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Thread: Spacing hands?

  1. #1
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Spacing hands?

    Decided to have another go at watch fettling so got a cheap Chinese watch, took it apart, cleaned it and somehow managed to get it all back together again, even ticks

    Problem I have now is that when putting the hands back on if I simply push them on they all seem to butt up on top of each other so the movement then has problems running.

    So is this a trait of these Chinese movements and cheap hands or is there a way or method that I should be using to try and space them apart. Tried different things last night and am glad to report that they all failed

  2. #2
    Craftsman Kaffe's Avatar
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    I would guess the hands need crimping slightly to make a tighter fit on the stems. I think there are specific tools for this but they may be not worth it for an inexpensive watch. You could try crimping with some fine pliers. Would be a tiny adjustment though. Trial and error.

  3. #3
    Craftsman Kaffe's Avatar
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    Is it possible to get new hands?

  4. #4
    Craftsman Kaffe's Avatar
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    Another thought is that perhaps the hour hand is not down far enough. Is it possible to push it down further without it contacting the dial.

  5. #5
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    I had thought of trying to tighten them. The problem is that they will all happily push down to sit on top of each other, so the hour hand will sit on top of the dial etc.

    I might try placing a piece of paper between the dial and hour hand and another between it and the the minute etc just to see if that might help.

    As I said I got it with the intention of pulling it apart and putting it back so no real great loss but would ideally like to resolve any issues I encounter or create.

  6. #6
    Grand Master
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    Donít push the hand down too far. Ensure it is level and just clearing the dial. Fit the minute hand the same way, ensure its located but donít push it too far. Be sure the dial has located correctly and the dial feet are fully home. A hand fitting tool helps press them on, but the end of a ballpoint pen refill is just as good on the hr hand.

  7. #7
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    Hands are designed to be fitted with hand setting tools otherwise you can end up with the kind of problems you're experiencing. The hour hand is designed to sit flush with the top of the hour wheel and the minute hand sits flush with the top of the canon pinion and the sweep hand is just pressed onto its pinion with just enough force to ensure it is secure. The design of a watch means that in these positions if the hands are flat and level they will clear each other comfortably.

    For the hour hand this is achieved by using a hand setting tool that fits over the canon pinion but not over the hour wheel and for the minute hand a hand setting tool that fits over the centre seconds pinion but not over the canon pinion is used. Problems come when you don't use a hand setting tool or use the wrong size one allowing the hands to be pushed down too far, or of course if the watch is an elderly one and the hour wheel and canon pinion are either worn out or the incorrect heights.

    If you're used to it it's not too difficult to fit hands without using the correct tools but if you're learning it's much better to buy a set and do it properly, they don't have to be expensive.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3pcs-Watc...YAAOSw~kFfmior

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    Dubcanís right, a set if hand- fitting tools makes life much easier. There are ways and means of doing it without, but they require a higher degree of skill and care than doing it the right way.

    Unless the hands are a loose fit and wonít stay on, donít attempt to tighten the fit in any way.

    I trust the OP is using a strong magnifier? Itís essential to see exactly whatís going on and why the hands are fouling.

  9. #9
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Cheers peeps for the replies, Iíll have a look at ordering the hand setting tool set.

    Iíve just been pressing them down using a thin plastic cylinder with a hole drilled into it which as youíve rightly pointed out doesnít give the precision or feel.

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    Cheers peeps for the replies, Iíll have a look at ordering the hand setting tool set.

    Iíve just been pressing them down using a thin plastic cylinder with a hole drilled into it which as youíve rightly pointed out doesnít give the precision or feel.
    Get yourself a strong magnifier, look at whatís going on, and do it very carefully. Suggest you take the dial off and start again, make sure the dial fitted correctly and isn't sitting higher than it should. Its possible that the clearances will be quite tight, even with better tools it might not be easy to get things right.

  11. #11
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Will do and again thanks for the replies, mucho appreciated.

  12. #12
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    A personal preference but I find these far easier to fit hands than the more traditional hand setting tools: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Watch-Han...0AAOSwjyhaDB4n

  13. #13
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    ^^^That's the type I use, mines slightly more versatile having three presses but it minimises me having to change the tips. As I'm doing this day in day out it makes a huge difference!

    The benefit of these type of hand presses are they will press the hands down level and straight every time, I'd recommend anyone to buy one of these in addition to a set of traditional hand held ones.

    I didn't realise they have become so affordable now, mine cost many hundreds of £'s when I bought it!

  14. #14
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thewatchbloke View Post
    I didn't realise they have become so affordable now, mine cost many hundreds of £'s when I bought it!
    They had both the Horotec and cheap Chinese types to hand when I did the BHI basic watch course - I was shocked at how little difference there was in quality between them.

  15. #15
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampoc View Post
    A personal preference but I find these far easier to fit hands than the more traditional hand setting tools: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Watch-Han...0AAOSwjyhaDB4n
    Iím surprised how cheap this is, I rely on a hand- held tool, a ball- point refill and pegwood.

    Regardless of what you use thereís no substitute for skill and judgement!

    Iíll definitely buy one of these, can't go wrong at the price.

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