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Discussion Starter #1
As the title suggests I would be interested in how other members replace the cloverleaf shaped spring that holds cap jewel in place when the balance spring is still attached to the balance cock.
I have had reasonable success with the method below but I am worried I will bend the balance spring.
Once the cap jewel is sitting in its cup in the balance cock I ensure the spindle of the balance spring is not in its normal position and so is not trying to push out the cap jewel as I try to lock it in place with the spring.
I then insert one of the 3 tabs in its channel and then turn the spring with fine tipped tweezers until the next tab sits over the cut-out to the channel. I then apply downward pressure on the spring with my finger nail while trying to turn the spring with the tweezers. Eventually it locks into the channel. I then turn the spring until the thirds tab is over the cut-out and repeat the procedure. All this time I am applying pressure with my finger on the spring to prevent it flying across the room.
My concern is that when I apply the downward pressure on the spring to get it into the cut-out I am also crushing the balance spring and so could damage it.
is there any way t get around this or any way to may this procedure less fiddly?
Thanks
Chris
 

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Hi Chris,

They are tricky sure.
Usual advice is to simply keep something in the middle of the spring, like the tip of your tweezers) so that if it does try to fly off it can't go far.

I would say that I do not worry abouth the balance staff, I keep it in the normal position, just remove the cap jewel, clean polish and oil it and then replace it. Be careful when you replace it but if you are it is fine.

I find that is best to not press with any force, this means that they don't jump. You want to carefully nudge it into place.

Pop one tab into place but you should also be able to get the second tab into the recess in this move, light pressure on or near the tab and nudge it along and under also keeping in mind that the first tab should not be pushed out. Then carry on pushing around making sure that both tabs are always being pushed against their wall. When the third tab drops into the recess you stop, and reverse rather than continuing in the same direction. With just light pressure.

This is how I do it anyway. I don't really keep anything in the middle anymore.
 

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Dunno if this is a bodge, (probably is knowing me).

I cannot be doing with removing the hair spring/balance from the bridge because I can not see what I am doing and cannot hold the parts, so I remove, clean and replace the balance assembly Diashock and retaining spring with the assembly fitted to the mainplate.

Just saw Tom had posted before me while I was cogitating, I use two pairs of tweezers to control the Diashock spring, one pair through the middle of the spring to catch it if it flies and the other to manipulate and push it around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys
Just cleaned another cap jewel. This time I left the balance staff in place which probably gives more protection to the balance spring so I will continue to do this.
I still had to apply some downward pressure to the spring to get it into the slot. Without any downward pressure the curve of the cap jewel means that once one tab is in its channel the other two are angled too high as they rest on the cap jewel and so need to be pushed downwards to flex the spring and get the other tab into the slot.
I am aware of the possibility of damaging the balance spring so I try to only use enough force to get the tab into the channel without damaging the spring.
It is such a fiddly procedure!
Chris
 
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