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I enjoy making tools and over the past couple weeks, I’d keep in the back of my mind to print a spring winder.

Heres the first version that wound a spring 10CA2D31-C109-4120-B31C-66E109AD5554.thumb.jpeg.3df48b3a1c6e794a4a67489f51eec3b0.jpeg

at first, I tried to print the nib that catches the spring head, but it didn’t work. I made another plastic connector with a .050 hole to fit brass rod I could file.

everything fit so tight with sanding, it didn’t need much glue -if any. The nib can be rotated 180 to wind in both hands.


It winds the mainspring into a customizable cassette . I wound this spring the wrong direction so I have to rotate the nib the other direction and cut a hole for the spring to track. 

42252DDC-3CF3-4F7B-ADCB-755468E857FC.thumb.jpeg.c6c043643946e57f56e1b3405a79e674.jpegI tried to be lazy and cut a trough in with a razor saw(the photo above was before I cut the trough). I couldn’t even get the spring to fit without kinking it. I guess it really is that delicate. I’ll draw up a new cassette tomorrow and print it. It was only eleven minutes to make:/ 

i really hope I have diagnosed this watch correctly and this fix will make it reliable. This is the tenth piece I’ve worked on that I haven’t fully figured out what’s wrong with it. A success would be fantastic!?

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I have been 3D printing for about five years.  Made lots of cool tools and repair parts for things around the house. It is always a challenge when I go small, however--just not enough resolution.

Looks like you made this work.  I cannot see how you push out the mainspring into the barrel.

I have taken the well-known clock winder plans and drawn them in my 3D tool.  Have not printed yet.  Will use metal parts for all critical, high-stress parts--just 3D print the frame elements.

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Im happy to hear others use printing to make functional objects!

I used to have a resin printer. It was good when it worked but it was just too much maintenance so i sold it.


I changed the cassette to the model on the left so I can wind it either direction without hurting the mainspring.

To get the spring out, you treat it like the mainsprings you buy-place it over the barrel and push it out with tweezers through the slit. 

I hope you try your winder and let me know how it turns out!

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I wonder if the bridle from an automatic mainspring could wedge itself, if as the bridle is wound in the leading tip decides it should take the track meant for opposite winding direction.

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Thats a good question.  What ive had to consistently do is to pay attention to the hook through the trough.  It likes to wedge open so i pinch it with tweezers and push it through. Im getting the hang of it now.

Id imagine something similar with an automatic mainspring and Id probable make the trough a little more open to accommodate or go back to the one winding direction 

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