Main spring winding - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Ė Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Main spring winding

I cannot find the post where a member commented on manual winding of mainsprings. The argument put forward was that manual winding would produce uneven sides and the spring would not sit precisely central inside the barrel.

While I had a barrel assembly apart today I took measurements.

Depth of the barrel: 1.27mm
Thickness of cover/cap: 0.23mm
Width of spring: 1.04mm

1.27-0.23 = 1.04mm...precisely the width of the spring.

The conclusion being that the space for the spring = width of spring.

Once the cap is snapped on the sides of the spring will be flush or forced flush. On the unit I opened today the surfaces of the barrel and cap showed signs of wear and if I recall correctly all those I have opened have shown this. To me anyway this proves the spring will contact the sided no matter what or how they are installed...that's why we (should) lubricate them.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Iím more concerned hand winding in that Iíll put a kink in the spring, no matter how minor Iíd rather avoid that.

Hand winding in versus the tool, I can imagine seeing a single coil or two getting out of line and possibly dragging on the barrel floor, causing uneven release. Using the tool kind of forces the coils to orient nice and flat.


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Old 01-19-2019, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the concern is that you will twist the spring so that it now takes a cone shape in the barrel. In practicing this procedure on scrap movements, I had a spring in and out several times. When the spring was out the last time, I placed the uncoiled spring on a granite surface and it seemed to lay flat. If it had taken a curve, it would have ridden higher at some point.


I did notice several of the springs, that had obviously been out before, had a kink where the bridle and spring met. Getting the bridle in the barrel is not easy and I can see how it is easy to kink the spring here.



I have a K&D winder. I've broken more springs with this tool than I have bent manually winding. Still can't master the bridle/spring interface and that is where the winder wins.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's all about the condition of the spring when inserted. If you have pulled out a mainspring and there is a kink near the bridal it's almost certainly because it was hand wound.

Mastering a mainspring winder can be a real challenge, but once you are on top of it, that spring will drop in perfectly. Also the slipping grease you applied to the barrel wall will be exactly where it is supposed too.

A big part of watchmaking is keeping your fingers off the movement both during the dissasembly and assembly . Off the top of my head, the only thing you want to get a grip on is the edge of the main plate . You want to keep your fingers off every part possible. The mainspring is no exception to that rule.

That said, if you want to wind by hand, go for it!

But trying to argue it is comparable to a winder is a fallacy.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If it kinked I would scrap it.

I still keep my eye on ebay for a winder though.

All springs I have removed have had the kink where it meets the bridle so I don't see the kink as being a hand wind issue.

I doubt very much all had been out and hand wound before me.

If you look at the way the spring lays at that position it has to step out sharply so it's going to deform either immediately installed or eventually.

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Old 01-21-2019, 01:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If it kinked I would scrap it.

I still keep my eye on ebay for a winder though.

All springs I have removed have had the kink where it meets the bridle so I don't see the kink as being a hand wind issue.

I doubt very much all had been out and hand wound before me.

If you look at the way the spring lays at that position it has to step out sharply so it's going to deform either immediately installed or eventually.



Agreed. I hand wind all my mainsprings into the barrels and have always done
Other watchmakers I know (of course I don't know all watchmakers and I don't know that they do it all the time) hand wind them in as well.


It's all about technique and knowing when a mainspring needs replacing (almost never).
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I finished another yesterday. It's currently running well on the technograph.

Not quite sure I understood the comment about disturbing the wall grease. My thumbs are way to big to get inside the barrel. The only thing that gets in there is the spring and if it gets moved by the installation process then that's what will happen to it when in use.

I do make sure the sides of the spring are all pushed down and level before putting the cover on...even though by dimensions it should do the same hing.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Main spring winding

I figured since I have a pile of old 6309 barrels and mainsprings laying around Iíd measure. There as much as a 0.02mm diff between the depth of the barrel factoring in the depth of the lid and the width of the coils. The lid has a step the accounts for that difference and the coil only extends up to the step in the barrel wall upon which the edge of the lid rests.



I donít think the coils are in contact with the barrel floor and lid at all times, at least not in the case of the 6 series movts that use these parts. I think thereís a whiff of clearance and assembly variability may account for wear in the lid or floor of the barrel. I have some new in package on the way, Iíll measure those and see.


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Old 01-21-2019, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here is some more to support my position. I pulled this out of a 6119 I serviced some time ago. It was a new in package barrel and arbor and mainspring I picked up from Stefan a year or so ago when it was assembled and installed in the movít. I pulled the movít apart after running it in for a few days, I canít recall why.

Anyway, see that little black stripe? Thatís 8201 that I put on the barrel floor before assembly. Notice how itís not disturbed at all despite the fact this unit was run through a few cycles over the course of a few days.



Notice though that the drops of 8201 I placed on top of the coils did transfer to the lids, but also are generally undisturbed. Iíd guess they were still droplets when I set the lid and then wicked into the coils.


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Old 02-25-2019, 11:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I see Michael is here. We met over on the WUS forum. New here but good to be among friends. I picked up a set of the K&D winders off eBay and they have been very useful in loading the mainspring into the barrels of the watches I have worked on thus far. Well worth the investment. John
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have always struggled with main springs so I go the easy route and press a new one in, tried winders etc but still struggled

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Old 02-26-2019, 02:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have always struggled with main springs so I go the easy route and press a new one in, tried winders etc but still struggled

Do you have a reliable source for these new mainsprings you are willing to share?
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Do you have a reliable source for these new mainsprings you are willing to share?
Sorry no, I picked these up a while ago.

As someone once said it can all be about spares
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vette Enthusiast View Post
Do you have a reliable source for these new mainsprings you are willing to share?

Measure the current ms and find an appropriate General Ressorts mainspring. They also come in mainspring holders that you can push out.


I wonder John after having a few 6 cal ms, that their shape can be set somewhat? Flat is good mind but I think a GR equivalent is just as good if not better maybe?



Vette, noticed your WUS thread. Good persistence and good advice from Michael and pithy on there. If you have a cal. that requires a new ms then contact Stefan (seikochrono) or (schillachi61 on ebay) and he may have one. Or find the equivalent GR.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Measure the current ms and find an appropriate General Ressorts mainspring. They also come in mainspring holders that you can push out.


I wonder John after having a few 6 cal ms, that their shape can be set somewhat? Flat is good mind but I think a GR equivalent is just as good if not better maybe?



Vette, noticed your WUS thread. Good persistence and good advice from Michael and pithy on there. If you have a cal. that requires a new ms then contact Stefan (seikochrono) or (schillachi61 on ebay) and he may have one. Or find the equivalent GR.
Thanks for the info Guy. I noted that Esslinger.com also appears to have mainsprings to order if you have all the specs on what you need.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yup or just ask here. Many a time I've had someone put me on to the correct GR they've used. Dan (imeasure) often knows which ones work.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Main spring winding

Just my 2 cents from a little experience with the GR springs is they measure a hair under spec and my impression has been they donít generate as much power as a new OE spring. Iíve also noticed on a few that Iíve tried for the 6 series movíts that the hook end loop is a bit too big and fiddly to hook to the arbor. As always your experience may vary.

Adrian has a list of GR equivalent springs over on WS if you are interested


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Old 02-28-2019, 06:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Mainsprings on Esslinger?

Quote:
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I noted that Esslinger.com also appears to have mainsprings to order if you have all the specs on what you need.
I'm struggling to find any mainsprings on Esslinger.com. Searching "mainspring" just brings up winders, grease, and, oddly, a stem.

Any links appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm struggling to find any mainsprings on Esslinger.com. Searching "mainspring" just brings up winders, grease, and, oddly, a stem.

Any links appreciated.
Sorry. My bad. It was Otto Frei that had the mainsprings.

http://www.ofrei.com/page_110.html#31187
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