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Best Bushings

Calvin H. Huynh

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Hi,

What’s the best set of bushings for (German/French) chime clocks?
 

shutterbug

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You generally have to use what seems close. If you have a set of bushings, use the plate thickness and the pivot size to find the best fit.
 

wow

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You generally have to use what seems close. If you have a set of bushings, use the plate thickness and the pivot size to find the best fit.
Sals, that is not an easy question to answer. The assortments #1,2,3,&4 offered by Timesavers would be ideal for most common clocks. That’s about $200 for all. Is that what you are looking for?
 

kinsler33

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I've never loved factory bushing assortments, so I use old pill containers to hold 0.6 mm to 2.0 mm (by 0.1 mm increments) KWM-type bronze bushings (Timesavers) in various lengths.
Mark Kinsler
 

R. Croswell

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Hi,

What’s the best set of bushings for (German/French) chime clocks?
"Best" in what way?
Best material, use brass bushings in brass plates and bronze bushings only where an original bronze bushing is being replaced.
Best bushing system (KWM or Bergeon), I use Bergeon but either is OK in most cases. Bergeon has a larger OD and can clean up a centering error where a smaller KWM was installed. Users preference.
Best brand. I prefer Bergeon bushings made by Bergeon, KWM bushings by KWM etc. Bergeon size and KWM size "made in America" (or elsewhere) can made by anyone and and quality and fit may be OK or inconsistent depending on where the distributor is sourcing the bushings.
Best price. This is not a place to cut corners. Individual bushings are relatively inexpensive.
Best assortment sizes. Don't waste money on stock assortments (my opinion), they usually have sizes that are seldom or never used. I order extras of whatever sizes I need for the clock I'm working on. I now have a pretty good selection of sizes that I use for the kinds of clocks I work on.

RC
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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"Best" in what way?
Best material, use brass bushings in brass plates and bronze bushings only where an original bronze bushing is being replaced.
Best bushing system (KWM or Bergeon), I use Bergeon but either is OK in most cases. Bergeon has a larger OD and can clean up a centering error where a smaller KWM was installed. Users preference.
Best brand. I prefer Bergeon bushings made by Bergeon, KWM bushings by KWM etc. Bergeon size and KWM size "made in America" (or elsewhere) can made by anyone and and quality and fit may be OK or inconsistent depending on where the distributor is sourcing the bushings.
Best price. This is not a place to cut corners. Individual bushings are relatively inexpensive.
Best assortment sizes. Don't waste money on stock assortments (my opinion), they usually have sizes that are seldom or never used. I order extras of whatever sizes I need for the clock I'm working on. I now have a pretty good selection of sizes that I use for the kinds of clocks I work on.

RC
Sorry, a more clarified question. What's the best sizes (KMW) for chiming movements (All countries if sizes correlate?) Now that you mentioned bronze bushings, would they really hurt chiming movements with higher quality chime clocks? Thanks.
 

Willie X

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You can start with six 20 packs of KWM bushings and do nearly all of what you mention.

I wrote a detailed post about this about 3 weeks (?) back.

Good luck,. Willie X
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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An irrelevant question (maybe I worry too much), Does KMW have bushing for every clock of different shapes and sizes?
 

kinsler33

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An irrelevant question (maybe I worry too much), Does KMW have bushing for every clock of different shapes and sizes?
Nope. You'll be making some yourself. Clocks were wearing out long before there were store-bought bushings. I generally have to make them for winding arbors.

I've generally used bronze bushings because they look kewl, but I use brass ones, too. For German chimers you'll want tiny 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, and 9mm sizes, all of which use the KWM II (2) reamer. Then you'd also want 1.0mm to 1.9mm in increments of 0.1 mm for general use. These use the KWM #3 or III reamer For 2mm and above (maybe go to 2.6mm) you'd need a KWM #4 (IV) reamer.

Note that you can rivet any bushing into a broached-out hole, and if you're careful with your tapered cutting broach you can, if needed, press a KWM bushing into it.

M Kinsler
 
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Calvin H. Huynh

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Thanks.
you'll want tiny 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, and 9mm sizes, all of which use the KWM II (2) reamer.
Is this OD or the pivot sizes?
Note that you can rivet any bushing into a broached-out hole, and if you're careful with your tapered cutting broach you can, if needed, press a KWM bushing into it.
Punches or a ball bearing to expand the bushing?
 

R. Croswell

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Now that you mentioned bronze bushings, would they really hurt chiming movements with higher quality chime clocks?
There has been a lot of discussion about bronze vs brass bushings. Many of us have observed that bronze bushings tend to cause pivots to wear out much faster. I think this is less likely to happen with hardened pivots. The question that's often asked is, down the road would you rather replace a pivot or a bushing? For ordinary American clocks and lightly loaded pivots of any clock I see no reason not to use brass bushings. In certain cases where brass pivot holes seem to wear out fast, such as certain Hermle 2nd. wheel pivots, it makes sense to use bronze bushings and hard pivots, which is what Hermle apparently is doing for some movements. In most cases the best advice I can give is to follow what the original maker used.

RC
 
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Calvin H. Huynh

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There has been a lot of discussion about bronze vs brass bushings. Many of us have observed that bronze bushings tend to cause pivots to wear out much faster. I think this is less likely to happen with hardened pivots. The question that's often asked is, down the road would you rather replace a pivot or a bushing? For ordinary American clocks and lightly loaded pivots of any clock I see no reason not to use brass bushings. In certain cases where brass pivot holes seem to wear out fast, such as certain Hermle 2nd. wheel pivots, it makes sense to use bronze bushings and hard pivots, which is what Hermle apparently is doing for some movements. In most cases the best advice I can give is to follow what the original maker used.

RC
I remember you saying that. I was thinking the same thing.

Now, my only question is if I should get the off brand “American” KWM bushings or the German ones.
 

kinsler33

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Thanks.

Is this OD or the pivot sizes?

Punches or a ball bearing to expand the bushing?
If the bushing is a bit longer than the plate thickness you can place one side of the plate on a flat anvil and apply a healthy clop with Mr Hammer to the other end of the bushing, which will squash tightly against the sides of the hole, never to move again. Then you'd broach out the bushing ID to fit the pivot, being careful to leave some uncraftsmanlike slop in the whole assembly. (You do _not_ want to bush to precision tolerances.)

Yes, sort bushings by their inside diameter. The length isn't all that critical, but you'll eventually want to have, say, three heights to each ID.

M Kinsler
 

kinsler33

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There has been a lot of discussion about bronze vs brass bushings. Many of us have observed that bronze bushings tend to cause pivots to wear out much faster. I think this is less likely to happen with hardened pivots. The question that's often asked is, down the road would you rather replace a pivot or a bushing? For ordinary American clocks and lightly loaded pivots of any clock I see no reason not to use brass bushings. In certain cases where brass pivot holes seem to wear out fast, such as certain Hermle 2nd. wheel pivots, it makes sense to use bronze bushings and hard pivots, which is what Hermle apparently is doing for some movements. In most cases the best advice I can give is to follow what the original maker used.

RC
In what way do the pivots wear out? I've only seen mushroomed pivots in steel plate clocks. Provided that the pivots are reasonably well polished I don't think that the bushing alloy makes any difference. Note that brass bushings are presumably made of whatever brass alloy that the maker felt like, and they are of varied colors.
M Kinsler
 
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wow

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I use 2.7 mm OD bushings more than any other. You would need 1.8 mm OD for French clocks. Mark Butterworth sells them at a great price. Talking to him would help you decide what assortment you need to start. He sells small quantities also.
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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Thanks.


So I just did a quick inventory of plate heights for various chime clocks.

ODO - 2.00 mm
Reguladora - 2.00 mm
Herschede - 2.50 mm
Hermle - 1.60/.70 mm
Peerless - 2.70 mm
Vedette - 2.00 mm
Mauthe - 2.00 mm.

I will check with Butterworth.
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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I use 2.7 mm OD bushings more than any other. You would need 1.8 mm OD for French clocks. Mark Butterworth sells them at a great price. Talking to him would help you decide what assortment you need to start. He sells small quantities also.
I don't think I see any on his website.
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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How come Timesaver's bushing assortments gotten 10 dollars more expensive?

Does height really matter for the common clock as long as it's not protruding?
 

Vernon

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Should I get the sizes for the reamer 1 or 2?
You will be using reamers 2 and 3 KWM based on your post #1. I like the variety boxes and end up using the not so popular sizes by opening up the id. when I'm out of the ones needed. Concerning bush height, I have read that if the bush is too short or too long that it could cause uneven pivot wear. I always try to make my work look invisible. I need lot's of improvement however...

Vernon
 
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Willie X

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1.4mm and 1.9mm heights are by far the most used heights.

The "best" bushings are the ones that fit your needs. I haven't seen any quality issues with any of the bushings I've used.

Willie X
 
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kinsler33

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0.6 mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm, and 0.9mm are used in the upper wheels of all three gear trains in German clocks.

As for my advice about precision, I meant that you should choose a bushing that has a bit of slop in it when tried on the pivot. This isn't always so obvious, so you'll do a good deal of choosing by hand. If the bushing ID fits the pivot too closely the clock may run poorly or unreliably. That's because the plates flex a bit when the mainspring is wound or the weights are hung.

The only reamers you'll need are II, III, and IV. You can chuck them into a drill press or a hand vise. A drill press serves as a rather nice bushing machine.

M Kinsler
 
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Calvin H. Huynh

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You can chuck them into a drill press or a hand vise. A drill press serves as a rather nice bushing machine.
Do I need this or can I just use the handle the set came with? I use nibbling but I can see how chime clocks require a higher precision bush.

That's because the plates flex a bit when the mainspring is wound or the weights are hung.
I've noticed that over the months, thanks for mentioning as I was never sure.

After considering many things, my list:

L86
L87
L32
L33
L34
L35
L36
How are they? They are .9 mm and under ID.

I was temped to buy the 1.4 mm height ones but after the previous comments by Willie and Vernon, I decided 1.9 was better.

Now another question arose. Why does the KWM assortment come with 1.4 mm height bushings when most American clocks are 1.70 mm thick?

Thanks for all the help, buying bushings are not my favorite thing.
 

Willie X

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Just finished this S-T #89.

Can you find the 4 replacement 1.4mm height bushings? They are installed right out of the pack, untouched otherwise.

This will be your most used height for most American clocks. Willie X

IMG_20211011_201032.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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Can you find the 4 replacement 1.4mm height bushings? They are installed right out of the pack, untouched otherwise.
Nice work Willie. I can't see F T-2, but I'm guessing T-3 thru T-5 and perhaps S-3? Looks like you may have replaced some type of soldered Rathbun-type bushings?

Calvin,
Butterworth does provide a wide range of KWM and Bergeon "American" bushings. I usually source all of my bushings from him. Occasionally I'll order from a supply house if I need to "round up" an order.

I've never had any issues with Mark's bushings. I did have an issue with Timesavers bronze bushings once. The OD was too small and I needed to stake them to the plate.

If you have a round nose stake or small ball bearing you manually tighten a bushing but you'll definitely need to restore the ID afterwards.

Regards,

Bruce
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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Nice work Willie. I can't see F T-2, but I'm guessing T-3 thru T-5 and perhaps S-3? Looks like you may have replaced some type of soldered Rathbun-type bushings?

Calvin,
Butterworth does provide a wide range of KWM and Bergeon "American" bushings. I usually source all of my bushings from him. Occasionally I'll order from a supply house if I need to "round up" an order.

Regards,

Bruce
Thanks. I will DM him then.
 

Willie X

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Bruce, you got it, but S-3 is just N-E of the white mark. It's the same movement I posted earlier today with all the solder.

Sal, if you leave a movement running on a block like that, the action of the strike can make it walk off the block! o_O

I hate it when that happens! Willie X
 
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Calvin H. Huynh

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Bruce, you got it, but T-3 is N-E of the white mark. It's the same movement I posted earlier today with all the solder.

Sal, if you leave a movement running on a block like that, the action of the strike can make it walk off the block! o_O

I hate it when that happens! Willie X
That’s pretty funny lol. Walks off as a mechanical toy.

So would it hurt a chime clock (2 mm thick) to use a 1.9 mm thick?
 

Bruce Alexander

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So would it hurt a chime clock (2 mm thick) to use a 1.9 mm thick?
I've seen 1.4mm bushings used in 2.0 mm plates. Hate when that comes across the bench. 1.9 should work okay, especially if you leave them as is and don't alter the "oil sink". If you're not tooled up to machine a taller bushing to size, 1.9 is your best bet, in my opinion.
 
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wow

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I’m
I don't think I see any on his website.
Just finished this S-T #89.

Can you find the 4 replacement 1.4mm height bushings? They are installed right out of the pack, untouched otherwise.

This will be your most used height for most American clocks. Willie X

View attachment 675889
Hey, Willie. Beautiful work. What method did you use to get all that solder off?
 

R. Croswell

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Now, my only question is if I should get the off brand “American” KWM bushings or the German ones.
It is your dollar and your choice. I prefer to buy the name brand bushings. I have occasionally bought the "American made" equivalent when the name brand was out of stock and never experienced a problem but some here have reported inconsistent sizes or loose fits. If you buy unbranded bushings at least buy from a reputable supplier, and start with a small quantity and see how you like them before stocking up.

RC
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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So the best thing is to use the height shorter than the plate? How thick are T/S American plates usually? Because the bushings are .3 mm shorter than the plates. Bad to use 1.9mm on Herschede 2.5mm plates?
 

Simon Holt

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Does height really matter for the common clock as long as it's not protruding?
I've seen discussions on this forum before on this topic. Too short = reduced contact area = increased tendency to wear. Too long = tunnelling may occur, thereby reducing end-shake. My experience is too limited to advise either way.

Simon
 
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Willie X

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Sal,

Just heat the plate with a torch (small brushey flame) and when the solder melts quickly wipe the solder off with a cotton rag. A little rub work, with machine oil and 4-0 steel wool, and you're done. In 10 years the 'scene of the crime' will be barely noticable.

Note, all those scrape/scribe marks were made by previous repairer/s.

Willie X
 
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R. Croswell

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So the best thing is to use the height shorter than the plate? How thick are T/S American plates usually? Because the bushings are .3 mm shorter than the plates. Bad to use 1.9mm on Herschede 2.5mm plates?
I order bushings that are a little taller than the plate thickness and trim them flush. Many clocks do not have "oil sinks" so I trim them off and, if needed, form my own. This reduces the number of different height bushings IO need to stock. But unless you use a bushing machine, mill, etc. triming bushings by hand can be a pain.

RC
 

Calvin H. Huynh

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I order bushings that are a little taller than the plate thickness and trim them flush. Many clocks do not have "oil sinks" so I trim them off and, if needed, form my own. This reduces the number of different height bushings IO need to stock. But unless you use a bushing machine, mill, etc. triming bushings by hand can be a pain.

RC
Do you mill the individual bushings on a mill? 1.9mm sounds good for my 2 mm clocks then.
 

shutterbug

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You may be seeking a "perfect" fit. There usually isn't one unless you make your own bushings. Close enough is usually close enough on most movements.
 

R. Croswell

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Do you mill the individual bushings on a mill? 1.9mm sounds good for my 2 mm clocks then.
No not exactly. I use a Bergeon bushing machine and something called a pivot cutter (1) although I don't know why it is called that to trim bushings flush. Sometimes use a Dremel rose cutter (2) adapted to fit the bushing machine. #3 is an oil sink cutter that I made from a ball end cutter. If you have a mill (I do not) you could use an end mill to accomplish the same thing. When a long bushing is trimmed flush and a new oil sink cut it is often hard to see that the pivot hole has even been bushed from the front side.

RC

cutters.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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The only thing KWM thing I have is "Chamfering" tool. Does that cut oil sinks?
No. If you try to use it you will probably cut too deeply into the bushing and shorten its effective height. You want something round like RC pictured for you. It can cut a relatively wide, round,shallow oil sink. The tool you describe will cut a narrow, deep cone.
 

kinsler33

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One of these days someone will figure out what oil sinks are actually good for. They weren't used in every clock, nor were they ever used in AC-operated electric clocks, nor in industrial timers. Nor in alarm clocks, forsooth.

M Kinsler
 
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