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No earthquake, just tremors.


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Well it seems that i've lived long enough to actually have a hobby without a need to turn it into a profit enterprise.

Unfortunately, having lived this long has presented me with two challenges I didn't expect.

Not as sharp eyesight:

This didn't bother me all that much.  Brighter light and higher magnification seems to take care of the difference between my then an now abilities.

Slight Tremor:

I wasn't expecting this, and the only time it's apparent is when working in the minute scale that is in the watch world.

Anybody else experience this?

Anybody have any workarounds that they've found useful?

 

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I am new to this so I'm not really sure if I get to go through this again or not.

But in the '80s I was a music instrument repairman and I noticed after taking a hiatus from it once in a while, when I got back to it I was pretty shaky compared to before. Once I was back at it, I eventually got back to being steady as a rock.

You might just give it some time and maybe find that after doing it for a while, things might settle down. Even if you have an age-related tremor thing going on, I would think that concentrating on trying to be steady under a magnifier would be pretty decent therapy to help minimize it.

Either way, best wishes at you.

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5 hours ago, Arcangeal said:

Well it seems that i've lived long enough to actually have a hobby without a need to turn it into a profit enterprise.

Unfortunately, having lived this long has presented me with two challenges I didn't expect.

Not as sharp eyesight:

This didn't bother me all that much.  Brighter light and higher magnification seems to take care of the difference between my then an now abilities.

Slight Tremor:

I wasn't expecting this, and the only time it's apparent is when working in the minute scale that is in the watch world.

Anybody else experience this?

Anybody have any workarounds that they've found useful?

 

Possibly low blood sugar, unless age related, non of us are as steady as we used to be. Depends what you class as a slight tremor. We all have some hand shake, at x20 unlikely that anyone is rock steady

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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I keep thinking about this imaginary conversation as I apply for watch school - 

"Yes! I want to repair watches!"

"How are your eyes and fine motor skills?"

"Well, my eyesight is crap. I have age related macular degeneration, and get poked in the eye once a month with a needle to keep it from getting worse. My hands shake like a leaf in a gale, hard to keep things steady."

"Go away"

🙂

Like you, I use magnification (microscope) and tons of light to compensate for the vision problems, so far so good. Tremors are a little harder. If I try and pick up a part with tweezers and hold it in mid-air, I can't keep it still. So, I've learned techniques to help with that, basically always brace the arm and hand. I had a bit of trouble putting a balance in a pair of calipers yesterday, so I changed the way I was doing it so that everything was braced against the bench surface, then no problem. 

I've even mostly given up caffeine, anything I can think of to keep steady I try. Even paying attention to how tense I'm getting can make a difference, if I find myself concentrating and tensing up, I stretch, take some deep slow breaths, and try to get Zen 🙂.  It helps. 

Unless something drastic happens, I think I can keep this up for quite a while.  I've read about some positively ancient watchmakers who are still at it,  so I know it is possible. 

Cheers!

 

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From my experience doing other things that are very much about precision and it works for me in the little watch repair I have managed so far.

1. Breathing, keep a steady relaxed breathing regime.

2. If using a loupe always keep bothe eyes open. It can take a lot of practice but not doing this creates an imbalance between the eyes which will cause problems.

3. Use the minimum amount of muscle tension to perform the task. This extends to the rest of your body, not just your hands.

 

you can do it, it just takes a bit of effort working a way that so few people are used to.

good luck and I hope this helps in some way. Happy for you to DM me for more information.

 

Tom

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Hi as an old git nearing eighty, diabetic,arthritic hands worse when cold, eyesight not too good but do ok.  I am still working mainly on clocks but doing the odd watch also as mentioned good light even breathing and patience and knowing when to walk away and calm down, Doing the job it just takes longer at my age there is no rush.      That’s why it’s important when answering queries be mindful that not all of the posters are fit young men in their prime with full faculties and be considerate.

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2 hours ago, dadistic said:

I keep thinking about this imaginary conversation as I apply for watch school - 

"Yes! I want to repair watches!"

"How are your eyes and fine motor skills?"

"Well, my eyesight is crap. I have age related macular degeneration, and get poked in the eye once a month with a needle to keep it from getting worse. My hands shake like a leaf in a gale, hard to keep things steady."

"Go away"

🙂

Like you, I use magnification (microscope) and tons of light to compensate for the vision problems, so far so good. Tremors are a little harder. If I try and pick up a part with tweezers and hold it in mid-air, I can't keep it still. So, I've learned techniques to help with that, basically always brace the arm and hand. I had a bit of trouble putting a balance in a pair of calipers yesterday, so I changed the way I was doing it so that everything was braced against the bench surface, then no problem. 

I've even mostly given up caffeine, anything I can think of to keep steady I try. Even paying attention to how tense I'm getting can make a difference, if I find myself concentrating and tensing up, I stretch, take some deep slow breaths, and try to get Zen 🙂.  It helps. 

Unless something drastic happens, I think I can keep this up for quite a while.  I've read about some positively ancient watchmakers who are still at it,  so I know it is possible. 

Cheers!

 

Where there is a will there is a way eh Dave ? As you say reducing your tool leverage distance to the minimum possible makes a big difference. So any bracing techniques you can bring into play so that the nearest body joint to the tool is used. Ideally finger joint leverage points instead of the wrist joint if possible. When the wrist is up off the bench then leverage is extended back to the elbow joint, obviously harder to hold steady the forearm and wrist.  For some extra steady if working on really fine movements, I've found placing a left finger on my right tweezer thumb or fore finger.

32 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi as an old git nearing eighty, diabetic,arthritic hands worse when cold, eyesight not too good but do ok.  I am still working mainly on clocks but doing the odd watch also as mentioned good light even breathing and patience and knowing when to walk away and calm down, Doing the job it just takes longer at my age there is no rush.      That’s why it’s important when answering queries be mindful that not all of the posters are fit young men in their prime with full faculties and be considerate.

Eyup WW. Me at only 55 and really just getting into the hobby. I remember asking you this same question when i joined the forum as i was concerned how long i would be able to do it for. I thought it somewhat personal to ask but you were happy to answer and reassure me, similar to how you have here. That inspired me to dive in deeper and was very much appreciated 👍.

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I've been doing this since I was 25, almost 50 now. Definitely have more trembling than back then. You have to anchor your pinky/ring finger, so much more stability. I only notice it when shellacking pallet jewels or something where anchoring those fingers would result in 3rd degree burns haha.

 

Just colletted a hairspring, under microscope, and managed tremors and all.

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Taken early retirement, 62 now. I work totally under the microscope - it makes a huge difference. As mentioned above, you have to learn how to anchor fingers to stabilise your hand, either to control the tip of a screwdriver, or tweezers. Also when working on very sensitive areas you have to control your breathing.  When working on hairsprings, I only do it when feeling relaxed and work in short spells. As soon as I feel I'm not relaxed, I put it aside for another day - I've trashed too many from rushing to finish.

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Turns out Kellogg’s and Red Bull isn’t the breakfast of Champions. So after laying off that lately I’ve had less tremors as well.
 

But as others have said, hand bracing technique can really helps things; inevitably when I’m trembling under magnification I stop and notice I’m not bracing my hands properly.

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