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Magnets do not go with  - Some hair springs, Watch tools, Automatic works, calendar works in fact anything that is used in a mechanical time piece that is non magnetic.

Magnets do go with - Iron filings, etchasketch game, door catches, motors, speakers, pickups, pinged away springs and components.

My advice - Move all magnetic devices away from your work area. I have one of the rubber mats you mention and I have removed the magnets from them so I can use it in my work area. Do this and they can be useful - do not and you will suffer the effects.

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14 hours ago, wls1971 said:

Introducing anything magnetic into the work space when repairing watches is a no no I cannot see where it would be useful to have such a mat in watch repair. The only magnet I have is for those unfortunate times when a part does ping off into the distance I do a sweep of the floor with a magnet finds the part 99% of the time.

Now if your a big tea drinker I have a Chocolate teapot for sale somewhere.

Come to think of it, maybe he thought I was asking for flooring ?

Thanks

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  • 1 month later...

I use a vinyl board cover that you can get in larger sizes than the Bergeon mats. They come in larger pre-cut sizes and are a little cheaper in cost. I just obtained a large sheet and cut it to fit the entire table top. They usually come in the light green color and clean up easily. You can find them online in art supply houses or mechanical drafting supply houses and usually go by Vyco or Borco in the US.

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1 hour ago, spectre6000 said:

Why is it that watchmaking work mats are always green? What's so special about the color green? I'm almost certain there's some traditional material-based reason, but I really don't know what it is. Anyone have any insight into that dark corner of horology?

To calm you down when you lose a balance shock spring, or screwdriver slips.

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Hi According to the great and the good  the colour green was chosen because it reflects the right amount of light creating less eye strain. Not to mention as  Old  Hippy said you can find the parts easier. The colour green is in the middle of the spectrum of visible light. Blue/purple being the longest and the reds being the lowest in distance .

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  • jdm changed the title to Bench Mat
  • jdm pinned this topic

Parts are mostly on the white to red spectrum with a little blue thrown in. Highly reflective. A matte mat makes sense for the reflectivity. Green and red are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but I was exaggerating/simplifying a bit with red and thinking copper. Thinking historically, it's not hard to imagine a watchmaker 100 years ago would have used a vegetable tanned-tan leather mat. About the right durometer. I've done a fair amount of leather work, and even did some semi-formal experimentation with leather treatments from that era, and I'm not aware of anything that results in that characteristic green. Rubbers in that era were, actually about the same color or black, but the black was early vulcanized and quite hard. The only other thing I can think of would be green velvet. That would likely be a covering over something, but if the knap (I think that's the term) was long enough, the fibers would "grab" anything and keep it from bouncing. I think I've seen cloth covered writing desks with green pads, and it seems like this could be a similar situation. I don't think they were velvet, or if they were, the knap was long gone. I could be way off base...

Edited by spectre6000
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  • 11 months later...
On 1/8/2021 at 7:38 PM, spectre6000 said:

Why is it that watchmaking work mats are always green? What's so special about the color green? I'm almost certain there's some traditional material-based reason, but I really don't know what it is. Anyone have any insight into that dark corner of horology?

Frankly, i think it's because Borco / Vyco drafting table mat comes in gray, white, and green. 

White is hard to keep clean, gray is too dark to find steel parts on. 

And the watchmaking work mats are the same exact material. 

Edited by TimpanogosSlim
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 Once upon a time we had in the UK Government Training Centers where unemployed persons could go for re training. The one in Leeds had a watch/Clock department and all the benches were quipped with the same as what Old hippy described, probably because it was relativly cheap, and the paper could be changed. I use a cutting mat with all the grid lines removed and or a large cork mat both work well enough and I no problems with either.

 

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it's been awhile....sorry off topic

hows the vise working out? it looks really good. as long as I got you here got a question for you. bench mat, green or black? i know about green and eye strain, easier to see parts, etc but what about black? i did a search on here but didn't really find anything. what do you think?

Edited by MechanicMike
forgot a few words!
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1 hour ago, MechanicMike said:

hows the vise working out

You mean vice?  Well, I quit smok'n, drink'n and chas'n women, so I am on the mend.

1 hour ago, MechanicMike said:

bench mat, green or black

I am using both colors.  On the two watch benches where I do watch work, I am using green.  On the watch bench with the lathe, I am using black.  I think, qualitatively, that the black does reveal shiny objects better than the green.  I know this because all of the swarfs from turning are readily seen.  So, why don't I use the black one for working on watches?  I probably would if I did not already have the green in place.

There may be a great deal of personal preference that cannot be quantified.

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I have a further thought to add, maybe valuable to other n00bs like myself. 

It came to mind after i launched a cap jewel with the tweezers i was holding it with so that i could put a dot of oil on it. Because a droplet of 9010 has enough surface tension that the red oiler can pick it up. 

In retrospect I know i could have stuck it to some rodico. I've been watching too many youtube watchmakers and i think some of them are showing off their skills. 

10 years ago, during my initial foray into breaking watches for fun and expense, I came across a particularly sticky silicone mat at a freight salvage outlet that i like to browse from time to time. 

It was marketed to the elder care industry, people suffering from parkinsons, etc. The picture on the package was of a lidded beverage resting on it at a 45 degree angle and not falling off. 

It was a Dycem non-slip mat. One of these: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001VATDGK/ref=twister_B08B7MRJX9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I did not pay that much. Because it was freight salvage. 

It was bizarrely sticky. Parts dropped on it, if light enough, would just stand there at whatever angle they were at when they struck it. 

It doesn't have an applied or impregnated adhesive, it's all van-der-walls forces and similar. It's a magnet for dust and fiber so it does need occasional cleaning. or frequent cleaning. 

I don't know where my dycem mat is these days. Probably in storage next to the bag of watch straps that do not fit my gargantuan wrists. 

But i found a lesser silicone mat in my accumulated junk that is at least a little sticky, and it works well enough at holding a cap jewel in place while i oil it. Also holds pieces in place for pegwood cleaning, etc. Larger flat pieces like barrel covers sort of have to be pried off it with tweezers.

It occasionally needs to be wiped down with some isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel or microfiber or whatever. 

 

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7 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

You mean vice?

nope. I mean vise. But I still have a couple vices I should give up too! 🙂

thanks for the info. reason being is my local material house is out-of-stock of the spendy brand name green one but has the same in black at a huge discount. I might try one.

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