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  1. #1

    Default What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES)

    I have a goal of being able to disassemble and clean/repair my 214 Bulova Accutron collection which is slowly growing. I continue to read books, watch video's and scour through the Bulova Accutron Service Manual to learn all I can about the movement. My question is: If while disassembling or reassembling the 214 movement a screw gets away from me, where can I find replacements? I know that on ebay I can purchase 1 screw at a time for a phenomenal cost. Is there somewhere I can purchase all of the screws for the movement or where I can purchase watch screws in bulk and match the lost screw?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES)

    Sorry, don't have a source for you.

    But what you can do to avoid losing them in the first place you should dress your tweezers to sharp corners and flat gripping surfaces. Also work on an area with edges and not above a carpet. Should one get away from you you can use a sewing needle magnet to pick it up from the floor.

    You could also have a look at the parts resources at the top of this forum. A supplier in Sweden is usually very well stocked for vintage timepieces. Ånge Urdelar.
    Last edited by karlmansson; 04-04-2017 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Paul_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: karlmansson)

    First, a good curse word is often called for.

    Second, prevention is the best cure. As Karl said, with practice, you'll get the hang of it. (And don't work over carpet!)

    Finally, you might have a look at those "sweeper magnets."

    If you focus your repair work on a particular model, you'll eventually develop a "boneyard" of parts movements that you can scavenge from, but again, prevention is the cure.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: Paul_S)

    As others have said, invest in a good magnet to help locate the original is probably the cheapest solution and hope that the part that went flying was magnetic! I don't get many flyers these days but I usually recover 99% of those that get away, and sometimes I recover things that I didn't know that I had lost!

  5. #5

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: Time2Fish)

    Also, don't squeeze too hard holding the screws. Hold them firm but gentle. And while I'm taking a particular watch apart and taking photos of the disassembly steps, I make sure the screws are in the photos so that if I lose a screw later I can go back to the photos and see what it looked like.

    Robert

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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: Accutronica)

    I should take some of the advice above, I have dropped
    many screws, but strangely I have found them all.
    I do work over a hard wood floor, as said above I'm
    sure a carpeted floor must be a nightmare.
    If you worked on a large sheet of white parchment paper
    if a screw dropped you could easily see it.


    Rob

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: Accutronica)

    In the old time watch schools - Elgin and Bulova - the first thing they did was practice putting a bunch of screws into a container, taking them out, putting them back in. Not a bad way to start.
    As well as the suggestions above, some people use a bench apron or catch draw - the first a piece of cloth attached to the underside of the bench that drapes over your knees the second a drawer that pulls out from under the edge of the bench.
    You can also pray to the patron saint of watchmakers, Saint Elegius.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: ANDY YALE)

    A Magnetic wand and white board to cover the floor.
    The random groups of screws on ebay are rarely ever what you need.
    I have looked at some lots and they were just small regular hardware, nowhere small enough for watches of any size.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: PWfanatik)

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I am getting my magnet out.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: ANDY YALE)

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDY YALE View Post
    In the old time watch schools - Elgin and Bulova - the first thing they did was practice putting a bunch of screws into a container, taking them out, putting them back in. Not a bad way to start.
    As well as the suggestions above, some people use a bench apron or catch draw - the first a piece of cloth attached to the underside of the bench that drapes over your knees the second a drawer that pulls out from under the edge of the bench.
    You can also pray to the patron saint of watchmakers, Saint Elegius.
    They were some pretty smart teachers. I'm used to handling tiny electronic components and wires and stuff, but handling tiny screws is an art in itself. Nice quality tweezers are very important also.
    I didn't know that there was a patron saint of watchmakers. Thanks for the info.

    Robert

  11. #11

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: Accutronica)

    If you use a magnet to find a screw or small part, it would be wise to demagnetize it before installing it in the watch.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: NC Plumber)

    Fish
    We all have stories to tell about the lost part that turns up later.
    The tough ones to find are the brass wheels with no magnetic material on them to help you find them.
    The brass parts usually come back miraculously.
    While others have lost screws, I have a screw loose :P

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    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: NC Plumber)

    When it has gone to the Dryer Sock Dimension, a good collection of eBay junker parts watches will frequently produce a replacement. If you're going to work on Accutrons, get a bunch of men's Bulova movements of about the same size.

    Glen

  14. #14

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: glenhead)

    As I have suggested before. A vacuum hose with a piece of ladies nylons stretched over the end. You can use a rubber band to hold the piece on. If the hose passes over the screw/part--the suction will pick it up and hold it on the end against the nylon.
    Will work on hardwood--carpet etc. Run it over the area slowly with a good vacuum setting.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What to do if you lose a screw (NO JOKES) (By: RL)

    Quote Originally Posted by RL View Post
    As I have suggested before. A vacuum hose with a piece of ladies nylons stretched over the end. You can use a rubber band to hold the piece on. If the hose passes over the screw/part--the suction will pick it up and hold it on the end against the nylon.
    Will work on hardwood--carpet etc. Run it over the area slowly with a good vacuum setting.
    That's a good idea! Thanks.

    Robert

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