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Miscellaneous Technical Subjects

From American Horologist magazine, October 1938

Miscellaneous Technical Subjects 

Subject 1 - 0iling Fork 
There is friction in the roller jewel and fork action. In order to reduce this as much as possible, the very smallest amount of oil placed in the fork has been found to help maintain a steadier rate after the watch has run for several months.

In order not to get too much oil on the fork use a pointed peg wood moistened with oil. Place the peg wood at points as outlined in the drawing. Under no circumstances put oil on the jewel pin or on the horns of the fork. Do not get oiling at this point confused with the method as used in oiling the train or balance jewels, as very little oil must be used in fork, whereas the balance of the watch must be well lubricated. The inside of the fork must always be moistened with a little oil.

If it is done properly it is a good thing, if carelessly done it is not.

Subject 2 - Mainsprings
Don't fail to provide yourself with the best mainspring winder than can be obtained. See that the hooks on all arbors of the winders are no longer than the thickness of the smallest spring, thus avoiding kinking, and therefore, unnecespary mainspring breakage.

Don't use a mainspring that is too long, because it fills the barrel and prevents it from making the required number of revolutions, with the consequence that the watch will not run as long as it shou1d after each winding.

Don't use a mainspring that is too strong because it will set, thereby increasing the chances of breakage and probable injury to the watch.

Don't forget that a mainspring should not occupy more than 1/3 the diameter of the barrels, thus leaving 2/3 to be divided between the arbor and winding space, to enable the watch to run at least 36 hours.

Don't expect a mainspring to be flat if put in the barrel with the fingers. This method usually injures the spring, giving it a conical form, thereby increasing the friction in the barrel.

Don't expect a watch that needs a thorough cleaning, to run satisfactorily by merely putting in a new mainspring.

Subject 3 - Magnetism
Did you ever have a watch that simply would not time at all, and many good hours had been spent in trying to find the cause of it?

Make it a rule to test every watch you handle for magnetism. A small compass placed on top of the balance bridge, over the balance wheel, when the watch is running, will indicate by a vibrating motion if the balance is polarized.

If it is, the watch, case and all, should be put through a demagnetizer to remove all trace of magnetism.  (N ote: All material distributors carry one or more makes of demagnetizers.)

Subject 4 - Parallel Plier
How often has a balance wheel been put out of true by adding balance screws, washers or by turning the mean-time screws?

It always has been a delicate operation not to disturb the balance, especially in thin pocket and small wrist watches.

A plier, adapted with a rocker to one jaw will always close parallel, thus holding the balance in a firm position, when removing the balance screws or adding some weight to the balance. 

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