• Upcoming updates
    Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.

    If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.

    Thank you!

Advice on Stripped Winding Arbor

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
Another neighbor asked me to look at her "dear old grammy's" clock. It's a Westclox wind-up table alarm clock. Not an antique, but apparently valuable to her. Anyway, the only thing I see wrong with it has to do with winding it up. The winding key is aluminum and looks new and undamaged (threads appear to be 6-32), but the winding arbor (also non-ferrous) has stripped threads.

The plates are aluminum and appear to be riveted together. Most of the gear wheels are nylon. I am considering the different ways I might affect a repair with the movement still assembled since I am not inclined to try and take the plates apart. (I used pliers to wind the mainspring and the clock runs and the alarm works). In the end, the key needs to be removable if the works are to be accessed in the future.

I have 4 possible plans in mind but I would like to hear some of your thoughts before I reveal my hair-brained ideas.

P1090248.JPG
 

R. Croswell

Registered User
Apr 4, 2006
12,271
2,128
113
Trappe, Md.
www.greenfieldclockshop.com
Country
Region
Another neighbor asked me to look at her "dear old grammy's" clock. It's a Westclox wind-up table alarm clock. Not an antique, but apparently valuable to her. Anyway, the only thing I see wrong with it has to do with winding it up. The winding key is aluminum and looks new and undamaged (threads appear to be 6-32), but the winding arbor (also non-ferrous) has stripped threads.

The plates are aluminum and appear to be riveted together. Most of the gear wheels are nylon. I am considering the different ways I might affect a repair with the movement still assembled since I am not inclined to try and take the plates apart. (I used pliers to wind the mainspring and the clock runs and the alarm works). In the end, the key needs to be removable if the works are to be accessed in the future.

I have 4 possible plans in mind but I would like to hear some of your thoughts before I reveal my hair-brained ideas.

View attachment 737137
Obviously throw away movement. Try to pick up one on eBay for a few buck$ and hop the same part isn’t worn out on that one to,

RC
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Rausch

JimmyOz

Registered User
Feb 21, 2008
1,361
456
83
67
Gold Coast Qld
Country
Region
You could file the 2 or 4 parallel flats (depends on how much you have to work with) make a key and attach it to the arbor with a removable pin.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Rausch

Tim Orr

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Member
Donor
Sep 27, 2008
1,933
431
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good afternoon, John!

Just speculating here, but I think what may have happened is this: The key, as those on alarm clocks so often do, had left-handed threads. Someone, not knowing that, tried to get it off by turning it counter-clockwise, and experiencing difficulty, used a pliers and wrenched it off, tearing up the threads on the arbor (and probably on the original key as well).

They then discarded the original key, and tried to fit a right-handed thread key (or any key, for that matter), damaging the arbor threads still further (unless you did additional damage winding the clock with a pliers), and not working very well. You say the current key looks new and appears to have intact threads, all of which makes me suspect the new key is a replacement. Might want to try a known left-handed thread key and see what happens.

If you can get the new key on at all, why not drill it and pin it to what remains of the shaft? If you can't, maybe ream the key out a little until you can, then drill and pin? Or, drill the key, then use the holes in the key as guides to drilling the shaft? Or, perhaps a long shot, but you could try Tix or silver solder to secure the key to the shaft.

Did you try a magnet on the key and shaft to verify not ferrous?

I wouldn't file the shaft. You might need that boogered-up arbor surface to provide some grip for solder. As you say, the clock isn't worth much.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

Mike Mall

NAWCC Member
Oct 27, 2021
501
172
43
Country
If both the key and shaft are aluminum - it should be easy to drill a hole through both, and add a pin.
You would need to seal off the movement from the shavings of course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Rausch

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
Good afternoon, John!

Just speculating here, but I think what may have happened is this: The key, as those on alarm clocks so often do, had left-handed threads. Someone, not knowing that, tried to get it off by turning it counter-clockwise, and experiencing difficulty, used a pliers and wrenched it off, tearing up the threads on the arbor (and probably on the original key as well).

They then discarded the original key, and tried to fit a right-handed thread key (or any key, for that matter), damaging the arbor threads still further (unless you did additional damage winding the clock with a pliers), and not working very well. You say the current key looks new and appears to have intact threads, all of which makes me suspect the new key is a replacement. Might want to try a known left-handed thread key and see what happens.

If you can get the new key on at all, why not drill it and pin it to what remains of the shaft? If you can't, maybe ream the key out a little until you can, then drill and pin? Or, drill the key, then use the holes in the key as guides to drilling the shaft? Or, perhaps a long shot, but you could try Tix or silver solder to secure the key to the shaft.

Did you try a magnet on the key and shaft to verify not ferrous?

I wouldn't file the shaft. You might need that boogered-up arbor surface to provide some grip for solder. As you say, the clock isn't worth much.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
Yes Tim, I used a magnet to see if it was steel... it ain't. There is so much aluminum in that movement, I'd be surprised if it wasn't AL.
I did further bugger the threads winding it with the pliers, but they were shot when I took it in. The spring winds clockwise so it would not be a reverse thread for the key (but thanks, that was something I hadn't considered). Soldering (or epoxying) would be Option E and something I probably wouldn't consider since the rear case would not be removable anymore. You also suggested pinning the shaft which is my Option A (which follows).

Option A: Drill a hole through the Key and arbor and secure with a tapered pin.

Option B: Clean up the stripped portion of the arbor and cut new threads with a smaller die, then fabricate a new key to fit.

Option C: Square-off the stripped portion and find a square-hole winding key to fit.

Option D: Cut off the stripped portion, drill out & tap the arbor to 6-32, insert a bolt and secure with Loctite (I have 242 & 609 on hand).

I think Option D is the best act of restoration but will probably prove too difficult with the movement intact (ie; trying to drill a straight hole, dead-centered). I think B is nice, but may leave the remaining arbor too weak and exposed to breaking. Option A may also fit in with Option B with all the stress on a steel pin in an aluminum shaft. Option C (also suggested by JimmyOz) is probably the option I am leaning towards (providing I can find an appropriate winding key. The stripped portion is about 3mm dia and I'm thinking an American size 00 (or Euro size 0) key is about 3mm on the diagonal).

I'm entertaining all commentary on the above because I love hearing your ideas.
 

Mike Mall

NAWCC Member
Oct 27, 2021
501
172
43
Country
I have been wondering if this stuff is for real. Sounds too good to be true - but it is a brand I've grown to trust.
It would be really great if you would be the guinea pig, and report back the results. :)

 
  • Like
Reactions: Wimberleytech

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
I have been wondering if this stuff is for real. Sounds too good to be true - but it is a brand I've grown to trust.
It would be really great if you would be the guinea pig, and report back the results. :)

Thanks!! That's an interesting find. Most of the info on it is for the female threads being stripped. I sent Loctite a "Contact Us" message asking about repairing male threads. We'll see what they say.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Mall

Mike Mall

NAWCC Member
Oct 27, 2021
501
172
43
Country
You're really investigating this.
I didn't actually expect you to be the guinea pig, but I see it caught your curiosity as well.
This stuff sounds like "machinist in a can" from the description, or just plain magic.

"Restores worn, stripped or damaged threads and eliminates future corrosion, galling, seizing, and rust. Allows up to 128 ft. lbs. of torque between -65°F to 300°F. Permanently repairs stripped threads and fasteners in five minutes."
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,521
2,941
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I'm skeptical of anything that claims to fix stuff easily. I'm interested in the results of your test though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Mall

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
I have been wondering if this stuff is for real. Sounds too good to be true - but it is a brand I've grown to trust.
It would be really great if you would be the guinea pig, and report back the results. :)

So here's the response from the manufacturer to using it for male threads on a 3mm dia shaft...

"We show the smallest size of thread for Stripped Thread Repair as 1/4". Very small stripped threads would likely be difficult to apply. This product is also normally used for stripped female threads. We have no testing on how it would perform to repair a male thread. The product works by using the mating thread as the "mold" to repair the damaged threads."
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,851
279
83
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Ahk, just talk to the woman, tell her its cheap Chinese knock off. Then sell her nice antique. She just probably wants to hear the tick-tock
 
  • Like
Reactions: wow

Mike Mall

NAWCC Member
Oct 27, 2021
501
172
43
Country
So here's the response from the manufacturer to using it for male threads on a 3mm dia shaft...

"We show the smallest size of thread for Stripped Thread Repair as 1/4". Very small stripped threads would likely be difficult to apply. This product is also normally used for stripped female threads. We have no testing on how it would perform to repair a male thread. The product works by using the mating thread as the "mold" to repair the damaged threads."
Thanks for the information!
It's about what I expected, the sales department usually leaves out some considerations.
I can see where there could be some uses in a tapped part, with a new fastener. (If there is no access to a Heli Coil, or Time-sert)
But it's probably not of any practical use in the clock world.
 

Wimberleytech

NAWCC Member
Jan 27, 2022
204
89
28
68
Country
Good afternoon, John!

Just speculating here, but I think what may have happened is this: The key, as those on alarm clocks so often do, had left-handed threads. Someone, not knowing that, tried to get it off by turning it counter-clockwise, and experiencing difficulty, used a pliers and wrenched it off, tearing up the threads on the arbor (and probably on the original key as well).
I think this is correct.
Another option is to file the post to a square and make a winding key from a double-ended clock key (the kind for adjusting the regulator).
 

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
I've settled on Option C. I can cover the movement with a plastic baggie to prevent debris from falling into it, then file the arbor square. I'm waiting on a couple of size 0 and 00 winding/setting ends to arrive. Thank you all for your input.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Mall

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
Just to follow up, I was able to mask off the movement (to prevent contamination from debris) and square off the arbor to about 2.5mm. Then I used a small size 0 setting key and key wing to make the new separate winding key. So it's not really restored, but it is workable and makes the little keepsake run. I also noticed the alarm on/off stem was missing the little button/tip, so I used a minute arbor from a discarded quartz movement, broached it out, and epoxied it to extend the stem and give something to pull on. Thank you for all your input.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wimberleytech

John Rausch

NAWCC Member
Mar 16, 2015
137
43
28
Bradenton, FL
Country
My neighbor was THRILLED to have her grandmother's Westclox table clock running again! This was so important to her because she was brought up by her grandmother and she remembers this clock at the bedside for naps and ticking her to sleep at night. In this case, the value of the timepiece was not measured in dollars, but in memories.

I also neglected to mention that the clear plastic face cover had some minor scratches in it that I was able to remove with Novus polish.
 

Wimberleytech

NAWCC Member
Jan 27, 2022
204
89
28
68
Country
In this case, the value of the timepiece was not measured in dollars, but in memories.
I am an amateur (son of a watchmaker) and the vast majority of the repairs I do are on similar pieces. Some of the watches/clocks I have repaired have little value in terms of $$ but as you say, their are different ways of measuring.

I do not charge for my service. For the most part, I am paid by seeing the pleasure of the owner getting their treasure restored.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,521
2,941
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I like happy customers. I also like a happy bank account. I don't do freebies. :)
 

Forum statistics

Threads
179,019
Messages
1,570,224
Members
54,047
Latest member
aztrukin
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,088
Last edit
Swiss Fake by Kent