Accumulating Tools (and Knowledge)

I am trying to resurrect an old yacht timer I found on eBay. It was in pretty bad shape but, as I’ve said before, I’m fond of Gallet watches.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to save the rusty movement. At the very least it has a broken balance staff. The first challenge was getting out the case screws.

I started by apply some penetrating oil to the screws and letting them sit overnight. The first screw came out with only a little effort but the other screw was seriously stuck. I started by pulling out the fiberglass scratch brush. I bought this many years ago when I found myself working on a lot of yacht timers that appear to have spent time in the bottom of a damp drawer on a sailboat somewhere. This got the screw to the point where I could see the slot.

Next I pulled out one of my junk screwdrivers from a box I keep in my bench. I put it in the screwdriver holder and sharpened it to a fine edge on a coarse India stone. I didn’t bother cleaning it up because I wanted something with sharp edges. I could use the corner of the screwdriver to clean out the slot a bit and the edge burr would grip the slot.

The watch doesn’t have a crystal at the moment so I was able to put it flat on the bench and really apply some pressure. The screwdriver gripped well and I was able to carefully withdraw the screw.

It’s taken me a while to accumulate all my tools but having a scratch brush, junk screwdriver, sharpening holder and stone made this a simple job. You never know when a tool will come in handy. I suppose that’s why we collect so many!

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