Oiling a mainspring is requires a special type of tweezers or as I was taught a custom tool that is really easy to make yourself.
There are probably multiple ways you can make this but here’s my 7 step version:
Acquire the following 3 key components:
- A set of tweezers you do not use for watchmaking, any old pair of cheap tweezers will do.
- One small piece of chamois leather measuring around 2cm x 5cm. This can be from an old chamois leather you use on your car as long as it’s not too dirty to begin with. If you do not already have an old chamois leather at home to use then a cheap synthetic chamois leather option will suffice.
- A pot of super glue or equivalent.
Lay the strip of the chamois leather on a hard surface, add a good amount of super glue on the outside edge of the tip of the tweezers and then press the tweezers down along the short edge of the chamois leather as depicted in this photo. You should apply downward pressure on the tweezers for around 20-25 seconds to allow the glue to bind.
Add a good amount of super glue on the inside edge of the same tip of the tweezers. While applying downward pressure on the tweezers, to make sure the chamois leather attached to the outside edge does not move, tightly wrap the chamois leather around the tweezers again so it covers that tip of the tweezers. This time pinch the tweezers for around 20-25 seconds to allow the glue to bind.
Apply more super glue on top of the chamois leather on the outside edge of the same tip of the tweezers. While pinching the tweezers, tightly wrap the chamois leather back on itself so it overlaps with the existing chamois leather. Apply downward pressure to the tweezers for around 20-25 seconds to allow the glue to bind.
Cut off the excess chamois leather and that is one tip of the tweezers complete.
Repeat steps 2-5 with the remaining strip of chamois leather in order to complete the other tip of the tweezers.
Final step to make sure the chamois leather sticks to the tweezers sufficiently is to place the tweezers under a suitable weight in order to press the two tips together and provide suitable downward pressure. I’ve used my tweezers box in this photo. Leave this here for an hour or so.
These steps should produce something that looks like this:
This is a very quick and easy method to follow but if you want to do it more precisely then you could save on the amount of chamois leather required and just cut two very small pieces that are enough to go on the insides of both tips of the tweezers. In my version the outside edges of the tweezers are not required so the chamois leather is wasted.
If you’ve made your own mainspring oiling tool following these steps, or perhaps have found a better and/or easier way of making a similar tool then I would love to hear from you and see photos.