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Removing Stubborn Case Backs & Bezels "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
Picture of John D. Duvall
posted
This is the third in a series of "Helping Hand" tutorials. In this lesson, we cover a somewhat unorthodox method of removing case screw-backs and bezels. I'm sure most of you have seen battle scars on cases where someone has tried to remove a stuck case back or bezel. This method has worked well for me and it should for you as well. Click on the picture of the Cannon Plug Pliers used in this presentation for ordering information.

Once again, a big thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to review this presentation and providing valuable inputs.

ENJOY!

Removing Stubborn Case Backs & Bezels

John D. Duvall
IHC Member 192
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: Arizona U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2003
Picture of Frank Juchniewicz
posted
Thanks for the tutorial John. I hope I never have to get into a watch in that condition.

Frank Juchniewicz
 
Posts: 441 | Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA | Registered: January 28, 2003
posted
John,
Great advice given in this tutorial. Now I finally get to use those cannon plug pliers for something really useful. You did leave out the aircraft mechanic's favorite tool; a 3 lb. sledge hammer as the very last resort! If all else fails, that baby can fix anything!!
Thanks again!

Phil Dellinger
 
Posts: 996 | Registered: November 22, 2002
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
GREAT job John,

Thanks!!

Tom Seymour
NAWCC #41293
IHC #104
IHC Exec.V.P.
 
Posts: 2539 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
Picture of Ken Wyatt
posted
Hi folks
Being the new guy, stuff like this is so good for me.
I wanted to ask questions on things like "How do you take the back off?" but felt it would be too basic for the rest of you.
I've still got loads of your tutorials to go John, as well as all the other info available on the site. The more I look the more I find
Thanks for not making me feel dumb (in this instance anyway Big Grin )
Take care all

Ken
 
Posts: 40 | Location: Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom | Registered: November 17, 2003
Picture of Sheila Gilbert
posted
This is SUPER. I had seen this before I even knew who you were here, and lost it. Now I have a copy of all of it, and will never lose it again. Really helpful. Thank You!

I love the 3 lb. hammer idea too! lol


Sheila
 
Posts: 3119 | Location: La Plata, Maryland U.S.A. | Registered: May 22, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of John D. Duvall
posted
Shelia,

Here's hoping that when you use this procedure, you will find at least a high grade 21J movement inside! Wink
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: Arizona U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2003
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
And that does really happen. I already posted this, but will tell it again in short form...friend of my eldest daughter purchased an old watch from a jeweler in Knoxville recently (4 months ago) for $5, as the jeweler wasn't a watch person, and really didn't want this old clunker in her drawer anymore. It had apparently been in a fire, as the crystal was sooted. He couldn't open the back, so he took it to a local watchmaker. To make a long story short, they found a 21j Waltham Cresent St. inside the case, and once buffed, found 14k markings on the case as well. The fire had only sooted the face, and no heat had reached the movement, so it's just due a good cleaning etc. They're really out there! Regards.Mark
 
Posts: 3616 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Great ideas. I’ll have to look for one of those cannon plyers. At my bench, I have used some similar methods. However, instead of supper glue I have used lathe wax which only requires alcohol to clean up. My lathe wax may pose a problem for some applications because it must be applied hot. For this reason, I have not tried to take a crystal off with it.

For removal of a stuck bezel, I have had good luck using the bezel chuck from my lathe. However, if one does not have a bezel chuck, or if the chuck fails to grip and hold a lightly frozen bezel, I think the glue idea would work much better.

Thanks for a great post.

Best regards,
Greg
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
IHC Life Member
Picture of John D. Duvall
posted
Greg,

If you click on the picture of the pliers on slide 13, the link is still good where you can order a pair for a very resonable price of $26.95. They work quite well!
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: Arizona U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2003
posted
John, I have used the superglue method successfully for about 25+ years. You explained it very well.

BTW, did you get the "mint" dial on your example from Rambo on e-bay?

Tom
 
Posts: 1070 | Registered: March 10, 2003
IHC Life Member
Picture of John D. Duvall
posted
Tom,

How'd you guess! Big Grin
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: Arizona U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2003
posted
The last one I had trouble with was an old 18 size clunker.It was stubborn and I did't want to spend much time on it so i tried this.
I took a small torch and heated the case perimeter.Not too hot to touch.The back came right off. The bezel got the same treatment.In less than three minutes both were off.
J Smith
 
Posts: 193 | Location: Warrenton, North Carolina U.S.A. | Registered: January 12, 2003
IHC Member 1036
Picture of Gary E. Foster
posted
I would never thought to use super glue, however I just finished opening the most stubborn case I've ever run across- Thanks very much.
 
Posts: 1004 | Location: Western Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: February 17, 2007
IHC Member 1036
Picture of Gary E. Foster
posted
i forgot to mention, I welded a flat washer to the nut to increase glue surface.
 
Posts: 1004 | Location: Western Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: February 17, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of John D. Duvall
posted
Gary,

Happy that you had success and thanks for the washer tip!
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: Arizona U.S.A. | Registered: January 21, 2003
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
John, I suggest that you help assemble a pictorial listing of the "Many Miraculous Uses of Rodico", one of which (I discovered) is to remove stubborn case covers and Bezels;
Step 1. CAREFULLY run a single edge razor around the seam and add isopropyl to loosen the junk locking the case and help lube the razor.

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Step #2; Knead a lump of old Rodico, lay it across the case back or cover, then squeeze and TWIST!

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Rodico really "Gets a Grip on Things", and it is super easy to remove.
 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
South-Bend Expert
Picture of Frank Kusumoto
posted
All of these tips and tricks are great. One that I've used on occasion is "Kroil" which is a type of oil that if very good for loosening stuck together metal parts.
 
Posts: 1045 | Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | Registered: October 08, 2004
posted
Would never have thought of this, but it just saved a nice case off an 18s Waltham that had rusted up bad. Gotta love this site.
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Victoria in Australia | Registered: July 30, 2013
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