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Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

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Straightening Balance Pivots, Straight

From The American Horologist magazine, January 1942


Straightening Balance Pivots, Straight
D. E. OVERSTREET, Kiowa, Kamas 

I use R. E. Dorrington pivot lathe, fastened to front edge of bench, using 20 x microscope that I fastened to a heavy base that extends 6 inches back of microscope tube. When turning wheel in lathe and at same time watching through microscope, one can be sure of pivots truth.


I have a brass arm 4 inches to right of lathe, that I turn up, to rest one end of heavy steel pivot tweezers against, as a guide, grip pivot tight and turn lathe. Repeat this until pivot spins perfectly true.


I have tested this and' proved it on railroad watches, then bringing to the official 6 seconds in 72 hour rate test. I find many a watch that pivot looks true until tested by turning in lathe.
This also burnishes and smooths pivot. I use the above 100 per cent if pivot is cut or damaged, and I replace it with a new staff.


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