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Crystal press advise needed


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  • 7 months later...
6 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Check out this link  It seems he has already don the comparison.  I use the lever press as normal but some times require the screw press for stubborn backs.

 

I’m trying to get some first hand experience with that specific horotec press, I have cheaper presses like in the video. I will keep them for various jobs but I want something more precise. I bought an older BB to fill this spot but found it doesn’t open enough for new larger fat watches and the horotec has the screw handle feature which will come in handy on a daily basis as well. However if the horotec doesn’t open enough or isn’t very rigid, I won’t by happy paying the price.

 

thanks

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On 6/27/2020 at 12:41 PM, jdm said:

Both these two can be had on AliX or Ebay for a fraction of the Cousins price.  As mentioned earlier in this topic (please take the time to read it) I do not recommend the first one as the press is not lined with the pillars it will distort with a a minimum of force.

I have the first one and can confirm that there is no flex or distortion when applying pressure, the vertical posts are more than big enough to resist any flexing, unless you are superman or the Hulk 😉

Got mine of eBay for a fraction of the Cousins price.

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/28/2019 at 4:09 PM, chrisdt said:

Depends what type you intend to get. I use the screw down type like the pic. Seems to give you more control but the princible is the same. The smaller die presses down on the inside of the crystal and contracts the outer rim. The watch front is then pressed down onto the crystal. Hold down while undoing the the large wheel. Hopefully the crystal will then be in place. Takes a bit of practise. A small circle of linen will prevent the top die marking the crystal.

 

P1010018.JPG

Hi Chrisd, I have recently bought the exact type of press shown in the picture after also breaking a die on my cheap lever press.

I have then used the screw down press to mod my SKX007 and scratched my sapphire crystal, because the top die turns with the wheel and a decent amount of pressure was needed to put the crystal in place.

Is a piece of cloth between crystal and die really the intended solution for this problem or am I using the press wrong?

It's a pity, because otherwise the press is so nice and sturdy but if it leaves marks on every crystal and bezel I use it on, it's somewhat useless.

Best regards

Daniel

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4 hours ago, seikofan said:

scratched my sapphire crystal, because the top die turns with the wheel

Top die must not turn. If it does, the press is faulty.

FYI, we have a dedicated section where it's considered polite for new members to introduce themselves first.

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1 hour ago, jdm said:

 

Top die must not turn. If it does, the press is faulty.

FYI, we have a dedicated section where it's considered polite for new members to introduce themselves first.

IMO the best and most flexible press is the Robur. Pricey for sure but since owning one I have not used any of my other presses. The lever operated presses are ok but they do not give as much control or feel as a screw down style press. 
 

 

6F4D1946-05EB-49B4-9DC9-B11119751E90.jpeg

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53 minutes ago, clockboy said:

The lever operated presses are ok but they do not give as much control or feel as a screw down style press. 

Lots of people says exactly the opposite, no much feel on a screw type press.
Anyway in the context of the question above it's unrealistic to think that a watch owner will spend more on the tool compared to the crystal he's replacing, which possibly will be the first and last.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A usage question on crystal replacements: given a pocket watch with a high-dome acrylic crystal, I have read recommendations in various places to use any of the following:

  • properly support the bezel and simply press the crystal in (applying force at the edges) until it pops home, possibly using a concave die to at least help the crystal squish in
  • use a crystal lift (although these, or at least the Bergeon 4266, seem to top out at 45mm so larger pocket watches are problematic)
  • use a press on the crystal only (apply force around the edge vs the center) until it deforms enough for the bezel to fit; see pic below from the GS manual if this isn't clear

#1 seems to be asking for the occasional disaster, #2 doesn't work for large crystals and might scar up the edges a bit, and #3 actually seems fairly safe except for most die sets not including a pusher that looks like that (but maybe just use one's smallest flat die?) and it otherwise doesn't seem to come up much.

Any thoughts?  Are all methods at least tolerably sane, or is there a clear winner depending on other details of the job?  In any discussion on the topic the author mostly seems to bring up only one method without discussing tradeoffs.

PS: since someone well above was talking about having trouble finding large dies: Esslinger sells an add-on die "large die" set that supplements the standard range up to 45mm flat and 57mm concave, look for "Watch Repair Tools Watch Press Large Nylon Die Set of 8".  US$17 or so.

Thank you all for any insight!  This is already a most informative thread.

g-s-crystal-squish.jpg

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2 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

 A year into my journey back to watchmaking, the one thing that always increases my blood pressure is replacing a crystal with my BB Crystal press. Does not matter--glass or acrylic...it always scares me.  Hoping that at some point, it will be routine.

I had problems with my China made screw type crystal press initially. Then I noticed that the upper and lower dies did not line up perfectly. The centres were not lining up. So I loosened the vertical posts, filed the holes until the centres lined up. That eliminated most of the problems but occasionally some crystals will still crack or chip when refitting the crystal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a variety of different crystal presses and in the main quite successful with  crystal replacement....However I do have problems with tension ring crystals. Either the ring goes out of shape or the top die does not compress the outer edges of the crystal to enable easy fitment

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1 hour ago, chrisdt said:

I have a variety of different crystal presses and in the main quite successful with  crystal replacement....However I do have problems with tension ring crystals. Either the ring goes out of shape or the top die does not compress the outer edges of the crystal to enable easy fitment

Are you using metal (I think aluminium) dies? Don't think plastic or bakelite ones are strong enough.

image.png.60e6a1091408f15d8f5b117fd3c1c3d3.png

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I have the BB press with a full set of aluminum die--both straight sides and beveled sides.  However, I do not use them!!  I worry about the aluminum scratching the crystal...maybe it is a usage issue on my part.  What I do is print all of my dies using PLA.  I never worry about scratching although, it may be possible for the PLA to scratch acrylic...have not tested that.

I use the press for closing snap backs as well...also using PLA die.

BB Press was shipped with Al die, so dunno...maybe I am missing something.

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Thought i would share. I had ordered the bad chinese screw-type press with the top and bottom arbors that aren't aligned before i had come across the discussions describing that they are, well, terrible. 

I mostly got it for the method of acrylic crystal installation where you deform the crystal slightly under pressure and then lift the case up around it, and it'll still work for that regardless. I have a hand press tool around here somewhere. 

Yesterday i realized i had tools and supplies to make it less terrible. 

I would still say 100% don't buy this model. But if you were saddled with it anyway, and you already have or can beg an M6 helical insert kit, you can make it less worse. 

I took the screw out of the base and filed the hold out, toward the verticals, until i could fit the specially sized drill bit from the helicoil kit through the hole. 

Then I applied some A9 aluminum cutting fluid to the special tap from that kit and hand-tapped it, stopping frequently to clear the threads. 

If you don't have A9, Tap Magic probably works well too. If not, WD40. But don't try and tap aluminum without any kind of lubrication, or things can get messy in a hurry. 

After taking the tap back out and cleaning it, i ran it through with my fingers a couple times to clean the threads, further cleaned the threads with alcohol, and then installed the helical insert, broke off the tab, and installed an M6 set screw with a generous quantity of blue thread locker. 

It's less bad. The easier / cheaper option is probably to just remove and throw away the screw that comes up through the base because it's not totally necessary to keep the bottom die centered - the upper can help center it. 

 

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

That must be a mechanical engineer's solution to the problem.

I just remove the 2 support pillars. Filed the holes in the direction that would centre both axis and filled the gaps in the screw holes with epoxy and tightened it.

I'm not a real engineer, but i am a little mechanical. 

I have a brother-in-law who is a machinist, and I briefly considered begging some assistance in machining out the bottom arbor position for a press-fit bushing or similar. 

But there's so much slop in the nut for the upper arbor that i don't think it is worth bothering him. I just should buy better tools. 

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I won my fantasy football league and after a couple of celebratory ales the winnings were burning a hole in my pocket and I bought a Bergeon crystal press . I had been using a Bulova press and it is ok it can sometimes be frustrating to use.

I'd like to phase out the Bulova press and just use the Bergeon but I'm unable to find any of the rubber/felt convex dies that come with an M6 mount, they all seem to be the Robur press in kind.  Can anyone point me to where I can purchase those types of dies with an M6 mount?

_DSC1522.jpg.2c8da21648059f4c3e60ae3f988938df.jpg

 

If they are not available (why??) is there an adapter available? I know there are those with the tools and knowledge that could probably fabricate an adapter, but I have neither of those. Is that the kind of job one can have 3D printed or machined?

 

SSP_491.jpg.a63bfd781558fef6c406cc177c3187ad.jpg

Edited by GuyMontag
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