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Thinking outside the box - Thrifty made/modified/repurposed watch tools and equipment


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Hello all, I wish to start a new thread as a bit of fun that has examples of thinking outside the box when it comes to finding watch tools and equipment, either by making or modifying existing equipment or by repurposing a non-watch product in a new way - all with the aim of smartly saving money without sacrificing usability and quality. Extra kudos for excellent examples of lateral thinking!

To kick things off, I include below a re-post of something I repurposed:

Example 1) From this makeup brush holder:

image.thumb.png.8c4418fe240a0396bd66d8a3508c174f.png

To this stylish tool stand:

image.thumb.png.1b1ff1bb2710319040b03a08b1235fa1.png

Example 2, I just purchased this to keep my reclaimed watch dials in good shape:

image.thumb.png.cc3cec3a42daa8d6d928a7a8d7231172.png

I am sure you can do better than the above, post your best ones here!

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8 minutes ago, Waggy said:

Anyone have any tools and equipment, I am sure with all the brains on this forum there must be many out there to add 🤣.

Lolly sticks with self adhesived emery cloth or chamois for buffing, sanding and sharpening. Can also charge them with cutting paste and compound to make flat plate laps for polishing parts. Acupuncture and sewing needles for fine oilers, collet removers, hairspring tweekers, disassembling tools etc. flatten the tip with a flat stake and then shape and sharpen for its use. Cut up pieces of yoga or click together sponge floor mat to make polish pads or fit into varoius jar lids to make watch cushions. Foam insulation used for underfloor heating or kingspan, celotex wall insulation as an alternative to pithwood. A piece of bluetack on your desk to jab your screwdrivers into to remove fibres, hairs etc. Dessert glass ramekins  for keeping dust off project movements. Ebay jewellers vice converted to movement and part holders ( actually beats any movement holder i have, and i have a few ), it can fit steel,  brass or wooden pins for grips. Dried flower glass holders for holding tweezers, screwdrivers, pliers, brushes pinvices etc. Contact lens cases lined with rodico for safe keeping of project shock jewels and all springs ( put them in there as soon as removed before you cough, burp, sneeze or fart ). .5 copper wire stripped from electrical cable to make dial feet, hangers for watch parts. Hanging tea infusers and strainers to hold parts for cleaning. Cheap as chips mini dc motors to spin parts while electro plating, can be slowed down to 0.5 rpm. Wow all this and I'm not even out of bed yet 🙂

1 minute ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Lolly sticks with self adhesived emery cloth or chamois for buffing, sanding and sharpening. Can also charge them with cutting paste and compound to make flat plate laps for polishing parts. Acupuncture and sewing needles for fine oilers, collet removers, hairspring tweekers, disassembling tools etc. flatten the tip with a flat stake and then shape and sharpen for its use. Cut up pieces of yoga or click together sponge floor mat to make polish pads or fit into varoius jar lids to make watch cushions. Foam insulation used for underfloor heating or kingspan, celotex wall insulation as an alternative to pithwood. A piece of bluetack on your desk to jab your screwdrivers into to remove fibres, hairs etc. Dessert glass ramekins  for keeping dust off project movements. Ebay jewellers vice converted to movement and part holders ( actually beats any movement holder i have, and i have a few ), it can fit steel,  brass or wooden pins for grips. Dried flower glass holders for holding tweezers, screwdrivers, pliers, brushes pinvices etc. Contact lens cases lined with rodico for safe keeping of project shock jewels and all springs ( put them in there as soon as removed before you cough, burp, sneeze or fart ). .5 copper wire stripped from electrical cable to make dial feet, hangers for watch parts. Hanging tea infusers and strainers to hold parts for cleaning. Cheap as chips mini dc motors to spin parts while electro plating, can be slowed down to 0.5 rpm. Wow all this and I'm not even out of bed yet 🙂

 

Screenshot_20230523-070413_eBay.jpg

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  • 4 months later...
2 hours ago, Waggy said:

Latest thrifty find, was having trouble getting peg wood delivered (long story), so my wife suggested these, 100% orange wood:

image.thumb.png.cc25da4dbb6465d589df575fbc628730.png

Used these on 2 projects now and they are very good 17 AED is about £3.81 ($4.63 US)

This is a common occurrence,  the same product purposed for a different trade, watch repair is always at the top when it comes to the price 🤨

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Reverse of this, I used the way too big oiler that came in a set to straighten the grooves in scratched/skipping vinyl records. I filed it down to a profile with something like a knife edge on one side, and a hook on the other. That way, once I find the skipping section, I can push or pull the ridges between the grooves straight so that the needle can pass cleanly through. The end result will still have a bit of a scratch to it as it passes the damaged section, but it'll play again just fine!

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On 10/5/2023 at 5:43 AM, Waggy said:

Latest thrifty find, was having trouble getting peg wood delivered (long story), so my wife suggested these, 100% orange wood:

Just got a pack of these nail sticks after reading your post, i did a quick test and can't fault them, 100 for less than 3 quid on ebay, a good find waggy at quarter of the price, i will get these in future.

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Hi. I am a great believer in not spending money on things I can make , modify, re purpose. For example,   Watch covers, fragrance candle jars ,   Felting needles , oilier    Sewing machine needles mounted make good probes and with a little heat can be bent, build your own clock spring winder, build your own dial foot tool,  I could go on but that’s enough.

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On 5/15/2023 at 9:48 AM, Waggy said:

Example 1) From this makeup brush holder:

Nice one! I've just ordered a couple of these. The other coin holder could be used for storing new mainsprings, maybe. Great tip, keep 'em coming

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