barrel rotation

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by croyleje, Jan 18, 2017.

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  1. croyleje

    croyleje Registered User

    Jan 13, 2016
    service technician
    Lewes. DE
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    Hello Everyone,
    I am attempting to design and build a very simple mantel clock. I have the gear train and escapement figured out and found some great information about mainsprings in Daniels book but I have managed to confuse myself. I have read in several places that after winding the main spring the arbor rotates in the opposite direction. My question is or maybe I am just over thinking this the barrel rotates in the same direction the spring is wound correct? And the final question is, is there a prefered or most common mainspring coil direction? I appreciate the help and sorry for the stupid question the more I read the more I confuse myself.
    Thank you,
  2. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Tulsa, OK
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    Hi Jason,
    For a mainspring in a barrel, the barrel will rotate in the same direction that the spring was wound while the arbor remains stationary, held by the ratchet and click. For open, loop-end mainsprings, the arbor will rotate in the opposite direction it was wound while the end of the spring is fastened to a pillar and is therefore stationary. Perhaps these two configurations are causing the confusion.
    Regarding the preferred mainspring direction; I have seen them go both ways. I prefer to wind in the clockwise direction; just seems more natural to me.
  3. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Jul 3, 2016
    Carson City, Nevada
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    Think through Newton's Laws and a bit of physics. Equal and opposite reaction is the key. If you wind it clockwise, it will unwind counter clockwise. Also watch the click as you wind, When you take pressure off the key the ratchet sets up against the click putting pressure the opposite of the way you turned the key.


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