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Webster vs Ollie Baker Mainspring Winder

Ramsey Badawi

Registered User
Oct 4, 2021
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Hello

I am a newbie in clock maintenance and repair and could use some advice on mainspring winders. I have a loop end mainspring winder which I am currently using with some trepidation - and it looks to me like it won't always do the job for all spring designs.

Everything I have read or watched on youtube says the Ollie Baker is the one to get. However, it seems the Ollie Baker cannot be had for love nor money these days - but Websters are available. I lack the experience to know if I should hold out (for an indeterminate amount of time) for an Ollie Baker, or whether it makes sense to go with a Webster ...

All advice gratefully received!

- Ramsey
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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I've used a Webster for about 30 years in a small but busy commercial setting.

I like it. I think the tail stock is standard now? If not, be sure to get that.

Willie X
 

Ramsey Badawi

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Oct 4, 2021
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Many thanks, Willie!
This is what I am looking at - looks like it has a tailstock to me - is this what you meant?

1635452207557.png
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Yes, you need all that. I don't like the new plastic handle but it would be easy enough to make a steel one. Willie X
 

Mike Mall

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Oct 27, 2021
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Here's mine, made from an inexpensive bar clamp, and a cheap dual drive ratchet. I just use a socket to fit the let down tool chuck. Pretty stable, and the ratchet holds in either direction.

winder.jpg
 
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Bkeepr

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Jul 8, 2020
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I bought a well-used Joe Collins winder on ebay. It is perfect. If it ever breaks, I will easily replace the wood parts with new wood and go for another 20 years. Not as pretty as a nice new machine, but it works just as well, and the price was far better.
 

Mike Mall

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Oct 27, 2021
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What do you use to clamp barrell springs? Do you have sleeves?
I use a hose clamp for barrels, I just put a hole in the end to hold the clamp. I'm a hobbyist/collector, I work on mostly loop end type. But if I started doing more of the barrel type, the stationary end of the winder could be easily modified. It's a one handed set up, (unless I'm changing direction). These are the cheap ratchet, and bar clamp I started with. I built a simple crank out of a 1/4" extension for the back side.
winderclamp.jpg winderratchet.JPG winderbar.JPG
 
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shutterbug

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I also use the Webster in my shop and it does the job well. It requires the operator to hold the barrel himself, but that has never been a problem for me (and I'm old :))
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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I also use the Webster in my shop and it does the job well. It requires the operator to hold the barrel himself, but that has never been a problem for me (and I'm old :))
That’s one of the features I like on my Ollie Baker. It has a special steel catch that is designed to hold a large barrell. It catches on the joint of a hose clamp. Mine is strong enough to handle Fusee barrels and Sonora chime barrels. I’ve never used a Webster so I can’t compare.
 
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