Mainspring Winder Stand

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Project by horologist posted 05-05-2013 12:34 AM 3611 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These days projects for a limited workshop and free time are just the ticket.

I decided it is time to start making a few things for myself so this will be the first in a series of such projects.

This tool is designed to be held in a bench vise and has been laying on a shelf since I bought it.
Making this stand allowed me to set it upright and more importantly, to try out the Bad Axe 12” hybrid saw that I got for Christmas. (second photo)

The base is from a scrap of mahogany and the third photo shows it roughed out. I didn’t have a clear plan when I started, decided it was too clunky at this point, and cut the chamfers with chisel and block plane. The mortice on top is deep enough to hold an original broken screw that I had to replace.

The tool is an 18th century watch mainspring winder. For those who can remember watches without batteries, this tool is used to remove and reinstall the mainspring into the barrel. The tool still needs a replacement arbor and a piece to hook onto the end of the spring before it can be used. For the most part I know what these parts should look like but more research is needed.

I did need to make a replacement screw and documented the process as a demonstration for another list.
For any interested in an off topic post where I make something as simple as making a screw seem an impossible task see the link below. Really, it takes longer to read the page than to do the work!

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

4 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1872 posts in 3660 days

#1 posted 05-05-2013 12:57 AM

There is something very relevant in knowing that there are people in the world that take the time to keep alive things that were relavant in the past and can still have a place today. (Batteries not included) I enjoyed this post and it was great to see you post a project again. As a student machinist in an earier life and always one to appreciate a challenge, I enjoyed this very much. I made some pretty cool things when I was in high school. I’ve been wanting to tell you about the clock tower I have been working on for my adopted hometown of Williston. Construction has begun and I am very excited about seeing this completed over the next few months.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4264 days

#2 posted 05-05-2013 01:36 AM

Very nice, it give you such a sense of achievement to complete a project using only hand tools, and to create something to display an antique on is cool.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View horologist's profile


104 posts in 3938 days

#3 posted 05-05-2013 02:13 AM

Tower clock? Sounds cool. What kind of movement do you have for it?
I overhauled the Starke clock and used to do the maintenance on the Gainesville clock but had to give it up when it became a source of frustration and liability. A shame as it hasn’t run reliably since.

Hand tools are great for the small shop and the shop dog especially appreciates the lack of noise. A project like this is just the ticket to hone one’s skills. My Bad Axe saw performs better than I do.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 4052 days

#4 posted 05-05-2013 09:47 AM

You done a great job.

-- Todd

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