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Recently acquired a watchmakers lathe, what should my first steps be?


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Posted (edited)

I got a great deal on a watchmakers lathe on eBay: $200 with free shipping.  I still have to clean up the machine and bit and get a motor to drive it, so I have some time yet.  But what steps should I take to start learning how to use it, i.e. practicing certain cuts.

Also, should it be lubricated, and if so, where are the places I'd need to lube?

What type of graver should I get?  Some videos and resources I've found prefer Vallorbe diamond shape.

Next, collets.  Are there a preferred brand?  I know Bergeon sells 8mm collets anywhere from $70 to $475 depending on the size.  Sherline sells the same sizes for anywhere between $18 and $43.

The Sherline collets have a runout of 0.05mm, I don't know what tolerance the Bergeon ones have.

What range of sizes can the collets securely hold?  For example, what range of diameters is a 5mm collet useful for?

And any other topics you think I should know about before embarking on this journey.

Edited by GregG
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Hi Get hols of Ward Goodrich's book "Watchmakers lathe its use and abuse". Or De Carles book.  As far as Gravers go its a personal choice, Usually tungsten carbide, and the shape prefered  depends on the use the graver is being used for and the type of cut required.

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8 hours ago, GregG said:

should it be lubricated,

it should definitely be lubricated watchmakers lathes run on lubrication. But strangely enough a lot of people forget about the run their bearings dry in them they wonder why they have issues.

 

6 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Ward Goodrich's book "Watchmakers lathe its use and abuse"

definitely a good book and you can download a PDF for whatever version you like from the link below

https://archive.org/details/watchmakerslathe00good

8 hours ago, GregG said:

I got a great deal on a watchmakers lathe

unfortunately want a great deal until you get it. Then you have to be careful what the term watchmaker's lathe. You understand that if you look at the PDF of the book above because they come in variations. Some variations getting collets are practically impossible for instance. But still the design of them is quite rugged especially to survive typical watchmakers who forget the lubricate them etc.

 

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Post some pics when you get it. Like John said, there are many different configurations; looking at my Hardinge 1913 watch tool catalog they list 27 different collet types for watchmaker lathes 😶. The most common is 8mm though, but there there are still differences.

 

Without knowing what you have coming it might be fruitless to give advice on how/where to oil etc.

 

But as for first work to practice, get some brass bar, maybe 3 or 4mm, and practice turning a nice cylinder. No taper, clean square shoulder. Then make a couple different diameters, straight, clean, no taper, clean shoulder. Then start hitting a specific size. Then go smaller, try turning it down to 1mm. You have to play with the graver, how it hits the workpiece, to find a position that produces an actual chip- usually a curly ribbon coming off the work. The position changes constantly as the diameter changes; keep making piles of chips until you are really comfortable moving the graver around. Then move on to steel. At some point you can try making a scaled up balance staff- try in brass first, then steel. The more time you spend turning the better your hands get at knowing what to do, your brain will go in auto mode.

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5 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Post some pics when you get it. Like John said, there are many different configurations; looking at my Hardinge 1913 watch tool catalog they list 27 different collet types for watchmaker lathes 😶. The most common is 8mm though, but there there are still differences.

 

Without knowing what you have coming it might be fruitless to give advice on how/where to oil etc.

 

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well your pictures show something that looks good hopefully it works as well as it looks. It looks like your standard American watchmaker's lathe which is the good news. then the word hard is good news tells us  have hard bearings versus the soft bearings. Not 100% a big thing providing some way to The whole thing lubricated really nicely but unsigned people never remember there even supposed to lubricate their  lathe at all.

then I found some additional information

http://www.vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=2291

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On 7/6/2022 at 2:04 PM, GregG said:

Next, collets.  Are there a preferred brand?  I know Bergeon sells 8mm collets anywhere from $70 to $475 depending on the size.  Sherline sells the same sizes for anywhere between $18 and $43.

I bought an 8mm Pultra lathe not too long ago and was a bit confused by what collets would fit or nor... the "8mm" should be a standard size but they seem to be a bit hit and miss.

The following link gives an idea of what confused me:

http://www.lathes.co.uk/collets/

After having chanced a few purchases on ebay, almost all 8mm collets fit my Pultra lathe. The only ones that didn't were made by Levin that were just too long. But, I made them fit by making a 10mm spacer using the very same lathe.

Brand new collets are a crazy price and unless you can write them off as a business expense in Switzerland, or are very wealthy, go for the used ones and get your hands dirty cleaning them up.

If I remember tomorrow, I'll stick some photos up of different collet manufacturers in the same lathe.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Plato said:

Levin that were just too long. But, I made them fit by making a 10mm spacer using the very same lathe.

that's has the standard every place you go. I have a metal ring for any the miscellaneous call us at don't fit at home. In a clear plastic rings at work. So no matter what you going to end up with different link of collets unless of course as you pointed out your very wealthy and going to write off the cost of new ones. Which means you probably purchased a new lathe in the first place so everything would fit hopefully.

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

Which means you probably purchased a new lathe in the first place so everything would fit hopefully.

Definitely not, I could not afford a new lathe or any new collets. To be honest, I'm losing interest in watchmaking as it's getting far too expensive to be any fun with a limited budget. So much for this place being a fun and friendly forum!

I've successfully serviced a Lemania 283, so that's as about as complicated as I hoped to test my mechanical skills... back to the electronics with a steady hand ✍️

My tools will be on eBay soon, bye.

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6 hours ago, Plato said:

Definitely not, I could not afford a new lathe or any new collets. To be honest, I'm losing interest in watchmaking as it's getting far too expensive to be any fun with a limited budget. So much for this place being a fun and friendly forum!

I've successfully serviced a Lemania 283, so that's as about as complicated as I hoped to test my mechanical skills... back to the electronics with a steady hand ✍️

My tools will be on eBay soon, bye.

Bit harsh. Has someone got out of their bed on the wrong side this morning. 🤷‍♂️

On 7/6/2022 at 2:04 PM, GregG said:

I got a great deal on a watchmakers lathe on eBay: $200 with free shipping. 

Well done you Greg 👍. Might be an idea to follow you as I'm in the same boat matey.

On 7/6/2022 at 4:56 PM, watchweasol said:

Hi Get hols of Ward Goodrich's book "Watchmakers lathe its use and abuse". Or De Carles book.  As far as Gravers go its a personal choice, Usually tungsten carbide, and the shape prefered  depends on the use the graver is being used for and the type of cut required.

Great choice WW, i have de carles which is really informative. I will look out for the your first recommendation. Looking to choose some gravers myself, I'd like to give both carbide and hss a go for a comparison. With wood turning it was always carbon or hss was the most expensive and longer lasting. Can i ask if you did much watch lathe work ?

On 7/6/2022 at 2:04 PM, GregG said:

Also, should it be lubricated, and if so, where are the places I'd need to lube?

Yes Greg on a regular basis at the bearings, there should be oil pots or revolving removable caps like mine above the bearing ends and frequency depending on how much use it gets. The bed and spindle sliding areas a light wipe down with an oil rag occasionally to keep friction to a minimum and prevent any corrosion getting hold. This is the oil i decided on after some reasearch.

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On 7/6/2022 at 2:04 PM, GregG said:

Next, collets.  Are there a preferred brand?  I know Bergeon sells 8mm collets anywhere from $70 to $475 depending on the size.  Sherline sells the same sizes for anywhere between $18 and $43.

The Sherline collets have a runout of 0.05mm, I don't know what tolerance the Bergeon ones have.

The collets will be mostly specific to your lathe. De carles book has a chart that lists them their sizes and compatibility. Waitvfor your book to view that before jumping into buying Greg

On 7/6/2022 at 2:04 PM, GregG said:

And any other topics you think I should know about before embarking on this journey.

Haha. Absolutely everything Greg. A shed load of research will go a long way. I would start with the caring of your lathe. If this isn't looked after and running at its very best that it can then putting a cutting tool to a work piece will not give you the best outcome. Learn to strip it down service and lubricate it. You’ve heard the phrase " A craftmen is only as good as his tools "  this is for the most part basically true. But with a lathe and the cutting tools this couldnt be any closer to the truth. When i used to wood turn everything had to be super sharp, the lathe speeds suited to the workpieces  and the lathe running as true as it could. Now amplify that accuracy ten or even a hundred fold for micro engineering.  Haha sorry if any of this is frightening you lol. 😅.  This is the world of watches matey, to be good is not easy in fact bloody hard, i thought i was good at everything, this is totally another level haha. We need lots and lots of help lol👍

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I can understand Plato’s attitude,  But it’s a shame he is n disenchanted as his input was always good and informative. the watch repair game is not cheap. If it was not for the Chinese tools being available at reasonable cost it would be hard work. I myself have a limited amount of tools some home made but effective in carrying out the required task but limit myself on un regulated spending. It all depends on how deep you want to go and the skill levels you have. We have said on WRT may times the best tools in the hands of an idiot are just scrap.

NEW, Ihave three lathes and poke about on them when required but used to make bits on a Myford 7  for accounting machines, rivet posts and shafts.  Used HSS cutting bits though tungsten bits were not available then

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Plato said:

Definitely not, I could not afford a new lathe or any new collets. To be honest, I'm losing interest in watchmaking as it's getting far too expensive to be any fun with a limited budget. So much for this place being a fun and friendly forum!

I've successfully serviced a Lemania 283, so that's as about as complicated as I hoped to test my mechanical skills... back to the electronics with a steady hand ✍️

My tools will be on eBay soon, bye.

5 hours ago, watchweasol said:

I can understand Plato’s attitude,  But it’s a shame he is n disenchanted as his input was always good and informative. the watch repair game is not cheap. If it was not for the Chinese tools being available at reasonable cost it would be hard work. I myself have a limited amount of tools some home made but effective in carrying out the required task but limit myself on un regulated spending. It all depends on how deep you want to go and the skill levels you have. We have said on WRT may times the best tools in the hands of an idiot are just scrap.

NEW, Ihave three lathes and poke about on them when required but used to make bits on a Myford 7  for accounting machines, rivet posts and shafts.  Used HSS cutting bits though tungsten bits were not available then

Rant incoming:

I can certainly understand Plato's frustration.  I myself am questioning my own future with this hobby.  Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, but there's just always something that stops me in my tracks.  Buying a watch on eBay is always a risk.  If a buyer sells something as "not working," or even if it is running, albeit poorly, that can mean 100 different things.  And those 100 different things could potentially each require a new tool.  And the niche nature of these tools means that they cost a lot.

There's always the possibility that the tools are missing parts or have worn out parts.  Best case scenario you can buy new production ones, or you might have to invest in another entire tool (such as a lathe) to make replacement parts.  Sometimes they're so specialized that you're S.O.L. unless you can find antique ones on eBay that are usually hotly contested.  And then, it takes time to become familiar with these tools.  Sometimes you need to buy scrap movements to practice on, couple that with the time it takes to become proficient, and you're spending 90% of your time/money acquiring and learning the tools rather than using them in a job.

I understand that this is the nature of the beast, but neither my time nor money are unlimited.  I just offloaded a lot of spare watches that I was planning to get to some day, but after realizing the amount of time it's taking to do just a single watch, I decided it was pointless to hang onto them.  I read the books, I watch the videos, I ask questions here, I upgrade my equipment, and try to be as careful and systematic about it as possible, and even if nothing seems immediately concerning, only about 50% of the time, the watch will spring to life after a service (I am watching the fault-finding course by Mark, but with regards to solving these faults, see first two paragraphs).  Of that 50%, only about 1/3rd of the time is the amplitude healthy.  It's demoralizing to put so much effort into something and get so little out of it.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that I am by no means an expert and my results are solely my own fault.

Point is, I understand Plato.

Edited by GregG
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5 hours ago, watchweasol said:

I can understand Plato’s attitude,  But it’s a shame he is n disenchanted as his input was always good and informative. the watch repair game is not cheap. If it was not for the Chinese tools being available at reasonable cost it would be hard work. I myself have a limited amount of tools some home made but effective in carrying out the required task but limit myself on un regulated spending. It all depends on how deep you want to go and the skill levels you have. We have said on WRT may times the best tools in the hands of an idiot are just scrap.

NEW, Ihave three lathes and poke about on them when required but used to make bits on a Myford 7  for accounting machines, rivet posts and shafts.  Used HSS cutting bits though tungsten bits were not available then

Thanks WW . I used a Myford ML8 as an apprentice in a joinery shop and then bought myself an old Coronet Elf which i still have but very rarely use now. I had an idea what you did for a living . I was just curious as to your background with watches. This gives me more questions to ask you 😄 

26 minutes ago, GregG said:

Rant incoming:

I can certainly understand Plato's frustration.  I myself am questioning my own future with this hobby.  Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, but there's just always something that stops me in my tracks.  Buying a watch on eBay is always a risk.  If a buyer sells something as "not working," or even if it is running, albeit poorly, that can mean 100 different things.  And those 100 different things could potentially each require a new tool.  And the niche nature of these tools means that they cost a lot.

There's always the possibility that the tools are missing parts or have worn out parts.  Best case scenario you can buy new production ones, or you might have to invest in another entire tool (such as a lathe) to make replacement parts.  Sometimes they're so specialized that you're S.O.L. unless you can find antique ones on eBay that are usually hotly contested.  And then, it takes time to become familiar with these tools.  Sometimes you need to buy scrap movements to practice on, couple that with the time it takes to become proficient, and you're spending 90% of your time/money acquiring and learning the tools rather than using them in a job.

I understand that this is the nature of the beast, but neither my time nor money are unlimited.  I just offloaded a lot of spare watches that I was planning to get to some day, but after realizing the amount of time it's taking to do just a single watch, I decided it was pointless to hang onto them.  I read the books, I watch the videos, I ask questions here, I upgrade my equipment, and try to be as careful and systematic about it as possible, and even if nothing seems immediately concerning, only about 50% of the time, the watch will spring to life after a service (I am watching the fault-finding course by Mark, but with regards to solving these faults, see first two paragraphs).  Of that 50%, only about 1/3rd of the time is the amplitude healthy.  It's demoralizing to put so much effort into something and get so little out of it.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that I am by no means an expert and my results are solely my own fault.

Point is, I understand Plato.

Cant beat a good rant Greg. I'm not sure what to say about it though. What you have said is mostly true, the time involved in this hobby is more suited to retirees for sure. And as a beginner there is no real way of knowing what you are letting yourself in for. When a beginner introduces themselves when they join the forum we could always greet them with the old sharp intake of breath and tell them this is a difficult hobby a really ffing difficult hobby to get good at that it will eat through the money in your pockets very fast. And are you really really sure that this is what you want to do ?  But that is hardly encouraging is it ? Yes its difficult and yes you have to put time and effort into being good at it. This is exactly why we need to appreciate and respect pros like Nicklesilver and John. And if someone rants about how much a good watchrepair costs then understand what is involved with that repair or the cost to run such a business. I've always been well paid for my skill in my field, that skill i have falls way short of the skill to be a good watchrepairer. Anything takes time to be good at, you just have to decide how good you want to be and how much time and effort you want to put into it to be that good. Ok so my rant over. As regards to tools and equipment cost. I posted a litlle while back about my total set up cost, I've all but finished now with my last piece arriving today in the post, a jewelling tool with the accessories.  Complete cost now for maybe 95% of all repairs, totals give or take a few quid £1000 (this was my aimed at budget ) Inc. tech equipent for fixing quartz watches and a good soldering station. Also duplicated and upgraded some items in that budget so some cash lost there. It took time and effort to do that, a lot of the what would be expensive  stuff was bought secondhand so i had to bide my time for them to come along. So you need patience, something a lot of the younger generation dont have. All in all £1000 and six months of patience, i dont think thats bad at all do you ? Second rant over. Third and final quick rant, to Plato's comment " so much for this place being a fun and friendly forum " can you explain this please Plato. Has someone said something to upset you to make this comment. Ive looked through this thread and i cant see what it could be. 

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1 hour ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

So you need patience, something a lot of the younger generation dont have. All in all £1000 and six months of patience, i dont think thats bad at all do you ?

If $1200 USD and 6 months is all you need, then consider me way over budget, and way behind schedule. 😛 

Then again, I am also the cause of my own problems.  I very much like old watches, including pocket watches.  Very old, very dirty, very worn steel pivots will make for a much harder fix than more recent age, reasonably well kept, and jewelled pivots.

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46 minutes ago, GregG said:

If $1200 USD and 6 months is all you need, then consider me way over budget, and way behind schedule

you're not the only one there was someone else telling me that they had spent thousands of dollars in the last six months. out of curiosity comes I didn't get the memo what is everyone spending their money on that's costing so much? I'm not trying to say watch repair is cheap I just curious what is everyone buying they considered that they most have.

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49 minutes ago, GregG said:

If $1200 USD and 6 months is all you need, then consider me way over budget, and way behind schedule. 😛 

Then again, I am also the cause of my own problems.  I very much like old watches, including pocket watches.  Very old, very dirty, very worn steel pivots will make for a much harder fix than more recent age, reasonably well kept, and jewelled pivots.

Ain’t that the truth. I‘ve also sunk waaaaaay more into this hobby than I should have. But geesh I’m quite the tool, erm, enthusiast. I just can’t help myself. I did tell Rich how to hide expenses from the missus - I suspect she might be reading here so he threw out a low number. Ooops, sorry Rich 😋

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Ok, this is an American Watch Tool Webster Whitcomb. They literally put the WW in watchmaker's lathes, which this style is often referred to; the are equal to or better than just about any other make of lathe quality wise.. My Leinen is a model WW82. This should have no problem accepting most 8mm collets. I use Levin, Leinen, Schaublin and others in mine, and had an actual Webster Whitcomb for a short time way back in the day, no issues.

 

A big issue with collets is they are usually 7.99mm or very close to that (they should be), as the bore in the lathe is spot-on 8mm. Any little burr or ding along the collet body will impede it fitting in the lathe bore.

 

On 7/6/2022 at 3:04 PM, GregG said:

 

Next, collets.  Are there a preferred brand?  I know Bergeon sells 8mm collets anywhere from $70 to $475 depending on the size.  Sherline sells the same sizes for anywhere between $18 and $43.

 

The Sherline collets have a runout of 0.05mm, I don't know what tolerance the Bergeon ones have.

What range of sizes can the collets securely hold?  For example, what range of diameters is a 5mm collet useful for?

 

Quality collets will have, as above, a body diameter very close to 7.99mm. They are ground to size on precision grinders, the bore is ground as well. A good collet will be guaranteed to be concentric at some distance from the collet face, and are usually far better than the standard. Cheaper collets tend to have smaller body diameters to ensure fitting the most possible lathes, the bores are usually drilled, not ground, and often they aren't even heat treated. I couldn't work with a collet with 0.05mm runout.

 

The holding range varies by size, at sub-1mm bores it's nice to have collets in 0.05mm increments. From 1mm to 5 it's good to have every 0.01mm, but at the larger sizes you can get away with bigger jumps.

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40 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

you're not the only one there was someone else telling me that they had spent thousands of dollars in the last six months. out of curiosity comes I didn't get the memo what is everyone spending their money on that's costing so much? I'm not trying to say watch repair is cheap I just curious what is everyone buying they considered that they most have.

Well it has been a few years now, not six months.  But figure if you buy 3 right-handed mainspring winder heads + corresponding left handed arbors, that's $300 right there.

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1 hour ago, GregG said:

If $1200 USD and 6 months is all you need, then consider me way over budget, and way behind schedule. 😛 

Then again, I am also the cause of my own problems.  I very much like old watches, including pocket watches.  Very old, very dirty, very worn steel pivots will make for a much harder fix than more recent age, reasonably well kept, and jewelled pivots.

I am absolutely the same Greg, i have very little less than 50 years old. Quite a few with broken pivots and hairsprings.  Sorry that you think you are running behind with things but you will get there, it takes time matey. I will say in your defence that i scour the internet looking for what i need and want and never pay over the odds for anything, but i did to start with. My journey only began in September last year when i repaired my grandfather's watch as i couldnt find anyone to take the job on, it was completely knackered, badly rusted inside and hadnt ran for 50 years since when he died in 1973. I figured out what was wrong with the escapement ordered a donor, replaced a couple of parts, extracted a truely rusted in stem with a 20 quid watch tool kit on epay and a cheap dremel type drill that i had and then wept like a baby when it sprang to life. Apparently my grandfather's brother Stanley was a watch and clock repairer and today i found out from my mother only lived 400 yards from my house. Something wierd going on there, i have wierd things and experiences happen all the time, basically I'm just wierd 🤪. So then at xmas ordered a bucketfull of quartz movements ( about 600 to be exact, still got 350 to get through )and got stuck into stripping them down and figuring out how they work. Best 40 quid ever spent, got my tweezer manipulation into overdrive.  Then since xmas searched and researched and then searched and researched some more. I dont do things by halves never have done, like a big dog with a big juicy bone lol. And then today six months on got my last piece of equipment needed. I will still collect little gadgets as i am a complete tool geek, actually i would really like a hairspring  vibrator but they pretty expensive. I will ask the universe if theres a chance for another little treat but not just yet i think I've worn my good luck out for now, i wont push it 🙂. I will admit UK is good at the moment for this game,not quite sure why.  So all I'm saying Greg it is doable, time, patience and a little luck. Be the nicest person you can possibly be to everyone you meet, enjoy being like that and good things will come your way 👍

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17 hours ago, Plato said:

To be honest, I'm losing interest in watchmaking as it's getting far too expensive to be any fun with a limited budget.

@PlatoI know what you mean but the flip side of that is to know your budget constraints and limit your watch projects to stay within budget. That means knowing when to bail on something that's going to take you down a  rabbit hole.

I understand that everything within a mechanical watch can be fabricated from scratch given the materials and proper tools. I don't need to be able to turn a balance staff or to cut my own wheels or pinions. I'm not trying to become a "watchmaker" - I'm only trying to understand watch mechanics and amuse myself.

I don't see myself as ever re-jeweling a plate or adjusting end shake but I want to understand when that is required and what I'd have to do in that situation.

I'm never going to have the opportunity to work on a Patek Philippe or a Breguet and that's OK.

If I eventually acquire the skill to clean and lube my Zenith (and feel confident that I can do so without screwing up my own watch) I'll be happy.

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4 hours ago, gbyleveldt said:

Ain’t that the truth. I‘ve also sunk waaaaaay more into this hobby than I should have. But geesh I’m quite the tool, erm, enthusiast. I just can’t help myself. I did tell Rich how to hide expenses from the missus - I suspect she might be reading here so he threw out a low number. Ooops, sorry Rich 😋

Haha. I would have years ago, but this not the case now as neither of us are the others keeper. It was a genuine figure , i will go through the items if it helps anyone.  I am as they say in Yorkshire, as tight as a duck's arse . 😀 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry to necro this thread, but I have another question.

After doing some research, I found a website (https://watchmaking.weebly.com/other-lathe-attachments.html) that claims:

Quote

B8 collets are 6.82mm x 0.625mm pitch with 55 degree threads.  "WW" collets may be 0.275" x 40TPI  or 6.985mm x 0.635mm pitch.   However, the Webster/Whitcomb collets were originally designed by The American Watch Tool Co. that was bought out by F.W.Derbyshire,Inc. in 1918 and had a 0.625 mm pitch and 60 degree threads.

For reference, mine in an AWT Co lathe.  The original Sherline collets which I was looking at have a comparison page of different brands https://sherline.com/wp-content/uploads//2019/08/sher_collet_comparison.pdf?_ga=2.115656645.2124521505.1658947934-2062914844.1655990342.

It looks like the thread pitch and barrel diameter of these collets are not the same as the dimensions used on the AWT Co collets.  I also cannot find the specs for the Bergeon collets.

Will these minor differences cause any issues?

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3 hours ago, GregG said:

 

Will these minor differences cause any issues?

Not a useful answer, but the truth is, it depends.

 

As mentioned above, I use a variety of collets in my Leinen lathe without issue. A Levin I used to own was the same. The biggest issue is the thread size (considering you have a quality 8mm collet with correct body size, no burrs or dings). I have some Swiss tooling that doesn't like to fit the Leinen drawbar. It does fit other Swiss machinery. Collet wise, pretty much everything has worked except for Lorch.

 

It's been a long time but I seem to remember using some Schaublin collets in the AWT lathe I owned. So the small difference in pitch wasn't an issue. It really depends on how closely the drawbar was made to spec.

 

I would personally not buy Sherline collets; the body diameter is undersize and if I recall correctly they aren't hardened. I'd rather buy used Boley, Leinen, Levin, Derbyshire, or other quality collets taking the chance they may have been abused and don't run true. If they are true, they will remain that way and be reliably accurate until they are abused.

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Thank you for the insight.

Now, the next question: this thing definitely needs some TLC.  But for the life of me, i can't figure out how to remove the spindle.

The only good video i could find on YouTube, the guy removes the caps and split ring screw, takes a piece of wood or something similar and knocks the spindle out.

I've taken off everything i can find, but cannot manage to knock out the spindle.  I'm gingerly using a rubber mallet, but this thing absolutely will not move.  I'm afraid of going any harder to avoid damaging it.

IMG_20220727_203103.jpg

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    • The quality of the Chinese hand removers is getting worse. The first one I bought 4 years ago was still ok, but the ones I bought recently were totally useless. The two white plastic blocks on my original were riveted to the metal with brass rivets. The recent ones were just held by a plastic pin with the ends flattened by a soldering iron. It broke on the first use.
    • Hi @Neverenoughwatches Thank you for those kind words. Whilst I've mentioned Marvin, anything from that MSR group of companies is worth a look. I have a couple of Revue's, a Vertex and a Vulcain. All nice watches. As you say though the fashion for when these were popular was of the smaller size compared to what people prefer today. But fashions come and go and, probably like me, you like what you like and wear what you like. 🙂 You've mentioned Longines and as a bit of trivia their 490 movement is the same as the Marvin 700 (but you'll pay a premium for the former).   Now coming back to your question... ... there was actually a way that someone with no (Marvin in this case) knowledge and trying to find a needle in a haystack could have tracked this down. There was some very good information provided by the OP and having just sanity checked the method I'll explain below could have allowed the pinpoint. Let me try and explain! 🙃 Those two pieces of information were 1914 and 13''' (in fact I think it should be a forum mandate that anyone wanting help identifying a movement has to include such size information and preferably a pic of the keyless works! 🙂 ). You'll probably have noticed from any use of the ranfft.de site that it is good at providing the ligne size and usually an example of date of manufacture against movement details. So try this search in your browser bar... 13''' 1914 site:ranfft.de Note the three single quotes after the number for ligne size - this format needed for a match to how ranfft provides a size. This tells the browser to just search the site ranfft.de for any pages with those, in this example, two search terms. Clearly if there were other or different search terms these could be used. Now look at images returned (I'm using google and sometimes have to select the "see more anyway" option at the bottom of the page if there are more images returned than the paltry default google pulls back). In this case no matches. But don't despair as we know we should be looking at a reasonable year range for when the movement might have been used and thus be in the ranfft example. So change 1914 to 1915 and repeat. Mmm ... still nothing. But now change 1915 to 1916. Bingo!!! There's the fella - fourth image on the top row. Yippee!!! 😃 Hope the above makes sense! It can be a good way (watch movements or not) if trying to track or narrow something down you think is likely to be against a specific website.
    • Hi  A picture of the underside of the bezel and the front of the watch would be helpful in determining the problem.    On some bezels there is a wavy flat spring that fits under the bezel and then the bezel snaps on , the spring prividing the tension for the bezel.  There are others in which there is a small hole in the case with a spring and a bearing (a Biro ball is some time used as a replacement) which detents on the underside of the bezel.                thanks
    • Hello and welcome to the forum
    • Hi Gaus, slightly off topic but which model Commodoor is this? I'm looking for a Parrenin 171X movement for a project and there are a couple of different model Commodoor watches on ebay at the moment.
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