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Hinge repair on pocket watch


#1

Hi again

I’ve often encountered old heavy 14kt gents covered pocket watches
that we repair and restore. Luckily for me, I’ve never had to repair
a hinge. How in heaven;'s name does one repair a hinge on such a
heavy case? the tubing is so incredibly thin, and one hinge for the
outside cover lays right ontop of the back dust cover hinge, and then
another hinge for the rear cover. To me, this is amazing. Anybody
know how one would proceed in repairing, let alone making such a
thing??

Regards, Allan F.


#2

Allan- I’ve done more than my share of these over the years. When I
have very close fitting moving parts that I have to solder near each
other I use graphite from a pencil to mark the areas that I don’t
want the solder to flow. Less messy than yellow ochre and less volume
of gunk to interfere with the close fit of the hinges.

Rebuilding or replacing worn hinge tubes can be a challenge, but one
I enjoy. The trick is to have the right tools. A hinge file and
broaching pin are necessary. Often the interior of the hinge tubes
are tapered. That’s where the broaching tool comes in. You must also
be able to cap the ends of the tubes. I usually just burnish them in.
Beware though, some folks will add lead solder to keep the caps in
place. The lead must be removed before you hard solder. Plus you
must be a facile solderer to be able to solder a very small tube on a
heavy case.

It can be done but it can be a scary thing to do on an old piece that
has a lot of sentimental value to the customer. When ever I do
something really risky like this I make sure that my clients know the
risks and have them sign off in case anything goes wrong. You never
know what it was soldered together with or repaired with. These
things can just puke all over your bench. I also shamelessly use
extra easy solder.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#3

Hi Alan…I have only done 2 or 3 in my 35 years at goldsmithing, so
I am no the most experienced. IIRC, I used a lot of “white out” to
keep the solder where I wanted it. Also, I used a soft flame and
made sure that the tubing and the case came up to soldering
temperature at the same time. I applied he solder to the tubing first
and then “sweat” soldered it on.

Also, make sure you have removed all iron springs from the case (ask
me how I know : ))…Teddy


#4

Hi Jo,

I use graphite from a pencil to mark the areas that I don't want
the solder to flow. 

How do you apply it (on a highly polished surface)?

When ever I do something really risky like this I make sure that
my clients know the risks and have them sign off in case anything
goes wrong. 

Would you mind sharing the wording of your form with us?

Thank you very much for your helpful post!
Janet in Jerusalem


#5
Allan- I've done more than my share of these over the years. When
I have very close fitting moving parts that I have to solder near
each other I use graphite from a pencil to mark the areas that I
don't want the solder to flow. Less messy than yellow ochre and
less volume of gunk to interfere with the close fit of the hinges. 

This stuff is really handy for that and very easy to use: