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Introducing my vintage Boley mainspring winder set


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Hello Watchbangers!

Today I return with another small post introducing my vintage mainspring winders! For those who prefer watching something rather than reading through the whole post, here is all the contents in form of a video:

https://youtu.be/-63Do2Dkikk

Now to the written part! While I first started winding mainsprings by hand ( and recommend this method for hobbyists who don't want to break their wallets) it was clear that I couldn't continue this practise due to the wear and damage it left on the mainspring and barrel! Thus I set out on the search for a pair of vintage Winders as the modern alternatives are not financially possible for a student. I was first eying american K&D winders or Watchcraft sets but coincidentally found a unbranded box of winders on Ebay for around 100 Euros:

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After inspecting and cleaning the set I was delighted to find that they were produced by Boley as they were stamped gB ( Gebrüder Boley) meaning Brothers Boley:

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The set came with 8 sized drums, their cranks and a holder! While I'm pretty sure that the hooks only point in one direction, I have tried winding left and right turning mainsprings with success, not sure what is going on there haha.  Now the process of using these mainspring winders is the same as any other really! 

1. You start by pressing the innermost coil of the spring down onto the arbor, making sure that the hook catches the mainspring latch. Be sure that you are attaching the mainspring the right direction/ way otherwise you will wind it wrong!

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2. Then you slide the arbor into the drum and start turning the crank to wind the spring! Be careful on manual-wind springs when approaching the part of the spring which hooks into the barrel! If you go too fast these can catch the edge of the drum opening and break off! Just go slow and optionally help out with a tweezer for example!

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3. Then carefully lift off the arbor, making sure that the innermost coil of the spring unlatches itself from the arbor hook again. This will make sure that the spring won't be pulled out as you remove the crank. I like using a pair of tweezers here!

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4. Finally you just press down on the pusher, pressing the spring out of the winder into the cleaned and lubricated barrel drum underneath. 

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While I am fully satisfied with the performance of my older set, I must say that it is a bit fidgety to use! The spring power often turns the barrel out of the holder slot leaving me no option other than to press against it firmly. Secondly, the lids of the cranks are also a bit bent. Occasionally, when the spring is almost fully wound in, the strong power allows the left over spring to slip between lid and barrel lip, scratching it around for one turn before I can press down firmly on the lid so the spring is wound into where it should be!

I hope you guys are also as lucky in finding an affordable set of mainspring winders and if you have any other questions or comments, please put them down below!

Edited by berlintime
Inserted a missing picture and deleted a misplaced picture
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