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Little dryer hack new people might like + Is Birddad a hairspring serial killer?! 😬😬😬


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Figured i'd contribute something I came up with that people might find helpful for a change before I greedily take up more of peoples time. It's probably not terrible advice but what do I know at this point? 
Apparently after washing parts it's good to dry them through moving air + a bit of heat to prevent condensation from building up which prevents rust, some people say use a hair dryer on a budget which is a great way to spend an hour on your hands and knees looking for the parts that it made fly all over the room (A friend told me about this I swear 😇). 
Here's my setup I'm using which works great. Put a couple books around the work area just in case something slips through. Buy a hand held stranger and break the handle off and cover some watchmaker paper with it and you can blow dry everything and not worry about parts flying off. NOTE DO NOT PUT BALANCE ASSEMBLY IN THIS. It might be ok if it's still attached to the bridge but I wash mine a different way. I also don't put the pallet fork in this because it seems a bit delicate, i dry both with my bellows over watchmaker paper.
IMG_20220905_000816.thumb.jpg.9766fbf2fc8240154535a5cb43f7fb20.jpg

The other part of the topic. Here are two best i can tell, perfectly fine, one even brand new balance assemblies.

IMG_20220905_002640.thumb.jpg.614c7fc8b13012865d3c330e81221f93.jpg

Balance A is BRAND NEW removed from a 7s35 movement with a minor mishap where the dang balance cock somehow popped off the brass post as if it was under tension and hung over the side. After nearly screaming i recovered it, removed the entire balance and the hairspring looked perfectly fine. Balance B was perfectly fine and has been handled gentler than a newborn baby, not bumped jostled dropped or molested in any way.

Both have been stored properly with the balance wheel up and the balance staff inserted into the pivot and cleaned in perchloroethylene aka the main ingredient of the old One Dip. I dunk gently by just placing it in the jar, agitate the liquid with my bellows for about a minute real gently, remove, then gently air dry with the bellows while holding the wheel up a tiny bit to make sure the balance staff gets air to evaporate the perc.

Balance A looked totally fine, i dunked it in the perc, pulled it out while keeping the wheel upright and as you can see it's now bunched up on the outside of the spiral. I thought i probably killed it somehow with the little mishap earlier so i took out balance B out of covered storage (It's not been in a movement for weeks) just to compare them side by side and see if i could find a bend or kink in balance A. I come back to get my camera to take a picture and when i focus in on them balance B is suddenly bunched up in the EXACT same way!

What on earth is causing this? Do these things get magnetized super easy via just basic handling? Is my cleaning with perc not thorough and maybe some oil is making them stick or is something i'm doing destroying hairsprings? There are electronics in proximity to my work area but i wouldn't think they would be magnetizing these things...Short of that mishap which was a huge shock to me, i'm SO gentle with them!

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Heh, the classic “my cleaning solution got contaminated” scenario. Put some fresh solution in a shallow jar, place the balance upside down in it. Then gently lift the balance from the cock while immersed to allow fresh solution to get between the coils. Slight agitation will help.

Take the balance out and place upside down again, lift the balance again exposing the HS and gently puff till dry. Install and go have a beer to celebrate 

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46 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

Figured i'd contribute something I came up with that people might find helpful for a change before I greedily take up more of peoples time. It's probably not terrible advice but what do I know at this point? 
Apparently after washing parts it's good to dry them through moving air + a bit of heat to prevent condensation from building up which prevents rust, some people say use a hair dryer on a budget which is a great way to spend an hour on your hands and knees looking for the parts that it made fly all over the room (A friend told me about this I swear 😇). 
Here's my setup I'm using which works great. Put a couple books around the work area just in case something slips through. Buy a hand held stranger and break the handle off and cover some watchmaker paper with it and you can blow dry everything and not worry about parts flying off. NOTE DO NOT PUT BALANCE ASSEMBLY IN THIS. It might be ok if it's still attached to the bridge but I wash mine a different way. I also don't put the pallet fork in this because it seems a bit delicate, i dry both with my bellows over watchmaker paper.
IMG_20220905_000816.thumb.jpg.9766fbf2fc8240154535a5cb43f7fb20.jpg

The other part of the topic. Here are two best i can tell, perfectly fine, one even brand new balance assemblies.

IMG_20220905_002640.thumb.jpg.614c7fc8b13012865d3c330e81221f93.jpg

Balance A is BRAND NEW removed from a 7s35 movement with a minor mishap where the dang balance cock somehow popped off the brass post as if it was under tension and hung over the side. After nearly screaming i recovered it, removed the entire balance and the hairspring looked perfectly fine. Balance B was perfectly fine and has been handled gentler than a newborn baby, not bumped jostled dropped or molested in any way.

Both have been stored properly with the balance wheel up and the balance staff inserted into the pivot and cleaned in perchloroethylene aka the main ingredient of the old One Dip. I dunk gently by just placing it in the jar, agitate the liquid with my bellows for about a minute real gently, remove, then gently air dry with the bellows while holding the wheel up a tiny bit to make sure the balance staff gets air to evaporate the perc.

Balance A looked totally fine, i dunked it in the perc, pulled it out while keeping the wheel upright and as you can see it's now bunched up on the outside of the spiral. I thought i probably killed it somehow with the little mishap earlier so i took out balance B out of covered storage (It's not been in a movement for weeks) just to compare them side by side and see if i could find a bend or kink in balance A. I come back to get my camera to take a picture and when i focus in on them balance B is suddenly bunched up in the EXACT same way!

What on earth is causing this? Do these things get magnetized super easy via just basic handling? Is my cleaning with perc not thorough and maybe some oil is making them stick or is something i'm doing destroying hairsprings? There are electronics in proximity to my work area but i wouldn't think they would be magnetizing these things...Short of that mishap which was a huge shock to me, i'm SO gentle with them!

I used to have my computer on the same bench as my repairs. I was constantly getting static thoughout the bench. Moved it to a different bench and once a week wipe my repair bench down with an anti static dryer sheet. These are the nuggets of info that we can place in a new forum section. If i start up a tips and tricks post then we only need 20 tagged threads to get a new section.  Mark promised didnt you Mark 😆

52 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

Figured i'd contribute something I came up with that people might find helpful for a change before I greedily take up more of peoples time. It's probably not terrible advice but what do I know at this point? 
Apparently after washing parts it's good to dry them through moving air + a bit of heat to prevent condensation from building up which prevents rust, some people say use a hair dryer on a budget which is a great way to spend an hour on your hands and knees looking for the parts that it made fly all over the room (A friend told me about this I swear 😇). 
Here's my setup I'm using which works great. Put a couple books around the work area just in case something slips through. Buy a hand held stranger and break the handle off and cover some watchmaker paper with it and you can blow dry everything and not worry about parts flying off. NOTE DO NOT PUT BALANCE ASSEMBLY IN THIS. It might be ok if it's still attached to the bridge but I wash mine a different way. I also don't put the pallet fork in this because it seems a bit delicate, i dry both with my bellows over watchmaker paper.
IMG_20220905_000816.thumb.jpg.9766fbf2fc8240154535a5cb43f7fb20.jpg

The other part of the topic. Here are two best i can tell, perfectly fine, one even brand new balance assemblies.

IMG_20220905_002640.thumb.jpg.614c7fc8b13012865d3c330e81221f93.jpg

Balance A is BRAND NEW removed from a 7s35 movement with a minor mishap where the dang balance cock somehow popped off the brass post as if it was under tension and hung over the side. After nearly screaming i recovered it, removed the entire balance and the hairspring looked perfectly fine. Balance B was perfectly fine and has been handled gentler than a newborn baby, not bumped jostled dropped or molested in any way.

Both have been stored properly with the balance wheel up and the balance staff inserted into the pivot and cleaned in perchloroethylene aka the main ingredient of the old One Dip. I dunk gently by just placing it in the jar, agitate the liquid with my bellows for about a minute real gently, remove, then gently air dry with the bellows while holding the wheel up a tiny bit to make sure the balance staff gets air to evaporate the perc.

Balance A looked totally fine, i dunked it in the perc, pulled it out while keeping the wheel upright and as you can see it's now bunched up on the outside of the spiral. I thought i probably killed it somehow with the little mishap earlier so i took out balance B out of covered storage (It's not been in a movement for weeks) just to compare them side by side and see if i could find a bend or kink in balance A. I come back to get my camera to take a picture and when i focus in on them balance B is suddenly bunched up in the EXACT same way!

What on earth is causing this? Do these things get magnetized super easy via just basic handling? Is my cleaning with perc not thorough and maybe some oil is making them stick or is something i'm doing destroying hairsprings? There are electronics in proximity to my work area but i wouldn't think they would be magnetizing these things...Short of that mishap which was a huge shock to me, i'm SO gentle with them!

Neat little idea to contain the parts birb.

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14 minutes ago, gbyleveldt said:

Heh, the classic “my cleaning solution got contaminated” scenario. Put some fresh solution in a shallow jar, place the balance upside down in it. Then gently lift the balance from the cock while immersed to allow fresh solution to get between the coils. Slight agitation will help.

Take the balance out and place upside down again, lift the balance again exposing the HS and gently puff till dry. Install and go have a beer to celebrate 

I'll give degreasing a second shot on balance A  as that seems like probably a more thorough method but contamination can't explain Balance B as that was the first thing i ever immersed in the perc. Balance B and a single pallet fork is the only other thing i've put in it before balance A so it can't be all that contaminated i'd think.

I'm really wondering (And praying XD ) if it's static. Within 5 feet of where i'm keeping that stuff i have my pc, 2 monitors, a pair of speakers, my modem, my router, a 2000 dollar giant wacom tablet and a playstation 4 and a battery backup power supply unit.  If just having a PC nearbye would cause static for @Neverenoughwatches then i'm surprised these things aren't flying across my apartment towards the nearest fridge.  I really never thought of it.
 

10 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I used to have my computer on the same bench as my repairs. I was constantly getting static thoughout the bench. 

Did this ever cause stuff like what i'm seeing here? That would make me rest a little easier haha. The idea of buying 2 more nh35's just to harvest balance assembly's off them for my own stupidity would make me quite annoyed.

I really do try to follow best practices with them! Removing them i have down to a science, installing them sometimes takes me a few tries as it won't engage with the pallet fork but i'm pretty damn careful!
 

Now that i know static is an issue you might find my horror show of a work area amusing. Sadly it's all I got! I do however have a demagnetizer once i get these put back together.

IMG_20220905_024108.thumb.jpg.9dab9e08033b57974384e5b30dd45f74.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

i'm surprised these things aren't flying across my apartment towards the nearest fridge. 

Haha. A bit dramatic there birb, you do make me chuckle 😃. I was experiencing what seemed like magnetism on movements. Screws and springs were being drawn downwards, screws would pull themselves onto screwholes ( quite useful actually ).  I knew nothing was magnetised so i tried dropping them on the bench itself.  They seemed to stop abruptly after rolling around for a second. Decided it was static from my computer less than 2 feet away i would add. Checked it out and it can be quite common, especially on carpets. Earthstraps are not uncommon on serious watchrepairer's benches. So i moved the computer away and once a week i wipe my bench down with a dryer sheet. This could also  be down to a building circumstance as well. My house is nearly a hundred years old.  Some buildings depending on their structure, situation and environment could be more prone to static. My static issue is now solved. 👍

40 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

I'll give degreasing a second shot on balance A  as that seems like probably a more thorough method but contamination can't explain Balance B as that was the first thing i ever immersed in the perc. Balance B and a single pallet fork is the only other thing i've put in it before balance A so it can't be all that contaminated i'd think.

I'm really wondering (And praying XD ) if it's static. Within 5 feet of where i'm keeping that stuff i have my pc, 2 monitors, a pair of speakers, my modem, my router, a 2000 dollar giant wacom tablet and a playstation 4 and a battery backup power supply unit.  If just having a PC nearbye would cause static for @Neverenoughwatches then i'm surprised these things aren't flying across my apartment towards the nearest fridge.  I really never thought of it.
 

Did this ever cause stuff like what i'm seeing here? That would make me rest a little easier haha. The idea of buying 2 more nh35's just to harvest balance assembly's off them for my own stupidity would make me quite annoyed.

I really do try to follow best practices with them! Removing them i have down to a science, installing them sometimes takes me a few tries as it won't engage with the pallet fork but i'm pretty damn careful!
 

Now that i know static is an issue you might find my horror show of a work area amusing. Sadly it's all I got! I do however have a demagnetizer once i get these put back together.

IMG_20220905_024108.thumb.jpg.9dab9e08033b57974384e5b30dd45f74.jpg

Lol you have an awful lot of potential static going on there😆

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I do notice the smallest screws seeming to stick to my tweezers at times which are dumont antimagnetic but they're the 95% anti magnetic ones not 100%. I was never really sure whether it was just oil or stuff from disassembly on the tweezers or whether it was magnetization.

All i really do before i get to work on watch stuff is wipe down everything with a bit of water to get rid of dust.

Edited by Birbdad
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Just give them a rinse again in perc, but make sure the coils in the HS are nice and dry using the process I explained above. Is your Perc lab grade or may there be additives in there you don't know about? Magnetism can be an issue, but most of the times this happens to me I know it's time to change b-dip

Edited by gbyleveldt
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23 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

I do notice the smallest screws seeming to stick to my tweezers at times which are dumont antimagnetic but they're the 95% anti magnetic ones not 100%. I was never really sure whether it was just oil or stuff from disassembly on the tweezers or whether it was magnetization.

All i really do before i get to work on watch stuff is wipe down everything with a bit of water to get rid of dust.

You will see the screw jump to the tweezers if its magnetism, even if any is present. These cheap demagnetisers work ok. I have a couple of plain steel tweezers that magnetise quite easily the cheap demag i have works well on them. I would be tempted not to wipe down with water though, it is good for clearing static but that chance of it getting onto anything steel is way too risky for me. Been there done that rust crisis event, never again 🤣. A laughing face here but honestly not effing funny.

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31 minutes ago, gbyleveldt said:

Just give them a rinse again in perc, but make sure the coils in the HS are nice and dry using the process I explained above. Is your Perc lab grade or may there be additives in there you don't know about? Magnetism can be an issue, but most of the times this happens to me I know it's time to change b-dip

It's 99.9% perc which is about .5% more pure than one dip was.  

How long do you do your rinse in the stuff out of curiosity?

13 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

 I would be tempted not to wipe down with water though, it is good for clearing static but that chance of it getting onto anything steel is way too risky for me.

Oh i just mean the desk itself, the monitors and stuff above it. I dry it well before i get out the tools and those sit on a mat anyways. the part of texas i'm in is insanely dusty, it's a constant battle here!

EDIT: @gbyleveldtSo i ran em through the perc again. I'm thinking they might be weakly magnetized, after doing what you said the hairsprings looked better. The new one has coils closer together on one side tho but if you bump or tap either of them coils of the hair spring will just start sticking together again and if you lift up the balance wheel it will unstick them till it gets tapped or bumped again. 

I dunno, it looks better at least so i guess i'll proceed with reassembly when my auto oiler arrives and see how the amplitude looks once it's all demagnetized... Tbh i'm not even sure how watches get magnetized, I know my laptop does it if i use it with a watch on and I know phones do it. Storing them for weeks near a video game console...probably not a great idea...

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3 hours ago, Birbdad said:

It's 99.9% perc which is about .5% more pure than one dip was.  

How long do you do your rinse in the stuff out of curiosity?

Oh i just mean the desk itself, the monitors and stuff above it. I dry it well before i get out the tools and those sit on a mat anyways. the part of texas i'm in is insanely dusty, it's a constant battle here!

EDIT: @gbyleveldtSo i ran em through the perc again. I'm thinking they might be weakly magnetized, after doing what you said the hairsprings looked better. The new one has coils closer together on one side tho but if you bump or tap either of them coils of the hair spring will just start sticking together again and if you lift up the balance wheel it will unstick them till it gets tapped or bumped again. 

I dunno, it looks better at least so i guess i'll proceed with reassembly when my auto oiler arrives and see how the amplitude looks once it's all demagnetized... Tbh i'm not even sure how watches get magnetized, I know my laptop does it if i use it with a watch on and I know phones do it. Storing them for weeks near a video game console...probably not a great idea...

I'm guessing you are working with a loupe. A microscope will show you exactly how clean the hairspring is to enable you to rule out magnetism. A good 20 x loupe and some good lighting will get you right in there to inspect the coils just a bit fiddly thats all. With a scope you would see the coils pull together. Sorry matey another hint to a buy something if you dont already have one. But seriously your the working and repairing ability jumps massively. Mine would have to be prised from my cold dead fingers.

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22 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I'm guessing you are working with a loupe. A microscope will show you exactly how clean the hairspring is to enable you to rule out magnetism. A good 20 x loupe and some good lighting will get you right in there to inspect the coils just a bit fiddly thats all. With a scope you would see the coils pull together. Sorry matey another hint to a buy something if you dont already have one. But seriously your the working and repairing ability jumps massively. Mine would have to be prised from my cold dead fingers.

I do have a very very cheap plastic 23x power loupe but honestly it just looks like metal, I can't really see a ton of detail with it.

A microscope would be fantastic but yeah...that's a bit much for now haha.

Do people here generally have pretty good results with perc? I read what i could about it with the search function and saw people recommending it because it's literally one dip but i really didn't see a lot of people talking about results with it or soak times etc. Maybe it was there and i missed it. Pouring through the tons of threads is exhausting.

Edited by Birbdad
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I don't use perc,  I use the much nastier Trichloroethylene. This is what my original bottle of One-Dip from Troop-Balas Laboratories was made from. 

The only thing I usually use that for is balance jewels, works pretty well. Pallet forks and balance assemblies go through my regular cleaning cycle. 

One thing that bedevils me is that my rinse doesn't always dry well, so I sometimes add a quick rinse in Isopropyl alcohol. If I'm not happy with pallet fork jewel cleanliness that will get a dip in the Trich. 

Something that I've noticed is that harisprings will stick together and not dry, liquid gets between the coils and does not evaporate.  Takes a bit of blowing with the puffer to get that sorted. 

I also have the occasional static problem, ny plastic parts tray will occasionally build up a charge, and I'll find the smallest screws running away from my tweezers when I try to pick them up 🙂

 

Cheers!

Edited by dadistic
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1 hour ago, dadistic said:

 

Something that I've noticed is that harisprings will stick together and not dry, liquid gets between the coils and does not evaporate.  Takes a bit of blowing with the puffer to get that sorted. 

👍i was going to mention that to birb but thought it was a bit too obvious tbh.

3 hours ago, Birbdad said:

microscope would be fantastic but yeah...that's a bit much for now haha.

Honestly mate it should be your next buy if you are to be serious about repairing watches. The difference is huge imo. Look out for second hand ones, i paid a hundred quid for mine, my missus got a nice Russian binocular scope for 40 quid off ebay, i suspect she fluttered her eyelashes at the seller as he knocked some more off the price. She does have beautiful eyes ( yes i did say eyes ) it doesn't have a light but a recent carboot provided that for a quid , 50.  So its doable mate, get searching through ebay. There are cheap digital scopes that are good for inspection. 

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9 hours ago, dadistic said:

I don't use perc,  I use the much nastier Trichloroethylene. This is what my original bottle of One-Dip from Troop-Balas Laboratories was made from. 

The only thing I usually use that for is balance jewels, works pretty well. Pallet forks and balance assemblies go through my regular cleaning cycle. 

One thing that bedevils me is that my rinse doesn't always dry well, so I sometimes add a quick rinse in Isopropyl alcohol. If I'm not happy with pallet fork jewel cleanliness that will get a dip in the Trich. 

Something that I've noticed is that harisprings will stick together and not dry, liquid gets between the coils and does not evaporate.  Takes a bit of blowing with the puffer to get that sorted. 

I also have the occasional static problem, ny plastic parts tray will occasionally build up a charge, and I'll find the smallest screws running away from my tweezers when I try to pick them up 🙂

 

Cheers!

FYI trichloroethylene IS perc. Perchloroethylene is just another name for it. One dip was originally for hairsprings so I figured it would do a really good job. 

And yeah i know about them sticking together if not drying, i gently lift up the balance wheel with my tweezers and dry with my bellows till everything seems to be evaporated off....maybe i'm not thorough enough...

I'm gonna remount both balances, demagnetize again and then maybe rethink my cleaning game if that doesn't work.

My current cleaning regimen for non shellacked parts is basically using a power drill and a basket contraption to simulate a watch cleaning machine. I preclean and then do a 5 minute wash cycle with naphtha then i have 3 separate rinse containers with 99.9% ipa.  

Maybe it would be worth running the balance attached to a bridge in the naphtha then remove the balance and rinse in the perc. I didn't want to leave the balance attached as i have 3 parts baskets and all my bridges sorta rattling around in the basket and was concerned about a parts basking hitting the balance wheel and bending the balance staff.
 678155656_watchcleaning.thumb.jpg.7f8772953e31609c124fed9fd9f0172b.jpg

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I understand that I might just be paranoid but do be careful.  That sparking motor electric drill is just 10 inches  above a pot of evaporating lighter fluid.

 

Larry

Edited by Midazolam
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Hmm, methinks it is Tetrachloroethylene that is the same as perc.

From Wiki-

The chemical compound trichloroethylene is a halocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is a clear, colourless non-flammable liquid with a chloroform-like[1] sweet smell.

----

Tetrachloroethylene, also known under the systematic name tetrachloroethene, or perchloroethylene, and many other names (and abbreviations such as "perc" or "PERC", and "PCE"), is a chlorocarbon with the formula Cl2C=CCl2 . It is a colorless liquid widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics, hence it is sometimes called "dry-cleaning fluid". It also has its uses as an effective automotive brake cleaner. It has a sweet odor detectable by most people at a concentration of 1 part per million (1 ppm). Worldwide production was about 1 million metric tons (980,000 long tons; 1,100,000 short tons) in 1985.[4]

----

The first is a halocarbon,  the second a chlorocarbon.

I know, it's confusing. 

Neither one is something you want to have much exposure to if you can avoid it.

Nice basket mod, by the way!

Edited by dadistic
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1 hour ago, Midazolam said:

I understand that I might just be paranoid but do be careful.  That sparking motor electric drill is just 10 inches  above a pot of evaporating lighter fluid.

 

Larry

It's a brushless motor so it doesn't spark but yes i do this in a safe area i can assure you where even if it did light it wouldn't really get anywhere. 
 

18 minutes ago, dadistic said:

Hmm, methinks it is Tetrachloroethylene that is the same as perc.

 

Oh i misread. Yeah you're right. Ther'es like 3 different names for perc.

Edited by Birbdad
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9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Honestly mate it should be your next buy if you are to be serious about repairing watches. The difference is huge imo.

+1

I could not even begin to work on a shock jewel without a microscope.  Otto Frei sells five incabloc settings for practice. I destroyed the spring of the first with my tweezer almost immediately. The second was better. I could open it, remove the endstone and chaton, and replace them, closing the spring.  Then I tried again and the spring joined the ST36 yoke spring in the land of the lost. Good practice though. This is one of the Otto Frei incabloc settings, chaton and endstone next to a diafix setting of the 7S26A train bridge. The microscope makes a world of difference. 

66D649F8-ECCD-43E3-BE47-D35C5C8AE092.jpeg

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Ok. So i remounted and demagnetized balance A (The one that had the mishap), then tried another perc bath on it. It looked even worse afterwards. Then i changed out the perc and gave it ANOTHER bath and this is the result
IMG_20220905_221815.thumb.jpg.438bca8d828a3da32dfddf82a41fde2e.jpg
I'm pretty sure i managed to kill a brand new balance assembly from a brand new movement i paid 50 dollars for 😒. THe coils are no longer sticking together but they are totally bunched up to one side and it's hard to tell with just a cheap loupe but it sorta looks like it's out of flat. Not sure how on earth it could look normal after the mishap and then go out of shape seemingly on it's own.

I subjected Balance B to a bath in the fresh perc and it looks totally normal now and is moving freely so @gbyleveldt was correct. Wow that stuff contaminates easily. I'm really angry at myself and it appears the cheapest option just to get a new balance assembly is to buy yet another nh35 movement for 50 dollars unless some kind soul here would be willing to sell me a 7s26c balance assembly (I don't trust the B hairsprings.) they got lying around. I don't trust myself or yet have the tools to attach a new hairspring to an existing balance and they cost almost as much as a new movement anyways.

Word to the wise for new people. I don't know how the physics of this work but apparently, sometimes when you're gently levering that balance cock over the screw post and the brass post it can be basically spring loaded under tension and just attempt to fly off. I've never seen it do this in any video or encountered this till now but hold a piece of pegwood near the screw hole in case this happens.

If any body has any other ideas i'd love to hear it but I seem to have covered all my bases best i can tell.

Edited by Birbdad
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1 hour ago, Birbdad said:

Ok. So i remounted and demagnetized balance A (The one that had the mishap), then tried another perc bath on it. It looked even worse afterwards. Then i changed out the perc and gave it ANOTHER bath and this is the result
IMG_20220905_221815.thumb.jpg.438bca8d828a3da32dfddf82a41fde2e.jpg
I'm pretty sure i managed to kill a brand new balance assembly from a brand new movement i paid 50 dollars for 😒. THe coils are no longer sticking together but they are totally bunched up to one side and it's hard to tell with just a cheap loupe but it sorta looks like it's out of flat. Not sure how on earth it could look normal after the mishap and then go out of shape seemingly on it's own.

I subjected Balance B to a bath in the fresh perc and it looks totally normal now and is moving freely so @gbyleveldt was correct. Wow that stuff contaminates easily. I'm really angry at myself and it appears the cheapest option just to get a new balance assembly is to buy yet another nh35 movement for 50 dollars unless some kind soul here would be willing to sell me a 7s26c balance assembly (I don't trust the B hairsprings.) they got lying around. I don't trust myself or yet have the tools to attach a new hairspring to an existing balance and they cost almost as much as a new movement anyways.

Word to the wise for new people. I don't know how the physics of this work but apparently, sometimes when you're gently levering that balance cock over the screw post and the brass post it can be basically spring loaded under tension and just attempt to fly off. I've never seen it do this in any video or encountered this till now but hold a piece of pegwood near the screw hole in case this happens.

If any body has any other ideas i'd love to hear it but I seem to have covered all my bases best i can tell.

If you are only working with a cheap loupe birb, i fear this is your stumbling block. You cant fix what you can't see.  Sometimes when my scope is a fraction out of focus and i try to work the movement is at a big risk. Your hand and eye coordination has to be at its optimum when working at this scale. Ok old timewatch repairers didnt have the luxury of scopes, but it must have taken ages to become proficient with a loupe. I cant imagine working without a scope now, the repairers seating position alone makes working far more comfortable. I do think your cheap loupe is making you somewhat blind as to what is happening with your h/s

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2 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

If you are only working with a cheap loupe birb, i fear this is your stumbling block. You cant fix what you can't see.  Sometimes when my scope is a fraction out of focus and i try to work the movement is at a big risk. Your hand and eye coordination has to be at its optimum when working at this scale. Ok old timewatch repairers didnt have the luxury of scopes, but it must have taken ages to become proficient with a loupe. I cant imagine working without a scope now, the repairers seating position alone makes working far more comfortable. I do think your cheap loupe is making you somewhat blind as to what is happening with your h/s

It's entirely possible but I think you might also be mistaking me not knowing exactly what i'm looking at due to inexperience for me not being able to see it. My loupes work pretty fine, taking a picture through them looks significantly worse of course. While i can't see the minute details of the surface of the metal i can see the shape of the coils very clearly. I'm just posting to here because a lot of things can affect a hairspring and you guys have seen a lot more than i have. If a hairspring i have has is bent i'm not even knowledgable enough yet to identify it vs one like Balance B that simply needed to be degreased better.

Also again this is the balance that attempted to shoot across the room. If that murdered the hairspring that is not at all surprising.


I'll keep an eye out for a good deal on a microscope when i got a bit more funds to dump into this. If anybody has any cheap but competent ones i'd love to know about em. For now I have to work with what i  got.
 

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11 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

Also again this is the balance that attempted to shoot across the room. If that murdered the hairspring that is not at all surprising.

Im not understanding how this would happen birb. I've never experienced that sort of behaviour from a balance assembly 

I spend a fair amount of time on ebay, if i spot anything i will let you know. What sort of  budget can you handle? 

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4 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Im not understanding how this would happen birb. I've never experienced that sort of behaviour from a balance assembly 

Yeah me either, i almost had a goddamned heart attack.  I've removed 7s26 balance cocks several times and the way i do it is pretty standard, i genetly lever under the back side of the cock near the post with a screwdriver by twisting it, it lifts up the cock and frees it.

There was some sort of weird tension , the MOMENT the back end of the balance cock was free of the brass rod the thing would have shot halfway across my desk and there was even an audible metal *ping* sound. I seriously do not understand the physics of how this could happen...

But beware...it can happen...

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Hi @Birbdad, that doesn't look too bad. When you've gained enough experience tweaking hairsprings, this would be an easy fix. Keep practicing. You'll get the hang of it.

As @Neverenoughwatches pointed out, you can't fix what you can't see. A microscope is a big help and absolutely necessary for hairspring work.

Sometimes hairsprings tend to stick together after cleaning if the spring is not allowed to dry properly. I used to use a balance stud to hang the balance to dry but with some of the heavier balance wheels, the weight might distort the hairspring. There are some of the newer design balance tacks out there that have a table to support the balance to prevent the spring from over stretching.

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2 minutes ago, HectorLooi said:

Hi @Birbdad, that doesn't look too bad. When you've gained enough experience tweaking hairsprings, this would be an easy fix. Keep practicing. You'll get the hang of it.

As @Neverenoughwatches pointed out, you can't fix what you can't see. A microscope is a big help and absolutely necessary for hairspring work.

Sometimes hairsprings tend to stick together after cleaning if the spring is not allowed to dry properly. I used to use a balance stud to hang the balance to dry but with some of the heavier balance wheels, the weight might distort the hairspring. There are some of the newer design balance tacks out there that have a table to support the balance to prevent the spring from over stretching.

Yeah i haven't even attempted to dive into hairspring reshaping and fixing yet. I have a couple set aside for when I do though and yes i can't imagine attempting something like that without a microscope!

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