Last update Feb. 5th. 2016

DIY Dial Feet Soldering Tool

 

January 28th. 2016 by Dushan Grujich

 

 
   
Image to the right shows jig for holding dial and copper wire used to solder it to the dial. 

After soldering, wire is shortened to the necessary length and any excess solder and burrs are removed.

 
This image shows dial holder construction which allows fitting dials of large range of centre hole diameter while providing good electrical connection.
  
The Carbon Rod, used to heat copper wire by simply touching by sliding along the wire length.
 
Basic construction of a dial feet soldering tool.

The tool consists of a metal box that encloses mains transformer. There is a foot switch with mains connector, two cables one with alligator clip and the other with carbon rod.

The foot switch serves to prevent arcing, when carbon rod is initially presented to copper wire, by switching the power on only after the carbon rod is already touching copper wire.

 
As source of power I am using a DC power supply which has programmable DC Volts output 0-30V, 0-5A, short circuit protected. 

Essentially there is not much difference in using AC or DC power source since either one provides power to the carbon rod only to  produce sufficient heat to melt solder. 

There was no sense making new one as I already have this PS unit. 

  
After soldering dial feet it is often necessary to remove excess solder. 

To do so one usually applies  the adjustable burr remover with four sharp blades which will shave off all the burrs left after cutting off the wire, as well as all of the excess solder.

The same tool can be used on dial feet which were marred by the over tightened dial screws.  

  
To size copper wire to the required dial feet diameter I use draw plate. 

The jewellers #4 drawplate provides 30 sizes to be drawn, diameters from 2.3 mm down to 0.5 mm, in steps of approximately 0.05 mm.

In effect all possible dial feet sizes from the pocket watch to the wrist watch are thus covered starting with a single diameter copper wire.

 
Another possibility is use of ready made copper dial feet, made with large flat head serving to increase area to be soldered to the dial. 

One can procure either the assortment or individual dial feet.

 

  
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