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3D printed RS mainspring winder project for hobbyists


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I made something like this. What do you guys think? Ill put is alongside the normal arbor version for download. Hole size is for 2mm metal rods plus a little clearance. For large winder version it is 3mm.

465172503_Screenshotfrom2021-06-1319-17-10.png.fe6203275c5f76045b3ad55fa655861e.png

 

 

Also for the metal rods itself, i think dowel pins are the best candidates, they are available in all sizes:
1955371409_41OIWv6iOL._SL1100_.jpg.f32be9d78b930d226308d4da983eb438.jpg

Edited by Zero
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5 hours ago, Imparatus said:

I'm working on practice movements at present, the Seagull 6498 and 2824....what size would I print for those?

Seagull 6498 is the one from Mark's classes?

I think it is the large winder 15.0mm, bowl 17.3mm. I also printed it a while back when I was doing his classes. But I'm not sure, please double check.

 

On 6/12/2021 at 5:16 AM, aac58 said:

But, with a bigger diameter, perhaps the spring will be tighter to the arbour and it will be harder to extract from the base and keep it into the housing?

Yeah, I guess so. But we will still have the option of using the smaller ones if this is the case.

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  • 8 months later...

This tool is wonderful.

Like many, I'm new to watch repair, and reluctant to spend big $s on specialized tools. I was intrigued by this winder design, so I decided to purchase an inexpensive 3D printer and make it. I figured I'd be ahead of the deal even with the cost and learning curve of a printer.

The files printed beautifully, and the winder performed flawlessly -- I think perhaps even better than the traditional brass tool. Also, I now have a 3D printer to play with! :)))

Thank you Zero so very much for creating and offering this tool.

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  • jdm featured this topic

Glad you found it useful. Its good to know that it works with an inexpensive printer!

I hope you did not have any issues with part clearance (fit) using a lower cost printer. I find it varies from printer to printer, its kinda hard to pick a value that fits all.

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/11/2021 at 9:59 AM, Zero said:

This is expected as the arbor (2mm) is smaller than the actual arbor (~3mm), so the innermost portion of the spring compresses a little bit more. It becomes more obvious because we keep winding it again and again for practice. It seems to return to its original shape when you put it back into the movement barrel with its original arbor and wind it up normally. I also practice on bad springs so its hard to tell.

But I would like to solve this issue properly by providing winder bases ranging from 1mm to 3mm holes for a metal arbor, so we can all make it look like yours.

The question is, where do we find this metal arbor? Does the hobby shop sell with different diameters, eg. 2.5mm? Hmm... maybe try to use springbars.

This is available on Amazon for $10 for an assortment! https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B09W5PBHGR/?coliid=I22ZXFNGY8BY70&colid=3GII0UEBTRT6J&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

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I;m not sure who is still following this thread... I just printed my first winder (for Marks 6498 movement). Everything works except when I try to push the plunger down to seat the spring into the barrel.  Everything goes in except the bridle.  This of course makes the seating a fail.  I've tried a few times, but the bridle always stays outside of the barrel.  Any ideas? (The barrel bowl seems to be the correct size, there is barely any movement inside the bowl.  I think the main issue is that in a "real" mainspring winder, the winder/wound spring assembly actually sits INSIDE the mainspring barrel before the plunger comes down.  On this winder, the whole assembly (and the plunger) sit on top of the barrel as the plunger comes down.

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Posted (edited)

I also experimented with winders either 3D printed (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3540660) or otherwise self made (see attached) and know the issue. I managed to insert the mainspring without loosing the bridle by pushing the mainspring out of the winder a tiny bit beforehand.  Then I centered and firmly pressed the tool on the barrel before pushing the plunger.

 

Edited by Kalanag
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I took Kalanag's idea and ran with it. This works.  One of the issues with the project is that the wound spring and housing does not sit inside the mainspring barrel before you press the plunger. This means the chances of the spring not seating well are high (as mentioned a few times in the thread).  Kalanag's idea was to slightly eject the mainspring a tiny bit before trying to seat it in the barrel, now the spring can "set" in the bowl before you press the plunger. The chances of ejecting the spring too far and unleashing it are too great.  I designed a "WinderSetBowl" to make this job foolproof.  It is essentially one of Zero's barrel bowls, but set to be just 0.3mm deep. It should be sized to accommodate any winder in Zero's complete set.  Instructions: After you remove the Winder Base from the Main Housing, place the housing in the "WinderSetBowl" and press the plunger. When you remove the housing, you'll notice the wound mainspring is now perfectly ejected exactly 0.3 mm.  Now you can easily place it in the Barrel Bowl and eject the spring into the barrel.

I am happy to place this in Thingiverse, but if Zero likes the idea, he is welcome to include it in his GitHub repository as part of his set.  For now, if you would like, contact me and I'll email you the STL.  I've already printed and tested this and it works great!

WinderSetBowl.jpg

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Hi Andy, nice to see that you got your winder working. Have been busy with work, missed your initial posts.

 

On 7/6/2022 at 11:16 AM, AndyShap said:

Everything works except when I try to push the plunger down to seat the spring into the barrel.  Everything goes in except the bridle.

It is interesting that the bridle refuses to go in. I did not have this issue in my usage/tests, because adding teeth on the plunger solved it (see a few posts back). You may have the incorrect size for the mainspring winder dimensions (maybe a bootleg 6498?). Going down one size smaller for the winder might just solve your problem, have you tried that?

 

16 hours ago, AndyShap said:

I took Kalanag's idea and ran with it. This works. 

That solution is just brilliant, really. Nice work.

 

16 hours ago, AndyShap said:

I am happy to place this in Thingiverse, but if Zero likes the idea, he is welcome to include it in his GitHub repository as part of his set. 

Please do PM me the FreeCAD file if you have it, will take a look at it and have a think about it. Thanks!

 

On 7/5/2022 at 2:13 AM, AndyShap said:

Did you try this? If it works, I will add the Amazon/Aliex part link in the README. Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, Zero said:

Hi Andy, nice to see that you got your winder working. Have been busy with work, missed your initial posts.

 

It is interesting that the bridle refuses to go in. I did not have this issue in my usage/tests, because adding teeth on the plunger solved it (see a few posts back). You may have the incorrect size for the mainspring winder dimensions (maybe a bootleg 6498?). Going down one size smaller for the winder might just solve your problem, have you tried that?

 

That solution is just brilliant, really. Nice work.

 

Please do PM me the FreeCAD file if you have it, will take a look at it and have a think about it. Thanks!

 

Did you try this? If it works, I will add the Amazon/Aliex part link in the README. Thanks again!

Hi Zero,  I use Fusion 360 to design in, I can export it as a STEP file, which should be importable into FeeCAD.  My spring is actually a Seagull ST3621 which is a clone of the ETA 6498. This shouldn't matter though as we only care about the size. I measure the inside of the barrel as 14.9 and am using the 14.5 housing, so should be small enough.  I'm REALLY happy with your designs (thank you!), but since the housing does not fit INSIDE the barrel before plunging, I think there is always going to be some issues.  I am really happy with the new "SetBowl". No mistakes, the springs now set in the barrel every single time.  I have not purchased the kit from Amazon yet, as the 3D printed version is currently working for about 5 spring tests so far.  But I will let you know if I purchase it and how it went. It should work great with lots of sizes in one kit.

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On 5/20/2021 at 5:07 AM, aac58 said:

I'll also try your design. I don't have a 3D printer either, but I've contacted with someone that is printing the 4 pieces for me, and he will send them to me by mail.

Not having the tool yet, I don't fully understand how I should shape the anchor with the stapler pin, it's not clear on the video. I hope I'll figure it out when I have the tool with me.

Also I hope it's not a huge problem to have a barrel bowl a bit bigger than the watch barrel outer diameter and a housing barrel a bit smaller than the inner diameter. I'm talking of one or two tenths of a mm.

Cut an "L" out of a staple.  It should be about 2.6mm x 6.7mm

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Based on feedback from @AndyShap, I have included the setter-bowl as part of the latest v0.8 release for the rs winder project, along with various other fixes based on user feedback: https://github.com/vishnu350/rs-mainspring-winder

Andy also helped to write a simple guide on how to prepare the staple hook, posted on the wiki section: https://github.com/vishnu350/rs-mainspring-winder/wiki/Creating-the-Arbor-Hook

I have also included links to purchase the appropriate dowel pins should anyone want to use that version, its a lot more sturdier than 3D printed arbor rods based on feedback from various users.

Will remove the old style bowl eventually since the new setter bowl seems to be so much more intuitive to use.

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First of thanks, love this project it's been a big help to me. One thing i'm having issues with is mainsprings that look like this 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Mainspring_Chinese_uncoiled.jpg

work just fine no problem but springs like this 

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLJM0G4zXugVXPck-x5uUoHio0gsWWqXs3mg&usqp=CAU

I can't get to wind at all, I can't fit them in the winder housing is there some technique for this i'm missing someone done this on video perhaps or is this sort of mainspring just not going to work? 

Anyhow awesome project thank you very much 

David

 

Edited by DavidJ
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52 minutes ago, DavidJ said:

I can't get to wind at all, I can't fit them in the winder housing is there some technique for this i'm missing someone done this on video perhaps or is this sort of mainspring just not going to work?

There is a simple method to gently push the mainspring into the winder housing by tracing your tweezers, see minute 3:24 in the video: https://youtu.be/OAfQTk89P3s?t=204. I don't think the winder opening too small, but if it is please post some pics.

Also, make sure you prepare your staple pin correctly. AndyShap has kindly provided a brilliantly designed StapleJig to help with accurately cutting the staple pin everytime, head to the release section to download:
https://github.com/vishnu350/rs-mainspring-winder/releases

Instructions to use the staple jig is here:
https://github.com/vishnu350/rs-mainspring-winder/wiki/Creating-the-Arbour-Hook-for-the-Winder-Base


180644725-f36d4a4d-5ce7-42c4-9e9e-55e48242538f.jpg.0c75564146dc741471491fb98ec01dfd.jpg

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6 hours ago, DavidJ said:

First of thanks, love this project it's been a big help to me. One thing i'm having issues with is mainsprings that look like this 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Mainspring_Chinese_uncoiled.jpg

work just fine no problem but springs like this 

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLJM0G4zXugVXPck-x5uUoHio0gsWWqXs3mg&usqp=CAU

I can't get to wind at all, I can't fit them in the winder housing is there some technique for this i'm missing someone done this on video perhaps or is this sort of mainspring just not going to work? 

Anyhow awesome project thank you very much 

David

 

I have no issues with the "reversed springs". Are you having a problem getting the bridle end in? Or can you not even get it started?

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Thank you i have the staple jig, great little tool, I've also seen that video and sure that works fine for that type of main spring, but doing that on a tightly coiled spring well i can't do it without destroying the spring.

On the type of springs used in the video it's easy no problem at all.

On this type of spring https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0142112310002781-gr11.jpg I can't even get it started without destroying the spring 

49 minutes ago, AndyShap said:

I have no issues with the "reversed springs". Are you having a problem getting the bridle end in? Or can you not even get it started?

With this type of tightly coiled spring you need to move most of it out the way... with the other type it's easy 

Here is a video am i going about this the right way? Do i just move the spring out the way like this or do i have this all wrong. 

Thanks for taking a look and for helping out 🙂

Sorry could not edit the post but i guess i'm trying to say at the start of the video 90% of the vintage spring is under the winder housing (compared with about 20% of a modern spring ), so i ether have to pull out 90% of the spring to get started or i need to push in 90% of the spring which i can't do.

I'm probably missing something really basic, but so far modern springs are easy works flawlessly, vintage springs i can't seem to get them started 

Thanks again for taking a look 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, DavidJ said:

Thank you i have the staple jig, great little tool, I've also seen that video and sure that works fine for that type of main spring, but doing that on a tightly coiled spring well i can't do it without destroying the spring.

On the type of springs used in the video it's easy no problem at all.

On this type of spring https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0142112310002781-gr11.jpg I can't even get it started without destroying the spring 

With this type of tightly coiled spring you need to move most of it out the way... with the other type it's easy 

Here is a video am i going about this the right way? Do i just move the spring out the way like this or do i have this all wrong. 

Thanks for taking a look and for helping out 🙂

I think you are workign too hard! Just pull the spring with your hand (use cots!) to tighten it. You should get most of the coil out from under the housing and then you can line it up in the groove with your tweezers.

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I've tried that on three different springs it really does not work for me, have you tried it? if you pull the spring tight like that you can't then get it into place with tweezers. Ive tried 3 different vintage springs.

The spring is a junker btw hence no cots

 

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3 minutes ago, DavidJ said:

I've tried that on three different springs it really does not work for me, have you tried it? if you pull the spring tight like that you can't then get it into place with tweezers. Ive tried 3 different vintage springs.

The spring is a junker btw hence no cots

 

Here is my video on using the winder. I am using the exact same spring as you are.  See if this helps:

 

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7 minutes ago, AndyShap said:

Here is my video on using the winder. I am using the exact same spring as you are.  See if this helps:

 

I've seen the video and I thank you for it but that's a completely different type of spring that's a modern mainspring i can do that in the winder it's very easy.

using the spring you used in the video it works, just like it does for you it's easy, I am not using that sort of spring i'm using a vintage spring 

Thanks for taking the time and having a look but just to say i have no issues using the winder with a modern spring however i work on mostly vintage stuff so i get more of the other type of spring. I'm just wondering if a vintage spring is possible in this winder.

spring.jpg

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39 minutes ago, DavidJ said:

I've seen the video and I thank you for it but that's a completely different type of spring that's a modern mainspring i can do that in the winder it's very easy.

using the spring you used in the video it works, just like it does for you it's easy, I am not using that sort of spring i'm using a vintage spring 

Thanks for taking the time and having a look but just to say i have no issues using the winder with a modern spring however i work on mostly vintage stuff so i get more of the other type of spring. I'm just wondering if a vintage spring is possible in this winder.

spring.jpg

I'm really sorry. I read your original post wrong. I am now clear that the vintage circular spring is your issue.  My guess is that the central coil of your spring is so large, that you cannot get any purchase on the arbor, with the hook latching in.  Would that be a correct assumption?  Can you measure the central coil diameter? Let's see how far off we are.  Also, what is the inner diameter of your barrel?

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No problem I probably did not explain it well.

The hook is latching, the problem is i simply can't move all the coils out of the way to get the winder housing to sit down. I've tried this with 3 vintage springs with various different barrel diameters i don't think it can be done. I just can't see a way vintage springs would work without some design changes.

That's why i wanted to know if anyone had done it, as i assume most people that would use this wider are hobbyists and will come across more old style springs than new style ones.

Tomorrow i will shoot a new video showing the exact problem in depth as i'm sure i'm not doing a good job of explaining here and my own lack of skill is probably  issue.

If anyone has wound a vintage spring i'd love to know how it went.

Again thanks for all the help    

 

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58 minutes ago, DavidJ said:

No problem I probably did not explain it well.

The hook is latching, the problem is i simply can't move all the coils out of the way to get the winder housing to sit down. I've tried this with 3 vintage springs with various different barrel diameters i don't think it can be done. I just can't see a way vintage springs would work without some design changes.

That's why i wanted to know if anyone had done it, as i assume most people that would use this wider are hobbyists and will come across more old style springs than new style ones.

Tomorrow i will shoot a new video showing the exact problem in depth as i'm sure i'm not doing a good job of explaining here and my own lack of skill is probably  issue.

If anyone has wound a vintage spring i'd love to know how it went.

Again thanks for all the help    

 

I'm assuming this is a pocket watch spring? (From the size of the center coil. )  Perhaps you need a pocket watch winder.  They don't look too expensive on eBay.

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1 hour ago, DavidJ said:

No problem I probably did not explain it well.

The hook is latching, the problem is i simply can't move all the coils out of the way to get the winder housing to sit down. I've tried this with 3 vintage springs with various different barrel diameters i don't think it can be done. I just can't see a way vintage springs would work without some design changes.

That's why i wanted to know if anyone had done it, as i assume most people that would use this wider are hobbyists and will come across more old style springs than new style ones.

Tomorrow i will shoot a new video showing the exact problem in depth as i'm sure i'm not doing a good job of explaining here and my own lack of skill is probably  issue.

If anyone has wound a vintage spring i'd love to know how it went.

Again thanks for all the help    

 

Would you consider hand winding as an option ? This is something i do quite often. It may not produce the best result, this i cant answer but it does work and keeps a service or restoration moving. 

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1 hour ago, AndyShap said:

I'm assuming this is a pocket watch spring? (From the size of the center coil. )  Perhaps you need a pocket watch winder.  They don't look too expensive on eBay.

 

34 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Would you consider hand winding as an option ? This is something i do quite often. It may not produce the best result, this i cant answer but it does work and keeps a service or restoration moving. 

It's not a pocket watch spring its from a 1960s Russian watch 10mm inner diameter barrel size. I'll do a video tomorrow maybe it will help show the issue better.

@Neverenoughwatches sure i can hand wind the spring back into the barrel no problem, I was kind of hoping this would work as hand winding is always a crap shoot in my experience and as you say not best practice. 

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