Help American PW Disassembly Elgin 18s Grade 27. Removing winding (crown?) wheel?

MrRoundel

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Greetings all.
I recently picked up a nice Elgin 18s grade 27 movement. It seems to be a very well made grade, with interesting, probably patented, features. It has some minor oxidation here and there, but seems like it'll be a runner after a basic service. I'm at the point where I'd like to remove the disc shaped gear (Crown wheel? At roughly 12:30 in image.) that meshes with the winding pinion but it is held to the plate by a different sort of fastener. I'm guessing that it threads on and off by using a wide, thin, screwdriver or special tool that I'm without. Is this correct? Does it thread? Is it standard a right-handed threaded part? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks! Cheers.

DSC06809.JPG
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Hey Mr Roundel

It just unscrews, although I cannot remember if it's left or right handed, it's been a little while since I've had one apart. I made a special screwdriver for these out of an old mechanics stubby flathead to fit perfectly.
 

MrRoundel

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Many thanks, Rick! I'll check out my stubby screwdriver supply, as they do have that nice wide tip without being too thick.
Yup, bloody left-handed threads. Cheers.
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Since you have brought up patented features of my favorite movements (model 2 Elgins) here are a few of the illustrations. Not all, but some of the really neat ones.

Setting mechanism (shortly changed to the more standard pull out lever that you see on your movement)

Screenshot_20210522-142310.png

Cannon pinion for lever setting
Screenshot_20210522-142327.png
The wonderful vibrating arm winding mechanism
Screenshot_20210522-142901.png
And one of the most simple but useful ideas of all time, the hairspring stud.
Screenshot_20210522-142343.png

There is also the movement design and dust proofing but they seem to have gotten lost in my folders.
 

MrRoundel

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Thanks for posting those patents, Rick. The quality of design and build are evident on these movements. It's so nice, that I can't, in good conscience, clean it in my old cleaning solutions. I want to use the mechanical, as it will accommodate the size of the pillar plate, etc. better than my ultrasonic. Of course that means I'll have to wait a week or so unless I go into the deep city and buy some fresh cleaners from one of the remaining parts houses left in LA. I'll see how I feel about that on Monday.

Of course I could always take a trip to the home despot and get some denatured alcohol and ammonia to clean by hand. I have enough decent cleaner to work using the jar method. I seem to remember being a bit more pleased with the results of my hand cleaning than I was with my machine cleaning. Thanks again. Cheers.
 
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MrRoundel

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" Of course I could always take a trip to the home despot and get some denatured alcohol ..." :excited:

Scratch that idea. I went to the despot and saw there was no DNA on the shelf, and no place for it. I asked the worker in the paint department if it had been outlawed or something, and he said it had. LA no longer allows sales of DNA, reportedly due to pollution from VOC's. Geez, did people really use that much of the stuff? I know I didn't. Oh well, I guess that's a minor boon for L&R and Zenith.

I'll say it again, it's too bad that nobody sells watch cleaners in hobby sizes. Every time I buy gallons of L&R they end up spoiling in anything over a year. Oh well...I guess it's another "C" note dropped on limited shelf-life cleaner. Drat. :banghead:

Interestingly, I just saw that L&R used to sell 1 Qt. cans of their cleaners. I guess that was before my time, so to speak.
 
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MrRoundel

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After being denied buying DNA to hand clean the movement, and finding buying gallons of solutions hard to justify based on shelf life and number of movements cleaned, I changed my plans. I ended up cleaning the shellac of the jars in my L&R mechanical cleaner and giving mechanical cleaning a "whirl", so to speak. The results are not great, as I need to put some parts through again (The watch was very dirty.), but the old solutions doesn't seem to have left the brown goo behind on the plates, etc. I'm now wondering if the goo could be blamed on using the mechanical solution in my ultrasonic?

I'll now re-peg around the jewels and re-clean the parts. The pallet fork looks like it never went through the machine. :?|
 

MrRoundel

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The grade 27 is running nicely, with good motion, after a clean and oil. I reused the old mainspring, as I just couldn't see paying 2-3 times more for mainsprings than the old days of the earlier 2000's. I realize that the alloy springs are better in a number of ways, but since I'm not going to depend on the watch for RR accuracy, I'll keep it in clean, decent, running condition. And, truth be told, the fact that prices are pretty soft for American RR watches right now, while at the same time parts prices are rising, etc., makes it really hard for me to justify financially. If the MS was broken, it would be a whole different ball game. It's usable, but somewhat barely. Old brown steel MS.

And hey, this one even has its stopworks intact and properly set up now. Based on my experience in setting it up, I do have a bit better understanding of why guys dumped the stopworks in the past. It's not terrible but one could make use of a third and fourth hand for assembly.

This nice watch movement is now in that very crowded holding pattern elevation, waiting for a suitable case. Cheers all.
 
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Kenny S.

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Every time I buy gallons of L&R they end up spoiling in anything over a year. Oh well...I guess it's another "C" note dropped on limited shelf-life cleaner.
I use L&R cleaners in my ultrasonic. What do you mean they spoil? Seriously? What makes them "spoil"? And how do you know? I think I've had mine for a little over a year now and yes I paid over $100 for the chemicals so you've got me a little nervous.
 

MrRoundel

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I have used the waterless L&R cleaners for over 20 years now. What happens is that after a year or two I'll refill my cleaning jars with "fresh", but aged, solution, and somehow my movements end up with little brown droplets on them that don't try. Truth be told, I believe that this usually happened while using my ultrasonic. The Elgin I just cleaned with the 2-3 year old L&R came out nicely and did not have any residue issues.

One thing to mention is that I live in Southern California. It gets pretty hot here in the summer. This batch of L&R has been stored in the garage where it gets upwards of 100 degrees F for a fair number of days. I'm sure that doesn't help.

So the bottom line is that your L&R cleaners will probably be fine for quite a while, providing you store them in a cool, dry place. And if you're using them in a mechanical cleaner (I'm talking about cleaners originally formulated for mechanical cleaners.), you'll get maximum life out of them.

Oh, and FWIW, a few brands of cleaners actually specify the shelf-life of their solutions. I believe that Zenith is 1 1/2 years. So take good care of your solutions, as they ain't cheap. Cheers.
 

Kenny S.

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Thanks for clarifying that. I looked at my bottles and I didn't see any dates. I'm in Colorado and my Watch Master and solutions are in the basement where the temp is pretty constant so I'm hopeful that I won't have the same issues you have had.
 

MrRoundel

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Glad to help. BTW, I don't think any of the companies making cleaning solutions actually put a "use-by" date on them. Just a guess though. The shelf-life date publications may be in response to watchmakers insisting on the longest shelf-life possible, and they want to figure out their fixed costs, etc. Again, that's just a guess. Good luck.
 

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