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American wall clock

paolo

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Jul 1, 2021
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Hi, I have an american wall clock, inherited from my grandfather 25 years ago. It has been running fine in that period, when I first got it, I had it professionally cleaned.
It's an 8 day clock, running on a mainspring, however, lately it will not run for more than 5 days in between windings.
Any thoughts? Do the mainsprings wear out , or could it be in need of lubrication.
TIA


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steamer471

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Nov 2, 2013
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25 years is a long time and I suspect it's ready for an overhaul. Mainsprings seldom wear out but pivots and the holes they reside in do. Your clock looks like an Anglo-American clock. These were clocks made in England with imported American movements. I would have it professionally serviced by a competent repairman.
 

shutterbug

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I agree. The former repairman likely put some bushings into it and made modifications during his 'cleaning' process. Those bushings are now wearing out and need to be replaced again. Also, the next repairman may find it necessary to add a few more bushings.
25 years is about what one can expect from a good repair.
 
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paolo

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Jul 1, 2021
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Looking at the movement, I think it’s just dirt and crud that’s the issue. The bushings look ok and there isn’t much play. Any thoughts on cleaning it without dismantling it?
AD313105-751E-469C-B428-70DD59BB4695.jpeg 5D9B569F-DD9F-4B69-A4D2-415169DCD772.jpeg E4BA2AEB-884E-41AE-A37C-11C480598BA9.jpeg 2F9D714A-ED48-4F8E-B935-9F6321C654BB.jpeg CFBDE330-0202-4CC3-9CD6-A73CBA67423C.jpeg 7237DB0F-143A-485F-BBAF-898A08324322.jpeg DC294EC4-7214-4957-9880-395208BDB8ED.jpeg
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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The word "cleaning" in clock-speak means complete disassembly, inspecting every part, repairing, reconditioning, or replacing all worn or damaged parts, assembly and testing. That's a lot of comas there. And, IMO the word 'cleaning' is kind of a misnomer.

What I think you are speaking of would be called a 'rinse' or 'surface cleaning'. This is where you use a mild solvent like mineral spirits and a small brush to remove excess, or dried up, oil from the visible surfaces.

Unfortunately this can only make your clock look a little better. Nearly all clock problems, except excessive wear and damage are not visible and the visible problems will not be improved by any method of surface cleaning.

However, many clock repairers use a quick surface clean as a first step, to better see various problems and to make their expensive cleaning solutions last longer.

Rinse on, Willie X
 

shutterbug

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The problem with a dirty movement is that it hides wear. The pivot holes might look OK, but I can almost guarantee that they are not. You're going to have to learn how to repair a clock in order to get yours running again. You'll have to be especially careful with the mainsprings. Learn how to let them down before you do anything. The barrels they reside in will also make it impossible to dry them, so they'll rust if you attempt to clean the movement fully assembled.
 

paolo

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Jul 1, 2021
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I'm going to just wipe off the dirt for the moment.
I recently dismantled and cleaned a longcase movement, however, as yet I haven't tackled anything with springs, (Just to be clear, I am a total amateur at this.), but keen to learn.
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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Any thoughts on cleaning it without dismantling it?
Yes, don't!

It looks like a nice clock and it deserves to be cleaned properly. 25 years of neglect and running without oil and collecting dirt likely has caused excessive wear on the pivots and pivot holes. It may however run OK for a few more years if disassembled and cleaned, including removal and cleaning the springs. Don't attempt to remove the springs until doing some research on how to do this safely.

RC
 

paolo

Registered User
Jul 1, 2021
40
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8
60
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Yes, don't!

It looks like a nice clock and it deserves to be cleaned properly. 25 years of neglect and running without oil and collecting dirt likely has caused excessive wear on the pivots and pivot holes. It may however run OK for a few more years if disassembled and cleaned, including removal and cleaning the springs. Don't attempt to remove the springs until doing some research on how to do this safely.

RC
Point taken.
 

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