Staff Tool improvisation. Support for balance arm after removing hub.

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by MrRoundel, Feb 15, 2020.

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  1. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    Greetings all.

    I've been going through some projects that have been sitting in containers in various states of disrepair and assembly. Today's happens to be a rather scarce "G" size early E. Howard & Co. movement. I have had the movement for many years, and it has been apart for almost as long. My service note said that that the hairspring was out of flat (It is.), and it had a broken balance pivot. Since the balance was OK and the hairspring probably serviceable, I proceeded with caution.

    I chucked up the balance in the proper size chuck and proceeded to turn off the hub. I'd prefer to do the rivet, but I didn't trust not contacting the balance arm with my graver, as my skills aren't excellent and the watch is only a 6 size. After turning most of the hub off, it looked as if it might knock out. There was a little shiny ring around the balance hole that looked like it was the last remnant of the hub. I took a small screwdriver tip to it to be sure and it came up in a ring. Just a tiny bit more turning on the lathe would have cut it loose.

    Now, since the balance arm is on the bottom of the rim, and I need to knock the staff out from the bottom, I couldn't see using my K&D staff remover because the center of the balance arm would be able to flex. This would defeat the purpose of the tool's support design. So what I did was get a hollow stump for my staking set, put in place and centered it. I then grabbed one of my shorter, but still larger diameter balance arm contact area, K&D removers. This fit on top of the balance which was sitting atop the hollow stump. I then used the K&D remover as it is designed. The support was very solid for the arm, with the hollow stump's diameter being a very good match for opposing force. Bottom line is that it worked.

    While this may not have been the best route, the staff is out and the balance is unscathed. Now if I can only find a staff for this watch. I think that's going to be difficult so it will probably be found, as my old friend Charlie used to tell me, dangling on the end of a piece of wire. My lathe skills will have to improve a lot for that to happen anytime soon.

    Sorry about the sideways images. I didn't take them that way. And when they showed up that way after importing from my iPhone, I flipped them using MS Paint. They are right side up on my desktop as well. However, here they seem to be on their sides. I know everyone loves their Apple stuff...but...Never mind. Cheers.

    IMG_1761_A.jpg IMG_1762_A.jpg
     
  2. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Actually, I should probably have referred to the Howard "G" size to being uncommon, not scarce. There were around 6,000 made according to G. Townsend.
     
  3. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    Feb 13, 2008
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    The correct way is to cut off the hub, not the rivet. I use Waller carbide gravers and they cut like butter.
     
  4. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Yes, I did cut off the hub. I guess my verbosity had me lose you. ;)

    I have a carbide graver but it isn't very sharp. Maybe even a couple. Barkus and Waller. Hard? Yes. Sharp? No. Someday I'll get the sharpening setup for getting a good edge on it. Until then I have to sharpen and use my steel gravers. They definitely don't like the hardness of the rivet. Cheers.
     
  5. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    No it wasn't lost. You said in your post that you would prefer to cut from the rivet side. Cutting from the rivet side is never a good idea. That was the reason for my post.
     
  6. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Gotcha. Thanks. That's true. My reasoning is that it's less to cut away with my non-carbide gravers. Cheers.
     

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