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  1. #16
    Registered user. Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Ever need to make a nice circular disk in styroforam or a hole perhaps? Find an appropriat size can, cut off top or bottom and the resulting edge will cut a beautiful hole or disk like magic with near zero crumbs!

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Cut nails are handy for making small lathe tools. The steel in them is already hardened, so all you have to do is grind them to size. Here are a few. The photograph was taken through a 10X lens.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cutting tools 2.JPG   cutting tools 3.JPG  

  3. #18

    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: Dave B)

    I liberated some spring hair clips from my wife and daughter. They make excellent soldering fixtures/clamps, especially the aluminum ones about three inches long. Solder does not stick to aluminum. You can bend them, file slots cut them short, file points, etc. They only cost about a buck fifty or so for six of them. The most useful ones are where I bent one jaw at right angles and filed a sharp point. To get the picture, place the tip of your index finger at right angles against the palm of your other hand. This allows you to clamp parts that may be uneven or tapered.

    I also find that aluminum roof flashing is useful as a heat shield to protect those portions of a workpiece against the heat of a torch. Flashing is also useful to make quick fixtures for holding odd-size workpieces. I have also held parts in crumbled aluminum foil.

  4. #19
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    I finally have some descent soldering success.

    Thing I found out (the hard way) was that I was working with too little of heat.

    I had 2 standard wand type soldering irons and two soldering guns.

    But, none of them was really hot enough. They are hot enough to do what they are designed to do, which is solder wire type connections.

    But when it came to soldering two pieces of brass (ex. dial bezel) there was just insufficient heat.

    Anyway, found the solution.

    At the Goodwill I found an older propane torch kit. One of the devices fits on to the end of standard pencil propane torch.

    The piece has has a metal tip like a small flat screw driver and venting to allow the flame to exit.

    I can put the flame on low (just a trickle) and it heats up very well.

    Before I'd hold the soldering gun for 5-10 minutes waiting for the brass to heat up, and winding up with a cold joint.

    With this thing just touch the area and in about 30 to 40 seconds the neighboring solder melts.



    RJ

  5. #20
    Registered user. Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Anyway, now that my tube manual is correct - back to hints 'n trix and another kind of tube.
    Installing a movement to a case and need the dial aligned to winding arbors?
    Aquarium tubing or wooden dowel drilled for winding arbors keeps dial aligned to arbors!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails HINTS.jpg  

  6. #21
    Registered user. Al Schook's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    I have used cutoff wire nuts to align the arbors in the holes. They come in several sizes and usually you can quickly find another to replace the one you "put away where you could always find it!" I recently bought some of the fancy "stepped" ones. TIP: Don't install them with the largest diameter toward the front plate! What a maroon!!
    Non omnes qui habent citharam sunt citharoedi

  7. #22
    Registered user. al_taka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Because of Overwhelming Requests I'm posting the Pendulum Slip Joint Trick here with picture. I realize the accuracy of my drawing would put a cad program to shame so bear with me.

    The idea is to make a pendulum rod grow and shrink when your trying to figure out the correct length. This slip joint is made quickly and can be used on most pendulum rod clocks just by varying the music wire length. Make sure to cut the wire too long and let the slip joint make it shorter.

    When you flex the mainspring stock, it allows room for the music wire to slide and when you let go it grabs the wire. Real simple idea.

    Use a hole punch and space the holes far enough apart so they sorta line up when you compress the mainspring stock which is about 3 or 4 inches. For smaller clocks just scale everything down.

    I haven't needed one yet but my friend has made it and it works so well he left it in the clock permanently.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pend rod slip joint.jpg  

  8. #23

    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Hi List,

    If you work on a lot of Hermle clocks, buy a 8-0 chime key. This is #8 winding and '0' for rate setting. They are available from Merrits (page 76) and others. This is a good (large wing) winding key for the strong Hermle springs and the '0' little end fits the hand shaft square perfectly, so you can test the chime function easily.

    Merry Christmas, Willie X

  9. #24
    Registered user. Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    On the subyek of keys, etc., this helpful hint.
    Need to deal with - remove a spring with your winder but don't have a small enough bit? Letdown key? Cut the barrel off a key that fits and grind/file a square on it that fits one of your larger bits. Insert the small bit adaptor into the larger and VOILA!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hints 002.jpg   hints 003.jpg  

  10. #25
    Registered user. Mike Phelan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertG View Post
    Mike: The picture shows dikes (side cutters), and wire nuts used to twist two electric wires together safely and securely. The blue wire nut shown is actually too small, but it works to illustrate.

    RobertG
    Thanks, Robert. We just call them side cutters here; I sort of guessed about the wire nuts - here they are called "Scruits"; that used to be the brand name years ago, but like Biro and Hoover, it's become a generic term. Most are white and made from ceramic.

    As for keys, I made a set of let-down keys from a pair of star key ends, a plug spanner and a piece of rolling pin - it's also used on my spring winder:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Letdown Key.jpg  
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society. :o

  11. #26

    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    Quickie test stand.

    Attachment 48992

    Assembly legs and a couple of weights.

    bangster
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails quick test stand 2.jpg  
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Tweezer maintenance (By: bkerr)

    Some time ago I put together a little howto:

    http://www.flynwill.com/Watches/Tweezers/

    I don't know if my technique is particularly good or bad, it's just what made sense to me. Comments are welcome.
    Will McCown -- Rolling Hills Estates, CA

  13. #28

    Default Compiling a thread: (By: bkerr)

    I'm posting this mainly for the benefit of folks newbier-than-me.

    I've seen various procedures described for getting at the full length of a mainspring, for cleaning, inspecting, and lubing. Some of them call for stretching it out full length. The method I use is the simplest and easiest I know of. It involves little stretching, and no special setup. I didn't invent it, and don't recall where I learned it...probably from somebody on this MB. I imagine a lot of people use it.

    Attachment 50313 Attachment 50314

    With the spring unwound, I hook it over the handle of my Joe Collins winder (free plug for JOE, who makes the best 'uns around)...between the coils, not through the center. From there, simply walk up it a few inches at a time, letting it coil back up behind my hand, until I get to the center, then releasing it a few inches at a time so's it can coil back up normally. I don't try to mess with those last few tight coils in the center, which don't do anything anyway. But I do check for cracks or tears in the arbor-hook hole or nearby.

    Pulling it through, I scrub it down full length with steel wool dipped in mineral spirits, removing rust and crud and inspecting for cracks and problem areas. I wipe it down full length with a rag as I let it coil back up. Then I take a rag charged with mainspring lube, and lube it all the way up, and back again. All done.

    Barring problems, it takes under five minutes to service a mainspring...and you never have to walk away from your spring winder.

    bangster

    To measure length, lay a tape measure on top of the spring as you pull it out. Measure as far as you can, estimate the few inner coils.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mainspring 1.jpg   mainspring 2.jpg  
    Last edited by bangster; 07-02-2012 at 01:44 PM.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  14. #29
    Registered user. Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Useful Hints and Tricks (By: bkerr)

    The challenge here was to drill two, 3/8" holes obliquely thru these wooden cubes. They are regulating weights for a foliot arm. My solution was to make a fixture that would snugly fit the cubes. The hole was located off center of thickness to accomodate the cubes, thinner than the 2 X 4 used for the fixture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FIXTURE 001.jpg   FIXTURE 002.jpg   FIXTURE 003.jpg  

  15. #30
    Registered user. hoo-boy's Avatar
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    Default Compiling a thread: (By: bkerr)

    There has been some good info about tweezers lately . This is not exactly tweezers but I use hemostats in my clockwork as well as flytying, gunsmith work, etc. but find that the locking mechainism is sometimes a pain, locking when you don't need it too. On one I cut this off with a dremel and smoothed it back up and found that this works very well when ya need a heavy pair of tweezers. I made 2 pair one with smooth jaws(ground smooth) the other as is. find I reach for them quite frequently ....hoo-boy

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