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Pocket Watch dissasembly, and I found this.


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Elgin 17j size 12

What do you guys think?

First off, what would cause damage like this? Under the barrel.

Is it worth trying to file out? The area above the tear with the line around it is buldged up, slightly.

Or should I look for another movement?

I don't think this is the original Elgin case, although it is a pretty nice one. So, it may be something someone threw together to sell.

Thanks

 

 

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What ever happened, I don't think it happened from this side.  The plating under the barrel isn't even scuffed.  What does the other side look like?

It might have been caused by Elgin themselves when they machined the pocket for the minute wheel on the other side.

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If that's true, I don't think it's very common.

Shane 

Edited by Shane
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if you assemble the mainspring barrel and rotate it does it stick up far enough to touch the barrel? Does it affect anything at all other than making for an interesting conversation piece?

 

7 hours ago, tammons said:

I don't think this is the original Elgin case, although it is a pretty nice one. So, it may be something someone threw together to sell

then are a lot of times with the watch companies especially the early watches they didn't come with the case. The cases were in one display in the store the movements for another they were assembled at the time.

I don't suppose you have a serial number for the watch?

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It does look like a very small diameter rotating cutter was used to address that screw head coming in from this direction.  As the cutter continually climbed across the brass doing more harm then good.  It chewed through the thin brass in that spot, grabbed and quickly dug in, folding that detail towards the barrel (probably snapping the tool in the process).  That screw was probably interfering with the minute wheel after an attempted repair and this felt like their best course of action.

They probably sat shaking their head for a while and never tried that again.

If it worked for the last fifty years in that condition, there's no reason why it shouldn't continue to work and replacing it won't magically add an otherwise complete serialized watch movement back into the world.

I'd put it back together unless I had an another complete serialized movements that just happened to need everything else transferred over.

If you have the complete serial number from the nice side of a bride plates (the number on the main plate is often abbreviated) we can look it up and I will look and see what I have to offer.

Shane

Edited by Shane
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I think Tammons and Shane probably hit upon the explanation.  Looks like some fellow had an idea about how to address a screw causing interference, then quickly learned what made it a bad idea.
It should work if you clean it up in that area as best you can, and reassemble.  If it functioned well before, then it still should.  The only real concern in that case is aesthetics.  Only another watchmaker might see this, and I could understand one being anxious about what the next watchmaker will think of him based on judging the watch.  But given how unlikely this scenario is - myself, I'd just focus on function with this one.

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It is not functioning well at all. I dissembled it to check it out and service. With the speed adj centered, the beat error is about 9.5 and it is erratic and kind of all over the place.

Everything inside looks fairly clean. All the bearings seem to be okay. Balance wheel looks good. Hair spring looks good. Have not opened the barrel yet.

Not sure if the barrel is dragging but I dont see any scrape marks on the underside.

Here is the serial number.

 

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If you are experiencing problems due to that damage it does make scene to replace it.  Now that we have your serial number, I will look to see if I have an orphaned main-plate in my collection.  It may take some tinkering to set up a replacement plate to work correctly.  We can talk at that point if it's something you would be interested in.  No promises.

Shane

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Let me finish disassembling it and clean everything and go from there.

However, I did find another issue. I put the balance wheel and plate back on the main plate, and when I tighten the screw, the balance wheel wont spin freely. If I loosen it up a tad, then it spins back and forth like it should.

I am guessing this is probably part of the reason it was not running correctly.

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8 hours ago, tammons said:

t is not functioning well at all. I dissembled it to check it out and service. With the speed adj centered, the beat error is about 9.5 and it is erratic and kind of all over the place.

Everything inside looks fairly clean. All the bearings seem to be okay. Balance wheel looks good. Hair spring looks good. Have not opened the barrel yet.

Not sure if the barrel is dragging but I dont see any scrape marks on the underside.

servicing a vintage American pocket watch is not the same as servicing a modern watch. Depending upon how old it is it is gone through a lot of hands good and bad and lots of band can be done. Sell them will you have a vintage watch that just cleaning will fix there is usually things that have to be done.

What exactly are you using for timing machine to measure the beat? Then yes the beat can be an issue but it's not necessarily bad who's doing a watch yesterday it started that was 6 ms it's down the three now it's keeping phenomenal time but it required a little bit of work to get there

then you didn't open the barrel up? Your mainspring is probably said it should be replaced initially you can use this to verify get things reasonably close but if you want the watch to run you have to replace the mainspring.

 

57 minutes ago, Shane said:

I will look to see if I have an orphaned main-plate in my collection. 

there's a reason they're serial numbers on the pocket watches because the plates are all made together. Still be some initial machining of a separate plates but then the parts are machine construed together for the final hole drilling and other stuff so to swap the main plate is going to be really really really tricky it be so much better try to fix the one that's in there now if it needs any fixing at all.

52 minutes ago, tammons said:

However, I did find another issue. I put the balance wheel and plate back on the main plate, and when I tighten the screw, the balance wheel wont spin freely. If I loosen it up a tad, then it spins back and forth like it should.

I am guessing this is probably part of the reason it was not running correctly.

yes to work on a vintage watch you have to understand how to troubleshoot everything if tightening the screw up causes the balance wheel to bind up that is definitely going to be an issue. So learning how to troubleshoot learning how to grasp the problem and not jumping on quick solutions would be helpful.

then here's your serial number on the pocket watch database.

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/elgin/25159070

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

there's a reason they're serial numbers on the pocket watches because the plates are all made together.

I will concede that a full and matching set of serialized parts are optimal but not a requirement.  Compromise must be made depending on circumstances and often are.

I am currently still working on an Elgin model 5 for my nephew and every part has been sourced from a different watch (including all the case parts).  It has not been the easiest project but is finally running (in the loosest terms) and is installed within its case for safe keeping.  It has required careful selection and adjusting of the many parts used so far.  Things I still need to source; everything for the balance (it's been running on a borrowed balance), dial, hands, some of the keyless work, crown and crystal.  I've been waiting for that point when I just can't get past some new problem and even though it hasn't happened yet, it has still sapped much of my previous enthusiasm.  I am still no where close to being finished and it has sat untouched for several months. 

I have received very little encouragement and have been told by many it is totally impossible and a waste of my time.  My nephew is stopping by tomorrow and I'm hoping that will restore much of my interest.

Everyone's interests are important to them.

Thanks and have a good night.

Shane 

Edited by Shane
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5 hours ago, Shane said:

I will concede that a full and matching set of serialized parts are optimal but not a requirement.  Compromise must be made depending on circumstances and often are.

I like that wording compromise?

5 hours ago, Shane said:

I am currently still working on an Elgin model 5 for my nephew

I would be curious about the background story behind this?

5 hours ago, Shane said:

I have received very little encouragement and have been told by many it is totally impossible and a waste of my time.

once again if we understood the story then people could be a more understanding perhaps.

the problem is if we looked at this as a watch repair problem I can see why people would be discouraging.

5 hours ago, Shane said:

Elgin model 5

then I'm having a minor confusion are you discussing a grade 5 or a model 5? Because the model number could be in 18 size or 16's were conceivably some other sizes that's a mild confusion

6 hours ago, Shane said:

I will concede that a full and matching set of serialized parts are optimal but not a requirement. 

interesting tell us more because I was under the impression the reason they serial numbered stuff was because it were made together and only the parts the same serial number would fit together?

oh you might find this video interesting it's in the early 30s were manufacturing is much higher tolerances. But if you look carefully you'll still see hand fitting components.

https://youtu.be/ys4ChOWYNy8

 

 

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1 hour ago, JohnR725 said:

once again if we understood the story then people could be a more understanding perhaps.

As this is a project undertaken by you to do in your own time with no time scales it is entirely under your control.  Anyone saying its a waste of time is wrong, you have so far accomplished a lot and the fact that it runs at all is some achievement, I have been sat on a fusee pocket watch for three  years looking for bits. As these were virtually hand made its difficult but I am not giving up. Stick to your Guns If you are enjoying the experience  carry on and let nobody discourage you    I wish you all the best and success.

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15 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Check the seating on the balance cock, some times there has been a divot or a shim to increase the end shake of a over size staff. Easily over looked. bent pivots are another.

The pivots are straight. Where would the shim be?

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4 hours ago, watchweasol said:

As this is a project undertaken by you to do in your own time with no time scales it is entirely under your control.  Anyone saying its a waste of time is wrong, you have so far accomplished a lot and the fact that it runs at all is some achievement, I have been sat on a fusee pocket watch for three  years looking for bits. As these were virtually hand made its difficult but I am not giving up. Stick to your Guns If you are enjoying the experience  carry on and let nobody discourage you    I wish you all the best and success.

I doubt I could phrase my own sentiment better than Watchweasol.  If this were a watch you wanted to sell, certainly all this work would be impractical.  But if this is simply something you wish to do, work that you wish to learn from, and a watch of your own that you desire to have running, then time and money don't have the same meaning here. Some little mechanical items in our lives gain a sentimental meaning that transcends money, so if this an inherited watch, I'd say keep pursuing it.  Even if it is just one you like, only you can decide.  I have an old Waltham which I am working on, which I picked up at a flea market.  The case was creased as though it'd been closed in a door.  No bezel or crystal.  No bow.  Started off with no crown, but I've fixed that.  Started off with not running, but I've cleaning the gunk out and straightened the hairspring, and I'm getting a good beat from her in all positions now.  I think I'm going to like owning it when I'm done, but I couldn't afford it if I had to charge myself for my work.
Time will tell.  You needn't be in a rush with it.  Tackle each small issue one at a time.  

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6 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

I would be curious about the background story behind this?

This project started in February 2020 and was intended to be a gift of effort not just one of object.  An accumulation of community, distants, history and time that my nephew could now hold in his hand, add to himself and eventually pass on to others.  A history surely only moving closer to the scrap bucket with every passing day.  I began focusing on Elgin model 5, 18s, 7j movements mainly because of the support I already had for these, as well as what I expected to find elsewhere.  Since, I have scoured eBay, Etsy, craigslist and others looking for partial movements and orphaned parts, having them shipped in from all across the globe.  I have gotten pretty good at quickly scanning listening for distinct visual cues unique only to the watch movement or part I'm looking for at that time.  Not a single compete movement or case has been cannibalized or NOS part been used.  I have recorded every serial number of the now defunct movements, listing model, grade while noteing the part soured and the location from where it was obtained.  When complete serial numbers were not available I spent hours in the Elgin database narrowing it down by what I knew about that movement in hand and the number segment imprinted on the parts.  I have gotten so much more from this project than just a standard cleaning and oiling of a single whole movement.

It has been an experience and just writing about it has furthered my resolve to complete it.

I hope you all find pleasure and distraction within something different.

Difference is where is where the interesting exists.

4 hours ago, watchweasol said:

I wish you all the best and success.

 

14 minutes ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Some little mechanical items in our lives gain a sentimental meaning that transcends money

Thanks for the support.

Shane 

Edited by Shane
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Crack on Shane you have already learned a great deal, If it takes five years or more, what the heck YOU did it.  Go with it my son  you have our blessing and encouragement.

 

Tammons. the divot /shim is usually under the cock in order to raise the height. Some were just a divot others were a shim of thin brass , Aluminium foil or even the silver paper from an old cigarette packet.

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16 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Tammons. the divot /shim is usually under the cock in order to raise the height. Some were just a divot others were a shim of thin brass , Aluminium foil or even the silver paper from an old cigarette packet.

 

I didn't notice a shim. It could be that the balance shaft pivot end is not riding on the cap jewel and it is bottoming out on the hole jewel. No telling what was done to it, considering someone used a dremel tool on the main plate.

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Hi  If it works when you loosen the balance cock, just try the shim method to increase the end shake a little. If that works ok and the end  shake is good  remove the shin and again try the end shake and see if it has diminished or gone completely. do not at this point tighten down the balance cock as damage to thr pinot/s may result. what we are trying to acertain   at either point.the lack of or increase in the end shake.

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12 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi  If it works when you loosen the balance cock, just try the shim method to increase the end shake a little. If that works ok and the end  shake is good  remove the shin and again try the end shake and see if it has diminished or gone completely. do not at this point tighten down the balance cock as damage to thr pinot/s may result. what we are trying to acertain   at either point.the lack of or increase in the end shake.

Okay. Thanks

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