• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Antique Ingraham, mainspring issue.

pb4sc

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Oct 13, 2018
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Hi everyone,
With the help of the forum, I recently was able to identify my grandmothers Ingraham mantel clock. It is marked 10 98 on the front, which I believe means it was manufactured in Oct. of 1898.
Ingraham1098.jpg

It is not working, and when I inspected it, the mainspring was unwound.
Ingraham1098unwnd.jpg

There is a small clip that holds the teeth, so the mainspring keeps it's tension when you turn the key. This clip is loose, so it is not catching, and the mainspring will not stay wound.
InkedIngraham1098lock_LI.jpg

I believe that this is why the clock will not run correctly, because after awhile the spring begins to rub on some of the gears.
Ingraham1098rub.jpg


Is this old beauty a lost cause, or can it be repaired?

Any help is much appreciated,
Phil
 

Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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Phil,
The clip you refer to is called a click. It is what makes the clicking noise when the clock is wound. That click is a part of an assembly including the return spring, the rivet that the click pivots on and the ratchet wheel. Each of those must do their thing every time. If any part of that click assembly fails or is defective, the winding process can become dangerous. Any failure will result in the entire energy from the main spring being released to the key that is winding the clock. The energy will cause the key to spin wildly and can make a person’s hand bleed and/or the thumbnail blue.
There are a couple of other things to consider. Both the winding arbors (Time and strike) have probably been wound the same number of times in the last 100 years or so. That means both gear trains, both click assemblies, etc have been through the same treatment. It would be logical that the other click on the other train is ready to fail. When the energy from the mainspring is released that quickly, there is sometimes secondary damage to the movement. That secondary damage can be bent arbors (the axle from the gears), teeth broken off of the wheels (gears) or teeth being bent.
There are a number of fixes used for bad click assemblies. I would suggest replacing the click, the rivet that mounts it and replacement of the return spring with a spring made from spring steel. Many times the return spring was made from brass and brass is a poor material for that situation.
There are quite a few discussions about replacing/ repairing click assemblies on this MB
Try googling “replacing click springs” for background.

Best of Luck,

Dick
 

Micam100

NAWCC Member
Nov 11, 2019
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There is a small clip that holds the teeth
The small clip that holds the teeth is the “click”. It is normally under spring tension and should be held against the teeth. You will need to diagnose the issue that is preventing this. The click should be free to move on its rivet but not sloppy. The rivet should have no movement. This is an important area to get right, if the click fails on a fully wound spring a lot of damage can occur.

The spring is unlikely to rub on anything in normal use because the clock will need to be wound long before the spring expands that far.

The old beauty will probably last only another 100 years or so.

Michael
 

R. Croswell

Registered User
Apr 4, 2006
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Hi everyone,
With the help of the forum, I recently was able to identify my grandmothers Ingraham mantel clock. It is marked 10 98 on the front, which I believe means it was manufactured in Oct. of 1898.
View attachment 639846

It is not working, and when I inspected it, the mainspring was unwound.
View attachment 639847

There is a small clip that holds the teeth, so the mainspring keeps it's tension when you turn the key. This clip is loose, so it is not catching, and the mainspring will not stay wound.
View attachment 639848

I believe that this is why the clock will not run correctly, because after awhile the spring begins to rub on some of the gears.
View attachment 639849


Is this old beauty a lost cause, or can it be repaired?

Any help is much appreciated,
Phil
Yes, this old clock can easily be repaired and this type of repair is routinely done by any good clock repair shop. The immediate problem is probably that the rivet holding the click as come loose and cannot hold the "click" in line with the ratchet wheel. The usual first thought is can the rivet be tightened? Theoretically yes, but that rivet is likely soft brass and it is also worn and usually will not stay tight and can fail suddenly at any time. The ideal repair is to replace the brass rivet with a steel shoulder rivet that can be set tightly in place without binding the click and it will stay tight. The original click is probably better quality than the replacements being sold today. While a fracture of the click itself is uncommon it can happen, but unless the original click is really buggered up it may be reused. The better option is to have a clockmaker make a new click that duplicates the original. This type of steel click spring doesn't usually fail.

You may have collateral damage but with open spring movements like this you may be lucky. This is one of the old steel plate movements and it looks like someone has already done some bushing work, so it may just need a good cleaning and that click rivet replaced. Dick is absolutely correct in advising to- repair both clicks.

This isn't a DIY newbie repair, but is all in a days work for a good clock shop. Do yourself a favor and take this old girl in for a professional going over and it should be good for another 100 years.

RC
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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No, not a lost cause by any means.
All good advise above.
This is a very common problem. The click's wear patterns push the tip further and further out of position, far away from where it needs to be and then ...
Ka-bloooey!
A common problem but not an easy repair for a beginner. Unfortunately, reputatible clock repair people are almost gone.
Just wondering if you have ever successfully disassembled and reassembled any spring driven American clocks? if not, are you mechanically inclined? Willie X
 

kinsler33

Registered User
Aug 17, 2014
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If the click isn't loose on its rivet but the spring is missing you can just replace the spring. It's not too difficult, and you can make an efficient one out of piano wire from the hobby shop. If the click is ready to fall off its rivet, however, the wheel and mainspring must be disassembled and the click replaced. A 'shoulder rivet' is preferred, but any steel rivet will work if you're careful to not immovably rivet the click into place: it has to move freely on its rivet.

Mark Kinsler
 

pb4sc

Registered User
Oct 13, 2018
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Thanks everyone for all the information. I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me such excellent information and advice. I did learn the hard way with the spinning key which almost did give me a black and blue finger. Inspecting it further, it looks like all the gears, and teeth are still intact. It does look the the rivet holding the click is the problem, as the click has so much play in it, that it is not flush against the gear to lock it. While I am pretty mechanically inclined, I have never worked on a clock before. I do have a great watch repair shop near me, but it is really going to come down to cost to have it fixed. Once again, thank you all.

Phil
 
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