Ansonia springs................sounds like a spa.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by amzgraz, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Greetings: I am working on an Asonia metel, open escapement, clock made in New York. From what I,ve read, after 1879 all of Anonia's clocks were made in N.Y. as opposed to Conn. It seems as if business competetion was very alive during the late 1800s as many businesses failed or were bought out. ansonia sold out in 1929 just months before the Crash. In hind sight they were lucky. enough....
    The Bushings were quite dirty but appear in reasonable shape. The strike side operared with no effort but could not get the time side to budge. It seems as there is insufficient force traver through the gearing. I disassembled the movement and removed the springs. This is the first time I've seen different sizes...anyway, I measued the width of the unwound springs at rest and found one at 6.5" and 6" rerspectivley. Are they bad or good:???::???::???:?
    Noteworthy!! The movement plates were embossed on the outer faces. This seems unnecessarly expensive for an enclosed unit.....HUMMMM.
    thanks for your opinions.
    dennis

    DSC07903.JPG DSC07939.JPG DSC07940.JPG DSC07941.JPG
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,049
    106
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW, Australia
    Country Flag:
    People had to hang the pendulum so it was not uncommon to emboss back plates. It would seem a waste to emboss the front plates but if the system was set up to emboss, it wouldn't have cost a lot more to do the front plates.
     
  3. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    666
    90
    28
    N. Mariana Islands
    Region Flag:
    As long as the ends are in good shape and there are no cracks, I'd clean, oil and use them.
     
  4. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,049
    106
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW, Australia
    Country Flag:
    Have only ever replaced a mainspring that is broken badly or is rusty. I often repair mainsprings.
     
  5. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    918
    62
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Main springs do have a life span. When coiled up in a clock they start losing their "memory" for their un-coiled position and will start assuming the coiled up shape. From looking at the photo of the springs from your works I would not use them again. What I see is a couple of springs that have lost their uncoiled memory or very close to it. Look at the spring coils around the winding arbor, they are very close to oneanother. This is indicitive of a dead or near dead spring. They may still work for now but they are on borrowed time. I would replace them.
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,553
    343
    83
    I would strongly disagree with the statements given in the last post #5.
    Post #3 and #4 are correct. Furthermore, introducing new springs will bring in a lot of new variables, one of which is sudden or premature failure. You can look up 'Willies Turns of Power' if you want to test your springs. Also, look up 'spring service'. Willie X
     
  7. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    OKKKKK lets arm wrestle:D I will consult with existing data and proceed with mucho gusto.........
    thanks to all. dennis
     
  8. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    602
    19
    18
    Female
    Lodi, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Whether the springs need to be changed or not because of their power is, I think, premature. If they have no damage to them, then the original springs would be better for detecting problems with the movement, since as stated, new springs could bring problems of their own with them. The OP states the movement was disassembled, and bushing were dirty. Was it cleaned? Were the springs cleaned and lubed? I'm assuming 'yes'. I have never worked on an open escapement, specifically because of the many problems discussed on this forum. So, personally, with as many inherent problems that are said to come with this type of movement, I think I would look everywhere else for a problem before I changed the springs.
     
  9. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,553
    343
    83
    amz,
    Could you explain your thread title?
    Like what does a "spa" sound like?
    Willie X
     
    Dave T likes this.
  10. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    20,164
    436
    83
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Ansonia Springs sounds like the name for a spa.
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,553
    343
    83
    Oooooh, don't see the word spa on this list to much. Thanks Steven
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    18,401
    190
    63
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Those mainsprings look collapsed to me. But I won't get into the replacement debate.:oops:
     
  13. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    918
    62
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Willie X, we have to agree to disagree on this one. I've been repairing clocks for the past 46 years and have replaced probably several hundred springs. I only buy the best quality spring available and have never had a problem, as you describe, with one of them. As for repairing a spring, if it still has useful running life then repairing a broken hole end or loop end will work. If it is cracked or broken in "any" part of the main body I replace it, I never shorten it. But no one can put the lost power back in a spring. I have had a lot more problems with weak and dead springs than with a new one. In this case I have seen springs in this condition before. There may be some life there but not much. It would be better to change them now rather than shortly down the road.
     
  14. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    WELL, I pegged the bushing holes and placed in Ultrasonic for several minutes, doused with baking soda laced water to counter the ammonia, flushed with water and blow dried all of the parts (except the clutch). Polished the exposed escapement components and reassembled. Previoulsy, there was very little if any spring energy at the escapement. The cleaning, which included both springs and oiling of same as well as all pivot points had a remarkable effect. With a generic bob, it will operate. Havn't fully established a beat. As for the strike side, it did work prior to cleaning but on reassembly it was tight and non functional. During an initial inspection of the disassembled plates for badly worn bushings, I noted that one end of the fly, the bushing sets in a "tab", (see pic.) which was not parallel to the the plate. I carefull y bent the tab to conform with the overall flatness of the plate. consequently on reassembly, there was insufficient room between the plates to accommodate the fly. Loosening one corner solved the problem. Of the many data to be learned, repeated viewings of the various functions of the two trains translates into certainty of success. If I could only remember this, less anguish would pevail. Problem!!! :(There is no single gong strike on the 1/2 hr. Both there and on the hour, results in an hour gong strike. Now I have a clock that gongs 24 times in 12 hrs. This is right up there with placing the count wheel on backwards. I now have the option to sell "mystery" clocks. I really need a to keep a working movement of hand for reference.
    BTW Willie, at a spa one might hear lots of AAAhhhs and plearure moans such as "thats the spot, yeah right there":D. Sorry about the sentence structure... in high school, english grammer was similar to French.

    DSC07944.JPG DSC07947.JPG
     
  15. kologha

    kologha Registered User

    Dec 11, 2011
    353
    12
    18
    Retired Production Engineer, Nissan SA Motor Con
    Eastern Cape SA
    Country Flag:
    Regarding 'Tired' clock springs, I would like to quote from Laurie Penman's 'The Clock Repairers Handbook', page 143 lower LH column headed Distortion:

    "Incidentally a tired spring that has clearly been in place a long time can very often be given a new lease of life, by straightening it out with the fingers. Obviously if the spring is new and become tired, there is some problem with it's strength (more properly it's 'temper') in which case there is no point in straining it again in this fashion. However, all springs lose a little of their facility to recover from the strain of being wound up, at each winding, and if the observed tiredness is the result of this, the spring may very well be preserved to give many years additional service. An antique, handmade spring is more worthwhile saving in this way an than easily replaced modern one."

    I might add that I have done this on two of my clocks, one approx 85 years old and the other approx 110 years old and have found that it works.
     
  16. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,049
    106
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW, Australia
    Country Flag:
    I think I said somewhere above that I have repaired many mainsprings. I don't actually use a mainspring winder. Don't even have one. Though I have made many tools. I have always used my hands. I never wear gloves. I do utilise my apron to snag the unspringing coils.
     
  17. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    918
    62
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Regardless of what Laurie Penman says you can't correct 85 to 100 years or more (or even less) of a spring that has reformed its shape with a few minutes of finger back bending. I've tried it and it does work for a few windings but the spring will quickly return to its coiled up shape and loss of power. Every time I tried back bending a spring I had to go back and replace the spring in a month or less of running time.
     
  18. kologha

    kologha Registered User

    Dec 11, 2011
    353
    12
    18
    Retired Production Engineer, Nissan SA Motor Con
    Eastern Cape SA
    Country Flag:
    Perhaps the springs you worked on were suspect from the beginning. My two clocks have been running for over two years with no problems.
     
  19. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    918
    62
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That is very possible. The clocks I worked on were not "suspect" the springs did not have enough runnung power to drive the clock. I had disassembled them cleaned and reassembled and oiled. The springs would not drive the clock. I disassembled them and tried to "back bend" the springs. They ran for a short time and then died. Most clock repairmen I know of don't clean and reassemble a works and wind it up just to see if the spring is still good. Most repairmen make a decision about a spring still having running life in it by looking at it. That does not work. If you have back bent a spring that still had running life that is probably what you still see in the running of works. Once a spring's molecular structure has been changed over the past many years of being wound and unwound it will remain that way. A one time back bending does not change the molecular structure. Bending any metal back and forth does not give it strength it weakens it by fracturing the molecular structure.
     
  20. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,553
    343
    83
    I've pulled out 1000s of springs, in the process of inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. I never replace one unless a flaw is found during this process. I don't do this as any kind of therapeutic treatment for the spring. I do it as the only good way I've found to properly service a spring, old or new.

    I do agree that springs assume a certain size after some years of use but this in no way affects them from powering a clock that is in good running order. And a new spring will also take on this same shape in a few years. That's just what springs normally do.

    Routine replacement of mainsprings was a better argument back when known good replacement springs were still readily available.

    Willie X
     
    John P likes this.
  21. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,947
    210
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm more conservative than I used to be, but I have seen evidence of set, or tired mainsprings. Their rapidly falling torque curve can have a definite affect on the spring's ability to maintain acceptable isochronism over the clock's intended winding cycle. Said differently, a set mainspring will still power the clock well after a full wind but it will begin to lose torque more quickly as it unwinds and the movement will either slow down, or speed up as a result. The owner can simply rewind the springs every three or four days (or whatever works) or they can calibrate the movement to run a little fast after a full wind in the anticipation that it will lose the time it gained by the end of the week, or they can just live with the inaccuracy and reset the clock during or at the end of the re-wind cycle.

    I have not seen a set mainspring cause any problems other than a relatively rapid fall off of time-keeping accuracy. The clock should run okay after a full wind, even with set mainsprings. If it doesn't run after a full wind, and new springs apparently "fix" the problem, you're just masking a problem caused by some power loss or inefficiency. If the new spring is of the appropriate size and strength it probably will have no effect on the issue. If you increase the mainspring's strength over what is appropriate to the movement in order to force it to run, you're just going to run it into the ground.

    I do not order cheap replacement springs. Merritts, for example, sells mainsprings manufactured in Germany as well as cheaper ones manufactured in India. I don't order any of the later springs and I always cycle new springs numerous times (5-10) before installing them. My hope in doing so is to expose manufacturing defects before installing them.

    I think we give all due credit to old surviving mainsprings, but we don't see examples which failed early in their service life.

    If the original mainsprings are wrought iron (roughly 'textured' steel), or brass they should preserved or repaired if at all possible. If the existing smooth steel hole-end mainsprings are only starting to crack near or around the hole-end, they should probably be re-holed unless there is evidence that the spring has been re-holed previously, then the length of the mainspring, as well as the microscopic integrity of the steel, may become suspect. Considering the damage that can result from a catastrophic mainspring failure, I don't think it's worth the risk to keep repairing a spring which has previously failed.

    For what it's worth, that's what I think.
     
  22. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I would like to thank all who contributed to my post. Clock spring use is similar to motorcycle lubrication. Which OIL is the best. Associated threads are never ending. Regarding the clock springs is is obvious that likes, dislikes opinions, and experience abond. All, who are well versed in this trade/hobby have witnessed numerous similar experiences as well as singular (unusual) ones.

    As long as you are reaading this, I have an additional question. No bob came with this open escapement metel clock. I used an adjustable bob from another asonia metel (closed escapemenmt) but can NOT keep the unit running.
    The clutch is quite easily manipulated and after repeated adjustments to same, the best that I can achieve is 5 of 10 min of run time. Does this movement require a specific bob:???::???:
     
  23. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    918
    62
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    To answer your question about the pendulum I've attached a photo of a pendulum that is commonly used with the Ansonia open escapement. It is 1" in diameter, the hanger rod is 3 7/8" in total length and it weighs 2.6 oz. These are fairly common on the internet. However the bob is probably not the problem with the running failure you are experiencing. If you have done due diligence on cleaning the pivots, bushings and pinions and no other apparent problems then you should be getting enough transfer of power to the escape wheel to drive the clock. A lose crutch wire could cause what you are experiencing. It should tight enough on the escapement arbor that it stays in position when running. If not, that will have to be corrected. The best way to do that is to stake it down so it is tighter. If that does not correct the problem then you will have to consider wether or not the springs are providing the needed power to drive the clock.

    Ansonia Pendulum.jpeg
     
  24. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,947
    210
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree with Joseph. A healthy movement will run with just about any pendulum that is close to being correct. You may not be able to properly regulate a movement with a pendulum that is too short, or long, or heavy or light, but the movement will run. At least it always has in my experience.

    When it stalls, without disturbing the movement as a whole, carefully work your way from the verge back down to the great wheel by taking a small pair of tweezers and moving each arbor back and forth as you check for end-shake. When you encounter the first wheel that has no end-shake (gear is receiving power from the springs) that may help you identify where the issue is located within the gear train.

    Good luck with it!

    Bruce
     
  25. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,553
    343
    83
    Amz,
    I don't think you mentioned how much the replacement pendulum weighed. Anything between 2 and 3 ounces should be fine. Anything over about 4 ounces might not work. A small short pendulum clock can be much more sensitive to pendulum weight than a large movement with a long pendulum. Willie X
     
  26. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Greetings: I pulled the pendulum from my other Ansonia clock (It is a match to that pictured by Joseph Bautsch) and worked with it....Not much luck at first. The clutch is quite sensitive as in easily moved. It seems to remain in position unless the bob swings tooooo far left of right when I smack it :D I performed the back check suggested by T. after T. and all had sufficient arbor/plate clearances. I wound the spring a few turns and continued manipulations. I redrilled the tapered pin retention hole in the suspension spring as It was being supported by a very fine copper wire, which was swaped for a tapered pin. I also played with the crutch loop by increading and decreasing the interior hole width. With an excess of room for the leader the crutch "slaps" the loop sides and vice versa when the opening is narrowed. Is there a rule of thumb or (other digit :rolleyes:) regarding the accepted, appropriate or logical interaction of these two items?? Well, I finally succeded in having a full nights running. The degree of arc for this movement is very small for such a short Pendulum. I hopefully did not create a bad situation when I added a bit of finger nail polich to provide a tighter fit. J. Baursch refered to "staking" the clutch to offset looseness. Not sure what this implies.
    Thanks again...........amzgraz
     
  27. kologha

    kologha Registered User

    Dec 11, 2011
    353
    12
    18
    Retired Production Engineer, Nissan SA Motor Con
    Eastern Cape SA
    Country Flag:
    The crutch loop should be square to the rear plate (90 deg) as well as horizontal and the pendulum leader must be a good sliding fit in it. You should also put a little oil on the loop because as the crutch moves from side to side the pendulum leader slides up and down a very small amount. Any slap is lost power and must be eliminated as far as possible. The suspension spring must also be a good fit in its slot, but must be free to allow the weight of the pendulum to keep it vertical. Again sloppy fits here result in lost power and must be avoided.
     
  28. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Sounds logical. I will make the suggested steps and surely enjoy a running movement.. When "in beat" it has a distinct tick tock...very nice.
    Now another anomaliy...........I acquired a set of clamps for mounting the movement in a hanging postion to facilitate the necessary adjustments. I have found that when supported (at two points) the chime train will not run. It seems as the entire unit is experiencing some torque or torsion. If hand held it works fine. Are these movements prone to distortion if not mounted at four points? For a simple design, this movement is proving somewhat difficult to complete.

    DSC07965.JPG DSC07966.JPG
     
  29. kologha

    kologha Registered User

    Dec 11, 2011
    353
    12
    18
    Retired Production Engineer, Nissan SA Motor Con
    Eastern Cape SA
    Country Flag:
    From the pic it looks as though the clamp might be fouling an arbor.
     
  30. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Initally, I mounted the hanger closer to the top and then moved it to near center. Both sides are clear of any contact with arbors, wheel etc.
     
  31. kologha

    kologha Registered User

    Dec 11, 2011
    353
    12
    18
    Retired Production Engineer, Nissan SA Motor Con
    Eastern Cape SA
    Country Flag:
    Your theory of distortion might very well be true. When bushing clock plates one always has to allow sufficient end shake as well as perhaps more 'play' between pivot and bush than would seem necessary. This is because there is tremendous force generated when the springs are fully wound and plates can and do distort. Why don't you try a different clamping method as you say it works when hand held.
     
  32. amzgraz

    amzgraz Registered User
    Sponsor

    Feb 19, 2018
    87
    1
    8
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks Kologha. Yes there is very little end play. I am considering a .002-3 shims a the corners. If that soesn't work, I will mount it and forget.
    dennis
     

Share This Page