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How to remove the balance spring


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1 hour ago, rph952 said:

I hope this is close enough. And given my lack of experience, it's as good as I can get it. It's a $5 Waldan watch, so no worries.  To me it looks ok, although there's a small kink at the outer coil. The coil is flat. It was pointed out the spring might be too long. It could be, but I think it's original. Thanks for all your help! Now I have to reassemble the balance. I got some advice on how to orient the stud. I know how to guide the spring around the regulator pin and shut it. I'm not sure about the alignment between pins. I don't have a jewel, but I think this is what they're talking about (circled in red) in photo.

spring fixed.jpg

posts.jpg

Looks good, you've made a decent job of straightening it out. The terminal curve does look long but thats not given, something you will discover when you get it mounted up. In red is the impulse finger .

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Yes, this is the impulse finger, typical for all Roskopf type movements.

Put the balance in movement with the cock, without hairspring. Rotate the balance and orient it as the finger drives the lever to ley in one line with the bearins of the balance. Then put mark by marker on the balance rim right against the hole for the stud in the stud holder. Then remove the balance and put the hairspring as the stud will stay agains the mark. Adjust it by small screwdriver in the collet slot.

Nice work on the spring, it looks good!

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Hi. The only problem is that the terminal curve has a kink and should be a smooth progression and where the spring enters the stud should be  not bent up, some adjustment may be required here even up the coils.   When you have sorted those out lay the spring on the cock as per nucejoes example for centering the spring.  The fact that the spring is pinched at the stud means no adjustment at that end so be careful not to snap it off at that point. Iam afraid is a cheap watch no jeweled ruby impulse pin there it uses a brass finger and a pin pallet.  You are doing a good job just be patient and careful. As you said it’s $5  watch but thats not the point, which is in doing this which is quite advanced for a beginner you are gaining a lot of experience.  I wish you well on the project.

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6 hours ago, Klassiker said:

That looks very good indeed. How long did it take you? Does it now pass the three tests I posted?

Not long. I've been watching vids. Chronoglide and Watch Repair Channel have some good info. Yes one one and two, but now sure what 3 means.

6 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

Yes, this is the impulse finger, typical for all Roskopf type movements.

Put the balance in movement with the cock, without hairspring. Rotate the balance and orient it as the finger drives the lever to ley in one line with the bearins of the balance. Then put mark by marker on the balance rim right against the hole for the stud in the stud holder. Then remove the balance and put the hairspring as the stud will stay agains the mark. Adjust it by small screwdriver in the collet slot.

Nice work on the spring, it looks good!

Neven: I did that, but not sure I understood where to put the mark. It's where the wheel bumps up against the palette fork. There's a tab at the bottom of the balance wheel I pointed out earlier. The speed adjustment up top won't budge either way. I'm concerned about putting too much pressure on it. It may be seized from old age. Oil might help?

balance wheel alone.jpg

It might be that I have to loosen the screws on the bottom of the balance to adjust speed?

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4 hours ago, rph952 said:

Not long. I've been watching vids. Chronoglide and Watch Repair Channel have some good info. Yes one one and two, but now sure what 3 means.

Neven: I did that, but not sure I understood where to put the mark. It's where the wheel bumps up against the palette fork. There's a tab at the bottom of the balance wheel I pointed out earlier. The speed adjustment up top won't budge either way. I'm concerned about putting too much pressure on it. It may be seized from old age. Oil might help?

balance wheel alone.jpg

It might be that I have to loosen the screws on the bottom of the balance to adjust speed?

Before removing the hairspring from the balance it is good practice to mark the stud's position on the balance wheel in order to help retrieve the same position of the collet about the staff. This is when the hairspring shape is good, in your case it wasn't so would not have been that helpful. So you now have to determine where the balance wheel shoud be when the hairspring stud is in the arm. The balance wheel finger must be in line with the escape wheel and the pallet fork jewels, the finger located in the fork slot between the horns while both the fork and balance are at rest, this will put the balance in beat when it is fully assembled.  When you have just the wheel itself in this position, hover the cock over the wheel as though it were about to be mounted on the plate and if the stud arm is a fixed one mark the position of the hole of the stud on the balance wheel rim. You can now mount the hairspring on the balance knowing that the wheel has it's in beat postion in the movement by lining up the stud and the mark you just made. Once lined up push the collet home making sure the stud is facing upwards ready to fit into it's hole. If as i mentioned earlier if the stud arm is not fixed and is adjustable then set the stud arm to a midwsy point so that you have adjustment room either way to fine hone the beat. The rate adjustment can be tight on these cheap movements if you are concerned then yes the 2 screws holding the balance jewel do keep that tightness. But also know they hold that jewel assembly together.  Take your time and  follow this slowly. 

2 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Before removing the hairspring from the balance it is good practice to mark the stud's position on the balance wheel in order to help retrieve the same position of the collet about the staff. This is when the hairspring shape is good, in your case it wasn't so would not have been that helpful. So you now have to determine where the balance wheel shoud be when the hairspring stud is in the arm. The balance wheel finger must be in line with the escape wheel and the pallet fork jewels, the finger located in the fork slot between the horns while both the fork and balance are at rest, this will put the balance in beat when it is fully assembled.  When you have just the wheel itself in this position, hover the cock over the wheel as though it were about to be mounted on the plate and if the stud arm is a fixed one mark the position of the hole of the stud on the balance wheel rim. You can now mount the hairspring on the balance knowing that the wheel has it's in beat postion in the movement by lining up the stud and the mark you just made. Once lined up push the collet home making sure the stud is facing upwards ready to fit into it's hole. If as i mentioned earlier if the stud arm is not fixed and is adjustable then set the stud arm to a midwsy point so that you have adjustment room either way to fine hone the beat. The rate adjustment can be tight on these cheap movements if you are concerned then yes the 2 screws holding the balance jewel do keep that tightness. But also know they hold that jewel assembly together.  Take your time and  follow this slowly. 

To add some simple clarity,  the two reference points that are important are the end of the hairspring ( the stud ) and the position of the impulse finger laying in the fork slot while it is at rest. From there logic will help you to understand the procedure of bringing the balance into beat.

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5 hours ago, rph952 said:

but now sure what 3 means

You are looking to shape the hairspring so that when you fit it back onto the balance staff, and the staff's pivots are in the jewels, and the stud is back in its hole, and the terminal curve is in the regulator, the hairspring is in a completely relaxed state. Check 3 is in other words "is the collet sitting exactly as it would if the staff were there?"

5 hours ago, rph952 said:

It may be seized from old age

On the underside of the cock you will find two tiny screws. They hold the entire lower jewel and regulator assembly together. You need to disassemble clean and lubricate the jewels and the regulator.

5 hours ago, rph952 said:

loosen the screws on the bottom of the balance to adjust speed?

The rate is adjusted wth the regulator on this balance assembly, not by any screws.

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12 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

...No speed adjustment there.

I haven't correctly understand the question and the information in it...

What You call speed adjustment should be the rate regulator. Yes, it should move and some force is needed to make it move. This is a cheap watch with no jewels, only one thing is shaped as cap jewel, but made of steel, and it is in the middle of the plate, which holds the regulator. You have to take off the plate and clean the steel 'jewel', as well as the hole of the pivot bearing in the cock. Then You will be able to see why the regulator does not move. You should clean the same way the bottom side balance bearing - there is a round plate entirelly made of steel there. After cleaning, assemble the plates and put some oil in the bearings.

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Here's the balance spring mounted on the cock. I think this is the orientation of the stud requested, a red line drawn on one of the images I posted. I marked the new location of the balance wheel with two dots, repositioning it where requested. I don't know if this matters now, but the collet's original position was with the collet gap (the circle of metal with a slice cut out) pointing at the outer spring guide that can be adjusted with a screwdriver. The speed regulator arm is working now. Just needed oil. Thanks everyone for your help!

spring inserted.jpg

balance wheel marked.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

After trials and tribulations, I got the balance spring working! Now I can move on to the disassembly. There's something preventing the watch from running. I suspect it was dropped and that messed up the hairspring.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Success! The watch is working, albeit not perfectly. I need to install a new mainspring. It only runs about 16 hours. Still, it's my first cleaning and rebuild. I bought it from the original owner's son on eBay! The other one was bought at a flea market. I needed both to complete the project. The model with a seconds hand had soldered watch band pins and I couldn't drill tiny holes so I used the flea market Waldan, which was nearly a perfect match. I also replated the case with nickel, but the result was subpar. It's never as easy as it looks.

walden final.jpg

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OK, several things to say here.

The thought thay if with the old spring the movement works 16 hours, then replacing the spring will solve that - is totally wrong. With a new spring the movement probably will work for 17 hours.

The power reserve is practically not reduced when the spring gets weak with the age. It is rather something wrong with the movement.

As You worked on the hairspring, we need to  confirm that it is OK now before everything else. So, thake the lever out and do the free oscillations test. What is the result? I expect numbers, not only 'it is good' or 'it is not good'.

Then, this is no jewels pin lever movement, so this is not unusual to have not well regulated or even worn escapement, this is the main reason that this kind of watches doesn't work as long and reliable as the jeweled escapement ones. You can find many of them with no wear at the crown and case, and this is because they stopped working normally pritty soon after purchase.

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Good to know about the mainspring. It's running fast when fully wound. I didn't use the hairspring that needed work. I used the other one, which looked fine. I don't have a timegrapher, other than the free one for Android phones. It confirms the watch runs a couple of minutes fast per day, for what that's worth.

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21 minutes ago, rph952 said:

Good to know about the mainspring. It's running fast when fully wound. I didn't use the hairspring that needed work. I used the other one, which looked fine. I don't have a timegrapher, other than the free one for Android phones. It confirms the watch runs a couple of minutes fast per day, for what that's worth.

Hi there, good show, congrat.

Balance and hairspring ought to be matched together to produced the right beat for gear train to show accurate time. 

A balance complete made by swapping hairspring and balances out of two perfect balance complete don't neccessarily keep accurate time. 

Rgds

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Posted (edited)

The entire movement is from one watch. Only the case is different. I found out this is not a Waldan watch, which is a pricey boutique brand based in NYC. It's a "knockoff." There's another watch brand called Waldman with an unknown history, and this may be its origin, which it says on the movement.

Edited by rph952
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