Tool for... balance wheels?

kdf

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Is this tool for balance wheels? I don't repaire wathes, mainly clocks...

DPP0001.JPG DPP0003.JPG DPP0002.JPG
 

karlmansson

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Mostly referred to as "truing calipers", which is a bit misleading as the actual truing of the wheel should be carried out in a staking tool to take the load off of the pivots.
 

Dave T

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"The Watch Repairers Manual" by Fried is a good reference for the use of this.
 

Dushan Grujich

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Is this tool for balance wheels? I don't repaire wathes, mainly clocks...
G'Day!

Yes, as "roughbarked" has already said, the tools you have shown are used for checking the balance wheels for the run-out in round as well as the run-out in flat, it being very important for a proper running of the watch. From the images you have provided it is not clear if the stumps of the tools are with safety centres. That is important in case you want to try and use tools for truing of balance wheels. Do not attempt truing a balance will if the stumps are simple female cones, if so the tools are only for testing.

To understand what I am talking about, have a look at the image below.

Truing caliper safety stump.jpg

If you ever decide to try to true a balance wheel, then carefully read instructions on how to use the tool. Instructions are given in a number of books on watch repair, some already were mentioned. Quite comprehensive explanation is given in Training Unit Nr.2 of the Bulova School of Watchmaking Manual. Any additional instruction you can always receive here, there are several very capable watchmakers on this forum, who will not mind helping you get along.

Cheers, Dushan
 

Dushan Grujich

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Mostly referred to as "truing calipers", which is a bit misleading as the actual truing of the wheel should be carried out in a staking tool to take the load off of the pivots.
Karl,

If you do not mind, it would be nice if you would elaborate a little on this. Aren't the safety stumps of the callipers designed to take care of pivots while truing a balance wheel by holding the staff by cones and not by the pivots?

The only pivots I have ever broken when truing, while using parallel action callipers, were broken exclusively by my being careless in handling the balance and not closing them for truing, and it only happened a couple of times over the period of forty plus years.

Cheers, Dushan
 

karlmansson

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Karl,

If you do not mind, it would be nice if you would elaborate a little on this. Aren't the safety stumps of the callipers designed to take care of pivots while truing a balance wheel by holding the staff by cones and not by the pivots?

The only pivots I have ever broken when truing, while using parallel action callipers, were broken exclusively by my being careless in handling the balance and not closing them for truing, and it only happened a couple of times over the period of forty plus years.

Cheers, Dushan
Possibly! I know I've seen a few variations of this tool, some of which just have conical centers in the ends of the jaws. Others have jewelled jaws. Considering the forces one can apply by the mechanical advantage of the rim of the balance vs. the diameter of even the oil groove in the top of a balance staff I think there are several parts that could break by applying too much force to a stubborn balance rim. I've also successfully trued balances in calipers with safety cones as you describe but was informed by a WOSTEP trained firend of mine that it should ideally be done between flat stumps in a staking tool to take the load off of the staff entirely. Belt and suspenders I suppose.

Then again, I think the answer may lie in what you describe with being "careless". While there is less risk of damaging the balance while truing, you increase the risk of damaging it by moving it between tools and fitting delicate pivots into tiny holes.

Regards
Karl
 

Dushan Grujich

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Possibly! I know I've seen a few variations of this tool, some of which just have conical centers in the ends of the jaws. Others have jewelled jaws. Considering the forces one can apply by the mechanical advantage of the rim of the balance vs. the diameter of even the oil groove in the top of a balance staff I think there are several parts that could break by applying too much force to a stubborn balance rim. I've also successfully trued balances in calipers with safety cones as you describe but was informed by a WOSTEP trained firend of mine that it should ideally be done between flat stumps in a staking tool to take the load off of the staff entirely. Belt and suspenders I suppose.

Then again, I think the answer may lie in what you describe with being "careless". While there is less risk of damaging the balance while truing, you increase the risk of damaging it by moving it between tools and fitting delicate pivots into tiny holes.
Karl,

When is it necessary to true a balance? Usually, it happens after replacing the staff. Normally there is very little truing required to be done. It mostly is, when a previous repairer replaced a staff in a haste, not taking time to do it properly and there is some damage to the balance seat, which shows only when a new staff is riveted. This often happens with soft balances, almost never with a Glucydur balance.

I am not knocking use of staking tool for truing a balance, each one does it the way he/she were taught. However, I am asking what kind of damage was done to a balance that warrants use of staking tool and hammer? For such damage there are a number of tools available, like truing wrenches, special pliers etc. But such kind of damage cannot be caused by balance staff replacement, far from it. In my practice, as a watchmaker, when such amount of damage appears in a watch, I replace damaged balance with a new balance complete. Even now, years since balance complete have become unobtainable, I still have stock of several hundred Renata, Favorite and Bergeon balances for the most common calibres, not counting the Soviet ones which were supplied in lots of fifty and hundred pieces per calibre.

I imagine that truing a balance, after a routine staff replacement, in a staking tool, then checking it in truing callipers would be long and tedious work. Most of the time there is no need to true the balance, I check it for run-out and roughly seven out of ten cases there is no need to do anything.

My two pennies on the subject.

Cheers, Dushan
 

Dushan Grujich

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There should not be a need for hammering at balances.
G'Day!

I too would say not, however, the idea of using a staking tool to true a balance is foreign to me and it implies the use of hammer, so I could not resist it and I exaggerated a bit. :)

BTW, when did this come about? My education in watch making came largely from Germany and England. So far I've never heard of staking tool being used for truing balance.

N.B.

Henry B. Fried, as well as some other authors, suggest use of staking tool and hammer with peening punch to stretch i.e. to extend one of the balance arms, in some cases of truing. Myself, I never had to do it with balance wheel.

Cheers, Dushan
 

gmorse

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Hi Dushan,

Henry B. Fried, as well as some other authors, suggest use of staking tool and hammer with peening punch to stretch i.e. to extend one of the balance arms, in some cases of truing.
Was this an example of his 'Do as I say, not as I do'? Sounds pretty barbaric to me . . .

Regards,

Graham
 

Dushan Grujich

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Was this an example of his 'Do as I say, not as I do'? Sounds pretty barbaric to me . . .
G'Day, Graham!

Perhaps, but I do not have an answer for you. I have not had a pleasure of meeting Henry B. Fried. BTW, you can rest assured that I would have asked him. Also, Archie B. Perkins, in his book on staking tool use (pages 67 to 69), describes the process of stretching balance wheel arms in detail, as well as giving advice how to properly stretch arms of a cylinder escape wheel.

I can only conclude how various people teach various methods of doing things, some are good, and some are bad. That is the way the things are in our world, often leaving to the individuals to decide what to apply and what not.

Cheers, Dushan
 

karlmansson

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Dushan, maybe I was a bit vague on the subject. I never meant that a hammer should be used. The stakes are just to hold the balance in place while manipulating the rim. A jewelling tool with the appropriate stump and pusher could just as easily be used. The pusher/stake is just held down to the hub of the staff or central part of the balance arms as the rim is manipulated.

Regards
Karl
 

Dushan Grujich

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Karl,

No worries at all. Hammer was my addition to conversation simply because use of staking tool implies use of a hammer. Nevertheless, that process makes one having to switch balance from callipers to staking tool, several times in order to check the run out, and it takes considerable time and care. The use of a good set of callipers with safety centres is short and safe job of truing, without any danger to balance. We, each of us do truing the way we were taught, and if that works out successfully then there is no need to change our ways. Sure, if there is some radical difference in another process that will enable faster, more accurate, and if it ensures better quality outcome, then yes, it is worth learning new skill, otherwise it is not worth the effort and time one has to put in it.

As the old proverb says:There are many ways to skin a cat.

Cheers, Dushan
 

Dushan Grujich

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I've also not used the word truing.
G'Day, "roughbarked" !

Quite seriously, you have raised my curiosity quite a way up. You have said that truing callipers is "a tool for testing" specifying it a bit closer as a "Tool for checking if the balance itself is flat and round" and later on you have added, "I use my staking set to straighten things out with the balance wheel". Now, if you do not mind me asking you: What tool do you use for truing balance wheels as well as other watch wheels when needed? Of course I will not mind if you refuse to answer.

Myself, I am using callipers shown below, jewelled Levin for testing and two sizes of parallel callipers with safety centres for truing but only if run-out is slight, if excessive then I just replace balance complete. I do have few other as well, these 'thingies' tend to accumulate over the years although I do not use them.

Cheers, Dushan

trueing%20callipers%20lyre%2001.jpg Safety%20Trueing%20Calpers%2001.jpg Safety%20Trueing%20Calpers%2002.jpg
 

Dushan Grujich

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As you said. "slight".
I don't use hammers and pliers.
"roughbarked",

I never said that you did, and I never meant to offend you, I was just surprised with the use of staking tool. Many authors (American mostly) have suggested use of hammer, as I have shown and in my view it is unacceptable.

Thanks for the explanation and reply.

Cheers, Dushan
 

roughbarked

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A staking set can be used without a hammer.

I started with a simple brass set of truing calipers and graduated up but as you also inferred, these tools were rarely used. I recall asking my master when do I learn to make winding stems and staffs on the lathe? The reply was, "Not on my time. When I can buy three stems or three staffs for a dollar.
Learn on your own time. Times have changed. Wasn't so long ago I could chain you to the bench overnight".

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Dushan Grujich

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A staking set can be used without a hammer.

I started wiytth a simple brass set of truing calipers and graduated up but as you also inferred, these tools were rarely used. I recall asking my master when do I learn to make winding stems and staffs on the lathe? The reply was, "Not on my time. When I can buy three stems or three staffs for a dollar.
Learn on your own time. Times have changed. Wasn't so long ago I could chain you to the bench overnight".
I realise that a staking set can be used for holding balance wheel by its staff but the truing is unclear to me, as requires switching between staking tool and callipers for testing, if that is the way of it being done.

Yes, I remember those times (sadly) well when I was buying Renata balance complete at the price of DM1.50 - DM3.00 apiece, at the time it was ~ AU$ 0.75 - $ 1.50 mid 1970s.
 

Dushan Grujich

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has heard of this technique.
G'Day Karl!

I suspect that it is somewhat newer technique taught at WOSTEP. Dewey Clark has fairly recently been attending course at WOSTEP school in Neuchatel, CH, and I remember him telling of truing balance and other wheels as well as about preparation of truing callipers for the work, by each student at the time. Perhaps he can shed some light on the subject. BTW, very few watchmakers actually talk about techniques they employ. For example, in UK, there is mailing list with mostly pro watchmakers, and very few were actually talking of the techniques they used routinely, if you do not count Alan Lewis, Dewey Clark, Matt Henning, Mark Pleshinsky (Aussie), Mike Kibby (occasionally) and only couple of other people including myself. The rest would very rarely join discussion.

I must say that I never understood that attitude. It also applies to the US watch repair crowd, however a fair bit less than other groups like the UK. Down under, there are not so many watchmakers, and as it happens quite recently Mark Pleshinsky closed the Australian mail list the "OZ Watchmakers" due to inactivity.

Cheers, Dushan
 

DeweyC

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G'Day Karl!

I suspect that it is somewhat newer technique taught at WOSTEP. Dewey Clark has fairly recently been attending course at WOSTEP school in Neuchatel, CH, and I remember him telling of truing balance and other wheels as well as about preparation of truing callipers for the work, by each student at the time. Perhaps he can shed some light on the subject. BTW, very few watchmakers actually talk about techniques they employ. For example, in UK, there is mailing list with mostly pro watchmakers, and very few were actually talking of the techniques they used routinely, if you do not count Alan Lewis, Dewey Clark, Matt Henning, Mark Pleshinsky (Aussie), Mike Kibby (occasionally) and only couple of other people including myself.

Thanks for dumping me into the pot Dushan!

OK. I have about 6 different styles of calipers that I use depending upon my physical condition on that day (seriously). But generally, I use the lyre (Levin) style. Always under a microscope at 20 to 40x.

I have corrected many "destroyed" bimetallic balances with compound bends. For most balances the work is done in the calipers. In class we learned to correct very stubborn Glucydor balances. So it can all be done. Just have to decide that you can't make things worse.

For some situations, I use the Horia tool as a clamp (on the ARMS) as Karl's friend seems to have described and as I was taught. But I do not see a good way to provide the needed pressure on the assembly with a standard staking tool. Perhaps an issue with translation Karl? This is also helpful with the Glucydor balances. They take SERIOUS force to correct.

OK. For train wheels the traditional caliper is fine. The cone bearings are fine on the larger train pivots which will withstand the needed forces.

I even have a caliper that will accept barrel pivots.

But, balance assemblies do not like cone bearings. You just put in a new staff. You need to protect those pivots. You need the safety type runners as found in the Levin, Bergeon and other calipers.

Secondly, when making adjustments, the calipers must be TIGHT. You want all the pressure on the pivot cones.

Start by checking the plane of the arms. If out of plane, then one side is bent. If this cannot be seen visually, then put into the watch and decide which has the better clearance for the pallet bridge and center wheel. I mark the low side in red. Just develop a marking system and stick with it.

Also, I set the balance ABOVE the pointer. Again, pick a convention and stick with it.

The out of plane has to be corrected before proceeding further. Use the Horia if needed. Then I adjust the free arms by plain sight.

Replace in the caliper. Pick the worst out of flat free arm. The low spot will be closest to the pointer in my convention. Set the pointer to just clear the low spot at 10x. Mark the low spot. Rotate balance to determine where the bend starts. Repeat until the pointer shows no difference at 10 or 20X.

Unless a compound bend, this can be corrected in the caliper. Now do the other side.

Increase magnification and repeat until you can detect no change at 40x.

Now loosen the caliper for free play. Spin the balance and watch at 20x. You should see not wobble.

Now correct out of round. I adjust the pointer to show the joint of the steel and brass. There is nothing to be done with a solid balance other than verify it is correct or must be replaced.

Again, starting at 10 or 20x. Ensure both arms lengths are equal. I never encountered a balance from a reputable company that had been not been vandalized that arms were unequal. This is all about checking your datum; like first establishing arms are in plane.

Now at low mag, check the runout of one free arm. Correct if needed. This is somewhat paradoxical. The arms by definition are temperature sensitive. You expect them curve inwards at 90 degrees F. I use bronze tweezers to make the adjustments as much as possible.

One side then the other. Reiterate at high mag.

Now check for flatness once again at high mag.

Adjust caliper for free play and spin. Joy.

I think this is pretty complete, but ....

The point is to develop a system. Just like every other aspect of watchmaking. Establish a datum, marking and SEEING before "correcting". Th
 

karlmansson

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Don’t think it’s an issue with translation, he said “stansställ” which is staking tool in swedish. But I see the benefit of using a jewelling tool above the staking tool. Come to think of it, that has been the case for me with many techniques where the staking tool is suggested. Almost everything except actual riveting. Greater control of both force and depth of the pushers.

I don’t have a Horia though so I would be facing the same issue with applying pressure and having hands free with my Favorite tool.

Thanks for the detailed rundown of your process Dewey! Much appreciated.

K
 

Dushan Grujich

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Thanks for dumping me into the pot Dushan!
Dewey,

By all means, a big thanks for the response.

There surely was no ill will in it. I believe that this was not the first time, and I sincerely hope it will not be the last... OTOH, please feel free to do the same at any time. :)

This is a kind of a reminder of the times we had on "Watchrepairers" mailing list.

Cheers, Dushan
 

Jerry Kieffer

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In some cases, admit it or not, we have all caused damage when restaffing. While it may only be occasional or slight at times , it still happens.

Over the years through experimentation, the following practices have greatly reduced balance issues from restaffing for myself personally.

(1) After a staff has been removed, all balances are placed between two blocks and pressure is applied (Assuming a flat surface) with a machine vise per first two photos. This returns the center bar to original condition if required.

(2) Staking tool sets no matter the quality have stakes that are fit in a way that provides ease of use. In many cases, when centering the anvil, the slight looseness in the the stakes permits the anvil to be locked into position slightly out of center alignment. Any thing less than alignment perfection when staking has increased issues at least by my hand. To resolve this I experimented with lapping a centering rod with a tighter than normal fit per third photo. While the fit can be installed and removed, it is tighter than except-able for typical use of stakes. While again, nothing is perfect, it improved the end result.

(3) I also pay very close attention to the fit of stumps and stakes when staking a balance staff.

In the end, these steps have decreased issues when staking balances.

Jerry Kieffer

I should note that the Vise shown is a 2" copy of a Kurt machinist vise I constructed for use in small milling machines. However, any smaller machine vise of higher quality will work. Again however, vises from China and India have course crude leadscrews and are not controllable for this type work. For the smallest watch work and smaller, I have also constructed a 1" copy of the Kurt vise. Construction was required since no small machine vise of quality is commercially available that I am aware of.

fullsizeoutput_602.jpeg fullsizeoutput_605.jpeg fullsizeoutput_604.jpeg
 

Dushan Grujich

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In some cases, admit it or not, we have all caused damage when restaffing. While it may only be occasional or slight at times , it still happens.

Over the years through experimentation, the following practices have greatly reduced balance issues from restaffing for myself personally.

(1) After a staff has been removed, all balances are placed between two blocks and pressure is applied (Assuming a flat surface) with a machine vise per first two photos. This returns the center bar to original condition if required.

(2) Staking tool sets no matter the quality have stakes that are fit in a way that provides ease of use. In many cases, when centering the anvil, the slight looseness in the the stakes permits the anvil to be locked into position slightly out of center alignment. Any thing less than alignment perfection when staking has increased issues at least by my hand. To resolve this I experimented with lapping a centering rod with a tighter than normal fit per third photo. While the fit can be installed and removed, it is tighter than except-able for typical use of stakes. While again, nothing is perfect, it improved the end result.

(3) I also pay very close attention to the fit of stumps and stakes when staking a balance staff.

In the end, these steps have decreased issues when staking balances.

Jerry Kieffer

I should note that the Vise shown is a 2" copy of a Kurt machinist vise I constructed for use in small milling machines. However, any smaller machine vise of higher quality will work. Again however, vises from China and India have course crude leadscrews and are not controllable for this type work. For the smallest watch work and smaller, I have also constructed a 1" copy of the Kurt vise. Construction was required since no small machine vise of quality is commercially available that I am aware of.
Jerry,

Are you aware that the staking tool, as it is today, was invented in 1870?

Before that, stakes (punches) were held by hand, while a reversible stump - one end with a hole and other plain flat was held in a bench vice, and that did not stop watchmakers of the world to create masterpieces that are quite difficult to repeat nowadays with the best of tooling that is available.

What you do is, in my opinion, a huge unnecessary overkill.

Cheers, Dushan
 

DeweyC

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In some cases, admit it or not, we have all caused damage when restaffing. While it may only be occasional or slight at times , it still happens.

Over the years through experimentation, the following practices have greatly reduced balance issues from restaffing for myself personally.

(1) After a staff has been removed, all balances are placed between two blocks and pressure is applied (Assuming a flat surface) with a machine vise per first two photos. This returns the center bar to original condition if required.

(2) Staking tool sets no matter the quality have stakes that are fit in a way that provides ease of use. In many cases, when centering the anvil, the slight looseness in the the stakes permits the anvil to be locked into position slightly out of center alignment. Any thing less than alignment perfection when staking has increased issues at least by my hand. To resolve this I experimented with lapping a centering rod with a tighter than normal fit per third photo. While the fit can be installed and removed, it is tighter than except-able for typical use of stakes. While again, nothing is perfect, it improved the end result.

(3) I also pay very close attention to the fit of stumps and stakes when staking a balance staff.

In the end, these steps have decreased issues when staking balances.

Jerry Kieffer

I should note that the Vise shown is a 2" copy of a Kurt machinist vise I constructed for use in small milling machines. However, any smaller machine vise of higher quality will work. Again however, vises from China and India have course crude leadscrews and are not controllable for this type work. For the smallest watch work and smaller, I have also constructed a 1" copy of the Kurt vise. Construction was required since no small machine vise of quality is commercially available that I am aware of.

View attachment 599012 View attachment 599013 View attachment 599015
Jerry,

I am not sure you know how to use a staking set. In most sets the largest die plate hole is for holding inverted punches. Why not just turn up a 4.8mm OD punch with the required ID. If your punch set is incomplete that is.

That is the solution of a working watchmaker and the kind of advice I think is useful for those who have not had the benefit of a professional education.

For example, is it really logical to think that someone who cannot figure out how to get a proper fit in a staking die will have the wherewithal to machine up toy sized copy of a Kurt vise that is useable? Isn't that a bit like using an elephant gun to kill a flea?

You have some good ideas, and like a boss once told me "Dewey, you gotta have ideas before you can have good ideas. Keep it up."
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Dushan
Most of the metal working procedures that I practice come from the Horological machine tool manufacturing processes utilized from about 1860 on. My main interest is making unavailable parts from bar stock and producing a very small number of bar stock watch movements (On my third) for my own enjoyment and class room construction examples often discussed in detail. Generally these procedures will not be found in Horological repair publications or covered in formal Horological educational programs. What I shared was a procedure that requires little of any time and has addressed/reduced issues being discussed when utilized by myself.
I will try to explain one aspect of the procedures. When you consider the short distance between where a balance staff is supported and where it is staked, even a very minor misalignment can cause the staff to sit at a slight angle. If you attempt to stake at this position, you can easily create a problem you now have to correct.

If it was overkill, I certainly make no excuses for it and consider it a compliment.

I recently serviced my Patek 5980 Chronograph, and had I not practiced overkill caution, I could have easily caused many thousands of dollars in damage.

Jerry Kieffer
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Jerry,

I am not sure you know how to use a staking set. In most sets the largest die plate hole is for holding inverted punches. Why not just turn up a 4.8mm OD punch with the required ID. If your punch set is incomplete that is.

That is the solution of a working watchmaker and the kind of advice I think is useful for those who have not had the benefit of a professional education.

For example, is it really logical to think that someone who cannot figure out how to get a proper fit in a staking die will have the wherewithal to machine up toy sized copy of a Kurt vise that is useable? Isn't that a bit like using an elephant gun to kill a flea?

You have some good ideas, and like a boss once told me "Dewey, you gotta have ideas before you can have good ideas. Keep it up."
Dewey
One must be familiar with basic machine tool practices before they can be understood.

The 4.8mm punch is great example. Pressure applied to any part of a balance with that small of a surface can easily cause more damage than it corrects. The reason for the large diameter blocks is that over a larger surface the metal is exposed to less pressure to perfectly reshape the full length of the arm or bar or whatever they call it your school. In addition the large ground surface assures that there will be no unwanted marks on the balance surface from small under sized punches. While this may not be an issue on the type of things you work on, it is a major concern for those who work on valuable items.

I can relate to your staking die comment. Before analyzing issues covered in the horological manufacturing industry not covered in schools or publications, it would have taken me even more space than you to cover how I corrected problems I created using some professional education procedures.

I see where you did not catch where I said any small quality vise would do.

Jerry Kieffer
 
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DeweyC

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Dewey
One must be familiar with basic machine tool practices before they can be understood.

The 4.8mm punch is great example. Pressure applied to any part of a balance with that small of a surface can easily cause more damage than it corrects. The reason for the large diameter blocks is that over a larger surface the metal is exposed to less pressure to perfectly reshape the full length of the arm or bar or whatever they call it your school. In addition the large ground surface assures that there will be no unwanted marks on the balance surface from small under sized punches. While this may not be an issue on the type of things you work on, it is a major concern for those who work on valuable items.

I can relate to your staking die comment. Before analyzing issues covered in the horological manufacturing industry not covered in schools or publications, it would have taken me even more space than you to cover how I corrected problems I created using some professional education procedures.

I see where you did not catch where I said any small quality vise would do.

Jerry Kieffer
Jerry,

Huh?

What are you trying to accomplish?

This thread is about helping people understand the use of the truing calipers. You have hijacked this thread for your own purposes and are not helping those interested in that subject.

Sometimes I really do not understand what drives you.

Do you have anything to add about truing calipers?
 

roughbarked

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By the time I started learning the trade, the majority of balance staff changing and need for balance truing had gone into the past. The master had not bothered to update his truing calipers. I only saw him use the poising tool once when he showed me how it was used.
 

Dushan Grujich

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Dushan
Most of the metal working procedures that I practice come from the Horological machine tool manufacturing processes utilized from about 1860 on. My main interest is making unavailable parts from bar stock and producing a very small number of bar stock watch movements (On my third) for my own enjoyment and class room construction examples often discussed in detail. Generally these procedures will not be found in Horological repair publications or covered in formal Horological educational programs. What I shared was a procedure that requires little of any time and has addressed/reduced issues being discussed when utilized by myself.
I will try to explain one aspect of the procedures. When you consider the short distance between where a balance staff is supported and where it is staked, even a very minor misalignment can cause the staff to sit at a slight angle. If you attempt to stake at this position, you can easily create a problem you now have to correct.

If it was overkill, I certainly make no excuses for it and consider it a compliment.

I recently serviced my Patek 5980 Chronograph, and had I not practiced overkill caution, I could have easily caused many thousands of dollars in damage.

Jerry Kieffer

Jerry,

You are saying that you are following "Horological machine tool manufacturing processes utilized from about 1860 on" about which there are no texts that one can use, saying also "these procedures will not be found in Horological repair publications or covered in formal Horological educational programs."

Well, that simply is not true. There are lots of texts for one to study from, describing all horological procedures used for manufacturing fine timepieces way before 1860 as well as afterwards, all the way to this day including the industrial production processes. Myself, I have a number of books describing processes of manufacture as well as processes of industrial production in German, Russian and French as well as some in English, which I have studied from. I have even presented here an English translation, done for Smithsonian Institute, of a Russian text named "Technology of Watch Production" which I dare say you did not bother to read. The same text, among many other, was a required reading of Moscow's Horology College, IIRC.

BTW, you seem to be confusing manufacturing with industrial production. Manufacturing stands for manual making by use of hands, each piece being practically unique not being interchangeable with each other if several are made. The word comes from Latin "manu" meaning hand, whereas industrial production means machining product large scale in a factory, where all pieces produced are practically identical to each other.

There are no secret processes or secret knowledge available to a select few.

Cheers, Dushan
 

DeweyC

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By the time I started learning the trade, the majority of balance staff changing and need for balance truing had gone into the past. The master had not bothered to update his truing calipers. I only saw him use the poising tool once when he showed me how it was used.
Roughbarked,

I was in school with a woman who was awarded a MacArthur scholarship to attend WOSTEP in 2010. She was from Melbourne. I am trying to reconcile her skills with your experience.

Truing is essential in servicing any precision watch that is to meet its original specs (Ham RR watch 6 seconds across 5 pos; 992B/950B 5 secs across 6 positions).

I can understand some watchmakers saying a customer will not pay for the time so why bother. But those who served a clientele that appreciated precision had no problem with that.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Jerry,

Huh?

What are you trying to accomplish?

This thread is about helping people understand the use of the truing calipers. You have hijacked this thread for your own purposes and are not helping those interested in that subject.

Sometimes I really do not understand what drives you.

Do you have anything to add about truing calipers?

Dewey
You gave a explanation on the use of truing calipers. I have nothing to add as they are a very basic and simple devise with effectiveness by individual skill.

I simply gave an explanation of how I have successfully reduced issues commonly checked by using a truing caliper since correction methods were mentioned.

As I understand it, the board is for all points of view where not everyone will have the same point of view as you or I.

While you are servicing and adjusting, for the most part I am machining and constructing Horological items. We of course will come at things from a different point of view.

Jerry Kieffer
 

DeweyC

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Dewey
You gave a explanation on the use of truing calipers. I have nothing to add as they are a very basic and simple devise with effectiveness by individual skill.

I simply gave an explanation of how I have successfully reduced issues commonly checked by using a truing caliper since correction methods were mentioned.

As I understand it, the board is for all points of view where not everyone will have the same point of view as you or I.

While you are servicing and adjusting, for the most part I am machining and constructing Horological items. We of course will come at things from a different point of view.

Jerry Kieffer
Now Jerry.

You know well I do quite a bit more than "service". One difference between you and me is that I let my machine skills speak for themselves. Although I will say every year I get email from WOSTEP students telling me their instructors use the machining photoseries on my site.

Jerry, you have helped others by showing how a tabletop machine can be used for making more than models. But as Dushan points out, that is all you have done. You did not invent machining or even instruction for micro machining. That credit goes to WO Smith who created the program for NASA in the late 1960s. I wonder how Archie Perkins became so accomplished without your guidance?

I suggest that you start a new thread with a topic that is targeted at whatever it is you want to discuss. For archival purposes, it is important to keep on the subject to hand which is truing calipers.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Jerry,

You are saying that you are following "Horological machine tool manufacturing processes utilized from about 1860 on" about which there are no texts that one can use, saying also "these procedures will not be found in Horological repair publications or covered in formal Horological educational programs."

Well, that simply is not true. There are lots of texts for one to study from, describing all horological procedures used for manufacturing fine timepieces way before 1860 as well as afterwards, all the way to this day including the industrial production processes. Myself, I have a number of books describing processes of manufacture as well as processes of industrial production in German, Russian and French as well as some in English, which I have studied from. I have even presented here an English translation, done for Smithsonian Institute, of a Russian text named "Technology of Watch Production" which I dare say you did not bother to read. The same text, among many other, was a required reading of Moscow's Horology College, IIRC.

BTW, you seem to be confusing manufacturing with industrial production. Manufacturing stands for manual making by use of hands, each piece being practically unique not being interchangeable with each other if several are made. The word comes from Latin "manu" meaning hand, whereas industrial production means machining product large scale in a factory, where all pieces produced are practically identical to each other.

There are no secret processes or secret knowledge available to a select few.

Cheers, Dushan

Dushan
I agree that your references are worth reading and I am familiar with some of the material.

However, I should clarify what I have referenced. I simply said that I use machine tool methods as utilized in the manufacture of horological items from about 1860 to repair and make horological parts.
Of course there are no secrets. The procedures that I use are either similar or loosely associated with machining procedures covered in a machinist handbook. Those used to manufacture horological parts are the same as used to manufacture everything else in the world. In the US the word manufacture as understood at manufacturing shows, generally covers the making of interchangeable parts and or a single part in some cases. The word industrial, is generally associated with businesses of the largest scale,

The reason I stated about 1860, is that there are machine examples from that era that exist as well as machining marks on movements from the era to indicate how they were machined. There are of course some records and accounts of equipment used.

My comment was not in reference to this material but as mentioned, in reference to Horological repair publications and horological education.

While this could go on forever, the most basic thing that comes to mind is a balance staff. If a beginner knowing nothing of Horological repair researched repair material on how to make a balance staff, I suspect all material would indicate it has to be cut with a Graver. While no issue if they wish to do so, my personal preference is to machine it per the manufacturing process since I am able to do it more accurately and efficiently by my hand. The examples go on and on thus the comment that most machining practices that were utilized to originally make a part that can be used to repair it, are not covered in horological repair materials.

Actually I miss spoke above. There are secrets. They were taken to the grave by some in the cottage industry to protect their lively hood.

Jerry Kieffer
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Now Jerry.

You know well I do quite a bit more than "service". One difference between you and me is that I let my machine skills speak for themselves. Although I will say every year I get email from WOSTEP students telling me their instructors use the machining photoseries on my site.

Jerry, you have helped others by showing how a tabletop machine can be used for making more than models. But as Dushan points out, that is all you have done. You did not invent machining or even instruction for micro machining. That credit goes to WO Smith who created the program for NASA in the late 1960s. I wonder how Archie Perkins became so accomplished without your guidance?

I suggest that you start a new thread with a topic that is targeted at whatever it is you want to discuss. For archival purposes, it is important to keep on the subject to hand which is truing calipers.
Hey Dewey
You have me now,

I have not seen your work or that of Archie Perkins, so I cannot comment.

Micro machine has been around long before myself, you and WO Smith. Actually Bill Smith took one of my first lathe classes. I like to think it was because of our Graver Lathe tool challenge but I am sure it had nothing to do with it. I simply teach it because I enjoy it and the demand for it from many walks of life.

When instructing the use of any tool, my first goal is to prepare what is to be used in the tool to assure the greatest level of success. In this case for the caliper, it is the balance.

Jerry Kieffer
 
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Dushan Grujich

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I have not seen your work or that of Archie Perkins, so I cannot comment.
Jerry,

If that is the way that we shall continue? Then in all honesty, I have never seen any of your work, apart from few images showing a thing or two and just your word about it.

Down under, we call it "tit for tat". Besides, each time that discussion is started on the subject how a certain part of a watch works e.g. a regulator, escapement, wheel train, adjustment etc, you are never present or you dodge the question, like you have done in this particular discussion by saying "You gave a explanation on the use of truing calipers. I have nothing to add as they are a very basic and simple devise with effectiveness by individual skill." Unless of course it is a question about machining or some "special" machining technique that you are familiar with.

Are we to assume that this very important work that follows each balance staff replacement, you are claiming that while doing it "we have all caused damage when restaffing. While it may only be occasional or slight at times , it still happens." and yet you have nothing to say or add, you just true the balance and that's the end of it. You do not show the range of tools that you use, you have machined none of the special tools for such an important part of a work, when riveting staff causes even a slightest error will produce poorly aligned staff.

With all the attention you pay to restaffing and yet you end up with errors, by your own words and you do not have anything to say about truing?

Hard to believe!

Cheers, Dushan
 
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roughbarked

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Roughbarked,

I was in school with a woman who was awarded a MacArthur scholarship to attend WOSTEP in 2010. She was from Melbourne. I am trying to reconcile her skills with your experience.

Truing is essential in servicing any precision watch that is to meet its original specs (Ham RR watch 6 seconds across 5 pos; 992B/950B 5 secs across 6 positions).

I can understand some watchmakers saying a customer will not pay for the time so why bother. But those who served a clientele that appreciated precision had no problem with that.
I'll have to bore you silly with a long explanation of how things have always been entirely different out in the sticks to that within a city.
That aside, I've worked on all types of watches and clocks, whenever the work has been there and I am still faithful to a trade that wasn't ever offering me a scale of dizzy heights.

To mention that though I have changed lots of balance staffs, I have never had one balance go out of round, may mean something? I don't know.

Use of the staking set was to ensure the balance was flat.
 
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Dushan Grujich

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I'll have to bore you silly with a long explanation of how things have always been entirely different out in the sticks to that within a city.
That aside, I've worked on all types of watches and clocks, whenever the work has been there and I am still faithful to a trade that wasn't ever offering me a scale of dizzy heights.

To mention that though I have changed lots of balance staffs, I have never had one balance go out of round, may mean something? I don't know.

Use of the staking set was to ensure the balance was flat.
Roughbarked,

Do us a favour and tell us what is it that we are missing by being within a city and not out in the sticks.

Not having one balance go out of round means that You do not have any wannabe watchmakers about. Also, if I'm correct, it tells me a lot about You. On a serious side, balance wheel will go out of round when the balance seat has been enlarged by using one of the no-no staff extractors and then followed by riveting a new staff in without doing anything. I'm guessing that You had no bodger for competition nearby, is a possible answer. Myself, I am using a little Italian made device named Molfres to grind away the bottom part of the staff so that it can be pushed out from the bottom without damaging the balance. How do you remove broken balance staff?

Cheers, Dushan
 

DeweyC

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This thread has really gone off the rails. A couple people expressed concern that the content regarding actual use of the truing caliper is getting lost. No one is going to read backwards given the apparent need to prove something (not sure what).

So I will create a thread on "Use of the Truing Calipers" that includes the relevant content. Perhaps the Moderator can archive it somehow.

For all who think they are the greatest watchmaker: One of the best things in my life was going to Switz and finding out exactly where I stood. I SAW greatness. In a 23 year old first year student. Look up Aaron Sauer.

At best I am a passable mechanic whose business is built on making customers and not sales.

Jerry, Jerry. Where to start?


I have not seen your work
Jerry, I am having problems with your statement you have not seen my work. I have posted examples of it on the Board for over 15 years (before the changeover) and I know from checking my threads that you read almost every one of them. And please don't say we should trust your photos but we cannot trust mine. But go there if you must.

Actually Bill Smith took one of my first lathe classes. I like to think it was because of our Graver Lathe tool challenge
WR Smith is NOT WO Smith. WR wrote books on making clocks to patterns and sharpening gravers.. WO wrote the Ensemblograf Series on Chronographs and Directed the Western PA Horological Institute long before I was born. He was also a long time consultant to Hamilton in addition to starting the micromachining program at Oklahoma for NASA.

I have not seen your work or that of Archie Perkins
Jerry, perhaps you SHOULD read some of Archie's books and read the history of US watchmaking. Regarding horolgical machining, it was NASA that gutted the watchmaking community of skilled watchmakers. There was a day when every qualified watchmaker was as facile with turning, milling and grinding as she was with adjusting to position. It was not something that was viewed in the least bit extraordinary. It was simply expected.

Jerry, you seem to be uninformed about those who came before us. At least that is a conclusion based on the fact you have never seen the works of Archie Perkins or you confuse WR and WO Smith.

For me, when I realize I have a hole in my knowledge, I immediately work to fill it. I do not like being stupid for long.
 
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praezis

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One note:
as a silent reader of this thread, I considered it more than inappropriate to adress Mr. Kieffer like a beginner who does not know how a staking tool is used!

We could already see, that the endlessly mentioned WOSTEP instructions are not beyond doubt, too.

Frank
 
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roughbarked

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This thread has really gone off the rails. A couple people expressed concern that the content regarding actual use of the truing caliper is getting lost. No one is going to read backwards given the apparent need to prove something (not sure what).



For me, when I realize I have a hole in my knowledge, I immediately work to fill it. I do not like being stupid for long.
It isn't a race. ;)
 

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