Starter tool kit for the very beginner
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Thread: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

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  1. #1
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    Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Before I ask for advice I would first like to say I have read the 'guide to watchmaking tools' sticky which was very interesting.

    With that being said, some of the kit was quite pricey and I'm not sure about parting with a few hundred dollars on a hobby I've not even started yet. So, I was thinking of something for the ultimate beginner. Something which will allow me to take apart and tinker with old watches.

    I've found numerous kits on Amazon and eBay (like this: WATCH REPAIR TOOL KIT WATCHMAKER BACK CASE REMOVER OPENER SPRING PIN BAR SET UK | eBay) but I don't know if any of them are any good, or if they're basically kids toys.

    Is there a started kit out there for someone coming into this as a hobby, for more like $50? If the answer is no, then that's ok, I'll just have to take the leap.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Swedishwatch View Post
    . . . .Is there a started kit out there for someone coming into this as a hobby, for more like $50? If the answer is no, then that's ok, I'll just have to take the leap. . . .
    Watch Repair Kit Deluxe Tool Set - Watch Repair Kits | Esslinger & Co
    Attached Images Attached Images


  3. #3
    Member mpnap's Avatar
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Here is the list of tools I use most often as a hobbyist. Items marked with * denotes absolute minimum imho.

    Group 1 (don't go cheap no matter what)



    Group 2 (cheaper alternative is ok, good quality makes a difference)

    • any magnifying tool (loupe, microscope...)*
    • case opener*
    • oils
    • cleaning/rinsing solutions
    • hand removing/setting tools (you can also easily make some out of peg wood or wire)
    • lighting


    Group 3 (these are cheap as is, consumables and where I have not noticed much difference in quality)

    • Rodico*
    • pith wood
    • peg wood sticks (toothpicks can substitute in a pinch)
    • gloves or finger cots
    • oilers (non automatic)
    • parts bins*


    This is not even scratching the surface of the tools you will need if you take this hobby seriously, but should be enough to start. I'm sure I forgot tons more, and reserve the right to update this list at any time...
    Last edited by mpnap; November 24th, 2014 at 18:20. Reason: added links
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  4. #4
    Moderator Samantha's Avatar
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Hi Swedishwatch,
    Please remember that you get what you pay for - inexpensive tools can equal poor quality, which can equal frustration and difficulty in performing watchmaking tasks, which in turn can lead to a lack of interest in the profession/hobby.
    Samantha
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  5. #5
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by mpnap View Post
    Here is the list of tools I use most often as a hobbyist. Items marked with * denotes absolute minimum imho.

    Group 1 (don't go cheap no matter what)



    Group 2 (cheaper alternative is ok, good quality makes a difference)

    • any magnifying tool (loupe, microscope...)*
    • case opener*
    • oils
    • cleaning/rinsing solutions
    • hand removing/setting tools (you can also easily make some out of peg wood or wire)
    • lighting


    Group 3 (these are cheap as is, consumables and where I have not noticed much difference in quality)

    • Rodico*
    • pith wood
    • peg wood sticks (toothpicks can substitute in a pinch)
    • gloves or finger cots
    • oilers (non automatic)
    • parts bins*


    This is not even scratching the surface of the tools you will need if you take this hobby seriously, but should be enough to start. I'm sure I forgot tons more, and reserve the right to update this list at any time...

    What screw size are most sunglasses lense holders?

  6. #6
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Swedishwatch View Post

    With that being said, some of the kit was quite pricey and I'm not sure about parting with a few hundred dollars on a hobby I've not even started yet.

    I've found numerous kits on Amazon and eBay (like this: WATCH REPAIR TOOL KIT WATCHMAKER BACK CASE REMOVER OPENER SPRING PIN BAR SET UK | eBay) but I don't know if any of them are any good, or if they're basically kids toys.

    Is there a started kit out there for someone coming into this as a hobby, for more like $50? If the answer is no, then that's ok, I'll just have to take the leap.

    Cheers.
    Micromechanics, like surgery, requires specialized tools. Good ones are not cheap...bad tools will simply frustrate and lead one to damage as much as they repair.

    I worked in medical research and the good folks in purchasing did not understand why our surgeons spec'd high quality German tools for microsurgery in animal studies. The answer was very simple...a carotid artery in a dog does not know it is not in a human...the ability to successfully test the procedure depends on using the same tools and technique(s) on the test model as in the ultimate subject. The wrong tools simply guarantees you are going to botch it regardless.

    Most cheap case back openers have jaws that bend, break and/or do not stay in place and thus slip. Ditto cheap springbar tools. I don't own an "official" springbar tool. All of mine have been made from used dental tools (of high quality).

    This is not a cheap "hobby" or profession. You will blow through $50 just for a good set of screwdrivers...without which you are truly screwed. If this is your budget, you should probably pursue another interest.

    The most important tool you will use is between your ears...don't skip on your education.
    Best of luck in your decision. BG
    Last edited by BenchGuy; 1 Week Ago at 12:56.

  7. #7
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    Re: Starter tool kit for the very beginner

    Pithy points out a good starter set. However, there are a couple things it lacks. A set of A*F screwdrivers from 0.5mm to I think 1.6mm can be had for a fair price. Also the movement holder- I have bought plenty of vintage, Chinese, and bargain movement holders but keep going back to the Bergeon 4040. I think skimping on this is just going to cause problems. It can be bought for about 20 to 25 dollars. If the movement wobbles in the holder or it pops out it is impossible to work on.

    And then you have tweezers. There are a few sizes that are go-to like 2 and 3C. This is a catch 22 as you don't want to invest a lot in a hobby you don't know will stick, but if junk tools give you junk results you will not like it anyway.

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