4 inch brass were narrow so I had to adjust the measurements a tad.  But it functions very nicely.  I like that it supports the wheel at a predetermined distance and does not allow the hairspring to hyper-extend.  A nice tool in theory, and I plan to put it into practice and judge how often I use it and how it performs.  Thanks for all these replies to my query, folks.  You have given me the more thorough discussions I was seeking.

20201207_175732.jpg

How did you bend the brass for the top lever?

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9 minutes ago, jdrichard said:

How did you bend the brass for the top lever?

First, I ground the underside part way in, to thin the arm just a little, right where I needed to bend it.
Then I clamped the long, thick end. I lined a pair of pliers with a strip of silicone from an old spatula, and applied light heat from a propane torch as I *very slowly* and gently bent it to the amount I needed.  I bent it against a wooden buck I'd cut for this.  When it got close, I then used a rawhide mallet.  I'd also drawn out a measured profile on an index card ahead of time.  I just bent a little, compared it to the card, bent a bit more, compared, etc.  I took my time.

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  • 3 years later...
On 11/27/2020 at 8:47 AM, nickelsilver said:

If mine ever disappeared I would stop work until I had made a new one, it's that handy.

I've come to the same conclusion.

After breaking ANOTHER pivot whilst trying to hold a balance+cock to adjust a timing screw, I decided all watch fettling was on hold until I made one of these thingies. I've wanted one since this post started years ago, but wasn't sure I had the tools to make one.

I still don't have a workshop or any workshop power tools, but the good news is I managed to lash this one together with just the following :  Vice, hacksaw, files, cordless drill (🤣), M2 tap and die, M4 tap.  Oh, and a blowtorch for bending the brass.  So I bought some 5mm brass bar and started hacking. 

Without workshop power tools I had to improvise the hinge  (I just bought a small brass hinge) and the front legs (just M4 screws).

I couldn't have done it without @nickelsilver's plan and pictures. Thanks 

It's not perfect, but I just tried it on a balance to change a timing screw, and it works. It's great.  I recommend everyone should have one. So buy some brass and start hacking. I can provide guidance if anyone needs it (but my metal working skills are pretty limited).

 

20240331_162352.thumb.jpg.9b7d85887a2947e5666f191e39ce6557.jpg

20240331_162643.thumb.jpg.dfa87a37deb4f74be6e7ac24da7ef29b.jpg

20240331_162549.thumb.jpg.399b176033364954f6514409d1c39c70.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, mikepilk said:

I've come to the same conclusion.

After breaking ANOTHER pivot whilst trying to hold a balance+cock to adjust a timing screw, I decided all watch fettling was on hold until I made one of these thingies. I've wanted one since this post started years ago, but wasn't sure I had the tools to make one.

I still don't have a workshop or any workshop power tools, but the good news is I managed to lash this one together with just the following :  Vice, hacksaw, files, cordless drill (🤣), M2 tap and die, M4 tap.  Oh, and a blowtorch for bending the brass.  So I bought some 5mm brass bar and started hacking. 

Without workshop power tools I had to improvise the hinge  (I just bought a small brass hinge) and the front legs (just M4 screws).

I couldn't have done it without @nickelsilver's plan and pictures. Thanks 

It's not perfect, but I just tried it on a balance to change a timing screw, and it works. It's great.  I recommend everyone should have one. So buy some brass and start hacking. I can provide guidance if anyone needs it (but my metal working skills are pretty limited).

 

20240331_162352.thumb.jpg.9b7d85887a2947e5666f191e39ce6557.jpg

20240331_162643.thumb.jpg.dfa87a37deb4f74be6e7ac24da7ef29b.jpg

20240331_162549.thumb.jpg.399b176033364954f6514409d1c39c70.jpg

 

You're going to enjoy using it. I've been using mine for just over 3 years now, and it makes working on balance screws so much easier. Between this platform tool and a balance screw holder, the work is barely a hardship.

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On 3/31/2024 at 8:50 PM, mikepilk said:

 I recommend everyone should have one. So buy some brass and start hacking. I can provide guidance if anyone needs it (but my metal working skills are pretty limited).

Looks well made to me and deserves more respectable name than a thingie.

 If I try drilling one such hole, I'd probably end up with a black hole, the type that nothing can get out of. 😩

 

 

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3 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Looks well made to me and deserves more respectable name than a thingie.

 If I try drilling one such hole, I'd probably end up with a black hole, the type that nothing can get out of. 😩

To try and get vertical holes with a cordless drill, I bought one of these, (only £12 from ebay)

In the pic it looks all metal, but I didn't read the ad closely enough, as the one I got the red parts are plastic. Still, it does help make the holes vertical... ish.

The spike with the thread to hold the cock, is made from a nail - turned to shape in a drill with a file.

The white plastic is a guitar pick.

7 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I might have found out what the pin at the front is for. Tool guide.

I spotted that one on ebay too 

image.png.18d6389f1e1d145477c98a75263d6db5.png

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5 hours ago, mikepilk said:

To try and get vertical holes with a cordless drill, I bought one of these, (only £12 from ebay)

In the pic it looks all metal, but I didn't read the ad closely enough, as the one I got the red parts are plastic. Still, it does help make the holes vertical... ish.

The spike with the thread to hold the cock, is made from a nail - turned to shape in a drill with a file.

The white plastic is a guitar pick.

I spotted that one on ebay too 

image.png.18d6389f1e1d145477c98a75263d6db5.png

👍Mike you are nothing if not ingenious, you'll be deadly with a lathe 😅. I dont plan on spending the 120 quid if not more starting price on the one from ebay. At some point some bigger pieces of brass will grace my bench, either that or 1/4" mdf and superglue 😄

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9 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

👍Mike you are nothing if not ingenious, you'll be deadly with a lathe 😅. I dont plan on spending the 120 quid if not more starting price on the one from ebay. At some point some bigger pieces of brass will grace my bench, either that or 1/4" mdf and superglue 😄

I don't think I've ever used a metalwork lathe - (as you) I have experience of using a woodworking one though! I took 'A' Level (remember them) Woodwork at school. I reasoned that I could always be a chippy if all else failed. Turns out that the grammar school I went to (rural Yorkshire) has a very good reputation, and I wasn't as daft as I thought I was. Ended up with an Aero Engineering degree and worked all my life in the aerospace industry. But not much hands on - I was mostly driving a computer. 

 

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3 hours ago, mikepilk said:

I don't think I've ever used a metalwork lathe - (as you) I have experience of using a woodworking one though! I took 'A' Level (remember them) Woodwork at school. I reasoned that I could always be a chippy if all else failed. Turns out that the grammar school I went to (rural Yorkshire) has a very good reputation, and I wasn't as daft as I thought I was. Ended up with an Aero Engineering degree and worked all my life in the aerospace industry. But not much hands on - I was mostly driving a computer. 

 

Maybe that makes your self engineered collet/balance screw adjuster all the more impressive 🙂

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