WildBill

Removing barrel lid

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Hi, I'm in the process of dismantling my first ever mechanical watch, its a SERVICE make 1950s 60s...Everything is going well

its fully dismantled and cleaned, ""but I cant find how to remove the barrel lid to take out the mainspring"" any suggestions would appreciated   

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If you can post a photo it would help, but usually you just push the bottom of the barrel arbor down onto something hard, or gently tap the arbor bottom down and it should pop the top off

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No worries, have you got yourself a mainspring winder?

If not you need to be very careful you don't distort the spring reinstalling it, also make sure you take note which way round the spring went inside the barrel, its very annoying if you reinstall it in the barrel upside down.

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No, no mainspring winder, it had been cause for concern, can you tell me what I should be looking,? Bergeon complete set  £875 a bit  expensive for a hobbyist...Have got photos of mainspring and stuff but will double check on assembly....

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Hand fitting mainsprings is really tricky.
Unless you have experience removing and refitting mainsprings on scrappers or know what mainspring would replace it when you damage it, I suggest you open the barrel and attempt to clean and lubricate the spring without removing it, of course, thats not ideal, but much better than mangling the spring or being unable to refit it at all. Especially the case for smaller calibers/barrels.
 
I think i must have practiced for many hours in total, repeatedly removing and refitting the mainspring, with about 10 different mainspring barrels on scrappers before I felt confident to do it for real, and I was long into the habit of wearing safety glasses due to unexpectedly losing grip at the wrong moment and it exploding out of my hand. ...maybe I was just a slow learner. :wacko:

Edited by Ishima

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9 hours ago, Ishima said:

Hand fitting mainsprings is really tricky.
Unless you have experience removing and refitting mainsprings on scrappers or know what mainspring would replace it when you damage it, I suggest you open the barrel and attempt to clean and lubricate the spring without removing it, of course, thats not ideal, but much better than mangling the spring or being unable to refit it at all. Especially the case for smaller calibers/barrels.
 

Type of mainspring winders you get is determined by unfortunately how much money you have and whether you wanted to do wristwatches or pocket watches.

Then hand winding mainsprings is definitely tricky. Depending upon the spring you can definitely distort the spring. Occasionally it may be the only way to get some springs in but I'm not happy if that has to be done.

Then for lubrication Ishima's suggestion  leaving the spring in. Modern Springs and the definition of modern conceivably could be 50 years of not sure when they started the practice of pre-lubricating the mainsprings. So modern mainsprings are supposed to be prelubricated with some form of dry lubrication. So for mainspring is like that if you ran it through the cleaning machine intact then put lubrication on you're probably okay perhaps. Anything that has anything that resembles liquid lubricants they have a habit of going bad particularly getting sticky then the spring it has to come out. Or you just accept that performance will not be what it should be and you do nothing at all. Just remember when you're learning there's lots of things to learn you don't have to purchase all of the tools all at once. Then even if you do want to purchase all the tools all at once that's impossible so don't worry about it.

So picture attached far left and the center mainly for pocket watches because of their size. Cannot recommend the the far left just not something I like. The middle set I use that all the time on American pocket watches. On the right the unfortunately expensive Bergeon set that wasn't actually expensive when I purchased it.

msw.JPG

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Hi John,  I realise I should have a winder, and its not an easy job to put in a mainspring by hand. Unfortunately on trying to take out the arbor the spring shot out across the room, the spring was very clean for a fifty plus old watch, i'm going to see if I can get a spring winder.

I saw in a tutorial the watch maker run the mainspring through a grease pad, not touching the spring with his fingers, I was going to follow

that method. thank you all for your help, I will post you on any progress....Bill 

 

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Just keep watching our favorite online auction website as mainspring winders do turn up regularly and if lucky you can get one for a good price.

I got a Bergeon style mainspring winder for under $150 Australian, it is not as big as the set posted above, but has done me so far. The only draw back is you can only wind springs one way into it, so for the barrels that require the spring the other way you have to first push the spring into a washer slightly smaller than the barrel, flip it over and then put it in the barrel.

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Hi Tmuir, Thanks, I will be looking for a mainspring winder, this is a fascinating hobby,  such a lot to learn , this watch I am servicing was

my Dads, the only watch he had, I cant believe how clean it came up just using a ultra Sonic cleaner, the case looks new the Gold plating

shine's. I have to say, I put the Mainspring back in the barrel this morning just one attempt in two minute's actually lost sleep last night over worrying over it, will be reassembling it tomorrow, will show you pic's of it when done...   

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Somewhere around here I may have some additional mainspring winder photographs and photographs for lubricating mainsprings Plus a picture to give you a clue as to how to put the barrel arbor in correctly. I'll write myself a note to look for those my comeback.

For the Bergeon Set I purchased mine at a nawcc national and it was a very long time ago but I think the price was around $100. And even back then hundred dollars was an outstanding price complete with its yellow box. So basically an extremely lucky purchase. So now for the confusing words were picture would be so nice. The part that you used to wind the spring in comes in three different types. The older sets correspond to the older mainspring is or typically American pocket watch springs basically any of the blued steel Springs. The protruding pin and the shape is different. Then for modern Springs typically the center of the spring is really tight then that part for winding is a very different shape. Then they also have a set a left-handed in the newer style.

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