MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Aluminum bar or sheet stock, ¾"× 5" thick
or similar. A scrap about 4" long is all you’ll need.
Calipers or finely calibrated ruler
Marker pen or metal scribe
Hacksaw or other small handsaw
back. How to do this without needing to buy
a special tool?
1. Measure the watch back’s slots.
My first attempts at using various standard
tools to open the watch merely scratched it.
I can only assume a Rolex owner might get
surly at this, hence the “professional” tool.
So I set about measuring the slots on the
watch back (Figure A), and the little maker
LED in my head lit up.
2. Mark and cut the metal stock.
From my scrap metal pile, I took a short piece
of aluminum stock ¾" wide and 5" thick.
The thickness was close enough to the slot
width on the watch cover that no further filing
was required there.
It was a simple matter to cut out a section
corresponding to the slot distance (Figures B
and C). I folded the cut-out section over, to
give the wrench added strength; you can also
cut or break the section off entirely for additional clearance, as shown here.
3. File it smooth.
A bit of filing and grinding cleaned up any
sharp edges that might create scratches and
dings on the watch back’s surface (Figure D).
4. Open the watch.
The back was off with a quick twist (Figures E
and F) and I was off to the store to buy the
about 15 minutes. Total cost, zero. Even if you
bought new aluminum stock at your local
home center or hardware store, your cost
would still be significantly less than ordering
the “proper” tool online.
You could probably use almost any metal
stock to make the wrench. For my watch,
aluminum was sturdy enough to perform the
task; a tighter watch back might require using
Being able to take care of your own devices
is what being a maker is all about. Doing it
with tools of your own design and construction is even more fun. ;
So now I have a custom wrench to take care
of any future battery replacement needs for
this particular watch. Total time expended,
T. J. “Skip” Arey has been a freelance writer to the radio/
electronics hobby world for over 25 years and is the author of
Radio Monitoring: A How To Guide.
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