The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 23, 2017, 03:49:27 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Zero-jewel watch that only works if face-down on a radiator...  (Read 3405 times)
Thalictri
Deck Hand
*
England England


« on: December 17, 2012, 02:07:40 am »

It's like some kind of zen koan.

Right, seriously - I've got a Kienzle zero-jewel watch which I bought as part of a job lot of broken watches on ebay to play with, and I'm frustratingly close to fixing it.

For starters - When I turn the winding button, it turns fine for about three rotations, then the mainspring releases all its tension at once. If I stop turning the button before the mainspring releases all the tension, nothing happens at all. Whilst fiddling around in the movement, I found that by applying pressure to the hour gear anticlockwise (ie, the direction that it's meant to go - I'm looking at the back of the watch) I could make the balance wheel turn back and forth and the watch tick pretty much normally. After a judicious application of WD-40 and thumping, I've managed to increase this to the watch running fine - As long as it's face down, out of the case, on top of a radiator.

Is it just in need of a damn good cleaning, or am I looking at actually digging around in there and fixing bits of it?

Cheers in advance,
Logged
Captain Shipton Bellinger
Master Tinkerer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Why the goggles..? In case of ADVENTURE!


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 05:10:36 pm »

I've got a Kienzle zero-jewel watch which I bought as part of a job lot of broken watches on ebay to play with, and I'm frustratingly close to fixing it.

For starters - When I turn the winding button, it turns fine for about three rotations, then the mainspring releases all its tension at once. If I stop turning the button before the mainspring releases all the tension, nothing happens at all. Whilst fiddling around in the movement, I found that by applying pressure to the hour gear anticlockwise (ie, the direction that it's meant to go - I'm looking at the back of the watch) I could make the balance wheel turn back and forth and the watch tick pretty much normally.

Sounds as if the main spring has either broken or slipped off the lug on the barrel pinion. If you feel up to it you can try removing the barrel to check the state of the spring; shouldn't be too difficult, and won't hurt the drive train.

Quote
After a judicious application of WD-40 and thumping…

AAARGH!!! Percussive maintenance is never a Good Thing when it comes to watches. Things like the balance staff are very finely engineered and are consequently quite delicate. You may have already killed the watch.

Also, when it comes to watches WD40 is not our friend—at least in the long term. Best bet is now to clean out the WD40 with something like isopropyl alcohol in preparation for further work.

Quote
I've managed to increase this to the watch running fine - As long as it's face down, out of the case, on top of a radiator.
The positional sensitivity could be any of many problems, from just being dirty to having bent/worn pinions. I have an old Elgin that suddenly began stopping when positioned just past the vertical with the stem uppermost—sadly that's mostly how it's positioned when I'm sat at my study desk. I eventually traced it to a worn bush on the barrel pinion. It's beyond my skill to make a new one (yet), but I'll eventually get around to it.

Quote
Is it just in need of a damn good cleaning, or am I looking at actually digging around in there and fixing bits of it?
The good news is, if you haven't already damaged it irrepairably, you may get away with a thorough cleaning and oiling (apart from the main spring problem).

The bad news is that a thorough cleaning entails completely dismantling the movement, cleaning everything off the parts (including old oil), reassembling it and oiling it correctly. Don't be tempted to use anything other than oil intended for use in watches—anything else will cause problems.

It's always a good idea to use a movement that is no great loss for your first go at servicing, and from the sound of it this is an ideal candidate. I thoroughly recommend having a go yourself, but first get hold of some tools that are at least approximately appropriate for the job. Oh, and also get some watch oil and oilers. There are several videos on YouTube that will show you the general procedure, so go ahead and have fun.


Logged

Capt. Shipton Bellinger R.A.M.E. (rtd)

Thalictri
Deck Hand
*
England England


« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 04:46:54 pm »

Thank you  Smiley

Will it be safe to just unscrew the back of the movement in a big kilner jar, then let it ping all its bits off the inside of the glass? And I'll have a look on ebay for some tools, but if you could reccommend a good starter kit, that'd be fantastic - I get the impression there's a lot of bad craftsmanship out there that can make watch repair even fiddlier than it already is.

And yes, if this watch hadn't been included in a lot of junk parts, I'd never have dreamt of having a go at getting it moving again on my own.

I'll post an update, with pictures, probably, once I've worked up the courage to open it - Thank you, again. I really hope it's not a dead loss!
Logged
Captain Shipton Bellinger
Master Tinkerer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Why the goggles..? In case of ADVENTURE!


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 08:46:35 am »

Will it be safe to just unscrew the back of the movement in a big kilner jar, then let it ping all its bits off the inside of the glass?

Uh, no.

Disassembling a watch should be just as painstaking as reassembling it. As each part is removed you make a note of where it came from (taking photos is really helpful) so you know exactly where, how and in what order it's refitted. Each part, or small group of parts, should be stored separately and in order. It makes reassembly much easier if you know how everything came apart and which wheels / screws go where.

Have a look at this video…
How I take apart a pocket watch, Waltham Model 1892

…and others on the same channel on YouTube. The chap is a self-taught amateur (like me), but generally his technique is sound; they should give you a very good idea of what you're doing before you start.

Quote
And I'll have a look on ebay for some tools, but if you could reccommend a good starter kit, that'd be fantastic…

OK. Here's what I'd recommend at an absolute minimum:

You could use lighter fluid instead of isopropyl, but I find it leaves a very (very) slight residue.

Other stuff that's damned useful and you probably already have around the house:
  • A toothbrush
  • Tooth picks / cocktail sticks
  • Bamboo skewers (you could go for 3mm pegwood, but it's damned expensive)

Quote
- I get the impression there's a lot of bad craftsmanship out there that can make watch repair even fiddlier than it already is.

One of the worst things is folk who think that because a watch needs oil, lots of oil (usually of the wrong type) must be good. But yes, I've seen some real horror-show 'repairs' in various watches and clocks.

Quote
And yes, if this watch hadn't been included in a lot of junk parts, I'd never have dreamt of having a go at getting it moving again on my own.

I'll post an update, with pictures, probably, once I've worked up the courage to open it - Thank you, again. I really hope it's not a dead loss!

I'd be most interested to see how you get on and, even if it never runs again, it won't be a complete loss—at the very least you'll have learned a lot and will do better next time.  Smiley

Fair warning: watch repair can be addictive. Before you know it you'll have a growing collection of time pieces that you've brought back to life.  Grin

Logged
Dr cornelius quack
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Arrant Carney. Phmebian Cultural Attache.


« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 10:44:56 pm »

Will it be safe to just unscrew the back of the movement in a big kilner jar, then let it ping all its bits off the inside of the glass?

Uh, no.

Disassembling a watch should be just as painstaking as reassembling it. As each part is removed you make a note of where it came from (taking photos is really helpful) so you know exactly where, how and in what order it's refitted. Each part, or small group of parts, should be stored separately and in order. It makes reassembly much easier if you know how everything came apart and which wheels / screws go where.

Have a look at this video…
How I take apart a pocket watch, Waltham Model 1892
…and others on the same channel on YouTube. The chap is a self-taught amateur (like me), but generally his technique is sound; they should give you a very good idea of what you're doing before you start.

Quote
And I'll have a look on ebay for some tools, but if you could reccommend a good starter kit, that'd be fantastic…

OK. Here's what I'd recommend at an absolute minimum:

You could use lighter fluid instead of isopropyl, but I find it leaves a very (very) slight residue.

Other stuff that's damned useful and you probably already have around the house:
  • A toothbrush
  • Tooth picks / cocktail sticks
  • Bamboo skewers (you could go for 3mm pegwood, but it's damned expensive)

Quote
- I get the impression there's a lot of bad craftsmanship out there that can make watch repair even fiddlier than it already is.

One of the worst things is folk who think that because a watch needs oil, lots of oil (usually of the wrong type) must be good. But yes, I've seen some real horror-show 'repairs' in various watches and clocks.

Quote
And yes, if this watch hadn't been included in a lot of junk parts, I'd never have dreamt of having a go at getting it moving again on my own.

I'll post an update, with pictures, probably, once I've worked up the courage to open it - Thank you, again. I really hope it's not a dead loss!

I'd be most interested to see how you get on and, even if it never runs again, it won't be a complete loss—at the very least you'll have learned a lot and will do better next time.  Smiley

Fair warning: watch repair can be addictive. Before you know it you'll have a growing collection of time pieces that you've brought back to life.  Grin




So, Captain, you don't think that spreading it with 'Best Butter' and dunking it in a cup of tea is the way to go?
Logged

Such are the feeble bases on which many a public character rests.

Today, I am two, separate Gorillas.
Captain Shipton Bellinger
Master Tinkerer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Why the goggles..? In case of ADVENTURE!


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 10:57:07 am »

So, Captain, you don't think that spreading it with 'Best Butter' and dunking it in a cup of tea is the way to go?
Ah! The March Hare School of Horology.

No, I don't really approve, even if the bread crumbs have been removed.

Logged
Peter Brassbeard
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States



« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 07:49:16 pm »

It is my understanding that all but the very cheapest mechanical watches would have a few jewel bearings for the balance wheel and escapement, where friction and wear can most severely impact time keeping.  On that basis "zero jewel" implies a very cheap watch.
Logged
Abslomrob
Deck Hand
*
Canada Canada



WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 02:29:10 pm »

Most "zero jewel" watches are fairly low grade pin-lever movements, which means they were mass produced with an eye towards being rugged and inexpensive.  They're usually a bit more difficult to service then a jeweled watch for that reason.  That said, I've had good results with many of the ones I've worked on.
Logged

All my vintages are at http://www.abslomrob.com
Thalictri
Deck Hand
*
England England


« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 05:39:00 pm »

Just waiting on getting all of my bits off ebay, but now I at least have some watch oil.

Related question - Is there any way I can irreparably bugger up a watch just by cleaning it? I've just got a dozen old Molnija watches that were sold as "In working condition" that have all kinds of minor things wrong with them, most of which, looking at the internet, a good cleaning would fix. And unlike the Kienzle, these are seriously beautiful things which I would feel utterly horrible about accidentally euthanising.
Logged
Captain Shipton Bellinger
Master Tinkerer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Why the goggles..? In case of ADVENTURE!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 12:53:00 am »

Yes, it is quite possible to nadger a watch movement by cleaning it, but generally only if you're ungentle, clumsy or impatient.

A good idea is to start practicing with a known working movement; that way you know that if it doesn't work when reassembled it's something that you have done rather than a serious fault with the movement. Try picking up an old alarm clock or two at car boot sales to practice on; working on watches is pretty much the same but on a smaller scale.

Practice with the Kienzle to get the feel for it. Take really special care when removing, cleaning, storing and refitting the balance wheel and spring as these are by far the most delicate parts. Don't use brute force unless there is absolutely no other option - if something doesn't want to move it's usually because something else needs to be removed or loosened first. Try not to touch anything with naked fingers - the acid in your skin grease will do no good. Resist the urge to blow on the movement - you will get saliva in it. Don't forget that it's not unusual for one of the winding wheels to unscrew clockwise.

Above all take your time and be methodical.

Please do keep us informed how you get on. I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in your progress.

Logged
Thalictri
Deck Hand
*
England England


« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 01:45:46 am »

Well, after a long hiatus, I've finally taken the inside-back properly off the Kienzle, revealing this;

I think my plan, in order, is;

- Label all of the bits on the jpeg
- Take off the pieces in order, top to bottom, and give each of them a gentle soak with isopropyl or naptha
-Look inside the barrel to see what the mainspring is doing
- Leave them all to dry in their own slots in the bits case
-Put dots of oil into the dimples in the case that the pinions go into
-Put the bits back in order

The thing I'm not sure of though, is how do I get the pinions to go straight into the holes drilled in the case?
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.891 seconds with 17 queries.