Materials and parts suppliers in Europe (Germany and the UK)

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by karlmansson, Aug 11, 2019.

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  1. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Hello!

    I'm looking for good material houses, preferrably with good prices, in Germany and the UK. The Swedish market is a bit thin on certain materials although steel is something we do well. Most tend to deal with the industry in terms of tonnage as well. I'm talking about a stock supplier to clarify, not a supplier of watch parts. Sheet and rod stock primarily.

    I'm also looking for a good source of spur gears. My Habegger is missing a few module 1 wheels with a face width of 10mm. I've been pointed in the direction of a Swiss firm called Mädler but buying from them would set me back a hefty sum. I will also, no matter where I buy them from, have to modify them it seems.

    I know there was a German materials house that I looked into a while back but I can't seem to remember it now.

    All input appreciated!

    Regards
    Karl
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Karl,

    For metal stocks in small quantities, in the UK there's Chronos and College Engineering, amongst others. The German house you were thinking of may have been Boley. For gears, I did look into HPC Gears a while ago when I was thinking of making a dividing head.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    The only still existing traditional supply house in Germany is Flume (to my knowledge): http://www.flume.de/en/index.html

    There are a number of newer supply houses, but their range tends to be more limited and they seem to import mainly from China (so it may be cheaper to order directly there):
    - Horst zu Jeddeloh GmbH | Werkzeuge ; Maschinen ; Goldschmiedebedarf ; Halbzeuge ; Verbindungselemente ; Goldschmiedewerkzeuge ; Schmuckfurnituren ; Halbfabrikate ; Schmuckketten | Onlineshop
    - Selva Shop
    - Herzlich Willkommen bei schmuckwerkzeug_de!
    And GG-Tools (4a53cb12-c349-4e1e-aa61-062b1756241c) - Georg Gottwald imports from China, but also has special items made for his business there.

    Mädler (Hauptseite - Mädler Webshop) is actually a German company, but not exactly cheap and also doesn't seem to be geared up (anymore) to sell to individuals (high minimum order).

    I never bought from HPC-gears, but they have a huge range of gears on offer and seem to be reasonably priced.

    As always, it pays to have look on ebay ...
     
  4. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Thank you for the suggestions gentlemen!

    I did look on ebay but most of the gears I found there seem to be induction hardened around the teeth. Suboptimal in my case as the other wheels are cast iron. I also think the pressure angle of the original gears is 14.5 degrees. Adding a hardened gear of a different pressure angle into the mix would probably wear my original gears out pretty quickly.

    Maybe I used the wrong term for what I'm looking for. It's not a watch materials supplier I'm looking for but someone who deals in metals and other materials (plastics, composites) and the occasional tool in smaller quantities. When googling I only find companies that will only deal with the industry.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  5. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    If it is only about practical use and not about original appearance, you may want to look into spur gears in brass or engineering plastics, such as Acetal, Hostal, Novotex etc. Not sure about the pressure angle, I think 20° are more common today.

    Finding (model) engineering materials in small quantities outside the UK seems to be always a problem. I have been lucky to find local suppliers in the big cities I lived in over the past 30 years. However, they often do not know exactly what steel or brass they are selling. Finding materials above 12 mm diameter or 10 mm square is particularly a problem.

    It may be worthwhile to check the 'yellow pages' for local engineering firms that usually have bins of off-cuts they are sent for recycling and they may sell you pieces. They typically use only a small range of materials.

    'Exotic' materials, such as cast iron is difficult to find in small quantities and dimensions. In the UK I know of Home - College Engineering Supply and http://www.blackgates.co.uk/.

    Plastics, such as Plexiglas or PVC rods, profiles and sheets can often be found in supply houses for architectural model building, but in the age of virtual reality they seem to be also challenged in their existence.

    Mail ordering within the EU is almost a no-no due to exorbitant shipping costs. I found that ordering some brass or steel from China is cheaper than just the postal charges from one country to another. China probably heavily subsidises the shipping.

    On my Web-site (Ship Modelling Materials) I have a list of materials suppliers, mainly from Germany, but I have not maintained this page for years, as I found that finding things via Google is usually much faster today.

    In the past I have also found aluminium, steel and other off-cuts on ebay, where small manufacturing companies discovered that they get better prices than at their recycling companies.
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Karl,

    There's a small metal-working shop near me which sells stock and offcuts. They have a website.

    Regards,

    Graham
     

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