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Thread: Watch hands

  1. #1
    Britannicus's Avatar
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    Watch hands

    I find it increasingly expensive to source hands for pocket watches - many of these are simple stamped steel or brass about 0.2mm thick from thin sheet using a die. I've attached a fairly typical picture - the length of a typical hand being .9 mm to 20mm and anywhere from 0.01 mm wide to 0.5 depending on the design.

    My question is it possible to hand make a die that could be used to make these hands - how would I go about doing it...

    I can't afford a laser cutter yet :-( The picture below is about 2.5 actual size i guess

    Watch hands-hamilton-114.jpg

  2. #2
    Clockguy's Avatar
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    RE: Watch Hands

    Before I'd jump into the manufacturing of clock parts, you will have to manufacture enough parts as it is for old clocks without trying to re-invent the wheel with parts which may still be available for the clock and watch man. Have you checked some of the different wholesale clock parts supply houses yet? Merritt's in PA would be a good spot to start, they carry a healthy inventory of small parts and pins and tools for watch and clock repair. Google "Merritt's" in Douglasville, PA if memory serves.

    I am trying to kick back on my clock work in favor of searching for my "golden years", someone told me I might find them here in Florida. ........ This is my 17th year down here of searching and so far, only brass monkeys .... no golden years.
    Last edited by Clockguy; 01-21-2017 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Forgot the Title!

  3. #3
    Frank S's Avatar
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    I think that you will find that trying to make your own watch hands will be more cost prohibitive than sourcing replacements
    For vintage American pocket watches you might try these folks
    Vintage American Watch Hands
    I only dabbled in horology for a very brief time, which was when I bought a Huge 8 ft tall Grandfather clock at an auction. It didn't work so I thought at worst I would buy an off the shelf clockwork then retrofit that into the 100+ year old cabinet. However when I found that a suitable real clockwork and not one of those cheap battery powered imitations was going to cost in the neighborhood of $450.00 plus shipping I decided I just had to have a go at it. Lots of cleaning and a couple of straightened shafts new chains for the counter weights and I had it working sort of as long as I kept all 3 of the weights pulled above halfway it did fine
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  4. #4

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    You could try photo etching the parts. Watch this vid.:

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to aalv2003 For This Useful Post:

    Britannicus (01-22-2017), PJs (01-22-2017), Toolmaker51 (01-22-2017)

  6. #5
    Britannicus's Avatar
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    Doh! - why didn't I think about this ??? - I make my own PCB's - it's not a long step to get to this :-)

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    Etching would be efficient production too; in variety, duplication, and controlled production rate.
    Die sets don't require laser or wire EDM. Centuries of such fine parts were diestruck, and those were filed in.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  8. #7
    Clockguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britannicus View Post
    I make my own PCB's :-)
    Uh, Brit, I don't think I'd be broadcasting that information around on the internet, the ATF and a few Drug Enforcement guys may be reading this .........

  9. #8
    Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clockguy View Post
    Uh, Brit, I don't think I'd be broadcasting that information around on the internet, the ATF and a few Drug Enforcement guys may be reading this .........
    Exactly not everyone especially those 3 letter agencies,would imeadiatly recognize the use of the acronym could be short for printed circuit boards
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the ATF & E.
    They're sitting around drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, shooting apples off each others head, and blowing stuff up.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  11. #10

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    I took a lost wax casting class at the Arrowmont School in TN. If a bug's wing could be caste, a watch hand should be EZ. You could cast several at one time

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