31 Day Montgomery Ward Regulator

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by 1geo, Apr 25, 2008.

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  1. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    I recently picked up the captioned clock and need some repair instructions. Can anyone recommend a good book to repair this relatively modern wall clock? Any information is greatly appreciated, Geo.
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Hi, Geo. If you go down the list of forums to the Horological Books forum, you will find a recent thread about clock repair books. I suspect your clock is Asian in origin, but it has a movement to which any basic clock repair manual should apply.
    I would recomment you start with Philip Balcomb's Clock Repair Primer, and Clock Repair First Reader, both full of useful information for someone starting out. Timesavers carries these books.
    Be careful of those mainsprings, they are quite powerful:thumb:
     
  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    1geo do you have some clock repair experience?
    Just wondering as if this is your first clock to repair, you might look for something easier to learn on.Not trying to discourage you. :thumb:
     
  4. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
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    Igeo,

    Most modern 31 day clocks were made in Asia. The reality is that the clock movements were of very poor quality. The metal in the movements is too light to stand the strains produced and the basic design is bad (especially the click mechanisms). This can be a danger to you, the repairer. I repair clocks for a portion of my living and usually will refuse to work on 31 day clocks.

    I need to eat like everyone else and am reluctant to turn work away, but I value my fingers. Inexperience will magnify the dangers with these movements. It is unfortunate that many of these clocks have rather attractive cases.

    My best advice to you is to sell the clock at your next yard sale or community auction.

    If you want to learn clock repair, there are much better movements to learn on.

    Best Regards,

    Dick
     
  5. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    I have some experience and tools for clock repair; principally, I work on American pocket watches. I have repaired wall clocks in the past but need more familiarity with them to feel comfortable repairing them. I cleaned this movement and oiled it and now its running good. The clock has very little wear, i.e., the bushings and gears are like new. I, like everyone else, would prefer an American antique but antiques are costly and this wall clock was cheap, hence I now have a Montgomery Ward Regulator on my watch room wall.
     
  6. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Geo, I don't turn these Asian movements away when they come to me for repair. Some are better than others. You may have one of the good ones:thumb:
     
  7. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
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    One day you will be winding the inexpensive regulator in your watch room and the main spring click will fail. From there the key will spin wildly and the wings will tear tissue from your hand, throwing it all over the wall. Yes, 31 days worth and probably a blue thumbnail in the deal.
    If you want to keep it wound, invite your brother-in-law over once a month to wind the clock.
    If I were to have one of those around, it would have two click assemblies on each main spring.
    Unsafe is unsafe at any price.
    Dick
     
  8. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    What about replacing the spring with something equivalent to a 8 day clock, to help reduce the hazard.:?|
     
  9. David Robertson

    David Robertson Registered User

    Jan 6, 2003
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    Kevin,

    The American springs are just as strong.. merely shorter. So if the click will break with the Korean spring it will probably break with the American one. Perhaps an event of shorter duration but not enough less to lessen whatever damage may be done.
     
  10. al_taka

    al_taka Registered User

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    I love the brother in-law quote
    :thumb:

    Al T.
     
  11. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    I also refuse to work on these. The springs are as said very powerful. The plates of the movement are weak, and I have seen them come in distorted from the stress. A time bomb waiting to go off.

    Larry Pearson, FNAWCC* #35863
     
  12. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    Breaking the click spring is not unique to Korean made movements. I recently was working on a New Haven Banjo Wall clock and that exact thing happened. Fortunately I was winding it with a let down key so it just slipped in my hand without doing any damage. Maybe its just my inexperience but the movement on this 31 day clock look fairly substancial to me. Certainly the shaft of the mainspring was a lot more substancial then the shaft of the 8 day New Haven Banjo clock I worked on. Maybe there were different grades of these 31 day clocks built as Harold suggested in his post. Geo.
     
  13. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    Sorry some how I posted the same reply twice so I deleted this one. Geo.
     
  14. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    Breaking the click spring is not unique to Korean made movements. I recently was working on a New Haven Banjo Wall clock and that exact thing happened. Fortunately I was winding it with a let down key so it just slipped in my hand without doing any damage. Maybe its just my inexperience but the movement on this 31 day clock look fairly substancial to me. Certainly the shaft of the mainspring was a lot more substancial then the shaft of the 8 day New Haven Banjo clock I worked on. Maybe there were different grades of these 31 day clocks built as Harold suggested in his post. Geo.
     
  15. 1geo

    1geo Registered User

    Sorry, duplicate post.
     
  16. Kirby9679

    Kirby9679 Registered User

    Apr 27, 2008
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    What promising news! I have a korean regulator clock. . .am I to assume I can find myself in similar dire straights with it at some point?
     
  17. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Well, I haven't been bitten by one yet:thumb: They don't seem to me to be any more prone to breaking springs, or clicks than American clocks.
     
  18. Kirby9679

    Kirby9679 Registered User

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    :thumb:Reassuring! Thank you!
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I've learned to be cautious with all clocks when I wind them. I think we tend to wind and let the power off quickly to re-grip for the next turn. The sudden jolt to the click rivet is often enough to cause failure. I ease it back for a soft contact and haven't been bit lately ..... but of course eventually a bad click will fail. The other advantage is a possible controlled (or somewhat controlled) letting down of the spring if it happens to you.
     
  20. Kirby9679

    Kirby9679 Registered User

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    I am assuming that mainsprings in a barrel are less likely to take a chomp at me than those movements without? Kirby
     
  21. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Kirby, barrel or not, there is a lot of power released quickly when a spring or click breaks, and that key starts whipping around.
     
  22. Arthur Cagle

    Arthur Cagle Registered User

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    And, Kirby, I can testify that when a click goes, pieces of fingers fly! It feels like you stuck your hand into a propeller.:mysad:
    Arthur
     
  23. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    LOL! That's exactly why I ease it back into the click. If you don't panic, even when the click goes you can control the release somewhat. Hold the key - don't let go! Ease the clock off the wall (if needed) and onto it's back (on a towel if you can, or carpet). Then turn the clock while hanging onto the key. This works with smaller clocks the best :)

     
  24. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    When I'm winding a spring of unknown click quality, I use a letdown handle to wind it. If it fails to wind, I can let it down.
     

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