removing roller table

1

107WestStreet

I used several of the convential ancient tools used to remove pocket watch roller tables.
All of these were quite cumberson to use because the balance wheel spoke was wider than the maximun extended separation of the remover blades. I was forced to turn the wheel on edge and carefulling position blades under the roller table. Maybe I'm crazy or just unskilled but you would think that the blades could be separated enough to fit under the staff. I have an assortment of these roller movers so I know that I am not using a tool that is for very tiny women's wrist watches. Can anyone shed any light on this?
 
1

107WestStreet

I used several of the convential ancient tools used to remove pocket watch roller tables.
All of these were quite cumberson to use because the balance wheel spoke was wider than the maximun extended separation of the remover blades. I was forced to turn the wheel on edge and carefulling position blades under the roller table. Maybe I'm crazy or just unskilled but you would think that the blades could be separated enough to fit under the staff. I have an assortment of these roller movers so I know that I am not using a tool that is for very tiny women's wrist watches. Can anyone shed any light on this?
 

doug sinclair

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Aug 27, 2000
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When I encounter a roller table that can not be easily removed with any one of my 4 or 5 different roller table removers, I select a lathe collet chuck that fits the roller (not the safety) portion of the roller table, and chuck it up in the lathe. Then, gently twist the wheel with your fingers situated 180 degrees apart at the ends of the balance arms, and pull while twisting. On teeny tiny lady's watches, it is the only method I use for removing a roller table. Works every time.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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When I encounter a roller table that can not be easily removed with any one of my 4 or 5 different roller table removers, I select a lathe collet chuck that fits the roller (not the safety) portion of the roller table, and chuck it up in the lathe. Then, gently twist the wheel with your fingers situated 180 degrees apart at the ends of the balance arms, and pull while twisting. On teeny tiny lady's watches, it is the only method I use for removing a roller table. Works every time.
Right now I'm sitting in the "almost every time" camp with the lathe method. I actually used this method with success when I removed a double roller from a Waltham '88 Maximus. It worked great. However, now I have tried it a few times with a thin model Illinois 12s (Model 439), but to no avail. Despite the collets being the correct size, something seems to be "giving" when I rotate the tailstock pulley. It looks like the collet is slipping on the hairspring shoulder somehow or something. Any other ideas as to how to remove a stubborn roller when the duplex roller remover doesn't seem up to the task, and the lathe method seems to be ineffective as well. I have tightened the collet almost tighter than feels safe. The collet-holding tailstock seems to be holding well. It's in the pulley/collet shoulder side (#5 collet) where the hold seems lacking. :?| Help?
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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Hi MrRoundel

The roller on the Illinois thin balance is riveted to the balance. The staff just drives out (its friction fit) but the roller stays in place. I'd need to check my books, but the Marquis model may be different.
 

WatchmakerWannaBe

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May 25, 2013
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Next to using the lathe method (which I look forward to being able to do when I get a lathe), the Rex type roller remover is the best I've used. It combines the tool with your staking set and offers precise control. It is very good for tiny roller tables, and for extremely tight fitting roller tables. Looser fitting, and large rollers can be removed using the blade and punch type roller removers - like the Bergeon remover (number 30070).

If it's a small roller table, a tight fitting roller table, and/or if it's just really important to get it right - and not crack the roller table, then the Rex type is the only way to go - unless you have a lathe I imagine...
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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Hi MrRoundel

The roller on the Illinois thin balance is riveted to the balance.
Yikes. Well, that might explain it. I did notice that somehow during the course of things, the safety roller moved out of position. Hopefully it's not part of the roller table. The only way I can see that that happened, is if the staff turned but the riveted roller table did not, while the safety roller did. Somehow I'll have to spin it back around.

Thanks for that interesting information.

And WMWBe, thanks for the tip on the Rex remover. I've seen them around a lot, but haven't bought one as the duplex remover generally worked quite well for me on other watches. Cheers.
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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Hi again

The safety roller is separate, so that shouldn't be a problem.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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Hi again

The safety roller is separate, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Hi Smudgy,
Thanks again for your help.
Is it possible to remove the roller table on this design? You see, I have set out to remove the roller because I need to replace the jewel, not the staff. There's very little room in which to get shellac to flow over the jewel, which seems to indicate the necessity of removing the table. Have you ever replaced a roller jewel in one of the thin Illinois models? Is this possible with the thin model? This is the #439. Cheers.
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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Hi

I have not replaced just the roller on one of these, but you should be able to without removing the table. It will be a little tight, but just altering the process a little should make it work easy enough. Clean the hole and set the roller in the hole, then set a small chip of shellac against the join. heat up a piece of roundstock (brass would work) and use the roundstock to transfer the heat to the table until the shellac melts into the join. If you have a problem speak up and I will take a balance out and take another look to consider the process.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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Hi
If you have a problem speak up and I will take a balance out and take another look to consider the process.
Thanks for your help. I'll see how it goes. I have never replaced a roller jewel before. I'm thinking that this isn't the best one to start out on though, it being relatively small, short, and cramped. It's a good thing I have 3 of the jewel that I'm hoping is truly the size shown on the vial, a 38 short, which I believe was made for Elgin double-roller designs. Cheers.
 

Smudgy

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The easiest way to pick up the jewel without losing it is to cut a flat surface on a piece of pegwood. Lick the flat and touch it to the jewel and the jewel will stick. Picking these things up with tweezers is a gamble because of the shape, they tend to go flying easily. If you do need to use tweezers just be sure to use as little pressure as possible.
 

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