Help Another pivot question

disciple_dan

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I have a 1998 Howard Miller Hermle 1051-020 on the bench. I was running when it came in for just a cleaning. Now, I don't do just cleaning. I tell my customers that they must agree to have any problem I may discover repaired after I have disassembled the movement, but that's another thread altogether.
This 1051 has pivots that look like dry cracked skin. I've not seen pivots like that before. Plated steels look different when they have failed. I don't think these are plated. Has anybody seen this? Lines (not so much scratches) in all directions. Strange!
Thanks, Danny
 

Willie X

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I have learned to expect anything with a Hermle.

Is the associated bushing/s worn? How bout the barrels?

Chance a repair ... or replace. That's always the Hermle question. :???:

Would it be possible for you to get a close-up photo of that pivot?

Good luck, Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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I'll try to get that close up for you, Willie. The bearings are not worn. Very little if any. The customer says the movement has been maintained and I can verify that it has been apart before. It was over oiled which pretty common. The spring barrels are marked S, T, C respectively, in large markings on the barrel lids. Overall the movement is in fair shape. I would think it should last for a few more years. I guarantee my work for a year so I want to be confident it's going to run a few more.
My concern is with polishing the pivots. If it's plated steels I'm going to recommend a replacement but I don't think it is. It's a 1998 movement. Date code J
Working on those pics................
Thanks, Danny
 

bikerclockguy

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Could it be they were sprayed/coated with a silicon-based dry lube, and what you are seeing is alligatoring in that coating? Just going out on a limb there. If it’s in the pivot surface itself, maybe Ella Fitzgerald sang at their house? Hahaha
 

disciple_dan

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maybe Ella Fitzgerald sang at their house? Hahaha
You don't look that old, bikerclockguy. That was funny though. I'm not sure of the manufacturing techniques of Hermle in 1998 but as Willie said, who knows.
The lines don't look like grooves or scratches more like discolorations on the surface. They go in all directions like cracks. I'll get some photos tomorrow and get them posted.
Thanks for all the help. Danny
 

bikerclockguy

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You don't look that old, bikerclockguy. That was funny though. I'm not sure of the manufacturing techniques of Hermle in 1998 but as Willie said, who knows.
The lines don't look like grooves or scratches more like discolorations on the surface. They go in all directions like cracks. I'll get some photos tomorrow and get them posted.
Thanks for all the help. Danny
“Is it live, or is it Memorex?” Thanks, but yeah, I’m that old ;-)
 
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bikerclockguy

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You don't look that old, bikerclockguy. That was funny though. I'm not sure of the manufacturing techniques of Hermle in 1998 but as Willie said, who knows.
The lines don't look like grooves or scratches more like discolorations on the surface. They go in all directions like cracks. I'll get some photos tomorrow and get them posted.
Thanks for all the help. Danny
On a more serious note, you might try “slicking the pivots up” with some 0000 steel wool and machine oil. That what least give you an idea whether it was on the surf or something deeper
 

disciple_dan

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That's a good thought. I usually polish plated steel with Simichrome on a wooden stick. I might try that steel wool and oil. I wouldn't have to support the end of the arbor in the lathe that way.
Is the associated bushing/s worn? How bout the barrels?
Willie, while there is minimal wear at most bearings the barrels so seem to be sloppy. Especially the chime.
Thanks, Danny
 

shutterbug

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Could it be heat discoloration on the pivot? Maybe it was replaced, and hardened.
 

bikerclockguy

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Looks like light pitting to me, like it has been in an environment with a mild corrosive agent. Near the ocean maybe?
 

shutterbug

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Try touching them with a burnisher. If there is flaking, it will get worse. If not, it will shine up. Let us know. Don't be too aggressive ;)
I have had pretty good success with removing the coating and polishing the steel underneath it.
 

Willie X

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Looks bad to me. If that color is true, someone may have heated the pivots.
Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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I'll try the burnishing. That should be a good test.
I'm with you Willie, looks bad. I think the color is from the cheap x100 mini microscope I'm using. The light is a soft blue. On most of the plated pivots, I've seen and used water on there will be micro rust spots on the pivots. I did put these in the US with Radiant and a hot water rinse. I don't see any signs of rust but I think they are plated.
I'll do a little more testing and let you know. Thanks again, Danny
 

Rod Schaffter

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I believe Hermle stopped using plated pivots in the early 1990s.

Very strange; they look blued, but I would think bluing would wear off...

Cheers,
Rod
 

disciple_dan

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Well, the 95 years old customer doesn't think she'll need the movement to last another 20 + years so she has asked me to do the best I can at my base price and she won't bad-mouth me if it stops running before a year has passed. I told her I can't give her my 1-year guarantee.
So, I polished all the pivots like this: 20210612_114604.jpg
So, I've got it cleaned and pegged and smoothed and I' ready to put it back together. I testing the Hairspring balance know for rotation. I forgot to take the pic of its rotation time before I did the one dip but it was barely over one minute. I soaked it for about 4 minutes and this is the result.
1623519473220.png
That's still not good enough. If I understand what I've learned, it should rotate for around 2.5 minutes when pull to an arch of 270` (how do you make the degrees mark?)
So, do you leave it in dip longer? Any help will be taken with much thanks, Danny
 

Willie X

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2 minutes is fine.

I wouldn't get to carried away with the One-dip. Most just rinse and lightly brush in Coleman Lantern Fuel, or naphtha.

Make a Sharpie® mark on the rim, in line with the double rollers. When running well the balance will turn at least 360°. The mark will travel out 180° to the left of the center (at rest point) and then 180" to the right of of the center point. You can see the mark when it stops at the front.

Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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You're a real Gem, Willie X. After I dipped it, I used low pressure to blow the excess out. I did not put any oil in it.
 

disciple_dan

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Ok, so the 1050-020 is all back together! Now, I'm having a little problem with the balance. This clock was running when I brought it in. However, as I was lining up the pivots I noticed that the calibration stem for adjusting the fork at the EW was bent toward the outside. Away from the fork. I don't think I could have done that by accident without knowing it. I was able to tweak it back into place. I mysteriously work for a short while but I had only one screw in it. When I put the other in it was as you can see in the pic. It seems that the fork is rubbing on the ring on the balance arbor.
What do I need to adjust to make this one work?
To avoid being tagged as a "Willie X groupie" I wanted to say long live all of you. You're all of equal importance. Willie X just happens to be the one that seems to have a broader range of practical experience in this season and he's so free in sharing it. He seems to be the top dog. (In my yard anyway)
Thank you all for being so willing to help those of us that have come after you. God bless you all, Danny
1623612680242.png
 

disciple_dan

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Well, After I put that rather large picture up, I could light in between the fork and ring. It wasn't touching. I went to have another look. I thought about having that bent adjuster for the pivot and checked the end shake on the fork arbor and it was a little springy. I unscrewed the pivot dust cover and it started running. The arbor is too long. It protrudes on both sides.
So now I'm back to trying to get a little more amplitude. I didn't repair the movement per customers request, only a cleaning. No warranty.
On that note, do you guys have the customer sign something saying that repair was denied?
 

ChimeTime

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I didn't repair the movement per customers request, only a cleaning. No warranty. On that note, do you guys have the customer sign something saying that repair was denied?
IMHO, best to always spin it positive. Make a note on the repair order of what you DID do, and how the clock is now keeping good time. You might even connect a beat counter and let the customer see the readings when he arrives. You control the conversation and set the positive expectation. As soon as he walks in, greet him with a big smile and say, 'Come over here and look at this. Wow! You won't believe !'

Don't even mention what wasn't done. If he brings it up, point to the beat counter and say 'the electronic monitor says that work wasn't necessary'. Talk in terms of 'I found a way to get the clock running correctly AND save you money.' No one can argue with that win-win logic.

If you don't have a beat counter, you can down load an Android app called "Clock Tuner". Works pretty good in a room with no other clocks.
 
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disciple_dan

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I don't know? That's all well and good until the customer comes back a month later and says you charged me so many dollars and now my clock has stopped and they want you to make it right. Then I'm the bad guy. I think I want to tell them upfront that either I repair everything or nothing. Repair everything and it's warranted or just clean it and it's "as is" I would have them sign a statement that the movement was cleaned only, no repair per their instruction.
Or something to that effect. I don't have it settled in my mind yet.
Does that seem unreasonable? Just asking, Danny
 

shutterbug

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If the customer won't pay for the full service, I don't accept the job. My name is on it when it leaves my shop, so to speak, and I want that name to be my promise of reliability.
 

bikerclockguy

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I don't know? That's all well and good until the customer comes back a month later and says you charged me so many dollars and now my clock has stopped and they want you to make it right. Then I'm the bad guy. I think I want to tell them upfront that either I repair everything or nothing. Repair everything and it's warranted or just clean it and it's "as is" I would have them sign a statement that the movement was cleaned only, no repair per their instruction.
Or something to that effect. I don't have it settled in my mind yet.
Does that seem unreasonable? Just asking, Danny
Seems reasonable to me, Danny. I have never charged anyone for clock rebuild/repair, since it’s just a hobby for me, but the practices you are describing are common in the automotive repair community. It can be difficult to get the customer to sign statements releasing shops from liability, and most of the shop owners I know don’t even try. Instead, they write a statement in their own hand on the customer’s copy of the invoice to the effect of “Advised Mr Smith repairs X, Y and Z were needed. Repairs were declined. As is, no warranty”, and then they sign and date it themselves. I think your direct, honest approach is best too. If the customer declines needed repairs, and asks you to put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound, they need to leave your shop knowing that’s what you did. As a mechanic friend of mine used to put it “Lady, I did the best I could with your budget, but I can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t”
 
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Willie X

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I don't have any problem doing 'short jobs', with the clear understanding there is the 'big job' a waiting, sooner or later.

Sometimes this will give the customer some time to attach, or re-attach, to the clock and be willing to do the big job later.

You are probably making a big mistake to turn away any job, unless the customer is really 'off in left field' with their expectations.

Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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I guess what I'm trying to do is separate a cleaning from a repair.
If someone brings in and clock and says it's working, I just want it cleaned ( as is the case with the clock that started this thread) I tell them my base price for cleaning only and they agree. After I get it cleaned I find that the plated pivots look like the bottom of a dry river bed, what then? The running clock is doomed to fail. Most likely soon. As in this case, I recommended a replacement, she declined. Thankfully, this elderly woman being wise, said that's fine, just do the cleaning and I'll deal with the clock when the time comes. (unless her time comes first) As Willie said, she's attached to it. Many people are not so understanding. If I don't have some designation between cleaning and repair I'm afraid they will smear good name before I can even get one.
Maybe I'm micro-managing. I just want to be upfront and open about it all. I'd rather turn down a few jobs that have the potential of getting rotten before I can get them done. I try to be a reasonable man, all my customers will not be.
Anyway, About the clock. I have it on the test stand, running. I had an issue with the chime system but thankfully I found a post that WOW had made on another thread and it was just what I needed.
I'm getting about 380 degrees of rotation on the balance. I'm not sure what it was when it came in. I really need to start looking and testing more before I start the repair.
Too long man, too long!
Thanks for sharing, Danny
 

disciple_dan

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I'm having problems with this chime system. Inconsistency, missing notes, not enough lift on various hammers.
I found some play between the hammers on their center rod. Check out this video.
 

Willie X

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The classic meaning of the word 'cleaning' (when applied to a clock movement) means complete disassembly with any and all problems addressed.

Most customers have absolutely no clue. They just want their clock to run.

Willie X
 

Willie X

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You really don't want to encourage customers that "don't want to pay". Let em walk, with the friendly reminder to come back if they change their mind.

If you aren't charging for your estimates, you need to. This cuts out a lot of the yard sale junk along with many of the tight wadds and deadbeats.

Willie X
 

shutterbug

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Honestly, cleaning involves a lot of work, and repairing issues as long as you have it apart just makes sense. The repair part is usually a minimal added cost to the cleaning. I explain that to people who feel that "just cleaning it" is cheap. As an example, I could do ten bushings in less than an hour. Why put it back together without fixing it?
 

shutterbug

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They've already agreed to pay for the major part, yes? So adding a few bushings, etc. is not going to add much. I think maybe breaking it down for her might help. In most cases, the actual repairs will add $50 to $100 to the cleaning bill. Not that much more, and then you feel good about guaranteeing the job. I guess "you get what you pay for" applies here :)
 

bikerclockguy

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What if they don't want to pay? What then?
They don’t get the clock. If they are well-intentioned, but have sudden unforeseen financial trouble, I would probably work with them. If not, and they are just cheapskates, keep the clock and sell it. An up-front “minimum” price quote(on the high side)would probably eliminate a lot of that. If, for some reason, the job is easier than you anticipated, you can always knock off a few bucks and ask for referrals
 

disciple_dan

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An up-front “minimum” price quote(on the high side)would probably eliminate a lot of that. If, for some reason, the job is easier than you anticipated, you can always knock off a few bucks and ask for referrals
I was just thinking of that as a solution. I'll ponder on that. Thanks.
In most cases, the actual repairs will add $50 to $100 to the cleaning bill. Not that much more, and then you feel good about guaranteeing the job. I guess "you get what you pay for" applies here :)
Yes, that's probably true. In this particular case, it was a matter of replacing the movement because the plated pivots were failing. The price went up by 400 percent. In most cases, it would be a minimal increase. Ok, I'm satisfied with the answers you'll have given so we can move on.
Thank you. Have a Happy day! Danny
 

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