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TheBeerGuy

tools for newbs?

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I purchased a new Bergeron cannon ponion remover as shown. However the new one,s are inferior to the orginal as they do not grip small canon pinions

Make sure that I keep hold of mine then.
Might be a case of keeping an eye out for a good used one for sale

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Obviously the folks who insist on designer label watch products need a guru. This must be the chosen one:
 

Firstly I think the OPS question was are cheap Chinese tools worth it. The general concensus across the board seems to be yes and no, depends on what you buy.
I don't think anyone actually suggested buying a particular "Brand" but buying the best you can afford seems wise in some people's conclusion.
Personally I would recomend Bergeon or Horotec or even vintage such as C.E. Marshall or Kendrick & Davis as I found them to be excellent.
Are you seriously trying to suggest the above mentioned are just designer label and should be dismissed? These firms have spent great effort in producing a quality item for there customers.
GEO suggested or suspects some of these tools or the manufacture of are coming from China ? Even so, if quality is maintained, personally I can't see an issue though hopefully they're employing the use of a "Rockwell Machine" or its equivalent to test parts level of hardness to particular steels used.
Also I believe there's a certain aesthetic appeal in the use of quality tools and indeed some people even collect Watchmakers tools as a hobby.
For those on the forum who truly believe the less you pay the better as long as it does the job, please please please forward your Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko Snowflakes to me and I will only be too happy to exchange them for a cheap plastic Casio that retail for £7.99app. After all, there cheap and as a timekeeper, they do the job, probably better being quartz , in some instances.
No slur intended on Casio. There great watch manufacturers for there intended market.
No I'm not even going to comment on the video.

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The point I was trying to make, re- some tools with the brand "Bergeon" are I suspect are now made in China is that the quality is now longer a guarantee. I have no problem paying a premium for quality tools but in return I expect quality. However I agree with your list of quality brands & vintage tools such as K&D which are always quality. For example I recently purchased a vintage spring winder by "Master Craft". It just works perfectly every time & in  my opinion is far superior than my Bergeon winder. 

However it is difficult to justify the cost of quality tools if you are a hobbyist or just a tinkerer working with the occasional watch. 

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Buying quality used tools works for me as a hobbyist while the initial cost may be more they are easy to resell and recoup your investment... I made some great buys as to were I might make a profit if I sell all my tools. Even after throwing the few cheap items I purchased in the garbage.

Don't be penny wise dollar foolish.

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Don't be penny wise dollar foolish.

The hard numbers have been given by david before. Being overcharged of $5,000 for machinery is not pennies and not a smart start for an hobbyst. Same for $10 screwdrivers that work the same as the $200 one. No problem having a fetishes for brands as long you can accept that others can achieve the same or better with much less money. For an example check the videos by szabalogh here.

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The hard numbers have been given by david before. Being overcharged of $5,000 for machinery is not pennies and not a smart start for an hobbyst. Same for $10 screwdrivers that work the same as the $200 one. No problem having a fetishes for brands as long you can accept that others can achieve the same or better with much less money. For an example check the videos by szabalogh here.

The point Adiorio110 was making, was with prudent buying, you could, if for any reason wish to sell your tools, you could recover your costs. Or make a profit!
As for David's post, did anyone actually take that seriously as a proposal for someone wishing to tinker with watches?
Quality tools can be seen as expensive (Overcharged) Well that's just subjective.
Can cheap tooling perform as well as more expensive items, it's possible. Can it continue to do so, or have any value when no longer required ?
The point you made regards Manipulation was very valid and shouldn't be ignored. Any one starting up would do well, if possible to watch a Professional, not only what he's doing but how he's holding and manipulating those tools.



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The point Adiorio110 was making, was with prudent buying, you could, if for any reason wish to sell your tools, you could recover your costs. Or make a profit!
As for David's post, did anyone actually take that seriously as a proposal for someone wishing to tinker with watches?
Quality tools can be seen as expensive (Overcharged) Well that's just subjective.
Can cheap tooling perform as well as more expensive items, it's possible. Can it continue to do so, or have any value when no longer required ?
The point you made regards Manipulation was very valid and shouldn't be ignored. Any one starting up would do well, if possible to watch a Professional, not only what he's doing but how he's holding and manipulating those tools.



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Hell.I give up. ..JDM is right I'm getting rid of all my tools ..From now on I'm using a rock for a hammer, It will get the job done. I might even convert my egg beater to a drill.



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Watchmakers will always argue about personal choices like this. Just like "which lubricant is best for X?".

Another thing to add to the argument is the amount of extra time spent caring for cheaper tools. I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.  I did wonder if I'd have been better just buying a Bergeon one, or perhaps a second-hand European-made one on eBay. Who knows. I do value my time though. 

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2 hours ago, rodabod said:

Watchmakers will always argue about personal choices like this. Just like "which lubricant is best for X?".

Another thing to add to the argument is the amount of extra time spent caring for cheaper tools. I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.  I did wonder if I'd have been better just buying a Bergeon one, or perhaps a second-hand European-made one on eBay. Who knows. I do value my time though. 

Do yourself a favor. Save your breath :pulling-hair-out:

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I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.

Why don't you show which tool it is and a picture of how it has been corrected so others can learn and judge for themselves.
I think that participating in discussions with verifiable facts is better than canned statements of prejudice.

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Here's a photo of the heavily dressed balance screw holder / vice. If you don't modify it, then it will snap off the adjacent balance screws since it is too wide. This is a gents Lemania Cal 27a balance which I was working on, so typical size:

image.jpg

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Oh, and it also didn't spin straight when it arrived. I had to clamp the chuck together (to prevent it twisting) while straightening the bend. 

Edited by rodabod

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No prejudice here Jdm. Note from the picture the Chinese cushion movement holder. Ok when it arrived my impression was "Crude Manufacture " even visible signs of gluing and the case being made from a piece of old "Monkey Metal" but it's served me well over the years.9500471cc7c4b76908b7491593bd2778.jpg

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My email signature at work is -

 "When all you have is a screwdriver handle, everything looks like a nail"

Some may recognize it as a takeoff of on another saying,

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

So, not only the wrong tool for the job, not even using the tool appropriately! I came up with this when I was bashing away with a screwdriver handle at UPS case that had a bloated battery inside. Didn't have a hammer, or even better a nice pair of the right sized pliers, or best some sheet metal tools!. None of which are usually used for a battery replacement.

So, for a one off, you make do with what's available. If, however, sheet metal work was something that I was going to do regularly, I sure as heck would invest in the appropriate tools, and "cheap" or "expensive" has nothing to do with it. Sometimes brands can be a guide, but I don't find that to be very true any more. Country of origin has little to do with it. I'm only interested in the "quality" or effectiveness of a tool, and the best way that I can explain that is that a quality (hand) tool disappears, it becomes an extension of you that you don't notice.  With poor tools you are always aware of the tools, there is always some little gripe that demands attention, either before it is ever used or as you are using it.

For instance, I went ahead and bought a set of the screwdrivers that Geo sometimes recommends. Well, sorry Geo :), but in my subjective opinion they suck. They are not any better than my old Radio Shack "precicsion" screwdriver set, not as good as my cheap Bestfit set, and even the non-ball bearing Horotec screwdrives blows them out of the water. I bought one of the Horotecs just to see if I could tell the difference. And yes, oh boy could I tell the difference. That's why I'm saving my pennies for a Horotec set.

At some point you will probably find me beating on the top of the no-name screwdrivers with the handle of my sledgehammer trying to free some stuck doodad out of a rusted hole.

Cheers!

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On 2/11/2017 at 2:55 PM, david said:

 

CHICAGO SCHOOL OF WATCHMAKING by Thomas B. Sweazey  (available from Lulu Press)

 

I had no idea a hard copy version was available.  Thank you SO MUCH!!!

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If I could add to the topic (it's a good discussion)....

I think there is three components to tools and the use of them,

1. Having a quality tool - not necessarily the best quality, but one that can do the job without unintended consequences. Perhaps this would mean that you would be wiser to get better quality if you are using the tool regularly as well. Most folk might prefer higher quality screw drivers and tweezers.

2. Having the right kind of tools for the repair work you anticipate doing. Don't use a tool for a purpose for which it was not intended (unless sure of the outcome).

3. When faced with a less routine repair task, thinking through the approach to a likely successful conclusion. This is common in lathe work.

In my view this leads to less breakage and slips etc. A long time ago I bought a Chinese milling attachment for my lathe...I could not afford a Lorch (nor could I find one)...I needed to strip it down and dress it carefully. This took several hours, but was rewarding in the end and I bet, for what I use it for, it is just as good as the German one.

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Hamish,

At some point a person has to conclude that a tool functions adequately for the job or it does not. Selecting a designer label tool seems to be an easy way to select quality but unfortunately things do not always work out that way. Does a SNAP-ON wrench really tighten a bolt better than a CRAFTSMAN  wrench?  Does a BERGEON case opener open watch cases better than the Chinese case opener? Is a BERGEON watch winder a better tool than the Chinese made watch winder. Is a BERGEON lathe more accurate than a DERBYSHIRE  or a LEVIN LATHE?   As most people tend to think that  a highly advertised Swiss tool  with a designer brand name is a superior tool,  they will never be happy with actual reality. When the issues are researched it becomes evident that the BERGEON case openers and watch winders are made in China and the DERBYSHIRE and LEVIN lathes are far more accurate than the BERGEON lathe. The BERGEON lathe is manufactured by a company called DIXIE, which is owned by a Japanese company called MORI SEKI.

 The next question is, Is a BERGEON lathe adequate for watch work?  The answer is yes. I own one and it is a fine machine. I also own a Chinese made Sincere lathe and it is also a fine machine. The BERGEON and SINCERE  machines have cone bearing spindles and have accuracies  limited to that particular bearing system. That said, both machines can make parts with enough precision to be used in a watch. I also have both BERGEON and HOROTEC screwdriver sets. Either type of screwdriver is able to remove watch screws. As long as the screwdriver blades are of good quality the rest is a personal preference.

david 

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5 hours ago, david said:

The BERGEON lathe is manufactured by a company called DIXIE, which is owned by a Japanese company called MORI SEKI. The next question is, Is a BERGEON lathe adequate for watch work?  The answer is yes. I own one and it is a fine machine. I also own a Chinese made Sincere lathe and it is also a fine machine. The BERGEON and SINCERE  machines have cone bearing spindles and have accuracies  limited to that particular bearing system. That said, both machines can make parts with enough precision to be used in a watch.

Assuming they resumed activity with Japanese ownership, that is Dixi, of La Locle. http://www.lathes.co.uk/dixilathe/

I agree that both lathes can be used to make parts, how they are on the opposite extremes  of technical and market segments. A Bergeon complete set sells for GBP 28,995 + VAT. Honestly I don't think there is any fair production cost basis for that, or for a three-jaws chuck to be priced GBP 1,395 + VAT.

L7538_Pic1_cmyk1.jpg

Edited by jdm

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JDM,

That Bergeon model is actually an instrument size lathe which was designed to include clock size parts. It is a bigger and stronger machine than their Geneva style lathe and will reduce machine flex caused from heavier cuts. This is due to the double pedestal bed and the larger size.  It will  also successfully make watch parts, is extremely expensive and has a designer label brand name. It is not, however, as precise as a Derbyshire or a Levin lathe in the instrument size machine. Due to the cone bearing spindle the rotational speed cannot match a ball bearing headstock. Also, the spindle runout cannot be brought in more than a couple of ten thousandths of an inch or the bearings will be damaged. A ball bearing spindle can have a runout in the millionths of an inch and offer a faster rotation. At one time cone bearing headstocks were more accurate than ball bearing headstocks but with the improvement of ball bearing manufacturing around WW2,  ball bearing machines surpassed the accuracy of the cone bearing machines. That said, it is a beautiful looking machine and will certainly do the job for which it was designed.

david

Edited by david

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4 hours ago, david said:

That Bergeon model is actually an instrument size lathe which was designed to include clock size parts. It is a bigger and stronger machine than their Geneva style lathe and will reduce machine flex caused from heavier cuts. This is due to the double pedestal bed and the larger size.  It will  also successfully make watch parts, is extremely expensive and has a designer label brand name.

Thanks david. So, browsing Bergeon's .website one can see the 1766 "Geneva pattern" model which was copied by the Chinese since 60s. I don;t know how much it cost but I have no tool envy towards it.

beiqpquj.jpg

 

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Ok, so I have read this particular thread eagerly. In particular I found the comments about upgrading screwdrivers enlightening, but I am left with a question.

Given the cost of top quality screwdrivers, it makes sense to buy "medium" quality drivers and then upgrade the replaceable bits as needed. My question is this - what about starting with good (or top) quality bits, but mount them in 3-jaw pin vises with bearing swivel-tops?

Bear with me here - this is a serious question (albeit one asked in ignorance). Total tool length would increase slightly, and then you would need to label or distinguish between pin vises because they would all essentially be the same with different bits (in this case buying a set of 9 pin vises to make a full "set").

The upside is that you would get:  increased torque, a much more ergonomic grip, bearing swivel tops for a fraction of the cost ($6.00 or less per pin vise with a bit of window shopping), and in a pinch you could make do with one pin vise if absolutely needed and just change the bits. Heck, most of the time it would even come with a set of cheap drill bits as a bonus (for use with other projects not watch related). I just don't see the benefit to purchasing horotec screwdrivers (even if I had the money for them) when a 3-jaw pin vise appears to be as good or better for a fraction of the cost...

Lacking practical experience, I am pretty sure I am missing something important...would anyone be kind enough to either enlighten me? 

Pin Vise.jpg

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