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Broken spring bar help needed!


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Hey all,

 

I am really stuck for what to do. The spring bar has snapped inside the lug hole on my watch, I think the strap had been on since the 70s. I have asked around and tried the following:

Wd40 and a deep clean.

glue to pull out the broken part

heat to loosen

got at it for hours with various different needles.

it doesn't seem to be held in with dirt, feels 100% solid in there. it he not moved at all. Feels like it's part of the case!

no watchmakers are open and I don't want to drill... not sure a Bath would help it either as it's so solidly in there.

 

 

 

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I once saw a spring bar tip that had been glued in, probably because it was undersized. These rarely get stuck unless they get rusted or glued or were oversized.

I'd try stripping the case down (removing movement, crystal, back, everything) and boiling it for a while, just in case it is glued. (If you have a heated ultrasonic cleaner, that wold be ideal.)

If that doesn't do it, soaking in alum, usually 1 tsp alum to 1 cup water. Keep the water hot throughout the day, and occasionally replace or replenish the solution as it evaporates. Scraping at the metal part every so often (to remove the blackened coating and expose more of the spring bar to the solution) also helps.

A piece this size usually dissolves within 24 hours.

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On 2/3/2021 at 10:41 PM, watchweasol said:

Hi I just wonder if Nucejoe's coke a cola ruse world work it is possible given its location it could be rusted in, if so the coke would eat the rust.

Hi weasol,  I doubt if coke a cola would work here. 

If alum didn't work, I'd take drill stand out. 

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:07 AM, GregC said:

I have a case this happened to. Was there a solution for this?

Alum dissolves steel, wont hurt base metals.    

You best make sure to know your metals or ask for advice from our good moderator Oldhippy.

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On 2/3/2021 at 10:34 PM, ATagg said:

Just ordered some alum, so just leave it soaking for 24 hours?

Submerge just a part of the case that is needed to soak the broken piece, check it like in 10 hrs or so continue if needed, might take longer. 

In case you see no effèct in say 36 hrs, call it quit with alum.

Its then drilling the piece out.

Good luck

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11 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Alum dissolves steel, wont hurt base metals.    

You best make sure to know your metals or ask for advice from our good moderator Oldhippy.

Umm, not sure what it is. Its a gold colored Seiko 5 so I dont know if its plated or what. Also, what ratio of alum powder to water?

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2 hours ago, GregC said:

Umm, not sure what it is. Its a gold colored Seiko 5 so I dont know if its plated or what. Also, what ratio of alum powder to water?

Nm, just saw the recipe. 

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2 hours ago, GregC said:

Umm, not sure what it is. Its a gold colored Seiko 5 so I dont know if its plated or what. Also, what ratio of alum powder to water?

Should say stainless steel back, that doesn't include the bezel, which usually is molded base metal. 

Three spoonful of alum in 15CC of water should do, richer solution would not hurt anything.

Submerge only 3mm of the lug into the solution, bezel standing vertical in the jar so the least of bezel will be submerged in the solution. 

Good luck

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12 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Should say stainless steel back, that doesn't include the bezel, which usually is molded base metal. 

Three spoonful of alum in 15CC of water should do, richer solution would not hurt anything.

Submerge only 3mm of the lug into the solution, bezel standing vertical in the jar so the least of bezel will be submerged in the solution. 

Good luck

Thanks for sharing this tip. Have to go look for some alum now.

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1 hour ago, Klassiker said:

@GregCAs far as I'm aware, Seiko 5 cases are stainless steel, even if plated. I wouldn't put one into alum unless I was sure about the case metal.

So the alum might dissolve the case as well?

 

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31 minutes ago, GregC said:

So the alum might dissolve the case as well?

 

Its indicated on the back plate, either says stainless steel back or all stainless steel and base metal bezel on some.

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So you too have tried all of the following; heat, cold, ultrasonic, penetrating oil, rust converter, acetone, alcohol (for you as well) and it is still jammed in tight? The problem with drilling is, whatever is in there is probably harder than the case material, and you have to go in at an angle with a very fine drill bit. If I had to resort to drilling, I would driill through the lug from the outside and fill the hole later. Not perfect, but a neater result than what is likely if you go at it from the inside.

Final thought before getting the drills out. Try a sharp-tipped needle file first, to see if that gets any purchase.

This is to GregC by the way. The OP appears to be in the process of using alum, which will not dissolve his case.

Edited by Klassiker
Clarification. Advice only meant for GregC
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Dear all,

Nucejoe is right. Most definately alum - potassium aluminum sulfate that is. Make a saturated solution and bath your case for 24 hours. It dissolves most of the steel while it leaves all other metals untouched. The remainder is a blackish muck that can be cleaned out with  peg wood.

Cheers from Hamburg

Alex

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 3:20 AM, Klassiker said:

So you too have tried all of the following; heat, cold, ultrasonic, penetrating oil, rust converter, acetone, alcohol (for you as well) and it is still jammed in tight? The problem with drilling is, whatever is in there is probably harder than the case material, and you have to go in at an angle with a very fine drill bit. If I had to resort to drilling, I would driill through the lug from the outside and fill the hole later. Not perfect, but a neater result than what is likely if you go at it from the inside.

Final thought before getting the drills out. Try a sharp-tipped needle file first, to see if that gets any purchase.

This is to GregC by the way. The OP appears to be in the process of using alum, which will not dissolve his case.

I had thought about drilling it but I figured I would need a right angle attachment for the Dremel and very short drill bits to get into that small space between lugs and wasnt sure that such a gizmo existed but hey, watches to me is a new world to explore. When I came across this thread it gave me new hope that I could get that pesky piece of springbar out easily. I'll just give up on it for now as I have other cases. Thanks for the help.

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3 hours ago, GregC said:

I had thought about drilling it but I figured I would need a right angle attachment for the Dremel and very short drill bits to get into that small space between lugs and wasnt sure that such a gizmo existed but hey, watches to me is a new world to explore. When I came across this thread it gave me new hope that I could get that pesky piece of springbar out easily. I'll just give up on it for now as I have other cases. Thanks for the help.

Ask your friendly neighbourhood dentist for help. 😊

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13 hours ago, watchweasol said:

I think the only tool I know of that would do that job is a Dentist drill as they have a very small right angle drill and I am sure the bits a swell

Would probably be expensive to get such a setup. 

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23 hours ago, GregC said:

I had thought about drilling it but I figured I would need a right angle attachment for the Dremel and very short drill bits to get into that small space between lugs and wasnt sure that such a gizmo existed but hey, watches to me is a new world to explore. When I came across this thread it gave me new hope that I could get that pesky piece of springbar out easily. I'll just give up on it for now as I have other cases. Thanks for the help.

I meant drilling from outside the lugs, not inside, have done so on a stainless steel case. You need a dremel stand.

 

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