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I work with a 2.5 power loupe, 10x loupe for hairspring work and some jewel lubrication and a microscope usually on the 3x setting for escapement lubrication, pivot checking etc. This should pretty much cover your watchmaking needs.

 

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Oh and I do have a 25x loupe for the occasional real close look at some things, usually pivots but this is a luxury as they are now harder to source for a reasonable price.

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I picked up a 10x stereo microscope ,the type on a boom style stand, its an old unit from about 1960, i have plenty of room underneath it about 8" it works for me much better than a loupe, and i think as its an old unit it will be of better quality than some of the stuff on the market today unless you pay top doller,

 

                                             john  

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I picked up a 10x stereo microscope ,the type on a boom style stand, its an old unit from about 1960, i have plenty of room underneath it about 8" it works for me much better than a loupe, and i think as its an old unit it will be of better quality than some of the stuff on the market today unless you pay top doller,
 
                                             john  

I am looking to do the same John. If you get a chance could we see a picture of you stereo microscope? Kind regards deggsy


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I use a 5X and 10X loop. I have a 2.5X lighted magnifier and 2X and 3X hand lenses.  I also have folding doublets and triplets I carry to shows and swap meets.  For really long duration work using a lighted magnifier works out best.  I wear glasses and also use frame mounted lenses. 

I have also done a lot of work under stereo microscopes. A good quality microscope is a must since the cheap ones can cause eye strain and even blindness.  Look for used Olympus, Zeiss, Nikon, Leica or Bausch & Lomb scopes. Even scopes that are 60 years old take the same objectives and eyepieces the modern ones do.            

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Thanks for that, i picked up an old beck 10x its a real game changer, everything is so clear and once you get used to it its much easier to work with for me than a loupe,

                                                               regards john

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 0:35 AM, david said:

Personally I never liked using eye loupes. I don't like working  scrunched over the movement and find loupes to be extremely uncomfortable. After trying out every type and power of loupe I could get my hands on I settled on off the shelf drugstore reading glasses. They are relatively inexpensive and are available in powers of 1 through 4 diopters. For higher magnification I use an inexpensive Amscope stereo microscope that magnifies up to 40X.  In the end all that counts is what works best for you and how much you want to pay for the equipment. 

OVAL-RIMLESS-READING-GLASSES-Almost-Invisible-1086-ANY-STRENGTH-1-00-4-00stereo-microscope-SM-3B

david

I bought a microscope but have yet to use it.  Wondering how easy it is to do actual work with as opposed to merely inspecting something?

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I spent my early career (80s and 90s) working in electronics.  We would do soldering and gold brazing under 100X stereo microscope.  You have to get used to working that way.  First rule is don't look up or around while working, fouls your perspective when you do and you can break something while not looking at it. Always completely disengage from the work before you look up from the scope.   

To get used to working with a scope I used a sewing needle and fine steel wire to practice. I kept threading the wire in and out of the needle till at 50X I could do it without bending the wire.  Then I jumped to 100X and practiced more.  I can even do this at 300X with a single objective scope.     

   

   

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Douglas Skinner,

You brought up an interesting point. Most of the actual work (as far as manipulating screwdrivers, tweezers and other watch tools that physically move watch components) is done with  low power eye loupes. Magnifier reading glasses offer about the same level of magnification as  low power loupes.  The high power eye loupes (10X-20X) have a narrower field of focus and are generally reserved for inspection.  With a high power eye loupe any small movement of your head can throw the image in and out of focus. I feel that a microscope is better suited for higher magnification purposes as the scope is mechanically fixtured in the microscope frame. 

  stereo-microscope-SM-3B

This stand microscope provides ample room for tweezers and screwdrivers between the bottom lens and the watch, but for most work I prefer the magnifier reading glasses.  

david

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Getting magnification correct is a case of experimentation. I tried many methods & for me the best was individual strength eye loupes. I have an optimiser but I  only use it for clocks. 

My eyesight is not good & for inspecting jewels/pivots & fitting shock springs etc I have a binocular microscope which is on my work bench. 

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This is one area where a good microscope on your worktop really helps. Your be surprised how much you will see with big magnification. This is not my microscope but is the sort I believe should be considered because you have room to manipulate/fiddle while under the scope.

58ce57f2d90f1_ScreenShot2017-03-19at10_02_12.png.6be55f8488256a6dc58fe040f4ab6f9e.png

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I use this microscope. AmScope SM-1TSZZ-144S-3M

Generally very happy with it. It takes a bit of practice to actually "work" on a movement under the scope. I use this for removing cap jewels and oiling pivots. Also very handy for inspecting various components. My only gripe is that I need to remove my eyeglasses before I can look through the scope. I believe there are special eye cups available that may solve this problem.

 

scope.thumb.jpg.0a62fa5648258a858a64525039a5b82a.jpg

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9 hours ago, clockboy said:

This is one area where a good microscope on your worktop really helps. Your be surprised how much you will see with big magnification. This is not my microscope but is the sort I believe should be considered because you have room to manipulate/fiddle while under the scope.

58ce57f2d90f1_ScreenShot2017-03-19at10_02_12.png.6be55f8488256a6dc58fe040f4ab6f9e.png

is there a make and model no that goes with this plz

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Ideal magnification (imho) is 10x eyepieces with a variable multiplier of x0.7 to x4 on the scope head. Then by fitting a 0.5x "barlow" lens under the objective you get 3.5x to 20x with a working distance of about 6". The barlow lens is key to getting the working distance sensible. If you need more magnification it can always be removed for a while.

I have to take my specs off even with rubbber eye cups.

A ring light, like the one above is the best choice, and a boom stand means you can use it with a lathe too.  Ideally, if this allows the head to be set at an angle, it gives a better view for assembly without tilting your watch than the fully overhead arrangement.

 

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Anyone know of a good source for boom style microscopes? Probably too deep for my pockets at the moment but I'd like to have a look at some point.


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Watch Louis Rossmann's videos on Youtube for sage microscope buying advice.  He talks about microscopes for electronics repair but the concepts and necessary functions are the same for watch repair.  I'll post the Youtube identifiers instead of cluttering the thread by imbedding the videos.    C_eQrbop-J4 and m4LaZsS5V7s.  Use the search function in Youtube to get to the videos.

 

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This scope currently is selling on Ebay for $359.00 with free shipping in the USA. It is a trinocular which allows  hookup to a computer. With that you can snap pictures of the watch as you disassemble it. This will help you  work on watches with complications when you reassemble the movement. It offers a zoom up to 45X and has a 4 inch (100mm) working distance.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/7X-45X-Trinocular-Stereo-Zoom-Microscope-with-Double-Arm-Boom-Stand-/400429169541?hash=item5d3b703b85:g:dMMAAOSwMVdYENVr

david

Edited by david
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  • 3 weeks later...

+2.5 cheapo eyeglasses from poundshop, and another pair with 20X loupe stuck on with Rodico for setting up pre-position of Accutron fingers.
I found using loupe as designed it steamed up all the time causing irritation and annoyance, just when you get the damned things aligned--you couldn't see 'em anymore.

All normal dissassembly and reassembly done with just the eyeglasses. Parts examination done at 20x

For Indexing I use a £5 cheapo Chinese microscope 100x I modded for the job. Indexing jewels look like two house-bricks on a circular sawblade

Works for me!

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Hi - I'm a rank amateur so my opinion's probably worthless. That doesn't usually stop me.

I have a variety of different devices that I've tried. I wear glasses which is an additional nuisance - particularly as damaging very very expensive varifocals is a distinct possibility.

However the most useful overall visual aid I've used so far is a 3x magnifying lamp with a circular daylight tube (handy for macro shots too.) Mine is a cheap one (£30) as there are crazy variations in price of similar - or even identical - products. Obviously for close inspection it's not adequate however for most routine jobs it's great. The only drawback of the cheap version is that the articulation of the arm is abominable (cf Anglepoise lamps). Stiff, very limited angles, shockingly poor design including a plastic clamp! you can guess how long that lasted, and a tightening screw on the lower arm that hits the clamp. Now mounted in a drilled plank. [email protected] but still very useful. A competently designed one with a 5X lens would be great, and probably very expensive.

Roy 

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This is a picture of the trinocular microscope I provided a link for in the above post. The binocular eyepieces provide conventional optics and the third port provides a place for a digital camera.The quality is excellent and the unit is surprisingly heavy.

7X-45X Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscope with Double Arm Boom Stand

david

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  • 8 months later...

Hi All

I'm just learning the basics on a cheap Elgin PW.  Some of the jewels look cracked but hard to tell with my 4X loupe.  What magnification is recommended for inspecting fewels?  If they are cracked, where do I order replacements?

Many thanks

Charlie

 

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Honestly, for jewels I think you need a microscope. That's what I would use and I do plan on buying one soon.

You can find cheap usb microscopes for as little as 10$ and they seem good. They don't have a very high resolution but still usable.

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