Assembly posts-- is there a trick?

Bkeepr

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Jul 8, 2020
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I bought some assembly posts (Timesavers Item #: 13409) to help when I assemble movements. I've only worked on 1920-1930 era American movements so far.

My problem is that these assembly posts keep slipping and/or unscrewing and coming loose and falling off the movement while I'm working pivots in. I now hand tighten the posts as tightly as I can, yet it continues to happen...this morning, the movement fell when I tried to catch it, and clock innards flew all over. (No, no pictures this time, just too discouraging!)

Obviously I am doing something wrong...what's the trick? Or should I just go back to setting the back plate on a cardboard box again, as I started out doing?

I'm thankful for any help!
 

Dave T

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I rarely use mine for the same reason. They aren't stable and don't have a low center of gravity.

I find that an old cardboard box or piece of styrofoam works better.
 

R. Croswell

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I don't use them anymore. I find the cardboard center of empty masking tape rolls work well. I cut a notch in the side for the crutch wire etc. I never had a problem with the assembly posts coming loose If I really tightened them, but they leave horrible marks on the clock plate where the screw digs in. A thin sheet of something like a main spring scrap eliminated the scaring, but I just prefer to use the carboard spools, or sometimes a PVC pipe coupling - whatever fits.

RC
 

bruce linde

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yeah, i have a set of those rolling around my bench somewhere... great idea, not that practical. empty tape roll centers, tupperware, etc. all let you support and maneuver as necessary.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Bkeeper,

Never fear. You haven't wasted your money.

With a hanger they can come in very handy for testing movements if you don't have a stand available, or one that works with the movement plates in question. They also have an advantage in that you can usually hang the movement facing the wall or the room.

Here's one such set up offered by Timesavers: Hanging Assembly Post Kit
I think that is the same kit that you cite in your original post.

That is about the only time I still use mine. As mentioned by RC, you'll want to use some type of material between the movement plate and the steel screw/fastener to avoid damaging the plate. Something as simple as thick business card stock will work. I usually use old gift card plastic cut into small squares. If you're going to use the Hanger, you'll definitely want the screws tight. It might also be a good idea to put something soft beneath the movement just in case. I'll usually put a small shipping box full of packing material below my hanging movements in test. I've never had one fall on me, yet.

Let us know if you have any questions on how to use it as a hanging test "stand". They'll also work well as assembly posts, you just have to make sure that they are tightly fastened to the plates.

The cardboard spool/center of shipping tape does work well and the price is right. Use two, one on each side if you need clearance down the center.

Regards,

Bruce
 

bangster

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I have always used them. And they piss me off when one falls off after I've reefed it down as tight as I can by hand. Generally I just cuss and
put it back on. Occasionally I resort to pliers. Dimples in the plate don't bother me; they're part of the history of the clock.

And yes, the hanger can be a lifesaver when you have a movement that won't fit any of your test stands. But do tighten the two supporting
ones well. :D
 

Kevin W.

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I use them and like them. I have the hanger part, so i can hang a movement on the wall and run it too. I must be in the minority.
 

Altashot

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I use and like them too. I don't normally put anything between the screws and the plate for assembly but do use small pieces of raw hide to really tighten them down for hanging.
The dimples don't bother me too much either. Like Bangster, I see those as history. I do however reinstall them in the same dimples if I left any. No need to make anymore than I have to.

M.
 

Bkeepr

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Thank you all for the insights. I’m glad I am not the only one having problems with them. I did use the hanger feature to run and test my first job and will likely do it again. I am not sure yet what I will do for assembling in the future, you have all given me lots to think about and try. Thanks!
 

shutterbug

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I use them, and have the long set too for those large chimers. I don't clamp mine too tight, and rarely lose one while working on a movement. They are mostly just for support. I think over tightening them makes marks in the plates and twists the support which make it more likely to fall off. Try them less tight and see how that goes for you.
 

Carl Bergquist

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I have them but rarely use them. I like a 4 inch pvc fitting and have several lengths of pvc laying around so I can get the movement at eye level in order to get the pivots to drop into place. Use only the weight of the top plate to work things into place.
 

Rockin Ronnie

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I have them but rarely use them. I like a 4 inch pvc fitting and have several lengths of pvc laying around so I can get the movement at eye level in order to get the pivots to drop into place. Use only the weight of the top plate to work things into place.
Exactly what I use. 4 inch (ID) is perfect. Cut to any height you want.

Ron

RS Movement2_2.jpg
 

Elliott Wolin

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I made my own using coupling nuts, nylon bolts, and a grinding wheel. The seem to work well, although they occasionally come off, probably should have used components with NF threads:

20201026_214109.jpg
 
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Kevin W.

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Teaclocks that is exactly what i have.
 

Altashot

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Elliott, are those toilet or some other kind of plumbing bolts?
1/4-20?
How well do they tighten and hold?
Do they mar at all?
I guess you don’t use them for hanging?

M.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Dang right!:Party:
Okay. To each their own, Sir. Personally I get some satisfaction out of being a ghost in the machine, so to speak. It doesn't always work out that way but I try.

Back on topic, I don't recall ever having a post come loose on me when I've used some type of shim because I can really tighten it down. The intent is not to mark up the plates but there may be that added benefit as well. As mentioned, I only use these assembly post as Hangers now and I really tighten them before I hang the movement on a wall. If there are steel mounting tabs available I'll sometimes mount the post fasteners to them rather than on the brass plates. It just depends on what I'm working with.

They can come in handy.

Regards.

Bruce
 

Elliott Wolin

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Altashot: I got the nylon bolts at Ace hardware, 1/4-20 if I recall, out of the bins of nuts and bolts (not toilet bolts). I got the coupling nuts at Ace or perhaps online. If I had to do it again I'd get bolts/nuts with finer threads, 1/4-20 is NC, I'd go with NF 1/4-28.

They seem to hold well enough, but they do come off on occasion if I twist them. The nylon doesn't mar the plates, not sure about the slot in the coupling nuts. I hang movements by screwing them into a board, maybe one day I'll make something to allow me to hang a movement using these movement supports.

I also made some larger ones using steel bolts (5/16" and 3/8"). I need to either get nylon bolts for them or possibly glue small leather bits to the ends of the bolts so they don't grind into the plates as you turn them. I used a leather punch to punch out little leather cylinders out of an old belt.
 

wow

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I use them all the time for assembly and for testing. I have about six sets. Many movements, especially round ones, are much easier to test using them. Here is the New Haven that’s working on my sanity right now. I had an old test stand that is almost useless, and I mounted a piece of wood in its jaws and now have a great test stand on my bench. I, like Bangs, am making history on my movements. The dimples are cute!

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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, like Bangs, am making history on my movements. The dimples are cute!
You guys should be sure to sign your work so that future historians can give you full credit. :emoji_scream_cat:
"Dimples" and all.

Nice adaptation board for use with your regular test stand, btw.
 
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