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edited February 2013 in Miscellaneous
I finally got around to trying something I'd read about in one of the magazines years ago. I picked up a couple old watches at a garage sale for $1. I busted them open and ripped out all the tiny parts, gears, springs and sprockets and even some of the small plastic circuit boards. I used a rail nippers to cut up some of the larger pieces (especially those that were easily identified as a watch part or a circuit board) and dropped them into a cup with some Blacken-it. After sitting over nite, I rinsed them with water and sorted them into 2 piles: big and small pieces. These parts make great filler items for those empty boxes that Brett includes in all SW kits.

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I lined the bottom of the boxes with the larger parts and used the tiny pieces on top. In this extreme close up, you can tell the gray piece on the left is plastic and some of the white gears in the right-hand box also look a bit like plastic. However, at a normal viewing angle, those clues disappear and you get a collection of non-descript "stuff" with subtle color differences:

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Sometimes just repositioning the boxes makes the the plastic-look fade as well. (Looks like the glue isn't all the way dry yet from this angle.)

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Comments

  • Very cool idea Bill. I think it looks great.
  • Fantastic. I will put yard sales for old watches / clocks on my Summer to do list. Thank-you for another greawt idea Bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • One of the problems I have is drilling small holes in metal parts (e.g., drilling a hole in a cast part to accept a brass rod). I have tried drilling holes by hand using a pin vise and, in many cases, the results have not been satisfactory. I am thinking about buying a drill press that a Dremel motor tool fits into (sold by Micro-Mark). Has anyone had this problem or used the Micro-Mark drill press?
  • Pratoa, I have used the miniature drill press made to suit the Dremel machine. I use it for electronic circuit boards and also for small diameter wire type holes in brass loco kits.
    The press works very well, but you will need a good vice or clamp type setup to hold your castings rigidly. Also, you will need to make sure that your drill is sharp, this will reduce the chance of breaking it in the casting. Also a little lubricant will help the drill to stay centred in the hole properly. Greg
  • It is recommended, and I've learned from bitter experiences, that when hand drilling soft metals, one should drill a small pilot hole, or a series of pilot holes, on any difficult to drill detail. This helps alignment and avoids "skipping". Also when drilling through a piece such as a pulley or wheel start at one end and drill a half way through, then start at the other end and complete. I bought the Dremel press thinking I'd need it - but have never used it. I've read that using power to drill soft metals will break bits. Also, don't squeeze small pieces too hard when drilling to add more pressure as they can get squished.
  • I should say the Dremel press works well on hard metals as was noted - I've never used it on soft metal or resin/ styrene.
  • Ok one more thing , as noted in another post, if one has trouble finding old watches check out sales of "steampunk" gears on line.
  • edited January 2014
    Or ask your spouse for some of the "cosmetic" watches that had stopped/broke and no longer are wanted. This week two watches produced for me some very nice shafts and gears.
  • Do you need special tools to open the watches?
    John
  • edited January 2014
    hammer
    :~)
  • edited January 2014
    Just pry off the watch back with the edge of an old #11 blade. Then small screwdrivers for the small screws that hold all the parts together. I suggest you do this over a container to catch the parts as they fall off.
  • Perfect! Now to find some . . .
    John
  • Hammer! I dig it.
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