Removing stubborn screw off case backs

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Squash61
Posts: 945
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:47 am

Removing stubborn screw off case backs

#1 Post by Squash61 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:33 pm

If you’ve ever had a case back that is extremely tight and you just can’t get it off with regular tools, you might want to try this. I’ve also broken tools and scratched the heck out of case backs trying to force it. Now I put enough pressure as I feel comfortable and if the case back still won’t budge, I do the following.
I’ve used this technique at least 3 times with great success. I WOULD NOT USE THIS TECHNIQUE WITH THIN LUGGED WATCHES FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.

First, I crazy glue 3 washers together and to the back of the case. I’m pretty liberal with the glue. I’ve heard of people gluing nuts but I like the extra surface area of the washers and I had washers lying around.

Next I put the watch in one of those wooden waterproof case clamps which provides a solid platform.

Next, I put a layer or two of paper towels over the watch for a little extra protection and take a pair of slip joint pliers and squeeze tight on the washers. Then I slowly apply pressure counter clockwise until the case back loosens up enough to come off. (I always try and take case back covers off slowly and straight up just in case there are loose parts inside. Sure enough, the ratchet wheel and screw were loose)

Next, I soak the case back and washers in Acetone until the crazy glue dissolves. Sometimes overnight. I then do a light polish on the case back just to remove any residue.

SUCCESS!! IT’S OFF AND NO SCRATCHES.

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watchdoc#1
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:47 am

Re: Removing stubborn screw off case backs

#2 Post by watchdoc#1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:28 pm

Great hint Squash61! Looks like your movement holder has seen better days though... :lol:
I used to be known as "watchdoc" now I'm watchdoc#1. Check me out under the members list. :roll:

Squash61
Posts: 945
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Removing stubborn screw off case backs

#3 Post by Squash61 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:08 pm

watchdoc#1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:28 pm
Great hint Squash61! Looks like your movement holder has seen better days though... :lol:
Haha you noticed. They’re so cheap on eBay. This one is dedicated to stuck case backs. I had to hack this one up to fit another watch that had a stuck case back. Also, I crank this one down on a large vise for extra stability.
It has definitely seen better days.

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