Watch repair

Watch repair

Time for another watch repair!

The watch can be winded up to max, but it does not move nor tick, so my guess is that the gear train is stuck somewhere.

It is also the first time I use my microscope to something else other than soldering components (and looking at creepy bugs with my kids..).


Take it apart

I started to take everything apart as usual, starting with the balance wheel. Next in line is the gear train starting with the last gear and work myself forward.

When I inspected the third wheel in the gear train, it was a little tilted and did not align properly. As soon as I lifted the gear up, the whole mainspring unwinded at once. It really scared me :-(

Here is the bad guy:


The jewels did not look that good either.. they were full with dirt and dried oil and really needs a bath.

I haven't found my small baskets to use in a ultrasonic washer yet, so it has to wait.


The result

I did not see a point in continue to take it more apart without be able to clean it properly. So I did put everything back so that I will not lose any parts. The watch started to tick though, so the problem was probably the misaligned gear.

Leather fox pouch

Leather fox pouch

I bought this [1] pattern to make a fox leather pouch to a friend of mine. I made some modifications to the pattern to make it more how I like it.

I used Veg-tanned Bellies 5oz leather for this project.

The steps

The laser machine is not involved at all in this project. Stamp each hole is a time consuming pleasure.


Beavel all the edges.


Dye the leather and add a layer of shene. This time I used a black alcohol pen for the edges and then applied transparant edge color.


Sewing. Start with the nose.


Instead of attach the band right to the sides of the pouch, I used D-rings instead.


Sewing is done. Just trim edges and final refinements left.


I hid the rivet for the tail inside of the tail. It looks nicer. Hope it will last.


The result

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Service of a pocket watch

Service of a pocket watch

Mechanical watches is fascinating. A mechanical timepiece that gets its energy from unwinding a tightly coiled flat spring. All this energy does feed another spring-driven balance wheel that oscillates back and forth in a given frequency. All without any batteries. Isn't that cool?

Mechanical watches is quite expensive and need regular services, so I bought a no-name brand pocket watch that suddenly could stop tick and didn't keep time very well. A perfect restoration project for me.

Here is the watch I bought:


The watch

The lovely clockwork from the backside:


The dial is in a quite bad shape. I have not decided if I should try to get/make a new one or just let it be.


Here are the main components of the watch.

C:Gear train
D:Balance wheel with escapement mechanism


A clockwork consists of mowing parts, mostly gears, and all friction does not work for the good. One way to reduce friction is to use jewel bearings as those are much harder than metal. Nowadays these jewels are made out of synthetic rubies or sapphires.

Oil does also help to reduce friction.

The movement parts of a mechanical watch have at least these five parts:


The mainspring is a torsion spring made out of spring steel and is the power source of the whole watch. When you wind up a clock, it is this spring that you are tensioning.

Wristwatches could have an automatic wind up that use your arm movement to tension the spring.

Gear train

The gear train transmit the force of the mainspring to the balance wheel and also, by gear ratios, divide the rotation into convenient time of hours, minutes and seconds.

Usually a clockwork consists of five wheels, these are:

First wheel:Attached to the mainspring and slowly unwinds and feed the other wheels.
Second wheel:This wheel turns once per hour and also drives the minute wheels and third wheel.
Third wheel:Used to shift down the speed of the forthcoming gears.
Forth wheel:Turns once per minute, so it holds the second hand.
Escape wheel:Releases one tooth at a time and keeps the balance swinging by giving a small push on the fork each time.

Balance wheel

This part is the coolest.

It is an oscillating part that work as the timekeeping device in the clockwork. In mechanical clocks, the heart is a torsion spring (known ans hairspring) that form a harmonic oscillator which oscillates at a certain rate due to its resonance. The length of the hairspring determine its resonant frequency, so many clocks does have a lever that simply adjust the length of the spring, this lets you tune the clockwork.

After 1970, these mechanical timekeeping parts was replaced by quartz crystals with better timekeeping. But not as cool as springs.

See the lever for adjusting hairspring length on top of the balance wheel:



The escapement makes the balance rotate by giving small pushes with enough energy to feed the oscillator.

The goal

The goal is to disassembly all parts, clean it up and apply oil for all mowing parts.


First remove the hands. I put a paper beneath then hands and dial to not scratch the dial even more.


These two gears is the reduction gears for the hour hand and minute hands. Those were locked in place by the dial only, so we could just take them out:


Put the clock in a fixture for easier disassembly:


First I remove the balance wheel. We have to be careful with the hair spring. If we get a crease on it it will not oscillate at the right frequency. Here it is:


Then I remove the fork and escape wheel. Here is the fork:


All parts disassembled. I have not open up the mainspring as I do not have tools to put it back. Now it is time to clean the parts. I bought small baskets to be used in an ultrasonic cleaner, but somehow I lost the baskets. So I clean every part by hand with isopropanol to dissolve all old residues from oil.

A:Balance wheel
C:Minute and hour gear
D:Mainspring gear
G:Escape wheel
H:Train gears

Clean up and oil

I use isopropanol and a cotton top to rub the parts clean.


After that it is time to oil the mowing parts. Actually you should have oil of different viscosity for the different parts, but I use Moebius 8000 for everything, which is a general purpose oil.. which is probably not good at anything, but better than nothing. The reason is that I do not want to spend too much money on this clock and oil costs about 50 bucks per bottle

Apply oil on all jewels.



The assembly was not as hard as i imagined that it should be. It turned out smooth, just doing things in the reverse order.

The last step before putting the clockwork back into the case is to press on the hands:


The result

I have let the clockwork run for 24h now, it has not stopped a single time and, what I can tell, it has drifted a couple of seconds at most. I can probably get it better by adjusting the length of the hair spring with the lever, but it takes a few more days to evaluate.

Razor leather case

Razor Leather Case

My safety razor broke during usage last week, so I sadly had to order a new one.

I'm not really into shaving at all, but I want something that works and safety razors does both work and is cheap in the long run. For those interested, I bought a AL13 razor from Henson Shaving [1].

This time I used my Laser cutting machine to cut out the leather.

The steps

I use Librecad [2] to create my patterns. It works well, but I miss functionality to add stitch holes in a good way.

Maybe I will write a plugin to fix that some day..


I use Lightburn [3] to control the laser. It is simple and does what I want. It works with Linux as well.


One tip is to heavily wet the leather to keep it flat on the laser board:


It takes one day for the leather to dry, so continue the next day.

I should probably have run one more pass, the leather was not completely cut out. The scalpel came into use.


Groove to cut a channel in which stitching can be set.


Beavel the edges


Stamp the holes:


All holes stamped!:


Dye the parts, i use the oil based Pro Dye with Saddle Tan.


Apply black edge color and burn the edges. It became quite smudgy this time..


Stitch the parts together.


At last, apply a sealing to protect the dye.

The result

The intention was to use a leather flap to close the case, but the text would end up behind so I had to use a button instead.

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Leather watch strap keeper

Leather watch strap keeper

My watch was missing the strap keeper, so I had to make one.

To be honest, I did not put my soul into this project, I had an urge to fix it while the food was getting ready in the oven.

Anyway, here is my steps to make one.

The steps

Cut out a leather strap. My final size was about 14mm wide.


Bevel the edges:


The leather I was using was about 4oz, that is too thick, so thin it out:


Cut it to the right length. Also thin out the ends so that the overlapping becomes smooth:


Paint it black:


Mark where to stamp the holes:


Stamp the holes:


Add leather edge color and burn the edges:


Apply shene to make the finish look good:


Hand stitch and glue the keeper together. The stitches is both for cosmetic and functional. It prevents the leather from stretching.

The result


I'm actually pretty happy with the result. It took approx 1 hour and that was what I had.

I should probably have used the sewing machine though, I think it would look better with finer stitches and thinner thread.

Forge a hoof scratch

Forge a hoof scratch

In this project I made a hoof scratch as a gift to a friend - made out of a horse shoe of course.

I do have a few different forges depending on what to forge. The induction forge is great for thick and straight materials such like hammer heads and tongs. One of the greatest benefit is that there is only 30s startup time as it requires no preparations at all.

The coal forge is good for all kind of stuff that requires much bending. It is also the forge that has the "right" feeling. It is simply much more satisfying to feel the heat of burning coal than press a foot pedal.

I do also have a gas forge that I intend to use for knives. The induction heater requires thicker goods and the the gas forge is more clean than the coal forge, which is a good thing when you forge-weld.

However, for this project I'm going to use the gas forge.


The process

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the process.

The steps I made where:

  • Take a horse shoe, cut it in half on the cut hardy.
  • Start to make a long tip at the cutted end.
  • When the tip is long enough bend it in a nice curve.
  • Forge a horse head on the other end.
  • Stamp hair and mouth with a (self-made) cutting tool.
  • Polish the tip.
  • Dye a leather strap black and fasten it in the holes.

The result

The hoof scratch turned out nice, it lays nice in the hand and the bend of the tip is just right to get the force where you want it.


Leather sewing machine

Leather sewing machine

I have worked with leather for some time which I enjoyed a lot. Leather is so general purpose and is both robust and nice looking. So far I've made myself a wizard hat, dice bags, mug pads, bookmarks..

The majority of all leather projects involves a sewing, which is quite entertaining but really time consuming so I invested in a $60 leader sewing machine which make the whole process a lot smoother.

It is a hand cranked machine machine.


The stand

The stand that comes with the machine is really shitty, so I had to make a better one. I also wanted to have the machine on the table rather than on a tripod.

So I took some pieces of oak I had and glued them together. I picked oak as it is both aesthetically nice looking and because of its weight - I do not want the machine to move around as I'm sewing. As oak is quite hard, I tried to thread the holes and use a bolt instead of screws, and it worked out quite well. The flexible lump did not even needed any extra support.


The end result


The machine

The machine is impressive, especially for that low price. It was delivered with ten extra needles, three extra bobbins and one extra shuttle with shuttle bearer.

The machine is also surprisingly intuitive despite all tuning knobs, the mechanical design makes it easy to see where you need to adjust to achieve the desired result.


I also like that the sewing head it rotatable, it helps you sew those tricky parts that you need sometimes.


The thread

I've tested it out with several different threads. Nylon thread is very strong and works well with the machine, however I don't think it give the right impression on a leather project, so I go all in cotton.

Waxed thread should not be used in the machine as the wax goes off the thread and it ends up with cleaning the thread bearers..

The result

The first test project I made was a pencil case for my fountain pen. I've made a few before with hand stitching, the diffrence now is that it took 1 minute to stitch instead of 30+. The result is quite good too. It missed a few stitches, but that is now fixed after that I have adjusted the thread tension.


The capacity of the machine is also impressive. It can sew three 2.5mm leather pieces stacked together complete unchallenged whatsoever.

Leather penguin

Leather penguin

A Linux guy needs his penguin, right?

I found this pattern [1] on etsy and thought it would be a fun project to make a little companion.

The leather I'm using for this is a 2-3oz veg-tanned goat skin. It is a little too thin to make a robust penguin, but I rather want it soft and squeeze-friendly than robust. That's how I prefer to have my companions.

The steps

Print out the pattern and tape to the leather. Punch the holes before cutting:


Cut out all parts:


Time to dye! Yellow feets and neb. Other colored parts will be black:


I use white waxed linen thread that I dye for the feets and neb.


The penguin does already looks happy :-) :


The rest is to stitch all parts together.


Before I finished sewing everything, I stuffed it with cotton and a big glass ball to give it some weight.


The result


And yes. Penguins need their hat.

Things to improve

Dye both sides of the leather. In this project I did only dye the top grain leather. Some of the holes are not dyed completely.

Use round punch instead of diamond, it would have been much easier to sew.

Player's handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual

Player's handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual

These three books are the "core books" for Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

This is not an in depth review of these books as they are so fundamental. But I think it is good to mention them at least, before I go any further with the more cool-but-not-so-neccessary-books.

Player's Handbook

The Players Handbook [1] (PHB) contains all the basic rules that the player needs to know to play the game, equipment, spells, character options, feats, races, backgrounds and everything to put it all together.

The book is a reference for everyone at the table, both for the players and the dungeon master, and it is a good idea to become familiar with it. So take your time and scroll through the book a little now and then.

PHB is the only neccessary book if you only intend to attend as a player.


Dungeon Master's Guide

The Dungeon Master's Guide [2] (DMG) contains ton of magical items, variant rules and greate tips on how to DM. I'm not sure if I would classify this book as neccessary as I think it would be possible to play as a DM without even open this book. But it will for sure simplify your role as a DM.

The parts I found most useful is tips on how to balance an encounter which is really hard, especially for new DMs like myself. All magical items with nice lore and description is also fun to scroll through and gives you inspiration for your upcoming adventures. How more advanced mechanics work and all these random tables (e.g. treassure tables) that let you create a more dynamic game will also help you a lot.


Monster Manual

The Monster Manual [3] (MM) contains several hundreds of monsters that you could encounter on your adventures. Every monster has a stat block and often a descriptive text about the monsters life and surroundings. MM is a must have to DM's but could also be useful for some players who has the character class Druid as they could transform into animals and need to have the stat block available.


D&D - My confession

Dungeons and dragons - My confession

I have always been fascinated about fantasy. The computer games I appreciated most during my young days was role-playing game such as Baldur's Gate, Diablo and Neverwinter Nights, all games with their own mysterious setting there evil lurks at every corner. For half a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons 5e and I was hooked. Maybe a little too much. As usual.

Now, six months later I have spent several hundreds of hours of reading adventures, D&D lore, creating characters, being a Dungeon Master (DM) for my kids, got a resin printer [1] and printed out miniatures, sanded, airbrushed and painted these miniatures, watching lore and D&D tips on Youtube, supporting D&D related kickstarter projects ( [2], [3], [4]) and (too) much more.

I've even begun to read solo adventures (Endless Quest [5] ) just to get more of this fantasy world.

The purpose of this post is to give you a little hint (warning?) about that the following posts probably contains a lot of D&D stuff including book reviews, campaigns and so on.

D&D is also so separated from my other stuff so it has also got its own submenu.