Tool Kit Help Request

Thread: Tool Kit Help Request

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  1. #1
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    Tool Kit Help Request

    I would like to start cleaning/oiling and possibly repairing pocket watches. I'm not currently interested in any wrist watches. I purchased "practical watch repairing" by donald de carle, and although it is very detailed, I still feel unsure of which tools to purchase. I want to keep it as affordable as possible, but I won't sacrifice quality for price if a tool really requires this.

    It seems that the screwdrivers and tweezers would be my most important investment. So far I'm considering the AF set of 9 screwdrivers with stand, but would be willing to get the bergeon equivalent if it really has any benefit. I'm not concerned as much with the smoothness of the bearings, etc, as I'm sure the AF is far superior to cheap drivers, but if the metals are better and the set lasts longer, etc. I would be interested. For tweezers, dumont seems popular.

    So my basic question would be: can anyone give me a clear list of every tool I might need to (at a minimum) clean and oil a pocket watch? And second, the most common repair tools for the most typical pocket watch problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Here's what I figure so far:

    - Screwdrivers (don't go cheap) in sizes 0.6/0.8/1.0/1.2/1.4/1.6mm ??
    - Tweezers - metal (don't go cheap) and plastic ??
    - Some sort of case opener
    - Something to hold movement
    - Loupe and/or head worn magnifier
    - Trays for parts
    - Oiler and Oil
    - Hand setter
    - Hand remover

  2. #2
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by luisdent View Post
    I would like to start cleaning/oiling and possibly repairing pocket watches. I'm not currently interested in any wrist watches. I purchased "practical watch repairing" by donald de carle, and although it is very detailed, I still feel unsure of which tools to purchase. I want to keep it as affordable as possible, but I won't sacrifice quality for price if a tool really requires this.

    It seems that the screwdrivers and tweezers would be my most important investment. So far I'm considering the AF set of 9 screwdrivers with stand, but would be willing to get the bergeon equivalent if it really has any benefit. I'm not concerned as much with the smoothness of the bearings, etc, as I'm sure the AF is far superior to cheap drivers, but if the metals are better and the set lasts longer, etc. I would be interested. For tweezers, dumont seems popular.

    So my basic question would be: can anyone give me a clear list of every tool I might need to (at a minimum) clean and oil a pocket watch? And second, the most common repair tools for the most typical pocket watch problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Here's what I figure so far:

    - Screwdrivers (don't go cheap) in sizes 0.6/0.8/1.0/1.2/1.4/1.6mm ??
    - Tweezers - metal (don't go cheap) and plastic ??
    - Some sort of case opener
    - Something to hold movement
    - Loupe and/or head worn magnifier
    - Trays for parts
    - Oiler and Oil
    - Hand setter
    - Hand remover
    My advice is, as you are just beginning not to spend money on non essential Swiss tools, which only have their expense to recommend them. The quality of similar tools made in other countries is as good or better than Swiss quality, and the expense is considerably less. The only Swiss made item you need are tweezers, which are of exceptional quality and well worth the cost.

    Nor can I see why you need a hand setter, which are made for wrist watches. For the rest, good quality Indian made tools will get you started. I've used them professionally for some years now and find them quite satisfactory.

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    This might be of interest:

    http://thewatchguy.homestead.com/pages/repair.html

    I'd just add a cheap blower to your list - its amazing how often you need to 'puff off' a speck or a hair.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    A decent ultrasonic would be a good idea, but minimally you just need a few soft brushes, some naptha (or similar solvent) and a muck board (short piece of wood with various holes drilled into it so that you can scrub the gears without breaking the pinions).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    One of your main problems is going to be getting the mainspring back in its case after you have cleaned it - without kinking and breaking it! You will need some contraption to wind the mainspring up outside the barrel and then slip the barrel over the coiled spring. Otherwise expect lots of broken mainsprings.....

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by Somewhere else View Post
    For the rest, good quality Indian made tools will get you started. I've used them professionally for some years now and find them quite satisfactory.
    How would I find these? I there a good store online, and are they branded or marked? I find there are a lot of "economy" tools, but no brands or anything to identify the quality or where they were made... For instance, would this set be any good?

    http://www.esslinger.com/9piecescrew...metalbase.aspx

    Not sure how I can tell...
    Last edited by luisdent; January 17th, 2010 at 20:30.

  8. #7
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    One of your main problems is going to be getting the mainspring back in its case after you have cleaned it - without kinking and breaking it! You will need some contraption to wind the mainspring up outside the barrel and then slip the barrel over the coiled spring. Otherwise expect lots of broken mainsprings.....

    Hartmut Richter
    Is there anything you would recommend? Also, is there any way to clean it without removing it from the barrel? I assume not "properly"?

  9. #8
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by luisdent View Post
    Is there anything you would recommend? Also, is there any way to clean it without removing it from the barrel? I assume not "properly"?
    The second question can safely be answered with a "No!". As for the first, I believe what they use is a winding tool with a centrally placed old mainspring arbor (or something else to hook the mainspring onto). You wind the spring up without bending or kinking it laterally - wearing gloves, of course, don't want sweat to get on it again! - and then slip the mainspring barrel over the spring. You are supposed to clean and lubricate the inside of the barrel first, of course.....

    Hartmut Richter

  10. #9
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by luisdent View Post
    How would I find these? I there a good store online, and are they branded or marked? I find there are a lot of "economy" tools, but no brands or anything to identify the quality or where they were made... For instance, would this set be any good?

    http://www.esslinger.com/9piecescrew...metalbase.aspx

    Not sure how I can tell...

    As a rule, almost everything identified as "economy" is Indian made in watch tools. Almost all watch tool and watch parts sellers carry them. Just keep in mind that although Indian tools are excellent for some things, there are some Indian tools you should avoid under all circumstances because of quality issues. Tweezers I've already mentioned, but I'll also add files to the list too.

  11. #10
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    Re: Tool Kit Help Request

    Quote Originally Posted by Somewhere else View Post
    As a rule, almost everything identified as "economy" is Indian made in watch tools. Almost all watch tool and watch parts sellers carry them. Just keep in mind that although Indian tools are excellent for some things, there are some Indian tools you should avoid under all circumstances because of quality issues. Tweezers I've already mentioned, but I'll also add files to the list too.
    So indian or "economy" screwdriver sets would be decent? And perhaps a dumont tweezer?

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