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  1. #16
    Registered user. kinsler33's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: BLKBEARD)

    Quote Originally Posted by BLKBEARD View Post
    I'm reading Practical Clock Repairing by Donald de Carle. I think it was recommended David LaBounty. This book has copyright & revision dates of 1946, 53, 64, & 69. At the time of its writing it seems that pre-fab bushings & the Bushing Reamer/Press Machine were a recent development. The Author & many others seemed to view this with great optimism, but many others viewed it as Witchcraft & chose to stick with the old accepted methods, one of them being Punching The Pivot Holes.

    So, while punching bushings is considered a "Hackmaster" repair at this stage of the game, at one time it seems to have been perfectly acceptable repair method. It probably lived on until the last of those taught that way, put down their last wrench.

    Just my understanding of it, as I was not a "Twinkle In My Daddies Eye" in 1946
    Fifty years ago I worked for a summer at Montgomery Clocks in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Melvin Montgomery, his wife, and another guy repaired home clocks, automobile clocks, and automobile speedometers.

    During that time I wanted to try a new development called the 'push-in' (or 'press-in') bushing system. Nobody at the shop seemed enthusiastic about them, but I bought a bushing assortment plus a bushing reamer and a red plastic handle from the clock-supply shop in downtown Cleveland and tried it out. This would have been a KWM set, I think, because I seem to recall that each reamer had a pin on it to lock into the handle.

    Nobody discussed or implied the existence of bushing machines at the time--they might have existed, but not in any catalog I ever saw.

    So I got my bushing set back to the shop and tried it out. And it wasn't so great, because the nice brass bushings didn't fit the reamed holes. Some bushings were too big and some were too small, and fell right out: apparently quality control wasn't exactly the watchword at KWM back then.

    Thus at Montgomery Clocks, we typically used hole-closing punches, which punch a ring around an ovalled hole. These work-harden the brass (somewhat) around the afflicted hole, and then you open out the hole with a five-sided cutting broach so it fits the pivot.

    The advantage of punching, besides the fact that you didn't risk finding a bushing rolling around loose in the bottom of the clock case several days later, is that it's repeatable: you're not cutting away the plate. If a bushing has to be replaced later, you're stuck with a hole that likely will be too large for the next press-in bushing unless you--yes--close it up by hammering or punching and re-ream it.

    Now, bushings were indeed used back then, and to make these you could buy pre-perforated hollow bushing wire. You'd drill out the bad pivot hole, snap off a piece of bushing wire, rivet it into the hole, and ream out the resulting bushing to fit the pivot. This went pretty fast, and the bushing never fell out.

    That said, I have been using KWM equivalent press-in bushings for a few years now. The ones I get from Timesavers are quite consistent in size (at least the outside diameter) and with the occasional exception they seem to stay in just fine.

    I did at one point buy a set of truly horrible hole-closing punches from Timesavers: I don't know if good ones exist anymore, and I might try buying some antique ones someday.

    Mark Kinsler
    512 East Mulberry Street; Lancaster, Ohio USA 740-503-1973; kinsler33@gmail.com
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  2. #17

    Default Re: A precice punch job.

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    It might be worth having a certified Martin repairman take a look at it, smike. It might be that some of the scratches are just in the upper finish, and can be smoothed out. My 1963 ES335 is crazed pretty badly, but I have not attempted to try to "fix" it. But I did have a certified repairman go over it last year and put it back to factory specs. Plays quite well again.





    funny... the guitar was at the local martin guy a couple of days ago, to re-glue the bridge in place. the pull of the strings proved too much for the thin layer of hide glue applied 74 years ago. sadly, the scratches go down to bare wood. the ironic thing is that with less finish on the face, the face is lighter and more responsive... making the guitar sound even better.


    the martin guy did have a big jar of something he called 'retarder', which he applied to some of the smaller nicks. it apparently softens the edges of hard/sharp scratches and makes them blend more into the lacquer.


    'crazed' is more the alligatoring of the finish over time... hopefully at least a regular/consistent pattern.










    Quote Originally Posted by THTanner View Post
    I think I would put a 1953 Martin on a shelf as is - or perhaps a humidity controlled glass case.



    there are two basic types of martin guitars... pristine 'collector' guitars and less-than-cosmetically-perfect-but-omg-that-martin-sound! 'player' guitars. mine are valuable, but still 'players'.


    the guitar we've been discussing (on the left, and middle) is a 1953 00-18G... 'G' for 'gut' (nylon) strings (similar to willie nelson's N-20). the middle picture shows the scratches (sigh). it hangs on a hercules hanger (all you have to do is left the guitar and the little fingers securing it in place near the nut lift up... put the guitar back in the hanger and the fingers swing up automatically to hold it in place)... where i can take it down and sit on the bench underneath my welch spring and company no. 2 and play.

    the guitar on the right is an 1942 00-18... steel strings. the pre-war martins had lighter braces, the wood and glue have dried out and become one, and they sound phenomenal. these two belonged to my dad, who was an ardent folkie. they blow away everyone who takes them for a spin.


    if you want to see a rare martin, check out https://goo.gl/taU1vJ while martin has made almost 2,000,000 instruments since 1833, they only made 50 of these five-string acoustic bass guitars (ABG), all between 1991-1995. even the folks at martin aren't really familiar with them. with the right strings (thomastik acousticore, brass wound over a nylon core) they sound like an upright bass. i have two of them ... 1/25th of the world supply! 8-)


    here's a link to a recent recording of me backing up the singer/songwriter i'm currently playing with... levels are a bit hot and there are some rough spots, but it was just a practice run-through: https://goo.gl/IgU0nk


    old guitars should be played. it's good for the guitars (the more they're played, the better they sound over time) and good for the soul.



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    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  3. #18

    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: kinsler33)

    mk -

    cool story and history! thanks for sharing that.

    otoh, while you were using hole-closing punches i'm fairly confident you weren't scratching big x's in the plates. it's not the punching i find so offensive, it's the complete lack of (attention to) aesthetics.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  4. #19
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: bruce linde)

    I guess it was never expected that anyone but the next repairman would ever see the work done to fix a clock back then.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  5. #20

    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: harold bain)

    I have had many clocks come through my shop that have been punched by regular punches, and hole closing punches, often the pivots ride on the closed area and result in pivots that wear unevenly, then you have to bush properly and re-pivot.
    Larry Pearson, FNAWCC* #35863

  6. #21
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: bruce linde)

    I sat staring at these gorgeous guitars for a bit, then got out my old Gibson with banned Brazillian rose and mahogany fret inlays, played awhile - then back to work. fantastic story thanks
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  7. #22

    Default Re: A precice punch job.

    Any chance he had poor eye sight?
    Last edited by Clockrepairforfun; 05-19-2017 at 02:28 PM.

  8. #23
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: Clockrepairforfun)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockrepairforfun View Post
    Any chance he had poor eye sight?
    Yes. In those days they didn't have good lighting and eyes deteriorate ubnder such conditions.

  9. #24
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: roughbarked)

    On watches you simply punch dead center with a round nose and then ream to fit. But, the dimensions are better suited, pivot size vs plate thickness. Most of the time it's not done because most are jeweled. But on low jeweled movements (less value) comes the issue of money and being worth doing it. That and punching and re-reaming works.

    Some of you are a little too particular I think. Some kind of social snobbery among you. Here you have evidence that a job done "below" your standards was in deed a good job that lasted 50 years.

    Not hardly a one of you would admit to being wrong in your opinion but do pile up together in some huggy kissy type brotherhood of nay nay to the punch punch.

    And yet it is standard practice to do this in watch repair of brass bushing holes.

    Go figure...
    The bitter the challenge, the juicy the conquest.
    Conquest -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGaVUApDVuY

  10. #25

    Default Re: A precice punch job.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware View Post
    Some of you are a little too particular I think. Some kind of social snobbery among you. Here you have evidence that a job done "below" your standards was in deed a good job that lasted 50 years.



    please point out which post said punching was bad or verboten? even if you can cite one,


    the OP (original poster) praised the punch job that kept that movement running for another 50+ years... the bulk of the thread has been people talking about how they were originally taught to punch, and about how making permanent scratches to guide/inform the punching was totally unnecessary... perhaps a snobby indictment of causing ugly/permanent damage, but not of punching.










    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware View Post
    Not hardly a one of you would admit to being wrong in your opinion but do pile up together in some huggy kissy type brotherhood of nay nay to the punch punch. And yet it is standard practice to do this in watch repair of brass bushing holes. Go figure...


    i'm not a site admin here (but am elsewhere), or i would deem this both over-the-top and personal instead of on topic.

    point taken: punching is standard practice in watch repair, where, as you say, 'the dimensions are better suited'. the other comments don't really help.
    Last edited by bruce linde; 05-20-2017 at 06:45 PM.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  11. #26
    Moderator leeinv66's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job.

    I find RJ's post to be abrasive but on topic.

    Personally. I fail to understand why we feel the need to deride the common repair methods of those that came before us. Imagine that in 20 years time the common repair for a worn bush is to micro weld new material into the bush. This would mean there would no longer be a need to remove material and add a push in bush. If that were to happen, what would future repairers make of the repair method we currently use? I would hope they understood we did the best we could with the repair options that were available.
    Last edited by leeinv66; 05-20-2017 at 07:11 PM.
    Cheers
    Peter R Lee: AKA (Pee-Tah) from Australia

  12. #27
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: leeinv66)

    Quote Originally Posted by leeinv66 View Post
    I find RJ's post to be abrasive but on topic.
    Sorry about the abrasive part, my bad. Not really one of my better post. If you wanna edit be my guest
    The bitter the challenge, the juicy the conquest.
    Conquest -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGaVUApDVuY

  13. #28
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: RJSoftware)

    I have heard it common practice in older times to punch and oil. In old times, perhaps not many clock repair people around, or the owners of the clock could not afford to have a proper job done. It did keep the clock running longer. I was not taught this practice of punching and i do not do it on clocks. Yes RJ i would say abrasive. You made your point.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
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  14. #29
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: Kevin W.)

    Personally have never punched a watch movement. I see where others have and then fit a jewel or a bush. Barrel bridges or centres of main plates, I bush or jewel depending on which will fit easiest.

  15. #30

    Default Re: A precice punch job. (By: RJSoftware)

    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware View Post
    Sorry about the abrasive part, my bad. Not really one of my better post. If you wanna edit be my guest

    dude... sorry, didn't meant to chastise or overstep... i'm just a poster/member here, no official status, just reacted strongly to your initial post. i've actually read many of your posts and appreciate your experiences and perspectives.

    i think what the discussion of punching really boils down to is informed/trained/experienced punching vs. people just punching the heck out of movements without taking them apart, taking the same amount of time to do the called-for bushing work, etc.

    as a newb, i could never come close to the work (except for the scratches) shown in the initial post... i do respect the artistry of the punching... which makes the lack of artistry/sensitivity re: the scratches that much more shocking... in hindsight.

    as another poster said, maybe in those days they didn't expect anyone to see the work, or to share photos in an online forum dedicated to revealing alll.

    peace, brother!!!!! 8-)
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

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