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Bending taper pins without scratching surface.

ChrisCam

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Dec 9, 2017
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Hi Guys,
occasionally when bending a taper pin on a clock I have to admit to making a small scratch. I hate this and have vowed to investigate my methodology to minimise risk. I generally use a pair of dental pliers for said operation at the moment they have 90 degree outer jaws so if I slip the right angle corner will make a scratch. My thinking is to buy another pair just for bending pins and round the outer corners.

Sometimes inserting a pin can be tricky so I am thinking of making a few short lengths (4 inches or so) solid rod approx 3/16 Dia drilling small holes in the centre then rounding. These could b for inserting arkward pins which drop often with pliers in the attempt to locate.

Likewise an alternative to bending pins with pliers could be using silver steel rods rounded at the end with a slot cut into them.

Possibly over the top but I would be interested in what some of you senior guys do.

Regards
Chris
 

shutterbug

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You shouldn't have to bend taper pins at all. They just push in and friction holds them in place.
 

shutterbug

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If it needs to be bent to hold position, I would use wire instead. Bend into an S shape. Wire bends pretty easily compared to pins.
 
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Vernon

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Chris, I agree to the advice given. Somewhere I've heard to use brass pins for steel and vice versa; not sure that its true. Also, you could rough up the pin with a file to see if that helps keep its purchase.
 

ChrisCam

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Thanks Guys,
I am now confused so i have had a look in a box of my old clock movement for spares or repair. With reference to the photograph one taper pin is just pushed in allowing friction to do its job the other S pin is also a taper pin but as I say bent into an S shape. Seems I am not the only person using taper pins.
So the question arises why and when should you bend the pin into a S shape as opposd to a friction fit. From what I have seen the smaller pins are bent? Now if I read the posts right I should be using wire for these smaller pin holes. What type of wire do you guys recommend to use, I take it silver coated wire but any help here appreciated.
so am I seeing on many clocks the bad habits of people bending pins that should mostly be just pushed in?



Regards to all pins.jpg
Chris
 
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R. Croswell

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Yes, generally I use brass pins in steel, Steel pins in brass. An exception might be where the pin is very small and brass may not be strong enough, or where it is clear that the maker used steel on steel. In the movement shown I agree with others, there should be no need to bend a tapered pin.

RC
 

D.th.munroe

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Feb 15, 2018
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On a side note, if you do have to bend wires on a plate I use a stick of pegwood or plastic to bend or straighten the ends.
Also alot of my tools have sharp edges smoothed and polished, not on the working surfaces but anything that may scratch.
Tobias Birch says a bit about that in this video.
Dan
 
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kinsler33

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To use the horological term, pins are a fat pain. They're forever getting stuck or falling out, and you never have the right size. I am fast becoming a devotee of good old steel wire, the galvanized stuff from the hardware aisle of the dollar store. Put it through the hole, bend it into a hideous-looking S-shape, cut it off, and you're done: it won't fall out. You might need a thin washer underneath so things don't rattle too badly.

The old-time pins look vastly better, but they don't hold as well as they should, and I don't know why. Sometimes I'll use green (penetrating, low-strength) thread locker on clock movement pins.

I approach this whole subject with some regret, for my source of pins was usually the Horolovar Company, which got theirs from nobody knows where. Chris Nimon, who owned Horolovar and knew everything there is to know about pins, passed away a few months ago and can't be replaced. The firm is still in business but everyone's wonder for how long.


Mark Kinsler
 

roughbarked

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When I first started my apprenticeship, I was put to work learning how to file tapered pins and yes how to make an S pin and where it is used. The image of the tapered pin bent in a z shape isn't really a proper S pin and it should not need to be a tapered pin. The bodgy pin on the minute wheel should be replaced with the proper pin. If the original pinning hasn't been repeated by the last repairer, it isn't difficult to work out whether it originally had a tapered pin. Usually these holes are also tapered. rather than straight.
 

kinsler33

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When I first started my apprenticeship, I was put to work learning how to file tapered pins and yes how to make an S pin and where it is used. The image of the tapered pin bent in a z shape isn't really a proper S pin and it should not need to be a tapered pin. The bodgy pin on the minute wheel should be replaced with the proper pin. If the original pinning hasn't been repeated by the last repairer, it isn't difficult to work out whether it originally had a tapered pin. Usually these holes are also tapered. rather than straight.
Some of the holes are tapered, and some aren't, and sometimes it's exceedingly difficult to tell because one end of the hole is behind something and the other end is underneath something else.

The other problem I've had with tapered pins is over-enthusiasm. I'll push them in really hard and leave them in all their brazen splendor only to discover after much labor that I've pushed the pin's point into the path of some other part. The last time that happened I decided to accept the slings and arrows with which future practitioners will curse me and my S-shaped wires, but I expect to have returned to Mother Gaia by then.

M Kinsler
 

Vernon

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Some pins are squared brass and I typically find these in pillar posts. Anybody else notice this and if square steel ones were used?
 

Jerry Kieffer

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May 31, 2005
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Thanks Guys,
I am now confused so i have had a look in a box of my old clock movement for spares or repair. With reference to the photograph one taper pin is just pushed in allowing friction to do its job the other S pin is also a taper pin but as I say bent into an S shape. Seems I am not the only person using taper pins.
So the question arises why and when should you bend the pin into a S shape as opposd to a friction fit. From what I have seen the smaller pins are bent? Now if I read the posts right I should be using wire for these smaller pin holes. What type of wire do you guys recommend to use, I take it silver coated wire but any help here appreciated.
so am I seeing on many clocks the bad habits of people bending pins that should mostly be just pushed in?



Regards to all View attachment 631468
Chris
Chris
If a taper pin is inserted into a hole where the taper in the hole is the same as the taper pin, a fair amount of resistance can be achieved depending on the degree of taper. The chances of this happening in typical Horological repair would be rare unless created. If tension is applied to the taper pin such as on the end of a center shaft holding a minute hand, it is unlikely it will ever come out during normal operation.
However if there is no tension applied against a taper pin such as with your examples, it is likely a taper pin will work loose because of minimal contact and possibly come out. Thus you often see the end of the taper pin rolled over or both ends of straight wire.

Personally, it use to be a time consuming pain screwing around with these things only to have a mess you didn't want to put your name on.
Delicate surfaces can be protected by using aluminum jawed needle nose fishermen pliers per attached sample link. They can be easily shaped as required.


Again however, this will not resolve the time consuming mess issue.

For that I have made up a tool per the attached photo. In this case, the hole of the tool is fit over the top of the shaft holding the pin or wire and rotated to form one or two bends as required or desired. In doing so, the off set stud of the tool will grab the end of the taper pin of wire and neatly form the bend in a couple of seconds. Before using the tool, I trim length of each side of the taper pin or wire to the desired length and then bend to shape. The end of the stud is polished per photo to prevent any scoring of surfaces.

I have three of these tools of different hole sizes and it seems to cover almost all needs. The holes do not need to be an exact fit or even a close fit to function as intended.

Jerry Kieffer

fullsizeoutput_7ba.jpeg
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Dec 18, 2020
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The bent-over S shaped wire retainers are tricky to remove and replace. If you replace them with similar, it is difficult for the next person. I would say, unless there is a specific engineering imperative to replace the S shaped wires, use a soft steel/iron taper pin. Draw file it first with a needle file, tap it in with a brass hammer or with a piece of brass plate and small hammer or used notched pliers. If you draw-file the pins, they don't fall out yet are relatively easy to remove for the next person.
 

roughbarked

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Though I was taught to replace any pin with one that is same as original, I was also taught how to file tapered pins and I'd in general agree that if you know how to make the pin, it will fit. Mainly because if you make the pin and it doesn't fit, you will make another until it does.
 

John P

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Sep 17, 2010
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Many clock movements will not accept a taper pin. If used they will sometimes bind up the lever or wheel. If brass wire was used, replace with same.

johnp
 
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