Roller table hole too big for new staff

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Daniel Denlinger, Apr 6, 2019.

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  1. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    I just replaced the balance staff in a watham 16s movement and when putting on the roller table found out the the hole is too big for new staff. Is there a way of reducing the hole size of table ? Maybe a punch. Thank you for any advice.
     
  2. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Hi Daniel,
    I'm going to move this to Watch Repair for better coverage.

    Unfortunately, the roller table is usually made of hardened steel. Very difficult to punch, if even possible. For this very reason, I always measure the roller table end of the new staff before riveting it on to the balance wheel. If it is smaller, I get another staff.
     
  3. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    Yes I agree unfortunately this shaft is very rare waist size is uncommon, ordered 3 before I got the one that fits balance 1.92mm # 4861. Increased my inventory I never return parts. Thank you for your input.
     
  4. darrahg

    darrahg Moderator
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    Normally watch manufactures had different sizes of balance staffs to account for these size differences but sometimes it gets expensive when trying to acquire the correct one. The rare times I have encountered this problem, I made bushings, or collars to increase the width of the staff for the roller jewel. A little lathe work is required.
     
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  5. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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  6. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    These are copies of my posts to a similar question:

    If you have a good staking set there should be a punch with a triangular pointed tip. This punch can be used to LIGHTLY tap the hole in the roller table and will raise 3 small burrs to grip to the staff. I sometimes will rotate the punch so I get six nice burrs in the roller table hole. When you drop the roller table onto the staff it should stop with about half the thickness of the roller table left before it bottoms. I wouldn't use any type of glue.

    Roger

    You will not crack a hard steel roller if this is done properly and the roller table doesn't already have a weak area. Note I said in my post and capitalized LIGHTLY tap the punch. In the K&D book titled "Staking Tools and How To Use Them" (on page 28 in my copy states):
    "Triangular Point - For tightening roller tables; used in the same manner as a round-faced punch. It raises three slight burrs equidistant about the hole. A round faced punch is likely to split a hard roller if one attempts to close the hole with it."


    I have never split a roller table using this punch, however I suppose it could happen in the event of a weak roller table or a very hard strike on the punch. Using the punch maintains perfect centricity.

    Roger
     
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  7. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    Thank you Roger that's what I was looking for. I have a staking set but that punch is not among my punches. Do you know where I can purchase the triangle punch
     
  8. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    Can you please attach a picture of your triangle punch. thanks
     
  9. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    I found a picture of the punch you described, K&D staking manual. Thank you for telling me about this punch.
     
  10. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    You're welcome. When you use this punch you should place a slotted punch in the base of the staking set with the roller jewel in the slotted area. This will allow you to use the triangle punch on the side of the roller table that faces the hub and should give you the best grip. I'm sorry but I don't have a source for the punch.

    Roger
     
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  11. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    Please, if you're not going to go to the trouble of finding or making the correct staff, just shellac it on because that doesn't destroy the roller. Then the watch will tick again, and a future repairer who has the right staff will curse you only lightly instead of heavily, and can easily undo your temporary fix.
     
  12. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    Thank you good idea
     
  13. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    Thank you Roger I will take your advice.
     
  14. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    #14 pocketsrforwatches, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    I don't agree that this procedure "destroys the roller". The small burrs placed in the hole are an acceptable practice and if another staff is replaced there would be no problem installing the roller. This is not like placing pigs ears under a balance cock. With shellac you are not likely to seat the roller table properly and squarely to the hub.
     
  15. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Daniel
    Personally, I am not a fan of marking anything that is visible when assemblies are assembled.

    In this case, I would machine a new staff if none were available.

    On the other hand, if I were forced to make this repair, I would sleeve the staff as mentioned by Darrahy if the ID/OD allowed it.

    If not, I would use a very fine toothed carbide slitting saw blade as a knurl to lightly knurl the staff (Increasing friction OD) area covered by the roller table. To do this, the blade is held in a arbor where it is permitted to rotate on the arbor while the staff would rotate in the lathe.

    The available attached photo is not the application we are discussing, but gives the general idea.

    Jerry Kieffer

    View attachment 527270

    DSCN1301.jpg
     
  16. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    #16 Jerry Treiman, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    Using the triangle punch to make the roller fit an incorrect replacement staff may have been handy for quick repairs back in the day when you could get factory-fresh replacement parts in case of problems, but today such repairs are generally frowned upon. Some watch repair manuals specifically warn against this practice. Even if the trianglular punch does not crack the roller table initially, its use certainly weakens the roller and it can split during future replacements. Henry Fried also points out that this expedient only tightens the fit on one face, allowing the roller to tilt.

    As conservators of these old timepieces, most of us try to follow the practice of not making any permanent alterations to the original parts. Many watchmakers feel the triangle-tipped punch has no place in modern restoration and maintenance.
     
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  17. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Well said, Jerry. Especially since this is a common staff. Better to work with a supplier to get one that fits correctly.
     
  18. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    And here you have the hobbyist's quandary - you have a watch you like, nothing too valuable, that you'd love to be able to wear/carry, but it has an issue. There may be a way to make it a working watch again, but that method, though once fairly standard practice (so much so that K&D made a punch specifically for this), is no longer considered acceptable. The practice that IS acceptable may be way beyond your tools and abilities.

    What do you do? Do you 1) pay someone else do to do it, which will probably cost more than the watch is worth on the market? 2) Do the other method that you CAN do, but which you know is suboptimal and may complicate future repairs? 3) Put it in a drawer and forget about it?

    50-100 years ago, the keywinds I've been collecting were pretty much outmoded trash. Big, bulky, inconvenient, and unreliable by comparison to "modern" watches. At the same time, watches were tools. Everybody had one, and they really just wanted them to run reliably. Many watchmaking practices that are no longer accepted probably came about to keep Everyman's watch running for another year, not to preserve it for prosperity.

    Even today, mostly they are of little market value. The cost of a simple professional service exceeds the market value for most, even if freshly serviced and in top condition. Best Practices might require you to spend as much as $500 for a watch nobody would pay more than $120 for when it's done. We want to conserve what we see as important relics, in the best possible condition, but we want a watch that works, because the whole point of collecting watches is that they WORK. Nonworking watches are lumps. Nobody wants a collection of lumps.

    So, should we do? For example - punching out balance staffs used to be common practice, even among professionals. Yes, it damages the balance, distorting the hole, and over time will make it harder to fit the balance to the staff properly. But the watch is 100 years old and few if any want it now. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands just like it were made. You have dozens of watches, and you'd really only ever carry this one maybe a couple times a year. How many more times will it ever need to be restaffed? Probably not ever, while it's in your hands. Whoever has it next may run it even less than you did. This may literally be the last time that watch EVER needs a new balance staff. So, do you punch it out? Or spend $1000 on a lathe you don't have room for and have no idea how to use, just to avoid some damage to something that may never, ever become an issue?

    Like I say, the hobbyist's quandary.
     
  19. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    GeneJockey....Your post is one of the most logically thought out I've seen in a long time. A different perspective that I appreciate. I may not totally agree with everything, but I can see the logic.
     
  20. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    Gah! POSTERITY! Not prosperity.
     
  21. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    My collection comprises what could reasonably be called 'mundane' vintage watches.

    Partly it's my own particular interest in history - I've read a bit about big events, movements, key individuals, etc. But what fascinates me most is, what was it like for the average person? Hence, I collect Elgins, which are so common that almost nobody cares about them. They're common because they were what the average person wore.

    For that reason, none of my watches is especially valuable. I ain't talking about a nice new coat of paint on the Sistine Chapel, here.

    I still aspire to best practices, but it has to be balanced with what is reasonable. Mostly I put things to the side when I reach the decision fork I described above. And some things I put aside before, I came back to later when i had acquired more skill and better tools.
     
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