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I've given up on the idea of a comprehensive, affordable set of mainspring winders. A new spring is cheap and goes in so easily! By no means am I  an expert with hairsprings, but repairing them i

You wouldn't. It's about barrel sizes. The ETA set is sized (and I'm sure labeled) according to common ETA movements. Generic sets are sized by unit measurements (mm). If you do a lot of ETA stuff, it

Just found in a chronograph barrel. Apparenly put in by hand, too ? Frank  

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I have just found a video on YouTube showing how it can be done with just using your fingers. I think this method looks doable and i would feel confident to give it a go. If anything it seems a winder would be a bit of a luxury and not a necessity.

Thank you both for you comments and putting me on the path to finding the Video

Richard 

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With a new mainspring you simply press it in. A used mainspring you start by fitting the end into the barrel depending on what end fixture you have, an eye end you hook it on the inside piece, normal bridle close to the inside piece so its resting next to it, then you simple feed it into the barrel using your fingers.

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I use something like the one below. Works OK, but the one I have has too much slop between pusher and barrel. The inner hooking also only works in one direction, so I made some new arbors and modified some existing ones. These and other types can be found on ebay for not that much.

Winding by hand may work, but is not a good way to go about. You'll have to wear finger cots to prevent touching the spring. The cots will get stuck between coils, etc. If you're not careful, you'll cone-shape the spring, or scratch the edges (more likely with old carbon steel springs). If you only do this three times per year, it may be an option.

I pretty much find reinstalling the spring one of the most frustrating steps in assembling a watch. It doesn't help that I'm stupid and regularly end up winding the spring in the winder barrel in the wrong direction, which means start from scratch.

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I'll keep my eye out for an old set and see if i can get one for a good price. I am just starting out at the moment (just about to embark on my first service) so i cant really justify buying them at the present time. If the service goes well and i get the bug, it'll definitely be worth having them. Thanks for the safety advice digginstony.

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welcome to the forum, and just as a suggestion take your time and watch and read a lot. It will help you decide

on the right tools to buy. It can be done by hand and since you only use it a few times a year, i would wait to find a good deal online, and you can always post pictures asking if  a particular winder you find would work well for your needs.

 

~Omar

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Thanks for the welcome Omar. I agree with you, its best to take your time and get as much information as possible. 

I think i may have a look for a few damaged movements just to practice taking parts off and put them back on. I can also give the mainspring a go by hand.

 

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On 2/8/2014 at 6:28 AM, 64americandeluxe said:

I ended up buying a Watch-Craft winder set like the one shown below.  I should be trying it out in the next week or so.  I know the learning curve is rather steep.  Fingers crossed...

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Cheers.

Roger

I have a very similar winding set as this. These winders are great once you get used to using them. The issue to be aware of is unlike the Bergeon mainspring winder (which has a winding handle) it's a bit more tricky when winding & keeping the winding arbour flush with the rest of the unit. Also the same issue as the Bergeon the removing of the arbour after winding is the most critical part. Absolutely make sure it has released & withdraw the winding arbour slowly making sure the centre of the spring does not travel out with the arbour. If it does (which is common) Use a fine pair of tweezers to push the centre of the spring back as you go. I suggest you practice first with an old scrap spring/arbour. 

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  • 1 month later...

Will most vintage watch mainspring winder sets suffice for most average watches? I dont want to buy a full burgeon set, at least not at this time. 

are there things I need to be aware of before buying a set off of ebay?

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I've worked on several practice mainspring barrels, I managed to get the hang of successfully removing them by hand after a couple of tries, but the re installation seems flat out impossible unless I'm missing something. I'm not sure how doing it by hand will help me decide on the equipment, but I will follow your advice and get more practice with it, that was part of my plan.

Edited by Ishima
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Okay reporting back, I did just after much struggle get a mainspring fitted back into the barrel with my hands, I also think I know where much of my trouble comes from, most of my scrap movements are Auto seikos, and I'm guessing auto mainsprings are harder, at least to start feeding in due to the large friction bend at the end. I'll try and get some more practice in, it's nice to know that winders aren't an absolute necessity for me, though I will say my hands are cramped!

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  • 3 weeks later...

i gotta reply to this because i tried to do a couple by hand. they were also seiko automatics. i ended up breaking the friction end. i could not get it to lay against the wall of the barrel - it wanted to take a "shortcut" and just lay flat making it cramped for the rest of the spring to get into the barrel.

i'm looking for a winder myself, but am unsure as to what i need. i keep seeing sizes, but i don't know how they relate to an "average" watch....9 1/2 to 15 mm.....etc.

 i might continue my search on this forum and if i can't find a good recommendation, i'll post the question.

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On 12/8/2016 at 3:17 PM, Ishima said:

Will most vintage watch mainspring winder sets suffice for most average watches? I dont want to buy a full burgeon set, at least not at this time. 

are there things I need to be aware of before buying a set off of ebay?

I will be doing a proper post after the xmas festivities but purchased this on the bay and it is absolutely brilliant .It is supposed to be just for auto springs but it's will work with any spring. I paid £69 + £22 postage from the USA. If you find one buy it.

Master Craft Mainspring Winder for Automatic Watch Mainsprings Wristwatches

 

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i'm looking forward to see what you have to say about it. i'm really wanting one as i don't do a proper service on my watches because i can't service the spring. i gotta get over my mainspring winder envy. lol

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Guys

At an auction recently I purchased a box of watch mainspring winders which cost very little money as most people did not know what they were. Now not having done any mainspring work yet I thought I would try them out. The K & D 126 is complete but can anyone give me advice on how to use it please? I know that the right size  winder fits into the end of the little handle and then there is a little rod and extension piece? which go through the handle to push the spring out so the question is how does the little crank handle wind the spring in as its a very loose fit. The other item in the auction was not named but consisted of a tube with finger grips. ten different size winders and ten different crank handles. Any help would be appreciated

Chris

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Thanks for your reply

Yours looks a bit more complex than mine....Ive given the 126 a trial run...It was ok but the only trouble was removing the handle after winding. Tends to pull the centre coils up with it..Slowly slowly then a screw driver blade across the top is the way to go. The second pic has no makers name.....Chris

 

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