• 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.

Brass or Steel ?

Kieran McCarthy

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Dec 15, 2020
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When reassembling a clock following a repair or service which type of taper pin is it best to use, steel or brass, or does it make a difference?
Thank you. Kieran.
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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Usually one would use brass pins in steel holes and steel pins in brass holes to prevent the pin from getting stuck. In some cases i use steel pins in steel if brass would be too soft for the purpose, or when there is evidence that the original pin was steel.

Uhralt
 
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shutterbug

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Yes. Like materials will "mate" over time and act like they've been welded together. It's an exchange of electrons or something like that.
 
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Kieran McCarthy

Registered User
Dec 15, 2020
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When reassembling a clock following a repair or service which type of taper pin is it best to use, steel or brass, or does it make a difference?
Thank you. Kieran.
Thanks for your replies/suggestions. Steel with brass, brass with steel will be my standard going forward.
 

TooManyClocks

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Feb 6, 2019
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Yes. Like materials will "mate" over time and act like they've been welded together. It's an exchange of electrons or something like that.
I hear this statement made on the message board on varying threads over time, but it is one of the few issues where an example isn't given where someone has seen this happen. With my limited experience of around 40 clocks, they've come in with brass on brass, steel on brass, brass on steel, nails, copper wire (stranded and solid wire}, steel wire, wood one time, etc. Nothing I've observed has been "welded", although a few were wedged in pretty tight, and some have been there for decades, if not nearly a century and came out just fine. Wondering how often this really happens?

Not trying to argue, just curious.

John
 
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Bruce Alexander

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Hello John,
example isn't given where someone has seen this happen
I've seen this happen before with a brass taper pin in a brass post. It has been a while ago. I don't recall the specifics but I remember having to drill what was left of the pin out with my Dremel after just about all else had failed. THAT I will never forget. :emoji_grimacing:

Regards,

Bruce
 

TooManyClocks

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Feb 6, 2019
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Hello John,


I've seen this happen before with a brass taper pin in a brass post. It has been a while ago. I don't recall the specifics but I remember having to drill what was left of the pin out with my Dremel after just about all else had failed. THAT I will never forget. :emoji_grimacing:

Regards,

Bruce
Thanks, Bruce for your reply. Your experience is something I prefer to not have happen here.

Sometimes I wonder if things are just repeated enough times to be believed as true, or if it really does happen. I learned something today!

About 35 years ago, an older co-worker told me if he hadn’t learned something in a given day, it was a wasted day (I’m now older than he was at the time...)

I’ve never forgotten that statement, and that perspective

John
 

Bruce Alexander

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About 35 years ago, an older co-worker told me if he hadn’t learned something in a given day, it was a wasted day (I’m now older than he was at the time...)
Hi John,

You're very welcome.

This kind of reminds me of something a dear old uncle once told me when I was a child. "Show me a man who doesn't make mistakes and I'll show you a man who isn't doing anything." I'll never forget that. We learn best from our mistakes but it's better to learn from the mistakes of others. ;)

Regards,

Bruce
 
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etmb61

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The process is called galling. If you force a brass pin into a brass hole the two parts can weld together. When you try to remove the pin the metal tears at the weld and can ruin both parts. With dissimilar metals the softer will usually rupture at the weld. Its very bad with aluminum or threaded brass on brass parts.

Eric
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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If you ever worked with aluminium engines every day your will know a thing or two about "galling". It doesn't just happen with like metals either.

Fact is, that pins just break off sometimes. I think the reasons are many and not that important. Just assume it's going to break and it probably won't happen.

To avoid broken pins, try your best to apply force exactly in line with the axis of the hole, not the pin. If the big end of the pin is bent over, try tapping it out from the other (little) end.

A large pair of nippers, side cutters (dykes), and long punches will help prevent problems. Most pros have a modified (slotted) pair of pliers to remove hand shaft pins. The punches can be easily made from old steel chime rods. 4" long is good. You can do with two. One left full size and one necked down to whatever you need. Finish the business end of your punches by twirling the punch lightly against the side of a medium bench grinder wheel. This will give it some 'tooth' and it won't be as likely to jump sidewise when you tap it. A light tap with 2 ounce jeweler's hammer will give you the necessary force.

Willie X
 

TooManyClocks

NAWCC Member
Feb 6, 2019
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If you ever worked with aluminium engines every day your will know a thing or two about "galling". It doesn't just happen with like metals either.

Fact is, that pins just break off sometimes. I think the reasons are many and not that important. Just assume it's going to break and it probably won't happen.

To avoid broken pins, try your best to apply force exactly in line with the axis of the hole, not the pin. If the big end of the pin is bent over, try tapping it out from the other (little) end.

A large pair of nippers, side cutters (dykes), and long punches will help prevent problems. Most pros have a modified (slotted) pair of pliers to remove hand shaft pins. The punches can be easily made from old steel chime rods. 4" long is good. You can do with two. One left full size and one necked down to whatever you need. Finish the business end of your punches by twirling the punch lightly against the side of a medium bench grinder wheel. This will give it some 'tooth' and it won't be as likely to jump sidewise when you tap it. A light tap with 2 ounce jeweler's hammer will give you the necessary force.

Willie X
It’s interesting...I’ve spent decades driving a truck and working on them, ran farm equipment and was responsible for most of the maintenance, and am familiar with what can happen when an aluminum housing is bolted to steel for example, and how the thing can weld itself together over time. And yet as Mark Kinsler noted in another recent thread, there is something about the knowledge from other trades that should apply in my mind when approaching clock repair, but it’s obvious it doesn’t always happen in my brain, such as it is.

And yes, I’m one who generally takes a small pair of pliers and pulls the pins out however they’ll come. Haven’t had any break off yet, so hadn’t thought much about it. Your way will certainly save some grief, so thanks for the better way of doing it.

John

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