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dwhite

Tiny washer

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Isn't that an Elton John song?  I'm embarrassed to ask but the last three Elgin pocket watch movements I've taken apart and put back together have the same extra part left over and I don't know where it goes.  It's a tiny washer, not a dial washer, that I never see when I take the movement apart, never see when I put the parts in the basket for the ultrasonic but it magically appears after it comes out of the cleaner.  I don't put the mainspring barrel in the cleaner.  I've looked for places where it might go but can't find anything.  These are parts movements I'm practicing on so I left them as dead as they were when I started minus a washer.  Here's a picture next to a center wheel of a 12s Elgin.washer.jpg.978db736db5c18fb1df6da54680e56a1.jpg

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I posted this a while back and got no answers.  I just looked for it and it was gone so I reposted it.  Was the question deleted because it was too dumb?  I seriously cannot figure it out.  Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, dwhite said:

I posted this a while back and got no answers.  I just looked for it and it was gone so I reposted it.  Was the question deleted because it was too dumb?  I seriously cannot figure it out.  Thanks!

I've taken dozens of these old pocket watches apart and I can say the ONLY place I've ever found a "washer" was under the crown wheel of some movements. That's not to say that someone at some point added a washer to wrongly fix a problem. but that's the only place I can think it would have come from. Sometimes when removing the crown wheel the washer is "stuck" to the bridge plate by the old dried oil/grease, and it looks like just part of the plate, but it's not.

I have seen washers a couple times under the case screws, again to wrongly fix a problem, and it could have become lodged in that recessed area as well....hope this helps...

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I think it was added to the stem.  I have often found rust in there.  after cleaning and adjusting, I sometimes put a small o-ring  under the crown.  vin

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2 hours ago, khunter said:

I've taken dozens of these old pocket watches apart and I can say the ONLY place I've ever found a "washer" was under the crown wheel of some movements. That's not to say that someone at some point added a washer to wrongly fix a problem. but that's the only place I can think it would have come from. Sometimes when removing the crown wheel the washer is "stuck" to the bridge plate by the old dried oil/grease, and it looks like just part of the plate, but it's not.

I have seen washers a couple times under the case screws, again to wrongly fix a problem, and it could have become lodged in that recessed area as well....hope this helps...

I think that might be it.  I've spent the past two hours staring at pictures online and found two, a Rolex and a Longines, that have this exact washer (scaled down to wrist watch size) under the crown wheel.  Like you said, the washer must have been stuck to the plate or to the crown wheel and didn't separate until it got to the ultrasonic.  Especially this last movement, an Elgin 12s which was badly rusted together.  I'll have time this weekend to try this solution out and I'll post what I found out.  BTW, I successfully derusted the entire movement.  The regulator plate was so rusted you couldn't even see the three screws holding it on, now the whole assembly is rust free and the screws turn properly.

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1 hour ago, vinn3 said:

I think it was added to the stem.  I have often found rust in there.  after cleaning and adjusting, I sometimes put a small o-ring  under the crown.  vin

I'll look but it was a flat washer.  The movement didn't have a crown, it was meant for a pendent set case which had the crown and sleeve in it.  But who knows?  I didn't try to fit it there before.  Thanks to you and khunter for the responses, now I have places to look.

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8 hours ago, dwhite said:

I posted this a while back and got no answers.  I just looked for it and it was gone so I reposted it.  Was the question deleted because it was too dumb?  I seriously cannot figure it out.  Thanks!

No posts are deleted for being too dumb. But if no answers are forthcoming then it just goes back in the queue of posts. 

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On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 5:51 AM, vinn3 said:

keep trying.  read the book or watch  a watch video.  vin

 

" the flat washer mystery"   some repair  men will put a shim under the balance bridge if they are too lazy to shorten the balance stem.   the washer on hand can be the " spring washer" under the dial.    cheers,  vin

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I worked on it a while today and the washer fit under the barrel pretty well but didn't seem to do anything so I took it back out.  It's dead flat and thicker and much smaller than a dial washer so I don't think it's one.  While I was at it I decided to remove the bottom balance jewels since I had never done that before.  They came out nice but wouldn't go back in right.  The hole jewel was cracked anyway.  And I found that the stem/clutch mechanism was all wrong for this watch.  I think its a Frankenwatch.  I'll keep fitting it together and looking to place that washer.  It really does look like a shim of some sort.  Thanks for the suggestion.  And I've poured through my limited collection of books to no avail.  Dan.

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It doesn't look like a part that would be an Elgin pocket watch? I've done quite a few it does not look familiar doesn't mean it couldn't be an Elgin pocket watch but doesn't look right?  Do you have a serial number or model number for this watch there might be a parts list we can look at the pictures and see if there's anything that looks like it might go on the watch. Then it doesn't look right for the crown wheel washer.

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9 hours ago, dwhite said:

I worked on it a while today and the washer fit under the barrel pretty well but didn't seem to do anything so I took it back out.  It's dead flat and thicker and much smaller than a dial washer so I don't think it's one.  While I was at it I decided to remove the bottom balance jewels since I had never done that before.  They came out nice but wouldn't go back in right.  The hole jewel was cracked anyway.  And I found that the stem/clutch mechanism was all wrong for this watch.  I think its a Frankenwatch.  I'll keep fitting it together and looking to place that washer.  It really does look like a shim of some sort.  Thanks for the suggestion.  And I've poured through my limited collection of books to no avail.  Dan.

  do you D. le Carles book?

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Yes.  I find it a bit difficult to read, I actually have to study it sentence by sentence.  I also have Henry B. Fried's book which is easier to understand.  The serial number of the watch is 15847291 which is a 12s Grade 315 15J Open Face Double Roller made in 1911.  Elgin made over a million of these.  I don't know how many parts are original.  Some of the wheels are a tight fit in the jewels which doesn't seem right but they all mesh.

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It usually works best for me to reread the original  question and I noticed you said the last three Elgin watches? So are all three washers identical from all three watches?

Then background history? Where they running before did they come from eBay different sources for all three? One clue of why I am asking is you don't know how many parts are original that definitely suggests a problem. What's interesting with American pocket watches are there mass-produced. If you look at the parts catalog you'll see that the parts will interchange except the reality is there usually hand fit. At least a lot of the parts some parts do interchange. There are some YouTube videos showing assembly of American pocket watches and you can see that as the parts go in somebody is adjusting to fit. So the more parts that are swapped and interchanged in American pocket watch the less likely you are to get it to run right without a lot of work.

Then I'm attaching 3 separate PDFs. The Swigart American Watch Movements Is almost a must have if you're working on American pocket watches. Doesn't list every watch but shows the parts for the various sizes of watches. And as a bunch of reference material like all different mainsprings found in pocket watches. Then PDF Elgin parts catalog from 1915 which unfortunately lists the parts alphabetically.

Then what's interesting that the various parts catalogs are how the watches are described. For instance 12 size Illinois has a whole bunch of variations but really comes down to about five different models that all the parts supposedly interchange over the entire manufacturing history which they do not. So for Elgin yours is listed as a 12 size 3d model class  114 That I have a PDF of that page so you can see that.

Then before we go looking for washers in the parts catalog we need to discuss terminology? Terminology in horology is interesting because it changes with location and time. Or simplistically some parts will go by whole variety of names depending upon when the publication was done and where.

Then it be nice to get a better picture of your washer and the side view click doesn't exactly look flat to me it just doesn't look right at all before we start looking at washers.

So the first washer found on page 110 you would normally never see. So we see that this is a center staff washer and what the heck is a center staff? So universally we think of staff and balance wheel but the terminology paragraph will tell us that there other parts that can go by the name staff found in the watch. So not always labeled is safety pinion? When the main spring break six release a lot of bad energy which will break things so the safety pinion unscrews itself from the center wheel staff. Sometimes found underneath is a flat steel washer.. So part number 1555 would be yours it would be flat shiny steel.

Then on page 111 winding wheel and ratchet wheel washers. Winding wheel in our terminology is crown wheel. Some watches will have a washer under the screw holding the part in place. Then this is usually a machined washer is a recess for the screw and as you can see comes a variety of decorative finishes.

Then as mentioned above under the crown wheel/winding wheel sometimes is found a steel washer but Elgin doesn't Seem to have it so it's probably called something else. Maybe crown wheel spacer or something and that's not always universal and yours doesn't have that based on the link below. Link below someone is disassembled the model 315 and any of the washers mentioned above other than the safety opinion washer which of course we can't see none of the rest are visible.

http://www.rdrop.com/~jsexton/watches/museum/elgin28563994.html

 

 

 

 

Swigart American Watch Movements 12 size.pdf

12 3rd.JPG

1915 Elgin Catalog ( All Illustrations ) washers.pdf

1915 Elgin Catalog ( All Illustrations )315 .pdf

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  1. Wow!  Thanks John!  I did not know about the Swigart book.  I will look at the safety pinion this weekend to see if it belongs there.  As far as the movements, I bought two for about ten bucks as parts movements to practice on so, no, they weren't even close to running shape and probably never will be.  This particular one was all rusted up.  I took it apart, derusted it, and am finally getting around to putting it back together again.

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Thanks to all!  The problem is solved!  The washer goes between the pinion and the center wheel  (Elgin safety pinion).  I don't remember taking it apart.  I did have one come apart on a previous movement which explains the second one I found.  Someone just helped me with this problem, you think I would remember.

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