American PW Elgin Convertible Help

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Jim Haney, Apr 21, 2020.

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  1. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Sep 21, 2002
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    Can some who is familiar with these advise me on how to tighten the cannon pinion?

    I tried to pull it off but can't and I believe that the center pinion is separate from the middle wheel.

    The way the back outside gear raises up to engage the center wheel to set the time has something to do with it?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Oct 25, 2018
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    Jim,

    The center pinion is hollow, the arbor passes through and the Canon pinion attaches, like some of the old Swiss watches, or a Lancaster.

    The crazy setting contraption raises up and spins the whole center arbor.

    Here is a picture of the center arbor and Canon pinion. Be really careful, the center arbor likes to break...

    If you need to tighten the center arbor because it's slipping inside the wheel, just give it a wee bit of a bend in the middle... just a really little bit, and it should cause enough friction. To tighten the actual Canon pinion... running the arbor between two files should do the trick. How long that friction will last, I don't know.

    I know people love these things.. but they are a pain!!!

    IMG_20200421_173217301.jpg
     
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  3. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Also... If the watch is running and the hands are not moving, one more thing to check.

    Make sure that back outer gear is completely disengaged from the center arbor when not in setting mode.
     
  4. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rick,

    Thanks for the help. So the cannon pinion does come off. How did you learn so much at your young age?

    You must be consumed with these Watches:D. I knew the watch gods were watching over me when I decided to go with Hamilton's.
     
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  5. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Ah, I've slowly been trying to put together a set of the 18s convertibles.
     
  6. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User

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    If you go to bend the cannon pinion to tighten the friction put a smoothing broach inside it to control how much it bends. Do the bending in small increments by putting the broach in then backing it out just a little. Check the fit after each attempt. Cannon pinions will sometimes collapse or crack if bent too much.
     
  7. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Rick,
    Have you had success doing this? My experience is that this arbor is very hard and brittle and likely to break.
     
  8. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Yes it works, but you have to do it just very very slightly.

    They are not very forgiving. Learned that the hard way.
     
  9. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rick,
    I tried several ways to pull the cannon off the main shaft and it wouldn't budge. I believe that from installing the minute hand so many times over the years that it flatten out the end of the shaft and when the cannon got to that point it was stuck.
    I used 5 different cannon Pinion pullers and none would pull it off. I got it to raise enough to get as screwdriver blade under it but after several tries I decided that I might break off a sheave from the bottom, so I got out the pliers and pulled it off but the shaft was bent from me not being careful enough to keep pulling straight. I tried to straight it up and it broke off, so......
    I need a 16s center shaft for one if anyone has a junk movement available.
    Thanks

    DSCN1832.JPG
     

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