American PW roller table loose

FredWJensen

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Feb 1, 2007
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I just replace the staff on and Elgin model 5 size 18 pocketwatch. The roller table is a little loose with the new staff. Any suggestions other than locktite.
 

FredWJensen

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Feb 1, 2007
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It is true, I could try to find another table. These movements are very common. This was the one that came with the watch. The fit is not really loose but not as tight as it should be. It is my own watch so I will assemble it and see how well it holds. I guess there is always this problem when you replace a staff on a 100 year old watch. The tolerances on the new staff just may not meet exactly. If it were too tight, then I could have taken the staff down a little. It think I remember seeing in Gasley that sometimes oil with metal fillings are used to pack a slightly loose roller table on? Sounds precarious.
 

D Magner

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Dec 27, 2004
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Henry B. Fried doesn't suggest, but he does state: "some watchmakers pack the loose roller with a paste made from abrasive powders". The particles of grit become wedged between the walls of the roller hole and the post of the staff. Must be cleaned well afterwards, but " the abrasive grit tightly wedged in the hole will not become loose". I have tryed the above with success.
 

FredWJensen

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Feb 1, 2007
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Thanks. I guess I it is Fried and not gasley and it was abrasive poser rather than metal filings. Makes sense, something like diamentine could actually grab the metal surfaces. I plan to run the watch awhile that way it is to see if it holds up. It is mine anyway and no big deal if it fails. It is very close and not very loose so perhaps that method will work fine in my case.
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it very much.
 

Don Dahlberg

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Aug 31, 2000
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Next time check the staff before you install it. The roller table should slide easily down to 1/3 from the seat. If is goes to the bottom, get another staff. If it goes less than 1/2 way down, turn down the staff a bit or you will split the roller putting it on.

The problem with any method that tries to make a roller fit a too small staff, is that you cannot get it concentric and level. If the roller is not dead center on the axis of rotation of the staff, the watch will not run in all positions. The same is true if you cannot get is level.

The grit method is one of the few "shortcuts" that I have ever seen Fried take and I must confess I have been forced to use it on one of my watches. I would never use it on another person's watch, and many do not recommend the method, because it usually is a temporary fix. So unless the staff is only the a tiny bit too small, the results may not be as satisfactory as you might think.

Don
 

rrwatch

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If the roller table is just a little bit loose, you can try the same method used to tension a slightly loose cannon pinion. Pluck an arm or eyebrow hair and run it through the roller table hole and then stake it onto the staff. This will tighten the table and will not affect poise, concentricity or flatness. Using tweezers, snap off any protruding ends of the hair, top or bottom. This will not alter the watch in any way and is a fix that will last until the roller is removed from the staff.
 

FredWJensen

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Feb 1, 2007
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From now one when I need a staff, I will order 3. Then because of usual tolerance variations maybe I will get at least one with a good fit. It must have been nice in the days when you could have on hand a factory materials case set with all the parts you needed to choose from.
 

Don Dahlberg

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Aug 31, 2000
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It was not much easier then. The parts supply companies recommended that you send the balance and jewels, so they could fit a good staff. Most watch companies used several hole sizes with the balance jewels. Hamilton used three sizes of pivots. So they sold three sizes of pivots on the staffs and three sizes of balance jewels. Staffs were also sold in units of one or a dozen.

Don
 

HUDD

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Apr 11, 2004
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If the fit is close I use a suitable round headed stake from my staking set, centre the roller table on a small flat circular stump and give one GENTLE tap. Too big a tap and the hole is closed too much and its out with the broaches.

Take great care centralizing the roller table on the stump. Rotating the stake in contact with the roller table helps to seat it centrally.

Hudd
 

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