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Stabilizing balance cock while removing balance...


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After removing a balance assembly and wanting to separate the balance from the cock, I generally place the assembly on a piece of pith wood and work from there.

Usually I hold the cock using tweezer or peg wood and then remove the stud screw with my right hand.  I am never really well satisfied with stability of this setup.

Today, I improved the stability using rodico under the cock.  Yeah...it helps with stability, but the rodico leaves a mess of things.  I am using the blue rodico (vs grey).  Not sure there is a difference (I have not experimented).

Anyway, the question is something like: "What is the best way to perform this procedure?"

As I ponder this today, I think maybe I should make a tool where I actually screw down the cock (upside down) for uber stability.

 

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I don’t know if this is what you would call stable enough method but I been doing it like this for a while when wanting to fix the hairspring a bit. This one has a slightly damaged terminal curve.

Maybe this isn’t an answer to your question at all.

First I loosen the screw from the balance stud, it shouldn’t be any problems since it still is kept in place by the boot and the friction.

20210622_192931.thumb.jpg.3d3bd98fb831ac5b3cb980eb7e2b8de5.jpg

Next, I take away the balance cock from the movement.

20210622_193021.thumb.jpg.cb0ca507bf3aeb298bb318538aa7839d.jpg

I gently turn it around and lay it down on the balance tool, there are different once of these for working on balance wheels, today I just use this one with a hole in the middle. I turn the boot so the hairspring gets loose.

20210622_193737.thumb.jpg.993b81f807b697f6bc659c720ab5df0d.jpg

I once again gently turn it around and now I push the pin out of the hole.

(Shitty pic but it is hard to snapp the photo with your foot)

20210622_193505.thumb.jpg.3dc2746cb7f909070a666005e7839ebe.jpg

Voila now I can work on the hairspring.

20210622_193959.thumb.jpg.43a370a5bbfc98d411dd82a2ef2fb72f.jpg

 

Edited by HSL
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  I loosen/remove the stud screw when balance-cock is still on the mainplate just like HSL shows and push the stud out somewhat like his forth picture, only I use tweezers,  one prong of the tweezers pushing on top of the stud the other would be placed under the stud holder/carier, attack the stud at 45 degree angle.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

After removing a balance assembly and wanting to separate the balance from the cock, I generally place the assembly on a piece of pith wood and work from there.

Usually I hold the cock using tweezer or peg wood and then remove the stud screw with my right hand.  I am never really well satisfied with stability of this setup.

Today, I improved the stability using rodico under the cock.  Yeah...it helps with stability, but the rodico leaves a mess of things.  I am using the blue rodico (vs grey).  Not sure there is a difference (I have not experimented).

Anyway, the question is something like: "What is the best way to perform this procedure?"

As I ponder this today, I think maybe I should make a tool where I actually screw down the cock (upside down) for uber stability.

 

My tool

F0CE5A7D-9AEE-4F9A-8BA0-7AA9655C310C.jpeg

A189066C-0574-4119-870F-E8A4D3E20DD5.jpeg

44436BF1-334A-41D7-800E-9D21966F5F06.jpeg

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11 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

After removing a balance assembly and wanting to separate the balance from the cock, I generally place the assembly on a piece of pith wood and work from there.

Usually I hold the cock using tweezer or peg wood and then remove the stud screw with my right hand.  I am never really well satisfied with stability of this setup.

Today, I improved the stability using rodico under the cock.  Yeah...it helps with stability, but the rodico leaves a mess of things.  I am using the blue rodico (vs grey).  Not sure there is a difference (I have not experimented).

Anyway, the question is something like: "What is the best way to perform this procedure?"

As I ponder this today, I think maybe I should make a tool where I actually screw down the cock (upside down) for uber stability.

 

Actually, making a steel plate with screw holes smaller than the opening of the balance cock, to be used with a screw with a wide head and an o-ring to prevent potential marking of the balance cock from the screw head would be a good idea!

When you face hairspring studs tightly friction fitted into the balance cock with no stud screw, the only way to safely remove the hairspring appears to be to melt the adhesive attaching the hairspring to the stud. You may be able to punch the stud out but supporting the end of the stud support close to the stud is really difficult.

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  We didn't get any ideas on making a stud remover tool, is there a ready made tool available? has anybody seen a bergoen tool for the task?  I have seen neat results friction fitting stud on a staking tool.

 

1 hour ago, LittleWatchShop said:

How do you put the balance back on the cock and regulator?

  Thats the seven thousand dollar question. I always end up having to do minor touch ups to make sure h/s is concentric, flat, level .... adjusting regulator slot being the most challanging. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

  We didn't get any ideas on making a stud remover tool, is there a ready made tool available? has anybody seen a bergoen tool for the task?  I have seen neat results friction fitting stud on a staking tool.

 

  Thats the seven thousand dollar question. I always end up having to do minor touch ups to make sure h/s is concentric, flat, level .... adjusting regulator slot being the most challanging. 

 

For studs friction fitted into the stud support I can’t see any safe way to punch it out with sufficient support for the protruding part of the stud support since the stud is really close to the edge of it. You could in theory make a thin ledge to support the edge of the stud support but if it slips the entire stud support on the balance cock will get bent.

Putting the stud back if you somehow managed to get it out safely is easier since the stud support on the balance cock can lay down safely against a hard surface when you punch it in.

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There are some differences when working on an ETAChron system too but here I just assumed you worked with vintage watches so I just showed that part.
To assemble everything back I just use the same tool, I’m not very good at working with balances in a balance tack like the one JD shows so I just use my old tool. I just use a balance tack sometimes to let the cock and balance complete rest there while working on the movement.
 

So I begin with putting the balance cock on the tool.

IMG_20210623_065011.thumb.jpg.c5168e8e9f5414583c03218efa6db9b4.jpg

Next, I hold down the balance cock with a peg wood, this will assure it isn’t moving while you put the balance back.
I put the hairspring between the regulator pins and close the boot. Now I push the stud into the hole, one advantage with doing it this way is that you can’t push the stud to far. Mostly the stud is just flush with the balance cock. I tighten the screw while I still keep the balance cock firmly in place with the peg wood.

IMG_20210623_065411.thumb.jpg.13f7f35b52d0885e18cf388f2b681ba3.jpg

Everything now is in place and no big drama has been going on!

IMG_20210623_065715.thumb.jpg.27e848581547738976464625d47057d1.jpg

Now you can throw the balance back into the movement.

IMG_20210623_065743.thumb.jpg.b3c3f15cea1a7336063df971f187cedc.jpg

Tighten the screw.

IMG_20210623_070426.thumb.jpg.392235197f7032aca2706e9295649945.jpg

Now you can adjust the stud so the hairspring gets nice and level.
Unfortunately with this watch I have a little more work to do than just adjusting the hairspring.
In this case someone already had played around with this specimen and just repined the stud after probably breaking the hairspring, one can see the new pin in the stud. This means it hasn’t got a good enough beat anymore to be able to regulate it, way too fast oscillation (checked by vibrating the balance and hairspring). This is stuff one finds out after a preclean of the movement so now we can add it to the todolist too.

IMG_20210623_070527.thumb.jpg.0cb2bcb1c8c9fcc957644065156c8ab8.jpg

Well hope even this assembly wasn't perfect it might have given you some tips on how to do this operation.
I think the keyword here is just like with everything else in watchrepair, practice, practice, practice and after that some more practice. Its a game of eye to hand motorics. 

Edited by HSL
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5 hours ago, HSL said:

I put the hairspring between the regulator pins and close the boot. Now I push the stud into the hole, one advantage with doing it this way is that you can’t push the stud to far. Mostly the stud is just flush with the balance cock. I tighten the screw while I still keep the balance cock firmly in place with the peg wood.

This is the way I do it, but I still struggle with stability.  The balance cock never lies flat because of the uneven stuff on the other side (regulator mechanism...

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11 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

These are all great ideas to incorporate.  What I failed to give full clarification about...reassembly. 

How do you put the balance back on the cock and regulator?

@jdricharddid you make this tool??  Very cool.

I did:)  Also added the leather for soft landing and lowered the tack to have the least pressure on the hairspring....+ two tacs 

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