CLOCK REPAIR EBOOK
solution to effect repair could be setting you or your customer up for more serious future problems. A clocks true problem may actually be comprised of the. Out of beat is a term used in clock repair that basically means the clock is If you run across any problems or issues with the eBook menu. It covers the theory behind clock movement and design, including the particulars including explanations of clock repairing terminology and details on the tools.
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As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download Self Winding Clocks Repair Tips 2 - Ken's Clock Clinic. This practical handbook on the clock cleaning and repair of English, French and Dutch domestic clocks is largely the work of a practical horologist Bernard. DIY Cuckoo Clock Repair Guide reugua 8 day cuckoo clock Clocks Back, . Watch Repair for Beginners (eBook) Book Show, Techno, Nice Watches, Pocket.
First rule is one of the most trickiest to obey and it is this: The gold plating on the pendulum , weight shells, dial and movement get eaten up by the acid from your hands. They will end up with black marks wherever hands touch it. This is not to scare you into not touching it at all, but just to limit the areas you touch, like try to hold the movement by its edges rather than a noticeable spot like the back plate or the shiny area of component such as the dial. Cloth gloves may also be used. When a pendulum clock does not keep time in a consistent manner, such as losing or gaining 5 minutes a day, it is adjusted by the nut at the bottom of the pendulum bob. Turn the nut to the right to raise the bob and increase the speed of the clock, or the opposite way to lower the bob and slow time.
Best to have the plate sitting flush on a steel block when whacking the bush in. Just use two or three light whacks to get the bushing in, the bushings diameter is the exact same as the hole, so its not going to fall out. There you have a bushing that is set into the clock in a perfectly perpendicular fashion so the pivot will ride the entire length of the bush and will have the end shake because the pivot will not be pinched by a crooked bushing. Your out of 19 bushings and need the repair done ASAP?
You find this is the size bushing you need and there are no more in your stock? Need not worry, there is a solution to this that allows you to use the next sized smaller bushing. This is the same solution as if you went a little nuts whacking in the bushing so its diameter decreased in size. The Broach is a tool to open the diameter of a hole, namely a bushing hole. These look like a file shaped like a square tapering down to a point. Put the broach into the hole of a 18 bushing and spin until the bushings diameter is opened enough to except the pivot.
Now there is such thing as a hand reamer tool that holds the reamer or chamfering bit so it can be spun by hand. This is a popular tool because it is much cheaper and it can still be used with the KWM bushing system. The main disadvantage of this system is the fact that there is nothing to keep the bushing hole exactly perpendicular to the plate.
If this method of bushing is used, put the wheel in the new bush prior to assembly to see how close to a right angle the arbor is to the plate. If the arbor is 90 degrees from the plate but has some movement sideways and can move free up and down, then the bush is close enough to being perpendicular. If the wheel has resistance when positioned into the 90 degree angle at all, then use the broach to open the bush hole a bit. If neither of the above tools are justified in purchasing because there is only one or two clocks to fix, then there is a even more barbaric way of doing this.
This is to broach out the pivot hole by hand with a large broach or a tapered square file, then putting in the bushing and whacking it in with a brass hammer.
Then with the bushing installed, broach the bushings hole to the size of the pivot. Then your done. This is very tempting to do because it requires very few tools and the bushing needs not be by KWM.
There are factors that can cause resistance by doing it this way and the resistance is the cause for the clock stoppage in the first place.
Clock Repair Books
Some of these factors are the hole not being perpendicular to the plate, the hole not being perfectly aligned with dead center of the old hole and things like this. There is room for error in clock repair luckily, there can be imperfections in a clock repair and the clock will still run fine.
Clock repair is not as susceptible to imperfections as watch repair is, with watch repair any resistance in the slightest can make it stop. Assembling the movement must be done carefully with out bending any of the pivots.
One bent pivot will stop the train from spinning freely and cause to much resistance for the clock to operate correctly. As long as nothing is forced, and you have plenty of patience, you'll be fine. Think of it as a puzzle. If you have movement supports holding the movements front plate so it is level, it helps. In this way the minute hand shaft is not hitting the table as you reassemble the movement. Put the gears into the bottom plate just as they used to be in the clock, from biggest to littlest, time side and the strike side.
Be sure each gear will be driven by the one below it until every thing is connected. Now your ready for the top plate to go on. For a time only movement with no strike, this whole job is pretty easy. Having only one gear train, a time only movement has about 5 gears and is easy to put back together. Just line up the pivots with their holes and your done and ready to oil. The striking mechanisms is what makes this part a bit tricky. To get all the gears lined up in their proper pivot holes and also aligning the striking components so they interact with each other properly, is the part you must have patience with and steady hands.
At this point you may see how it is beneficial to have the movement lying so it is flat with the face down in some creative way like using the movement supports. If it was not lying flat then the gears would not stay still as you put them back in. As stated earlier, there are two different striking methods used in clocks. There is the rack and snail type and then there is the count wheel type. Exceptions would include OG clocks and a few others would be weight driven with the count wheel system.
It is easy to tell if your clock is a rack and snail or a count wheel style simply by looking at the front of the clock movement. If there is a bunch of arms and other little mechanics attached to the front plate of the movement then it is a rack and snail. If there is not much in the front of the movement but you see an arm on the left side of the movement while looking at the front that goes up and down on a large wheel then it is a count wheel system.
There are only two gear trains, one for the strike and one for the time. Each gear train goes from the largest on the bottom to the smallest on the top.
All clocks are like this, largest giving power to the next smallest, straight up the movement. Putting the gears in there proper holes will be simple if you kept the trains separate, while organized from largest to smallest. If the clock has no barrels and the mainsprings are in the mainspring clamps, these go on first. If the clock has barrels with mainsprings inside of them, most of the time these can go in after the movement is assembled. Put the larger then the smaller gear on next making sure it can be run by the larger gear freely and easily, keep going from largest to smallest.
Remember the whole point of all this is to remove anything that will cause resistance to the train. The clock train runs with so little force by the time the power gets up to the top two gears, that any obstruction like a bent pivot will not be tolerated.
So the point is, not to force anything. Continue putting in the gears as far as you can go, usually the smallest gears want to fall out during this.
If this is the case, then just leave them out for now. Now ideally you have the movement assembled with no back plate on it yet with the exception of one or two gears that are not staying in. Put the back plate on by putting it on the lower side of the movement working your way to the higher side. In other words, put the back plate on the lower threaded post and over the ratchet wheel pivots first. Do not put the lower nuts on the threads yet, you need to have the back plate parallel with the front plate almost perfectly.
Some posts have threads that come far above the pivots and you can start the nuts on there threads fine, if this is your situation, go for it. Now time to get out some tweezers to be able to get the pivots lined up with there pivot holes in the back plate. Dare I say Needle Nose Pliers?
I didn't say needle nose, because if I did say to use needle nose then to much force would be applied to the arbors, and resulting in a bent pivot or two. So do not use needle nose my fine young apprentice, stick with the tweezers and leave the needle nose to the experts who will never admit to using them. Point is to get these pivots home safe and straight.
If a pivot were to bend, the clock will not run. This is because the pivot that would get bent is the smaller diameter pivots such as on a escape wheel. The smaller pivots get the least power going to them as it is already, to have them bent would make it very hard for it to run. Honestly, I do use the needle nose pliers, and it is a sin in clock world. Nothing like assembling a clock with tweezers and having the arbor slip out of them and result in a bent pivot.
The needle nose has those ridges on them so the arbors won't slip on you. The disadvantage of the needle nose are first the risk of marking the arbor, and second is the lost of "feel" every movement of the arbor. These disadvantages are easily overcome when you are careful not to mark the arbor and to use steady hands when shifting the arbor any direction.
With the clock plate on loose above the pivots, but on the threaded portion of the posts, you can keep putting the pivots into there pivot holes. When doing this, do not enter any hole on an angle or do not push any pivot where it does not want to go. Both of the mentioned will cause a pivot to bend. Continue from largest to smallest, putting in the gears that would not stay previously now, lastly screwing down the post nuts.
Do not force anything during this process, if something needs to be forced, there is something wrong. Some like to hold the movement in there hands when the movement becomes manageable. This is a good idea, and the reason is to "test for end shake". When the movement is together there should be freedom for the arbors to move a little up and down. Hold the movement like a ham sandwich with one hand, and have tweezers in the other.
This should happen easily, there should be no resistance in its travels up and down. If there is resistance, guess what the problem most likely is If you bend a pivot, you may have one chance of saving it and one chance only. Bend the pivot straight again with one move and if you do this your safe. If you do not bend the pivot in one move there is a big chance that when you bend it again it will snap off. If this happens, contact us to see if we have your exact same movement in stock.
Now you are at the stage that if you have a clock movement that strikes, you have to set it to work correctly. The below text will hopefully explain how the striking components interact with each other. Understanding Striking mechanisms. There are two types of mechanisms in clocks that make it count the hours out.
These are the trickiest part of the clock and especially when it comes to reassembling the movement. There is the count wheel system that uses a wheel that is on the same arbor as the strike trains main wheel. This added wheel has some gaps between the teeth that are deeper than the others.
These deep gaps are to stop the strike train after it counts the correct amount of bongs. Count the teeth between the deep gaps and you will see that they are in order of 1 through 12 depending on what time it is. The other style of counting is known as the rack and snail system. This system is still used today on most mechanical striking movements. The reason is there less likely to fail and they can be used in small movements.
The rack and snail system is more complicated than the count wheel system but easier to repair when it is understood. With the count wheel system the interactions of the levers and arms all occur in between the movement plates, causing it to be complicated to set up upon reassembly of the clock. If there was an issue with the strike there would be more of a chance that disassembly would be necessary. With the rack and snail system all the parts are attached to the front plate of the movement making it easier to get at.
If there is a strike issue then all the adjustments can be made with out taking apart the movement. Also during the reassembly of the movement there is no adjustments necessary of the striking parts until it is assembled. Then the striking parts on the front plate can be adjusted as needed. Understanding the system and and how these parts interact is important. This is the part I have been dreading to write about.
Here I am supposed you explain how this stuff works. This lever hits that lever and makes this lever drop and so on. Stuff, levers, thingy and snails and saw looking drop down widgets are the terms I am tempted to use. Take a different movement with a count wheel strike system if one is available and study it, this is how you will learn.
Let it strike over and over again while you watch how the parts interact with each other. Have this movement available in a well lit area as you read. This movement has a unique looking count wheel. It is easy to see the grooves in the count wheel in this picture, look at the largest wheel on the lower left side.
The lever is there and in a groove right now, so you know the clock is not striking when the picture was taken. This is a front escapement movement, this means you can see the escape wheel and the verge is located outside of the movement plates. This clock has a broken mainspring on the right, and it is made by Seth Thomas around years ago.
There is a hump on the minute hand arbor, located between the plates. Sometimes this hump is a bent wire and other times it is in the form of a half moon. Did you find it? Sometimes there is a big hump on one side and a smaller one on the other side of the same arbor.
This humpis to travel around and lift the lever you see there. When this lever is lifted it lifts another lever. The reason why one side of the hump is bigger than the other side is one is for the hour strike and the other is for the half hour strike. If your looking at a movement that works right now, lift the thing out of the slot in the gear with your finger and you will see that the clock starts striking.
The clock strikes till that lever drops into the next deep slot and then the strike stops. See the teeth and the deep slots on the main wheel? Well there is two deep slots close together for a reason, and this is so it will strike once on the half hour. Now notice that the lever that goes into the deep slot does not stop the clock from striking. The stopping of the strike happens inside the clock by the second wheel to the top of the train. This wheel is called the fly wheel and the spinning flap on the top is called a fly.
Notice that the fly wheel it hits a lever to stop the motion of the train before the lever in the big gear ever hits the next tooth after the deep slot. It is easier for the clock to stop the train from the fly wheel with its small power rather than the powerful wheel with the slots. Getting an idea of what this system is about yet? Here it is all at once: The hump comes around and lifts its corresponding lever about 5 minutes before the hour and creates what is called a warning.
A lever is lifted to release the fly wheel for a couple of turns until the fly wheel bonks into a different lever. This different lever is the same lever that got kicked by the hump on the minute hand arbor. So at this stage the hump is still lifting its lever and it has an arm coming out, stopping the fly wheel from spinning.
The strike train is now in motion and the big lever that goes into the slots of the count wheel is doing its thing, bobbing up and down as the clock strikes. Look at this big lever that bobs up and down on the count wheel, this lever is attached to an arbor that has other levers attached to it, these move when it is moved.
One is the big one like we were just talking about, one rides on the third wheel up the train and makes the big one bob up and down, then there is the lever that blocks the fly wheel from spinning when the big one goes into the deep slot, and lastly there is the lever that gets lifted so the whole shebang can release the gear train.
Read the above text while you got the movement in your hands, sentence by sentence pausing in between them all and locate the levers and parts in the text on your movement and you will have striking knowledge. Now you need to put all this together upon reassembling the movement so it works.
When putting it together these levers have to be set in a certain way and I will tell you what lever goes where. The Big lever goes into the deep slot on the count wheel.
It is attached to an arbor where there is another lever that goes to the fly wheel, this fly wheel lever must be against one of those pins sticking out of it. In other words, the pins sticking out of the fly wheel is to stop the motion of the works, and is to stop the motion of the works when the big lever is in the deep slot, so make the pin hit this lever as the big one is in the deep slot upon reassembling. The wheels pin should hit the lever on the outside of the levers bend.
The big lever's arbor has another lever that goes to the third wheel up and this makes it bob up and down. This lever must be in this wheel's slot upon reassembly. The minute hands arbor has to be turned so no humps are hitting it's lever upon reassembly, but with the lever that it will be hitting in position for when it comes around. So now you have the positions for the striking mechanisms upon reassembly of the movement.
The goal is to have the clocks strike in a stopped position. This means the big lever is in its deep slot, the fly is stopped by a lever that is on the same arbor as the big lever, the other lever on the same arbor is in the cut out part of the third wheels up and down thing, and the minute arbors humps are out of the way but its lever ready to be moved when it travels around at strike time.
The trick is to keep all this positioned correctly upon the assembly process. These are the three lever sets that control the strike in a count wheel strike system. They are in the position in the picture as they are in the clock movement.
Like the count wheel system, there is a hump on the minute hand arbor, but this time it is located just in front of the front plate.
I hope you have the movement in your hands at this time, or at least in front of you. See the lever that gets kicked by the hump and follow it up to it's arbor.
What happened? One of the levers attached to this arbor lifted up off of the small snail gear and started the train in motion while the other one let the saw like rack drop down on the big snail gear. Hence the terms Rack and Snail, this should be called Rack and Snails instead because there is a big one and a little one. Do you see these parts I am referring to? These are the terms used from now on, rack, big snail and little snail. This picture at least tells what the parts are called in a Rack and Snail system.
This is the most common striking method used today. Virtually every movement made by Hermle, Urgos and Keininger has this type of counting system. This counting system is used on every three train movement you will see and also most two train movements. The big snail has its own humps on it from biggest to smallest and these humps are to tell the clock how many times to strike.
Count the humps on this snail. See how there are 12 humps equaling one for each hour to count? Well this tells the rack how much to fall before it is slowly lifted up again by the little snail. Let the rack fall and then stop the gear train from moving with your finger, see how there are teeth on the rack directly corresponding to what time it is supposed to strike? If the rack fell on the highest hump on the big snail then it would only have one tooth for the snail to move before the other lever is at the end of the rack and able to stop the train from moving.
It stops the train from moving with another lever attached to it self that is hard to see with the movement assembled.
The lever I just spoke of stops the train by getting in the way of the pins sticking out of the fly wheel. The fly wheel is the second gear down from the top of the strike train, and the fly is the smallest spinning gear with the big flaps. If the rack falls on the smallest hump on the big snail, its going to strike When setting the strike, if 1 and 12 works, then the rest will work automatically. In other words say you had to take off the hour tube for some reason, and of course the big snail is attached to the hour tube.
Upon putting the hour tube back in place, you might wonder if it is in position correctly. All this stuff in the front of the movement does not always have to come apart in a cleaning; it can be left on during the disassembly and reassembly of the movement.
As long as the stuff drops and lifts with out resistance then its good. It is good to know how this stuff works however, because it still may need to be adjusted to run accurately.
There you have it, a two train rack and snail system in a nut shell. There are many clocks that are two trains that use this system such as most cuckoos, bell strike and bim bam movements. How the hammers work become obvious by looking at there interactions.
This is a picture of a three train movement with a Rack and Snail count system. The clock movement is cable driven with triple chime. Triple chime means it plays three different songs, depending on where the drum the drum that turns and hits the hammers is located, controlled by the chime selection switch on the dial.
The gear train is the same as Westminster only and there is not much concern whether the clock is triple chime or not when reassembly is done. It is treated the same in both styles of movements, the triple chime will work as long as the Westminster is working. Read and understand the above section on the two train movements with this system before moving on to the three train moves.
The three train movements have all the above information and more. There are two more wheels to the top right, on the outside of the front plate of the movement.
However instead of the hump kicking off the lever and dropping the rack, the hump kicks a lever and it starts the quarter hours, and then if the quarter hours are done with its full hourly chime it kicks the hour bonging into action by finally letting the rack drop. It kicks off the hourly chimes by dropping the rack by means of that circle humped gear that has the shape of an egg that is cooked sunny side up.
Notice how this gear positioned as the next to the wheel in the front plate, upper right to the hand shaft has 4 humps on it. It goes from a small hump to a bigger hump and and so on. This is because the song plays longer and longer each quarter hour. Then it hits the hour, the longest hump on this gear, and plays the whole tune of Westminster or St. Michaels or Whittington. Then this longest hump has its own hump on it. This is to lift a lever so much that it drops the rack to bong out the hours.
This system of rack and snail for quarter chimes is in almost every three train movement no matter if its Westminster, Triple Chime or Tubular Bell. The striking parts in the front of the movement do not always have to come apart in a cleaning; they can be left on during the disassembly and reassembly of the movement.
Same with the hammers on the back of the movement if this is where they are on your movement. As long as the hammers and gears drop and lift without any resistance then it is fine. It is important to know how these parts work however, because it still needs to be adusted to run accurately.
To set the hour strike, if 1 and 12 works, then the rest will work automatically. In other words say you had to take off the hour tube for some reason, and of course the big snail gear is attached to the hour tube. To set the quarter chime is trickier. See the little wheel above the this wheel?
All this is in the front of the movement still. Tighten the set screw so the screw is snug only, no high torque needed in clock repair. To accomplish the previous it is obvious the hump on the minute hand arbor has to be out of the way from its lever so the lever is in the down and neutral position.
Also, the levers will not drop if the chime selector switch is not on a song, so if you have one, set it on Westminster. See the wheel on the back of the clock movement that spins the hammers drum? Well underneath it there is a set screw for you to loosen If the wheel is still on the clock, if not its time to put it on.
Notice how you can now spin this wheel so it spins the hammers drum? This is how you set the quarter hour chimes. The positioning of the wheels and levers that I had you set the clock to is the first quarters chime. So the task at hand is to get the hammers to strike the first quarter chime sequence and then tighten the set screw.
The rest of the chimes will take care of themselves. Every three train movement has the Westminster option unless it has only Westminster alone. The first quarter of Westminster goes down the chime rods from the highest note to the lowest right in a row.
So as you spin this wheel round and round you will see the pattern of the hammers hitting here and there for a while, then going one by one down the line at one point. It is time to tighten the set screw just after it goes down the line one at a time. Think about this now, the lever is set on the front just after the smallest hump and so it is just after the quarter hour.
The quarter hour is the only time the hammers strike in a line one after another instead of here and there.
Now hopefully by miracle you understood all the above text by reading it and re-reading it with the movement in front of you. Continue to watch it run you can see the parts interact with each other. Measuring Clockworks: In clock repair, there are only a few things needed to be measured, and even then it is not that often.
Pendulums are measured in CM lengths, measuring from the top of the suspension post down to the bottom of the rating nut. Mainsprings are measured by decimals of an inch when measuring thickness such as. This going back and forth between the Inch system and the MM system makes it sometimes necessary to do some conversions. Reading the MM micrometer is explained here.
Each line should be a millimeter, then the marks on the handle are the decimal of it. So if the marks on the handle go to 6 then it would be what ever mm your on with a. The bad section gets cut out with shears. Next the mainspring gets clamped down on a piece of wood and punched to start a hole for the drill to get into.
With the spring clamped down good, drill your new hole. Be sure to wear eye protection when doing this.
The mainspring that has been cut down so it is shorter only means the clock will not run as long, if it is an 8 day clock then it might only last 7 days instead.
Of course the best thing to do would be just to buy a new one. On rare occasions the clock requires a strange sized spring that is not available. We have a chart of all the Hole End Mainspring sizes available to be purchased new. Loop end mainsprings that break are more difficult to remedy. Best to get a new one. We have a chart of all the Loop End Mainspring sizes available to be purchased new.
If you have the clock movement out of its case, and you see the click's rivet is loose, it is best to fix this. Let the power down from the mainspring into a clamp, then replace the rivet. If the rivet hole is oblong instead of round, make the hole round again with a broach or file. The installed rivet should be tight and secure but at the same time letting the click move back and forth freely before the click springs pressure is reapplied.
Clicks and Rivets are on the Hardware Pages of the Clockworks website. Borax and water can make a good flux for the soldering. Soldering is not frequently required, but it is nice to be able to do if the need arises. Another method of soldering is the liquid solder they sell at any hardware store. Using a mainspring winder is the safest way to work with mainsprings. They can work with both loop end and hole end springs. It consists of the main winding component that has a switch to flip from wind to unwind.
The also come with an assortment of chucks that go into the mainspring barrels when working with hole end mainsprings. To remove the hole end mainspring from its barrel, follow these steps. Pop off the cap to the barrel by whacking the end of the arbor with a wood hammer just enough so the cap pops off, but the mainspring stays inside. Then insert the correct sized mainspring let down tool into the end of the mainspring winder.
Find the proper sized chuck that is to hold the mainspring and put it over the end of the winder where the let down tool is located, then put the barrels winding stem arbor onto the let down tool that is inserted in the machine. Now you bring the tail stock of the mainspring machine up to the other side of the barrels arbor, set the machine to wind, hold the barrel with your hands using gloves and start winding up the spring.
When the spring is wound enough to get the holder in place, insert the holder over the spring leaving some of the springs length out of the holder where the hole end is. Then unwind the spring into its holder. Now you can remove the barrel from the spring's end by just turning it the opposite way of the springs direction, just enough to release the barrels hook from the springs hole.
Remove all this from the mainspring winder now, so you can take the barrel out of the way. With the barrel out of the way, you can now put the holder with the spring in it back into the machine. Leave the springs arbor still in the middle of the spring Hook up the mainspring to the tool just as it was before with the let down tool on one side and the tail stock on the other side of the arbor.
Then insert the winder tool's hook into the hole of the mainspring and wind up the spring until the holder can be removed. Unwind the spring without the holder now until it is completely unwound then it can be cleaned in solution and greased with mainspring grease. To put the spring back into the barrel is self explanatory, just do the reverse process. To use the winder on loop end mainsprings is possible also. After removing the spring from the clock with the mainspring clamps on, put the winding stem of the arbor into the let down chuck that is inserted into the headstock of the mainspring winding tool.
Then reverse the tailstock so the bar that sticks out of it can be inserted into the loop of the mainspring and the whole thing can be positioned as to secure the other end of the winding arbor. Now the spring can be wound up enough to remove the mainspring clamp, and then unwound completely with out the clamp. Now the spring can be cleaned with solution and dried with a blow drier, then greased with mainspring grease.
To put the spring back into the clamp is to do the opposite of the removal. See how safe and easy a mainspring winder makes it? It should be called a hole end and loop end mainspring winder and unwinder tool. This tool takes the fear from clock repair. This tool reduces catastrophes from winding by hand and is a must have for a clock service center. Replacing is better than repairing because the new movements are free from bushing wear and sometimes the maker of the movements improve them over time.
Clockmakers often charge even more to overhaul a movement then what a new one will sell for. Identifying the movement: First thing to do is to get all the information off of the back plate of the clock movement itself and write it down. Be sure to remove the weights and pendulum if the case is to be moved to get to the movement.
Do not make the mistake of looking for the model number of the clock, this number is on the paperwork that comes with the clock and is not what is needed to replace the movement. As stated above, the numbers needed are on the back plate of the movement itself. Is your movement made by Hermle?: Hermle makes movements for various cabinet makers and marks there name onto the movement, so you may have a Hermle movement even it has a different name on it.
Hermle uses a 6 or 7 digit number code to designate whether it is spring, chain, or cable driven, the plate size, hammer arrangement, and the hand shaft length.
The above example shows the movement number being Hermle made this movement for Howard Miller and its pendulum length is 94cm from the suspension post down to the very bottom of the pendulum.
To get a new replacement movement for this clock, the first set of numbers would be matched up with the below chart. In this case would be selected below and all the movements that start with will come up in a webpage for you to select from.
Seth Thomas clock owners: These movements have number on the back of them that look similar to Hermle numbers but they start with an A at the beginning. For example: A would be a Seth Thomas movement number. These movements are still made by Hermle and we have them in stock, just follow the link to the Seth Thomas page and get the Hermle replacement number. If no luck yet: You can check the Keininger, Urgos , or Jauch pages within this site for your movement, or Email Us the numbers and we will see if we have it.
We do stock some units that are not listed, so again, when in doubt Email Us the information off of the back plate of the movement and we will check stock for you.
To Purchase mainsprings through us you'll need the following information: Then determine if the mainspring is a hole end or a loop end. It is easy to tell what style a mainspring is, some mainsprings have a cover around them, and these covers are called barrels.
M ainsprings that are in barrels are always hole end mainsprings. The loop end mainsprings are the type that are visible from the back of the clock and they have a loop at the end of them. This loop goes around the pillars that hold the movement together. For this reason, a clock with a broken loop end mainspring must come completely apart to replace the spring. Replacing mainsprings involves letting the power out of any other mainsprings in the movement, so they wont fly out of control and damage you or the rest of the clock.
This is done with a mainspring let down tool, do not attempt to use the clock key, this could cause an injury. As the power is being released from the spring, it is desired to keep the mainspring small and harmless, so the power of the spring is released into a mainspring clamp with a mainspring let down tool.
One of these clamps goes over the mainspring after you wind the clock up, then the power of the spring is released slow until the spring is harmless in the clamp. Mainsprings are serious business, they pack a punch, so please do not take them too lightly and end up getting smacked by one.
If you use these tools as suggested you will be fine and have nothing to worry about. As far as the mainsprings in the barrels go, they sometimes can be removed from the clock without taking the movement completely apart, but still needs the power released first. After the barrel is in your hand, with the mainspring inside, it is time to take the cap off the barrel. The cap is the only part of the barrel that comes off, so it is pretty easy to find.
Pop off the cap off with a appropriately sized screwdriver inserted into the slot provided and you will see the broken mainspring. The arbor that connects to the center of the spring is only connected by a nub hooked inside the hole at the beginning of the mainspring. Just turn the arbor the opposite way of the spring winding direction, and you will see the nub pop out of the mainspring hole.
Then the arbor will be loose and able to come right out of the barrel. Now all you have is a barrel with a broken spring in it. I have used this method when a winder is not available to remove an old spring: I hold the barrel tight with a towel wrapped around it, with only a small opening in the towel to get a pair of needle nose pliers to the mainspring.
I hold the entire operation as far from my body as possible, then yank the spring out with the pliers. Of course the spring goes wild when this is done and its moderately dangerous. I have never gotten injured doing this and hope you won't either. Just take control of handling mainsprings with precaution and confidence, and you will find that they are an easy obstacle to conquer.
Oh, by the way, I am not liable for anything and you are at your own risk. Sound encouraging? If you do not like this style of removing a mainspring from a barrel, we offer various books with other techniques. We also offer the hole end mainspring winder. To put the new spring into a barrel is easier because the new springs come already wound up. It is held in position by wire, and you simply push the spring into the barrel.
As the mainspring is pushed into the barrel, the wire slides up and off the spring, until -snap- it goes in completely. The hole end mainspring winder will again make this safer and easier. The risk of doing it without the spring winder is some barrels are made of metal that will shatter on impact from the released spring. To insert a unwound spring back into the barrel is trickier.
This can be done by hand, but is again, moderately dangerous. Start with the outer hole of the spring hooked to the barrel hook and curve the spring from outer to inner until the spring pops in.
This takes strong hands and alot of guts, if the spring gets the best of you, it could hurt. I can tell you I have done it this way many times and have never gotten smacked by a spring. Wear a full suit of armor doing this. Mainsprings can do alot of damage to a clockmaker. If you do not have confidence in doing this, buy a new spring they do not cost much or get a hole end mainspring winder tool from us here at Clockworks. The cap of the barrel can be put back on easily with a vise.
Start putting the cap on the barrel with the fingers until it wants to go in, but needs that 'snap' to get it into place. Just apply just enough pressure to see it snap into place.
Give the movement a visual check over to see if anything was damaged due to the mainspring breaking. It is quite an impact on the clock when a mainspring lets loose and it is good to check the following: See if the click, the part that keeps the mainspring winding in only one direction, is okay and not to loose.
See if there are any bent gears. See if there are any bent pivots. Pivots are the part of the gear arbor that stick through the plate of the clock. It is really an arbor, but the skinny end of the arbor that sticks throughout the plate is called a pivot in clock world. If these get bent, then it will create to much resistance in the gear train to let the clock run.
When a mainspring breaks it can cause a lot of damage to the rest of the clock. Now check for bent pivots and arbors, pivot holes that are opened larger from the shock, and broken teeth on the gears. Arbors are the first to be straightened with whatever means you have. A steel block and a hammer would work.
Then attempt to straighten the pivots. Make sure there are no ridges on the pliers because if you mare up the pivot then when its back in the clock it will eat away at the brass plate.
You have about one shot at straightening the pivot, if the pivot is bent this way or that way too much it will break. This would call for re-pivoting and that is a whole different topic to be covered later. Now you have the arbors and pivots straightened it is time to inspect the pivot holes. If the pivot holes are oval instead of round then it is time for bushings.
Again this is a different topic and shall be covered later. If they are bent, bend them back and then use emery cloth to make them smooth again. If they are broke then there is still hope. If the movement is still made, its time for a new one, check with us to find out. If the movement is an antique and no longer in production, then you may still be able to get a movement that is not the quality of the new one that is made in Korea.
There is also an option of looking on Ebay. Replacing teeth is covered later on. That is not to take it out of its clamps or barrel at all during the cleaning process.
Even then, if a spring seems bad enough to clean, replacing the spring is less dangerous, cleaner and it comes pre lubricated.
Getting Started in Clock Repair For Fun or Profit eBook - The Horolovar Company
Sometimes the spring is not made or is a unusual size so it costs more, in this case the spring can be cleaned. A mainspring can be cleaned by using solution if it is built up with old oil. The solution goes on some cloth and then rubbed on both sides of the spring.
The answer is not WD This stuff makes a mess, after awhile it turns into blue goo although from the start it seems to do the trick perfect. When your done with wiping the mainspring down with the cloth soaked with solution its time to rinse it with something, preferably clockmaker rinse, but if none is available try denatured alcohol or warm water if it comes down to it.
Then blow dry with a hairdryer on low heat. And I mean low heat, if you get this sucker to hot it will break when you wind it and that would be a lot of wasted effort.
On the flip side if you use the warm water and it is not dried all the way, you risk it rusting. When it is done with the cleaning and drying, its good to go over it with steel wool to polish it. Now you have a mainspring that will not stick to it self and that is the goal. Lubricating with mainspring grease is optional.
If you have the clock movement out of its case, and you see the clicks rivet is loose, best to do something about it. The installed rivet should be tight and secure but at the same time letting the click move back and forth freely before the click spring's pressure is reapplied. I do not mean to say this to prevent you from over winding a clock, but to release the myth of over winding from your mind.
Over winding is not possible on clocks, the myth started with some pocket watches that could be over wound and has been feared of ever since. This is because the mainspring with old oil built up on it will stick to itself and not be able to give the power it should. If a clock has a mainspring in good condition it should be able to be wound all the way up with no problem.
Wear eye protection when doing this for sure. The mainspring should be greased or nothing at all. If greasing is your option then it should be done when it is out side of the clock movement and uncoiled. The practice of applying a couple of drops of oil onto a wound up spring just does not work and creates a mess in the future, same with WD I have heard of people having good luck with carburetor cleaner sprayed on the spring but I have not tried it yet.
A clock should be able to run with no lubrication at all anywhere, lubricating just being something to help it work and add some preventive maintenance to reduce pivot hole wear. So when lubricating, only a little is needed in any spot there is friction otherwise it builds up and will be more difficult to clean next time. People have lost eyes, cut there gut open, and other horrible things from attempting to wind or unwind mainsprings by hand.
This tool eliminates all these catastrophes from happening and is a must have for a clock service center. There is a short cut to this, simply go around once or twice with the minute hand, letting it bong as you go.
These clocks are called day clocks because of their ability to run days between windings. This unique ability is because of their very long mainsprings and because they run with such little force.
The first thing to remember when working with these clocks is to not touch the works with your hands. The gold plating around the base, pillars and movement gets eaten up by the acid from your hands. This is not to scare you into not touching it at all, but just to limit the areas you touch.
Try to hold the movement by its edges rather than a noticeable spot like the back plate or the shiny base. Wearing cloth gloves may be the easiest solution. These clocks do not like to be moved, as explained in the following pages.
This is because of the thin suspension wire that holds the pendulum balls in the air. This wire can't get kinked or distorted in any way or the clock will not run. When it's time to repair a day clock, two things usually need to be done.
The suspension spring may need to be replaced and the movement may need to be cleaned. These two procedures will fix most day clocks. The disassembling and reassembling of these movements are easy compared to regular chiming movements.
This is because there is only one gear train and one mainspring. The gears go from biggest to smallest up the clock plate. It starts with the barrel that the mainspring is in and works its way up from there. The first rule is to always move the clock with the pendulum balls either in the lock position or take them off completely.
To lock the balls into place, lift them slightly so the lock arm can be moved over to the lock position. These clocks are very touchy because of the suspension spring that holds the pendulum balls in the air.
This spring must not get kinked AT ALL and this is why the balls are removed or locked during transit. To operate this clock, first find a home for it on a shelf or mantle that does not shake or get bumped. Hang the balls on gently while the spring is sitting right where it normally sits with no turning. Adjust the feet of the clock base so the clock sits level with the balls centered in the middle of the cup below it. In this position the balls should be totally suspended in the air, not touching anything.
Let the balls stop swinging and notice where they stop. This should make the balls swing degrees, one full revolution. Do not bother to set the time until about 15 minutes go by and the balls are in their pattern of swinging back and forth with the movements power only. It is the speed these balls rotate that determine how accurate the timekeeping will be. The speed of the balls when you first start the clock will be too fast to have accurate timekeeping and therefore the time is set after they settle into their rhythm.
Wait 15 minutes and set the time of the clock by moving the minute hand around until it is the proper time. Put the dome back on the clock and it's done. If you just dug out your clock from the cellar or attic and have no idea what to check first, the suspension spring is the place to start.
The suspension spring is just a very thin piece of steel running down the back of the clock. Its purpose is to suspend the balls in the air and allow them to slowly rotate back and forth. The only bending this spring can do is twist back and forth with the balls as they rotate, and even this twisting motion is limited before the spring can become twisted or distorted.
The spring being bent is the number one cause for most of these clocks not working. You are in luck because they are cheap and easy to fix if you have patience.
There are four pieces to a suspension spring including the thin spring itself. First there is the brass bottom block that the balls attach to. Then in the upper middle of the spring there is the fork attachment that whacks the verge back and forth. The verge is the wire that sticks straight up from the escapement. Then on top there is the top block that the entire suspension spring hooks onto to be suspended in the air. It is common for the fork and the bottom block to become lost.
If the spring breaks and the clock is put in storage, it is easy for these small parts to disappear. The first step is to measure the spring's thickness with a micrometer. The new springs come very long in length and need to be cut down with sharp scissors. To cut them down, you need to determine the length needed. The length does not have to be absolutely perfect for the clock to run.
The spring only must be short enough so the balls are suspended completely in the air, and long enough so the bottom block with not hit the bottom of the movement. The easiest and fastest way to find the length is to match the old spring up to the new one and snip off the excess. The length of the spring does not affect time keeping. This is a very helpful book because it has views of the back plates of various manufacturers aswell as some great repair information.
While you have the book and the clock in front of you, match up the back of the clock with the picture in the book to determine what clock is yours and see the suspension spring thickness it takes. Then order the correct size spring from us along with a mixed block and fork assortment. If by chance your clock is not listed in the book, you may want to try the popular spring assortment and give a guess to the size. Most seem to take the size. The thicker the spring, the faster the balls rotate.
If the balls rotate too fast or slow, the clock will not keep proper time. This whole suspension spring assembly is usually attached to the clock with a screw or pin through the top block. After it's disassembled, it's time to attach the blocks to the new spring that you cut down to size.
Leaving the set screws in place, but still loose on the blocks, insert the new spring just enough into the block so the set screws will grab securely. It is easiest to do this step on the table laying the spring down flat. Either a small hole in the table will work or a staking block with various hole diameters could be used and would be ideal.
Use your creativity, but just be sure the bottom block is flush with the surface your working on so the spring will not get bent during installation. Now with the block ready to be screwed down, hold it with a pair of needle nose pliers to be sure it will not turn and kink the spring. Be sure to get a good solid grip on the block with the pliers, but without gripping so tight the block pops out of them. As you hold steady the block with the needle nose pliers, use you precision screwdriver to tighten up the set screws that secure the block together with the spring end inside.
Do this to both sides of the new spring top and bottom block then your ready to put on the fork. The fork only has one set screw and is put on toward the top of the spring.
To find out exactly where this spring should go, hold up the suspension to the clock and get an idea on the height it should be put at.
It should be able to whack the verge wire back and forth and should be positioned so it's sticking straight out of the spring at a 90 degree angle. Its height will have to be low enough on the verge to keep the clock running, but high enough so the clock will not flutter. Fluttering is the term used to describe the clock running miles an hour even with the balls hung and is the result of having the fork set too low.
After determining the approximate place where the fork should be on the spring you are ready to tighten up the set screw that grabs on, not really tight however because it will most likely have to be adjusted again later. If you ever wanted to get started in hobby clock repair then this Book is for you.
It tells you how to get started using the minimum amount of tools, equipment and money. The author recalled his frustration in trying to get started in clock repair due to a lack of material that addressed his needs and tried to rectify that in this Book. The goal of this Book is to get the beginner started in the right direction by explaining how a simple clock movement works.
There is a detailed explanation of how five basic mechanical elements are integrated to operate a mechanical clock. However the most important feature of this Book is that it shows you how to disassemble and then reassemble an easily obtainable 8-Day Time only clock movement.
This is the confidence building portion of the Book.
It demonstrates to the reader that, yes, they can take apart and then reassemble a complex mechanical device. This is the foundation upon which all other clock repair skills are built. Once the reader masters the theory of how a clock works and can take one apart and put it back together again, it is then just a short step to working on more complex clock movements.
This Book is intended for the beginner, its main focus is to provide detailed but basic instruction to getting one started in clock repair.
The reader is provided with step-by-step instruction on how to disassemble and reassemble an 8-day time only clock movement. He receives an in-depth introduction on what he will find when he opens the clock. The driving force or power, whether springs or weight, the gear train, the escapement, the pendulum and the motion works are all detailed and explained.
All the major components of the clock are explained in detail. And then, for the Grand Finale , there is a complete section on how to go from a curious amateur to a money making professional in just a few short months repairing clocks.
This eBook is protected by copyright, and is being sold by permission of the author for your individual use only.
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