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Replacing pallet stones on full-plate Elgin (first-time, go easy on me)


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Hi -

Have an ancient Elgin 336 that's in largely quite good shape but the pallet jewels were chipped and also totally loose.  I have some shellac, a pallet warmer, and two replacement jewels for the movement grade on the way.  I'm not too concerned about my ability to insert the new jewels and to shellac them in place, but the main thing I'm wondering about is setting their depth.  With this full plate watch, it's of course mostly impossible to see the tooth/escape wheel action and I'm really uncertain how I would go about setting them to anything like the correct depth.

Thoughts on the process would be appreciated!

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3 hours ago, AndrewSi said:

With this full plate watch, it's of course mostly impossible to see the tooth/escape wheel action and I'm really uncertain how I would go about setting them to anything like the correct depth.

if you look on the dial side are there holes to look in to see the escapement? after all the factory would have the same problem you're having of seeing things.

and yes often times I've noticed on the 18 size watches the pallet forks do not have copious quantities of shellac like later generation pallet forks do. Not quite sure why that is often times they seem to be held in really nice and tight and there is no visible shellac.

As you have a current pallet fork and jewels try shoving them all the way to the back and seeing how they are going to work in the watch. You wouldn't have to assemble all of it just the pallet fork escape wheel and see how things look. Then you can get kind of a feel for what you're going to do when you get your replacement jewels

 

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23 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

shove is a very English word

normally I would blame the stupid dictation software but looking at the definition  that is probably the word that I actually used I suppose alternative with an push the jewels all the way and.  Never know it dictations going to do but I'm sure I actually did use the word shoving..

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4 minutes ago, HectorLooi said:

Has anyone experienced this....?

If a pallet stone is not very tight in the slot, the position of the stone can actually move when the shellac cools and contracts.

Sure.  When I move stones, I do an initial check on a Hauser measuring microscope. Go on heater, move, and note the change in length on the microscope. Except- sometimes it has visually moved when pushing around  (but shellac is bubbling), and rechecking the move on the scope- nothing moved. #1 reason I believe it's money better spent on a toolmaker's scope than a Bergeon escapement meter. I use that scope daily for all kinds of stuff.

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13 hours ago, AndrewSi said:

Hi -

Have an ancient Elgin 336 that's in largely quite good shape but the pallet jewels were chipped and also totally loose.  I have some shellac, a pallet warmer, and two replacement jewels for the movement grade on the way.  I'm not too concerned about my ability to insert the new jewels and to shellac them in place, but the main thing I'm wondering about is setting their depth.  With this full plate watch, it's of course mostly impossible to see the tooth/escape wheel action and I'm really uncertain how I would go about setting them to anything like the correct depth.

Thoughts on the process would be appreciated!

You may already know but i thought worth mentioning, the entry and exix jewels each have a different angle for the impulse face. 

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28 minutes ago, AndrewSi said:

NOS jewels of the matching part number that I found online appear to be marked as "right" and "left",

so you're able to find new old stock original Elgin pallet stone's?

then for those not familiar with how Elgin does things that comes the pallet stones is relatively simple. Basically they have two styles depending upon when the watch was made a new style and old-style and it's explained in the parts book. Then it looks like for the part number usually get a pair of them per the part number and as always with Elgin one part number can refer to separate think this. In other words is a new style and old-style which is just the thickness of the stone. Then if you have a choice you would have choice of different materials that the stones are made out of depending upon the grade of the watch

image.png.ebdcb4c82e987899059f1e7d6841727c.png

they are lucky you get the pallet stones versus the pallet fork as the pallet forecast to be fit to escape wheel at least according the parts book. Because there was variations and would have to know your serial number you know which variation you were supposed to have. So the pallet stones are easy just new style versus old style.

 

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2 minutes ago, AndrewSi said:

one set of (theoretically) the correct 546's available.

other than the new old style which is just the thickness. There are all identical other than the material that they were made out of.

wheel is a pallet stones and early American watches you find is limited choices. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they purchased their pallet stones from somewhere else initially before they started manufacturing. I remember on some not a full plate something I swapped pallet stones from a different manufacture because they looked identical and that worked fine. Fear Palestine should work fine and initially I would just push them all the way back in and see how it works.

then everybody tends to have their own obsessions and watch repair my obsession is on American pocket watches always check your banking pins. Especially on a full plate where they tend to be visible on the backside versus hidden on the other side were there less likely to be played with. But typically people like to move them around.

it looks like they're expanding their online presence because I don't remember seeing this before but it looks like you get parts for your watch here

https://www.ofrei.com/page1759.html

then looks like they have some of the pallet fork. A lot of the early 18 size for instance pallet forks tend to not be one piece and they can be disassembled. Waltham is very bad for this because you end up with lots and lots and lots of variations even though the parts book doesn't say that. Elgin tends to be little better here so it looks like you could get the stones already in place

image.png.ae938512620b075483e06675dde5a7c1.png

 

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On 10/31/2023 at 9:56 AM, JohnR725 said:

 Elgin tends to be little better here so it looks like you could get the stones already in place

 

This is true, I was just hoping to do it for less than the $90 Otto wants for the complete pallet w/arbor and stones.  If refitting the pallet I already have fails miserably, I'll probably just bite the bullet.  At least this way I get some practice with a pallet warmer and the shellac. 🙂

Oh also, yes, there are indeed holes in the dial side that'll let me see the pallet/escape tooth interactions, that may help in a rough sense I guess.

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