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Author Topic: Deconstruction Assistance?  (Read 2440 times)
Maggie Pie
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« on: January 23, 2009, 04:00:18 am »

Good evening!

I need a little help -- some technical, some moral support.
Yesterday I picked up a little New Haven pocket watch for ten dollars in an antique shop.  I'm terribly interested to get inside it and maybe play, but how on earth do you get such a thing apart gently?  It's got a little wear and tear and, having not done this before but with a great interest in modifying it, I'd like to crack it open in the least damaging way.  Does anyone have any advice?  Here is an image of it:



As for the moral support, I'm so very very curious to get into the little thing, but I'm conflicted; it's such a wonderful little object on it's own.  Does anyone else get twinges of guilt pulling these things into pieces?  Or am I being sentimental and womanly?  Smiley

Thank you!

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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 04:14:18 am »

Sounds like a job for HAC.  Grin

A mod will probably move this to the "Chronautomata" section shortly. Smiley
Nice watch BTW.

SS
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Maggie Pie
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 04:19:24 am »

Sounds like a job for HAC.  Grin

A mod will probably move this to the "Chronautomata" section shortly. Smiley
Nice watch BTW.

SS


Oh drat!  There's a whole watch-based section and I totally missed it?  Well I should have known I was bound to mess up my first post.  How embarassing...

HAC you say?  A Calgarian I see!  If I break it I can deliver it tearfully in person.

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HAC
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 04:22:03 am »

I'll move it in shortly.. That looks a lot like one of the older New Haven "travel watches" They cased a smaller movement in a larger case, meant to be stood on a stand next on a night table.. That case with the slots in the side, LOOKS like one of the cases used on the alarm styles, where the case acted as a sounding board.
  I've never seen that model before, so as of now, I have no advice on opeing it (need to hit the books, and see exactly wht you have..)
As far as "palaying", my attitude to such things is that an old watch eitehr gets restorted to glory, or is broken up into parts to fx other old watches, no making jewelery, etc, unless the parts are so badly out of tolerance that they would be of no use for restorations.. But then, as an amateur horologist and collector, I'm biased  Grin

Let me see what I can find out...


Cheers
Harold
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HAC
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 04:23:49 am »

Sounds like a job for HAC.  Grin

A mod will probably move this to the "Chronautomata" section shortly. Smiley
Nice watch BTW.

SS


Oh drat!  There's a whole watch-based section and I totally missed it?  Well I should have known I was bound to mess up my first post.  How embarassing...

HAC you say?  A Calgarian I see!  If I break it I can deliver it tearfully in person.



if it gets to that point, I'd be happy to oblige.....
Looks like Calgary is becoming quite the steampunk palce, there's a few of us on here from round these parts...
Cheers
Harold
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Nefthys
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 08:42:01 pm »

That there is! From the same antique store I picked up an old electric drill that will make an awesome weapon of some kind once modified. MWahaha!
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HAC
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 10:08:51 pm »

Ok.. from what I can tell, you have a New Haven "pentagon" dollar watch from the mid 1930's. Movement is probably like this..




A dollar watch was a pocket watch or later, a wristwatch, that sold for about one dollar. These were intended to be watches affordable by the common working class.
The sale of such watches began in 1892 by the watchmakers Ingersoll, Waterbury, and New Haven. Later, Western Clock (Westclox) in 1899 and the E. Ingraham Company also began manufacturing them. Dollar watches were practical, mass-produced timepieces intended to be as inexpensive as possible. Trademarks of dollar watches were their simple, rugged design, movement (usually with a pin-pallet escapement, although sometimes with duplex escapements) which has either no jewels or just one jewel, width of about eighteen size (two inches), and sale price of about a dollar from 1892 until the mid 1950s. Many other companies made them, with literally hundreds of names on the dials.

To keep costs down, the watches were often sold in flimsy cardboard boxes, which are now highly collectible.

While these were not high-grade watches, they were important from a horological standpoint, in that they made watches affordable and popular.


Cheers
Harold



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Nefthys
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 07:29:14 am »

Since we have your attention, and you obviously seem to know your stuff, I found something and I don't know what it is. But it does say it is an old "transit piece" on it. Thought perhaps you may have some inkling, if not, it still looks nifty.

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Cheers!
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Zwack
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2009, 07:34:14 am »

It' part of a surveyor's Transit.

http://www.surveyhistory.org/the_surveyor%27s_basic_tools.htm

Z.
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Nefthys
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2009, 08:02:25 am »

Ooo, thank you very much! The mystery is solved... now to pull it to pieces Cheesy
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HAC
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2009, 05:55:49 pm »

Ooo, thank you very much! The mystery is solved... now to pull it to pieces Cheesy

Its the base as Zwack said, to a theodolite, or surveyors transit, as they are more commonly known.
Why? Why pull it apart, unless you are intending to restore it?

[SOAPBOX MODE ON!}
I really despair when I see folks wanting to destroy/rip apart pieces of history, simply to use the bits for some frippery or other. Every time this gtes done,
another piece of the past is lost forever. Why can't we simply appreciate neat old things for what they are, and for the history behind them.
I learned a long time ago, that eventually you regret not keeping something original..
[SOAPBOX  MODE OFF!]

Now, what I would do is this... clean and restore the base, then find a suitable transit or theodolite to mount on it, and then mount it all on a nice period wooden crutch leg tripod.
Then you;d have a nice isntrument that has a lot of history, looks great, and is a wonderful collectable/conversation pice..

FYI.. this (or similar) is what might have been mounted on that base..  You can pick up fully functional ones in brass, rather reasonably




Cheers
Harold

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Maggie Pie
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2009, 06:46:34 pm »

Thanks for shining some light on that for me HAC, I'm grateful; that was really fast!  You must have a lot of references. 

I think I'm going to clean all that oxidization off of it and buff it up before trying to pull it apart at all.  It would be nice to get it working again, it only ticks for about thirty seconds at a time so I'm not sure if we'll get it functioning again at all, depends what's wrong with it.  We'll see!

Any advice on a good compound for cleaning that much oxidation off of brass?
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HAC
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2009, 07:01:55 pm »

Thanks for shining some light on that for me HAC, I'm grateful; that was really fast!  You must have a lot of references. 

I think I'm going to clean all that oxidization off of it and buff it up before trying to pull it apart at all.  It would be nice to get it working again, it only ticks for about thirty seconds at a time so I'm not sure if we'll get it functioning again at all, depends what's wrong with it.  We'll see!

Any advice on a good compound for cleaning that much oxidation off of brass?

I have a few sources  Grin  Grin
Sounds like it needs a simple clean and oil, if it runs for 30 seconds..
As far as the brass, There are several options, a light touch with a dremel and a cratex wheel is fast, but you can easily take off too much.. Any of the automotive metal polishes will work, but be much slower.. 

Cheers
Harold
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Maggie Pie
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2009, 07:09:08 pm »

Ah, much thanks, I would not have thought of power tools but that's an excellent suggestion.  Cheesy  I have a bunch of nice flex shaft attachments to get that job done.  I knew those metalsmith classes HAD to be useful someday if I stopped being lazy...  c.c
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HAC
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2009, 07:13:33 pm »

Use the finest cratex (rubber abrasive) you have, and keep your RPMS on the low side.. If you go the dremel route, you will need to follow up with a fair bit of polishing (I use felt bobs and cloth wheels with green rouge, follwoed up with hand polishing as needed)

Cheers
Harold
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Nefthys
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2009, 07:13:49 pm »

Thanks for the info Hac, and picture.... and the scolding. Although I do know where you are coming from, you may want to understand I come from a house full to the brim with antiques, plus a my cottage in Wales which was built in the 16th century and is also housing quite a collection. Our family is very much into saving things of the past. Plus I picked up this transit piece in a junk store where they had an entire shelf full of them. It will how ever need to be pulled apart to clean, most of the dails and gears are so gunked up they won't even turn. Any idea's where I could get a top peice if I choose to refurbish it?
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HAC
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2009, 08:01:24 pm »

No scolding or offense was meant, its just a personal thing with me... occupational hazard of being an old geezer, I guess..
Brass transits and theodolites turn up a lot on ebay, as an example.

OR, you could make some steamy looking gadget to mount on it, that would be a nice blend of antique and steampunk...

Cheers
Harold
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Nefthys
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2009, 08:17:13 pm »

Perhaps I can turn my old drill into a raygun and mount it on that, then it can go on the railling of our airship!
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