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Putting A Mainspring in the Barrel

From Horology magazine, February, 1938

Putting A Mainspring in the Barrel
Minneapolis, Minnesota

THE AVERAGE WATCHMAKER has often felt the need for a better means of winding a mainspring into a barrel. Even the best mainspring winder on the market covers only a limited range of barrel sizes, and three or four winders are required to work from baguette to 18s. This article will describe a method whereby any size spring may be wound into a barrel without the use of tools other than the lathe. After the barrel assembly and new mainspring are thoroughly clean, the first step is to place the arbor in the barrel with projecting end held in a chuck of suitable size in the lathe. With the inner coil of the mainspring pressed on the arbor, the forefinger of right hand placed over the open end of the barrel, by turning the lathe spindle either by hand or by applying power to the lathe motor, the mainspring will be smoothly wound into the barrel without danger of kinking.

When all the spring is in the barrel except the brace end, by holding the end an instant, it will be drawn in of its own accord when sufficient coils are wound in towards the center to make room for it. As the spring uncoils in the barrel, it will firmly anchor itself. It would be well to practice this method several times using an old barrel and mainspring until proficiency is attained, when it will be found superior to any mainspring winder as it works equally well on all sizes, and most important of all, the arbor always fits the spring correctly. The writer has been using this method for several years with satisfactory results, and it has reduced mainspring breakage to the minimum. 

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