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Thread: Tips for Rusted, 'Frozen' or otherwise 'Locked' and Stuck Springbars?

  1. #1
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    Question Tips for Rusted, 'Frozen' or otherwise 'Locked' and Stuck Springbars?

    Hi,

    Can anybody offer any tips or tricks regarding removing rusted/corroded locked, frozen or stuck spring bars?

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    I've encountered a couple over the last month or so. Those really old collarless / shoulder-less ones are the worst offenders! It seems that it's not uncommon for spring bars to corrode and lock on from a combination of decades of rust and wrist-cheese/oils and dirt.

    In one instance the spring bar was so badly damaged (and too long and miss-sized) that my watchmaker had to drill out the remains of the spring bar sleeve from the hole (after he broke two pin punches trying to remove it!).

    I've had some success freeing locked bars using CRC-556 (a WD40 alternative) or penetrating oil and soaking the stuck lugs and spring bars for 24-48 hours. I've still chewed through a number of forked spring bar tool tips before I've managed to remove them.

    I'm a bit worried that I'm going to end up stuck with one of these beautifully scratch resistant but brittle carbide cases!

    Any hints and tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Slade.

  2. #2
    I don't know if this will work on spring bars but it works on frozen case backs. Freeze it, It should shrink the the hole out and the pin in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim. View Post
    I don't know if this will work on spring bars but it works on frozen case backs. Freeze it, It should shrink the the hole out and the pin in.
    Oh that's a very good tip!

    I struggled to get a stuck caseback open, just yesterday, but I hadn't thought of that.

    Do the carbide cases handle freezing temperatures OK?
    I've seen a few carbide cases offered for sale with disturbing cracks or chunks out of them so now I realise how brittle they can be

    Slade.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sladew View Post
    Oh that's a very good tip!

    I struggled to get a stuck caseback open, just yesterday, but I hadn't thought of that.

    Do the carbide cases handle freezing temperatures OK?
    I've seen a few carbide cases offered for sale with disturbing cracks or chunks out of them so now I realise how brittle they can be

    Slade.
    Yes the carbide is very hard but quite brittle as it's a ceramic, I shouldn't imagine freezing it would be a problem though. As with the bracelet pins another tip for the spring bars would be an ultrasonic cleaner.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim. View Post
    Yes the carbide is very hard but quite brittle as it's a ceramic, I shouldn't imagine freezing it would be a problem though. As with the bracelet pins another tip for the spring bars would be an ultrasonic cleaner.
    I have read people running through the ultrasonics to free the spring bars up...

    You've convinced me and I'll try to source myself a reasonable one this weekend.

    Cheers,
    Slade.

  8. #6
    I have seen these (and case backs) loosened up with some lighter fuel too.


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    Thanks JP,

    yes I've heard of people using Naptha and solvents too. In the end the CRC seemed to penetrate quite well, but I've just got an ultrasonic cleaner to give it a go in future. Anything to not destroy that pretty case.

    Slade.

  11. #8
    I wouldn't use any type of petrol, alcohol or other fuel because it can ruin the rubber gaskets.
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by earl of farnborough View Post
    I wouldn't use any type of petrol, alcohol or other fuel because it can ruin the rubber gaskets.
    Peter
    Very good point!

    Slade.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sladew View Post
    Oh that's a very good tip!

    I struggled to get a stuck caseback open, just yesterday, but I hadn't thought of that.

    Do the carbide cases handle freezing temperatures OK?
    I've seen a few carbide cases offered for sale with disturbing cracks or chunks out of them so now I realise how brittle they can be

    Slade.
    With screw cases some times try and tighten then loosen then tighten again to free it up .as they jam up(o-ring perish and just stick to the back) so the backwards forwards action can free it better then trying to keep going one way
    just my usually playing duke nukem while burning the dinner

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