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Use and Control of Tweezers


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Thank you for this. I did the turning trick for the first time when I tried. Wonderful! I would love to see a hairspring bending video, when you use that special pair of tweezers. One question: how do you maintain the tip of the tweezers if they are worn or bent? My brass tweezers are constantly in a bad shape because I try to do tasks with them I am not supposed to do. Difficult for me to remember to set them aside and to look for something else what is suitable for the job at hand.

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12 hours ago, luiazazrambo said:

One question: how do you maintain the tip of the tweezers if they are worn or bent? My brass tweezers are constantly in a bad shape because I try to do tasks with them I am not supposed to do. Difficult for me to remember to set them aside and to look for something else what is suitable for the job at hand.

First thing is to only use brass when you need to- cosmetic parts that will show scratches. Keep them out of reach, not right next to the others.

Dressing tweezers is often covered in the books, because it is like dressing drivers, and you need to do it often. Check your books, or perhaps online sources.

I like to get the tips in good shape internally first- usually a piece of 600 grit folded so there is grip on both sides, is held within the lightly closed tweezers until any high spots are removed (even finish on both tips). This helps to make the internal surfaces parallel as well. Now, the most important thing is to look at the closed tips with a bright backlight. I have seen (and made myself, before I perfected my technique) "dressed" tweezers that fail this test- when you squeeze them, the very tip should always be closed (not passing any light). Often the tips can separate when closed fully, and then parts fly out when you close them.

Once the inside is right, I pull 600 across (perpendicular to their length) slowly to give the tips a slight bit of 'grip'. I used to polish them with 1000 to reduce scratches, but properly dressed AND HANDLED they won't scratch, and the grip "force" is reduced, thereby reducing the chance of scratches as well. You grab screws by the threads typically and plates that are not seen in the final assembly do not need brass tweezers either. Obviously the train gears don't need brass and only the large wheels on the mainspring (which might be decorated and/or polished) I would consider brass, but typically stick with the steel ones there too. Light touch!

Keep them demagnetized, or get anti-magnetic ones. I had decent tweezers before, but when I got my anti-magnetic Dumont ones, it was like going from a riding lawn mower to a Rolls Royce. Unbelievable how much that made a difference in my control and confidence.

Light touch!

Brass tweezers are dressed exactly the same way, but often the tips just get bent due to being sofer. Dropping them on the floor is the best way to reuin them forever. I have cheap ones that I spent an hour dressing before use, and they are fine, but rarely used- only when I have to use them. So, I bend them back into shape as much as possible before dressing the tips as I do for my stainless ones.

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3 hours ago, Tudor said:

First thing is to only use brass when you need to- cosmetic parts that will show scratches. Keep them out of reach, not right next to the others.

Dressing tweezers is often covered in the books, because it is like dressing drivers, and you need to do it often. Check your books, or perhaps online sources.

I like to get the tips in good shape internally first- usually a piece of 600 grit folded so there is grip on both sides, is held within the lightly closed tweezers until any high spots are removed (even finish on both tips). This helps to make the internal surfaces parallel as well. Now, the most important thing is to look at the closed tips with a bright backlight. I have seen (and made myself, before I perfected my technique) "dressed" tweezers that fail this test- when you squeeze them, the very tip should always be closed (not passing any light). Often the tips can separate when closed fully, and then parts fly out when you close them.

Once the inside is right, I pull 600 across (perpendicular to their length) slowly to give the tips a slight bit of 'grip'. I used to polish them with 1000 to reduce scratches, but properly dressed AND HANDLED they won't scratch, and the grip "force" is reduced, thereby reducing the chance of scratches as well. You grab screws by the threads typically and plates that are not seen in the final assembly do not need brass tweezers either. Obviously the train gears don't need brass and only the large wheels on the mainspring (which might be decorated and/or polished) I would consider brass, but typically stick with the steel ones there too. Light touch!

Keep them demagnetized, or get anti-magnetic ones. I had decent tweezers before, but when I got my anti-magnetic Dumont ones, it was like going from a riding lawn mower to a Rolls Royce. Unbelievable how much that made a difference in my control and confidence.

Light touch!

Brass tweezers are dressed exactly the same way, but often the tips just get bent due to being sofer. Dropping them on the floor is the best way to reuin them forever. I have cheap ones that I spent an hour dressing before use, and they are fine, but rarely used- only when I have to use them. So, I bend them back into shape as much as possible before dressing the tips as I do for my stainless ones.

I really can’t add to any of this advice. Perfect. I use brass tweezers exclusively and only when I need to do some fine hairspring work so I bring out the Ferrari tweezers.

image.jpg

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6 hours ago, Tudor said:

First thing is to only use brass when you need to- cosmetic parts that will show scratches. Keep them out of reach, not right next to the others.

Dressing tweezers is often covered in the books, because it is like dressing drivers, and you need to do it often. Check your books, or perhaps online sources.

I like to get the tips in good shape internally first- usually a piece of 600 grit folded so there is grip on both sides, is held within the lightly closed tweezers until any high spots are removed (even finish on both tips). This helps to make the internal surfaces parallel as well. Now, the most important thing is to look at the closed tips with a bright backlight. I have seen (and made myself, before I perfected my technique) "dressed" tweezers that fail this test- when you squeeze them, the very tip should always be closed (not passing any light). Often the tips can separate when closed fully, and then parts fly out when you close them.

Once the inside is right, I pull 600 across (perpendicular to their length) slowly to give the tips a slight bit of 'grip'. I used to polish them with 1000 to reduce scratches, but properly dressed AND HANDLED they won't scratch, and the grip "force" is reduced, thereby reducing the chance of scratches as well. You grab screws by the threads typically and plates that are not seen in the final assembly do not need brass tweezers either. Obviously the train gears don't need brass and only the large wheels on the mainspring (which might be decorated and/or polished) I would consider brass, but typically stick with the steel ones there too. Light touch!

Keep them demagnetized, or get anti-magnetic ones. I had decent tweezers before, but when I got my anti-magnetic Dumont ones, it was like going from a riding lawn mower to a Rolls Royce. Unbelievable how much that made a difference in my control and confidence.

Light touch!

Brass tweezers are dressed exactly the same way, but often the tips just get bent due to being sofer. Dropping them on the floor is the best way to reuin them forever. I have cheap ones that I spent an hour dressing before use, and they are fine, but rarely used- only when I have to use them. So, I bend them back into shape as much as possible before dressing the tips as I do for my stainless ones.

I did not even know that it is called dressing (English is not my mother tongue). Interestingly I have not read your advise or any other advise after the video for dressing and I almost did the same thing on my own following common sense. I worked on my brass tweezers internally first - the only difference was that i used grit 800 and i did not fold it only worked on one of them at the time -, then i worked on them along the sides - perpendicular. I am sure it is not perfect as I did it more or less the first time, but i am sure it is a way better then they were before. I also bought a pair of Dumont tweezers as you are not the first one who said the same thing but with different words: "it was like going from a riding lawn mower to a Rolls Royce". However i have not felt that big jump, i bought a set of 8 stainless steel tweezers from cousinsuk and they are quite ok. (They were advertised as "Superior Quality" but could not compare them to something else - before the Dumont - as it was my first set ever for watchmaking) Well they are good or I am just not experienced enough to feel the difference between those and the Dumont. When I look at them under the microscope the Dumont looks better though. ?

I know: practice, practice, practice.

All in all very good advice, thank you. ?

Edited by luiazazrambo
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