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Cleaning Watches

( Originally Published 1918 )



WATCHES require cleaning for two reasons. They may be dirty through dust having entered and settled upon the moving parts, or the oil may have dried up around the pivots and become sticky. Thus a watch may want cleaning although it is not really dirty at all and may not even have been worn.

To cleanse dirt and sticky oil from watches, they must be taken apart and the pieces put in benzine or petrol, both of which are solvents of grease of all kinds. They are then brushed clean with a watch brush charged with a little dry chalk.

Key-wind Geneva Watches.—To take a watch apart, the first thing is to take it out of its case. Watches are fastened in their cases in many different ways. Taking key-wind Geneva watches first, they are generally held in by a short pin or pins on one side, just entering the edge of the case, and by a dog screw, sometimes two dog screws, on the other side. The dog screws can be seen when the case back is opened, and may be on the top plate, overlapping the case edge a little, or they may be on the bottom plate. Fig. 62 shows a dog screw. Generally they are cut away as shown, so that a half-turn enables the movement to be taken out of its case; but sometimes they are not so cut, and have to be entirely removed. In replacing a movement fastened in like this, the pins are first got into position, and then the movement is pressed down to its seating and the dog screws turned. All watches, without exception, are put in from the case front.

When out of its case, remove the hands by drawing them off with cutting nippers ; when there is no room to insert the edges between the minute hand and the hour hand, insert the edges under the hour hand and draw both off together. Draw the seconds hand off in the same manner. Special pliers and tweezers are made for getting hands off, and can be used by those whose stock of tools is not limited; they are safer and easier to use than cutting nippers. Using a pocket-knife to lever them off is the worst method, and should not be practised.

Remove the dial. If a white enamel dial, it may be fastened by pins through its feet, in which case they are removed with the aid of the small blade of a pocket-knife ; or its feet may be slotted and held by two dog screws, which require half a turn and the dial can be lifted off. Do not force an enamel dial; it will not spring, but crack. Gold or silver dials, and some white ones, are snapped on like box lids over the top edge of the watch plate, and can be removed by levering up at the edge with a pocket-knife.

The dial off, the motion wheels will be seen. The hour wheel which carries the hour hand can be lifted off; the minute wheel can also be lifted off its stud. The cannon pinion is pushed friction tight on to the centre arbor, which carries the minute hand and passes through the hollow centre pinion.

If the arbor projects through the cannon pinion, hold the watch in the hand, and give a smart tap with the hammer and' it will probably go through. This will at least loosen it so that by grasping the square at the back in a pair of cutting nippers and the cannon pinion "pipe" in a pair of brass-nosed pliers it can be twisted off. If the arbor end is flush with the cannon pinion top, twist it off as above described ; or if too tight for that, lay the watch over a hole in the graduated stake, and with a small hard steel punch tap the arbor through.

If the watch is a horizontal, that is, having a cylinder escapement, before the balance is removed the mainspring must be let down. This is easily done by placing a key on the winding square and holding the click back, letting the key run slowly back in the fingers. In 1-plate watches the click is covered by a cap fastened by three screws, which must be first removed ; the balance-cock screw can then be removed and the cock levered up. It will come away together with the balance and hairspring. A little shaking will free it from the scape-wheel teeth. Unscrew the scape cock and remove the scape wheel. Take off the top plate and remove the remaining wheels. In a bar movement each wheel is held by its separate bar or cock, and care should be taken not to mix the screws. In a lever watch the balance may be removed before letting the mainspring down, but this should be done before removing the pallets and scape wheel.

The benzine is kept in a glass jar with an airtight cover, and must be kept well away from a flame. Into this jar place the plates and wheels, all except the barrel and balance. Let them soak while the barrel and mainspring are taken in hand.

The barrel of a 3/4 plate is the simplest. Underneath will be found the " stopwork." Hold the winding square in a pair of sliding tongs and prise off the centre steel piece or stop finger. This may be only pushed on friction tight or may be pinned through. Remove from the tongs, and with a screw-driver prise off the barrel cover. This is snapped in a groove in the barrel edge. Then remove the steel arbor. Put arbor and cover in the benzine. Do not pull the spring out of the barrel if it looks all right, but wipe it out well with dry tissue paper, free from oil and dirt. Sharpen a watch peg and clean out the centre hole, twisting the peg round and scraping it clean again until the hole no longer marks the peg. Take the arbor and cover out of the benzine, and, holding them in tissue paper, brush them clean and dry. Peg out the hole in barrel cover.

For re-oiling the barrel and mainspring, a bottle of the best French clock oil should be used. Having brushed the barrel clean and its teeth also, take the arbor and oil its top pivot, where it works in the barrel, with the clock oil. Place the arbor in position and turn it round, seeing that it is hooked properly in the eye of the spring. Apply oil to its bottom pivot, where the cover comes, and some oil to the coils of the spring. Then snap the cover on with the fingers or by pressing it against the wooden edge of the work board. Never use pliers for this. The cover goes on in one position only. There may be a small projecting pin in the barrel groove that goes in a small notch in the cover edge ; there may be a dot half on the cover edge and half on the barrel edge; there may be a dot on the cover near the edge and another on the side of the barrel to match it; or the slot for removing the cover may merely have to go next the dot on the barrel side.

When together, hold the square in the sliding tongs and the barrel in the fingers, and feel if the arbor has "endshake" and is quite free. Then wind the spring up to the top and count its turns. As it runs back slowly, feel if it catches or binds inside the barrel. Suppose the spring gives five turns. The stopwork allows four to be used. There will be a turn to spare, so divide this between the top and the bottom. "Set up" the spring half a turn. To do this, wind it up half a turn and hold it there while the stop finger is replaced in the position shown in Fig. 63, seeing that the star wheel A is as shown in the figure. Upon releasing the barrel, the stopwork will then hold the spring wound up half a turn. Wind up the spring to the top to see that all is right. There should be half a turn of spring to spare, thus preventing the spring tearing at its hook in the barrel.

The barrel of a "bar" movement is more complicated. First take off the top cap or " chapeau" that covers the arbor. Remove the stopwork and barrel cover. Take hold of the centre coil of the mainspring with fine pliers and ease it off its hook. Then pull it out of the barrel. Place a key (birch, black-handled universal keys are always used by watchmakers) on the square, and grasp the arbor inside the barrel with pliers and unscrew it. The barrel, arbor, and bar will then come apart. Put all in the benzine except the mainspring, and clean and peg out. Wipe the mainspring with tissue paper free from grease. To put together, place the arbor in the key and oil where the bar comes and where the barrel turns. Put on the bar and the barrel. Screw on the arbor inside. Place the eye of the mainspring upon the arbor and hook it, and, holding and guiding it with the fingers, wind it in the barrel with the key. When in it will generally hook itself. If not, press the spring well down and wind it up a turn or two. This will hook it. Oil it and place on cover and stopwork as before described. Take out the wheels from the benzine, and, holding them in tissue paper, brush them clean and dry. See that the teeth are clear, and peg out the pinion leaves clean last of all Clean the cocks, bars, and plates in the saine manner.

The watch brush should be soft and thick, and just lightly rubbed on a billiard chalk before cleaning each piece. The chalk is to keep the brush clean as much as to clean the parts. The tissue paper keeps the fingers from soiling the parts and keeps the brush from rubbing the fingers. The constant contact with the tissue paper cleans the brush.

Peg out the pivot holes very carefully with a fine peg point, scraped thin. If a peg point breaks in a pivot hole, sharpen a fine-pointed peg to a somewhat blunt angle, so as to be both sharp and strong. With this push out the broken peg from the back. Jewel holes covered by "endstones" must have the endstones removed and rubbed clean on a piece of wash-leather.

The holes must be pegged and the endstones replaced. When all are cleaned, screw the bottom plate, or " pillar plate," in a watch holder (Fig. 64). This avoids handling the clean plate, and leaves both hands at liberty for working upon it.

If a 3/4-plate watch, put the third and fourth wheels in place, then put watch oil on the centre wheel and barrel pivots and put them in place. Put on the top plate. Put a piece of tissue paper over it and press lightly on it with the fingers, slipping the top pivots of the wheels into position with a fine pair of tweezers. Use no force in this operation. When right the plate will drop down in position.

Watch oil is not taken direct from the bottle for oiling watches. Such a proceeding would soon render the oil useless.

An oil "cup," with a cover, is used for the workboard. Into the cup about two drops of oil are placed, by dipping the oiler into the stock bottle and transferring the drop into the cup. To apply oil to a pivot, the oiler blade is dipped into the cup and a minute quantity of oil transferred to the pivot. Two drops in the cup should be sufficient for a day's work.

If a bar watch, screw on the barrel bar ; then put in the centre wheel and bar; then the third and fourth wheels and their cocks.

Put in the scape wheel and pallets if a lever, placing just a little oil on each pallet face before putting them in.

Each wheel should be tried carefully, to see if it has end-shake, as the watch is put together. Every wheel and arbor in a watch must have endshake, or they will bind and stop the watch. The amount of shake or lift must be enough to see with an eye-glass, but should not be excessive. An amount of shake equal to half a pivot length is far too much. Fig. 65 shows a fair amount in proportion to a pivot. When wheels are held by cocks, the endshakes can be regulated by inserting small pieces of tissue paper, or thicker paper if necessary, under either the front or back end of the cock. More endshake can be given to wheels under a 4 plate by putting a paper washer upon the pillar top under the plate. The barrel arbor alone need have no endshake between the plates.

The set-hands arbor can be cleaned and put in, and the cannon pinion pushed on home. This may require a tap with the hammer and a suitable hollow punch, passing over the cannon pinion pipe and resting on the leaves.

The balance and balance cock, etc., can now be taken in hand. The hairspring stud must be first removed from the cock. Usually the stud is pushed friction tight into a hole in the cock. In this case the cock edge may be rested on a stake and the stud pushed through from the top. When loosened thus, complete its removal with tweezers from underneath. The cock can then be taken apart and cleaned with benzine, the jewel hole and endstone cleaned and replaced, together with the regulator index. The hairspring should not be removed from the balance, but all may be dipped into the benzine. It can be dabbed, hairspring downwards, on paper to remove the benzine, and given a minute to dry off. The cylinder should be cleaned out inside with a peg. The pivots and balance rim can be cleaned by pith.

Place a small quantity of watch oil in the jewel hole, replace the hairspring stud, pressing it well down in place, and see that the hairspring goes well between the curb pins in the regulator without pressing hard against either of them. Put a little oil on each scape-wheel tooth and in the lower balance jewel hole and put balance in. Screw the cock down very carefully, seeing that the pivots go into the holes and that the balance is free before screwing quite tight. The endshake of the balance is very particular. A little, but only just perceptible, is wanted. It can be regulated with tissue paper, as before described. The watch can then be wound, and oil can be applied to the top and bottom pivots of the train wheels and scape wheel. The minute wheel and hour wheel can be put on (these need no oil) and the dial replaced. If a dial held by dog screws, draw the dog screws outwards to tighten, so as to draw up the feet; this prevents the dial rattling. When the dial is on, see that the hour wheel has a little endshake, or lift, under the dial. If too much, put paper collets over it under the dial. Put on the seconds hand, seeing that it lies close to the dial and flat, but does not touch it anywhere. Put on the hour hand, seeing that it has a little shake and is not bound against the dial, also that it just clears the seconds hand. Put on the minute hand, and, resting the set-hand square on a steel stake, tap it on with the hammer. See that the minute hand is well clear of the hour hand, but that it does not stick up enough to touch the glass.

Dust out the case and replace the movement.

The various parts of this movement have not been illustrated, as the figures and accompanying descriptions in the introductory chapter will be found sufficient.

Particular care must be taken that oil is applied to every pivot. Neglect of this leads to certain disaster. The friction causes rapid wear and rust. The rust powder, in itself a polishing and cutting powder, rapidly cuts the pivot away, until it disappears entirely, leaving only a mass of rust in the pivot hole.

Keyless Watches.—This description of the method of cleaning and putting a Geneva watch together applies to key. wind and keyless watches alike as far as it goes. But keyless watches require some further attention as well. The first difficulty with a keyless Geneva watch is to get it out of its case. They are fastened in in various ways. Dog screws like those shown in Fig. 62 actually hold the movement ; but before it can be removed the winding stem, and sometimes the set-hand side push piece, must be taken out.

In some watches a small screw is found in the case pendant, and removing this enables the button and winding stem to be pulled straight out. In most a small steel screw either at A or B, Fig. 66, has to be withdrawn a turn or two before the stem can be drawn out. If there is also a screw at C opposite the side push piece, draw it out and remove the push piece ; but in most watches the movements will come out without removing this, and no screw will be found at C.

Occasionally the screw fastening the winding stem in is Underneath the dial, and the hands and dial must be first removed to get at it. A very few watches (mostly by " Patek Phillippe ") have the winding stem fastened in such a way that to get the watch out of its case the bar holding the winding wheels in the watch must be taken out and several other parts also, as well as the hands and dial, to remove it.

A keyless watch should have the mainspring "let down" before it is taken out of its case. This is done by holding the winding button in the fingers, while the click is held back, and allowing it to slowly run back.

There are many kinds of keyless work, and these will be described in a chapter to themselves. In cleaning the watch, all keyless wheels and parts should be taken off and cleaned in the benzine. In putting together, all want well oiling where they rub against each other or the watch plates or bars. In taking them apart, it is well to remember that top keyless winding wheels are frequently fixed by a large central left-handed screw, which, of course, requires turning to the right to unscrew it.

English Watches.—English watches may be full plate or plate, and keyless or key-wind.

Taking full-plate, key-wind fusee watches first, the movements are generally fastened in their cases by means of the joint pin at the Fig. 12, This should be removed by a "joint pusher." It should always be used held in the hand when possible. When enough pressure cannot be got in this way, it may be screwed fairly tight in the vice, as shown in Fig. 67 ; the watch is held up to its point, and a smart blow given to its head with the hammer. This will dislodge the most stubborn joint pin. Before resorting to this method the balance had better be removed, for fear of injury to its pivots. When out of its case, remove the hands, take out the balance cock and balance, and remove the dial. Dial pins may be removed by the aid of a pocket-knife, levering them forward. Sometimes a pin cannot be got out in this way because It projects. In such a case it must be got out by applying pressure from the back, or inner end, by inserting a screwdriver blade and pushing, or in stubborn cases using a steel draw-hook to pull them forward. Such a hook is shown in Fig. 68. It is inserted behind the inner end of the pin and pulled forward.

The mainspring must then be let down. It is held by a ratchet and click under the pillar plate. Loosen the click screw half a turn, place a key upon the square, and let it down. Sometimes there is not enough square for a key to hold. Then screw a pin vice on to the fusee winding square, screw the pin vice in the board vice, like Fig. 69, and, holding the movement firmly in the hand, take off the under bar that holds the third and fourth wheels. Take out the third wheel, replace the bar and screw it down, then let the movement slowly turn round in the hand as the main-spring unwinds itself.

When let down, take off the barrel bar or name bar and remove the barrel, having unhooked the chain first. Then take out the four pillar pins that hold the top plate, and gently raise the plate a little to enable the lever to be lifted out of its pivot holes and withdrawn. If the plate is taken off before taking this precaution, the lower pivot of the pallet staff will be bent or broken, as the lever will be caught by the potance. The potance is the brass cock screwed to the under side of the top plate to carry the lower pivot of the balance.

Then lift off the top plate and remove the fusee and wheels, etc. The cannon pinion can be removed from the centre arbor by grasping its square in a pair of cutting nippers and pulling or twisting, holding the centre wheel tight in the mean time.

Plates, wheels, bars, etc., can be put in benzine. The barrel and mainspring can be cleaned as in a Geneva watch.

The chain can be wiped in slightly oiled tissue paper. The fusee, if the clickwork inside it seems sound, need not be taken apart, but merely brushed clean, and not put in benzine. If the fusee winds too hard, run a little oil between the edge of the steel maintaining ratchet and the brass fusee body.

In putting together, put the plate in the holder, place the third wheel in position, oil the bottom pivot of the centre wheel and place that in position, oil the fusee pivots top and bottom, and put the fusee in. Put the maintaining detent in place the wrong way round, as it then stands up more easily and can be turned right afterwards. Put in the fourth and scape wheels ; then put on the top plate, and before it is got down to its place, introduce the lever and get it in position with tweezers ; then get the pivots in their holes and the top plate down, pinning it on. The barrel goes in next and its bar, then the cannon pinion. The maintaining detent (whose point should have been filed up sharp before putting in) can be turned round, and should be examined to see that it engages properly. The chain now has to be put on.

Turn the fusee and barrel round so that the chain holes are outward. Hold the movement vertically so that the chain can be dropped clear through it from fusee to barrel. Then hold the movement in the left hand, and with tweezers insert the barrel hook in its place. Place the thumb of the left hand upon it to keep it in place, and putting a key on the barrel square, wind the chain upon it until it is nearly all' on. Hook the other end in the fusee and turn the barrel round a little further to draw the chain tight. Now place on the barrel ratchet and " set up " the spring half a turn, or three-quarters if the spring will allow, and screw the click tight.

In setting up the spring the want of a third hand is often felt to put the click into the ratchet teeth. This want can be supplied by holding a long peg in the mouth and using it to manipulate the click. Fig. 4, p. 3, shows the arrangement of a barrel, chain, and fusee. Fig. 7o shows the two ends of a fusee chain. A is the barrel hook, B is the fusee hook.

When all is wound upon the barrel and set up, the watch can be carefully wound up. As this is done, see the chain runs straight to the fusee and does not drag aslant, or it will get out of its groove.

Now clean the balance and cock, oil the balance holes, the top pivot holes of the centre, third, fourth, and scape wheels, and lever (a very little indeed to the lever). If much is put to the lever it may run between the lever and plate and clog. Put in the balance. In a watch in which the hairspring is above the balance (oversprung) the stud will simply be screwed in place. In an undersprung watch the spring will require repinning in its stud, which is a fixture on the plate. And it must be pinned in at exactly the right place to set the watch " in beat." To test for this, wedge the fourth wheel with a peg or a pivot broach, and if in beat, when the balance is at rest the ruby pin in the roller will be in the lever notch, and the lever will stand midway between its banking pins. Adjust the hairspring until this is so, and then see that it passes between the index or regulator " curb" pins centrally and plays between them evenly, especially when the regulator is at " slow." See also that it lies flat and does not touch the balance or the plate.

Apply a little oil to the points of the scape-wheel teeth, oil the bottom pivots, put on the motion work, dial and hands, and put in the case again. See particularly that the dial pins fit well and go in tight ; also that none of them touch the wheels, etc.

The fusee is out of date in lever watches, and not now made except in special cases. Most modern English full-plate watches and all American ones have "going barrels" like Geneva watches.

They are generally arranged so that the barrel bar can be taken off and the barrel removed without taking off the top plate. They all should be so made. The mainsprings of these watches can be let down by a key on the winding square, while the click is held back. In putting them together, it is advisable to put the barrel in place with the rest of the wheel-work before putting on the top plate. The barrel then steadies the plate and helps to hold it in the right position while getting the lever in. Otherwise these watches are cleaned in the same manner as fusee watches.

English and American 3/4 plate key-wind watches will present no special difficulties. The principal difference is that these watches have the top plate cut away; and the balance and escapement are held by separate cocks screwed to the pillar plate. This has several advantages. First, it secures a flatter watch ; second, the balance is less likely to be crushed and injured through accident; third, the hands can be set from the back ; fourth, the escapement can be removed separately.

Besides these, other forms of English full-plate watches will be met with—the verge, the cylinder, and the duplex more especially, and a few pocket chronometers.

Verge Watches, the oldest form of all, now not made, are rapidly dying out. Still, it may be many years before they are all worn out or disused, and the country watchmaker still has them with him.

A verge resembles a lever up to the fourth wheel. The fourth wheel is a " crown wheel," and drives the scape pinion and wheel, which is carried under the top plate by a brass " follower," and the potance, as in Fig. 71. A is the potance, B the " follower," and C the scape wheel. The verge or axis of the balance generally runs in brass holes top and bottom.

In cleaning these watches, do not remove the follower to take out the scape wheel, but unscrew the potance. This is less likely to disturb the escapement. The dead brass holes in follower, potance, and balance cock must be very carefully cleaned by pegging out, and care taken not to break a peg in. In putting together, apply oil to, the lower verge hole first and to the scape pivot hole in the potance, as these cannot be got at afterwards. Then put the scape wheel in position and oil the follower hole. The train wheels and top plate can then be put on. Put on the chain before putting the verge in. Set in beat by seeing that it cannot be stopped on either pallet, but starts off immediately it is released. If the balance cock has to be removed for any purpose after the watch is wound up, the fourth wheel must be wedged as a precaution. If not, the train may run and damage the scape-wheel teeth. Put no oil on the verge pallets.

English Cylinder and Duplex Watches.—The same remark applies to these watches. The balance cocks must not be loosened while there is any power on the scape wheels. Otherwise these watches are cleaned just as levers. Cylinders require oil inside them and on the scape-wheel teeth. Duplex watches require oil on the ruby roller and on the point of the long impulse pallet.

Pocket Chronometers require great care in handling. The balance should not be removed without first wedging the fourth wheel, or there is danger. The delicate detent and scape wheel should be put in a safe place while the rest of the watch is being cleaned. When putting the watch together, if a full plate, leave the detent out, as it can be put in last thing. To clean the detent, lay it flat on clean paper and hold down the foot with tissue paper. Brush it gently to remove dirt, and with a fine pointed peg clean the locking ruby and the point of contact of the gold spring and detent point.

A chronometer only requires oil to its pivots ; none should be put on the scape-wheel teeth, the locking stone, the gold spring, or the roller pallets.

English Keyless Watches, whether full-plate or f plate, will come straight out of their cases without first removing the winding stems.

American Keyless Full-plate Watches generally require the removal of a small set-screw in the case pendant, and the button can be drawn off. This allows the movement to come out.

Three-quarter-plate American Watches are of many patterns. Some are made just as the full plates above described; others require the loosening of a small screw on the top plate, like some Swiss watches. Although they vary very much in pattern, none will present any special difficulty in taking out of their cases.

The keyless work of all requires cleansing in benzine, and plenty of oil applying to all points where friction occurs.

General Remarks on Cleaning Watches.—In taking a watch apart, everything should be carefully tried before removing, to discover faults. The neglect of this causes a great deal of wasted time. It is better to find a fault when taking apart, and remedy it before cleaning, than to find it when the watch is cleaned and put together. Thus, when taking off the hands, see if they have been touching the glass, or if they are too loose or bind against each other. Test the escapement. Try all endshakes, feel all depths, and look for broken or cracked jewel holes before anything is cleaned.

In putting together do not finger cleaned parts. Any spots of black or dirt on the plates, that will not brush off, remove with a peg point. If the gilding has got tarnished, brush it with wet benzine on the brush. If a nickel movement has become tarnished, remove it with spirit on tissue paper, or, in bad cases, with rouge on a cork. Always remember to put oil to jewel holes with endstones before the wheels are put in. Enamel dials can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Gold hands can be laid on a cork and rubbed gently with another cork and rouge powder.

Screws, though they may appear to be interchangeable, are generally not so, and means should be taken to replace them in their correct positions. Some screws are dotted on the heads; if so, they should be placed in the holes dotted to correspond. One of every pair of jewel screws has a dot; this goes in the hole nearest to the dot on the edge of the jewel setting. Pins are seldom interchangeable, and dial pins should be kept apart from pillar pins.

Beginners should be very careful indeed in handling balances and hairsprings. These are the most delicate, as well as the most important, parts of a watch. A very little will bend a hairspring, and the least pressure will damage a balance pivot. Let a balance down gently into its lower pivot hole by its own weight. When putting the cock on and screwing it down, set the balance vibrating, and let it continue to do so while the cock is tightened. Any nipping or pressure upon the pivots will at once show itself by the balance ceasing to vibrate, and attention will be attracted to it before damage is done.

Before putting in the balance of a watch, just see finally if the train is all free by touching the centre wheel or great wheel teeth. If a cylinder, verge, or duplex, the train will run, and its freedom can be judged. If a lever, a little back pressure on the fusee or barrel teeth should cause the scape teeth to trip back past the pallets. A lever that will not do this readily is faulty.

A dot upon the centre steel piece of an English rocking bar must be placed towards a corresponding dot on the movement edge, if there is one. If not, put it on with the dot towards the centre wheel. Similarly, an English barrel cover must be put on with the opening next to the dot on the barrel, or, if there is no dot, next to the chain hook hole.

A slight finger mark or smear upon a newly cleaned plate can be removed with clean-cut pith, a clean surface being cut each time the plate is rubbed.

When jewel holes in English or American watches have endstones to cover them, the jewel settings are fitted closely in a sink turned out in the plate, and held in by two small jewel screws. Such jewelling should always be taken out by withdrawing the screws and pushing the jewel hole and endstone out with a flat-ended watch peg. They are both cleaned by rubbing them with the finger on a piece of washleather and pegging out the hole.

American jewelling, and some in machine-made English lever watches, is often fitted so tight in the plate that great force is needed to push it out. In such a case take care that the pressure is applied to the brass settings and not to the jewels themselves. Such tight jewelling can be replaced by pressing in with a flat-cut peg, or by making a flat-ended punch out of pegwood and using the hammer. Some watchmakers keep a few ivory punches for this and similar purposes.

To avoid danger to the hairspring while brushing a roller or cylinder clean, push the roller or cylinder and lower part of the balance staff through tissue paper.

As tweezers wear, the inside edges of the points become smooth and rounded, causing pins and other small parts to "shoot" from them. The remedy is to pass a sharp fine file over their inside faces and thin them a little, bringing the edges up sharp again.

To handle a dial or pillar pin safely, pick it up from the board with tweezers, lay it on the back of the hand, and again take it up in the tweezers. This time the points will get a firmer hold, as the hand back is soft and allows the points to go further over the pin.



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