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    • By Matthew
      Good (insert time here) everyone!
           I am relatively new to the world of clockwork repair and maintenence, but have done delicate metalwork, mechanism cleaning, and enjoy fixing things. Just recently, my sister brought home her boyfriends late great grandmothers singing bird in cage automata. For those of you who dont completely know or understand what it is, its basically a spring driven mechanism using bellows and a variable organ pipe to make bird sounds and move a little birdie around and "sing" (Example of singing bird mechanism working).
           His aunt wants it to be operational again, and after opening it up (not yet taking much apart) I have come to the conclusion that it could just use a good cleaning and oiling. But, my question is, what kind of oil should I use and how should I apply it? I don't have any fancy oils except for a bottle of valve oil for my trumpet at my current disposal, but I would like to buy some decent clockwork oil for this project and a sankyo music box repair I have waiting. 
           Note: come to find out while writing this, it was made by eschle reuge I'm Germany, probably around the 50's or 40's.

    • By jarz21
      Currently having limited space to work on watches, I decided that a portable desktop workbench would be necessary for me. I was inspired by this blog post for a similar sort of DIY setup, but was having trouble finding good sources for the individual components. Instead I used the following parts (mostly ordered from Amazon but available at Home Depot and Target as well):
      Carlisle CT121623 Café Standard Cafeteria / Fast Food Tray, 12" x 16", Gray 1x IRIS Desktop Letter Size Medium Stacking Drawer model DTD-L (available in clear or black) 2x IRIS Desktop Small Stacking Drawer model DTD-S (available in clear or black) Velcro 90087 Sticky-Back Hook & Loop Fastener Tape with Dispenser, 3/4" x 5ft Roll, White Everbilt #12 x 3/4in flat head phillips wood screws (SKU 284 773; from Home Depot) I paid about $32 for all of the above. Interestingly, everything except for the wood screws was made in USA. The plastic drawers do come with clips that allow them to be attached together, but the connection seemed pretty weak (hence the wood screws).
      To construct, I drilled through all of the holes on the bottom of the small drawers where the rubber feet would be pressed in (and ultimately ended up removing the Velcro you see in the picture below because I went with the screws instead):

      Next, I applied a bit of Velcro between the front edge of the two small containers. This may or may not have been necessary with the screws, but I did it anyway!

      To attach the two small containers to the larger drawer, I removed the top panel of the latter, marked where all of the feet align, and drilled some more holes so I wouldn't crack the plastic by driving the screws through it. You'll see where the two front inner holes interfered with molded plastic, so I didn't use screws there (also why I used the Velcro in the picture above).

      The screws may poke through the holes somewhat, but they shouldn't interfere with the drawers.

      Next I used a utility knife to shave the low feet off the bottom of the tray to make it smooth, then marked where it would be centered on the top of the small drawers. And in case you had been wondering, I chose to use the tray because it was cheap and had a decent lip around the edge to prevent things from rolling off.

      I then cut some lengths of Velcro in half and applied them to the topside of the small drawers. When I first ordered the Velcro, I hadn't planned on screwing it all together. The idea was to make it disassemble-able, but I changed my mind. Alternately, the Velcro could be replaced with double-sided 3M foam tape (though that wouldn't be thick enough to bridge the front gap between the two small drawers in the second picture.

      And now the final product, all stocked up! Esslinger's Watchmaker's Anti-Static Bench Mat Work Pad fit pretty darn well on the tray, with a little extra space around the edge to set things that might roll otherwise. The drawers have no locking mechanism, so make sure they don't slide open during transport. They do have some tabs to prevent them from falling all the way out, but that probably won't help much by that point. Final height is 7 13/16". The tray itself is textured, so a vacuum-clamp vise like the one in the blog post would likely not work.

      Hopefully folks find this useful. If you want, you could always stack more drawers. I find this size to be work pretty well and easy enough to store in the closet.
    • By Callac
      I've been looking for a forum like this for a while. My Minorva Tourbillon watch has a hand that fell off. Now this is not the time or place to discuss the ups and downs of of purchasing an inexpensive tourbillon watch. However I do like to watch and love to have it back in my wrist. Issue is I cannot get the movement out. I opened the back and was unable to remove the movement from there then I was advised to try to get the moving out from the front but I'm having real problems getting the front bezel and Crystal off. I've attached some pictures they're not the greatest, I'll upload some better ones if needed but any help would be appreciated here. Thanks in advance.  I thought about forcing the crystal out with air pressure, because all I need to do is just access the front of the dial. However then I realized it if I pressure the front crystal out the back display case will probably pop out first.

    • By Spook
      As I'm progressing in my knowledge from just being able to regulate and adjust to minimize beat error I've been looking at the 7S26 that I have with my Seiko 5 beater watch. I've heard numerous mentions of being careful that you don't break the plastic gears, particularly in vintage watches.
      There is a solution for that. With a bit of CAD skills you can print replacement gears and parts. The cheaper filament based printing isn't precise enough but laser based SLA can print features down to 100 microns it should be sufficient for all but the tiniest parts. More than just gears and components it can also be used for custom tools within the limits of the materials used.
      The Form 2 is the printer I would look at unless you want to step into commercial pricing.
    • By GeorgeClarkson
      As you know, I am working on a couple of movements, a Landeron 248 and a Valjoux 7733. I use a normal brass movement holder that I bought for real cheap on the bay a couple of years ago, but apart from being a bit unstable (china made...), it has worked me well for the simple watch servicing I have made for hobby.
      I acquired a cleaning machine the other day, and while I was at it, I was looking for other tools to buy (I had some spare dough I could throw at it... ). I found this auction for a 3d-printed movement holder for a Valjoux 7734 movement, and was intrigued both by the price (a professional one can cost upwards of 100€ here in Germany) and the quality of it. 3D printing is just amazing, and provided you have the right printer and correct design (with correct dimensional measures) it can do wonders...
      I contacted the seller asking if he could make one "to order" for my 7733 and my L248, and he  replied "Yes of course, I've done it already..." WOW!
      I was in! I looked at the other items he was selling on the bay, and wrote him another email, asking a couple of other things, to which he complied, of course. I received the package from France today.... 
      Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present you my new 7733 and L248 3d-printed holders, and stackable 2-stories parts box:

      The movement holders are incredibly precise, and themovements fit in perfectly:


      The holders are marked with the respective movement they were made for, so no problems figuring out which is which:

      And you can see in the picture above the stackable parts box does come with an acrylic cover... NICE!
      As you can see, I already put it to use:

      The seller makes them to recover the costs of the 3d-printer, and each holder costs about 10€ (if he already has the dimensional data - that is, if he made one in the past) plus 6,50€ shipping costs (to Europe, to England I do not know).
      If you need a holder he has not done yet, you can send him a wrecked movement or the precise dimensional data, and the first prototype will cost around 25-35€ to make.
      He has made quite a few models up to now, so probably he already has what you need. Manufacturing time is a couple of days only.
      If Mark agrees, I will post here the contact details of the seller, but you can easily find it on eBay, like I did. The guy speaks english, so no problem in communication either ;)
      And now... back to the working bench with my new holders!
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    • No no no! Hands are too much delicate to push on the cushion while working on the back, they can change inclination, bend, scratch dial. Use a universal movement holder big enough to embrace dial rim BUT take care to not strong or the dial could deform. Have a nice journey, I know it could be a little bit frustrating but perseverance is the only way to satisfaction! Inviato dal mio VOG-L29 utilizzando Tapatalk
    • So I'm working my casing up a naked movement.  Making TONS of mistakes.  Just ordered my THIRD cheap Chinese 2824 clone movement thanks to screw-ups rendering the first two non-functional. Thank God for cheap Chinese clone movements. Anyway, my question is this: When I have the dial and hands attached, I then wind the movement and let it run overnight so that I can make sure that the hands don't rub on each other, or hit the dial's attached indices.  Then I want to turn the movement over, move the click and release mainspring tension, then remove the stem so that I can put the movement in the case. So I take the movement off of the movement holder (dedicated 11 1/2 linge movement holder, best $15 bucks I ever spent on eBay) and... then what?  Is it safe to put a running movement face down on a case cushion?  If not, then do I just skip releasing he click all together, and let the movement run down for however many hours it takes?  Even with the movement not running, would it THEN be safe to put the movement face down on a cushion with the dial and hands still attached?  Of will I rink damaging the hands/scratching the dial? Some stuff you just can't learn on your own.  Thank God for the internet.
    • I stand corrected on the date, it probably is correct, I have references of a Thomas Speakman, London making clocks from 1685 dying in 1714. If it has been restored why does the movement door look like the hinge on the bottom is damaged?
    • Its a 30 hour English Longcase. I don't think its as old as 1700, but I will leave that to the experts. It won't be a chiming clock, but will be a striking clock, that is it will count out the hour on the hour, most likely by striking a bell. Every day you need to pull the weight back up. I'll look at my books and see if I can get an approximate date based on the hands. If the clock has been professionally serviced and needs no work the starting bid is already at the top end of its value in my opinion, if its not been serviced correctly and needs work its value is much lower. They have not posted any photos of the movement which you really need to see, but the rope and lead donut do look new, so it probably has been recently serviced.
    • Greg you cannot rush these things. Planning is everything! Thanks for your comments.
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