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Adjusting Collets thermal paste vs Soldering iron and/or other

Sam Jeens

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Jun 30, 2020
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Hi everyone,

just wondered if anyone had any experience with using thermal paste to adjust collet positions?
I recently had a fusee clock on my bench and the pendulum leader collet was leaning approx. 5 degrees to the right and needed the collet adjusting.
I used Thermal paste to ensure I didn't melt the solder on the escape pallets collet and I also tried using a soldering iron to melt the solder.
wondered if anyone prefers one or the other or another method for moving one soldered part and not the other?

thanks in advance

Sam
Birmingham City University Horology student
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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So they were both soldered when you got the clock? Usually they are both pressed on the arbor very tightly and the only thing that slips is the collet on the crutch. Yours appears to have two screws to adjust the tightness of the clutch on the crutch.
 

Sam Jeens

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Jun 30, 2020
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So they were both soldered when you got the clock? Usually they are both pressed on the arbor very tightly and the only thing that slips is the collet on the crutch. Yours appears to have two screws to adjust the tightness of the clutch on the crutch.
yes they were both soldered in place. the screws did not allow for any adjustment, they seemed to be there just for securing to the arbor.
 

wow

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yes they were both soldered in place. the screws did not allow for any adjustment, they seemed to be there just for securing to the arbor.
I don’t think that solder should be there at all. The pallets are normally stationary on the arbor but the crutch should be tight but able to be moved in order to set the beat. I would get all that solder off and press or stake the collet so it will move and set the beat.
 

wow

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Why not just bend the crutch slight :???::???::???::???::???:
Yea, that would definitely be the easiest thing to do but you would have a shotty looking soldered pallet, arbor, and crutch that is bent rather than straight. Solder has a place in clock repair but it should be concealed if used. Is what I think!
 

R. Croswell

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The question as I see it is whether these collets were originally soldered. Some French clocks have wheels etc. that were originally soldered to arbors. As for what to do here, I would consider taking it from where it is (already soldered) and melt the solder and make the required adjustment. Introducing "Thermal paste" (whatever that is) would clearly be introducing something that is not original to the clock.

RC
 

Vernon

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Dec 9, 2006
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I have clipped a spring loaded tweezer between the two parts on the arbor as a heat sink to keep the anchor cool. You could also wrap a dampen cheese cloth around the anchor. The brass may need polished after you have finished.

Vernon
 

shutterbug

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I agree with the advise to remove the solder and return the part to its original friction fit condition.
 

Uhralt

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The question as I see it is whether these collets were originally soldered. Some French clocks have wheels etc. that were originally soldered to arbors. As for what to do here, I would consider taking it from where it is (already soldered) and melt the solder and make the required adjustment. Introducing "Thermal paste" (whatever that is) would clearly be introducing something that is not original to the clock.

RC
Thermal paste is used as a heat sink and removed after use. No problem with originality.

Uhralt
 

ChimeTime

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May 4, 2021
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When working on antique items (such as oil lamps) that incorporate an all-soldered assembly technique, I use a simpler method. If you wrap the anchor in a wet cloth you can achieve the same result much more safely, faster and with less expense.

The idea is that the water has to get above ~200°F in order to evaporate. Until that happens, any metal part(s) the water is touching cannot rise above 200° either. Since most solders melt well above the temperature of boiling water, your joint at the anchor will be unaffected by heat at the opposite end of the arbor. Of course you cannot remove the wet rag until the heated end has cooled to below 200°.

This method will work equally well for assembly or disassembly.
 

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