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HENRY FRIED BOOKS

Jon Hanson

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ARE THESE CONSIDERed THE BEST REPAIR BOOKS?
 
G

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I think Henry's books are just about useless except for his hints on verge watches. Far better is to buy George Daniel's Watchmaking, the two Gazeley and then the new Malcolm Wild book on wheel and pinion cutting.

The BEST book is not published as a book. It is Archie Perkin's series from AWI's HT (1986 to around 1999). When I stopped paying dues to support the otherwise unemployable of Harrison I excised every article Archie wrote as well as Dave Christianson's articles on timelocks.

Turns out Archie had written an entire book on restoration (including such arcane topics as the use of Ingold's fraise and Carpano cutter data). The articles are in perfect sequence and his line drawings are works of art. I even wrote Archie to let him know that someone appreciated what he had done. He writes like Daniels, every word has a purpose.

For learning proper machining, nothing beats the Argus books and the books sold for the Sherline users.

For learning how to match a lever escapement there is only one effective book/method: Barkus's "Know the Escapement".

There are other more esoteric books, such as those by Kleinlein and other turn of the century authors; but they are a little difficult to come by. And not all turn of the century authors knew what they were talking about either (I ran across one (Hood?) who completely misunderstood the detent escapement but was excellent with almost everything else). So it can be risky to rely on some of these folk.

I am not alone in my opinion that Henry sometimes described things he himself never tried. OTOH, I never ran across any such thing in books by DeCarle.

Henry's "Analysis of the Lever Escapement" is essentially a reprint of several turn of the century writers. Not to mention the fact that preapring a mechanical drwaing of a lever escapement is no help in knowing how to practically match a screwed up lever escapement (once you learn the Barkus approach, this takes 15 minutes on a very bad day).

His book on electric watches is pretty useful (especially the first edition which is the only source of info on the Elgin Electric).

But today, the place to start is Daniels, Gazeley and Barkus. And Perkins if you have the HTs.

These are the same recommendations I give to WOSTEP students who come visit my shop. If you aren't willing to build a library, you aren't serious about learning the craft. In many ways, the books are more important than a lathe!

Regards,

Dewey
 

Timm

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Nov 19, 2005
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Dewey,

Where did you get your Daniels book?

I have been looking for one and have been completely unsuccessful.

Also, Archie's series in the HT; was that every issue from 1986 to 1999 that he wrote articles?
 

Jake

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Oct 22, 2004
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Dewey, You neglected to mention, in addition to his many fine qualities, Henry B. Fried was a decent gentleman, who always publicly spoke kindly of others, regardless of what he privately thought. Jake Bunn.

Originally posted by Dewey:
I think Henry's books are just about useless except for his hints on verge watches. Far better is to buy George Daniel's Watchmaking, the two Gazeley and then the new Malcolm Wild book on wheel and pinion cutting.

The BEST book is not published as a book. It is Archie Perkin's series from AWI's HT (1986 to around 1999). When I stopped paying dues to support the otherwise unemployable of Harrison I excised every article Archie wrote as well as Dave Christianson's articles on timelocks.

Turns out Archie had written an entire book on restoration (including such arcane topics as the use of Ingold's fraise and Carpano cutter data). The articles are in perfect sequence and his line drawings are works of art. I even wrote Archie to let him know that someone appreciated what he had done. He writes like Daniels, every word has a purpose.

For learning proper machining, nothing beats the Argus books and the books sold for the Sherline users.

For learning how to match a lever escapement there is only one effective book/method: Barkus's "Know the Escapement".

There are other more esoteric books, such as those by Kleinlein and other turn of the century authors; but they are a little difficult to come by. And not all turn of the century authors knew what they were talking about either (I ran across one (Hood?) who completely misunderstood the detent escapement but was excellent with almost everything else). So it can be risky to rely on some of these folk.

I am not alone in my opinion that Henry sometimes described things he himself never tried. OTOH, I never ran across any such thing in books by DeCarle.

Henry's "Analysis of the Lever Escapement" is essentially a reprint of several turn of the century writers. Not to mention the fact that preapring a mechanical drwaing of a lever escapement is no help in knowing how to practically match a screwed up lever escapement (once you learn the Barkus approach, this takes 15 minutes on a very bad day).

His book on electric watches is pretty useful (especially the first edition which is the only source of info on the Elgin Electric).

But today, the place to start is Daniels, Gazeley and Barkus. And Perkins if you have the HTs.

These are the same recommendations I give to WOSTEP students who come visit my shop. If you aren't willing to build a library, you aren't serious about learning the craft. In many ways, the books are more important than a lathe!

Regards,

Dewey
 
Last edited by a moderator:
G

Guest

Guest
Jake,

You seem to be confused about the purpose of this thread. Your (or mine) opinion of Henry's character has nothing to do with his books. And after all, THAT was the question. If you can quote one disparaging remark about HENRY made by me, do please tell.

I think it is wonderful you have determined to protect Henry against all comers; but opinions on the utility of his books are not attacks on his character. You should pay attention to the difference. BTW, do you consider my comments about his chapter on verge watches or his book on electric watches to also be attacks on Henry? Do you often make arrive at such sweeping judgments?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Tim,

Yes EVERY issue. It is great you also understand what that took. The planning and discipline! I have to warn you, by the time you are done stapling each installment, the stack is about 12 inches high with the stapled corner sticking up noticeably.

AS for Watchmaking, do a search on ebay with the terms watchmaking and Daniels. There is always someone selling remaindered copies.
 
I

Isaiah Butcher

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Why would one belive that DeCarle was a capable watchmaker? Because he was published? Several London based watchmakers, who knew DeCarle when they were young, have confided to me that the author described techniques in his writings that he was not able to personally execute. His occupation at that time (late 1940's)was as manager of the watch repair department of Garrard's in London and not a full time, practicing watchmaker.
The writer's task is not to prove to others what he can do, but to communicate what can be done and how to do it. That does not negate the writer's skill. Isaiah Butcher

I am not alone in my opinion that Henry sometimes described things he himself never tried. OTOH, I never ran across any such thing in books by DeCarle.
 
J

John Nagle

Guest
There are many today who are writing books, pontificating, and btw thin-skinned who could not properly repair or restore if their life depended on it.
I know of one expert who used to grind chronometer staffs by hand!
Could they earn a living practising the trade? Often not. Did they have a pretty good understanding? Often yes.
It is rare to go through any horological book and not find errors. I found over the years I could learn something from everyone!
I frequently met Henry Fried and while I cannot attest to the level of his skills, his mind was like a steel trap.
Another thing i noticed over the years was the wholesale lifting of info from one book to another. It continues today.
I also frequently met with Archie Perkins. His writings are excellent. He was a long time teacher and also a long time restorer and part maker for other repairers.
I'd like to welcome Dewey to the board, my only question is why he chose to include negative comments about another horological organization on this site?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Isa,

Hmmmm. Where did anyone but you offer a judgment of DeCarle's skill as a watchmaker? Personally, I have no basis for making a judgment one way or the other.

While I believe Jake misfired in his post accusing me of "attacking" Henry, he addresses an important point. It is a mistake to confuse personal feelings for a source of information for the validity of the information that source provides. Just because someone wants to speak ill of the departed DeCarle does not mean the information he left was invalid.

It is kind of like surgeons. If my wife or kid is in the ER with a serious head injury, I don't much care if the neurosurgeon kicks his/her dog at home. I only want to know if he/she is the best person for the job at hand.

As for DeCarle, I only know that while I think there are better sources today for those looking to develop/improve their skills (note his books are not on my suggested list), I have found his writing to be reliable for as far as it goes. I am not sure DeCarle's alleged lack of skill is apparent or even a factor in his Lathes of the World; one of the best first sources of information. Personally, I have found useful information in his "With the Watchmaker at the Bench". IIRC, his basic books on Watch and Clock Repair provide sound straightforward procedures that work. It has been years since I looked at these but that has been my impression.

As far as I know, Saunier and the editors of Britten's Watchmakers Handbook were not watchmakers. Yet these are very reliable and useful sources of information.

Still, I have all of DeCarle's books in my library. The only way to evaulate these books is to own them and pull them out when you are looking for something. And you never know who will provide the needed cookie crumbs. So I used to buy every book I could find (even Fried first editions).

When I was asked to make a bimetallic balance for a pocket chronometer some years ago I had to consult everything I had. There is not a single source for this information that I found. One author describes in useful detail how to make the steel slug; another describes how to machine and harden the fused mess; another describes the issues of getting the brass and steel to fuse; etc. I think I ultimately figured it out from a dozen books and 3 months of experimenting. Regarding the subject of this thread, Fried was not among the sources of useful information. But Daniels and Perkins were.

While even $1100 did not cover my time, I learned a great deal in the process that came in useful for many other later tasks.

As a matter of fact, I share the essentials on my website.
 

Wes

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The Chicago School of Watchmaking course is certainly one of the best available "books" still around (if you can call it a book - it is actually a course)

I have found good info in the DeCarle books and the Fried books, as well as the Bulova books are full of good and usable info as well.

I am not going to discredit any of these authors who took the time to publish these books and articles to preserve and advance watch repair for future generations.
 

Timm

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Nov 19, 2005
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Thanks Dewey,

I'll explore that avenue for the Daniels book as well.

Concerning the HT: I was just imagining the huge stack all those magazines would make if you didn't clip out the Perkins articles :eek:

Interesting site by the way. Those diamond wheels are very intriguing!

Originally posted by Dewey:
Tim,

Yes EVERY issue. It is great you also understand what that took. The planning and discipline! I have to warn you, by the time you are done stapling each installment, the stack is about 12 inches high with the stapled corner sticking up noticeably.

AS for Watchmaking, do a search on ebay with the terms watchmaking and Daniels. There is always someone selling remaindered copies.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Montaigne,

Because that is in fact the reason I came to figure out what Archie had acoomplished?

Since you asked, having spent considerable time with W.O. Smith, Marvin Whitney, Roy Hovey etc, AWI has abandoned the visions advanced by these teachers. I was given much by these men and I was bitterly disappointed by the direction AWI took after 2000 or so. Not one AWI member was born with the skill they had by age 45; yet AWI leaders somehow became more concerned with feathering their own beds rather than paying back the debt owed to the people who taught them.

Are you and Jake suggesting that only information that is glowing and positive is useful and warranted? I have learned much more from what does not work (negative information) than I ever did from when things went perfectly.

When someone asks for opinions about a source of information or a technique, it is presumed they want good faith expressions from personal experience.

Others are certainly free to call Henry's writing the best on God's green earth (multiple times in fact). It is up to the OP and future readers to sift through the comments and critiques for guidance in the selection of the books they buy. I don't care if someone likes Fried better than DeCarle or finds Daniels too hard to follow. That is their offering to the OP and future readers of this thread.

But to say negative comments about an author's work is taboo is like the game we just finished where those who questioned the War in Iraq were called traitorous. It simply denies access to alternative points of view that may yield helpful insights and help avoid wasting time and money.

In other words, contrary/negative comments are not intrinsically evil. Nor are negative opinions about an author an attack on his/her character.

Now granted, no one asked my opinion of AWI until now; but the section was germane to how I came to detroy 14 years of HT and it was my perogative as the author to decide how best to engage the reader. It was not chosen to specifically inflame; that would defeat the purpose of writing to convey information. It was simply an explanation of how it came to pass and perhaps a morality play on how good (discovering Archie's acheivment) can come from bad (becoming disappointed in the path chosen by an organization to which I invested considerable energy and time).

So it goes.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Motaigne,

Your note seemed snippy; was that intended? If you so intended, please let me know how I offended you. I apologize in advance if your interest in a book from me was sincere; but I do not have the time nor discipline.

No book; what I do is posted for free on my website as I have time to create the pages. I found it helps helps potential customers seperate out those who talk about what they can do from those who actually have done what they say they can do.


I DO share what I have been taught and what I have learned with shop visitors and at educational events. When you next attend the Chapt 1 you are certainly welcome to come the shop and talk about the things I have not yet had time to post.(about a 3 year backlog of picture series).
 

Don Dahlberg

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I find all of these books useful and serve different purposes.

Fried's three books are a great place to start. They deal mostly with simple repair. I collect old books and volunteer at the NAWCC Library and Research Center. I have never seen anyone else with such clear instructions on correcting a distorted hairsprings. Daniels would never correct a distorted hairspring. He would replace it with a new one, something that most of us are unable to do. I have talked to many who knew Fried well. All accounts that he was a top notch repair person and one at the best with hairsprings. We are talking about over 40 years of repair of normal watches. He developed methods to repair watches without breaking the customers bank account and without doing harm to the movement. He was also a good communicator.

I really like the Chicago School of Watchmaking. It is the greatest text and I recommend that if someone is interested in learning the basic skill, they should DO the lessons in order.

I love the Perkin's series. I have most of them and much of the lathe material has now been published in book form. Much of what Archie is doing is true watchmaking, that is making parts. It is the next level of learning the skill. He is MY personal hero in watchmaking.

Daniels book is great as well. Again it is mostly about making parts. His intent is to teach you how to make a watch from scratch. Little is given on restoring vintage watches or overhauling modern large production watches.

You would have to fight me to take any of these materials away from me, but if I were starting new, I would obtain them in the order I have given.

Don
 

Timebuilder

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What some don't know about HBF is that long before he became a watchmaker he operated a very successful printing business in New York.

He was also the President of the New York Horological Society. In this position he had to opportunity to accept the tools and books of New York watchmakers that passed on. HBF always made these donated items available to those that needed or wanted them.

He was a very close personal friend of Henry Engle who owned and operated one of the most exclusive watch repair operations in New York.

He was a great man and made many wonderful contributions to horology.
 

4thdimension

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Henry Fried was one the giants I have read extensively. Archie Perkins is a gifted instructor too.

I read Henry Fried before I tore down my first fusee. The instruction he gave regarding the treatment and cleaning of fusee chain is funny, radical, and absolutely effective. After dunking in oil, the chain was supposed to be wrapped about a watch "stake" and "thrumped" back and forth until supple. The first time I tried this I was terrified because the consequences of screwing up the chain (repair work)were very present. That was many years ago and I now "thrump" chains without fear. The chains are thrumped into submission and become as supple as overcooked spagetti! This is the best usage of the word "thrump" I know of!

From the many old magazines I have read, I feel Henry Fried is qualified to be on the Mt. Rushmore of watch instuctor/ luminaries; along with Samelius and Archie Perkins. Perkins, who I believe is still producing instruction, is by far the best at making even the hardest tasks seem doable that I know of.
-Cort
 

Timebuilder

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Speaking of people, William H. Samelius was a great personal friend of the watchmaker that educated me. Joe moved to Utah from New York in 1951. Joe resided in Ogden, Utah so that he could be close to his long time friend, Mr. Samelius. The worked together at Elgin.

Mr. Samelius resided in the grand Ben Lomond Hotel in Ogden with his wife. Upon the death of Mr. Samelius, Joe moved to Salt Lake.

Here is a picture of the William Samelius grave. Note the two clocks, one for Mr. Samelius and one for his wife. The clocks mark the time of death for both.

This is located in the Ogden, Utah cemetary.

253.jpg
 
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