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Old hands,new member Hints after 35 years

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I was waiting for the cleaning cycle to finish and I came across this board.  Some of the posters are pretty serious and that is a pleasant thing to see.

I have been updating my website to highlight pages that may be of interest to the membership

http://historictimekeepers.com/Notes for Watchmakers.htm



I am trying to leave a trail of bread crumbs so that younger watchmakers do not have to learn the hard way like I did.  I do need to put together a book list (Jendritski, Perkins, Whitney, Wild, Gazeley, the Argus Shop series, Sherline book, etc) that gets people away from relying on bad information or writers who leave Easter Eggs for the reader to figure out.

If people have a topic they would like me to add, let me know.  My goal is to fill the space of how things are done which tends to be glossed over.  For example, using an adjustable hotplate instead of an alcohol lamp for bluing and shellacking, etc.  Things I have found that make life easier and increase the probability of success.




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Johnnie and James,


Glad to know I was not overstepping.  Yeah, I went to Neuchatel in 2010, about 15 years too late (I was 57).  If you recall, I was struggling with my seeing.  Finally got cataracts done but I still have "floaters"; waiting to see if my brain will cancel them out before I decide to drain my eyeballs.

BUT, the microscopes make a huge difference and given that they are being dumped by institutions and businesses in favor of digital imaging, you can get an excellent top tier scope for little money.

Turning with a 5 or 10mm reticle to measure your lengths under a microscope is heaven.  Like I said on one of my pages, I gave up on them in the 90's because of the poor Russian and Chinese quality while top tier scopes like Nikon and Olympus were going for $1500.

Anyway,  when I get the chance, I am going to do a page on tools for doing a precision setup.  I also am telling people to buy a new Sherline mill instead of doing wheel/pinion cutting on a WW. 





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thanks for the info.   i have some classic scopes,  but i am experimenting with a didital scope.  you can transfer the images to the " big screen "  and very the magnifficatation without changing lenses.  i don't have floaters YET.  cheers.  vin

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Hi Dewey,


Thanks for very informative web page, I came across it some time ago and find it very useful. If I may, I would  suggest that you could write some info about topics omitted by many watchmakers books - like replacement of regulator arm (part press fitted to balance cock, used for adjustment, not other part used to block its movement)  - common issue in vintage American watches - often rusty or broken. I never see info in any book or forum how to replace it for new one or for re-finish and how to put back and not brake it :). Im sure there is much more topics to add to the list.

btw. I also think about buying a microscope, not decided yet what magnifications would work for me best.

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That is a good point.  I think this covers two topics:  refinishing steel in the modern age (Spoiler alert: 3M self adhesive Imperial Diamond sheets) ; and how I install regulators and cap jewels on balances with screwed cap jewels.  I printed your email as a reminder.  Easy enough to do; just gotta find a couple hours.  But I will.

I think I start breaking Notes for Yong watchmakers into subsections for these kinds of topics.

First I gotta finish on the Sherline and dead center turns though.

A warning to all; I take the Swiss a[approach, if the fit and finish and results are correct, the piece does not care if you did it on a WW or a turns or even with a file.  There are lots of ways to skin that cat.  I can only talk about what I have learned to produce clean, precise results. I hope you find and share others as you go along.




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