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Tool valuation

schleems18

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Oct 14, 2021
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Hey, sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong spot. I know asking "how much is my watch?" is frowned upon, but could someone help me to understand what would be a reasonable amount to spend on the equipment in the photo? RRZojWmlybMbi2JC8O4bOV7q (2).jpeg
 

Dick Feldman

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From what your picture shows, I see some sort of watchmaker's lathe, a couple of electric motors, a bench with drawers and miscellaneous. hand tools.
Here is my take. A watchmaker's lathe has limited application. Those take a variety of styles of collets and the collets will sometimes be twice the value of the lathe itself. It takes skills obtained by much practice to operate one efficiently.
It is anyone's guess on the hand tools. A lot depends on the grade of tool and the shape. I see lots of electric cords but cannot discern what those are for. The small bench vise may be of value but again, shape and manufacturer will be important. Are the drawers empty? Much of that stuff my be outdated and other, better tools may be available reasonably priced.
Better, more detailed pictures would be of more help.
If you are looking at purchasing the lot for resale, I would pass unless the price was very low.
That is what I think,
Dick
 

DeweyC

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Feb 5, 2007
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Hey, sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong spot. I know asking "how much is my watch?" is frowned upon, but could someone help me to understand what would be a reasonable amount to spend on the equipment in the photo? View attachment 678313
OK. Just remember you asked.

I take it the sticker on the bench is an auction lot number.

The "bench" is not a bench but appears wall mounted. The motor on the lathe is undersized and the lathe itself looks to be obsolete (runner t/s). I also note the spliced wire on the lathe motor. The staking set is very limited. I see no collets.

From what is visible, I would expect the drawer contents to be of similar quality and condition. This guy does not make a positive impression.

The "bench" may be the most interesting part. But on the whole, this collection is of no value to me.

If you are starting out all I can tell you is "You will continue as you begin". Or, you spend additional money trying to upgrade from you original "mistake". Good stuff is hard to find these days and it explains the high prices.

My suggested priorites are:

Good bench
Excellent lighting
Good optics
Pair of hand removing levers
Good tweezers (prefer bronze)
Good screwdrivers
Good bench anvils
Good Movt holders
Good vice
Good set of brass jewel pushers
Good sharpening system to renew tweezers and screwdrivers
Excellent oils and storage system
$15 stick oilers (avoid "automatic" oilers; they are used in production and set for a specific job)
Archie Perkins books on Watch Restoration

There are good Chinese copies of screwdrivers, the removeable bench vise, hand levers and such. No need to pay Swiss prices.

A lathe is way down the list. But it needs to be modern, complete and in good condition to be of use. Before you get one, you will need a roller remover and complete staking set in order to replace staffs.

If you replace mainsprings, you can avoid the inital purchase of a m/s winder. The rings fit the barrel. M/s can also be turned by hand but there is a knack to it to avoid deforming it.

I have a section for people starting out: Notes to Young Watchmakers
 

Dick Feldman

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This post began in "Clock Repair" and was moved here.
Regardless----whatever has been said is true of watch repair and of clock repair.
Dick
 

Dr. Jon

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If you are asking what is reasonable to pay,its difficult to answer because it depends on what you want to do with them

Going prices is a different matter .

The lathe, as is, typically goes for $50 to $150 at sales I have seen. As is it will have little use since it will need collets which are $5 to $100 each depending on maker and condition. The lathe motor as is might be worth~$50.

The vice, if is a good one and marked Bergeon, is about $100 of not marked about $25

The drawer set depending on how it is mounted is about $25. On good legs $50.

The soldering irons $5 each

teh box on the right looks like runners for the lathe $50

The tools in a stand on the left look like "dapping" tools and is a nice set $50 They are used to push dents out of watch cases.

Plastic cannister usually hold broaching tools or punches and if full $20 to $50 depending on what is inside.

I get an estimate, and a very iffy one, of a bit under $400 for the lot. If you use none of of them and go to a lot of mars you might make that back in a year or so.
 

schleems18

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Oct 14, 2021
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Thanks for the info, I appreciate it and I have decided to just pick up some individual tools for now. I'm hesitant to go any farther than removing the hands from my current pocket watches. I do have a pocket watch with a screw-back case that has some threads that are kinda pushed together. The case could be slightly bent but I think it's just the threads, is there a good way to even the threads out without breaking off pieces of the thread or other damage? or a tool you would recommend?
 

Dr. Jon

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Cross threaded cases are painful. The right tool is a special die but these are long gone. If you have access to a large screw cutting lathe yuo could make a die.



Absent that the method is to carefully align and screw the back on. This takes a combination of strength, delicacy and skill.

You might also try using a thread guage. This is a measuring tool with sets of thread profiles. You would need it if yu were going to make a tap for the back and die for the body. The tool does nto cost much. You can use it straighten the threads buy running it into the good part and pusing it to the area where the threads are bent. It is similar to using a thread "chaser" and if you find one with the right threads it is better than a gauge blade.
 

schleems18

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Oct 14, 2021
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The damage appears to be mostly at the start of the watch threads and doesn't continue for too long. Trickier part might be the case back, seems like someone used to much pressure to get it to close. Not sure if it was pressure or friction, but It has a very sharp edge now.
 

the 3rd dwarve

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Nov 3, 2000
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You will probably want a thread pitch gauge like a Starrett No. 472. That set goes to 50 TPI.

Once you know the thread pitch you can search for a thread file. The finest pitch I have is 36TPI but they might make them finer.

If you can't find the right thread file you can use a Swiss needle file to chase the threads, either a knife, slitting, or pippin profile ill work.

I like to work under magnification when I'm chasing fine threads.

D`
 

schleems18

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Oct 14, 2021
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I can't really tell if the leading thread is compressed or just gone? I think someone thought it would snap together instead of screwing, or they got frustrated and tried anyway. Applying pressure when attempting to get it to catch makes a pinging sound, so my theory is the case is bent as well. Not the greatest pics.
IMG_20211103_142925.jpg IMG_20211103_143040.jpg IMG_20211103_143753.jpg
 

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