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Mystery tubes

by Jordan Ficklin

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mystery tubesWhen we moved shops about 9 months ago I found this little vial of brass tubes. At the time I didn’t know for what they were intended. I still don’t but I found a great use for them. They are a cylinder of brass with the end turned down to a smaller diameter. Each one is drilled through the center. They are all of varying outside and inside diameters. When we moved I couldn’t think of what they might be for but I thought they might be useful so I kept them and filed their location away in my mind.

Last week I was working on a vintage chronograph. When I removed the seconds counter hand the tube separated from the hand (this is not uncommon, but unfortunate). I was not able to find a similar hand so I needed to repair the hand. The tube was too worn to be reused. This is when I remembered the little brass tubes. I found one that fit tightly on the post and put it in the lathe. I turned down a shoulder to go through the hole in the hand and riveted it on to the hand. Voila! I had a working hand and a use for the tubes.

If anyone knows what the intended use for these little tubes is, please let me know.

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One Comment

  1. Prem
    Posted July 10, 2008 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Jp, you used imagination to use! Part of being a watchmaker is the ingrained philosophy of making do, with one’s means, and you proved to yourself that anything is possible within that realm!
    I think back in the good ol’ days, they used to make pocket watches with rivetted dial feet. Sometimes these feet used to break off due to huge shocks, and finding the equivalent dial feet was a right royal pain. Anyway, I presume you have a vial containing some of these, ready to wear feet for old dials of pocket watches. Cheers – Prem

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  1. [...] mystery has been solved! Several months ago, we posted about a set of mystery tubes made of brass that ended up proving themselves useful to repair the seconds counter hand for a [...]

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