DIY Mainspring Winder

Beginners Vintage Watch Discussion Forum Where You Can Get Expert Help
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:10 pm

DIY Mainspring Winder

#1 Post by EarlGreybeard » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:23 am

Hi folks. I rather rushed into buying a set of antique 'Bergeon Style' mainspring winders on ebay. When I came to use them, I found that there was virtually no hook on any of the winders to pick up the spring. Just a tiny stump that did nothing at all. So, in an attempt to raise morale, I tried to modify one of the winders so that I could use it.
Bergeon Style Winder.jpg
Bergeon Style Winder.jpg (1.82 MiB) Viewed 934 times
My interest is American pocket watches, so really I don't need a great variety of winder sizes. The 17mm one is ideal for the 7 jewel traveler movements on which I am currently practising. Having some spare non-working movements, I came up with the idea of trying to use the hook inside a spare barrel to wind the spring. The challenge was how to make this work with the winding gear I had bought. What I did was to remove the arbor from a barrel lid, and replace it with a small calibre wrist watch winding handle from the set. The result looked like this.
DIY Winder 1.jpg
DIY Winder 1.jpg (1.86 MiB) Viewed 934 times
The spare barrel lid provides both the cover plate and a good hook. Problem 1 is that the hook is now facing in the wrong direction. Happiliy, the hook assembly can be unscrewed from the barrel lid, and replaced upside down to make the spring wind in the correct direction. Problem 2 is then that the thread for this hook is now in the wrong direction, and the hook assembly is likely to unwind when the handle is turned to wind up the mainspring. So, some JB weld epoxy glue was used on the thread and the hook replaced tightly. Some more glue was added to the top of the barrel lid to finalise the fit of the lid with the winding handle.
DIY Winder 3.jpg
DIY Winder 3.jpg (1.75 MiB) Viewed 934 times
It works every time, at least it does for me. The main difficulty is that the arbor on that small wristwatch winder handle is too slim for the hole in the 17mm winder assembly, and it tends to move about when winding. But you just have to be careful, and make sure you hold the lid down. I tend to hold the handle still with my right hand and rotate the main winder holder with my left.

So, morale restored. Anyone have a better idea? Best wishes, Ray
"Watch and Pray"

User avatar
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:10 pm
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: DIY Mainspring Winder

#2 Post by Paleotime » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:54 am

Clever. I have one size with a small hook myself on a set of Marshall wristwatch mainspring winders. It can be a real PITA. Nice way to keep working.
"Percentage players die broke too..." - Fast Eddie in the Hustler

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests