Advice

Kent Burke

Registered User
Sep 22, 2020
16
1
3
I'm a newbie to the horological field, so please excuse my ignorance with proper terminology {which is important, i understand} etc. I have an introductory DVD course that shows me the basics, but I've run into a snag due to every watch looking different to me. So here goes: I am currently disassembling and cleaning a 16 size Elgin pocket watch but have run into problems with the new mainspring installation. According to a previous thread I posted, someone did tell me that I bought the right replacement spring, so I've discounted that as a possible error on my part. I installed the new mainspring by hand but can't get the cap of the barrel to snap back in place securely. I can only assume that perhaps I've inadvertently kinked it somehow upon installation. I've since taken it out and it doesn't {to my untrained eye at least} appear to be damaged in any way. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm going have to purchase a mainspring winder to do it properly {and maybe even a new mainspring} but I have no idea what to get. I'm on social security so my funds are limited and I certainly can't afford some fancy set with a myriad of sizes to choose from. I'm starting to think that this is the wrong hobby cause of the cost associated with some of the tools, however I refuse to give up so easily. I acquired a lot of the basic tools needed when I lived in a city where I could attend meetings of fellow enthusiasts but now I'm in an area that seems to devoid of that kind of help - hence I'm pretty much on my own now except for this forum. To get to the point, I'm willing to buy an inexpensive winder, but as is usual with everything these days, there is entirely too much information/options out there to make an uneducated decision on what to consider getting. This post is quite lengthy, but I wanted to explain myself as some of you may have been in a similar situation and wouldn't mind offering some advise.
 

roughbarked

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
5,948
798
113
Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
Country
Region
OK.
If you purchased the right replacement spring then something is coming out of the left field here. ;)

The first thing I'd think of is that the replacement spring is too high and of course that can be checked. The barrel lid needs to have enough clearance from the mainspring to be able to clip into the groove placed there for the purpose.
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,339
2,038
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Kent,

Are you sure that the arbor is seating properly in the base and lid? Sometimes the centre coil of the spring can push the arbor over to one side so that it doesn't immediately enter the hole in the lid properly.

Regards,

Graham
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
3,792
213
63
Gothenburg
Country
Can you measure the old spring and compare with the new?

Also make sure that each turn is seated in the barrel. It is enough if just on turn is a bit too high.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

Kent Burke

Registered User
Sep 22, 2020
16
1
3
Can you measure the old spring and compare with the new?

Also make sure that each turn is seated in the barrel. It is enough if just on turn is a bit too high.....
The old mainspring measures the same as my replacement - .104, thanks
 

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
3,792
213
63
Gothenburg
Country
When you took the old spring out, did you have to prey the lid open? If so the old spring was probably working correctly at one time.

If the old spring fitted fine the new (with the same measurements) should fit as well........

I don't think a mainspring winder will make any difference. It is good practise to use one when installing a mainspring, since handwinding may cause a slight cone shape to the mainspring.
Just make sure each turn is pressed down towards the bottom of the barrel. The lid can be a bit hard to close. Sometimes you need to use a pair of pliars...... (Careful not to cause any damage!)
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
6,686
2,655
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
You will note that this mainspring has a tab extending out from both sides of the outer end of the spring. These two tabs must nest into the corresponding slots in the barrel and the barrel cover. Otherwise the cover will not close properly.
Elgin MS817.jpg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
165,005
Messages
1,435,860
Members
85,920
Latest member
Remco
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,873
Last edit
Weekly News 7/7/19 by Tom McIntyre