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Do I have a "Staff remover pin"?


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So, I’m preparing to replace my very first balance staff (a Tissot cal. 781) and feel pretty excited about it. To this end I study the many videos, articles, and tools needed. Anyway, in this video at 11:11 the repairer mentions that he’s using a “Staff remover pin(/stake)” to punch out the old broken staff, but he never shows what that pin/stake looks like.

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I do have what I guess could be described as a medium sized staking set as shown in the images, so I’m thinking or hoping that the mentioned staff remover pin/stake/punch might be in there, but I just don’t know what to look for. The images are high-resolution images so please just click a few times to zoom in.

As always, any help or hints would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi VW in the second picture on the left there are what are called Hollow stumps I have seen these mounted on the staking plate and the balance fitted on the top and the staff removed after the rivit had been removed. th alternate is the K&D staff removing fitment, they come in assorted sizes. 

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Looks like he's using a stake like one of those in your second photo, second row from the front (flat-ground end, hollow centre). The hole needs to be large enough to clear the pivot but small enough to apply force to the staff. You have a very nice set, so any one of several stakes will probably do. Perfection is not required. The staff is scrap anyway. What you need to be sure about is If your staff is the riveted or friction type. If riveted, you need to be very careful not to damage the wheel.

https://adjustingvintagewatches.com/replace-balance-staff-part-4/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've learned a lot since I wrote my question (thanks to my fellow Swede and hero @HSL)!

02.thumb.jpg.3b25b3e2022b29ac467206f0fc89ff96.jpg

These are the stakes used to drive out the staff. Preferably it should press on the cone of the upper pivot of the staff when being driven out. However, before doing this the rivet should be weakened/removed. This can be accomplished using a lathe, but as I don't own a lathe, the rivet can also be removed by fitting the staff to a staking block and then carefully chiseled. Also, when driving the staff out it is very important to find a hole in the staking block that just fits over the hub of the staff. That is, we don't want a play between the hub of the staff and the hole in the staking block. Otherwise, the operation could deform the balance.

Well, I haven't done any of this yet as I haven't received my roller remover (Bergeon 30070), but at least now I have a plan. (I have Bergeon's 2810 roller remover, but I'm just not too keen on it). A Bergeon Platax tool would have been nice (removes both the roller and the staff)  but as it is discontinued and popular the offerings are few and far between, and very, very expensive.

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4 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Also, when driving the staff out it is very important to find a hole in the staking block that just fits over the hub of the staff. That is, we don't want a play between the hub of the staff and the hole in the staking block. Otherwise, the operation could deform the balance.

Hi VWatchie,
this is a minimum requirement but cannot avoid the danger of deforming the balance with your procedure - even with special tools:

Unruhmax.jpg.509b8ff43d1bd11bdd7d2446b34a6343.jpg

Generally punching out is a warranty to widen the hole and earn all kinds of wobbling and poise issues.

Today serious repair people use to remove the staff from the other side.

IMG_1135b.jpg.d24d3b66c1e84eec44c780281d03c374.jpg

Frank

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23 hours ago, praezis said:

this is a minimum requirement but cannot avoid the danger of deforming the balance with your procedure - even with special tools:

Thanks for your input. Well, I wouldn't call it "my procedure" as it is my only possible option as I lack a Platax tool, a lathe, and an Unruhmax tool (that was a new tool to me, thanks!). However, I still need to replace the staff, so I'm hoping to be able to remove or significantly weaken the rivet, and then repeatedly and very cautiously tap on the staff to drive it out w/o deforming the balance. If I succeed remains to be seen. Anyway, as you say, even with a fancy tool, success is not guaranteed.

23 hours ago, praezis said:

Today serious repair people use to remove the staff from the other side.

Is that what the Unruhmax tool does? I'm not too smart when it comes to technical stuff so if you could explain this in a bit more detail I'd be very interested. Does it somehow mean the balance is "lifted" away from the staff? I've been looking at the cross-sectional image of the tool but I can't say that I get it. Thanks! After all, I too wish to be a "serious" repairer ?

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Hi,

surely not "your" procedure, but that you are planning.

An Unruhmax does the same - punching out - but in the same time presses the balance arm on the anvil.

With the other procedure, the hub is removed (by grinding or in the lathe with graver), the rest is pushed out. This avoids widening of the hole by the rivet and by the part of the staff, that was distorted by rivetting.

Frank

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56 minutes ago, praezis said:

With the other procedure, the hub is removed (by grinding or in the lathe with graver), the rest is pushed out.

Thanks Frank! That was definitely new information to me. I always thought it was the rivet that was removed in the lathe, not the hub. Anyway, I'm not getting myself a lathe at this stage so I will just have to take my chances.

Just remembered where I got the impression that it's the rivet being removed with the lathe. I obviously missed the part about the "bottom hub being carved off":

"Removing the rivet from the wheel on a lathe. Many people prefer this method. The balance is spun in the lathe, and a graver is used to cut out the rivet connecting the wheel to the hub. (Alternately, the bottom hub is carved off.) A virtue is that the balance staff’s arms and hole are unlikely to be deformed. (Another virtue is that, just as some people want to buy everything they own from Costco, some people want to use their lathe for everything. Wanting to use my staking set for everything, I can understand.) One small slip of the graver, however, and much woe will ensue."

Entire article found here: https://adjustingvintagewatches.com/replace-balance-staff-part-4/

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Personally I don’t like this method where there is no support for the wheel. I am fortunate to own a Platex tool and also own a K&D balance remover tool that fits into the staking tool. Both give firm support. If the balance is stubborn then I remove some of the rivet with my lathe. Distortion of the wheel must be avoided.

BB1CCEEB-B424-4569-ADA7-66ED6FA617B4.webp

 

 

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33 minutes ago, clockboy said:

... and also own a K&D balance remover tool that fits into the staking tool. 

BB1CCEEB-B424-4569-ADA7-66ED6FA617B4.webp 56.1 kB · 1 download

 

 

I really REALLY want to get one of these.  I've worked without one, and done no damage, but I didn't feel right about it.  I like how much support these tools impart.  Often, when I work on very old watches, the staff has seen some form of damage to the pivots, often severe.  I've been addressing this more often than I thought I might.  I've been keeping my eyes peeled on the web for such a tool in good condition.

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Hi Clockboy and Karl,

if you look at my picture above (red arrows), you will see that a secure support simply is not possible: part of the arm (over the hub) stays without any support when pressure comes from top.

No Platax, K&D or Unruhmax can avoid this.

A link to this topic. Unfortunately in German, but many pictures.
It also shows a tool for removing the hub without lathe.

Observe the distorted staff near the end of the thread. For me the most convincing reason to avoid punching out.

Frank

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So, my Bergeon 30070 roller remover tool arrived and I was able to remove the roller with ease and control. The tool comes with two stakes. The first stake has a hole diameter of 0.1 mm and the second stake 0.2 mm. These holes are so small that I wasn't able to see them at first. I couldn't see any rivet to be removed so I simply went on to tap out the staff.

First I needed to find a suitable hole in one of my staking blocks, one that would fit around the staff hub w/o any play. None of the holes fitted perfectly so I tried with the holes in my staking set and found a whole without any play between the staff hub and the hole in the staking set that I could detect. However, I couldn't find a suitable stake in my staking set to tap out the staff, so I used one of the two stakes that came with the Bergeon 30070 roller remover (it didn't fit in the staking set so I held it by hand). I then used a nylon hammer to gently and repeatedly tap on the top of the stake. Nothing much happened, so I very gradually and gently increased the force and having increased the blow of the hammer just a tiny bit, the staff came out. I was surprised to see how little force was required to get the staff out. Easy as pie! (Not often I get to say that)

As far as I can tell, no damage was inflicted on the balance. The arms lay perfectly flat on my staking block and the hole for the staff looks perfectly flat and round when studied under my stereo microscope.

So, the next step will be to fit and rivet the new staff which just arrived yesterday. Hopefully I'll find some time to try it today. As mentioned, this is my first attempt ever to do this, so wish me luck! ?

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On 5/6/2021 at 2:36 PM, praezis said:

Observe the distorted staff near the end of the thread. For me the most convincing reason to avoid punching out.

Thanks for the link! Being new to this I don't get it. (I don't speak German and Google translate isn't ideal, especially with watch terminology). Is that "distorted staff" one that was fitted to the balance?

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Hi,

last picture in post #14 in that thread. It shows the staff of a factory-new balance and its conical distortion by rivetting.

Frank

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