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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

I have a dial feet soldering machine that runs off a 12V lead acid battery. But I don't use it much. I still prefer flame soldering from a microtorch. 

From my experience, the wire used has to be copper. For some reason, brass wire doesn't work.

Low fusing solder paste works best for me. And LESS is MORE.

Hot air soldering doesn't work. The heat is not localized enough and spreads till it scorches the dial. For successful soldering, it must be hot and it must be quick.

Cooling with a damp sponge on the dial face is not a good idea. There are some dials which are so sensitive to water, that contact with a damp sponge would mar the surface. There are some expensive setups that have an air cooling jet directed below the spot to be soldered to reduce the risk of scorching the dial.

 

Thats how i was planning to do it. I did try lead shavings to start with but scorched the dial everytime while practicing, not tried the low melt solder yet. How about a stream of air from a pressurised container just after the solder has melted. 

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1 hour ago, watchweasol said:

My DIY device uses a 12 v car battery charger as the power source.    The dials are usually brass and the feet. Copper wire. I have used solder paste and solder chips cut off flattened solder wire with fluxite paste, never had one not work. A solid joint and no dislike damage.  A damp sponge as Hector mentioned will cause problems with water transfer chapter rings.  W hai I use is a bit of asbestos dampened just enough , not wet

Do a search on the box door dial foot soldering machine and scroll down the results. Jan 4 th is my post and the machine I built

watchweasol i found your post and photos, the test rig i lashed up is the same principle as yours so should work, the copper test plate 1cm x 2cm may have been the wrong material to test on, i'll have another go on an old dial to see if i get better results, i'll try my battery charger instead of the the switch mode power supply.

I will replicate your box layout when i get round to boxing on up, Thanks

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18 minutes ago, Waggy said:

Just thinking that dial-dots aren't looking like such a bad option anymore...... just kidding 🤣

I hate the idea, the choice where they can be used is very limited, any watch  with complications is a really struggle.  Besides you are introducing something into the movement that just shouldn't be there. I have seen a few what i did consider reasonable youtubers use them as a last resort though. Nah not for me either, perish the thought.

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On 9/25/2023 at 7:14 AM, JohnR725 said:

They were very popular when quartz watches came out as people were swapping quartz watches for mechanical watches. Yes that was a thing that was popular for a while

Recntly I was quite amused by one of the YouTuber watch women who makes a living hunting the world for your favourite watch. One of her favourites- she had acquired her grandmother's Cartier only to discover grandma had changed out the mechanical movement for quartz with the local jeweler back in the '70s. Yes, it was indeed a thing...

Last Christmas my wife gifted me a quartz movement for a stocking stuffer. It is patiently awaiting a mission for some amazing unsalvageable I acquire...

Edited by rehajm
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39 minutes ago, rehajm said:

Recntly I was quite amused by one of the YouTuber watch women who makes a living hunting the world for your favourite watch. One of her favourites- she had acquired her grandmother's Cartier only to discover grandma had changed out the mechanical movement for quartz with the local jeweler back in the '70s. Yes, it was indeed a thing...

Last Christmas my wife gifted me a quartz movement for a stocking stuffer. It is patiently awaiting a mission for some amazing unsalvageable I acquire...

There is a beautiful old marble mantel clock at a indoor carboot sale not far from me, its been there for sale for well over a year. One sunday i decided to chance my luck and ask how much he wanted, the guy kind of knew me as I go often, he said you dont want it.  I said i might do, expecting him to throw a crazy expensive price at me. 'Take a look inside it, its the local carboot joke ' he told me. Yep a 2 quid AA battery alarm clock turning the hands , ' er no thanks buddy I'll pass on this one ' 🤣

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On 9/25/2023 at 5:46 AM, watchweasol said:

Wesley R Door

8 hours ago, rehajm said:

Yes, it was indeed a thing...

One of the amusements I'm having with this entire discussion is the reference to who invented the dial foot soldering machine and has a book.. So we have West door and his book his book titled Quartz Watch Retrofitting by Wes Door. Which becomes interesting because he lived in Kennewick Washington which is about a three-hour drive from Seattle. When we had a AWCI chapter he and his son used to come to the meetings for quite a few years which is where I would've seen the machine originally

I was looking for something and I figured he was long gone but if he lives to be 100 he still with us

https://www.tricitiesbusinessnews.com/2016/10/longtime-kennewick-jeweler-still-crafting-custom-pieces/

So on I know in our AWCI chapter there were lectures on the dial foot soldering machine and somebody else who worked in one of the large major jewelry stores there what about at least one or two discussions on swapping quartz movements. Which is more than just soldering the dial feet on. There's a interesting two-part plastic substance which you can use to make the gasket rings to hold the movements in place can't quite remember why but I know I've done at one time in my life was I made a ring for something I don't think I was doing the swapping but yes for a period of time when quartz watches were taking off mechanical watches weren't especially ladies or smaller watches if there were hard the windup they got converted the courts. The one person I know that was doing it accumulated a nice collection of little mechanical watches because of course nobody cared at that time about mechanical. Nowadays having it be a hard sell to convince somebody converts are mechanical to quartz

8 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

'Take a look inside it, its the local carboot joke ' he told me. Yep a 2 quid AA battery alarm clock turning the hands ,

The quartz clock thing is interesting because I think on the long term it's way more common to have that that is the watches. The watches this only occurred over a time span of I don't know how many years. Where when the quartz clocks became so plentiful and so cheap and so it easy to swap because you don't have to solder dial feeder makes special holding rings then yes it's definitely way more common the find the clock and watch

one of my amusements with the clock would be someone that worked at the Elgin watch company in the research Department when he retired. He wrote about his life story and somewhere in there he talked about when people would bring him things to repair like clocks he would toss out the mechanical movement and replace it with a quartz clock. The reason he did that was as he had a PhD in something he only looked at it as a timekeeping thing in other words that quartz clock Perfect time versus the mechanical that didn't. So he wasn't looking at it like we would today with total **BLEEP** and thinking about finding some tar and feathers and a rope to hang them up with he was just looking at the practicality change the battery occasionally keeps perfect time versus something that has rewound up as worn out anyway.

 

 

 

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Personally I use a home made jobby a bit like some of those shown above, mains powered, hot enough to solder without being hot enough to damage the dial face (well yet anyway 😉 )

Anyone tried one of the feet welders on the usual Chinese sites, the one below looks interesting. And can apparently be also used to remove broken stems from crowns, and reatach broken mainspring bridals.  From the video I have seen it looks like it works like a small spot welder using capacitor discharge rather than just heating the joint to melt solder.  Anyone tried one of those.

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mrNy794

 

Edited by Paul80
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41 minutes ago, Paul80 said:

Personally I use a home made jobby a bit like some of those shown above, mains powered, hot enough to solder without being hot enough to damage the dial face (well yet anyway 😉 )

Anyone tried one of the feet welders on the usual Chinese sites, the one below looks interesting. And can apparently be also used to remove broken stems from crowns, and reatach broken mainspring bridals.  From the video I have seen it looks like it works like a small spot welder using capacitor discharge rather than just heating the joint to melt solder.  Anyone tried one of those.

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mrNy794

 

My mentor has one of those. He uses it to remove broken stems from Rolex crowns. It seems it's a common occurrence. 

The soldering is not using a capacitative discharge technique but a current and time controller. It requires premade dial feet, inserted into a carbon electrode collet and lowered onto the dial. A preset current/time is selected and the button activated. The soldering is completed in less than a second.

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1 hour ago, JohnR725 said:

 

one of my amusements with the clock would be someone that worked at the Elgin watch company in the research Department when he retired. He wrote about his life story and somewhere in there he talked about when people would bring him things to repair like clocks he would toss out the mechanical movement and replace it with a quartz clock. The reason he did that was as he had a PhD in something he only looked at it as a timekeeping thing in other words that quartz clock Perfect time versus the mechanical that didn't. So he wasn't looking at it like we would today with total **BLEEP** and thinking about finding some tar and feathers and a rope to hang them up with he was just looking at the practicality change the battery occasionally keeps perfect time versus something that has rewound up as worn out anyway.

 

 

 

One of my mentors, Charles Sauter, worked for Kodak, Hamilton, and Bulova. He was in the high up departments, engineering kind of thing. His last job was with Timex, and he actually prototyped the Indiglo stuff. He always said he was most proud of his time at Timex, making good timekeepers for a good price; and he was also involved with transfering production to Asia.

 

The comment about the Elgin guy who slapped in quartz movments made me thing about another friend. This guy had an eye for good stuff, and after the early 80s gold rush, managed to buy (mostly at NAWCC meets) some amazing movements orphaned from their gold cases. Breguet, Ami LeCoultre, all kinds of stuff. Selling those movements when suddenly at the end of the 90s to 2000s there was a renewed interest in the mechanics allowed him to create a hoard of amazing watch machinery and retire early. He was a kook, he got rid of his stove because it made room for another machine and there was a ready 220v hookup.

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Thanks for clearing that up, I was just going by how it appeared to work in the few videos I had seen on line, especially comparing it to my own manual current based jobby, when they was showing it being used to remove a broken stem it seemed to weld as no solder paste was used.

I will see if I can find the video.

Did seem to work very well though, just trying not to buy it as my DIY one seems to work ok and i dont do enough to justify the cost, but ghen again we do seem to say that a lot

Found the video

It's on this sellers page

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mtyFJxo

You can see solder paste being used for the dial foot but not when removing the broken stem from the crown, it looked to me to be more like the flash from a spot welder which was why I thought it was based on a capacitor discharge like one of those spot welders used for battery pack assembly.

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56 minutes ago, Paul80 said:

Thanks for clearing that up, I was just going by how it appeared to work in the few videos I had seen on line, especially comparing it to my own manual current based jobby, when they was showing it being used to remove a broken stem it seemed to weld as no solder paste was used.

I will see if I can find the video.

Did seem to work very well though, just trying not to buy it as my DIY one seems to work ok and i dont do enough to justify the cost, but ghen again we do seem to say that a lot

Found the video

It's on this sellers page

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mtyFJxo

You can see solder paste being used for the dial foot but not when removing the broken stem from the crown, it looked to me to be more like the flash from a spot welder which was why I thought it was based on a capacitor discharge like one of those spot welders used for battery pack assembly.

Yes. This machine can function in 2 modes, soldering and spot welding. The spot welding mode can be used for broken screw removal as well as repairing broken mainspring bridles.

If your DIY one works fine, then there is no need to buy another machine.

But if you are thinking of buying a new machine, I suggest you wait awhile because I heard that there is a new machine under development that in addition to the above 2 functions, has a 3rd mode that can be used to fill pits in corroded metal surfaces.

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  • 1 month later...

I would love to know when that new 3 function machine comes out.  Would be quite useful.

As far as technique goes, this video was just posted a few days ago, and I think using a setting mill and flakes makes this repair look so much easier.

 

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On 9/29/2023 at 2:22 PM, HectorLooi said:

Yes. This machine can function in 2 modes, soldering and spot welding. The spot welding mode can be used for broken screw removal as well as repairing broken mainspring bridles.

How does it work for removing broken screws? 

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37 minutes ago, GuyMontag said:

How does it work for removing broken screws? 

It spot welds a special electrode to the end of the broken screw and that can be used as a handle to unscrew the broken piece.

But I think it wouldn't work on rusted and seized up screws. 

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2 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

It spot welds a special electrode to the end of the broken screw and that can be used as a handle to unscrew the broken piece.

But I think it wouldn't work on rusted and seized up screws. 

That's good to know. I have one of these units and hadn't thought to use it that way.

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