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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have maybe a dozen broken pocket watch movements that I have been practicing on, just taking them apart completely and putting them back together. I know they say to do that with a working watch so you know what it is supposed to look like first but I don't have the confidence to do that yet. Don't want to break a good watch. So I was working on this 1882 manufactured P S Bartlett Waltham with a broken balance staff. Took it completely down and as I was putting the balance back in place got to thinking that balance looks pretty good. I wound it up with a key wind key since I don't have a case for it and it started up immediately; now it has run 24 hours. So I feel like it is at least saying something that I now have learned how to take it apart and put it back together better than the previous person lol. It is very satisfying to hear something tick that should tick but ain't ticked in a while :)
 

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albatrosdva...Hello.

Good for you, & Congratulations...may it long continue.

You picked a really good Waltham to work on. These 18 size watches are fun to encounter, and the parts are large enough to allow you a good look at how things are made, and how they go together. It's been my experience that most of these have been re-staffed, so anyone working on one soon learns to check side-shake & end-shake, just to make sure all's well. The roller jewel, too, seems to usually have led a rough life, so I always double-check it, and make sure the jewel sets between the banking pins with pallet out...easy to adjust VIA hairspring collet if necessary.

Next...?!

Michael.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
albatrosdva...Hello.

Good for you, & Congratulations...may it long continue.

You picked a really good Waltham to work on. These 18 size watches are fun to encounter, and the parts are large enough to allow you a good look at how things are made, and how they go together. It's been my experience that most of these have been re-staffed, so anyone working on one soon learns to check side-shake & end-shake, just to make sure all's well. The roller jewel, too, seems to usually have led a rough life, so I always double-check it, and make sure the jewel sets between the banking pins with pallet out...easy to adjust VIA hairspring collet if necessary.

Next...?!

Michael.
I've heard the terms side-shake and end-shake but not heard them explained? Is it self-explanatory meaning you are checking for movement in the balance staff side to side and up and down? If so it's nice and tight.
 

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I've heard the terms side-shake and end-shake but not heard them explained? Is it self-explanatory meaning you are checking for movement in the balance staff side to side and up and down? If so it's nice and tight.
There needs to be a certain amount of up-and-down / sideways movement of the balance staff, and I suggest that--to make your life a bit simpler & more technically advanced ( ! )--you might want to acquire a Watchmaking book or two, and brush-up on some of these Terms...there are quite a few of them that you'll want to become conversant with as you progress.

An excellent work is Henry B. Fried's "The Watchmaker's Manual". Donald de Carle's "Practical Watch Repairing" is another Classic. I own copies of both--and after 25+ years and a few hundred watches--I still very much enjoy consulting them. Money very- well spent!

As I recall, places like the NAWCC and AWI used to have 'lending libraries', wherein Members could borrow books. This was years ago--before the Internet!--and I'd not be at all surprised to learn that nowadays all this may be done on-line.

Hope this helps...there really is a LOT to pick-up here, and a good book or two in your Library is a Great Idea!

Michael.

ps: as I recall, side-shake on your 18s Waltham should be 2-3 hundredths of a mm, and end-shake about 4-5 hundredths. CHECK ME ON THIS...it's been a while since I saw the actual figures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the explanation Michael. I realize I'm just tinkering around right now. When I said nice and tight I meant no more wiggle than normal function. Those books are on the Christmas wish list :) . I'm only about 5 hours from AWCI and the college I work for gives tuition incentives yearly so I'm going to start taking classes after everything starts really calming down with the virus.
Sam
 

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Congratulations! I know how it feels. I also recently took the plunge of servicing a watch myself the first time. It's a 1940's Longines from my late grandfather. It's ugly and had not ticked for the last 20 some years so I figured that I wouldn't lose much if I screw up. I bought a set of basic tools and watch oils. I took everything apart, separated them into a pill case according to groups, and manually cleaned each part with a micro brush. The badly rusted and broken mainspring was replaced. I was surprised that I could even order the exact spring. The watch is now running about 20s/day without re-regulating. It was a rewarding experience.

DSC00278.JPG DSC00288.JPG IMG_7292 (2).jpg
 

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Lejaune...Hello.

Looks good from here! I have enjoyed working on several of these older Longines, and they always come out ticking & happy. This Company has been making watches for a long time, and they are very good at designing something that is long-lasting and ( usually...) pretty easy to work on.

And: that poor spring...R.I.P., old fellow!

Michael.
 

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Yes Michael. Only after working with the movement, sometimes, under a microscope, I truly appreciate how well and how precise those tiny little parts were made, 80 years ago.
 

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Aside from the aforementioned books - what are you all using for reference when starting the undertaking of repairing these watches? It seems as if these might be your firsts - I'm looking into starting a first repair myself and am a little nervous about just starting.
 

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That's kind of what I thought would be the general answer. I've seen several different channels going through the process.
 

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The books and recommended tools are quite an eye opener if you've never thought about working in the micro world of watch making. In my short time starting to work with watch movements I've discovered too many instances where I thought to myself, "boy if I only had this tool or that contraption". Simple disassembly of parts can be accomplished with a few good quality jeweler screwdrivers and a couple pair of tweezers. The thing is there are more different cases and parts than you could think of. The tool gathering part is what can send a simple tinkerer down a rabbit hole.

You'll likely invest in a ultrasonic cleaning machine, then the best cleaning fluids, oils, grease, eye Loupe, small punches, parts trays, lighting, case back/crystal press, polishes, demagnetizer, sharpening stones, lume powders, movement holders....

You get the idea. It's great fun but can be cost inhibiting unless your plan is to keep at it for some time.

Good luck, and have fun! Nothing is better than getting those pivots lined up in their jewel holes, give it a little wind and watching the balance wheel spring to life!
 

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Is there a watch tool rental service or a good second-hand market? As you said - a very cost inhibiting interest. And from what I've read/watched - it apparently does not pay to cut corners on the price of tools.

I'll refrain from repeating my questions - I don't want to take away from the initial post's topic
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is there a watch tool rental service or a good second-hand market? As you said - a very cost inhibiting interest. And from what I've read/watched - it apparently does not pay to cut corners on the price of tools.

I'll refrain from repeating my questions - I don't want to take away from the initial post's topic
Best second hand market is probably ebay. Always something interesting on there. With patience you will find the one thing you wanted and 15 things you didn't realize you needed.
 

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Dave's Watch Parts for second hand tools. No one rents them as they are too easy to ruin (not like an engine hoist).
 
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