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Hello,

if you have seen some of my posts since I started in this forum you know that I am new to watch making and I have had my share of mishaps but I think here is an accurate statement of where I am:

1) I think I can disassemble and reassemble an ST36 correctly without damaging the hairspring or loosing parts (most of the time)

2) I think I can clean a movement which is reasonably dirty (a new movement or one like the 6T15 I worked on which has 15 year old lubrication but no actual dirt or water ingress).

3) I have an idea of how to lubricate a simple movement but not practiced much and I am pretty sure I am messing it up

4) I made a watch out of an ST36 and parts.  I messed up doing the same for an NH35 as I cut off the wrong dial feet (I swear I checked which I needed to keep and then somehow cut those off).

 

Here are the different things I did to learn (mostly in order)

Learned to disassemble and reassemble the ST36 and broke the setting lever screw and messed up royally the hairspring in doing so.  I have had some success correcting some of the hairspring mess then made it worst when trying to completely correct it.  I have put repairing hairspring aside for a bit

Disassembled and reassembled a cheap Chinese skeleton 2650G movement with center second

Disassembled and reassembled a cheap Chinese Date, automatic and center second movement DG2813 ( mostly a Miyota clone for the base movement and automatic works but different for the date) almost successful but lost the spring for the date jumper

Disassembled cleaned reassembled and lubricated a 15 year old 6T16.  Nothing lost nothing broken but the movement is working worst than before with a crazy timegrapher reading.  This came from a watch I haven't put it back in yet

Disassembled cleaned and gave up on reassembling 2 junk slava 2414 movements coming as part of a set of broken soviet movements

 

 

So finally here is my question. 

What do you think I should work on/practice next?

  In term of available movement I mostly have a new ST36 and a new NH35.  I was thinking about practicing more with the ST36 trying to correctly clean and lubricate it.  I also thought, now that I have a working microscope camera and I should have a reader for the SD card soon I can not only take pictures but videos.  If I filmed the process and posted it would it be too much to ask for comments on what I should do different/better and what I am doing correctly?

 I could try to do that with the NH35 too but with the date and automatic works it will be more complicated and I only have Moebius 800 and Molikote DX so no lubrication for the barrel.

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16 minutes ago, Terrinecold said:

Hello,

if you have seen some of my posts since I started in this forum you know that I am new to watch making and I have had my share of mishaps but I think here is an accurate statement of where I am:

1) I think I can disassemble and reassemble an ST36 correctly without damaging the hairspring or loosing parts (most of the time)

2) I think I can clean a movement which is reasonably dirty (a new movement or one like the 6T15 I worked on which has 15 year old lubrication but no actual dirt or water ingress).

3) I have an idea of how to lubricate a simple movement but not practiced much and I am pretty sure I am messing it up

4) I made a watch out of an ST36 and parts.  I messed up doing the same for an NH35 as I cut off the wrong dial feet (I swear I checked which I needed to keep and then somehow cut those off).

 

Here are the different things I did to learn (mostly in order)

Learned to disassemble and reassemble the ST36 and broke the setting lever screw and messed up royally the hairspring in doing so.  I have had some success correcting some of the hairspring mess then made it worst when trying to completely correct it.  I have put repairing hairspring aside for a bit

Disassembled and reassembled a cheap Chinese skeleton 2650G movement with center second

Disassembled and reassembled a cheap Chinese Date, automatic and center second movement DG2813 ( mostly a Miyota clone for the base movement and automatic works but different for the date) almost successful but lost the spring for the date jumper

Disassembled cleaned reassembled and lubricated a 15 year old 6T16.  Nothing lost nothing broken but the movement is working worst than before with a crazy timegrapher reading.  This came from a watch I haven't put it back in yet

Disassembled cleaned and gave up on reassembling 2 junk slava 2414 movements coming as part of a set of broken soviet movements

 

 

So finally here is my question. 

What do you think I should work on/practice next?

  In term of available movement I mostly have a new ST36 and a new NH35.  I was thinking about practicing more with the ST36 trying to correctly clean and lubricate it.  I also thought, now that I have a working microscope camera and I should have a reader for the SD card soon I can not only take pictures but videos.  If I filmed the process and posted it would it be too much to ask for comments on what I should do different/better and what I am doing correctly?

 I could try to do that with the NH35 too but with the date and automatic works it will be more complicated and I only have Moebius 800 and Molikote DX so no lubrication for the barrel.

Well done Ter 9/10 for dedication and persistence ( i would have given you 10/ 10 but nobody gets that, there is ALWAYS room for improvement 😉 ). A full video would be a good way to assess someone's ability, i love watching youtube stuff and enjoy pulling folk's work apart 😄. I would probably give myself around a 3 or 4 just for the entertainment factor. 

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34 minutes ago, Terrinecold said:

Good then looks like the plan is a video of tear down and reassembly and lubrication of the ST36.

I like the video too because I can show to my family and friends what new crazy hobby I have.

Thats just the tip of the iceberg, they have no idea of what is yet to come.  When you start grabbing stranger's left hands to turn their wrists to see what watch they are wearing then thats when they need to start worrying. Erm  not that i...ah-hem....have done that.

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3 hours ago, Terrinecold said:

What do you think I should work on/practice next?

Just speaking for myself, I started buying relatively inexpensive watches that I liked the look of on eBay and fixing those up. I learned something new with every one.

Then it turned out I really started enjoying Bulova movements and 70s styling, so it moved my focus in that direction.

I got into Bulova Accutrons because my mom gave me her late father's, which she bought him new in 1973. Before I worked on that, I found some eBay movements to practice on until I could get my confidence up.

So I guess my advice is start looking around for things to fix that you would enjoy, without the pressure of working on a family heirloom. Having watches around that you've fixed and can pop on your wrist is super rewarding and will help keep you interested.

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2 hours ago, Terrinecold said:

What do you think I should work on/practice next?

Some of the skills that always could use improvement for an amateur watchmaker/hobbyist would be:

  • Crawling on the floor with a flashlight and a magnet.
  • Staring in bewilderment at a cleaning basket wondering why 18 pieces went in but only 17 came out.
  • Removing a barrel bridge multiple times because you forgot to install the hack or the setting lever the first time.
  • Memorize the expedited shipping rates from Cousins.
  • Arriving home 5 minutes before the wife so you can stash the eBay packages before she asks "so NOW what did you order?"

Seriously, while the ST36 and NH35's are low risk movements and can provide a decent amount of basic skills, I would see if you can get your hands on a higher quality movement. There is a world of difference in working with an ETA2824 or Sellita SW-200 vs. a Sea-gull ST2130. 

I would look at your last project and ask yourself what your weakest skill or failure was in doing it. Then do it again ... and again until you feel comfortable with the process. You will eventually get to the point where you won't accept "good enough". 

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Terrinecold

Like you. I began on the ST. But just before I started the course and purchased an ST3600. I found a YouTube video of a Sekonda with a 2428 Slava movement. I believed what this idiot said, 'only started last week'. But I liked Sekonda and purchased a watch with a Slava 2428 movement. £12. Really like this watch. It was running. I was frightened to work on it. I saw an automatic version of the watch, Slava 2427 movement which was marked 'for parts or repair'. £8. I purchased this and began my disassembly. Killed the hairspring. Broke all pivots. Purchased another 'repair'. Killed the hairspring, etc.

Found Ratfaced Git on Youtube. His instruction on Slava was fabulous. 2428 and 2427 are so informative. My love affair with Sekonda began. I now have 7 working Sekonda 2427 and a number of parts. Lots. Tweezer control when removing the balance is an art. Slow and low does it.  Note. Ratfaced git's site has been taken over by a wood worker. But his watch videos have been left on.

Sekonda still appear to be cheaper that most watches. Half to 1/3 the price of Seiko.  I only purchase working Sekonda now.

Hope this helps.

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24 minutes ago, eccentric59 said:

forgot to install the hack or the setting lever the first time.

Why? Why do I still forget the setting lever screw EVERY TIME? I need to write it on my work mat or something.

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Just now, ManSkirtBrew said:

Why? Why do I still forget the setting lever screw EVERY TIME? I need to write it on my work mat or something.

Yup. I now have a label on the microphone of my Timegrapher that says in big letters, 'DEMAGNETISE'.

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2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Just speaking for myself, I started buying relatively inexpensive watches that I liked the look of on eBay and fixing those up. I learned something new with every one.

Then it turned out I really started enjoying Bulova movements and 70s styling, so it moved my focus in that direction.

I got into Bulova Accutrons because my mom gave me her late father's, which she bought him new in 1973. Before I worked on that, I found some eBay movements to practice on until I could get my confidence up.

So I guess my advice is start looking around for things to fix that you would enjoy, without the pressure of working on a family heirloom. Having watches around that you've fixed and can pop on your wrist is super rewarding and will help keep you interested.

No family heirloom so no pressure.  I have a watch I would like to be able to service which I own the Seiko Brightz SAGN011 with the 4S27 movemnet I talked about in another topic.  It is a pretty complicated watch and the only place which used to agree to service it in Boston is closed.  Right now it is out of commission due to a broken bracelet link (which I couldn't find anywhere short of buying the same watch).  I'd like to be able to service it but I won't touch it until I am pretty confident.

Right now buying broken watches on eBay and hoping to fix them is a bit out of my league I am still at hoping not to break perfectly working movements.

 

1 hour ago, eccentric59 said:

Some of the skills that always could use improvement for an amateur watchmaker/hobbyist would be:

  • Crawling on the floor with a flashlight and a magnet.
  • Staring in bewilderment at a cleaning basket wondering why 18 pieces went in but only 17 came out.
  • Removing a barrel bridge multiple times because you forgot to install the hack or the setting lever the first time.
  • Memorize the expedited shipping rates from Cousins.
  • Arriving home 5 minutes before the wife so you can stash the eBay packages before she asks "so NOW what did you order?"

Seriously, while the ST36 and NH35's are low risk movements and can provide a decent amount of basic skills, I would see if you can get your hands on a higher quality movement. There is a world of difference in working with an ETA2824 or Sellita SW-200 vs. a Sea-gull ST2130. 

I would look at your last project and ask yourself what your weakest skill or failure was in doing it. Then do it again ... and again until you feel comfortable with the process. You will eventually get to the point where you won't accept "good enough". 

I did points 1,2,3 and 5 quite a bit.  Not yet the 4.

I'll see when I feel confident enough to work on movements costing several hundred dollars.   I also read a lot of bad press about Chinese movement and I agree I have very little experience but I have to say I like the ST36 a lot and the video I saw don't really show that it is true for instance what you have below.  

 

 

For instance I keep hearing how Chinese movement come with no lubrication or bad one.  That wasn't the case for the 3 ST36 I looked at.

It is true on the other hand that I saw a huge quality difference between the ST36 and either DG2813 or 2650G.

I haven't played with the NH35 yet but I know I don't like the Miyota movements though.

 

2 hours ago, rossjackson01 said:

Terrinecold

Like you. I began on the ST. But just before I started the course and purchased an ST3600. I found a YouTube video of a Sekonda with a 2428 Slava movement. I believed what this idiot said, 'only started last week'. But I liked Sekonda and purchased a watch with a Slava 2428 movement. £12. Really like this watch. It was running. I was frightened to work on it. I saw an automatic version of the watch, Slava 2427 movement which was marked 'for parts or repair'. £8. I purchased this and began my disassembly. Killed the hairspring. Broke all pivots. Purchased another 'repair'. Killed the hairspring, etc.

Found Ratfaced Git on Youtube. His instruction on Slava was fabulous. 2428 and 2427 are so informative. My love affair with Sekonda began. I now have 7 working Sekonda 2427 and a number of parts. Lots. Tweezer control when removing the balance is an art. Slow and low does it.  Note. Ratfaced git's site has been taken over by a wood worker. But his watch videos have been left on.

Sekonda still appear to be cheaper that most watches. Half to 1/3 the price of Seiko.  I only purchase working Sekonda now.

Hope this helps.

That definitely helps and I shall for sure look at the video and maybe buy a few. The looks are not all to my taste but to work on it doesn't really matter and starting with a running watch with a reasonable investment is great.

 

Disassembly was done during lunch break 30mn almost no incident, the only thing is I forgot to remove the tension from the setting lever jumper before undoing the setting lever screw so the setting lever was ejected from the underside of the movement (but just under the holder and nothing broken).

I am climbing this evening so I won't get to cleaning till at least tomorrow but I may get a chance to upload the video

Edited by Terrinecold
involontary copy paste
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I started out with three HMT watches from India (eBay) roughly $30.00 Australian each, HMT movements are generally clones of Citizen movements.

If I stuffed up I just bought another HMT watch for parts to replace the broken or lost parts.

You can pay $30 or more for just one part for a basic mechanical watch if you can find them.

The have served me well, have done 35 + watches since then with little issues, except for the two diafix springs that are currently stored in the carpet of my house.

My suggestion for your next project, some Seiko 5 automatics with the 7+++ series movements in them, lots of data sheets out there and good videos to look at.

Regards

CJ

IMG_0239.jpeg

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Here's my take on Chinese movements ... There are plenty of beautifully made parts from China, but they lack consistency in assembly and QC. When I get a Sellita movement I can rely on it being ready to go into a case. With Chinese movements, often times there is dirt and fiber, fingerprints and oil where it shouldn't be. Sometimes the thing looks like it was put together in a "how fast can you assemble a movement" contest and then dipped in cooking oil before being shipped out. For this reason I will almost always clean and re-oil any Chinese calibers before using them. Then there are clones of the clones that are downright awful ... stamped out of old soup cans and finished with #80 grit sandpaper. The problem is telling the difference online. The Chinese play a little fast and loose with intellectual property, even amongst themselves, so a movement listed as an ST2130 might be a genuine Sea-Gull® or it could be a seagull wannabe from the backstreets of Shenzhen. 

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11 minutes ago, Curare said:

I started out with three HMT watches from India (eBay) roughly $30.00 Australian each, HMT movements are generally clones of Citizen movements.

If I stuffed up I just bought another HMT watch for parts to replace the broken or lost parts.

You can pay $30 or more for just one part for a basic mechanical watch if you can find them.

The have served me well, have done 35 + watches since then with little issues, except for the two diafix springs that are currently stored in the carpet of my house.

My suggestion for your next project, some Seiko 5 automatics with the 7+++ series movements in them, lots of data sheets out there and good videos to look at.

Regards

CJ

IMG_0239.jpeg

I actually like the look of that one and others I saw on ebay after you mentioned it more than the Russian ones.

As mentioned I don't like the Miyota movements (my Japanese wife does insist that they have to be infinitely better than the Chinese ones even the Swiss clones which makes no sense as it is the Miyota design with a single bridge for everything which I disliked)

Note I haven't started doing anything with the NH35 as I intend to use it in a watch and I am afraid of breaking it

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2 hours ago, Terrinecold said:

As mentioned I don't like the Miyota movements (my Japanese wife does insist that they have to be infinitely better than the Chinese ones even the Swiss clones which makes no sense as it is the Miyota design with a single bridge for everything which I disliked

I have one piece of advice for you here and it's really important to learn it fast. Whatever happens just agree with your missus, if you want to live a long and happy life,  she's right, she will always be right and you will never be right , even when you know you are right. You now owe me big time 😄

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3 hours ago, Terrinecold said:

I actually like the look of that one and others I saw on ebay after you mentioned it more than the Russian ones

The HMT are great to work on because they are so plentiful and varied and rock bottom cheap. But the movements have a couple of weird things that will cause you to break your first unless you heed:

 

1) the ratchet wheel screw as well as the crown wheel screw is left hand thread. They are never marked with 3 lines but they are always left hand and you will break one if you don't watch.

2) the mainspring also winds the "wrong" direction. Left hand, more common on Japanese movements.

 

But yes I agree buy a couple of them. A lot, probably most are weird frankenwatches with terribly painted dials, but there are also plenty of interesting originals.

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3 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I have one piece of advice for you here and it's really important to learn it fast. Whatever happens just agree with your missus, if you want to live a long and happy life,  she's right, she will always be right and you will never be right , even when you know you are right. You now owe me big time 😄

Indeed... We have been married 25 years.  It wouldn't be the case if I hadn't followed that advice.  BTW I am done editing the video (mostly adding text and removing pauses and my hairy harm going in front of the lens because my part tray was on the left and I am right handed.  It is now uploading and will soon be attached here

3 hours ago, mbwatch said:

The HMT are great to work on because they are so plentiful and varied and rock bottom cheap. But the movements have a couple of weird things that will cause you to break your first unless you heed:

 

1) the ratchet wheel screw as well as the crown wheel screw is left hand thread. They are never marked with 3 lines but they are always left hand and you will break one if you don't watch.

2) the mainspring also winds the "wrong" direction. Left hand, more common on Japanese movements.

 

But yes I agree buy a couple of them. A lot, probably most are weird frankenwatches with terribly painted dials, but there are also plenty of interesting originals.

I just watched an assembly video of that movement (HMT0231) and I did notice the ratchet wheel screw being reverse threaded.

Here is my first watch video taken using the microscope.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Terrinecold said:

Disassembled cleaned reassembled and lubricated a 15 year old 6T16.  Nothing lost nothing broken but the movement is working worst than before with a crazy timegrapher reading.

I would start by finding the faults I introduced to this one. You can learn a lot from your own mistakes.

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2 hours ago, Klassiker said:

I would start by finding the faults I introduced to this one. You can learn a lot from your own mistakes.

Yes, that's a good idea. Fault-finding (and maybe fixing) is the biggest skill. And actually quite fun.

 

 

14 hours ago, eccentric59 said:
  • Crawling on the floor with a flashlight and a magnet.
  • Staring in bewilderment at a cleaning basket wondering why 18 pieces went in but only 17 came out.
  • Removing a barrel bridge multiple times because you forgot to install the hack or the setting lever the first time.
  • Memorize the expedited shipping rates from Cousins.
  • Arriving home 5 minutes before the wife so you can stash the eBay packages before she asks "so NOW what did you order?"

hahahaha, 💯

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1 hour ago, Knebo said:

Yes, that's a good idea. Fault-finding (and maybe fixing) is the biggest skill. And actually quite fun.

 

 

hahahaha, 💯

Basics Knebo , the last one is super important to remember, unless you dont fancy waking up the following morning 😄

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8 hours ago, Klassiker said:

I would start by finding the faults I introduced to this one. You can learn a lot from your own mistakes.

Not a bad idea but I'll need help with that.  I have no idea what is going wrong.  I just have the timegrapher picture which makes me think escapement problem and this video I took of the escapement working 

IMG_0046.jpeg

I should really post that on the other topic though

For now though I"ll follow up the plan and clean then reassemble and lubricate the ST36 then check it on the timegrapher.

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to quote our friends here: 

19 hours ago, rossjackson01 said:

DEMAGNETISE

?

 

..and look at the hairspring from the side to see if it's flat and/or rubbing somewhere.

Edited by Knebo
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Back to the original topic (I went back and posted what I could about the 6T15 in the other thread but not making much progress. 

 

I cleaned the ST36 and reassembled and attempted to lubricate it. I have a video of that but it will need editing before I can upload it. I am also trying to have a second angle from my phone and some voice but I am not sure I’ll have the time and capability to put it together nicely. 
 

Anyway here is a recounting. 
1) I didn’t remove the mainspring or clean the barrel as I didn’t want to risk kinking it I have successfully manually rewound one but I’ll keep my practice to the already broken watch. 
2) I still have not taken apart and oiled the shock protection and cap jewels. I’ll get to it but I am a bit afraid of manipulating such tiny pieces I’ll practice more off camera first.

With that said after the disassembly I cleaned all the parts except balance assembly and pallet fork (and click spring + yoke spring).  The cleaning is done by putting the parts in small brass and mesh baskets writing down which part went I  which basket and which were not cleaned and which compartments they are stored in (that latest is not really needed with the st36 as all parts are easy to recognize and the screws are big enough that I put them I  the baskets  on the Slava movements it was needed to keep track of which screws are which when they were too small to go in baskets  

I used an ultrasonic machine to clean the parts  I do 3 20mn passes with the parts (in their baskets) in a mason jar first 2 passes are in 2 different jars of lighter fluid and the 3rd pass is with IPA.

 Then dried them by keeping them in the baskets and using a hairdryer to avoid condensation  (I found that this is actually not working well as a drying method and I should take them out of the baskets first I think )

The balance and pallet fork spent 10mn in a jar of Hexane.

 Then reassembled the movement  this went mostly ok with some fumbling which you’ll see in the video when I put it up.

 The  put it on the timegrapher  and here is the horror

IMG_0065.thumb.jpeg.5501a679835bd1eb733026ff848d8b2d.jpeg
 

I looked better at the balance assembly and found that the coils of the hairspring were sticking to each other (even after demagnetizing).

I realized it had to do with the cleaning and drying so I gave the balance a quick 10s IPA bath (I know shellac) and dried it using the hairdryer. Result was the coils looked good. 
Here is the timegrapher result after this.  So I am pretty happy.

IMG_0068.thumb.jpeg.32de46bfb15112d578da113063f682ae.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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