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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gentlemen,

finally we are able to discuss possible solutions, I am very much looking forward to this!

In this thread I would like to collect ALL possible solutions to the problem.

To make the discussion of the individual solutions easier, I would like to handle it in the following way: lets please use this thread for COLLECTION of the solutions only - no discussions.

I will open a separate thread for every solution posted where we will then follow-up and discuss the idea in detail.

As before, the first post in THIS thread will be the summary of all we have discussed so far.

Is that ok for everyone?

Looking very much forward to your ideas! :smiley:

Best
Hermann
 

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Hello Gentlemen,
Following are some ways I've tried and failed to reliably repair the corrector gear that has insufficient tension on the setting wheel below it. I don't think these warrant separate discussion personally, but I will parse them out into separate threads just in case some one wanted to refer to them later. Again, these are what I would categorize as failures based on direct experience with them. Whether the concept or the technique, or materials are to blame, is hard for me to judge concretely. Here's the first attempt (though these are not in chronological order, I will have to do some digging to find my older attempts):

A (failed)



Please note this was on a 5619 (duo-time) corrector, which has 8 teeth instead of 4. The functioning principle is still the same.

Here I applied an adhesive (between the corrector gear and setting wheel. You can see that I made sure all surfaces in contact with each other between the two parts were generously coated:



Ultimately this methods failed due to a too-large outer diameter after the gluing, which affected the meshing of the teeth of the corrector gear with the intermediate day wheel and/or date dial. I can't remember the exact epoxy I used, though it appears to be 24-hour, 2-part epoxy. I also experimented with 5-minute 2-part, G-flex (a marine-based, flexible 2-part epoxy), and dynaweld (a heat- and UV-curing epoxy meant to bond metal and glass), so I forget the details on which adhesive I used which time. Suffice to say that I experimented enough with adhesives to determine that they were not a long-term solution, and often times not even a short-term one!
 

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B (failed)

Here is another attempt (this time on a 5606 corrector gear), wherein I clamped just the gear into a collet-closing tool, tensioned to close the split (at 7 o'clock):


Here it is closer:


I can't remember exactly why this one didn't work, but I think it had to do with the now-increased height of the corrector gear- it would not fit properly in the rocker assembly stack. Or it might have been hanging up on the tension washer above.
 

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C (failed)

I recently bribed (plate of cookies) the goldsmith at my work to let me come in on my day off and learn a little bit about the laser welder. Unfortunately now I want one for home :)

With only a few hours of messing around with it under my belt, I know just enough to be dangerous- not an expert at all. But aside from the usual metal-to-metal welding I experimented with, I brought along some plastic parts, including two corrector assemblies. Before tearing into those, I took a bad intermediate calendar driving wheel from a 6309, made from the same grey plastic as many 5606 corrector gears, and made an incision through it with a razor blade:


I then gave it a pop or two, and was able to actually close the gap by melting just the edges of the cut back-together. This is a bad photo, but you can perhaps see where the inside portion of the cut (nearer to the center of the wheel) is starting to "heal" together pretty well:


OK, now to the 5606 corrector gears. First I tried giving the cracked corrector gear a pop with the laser on the lowest setting with everything assembled. Despite being at the narrowest beam setting, it still managed to knick the metal tension washer above, which created a krinkled spot- not good for smooth rotation. Plus it didn't really get through to the whole of the split in the gear. This is a before shot, so you can see how close the tension washer is to the split:


I don't think I took an after-shot, will try to get one if need be, but bottom line is that this approach wouldn't work very well.
 

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D (failed, but promising, but maybe ultimately doomed)

So this is a next step of C, but laser welding the split in the corrector gear after removing the gear from the rocker assembly. Here it is in the collet-closing tool again, tensioned to close the gap:


So I gave it one or two pops, and it was looking great! And then I thought maybe I should do one more for good measure, and the thing just shriveled away from the split where I had been focusing the laser, like there was too much heat for it to take. I don't know if letting it cool for a few seconds more would have made a difference, or if it was simply a case of splashing too much plastic away to the point where the last hit had less material to soak up the energy, so it more radically changed what it did hit. In any case, this is what I ended with (sorry, no photo of when it was looking really good!):


Perhaps you can see where it is oh-so-thin, but ultimately still affixed together now. While I don't think this particular wheel would take the stress of being installed in a watch, it does seem promising that one properly laser welded (i.e. one less hit than I gave this one) might hold together, with renewed tension.

Or at least that was my line of thinking for the first few hours. Upon further reflection, I considered that an aged plastic gear that has cracked once, will be more likely to crack again in another spot, especially if increasing the tension of the gear on the setting wheel post (what we are trying to accomplish, ultimately). So even if I perfected the laser weld technique, and could connive access to the machine (I don't own it, and it is expensive enough that we charge a base retail price of $50 for its use on customer pieces), it seems like this might be a flawed approach, because the plastic gear will still be fundamentally ready to crack again, perhaps even more so. Oh, another problem- the other corrector gear I brought to experiment with was the black plastic version. Even with the same lowest settings on the machine, it reacted *very* differently. Each laser blast actually seemed to vaporize the plastic it contacted, so that I was creating little cylindrical holes into the gear each time I shot the laser. Cool effect, but not even close to what we need. So not being able to even hypothetically use this technique on black-geared corrector assemblies makes it even further into the "failed" category.
 

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E (successful)

I've honestly stayed away from 56xx-collecting because of this problem we are now trying to get a handle on. But when I finally sourced a 5619 (long-coveted gap in my Seiko collection), and it arrived not quick-setting, I was motivated enough to pull out all the stops in getting it operational. I tried gluing (no-go), I tried altering a 10-toothed corrector gear from a 6309 (no-go; meshing problems with too many teeth, the 5619 needs to have 8), and then I broke down and fabricated one from brass rod stock.
While I understand the principles and have a hobbyist-level lathe and mill at home, I don't have experience with gear-cutting, nor ready-made gear cutters. There are methods of custom-making your own, but learning a process to be able to learn a process to be able (at least 3-4 levels involved if you have no machining backgroung, as I do not) is a daunting task for me at times. So I took a short-cut and rough-ground the teeth with a simple separating disc just to get the basic shape, then filed them by hand to finished tolerances (which are relatively loose here compared to most watch gear teeth).

Here's the brass rod after the rough-grinding:




And here the gear is after filing the teeth and parting off and trimming to height:





And then hand-reamed to a friction fit on the setting wheel:



While this replacement has been installed and still works for over a year now, I honestly haven't put it through its paces (such as setting the hands to just after midnight and then attempting date quick-set to make sure the brass gear slips before teeth are damaged), mainly because the 5619 isn't a piece I want to ruin in the name of science. I was just happy to have it operational after making the gear, so I wasn't ready to go tearing it apart again to find its limits, and likely won't be any time soon.

So while hand-fabricating a metal replacement corrector gear is certainly a possible method (see here for some one who did a much neater-looking job than I did), the time necessary to do so FAR outweighs what most any sane collector would pay for the service. Even if you standardized the procedure with dedicated cutters that could replicate the overall part dimensions relatively easily without a lot of measuring/checking each time (but still making them in a small/basic workshop setting), you would still need to hand-fit each gear to the setting wheel, making sure the friction was just right, which is a lot of burden to place on the craftsperson- being responsible for that wheel staying in good service for years to come based on how tight or loose they ream it. It's almost as though we just need some one to come along with a very expensive machine which can make a large number of these to tight enough tolerances, ready to swap in... at least that's my dream. I wonder if anyone has contacted Seiko Japan to see if they wouldn't mind running off a couple thousand of these one day at the factory- they've certainly got the equipment :) Alright, enough dreaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Many thanks for the elaborate posts, Noah!

C./D.:Very interesting work with the laser especially - I had been thinking of a method to weld the plastic wheels together but I had not thought of a laser, but it makes sense for great positioning and control, of course :)

Ultimately I absolutely agree with you, though: even a perfectly welded plastic wheel is probably highly prone to breaking again soon...

E.: The manual manufacturing from brass is certainly a nice option - provided one has the skills you show above :) In any case, I do not think it will make much sense to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves - several hours of work for a new wheel probably do not warrant an affordable end price :)

Best
Hermann
 

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Hi Hermann,
You are correct on all points, and as for E, even if one could make all the necessary cutters and have them on hand, ready to go, and could turn, mill, domain and fit a corrector gear in, say 1/2 to 1 hour (very ambitious), it would still be far and away from the ceiling of our project's established goal, economically speaking.

Regarding the laser option, I felt I should take one for the team ;-), so I found myself winning a cheap 5619 last night from eBay, which I will be more apt to experiment with should it arrive with a non-functioning corrector, as it will be a duplicate to the other already in my collection. I will update if I learn anything more in my experiments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well guys, since it is a little quiet in here, I will just post a couple of options that I have collected (mainly from discussions with you):

H1: remanufacture the wheel from the part of another movement.
E. g.: use parts from the calibre 52 QS setup.

H2: manufacture new, metal wheels via 3D-printing

H3: manufacture new, metal wheels via CNC milling

Best
Hermann
 

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I'm still here. I'm just a number of weeks behind on everything, as usual.

I can safely say 3D printing at present isn't a good option in it's current form. Maybe in 2-5 years it will be a sure bet but not right now.

I can suggest we look at photo etching the part. It is a process well suited to this kind of part. I use a lot of photo etch on my 1/700 scale models.

We would end up with a brass or stainless steel part which I think will work quite well, and it is relatively easy to do the artwork for. You can even do it in MS paint if you like.

We would etch a whole sheet of these guys at once, so it gets around the issue of machining them and fettling them.

Assuming this is successful, after we have gained the knowledge of the process we could look at other parts as well.

Here's what it looks like -

 

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I can suggest we look at photo etching the part. It is a process well suited to this kind of part. I use a lot of photo etch on my 1/700 scale models.

We would end up with a brass or stainless steel part which I think will work quite well, and it is relatively easy to do the artwork for. You can even do it in MS paint if you like.

We would etch a whole sheet of these guys at once, so it gets around the issue of machining them and fettling them.
Adrian,
This is an exciting proposition, from the little knowledge I have of photo etching it seems like making 10,000 is no more complicated than the set up for making 1, which is certainly good for keeping costs down.

But I do have a few questions in that regard- do you have direct access to photo etching equipment, or do you contract out to a company for your modeling parts? Either way, what kinds of costs are associated with the process, i.e. materials, labor for programming and running the machines?

One last question regards dimensionality of the part. The picture you show, there is a rectangular part around the middle of the photo, between and above the (upside down) numbers 37 and 40. It appears to have a raised border as well as a raised circular wall in the center of the piece. This type of dimensionality would be nice to achieve with our corrector gear, as the teeth rise up out of the base of the gear's lower plane. Is this type of dimensionality common with photo etching techniques? I had the mis-guided impression that the etching was in effect a saw blade cutting through the entire substrate below, and couldn't only "saw" half way down into the part. Is this possible through additive procedures after the etching, and if so does that add to the costs/complexity of the procedure greatly? While I'm at it, what is the thickest material suitable for receiving photo etching? Does out corrector gear's height fall within this measure?

Thanks,
 

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Hi Everyone, I have been travelling for work and not had time to check this out earlier.

Noah, thanks for the report on your previous attempts and it seems that you have tried all of the obvious solutions. The heat welding does seem to hold some potential but does seem like it would be quite variable between units and time consuming.

Adrian, the etching method that you show is very interesting and I had the same questions as Noah on the limitations. I look forward to hearing more on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Many thanks for sharing the idea of photo etching Adrian, that looks VERY promising!

A couple of questions from myself (some already been mentioned):
- is the whole process that we would consider subtractive, or would there be an additive manufacturing step as well?
- what material thickness could we use?
- is the technique suitable for creating "3 dimensional" objects?
- what would the polishing step be? From what I gather from the picture you shared, the manufactured wheels would need to be cut from the sheet and then some finishing steps applied?

TIA!
Best
Hermann
 

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I'll answer Hermann and Noah here in the same answer-

Photo etching is where a mask is applied to engraver's brass, often with a laser printing or silk screening style process, then the sheet is exposed to an etching acid which eats away the non masked sections of the sheet. It's the same process they use for making circuit boards, so not something innovative and special, which is a really good thing.

With photo etching, there is a process where you can get a "3D" or dimensional finish on the part. I'm not entirely sure how it's done but I'd suspect it's done with multiple layers of masking and exposure time to the etch fluid. Also, as a post production step, it would be relatively easy to round or press the part in a dapping block or something if this was too difficult to achieve.

Photo etching is different to laser or router based etching because you can achieve a much better resolution and because you aren't introducing any heat to the part, you can make absolutely minute parts.

There is a range of thicknesses, I think up to 1mm (need to confirm this), but what you can do it just design the part so you can bend up the teeth of the gear, or bend them over for additional thickness/strength, I hope that makes sense. It's kind of like working with sheet metal, in miniature.

As for access to the equipment, I've done this method before for circuitboards and larger brass parts, but not something this small. I'm not sure if I'd have the capability to do a rough prototype of the part.

I think the best way to get a prototype done would be to contact a company doing his commercially. There's a zillion of them around -

http://www.conardcorp.com/decorative-etching

https://www.google.com.au/search?si...msedr...0...1c.1.62.hp..21.7.1275.eppoGCzmnpM

I think most of the model companies that make photo etch details would use a service like one of these. Unfortunately there are no services that I'm aware of in Australia, so it makes it tricky for me to do the leg work with it. Probably the first step for us to move forward would be to contact a few of them and ask them about material thicknesses etc. and with an outline of what we want to do and can they do it?

As a short addendum, if you have a few hours to kill and would like to explore what photo etching can do in more detail, pick one of these up -

http://www.innovatoys.com/metal-earth

http://metalearthmodel.com/


There's a bunch of cool models and they're amazing. I think you can get them nearly everywhere now. They only cost a few bucks. They are laser cut I believe but the premise is the same.

I hope that hits all the bases.

Adrian.


Many thanks for sharing the idea of photo etching Adrian, that looks VERY promising!

A couple of questions from myself (some already been mentioned):
- is the whole process that we would consider subtractive, or would there be an additive manufacturing step as well?
- what material thickness could we use?
- is the technique suitable for creating "3 dimensional" objects?
- what would the polishing step be? From what I gather from the picture you shared, the manufactured wheels would need to be cut from the sheet and then some finishing steps applied?

TIA!
Best
Hermann
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Many thanks Adrian,

I did check out some basics and a couple of further questions have turned up.

Please consider our sketch of the wheel regarding dimensions:

corrector wheel 981560.jpg

Basically, we would need an overal thickness of approx. 0.02 in, max sheet thicknesses used in Photo Etching (PHETCH :D) are 0.08 in, so we are on the safe side here.

I have NOT yet checked however if all the other dimensions (the PHETCH guides state some things about minimum radii and constraints regarding hole sizes vs. overall size, etc.) can be achieved by PHETCH.

I do see however at LEAST two (maybe three) required remanufacturing steps:

1. remove individual wheels from sheet. This may require some refining steps as to remove any surplus material from the wheel depending where the "anchor" is positioned

2. reduce the wheel thickness for the inner (o-ring) portion of the wheel. Maybe this can be achieved by some sort of drilling process to reduce the thickness of the inner portion. Basically, I do think we do not need to consider the angled inner sides of the teeth (juding from how the washer is positioned), so it seems to me that removing a cylindrical inner portion from the raw wheel should do the trick:

56 cross section NEW.jpg
56 metal wheel.jpg


3 (maybe not required) adjusting the inner hole diameter to properly friction fit the post.

Please let me know what you think about this!

Best
Hermann
 

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Hermann (and All),

I see the same steps you do in regards to what would be produced with Phetch, vs. the final product. If I had to guess on #3, I'd imagine the inside cavity of the wheel is beveled so that the friction washer will center itself more or less during rotation, as its inner diameter is larger than the post that captures it (from memory).

So a straight-wall cavity might still be OK, that might have to be something determined in product testing. Honestly, I can see that extra step being quite costly to the overall price, as you'd have to take the sheet of brass and pre-drill the cavities, then do the photo-etching, while maintaining perfect alignment with the cavities. I don't see a good way to drill afterwards on such a fragile part once it is etched from the sheet, especially in quantity. So the photo etching project would probably also entail a CNC milling component as well.

An internet search found a home photo etching kit for around $150 shipped, but unfortunately it seems like the max thickness it can handle is .01 inches, half of what we need. I don't know if this is an inherent limitation due to the process used, or just the thickest material they choose to supply with the kit (they also show .005 available), but I'm not really looking to invest in or try the procedure out myself. For one there is a learning curve (limited research says how long you let the etching process continue can affect the outcome of the final product, as etching doesn't just eat downward, it also eats sideways, and it seems like the procedure itself is open to perfecting of technique to avoid inconsistencies and over-etching). I also don't like how nasty the chemicals sound, so handling them and disposing of them properly is too big of a task for me to want to tackle at this point, especially since my amateur results are not a guaranteed success for the purposes of the project.

I am thinking that we would need to hire a company who will do the photo-etching for us, based on a CAD file we would supply. Since we are not going to be a large profit generator for them, and since we are not in the industry otherwise, it might be difficult to find a company willing to work with us for a one-off situation like this, where we might need further refinements (sizing, etc.) of the parts just to get a working prototype. Basically a lot of hand-holding on their part.

As an aside, it sounds like any company and method we would go with to contract production of a part would need a CAD file of some sort to produce it, perhaps that should be the next step we work on in conjunction with determining the method (machining/phetching/stamping/?). Do any of you guys have the software and experience to render a CAD file based on the dimensions we have listed in previous posts? If not, should we contact some of the membership here who may? It may be easier to query potential manufacturers if we have a CAD file in hand for them to see exactly what we need, and better know if they can help us right off the bat. A quick google search of companies who do photo etching on contract gave the following information:

Email the Photoetch Team at Tech-Etch Request information or a quote.

You can also send us your CAD files by attaching them to this email. We prefer .DWG, .DXF, or Gerber data with an aperture list.


I don't have access to/knowledge about any programs that produce these types of files, so I'm no help there.
 

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OK, I have the drawing that Hermann has done plus some of the original parts. I have a drawing capability, so I'll get it drawn up.

On the maximum thickness being half of what we need, this isn't a showstopper. What I'm thinking we could do is bond two of the parts together. That's the way a lot of photo etch kits get a thickness, and laser cutting as well. This could be done with perhaps two small dots of epoxy.

On laser cutting, I've been thinking about that as a possible avenue as well. There are now some high precision cutters around that are fairly low on heat, making very small parts possible (I used to work for one but they can't do what we want).

We would be able to get a thicker part with the laser cutting, which gets around that issue.

I think in the first instance though the photo etch tech is well established, and we should exhaust that first.

So, the next step I'll take, and I'll get the DXF (2D) drawing of the part done.

Adrian.
 

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I just had a thought with another possible solution that I hadn't considered previously. Polyurethane casting may be an option. I can do it on my desk with very little tooling and it should have the detail required for these parts.

I'll acquire some small amounts of the casting medium and some mould making material and try it out. I need some for another project and testing anyway.

Adrian.
 

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OK, I have the drawing that Hermann has done plus some of the original parts. I have a drawing capability, so I'll get it drawn up.

On the maximum thickness being half of what we need, this isn't a showstopper. What I'm thinking we could do is bond two of the parts together. That's the way a lot of photo etch kits get a thickness, and laser cutting as well. This could be done with perhaps two small dots of epoxy.
Hi Adrian,

Thanks for offering to do the drawing file, I think this will be a big help when we shop the project around.

To clarify, that "half the necessary thickness" mention was only referencing a specific home DIY photo-etching kit, I'm sure commercial places (and perhaps even other kits) would be able to etch in the thickness we need. I'm hoping we can avoid bonding two layers together, as not only is it an extra step which could introduce errors, but it would also not be as long-lasting a solution (not able to be cleaned with solvents, adhesive would naturally deteriorate over time, etc.)


On laser cutting, I've been thinking about that as a possible avenue as well. There are now some high precision cutters around that are fairly low on heat, making very small parts possible (I used to work for one but they can't do what we want).
In conjunction with that, I wonder if laser cutting (and even photo etching) can produce a smooth and circular inner wall on the part? And if not, what if we re-designed the corrector gear so that the basic shape is not annular with 4 teeth sticking out, but rather something more along the lines of modern cannon pinion driving wheels, in regards to the arms that create the tension and allow slippage. See a picture here of this kind of part disassembled:


You could make the part square, with 4 teeth protruding from the corners and a rectangular cavity in the center that frictions onto the corrector wheel below. This would assume that an accurate enough cavity could be formed to allow slippage at the right resistance (when the date dial is engaged with the date driving wheel), but otherwise hold firmly enough for quick-setting over several years of use. I was looking at the corrector mechanism on an ETA 2834-2 the other day, which has some similar methods of allowing slipping on corrector gears when necessary:


 
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