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Setting Roller Jewels

From The American Horologist magazine, May, 1937

Setting Roller Jewels

I have had my troubles in the past setting loose roller jewels, but as time passes on, we all should improve on our methods in doing the job better and with greater speed.

In my experience, I have had different gadgets, which upon giving a fair trial, have discarded and I now rarely use any of them.

In almost all cases of loose roller jewels, all I do is to first remove the hairspring and if any surplus cement remains on top of table, I scrape it off with a brass scraper, then dip the balance in a quick-acting solvent such as very high-test benzine. This will remove any oily substance which might remain. I then place a small piece of shellac on top of the jewel opening, holding the balance in a pair of wood tweezers and pass it through an alcohol flame a few times which warms the balance and the shellac becomes soft. Then just push the loose roller through the shellac, warming the balance again, and you will find that the shellac will adhere to the jewel. With a pointed piece of pegwood push the jewel down to the proper height, straighten up, and there you are! A fine job! And just a minute or two required to do it.

In the replacement of the roller jewel, I usually use the above method, especially in the larger sizes. Bear in mind it takes a little practice and good judgment, and extreme care should be used not to get balance too hot.

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