Bush Punches or Not

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by steamer471, Apr 2, 2018.

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  1. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    I picked up a little Ansonia Brass and Copper cottage clock and it ran good except for a little knock. Found out the ths escape wheel needs bushing at the bridge. But as I looked around I noticed it had been punched in several places one of them being the back escape wheel pivot Should I go ahead and bush these also? They seem to be tight.

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  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Yes, often the punching has damaged the pinion and punch repairs (if you dare call them repairs) don't work very well and dont last very long. Willie X
     
  3. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Thanks. I pretty much assumed this but had to ask. The movement was really clean. I was amazed they put this big 8 day movement in that little case. With an alarm that works too!
     
  4. TEACLOCKS

    TEACLOCKS Registered User
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    Willie, you said "damaged the pinion"
    You do mean the pivot ?
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Yes, the pivot. Willie X
     
  6. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
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    I would definitely re-bush them. Bergeon bushing typically have a larger outside diameter and frequently will remove all traces of the punching.
     
  7. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Thanks i definitely will.
     
  8. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    But I wonder how long that punching repair has lasted already. It looks rather ancient.

    As for pivot damage, punching isn't generally done with the pivot in place: the hole is marked just as you would for a bushing, the clock is disassembled, the hole is carefully punched, and then you broach out narrowed pivot hole to fit the pivot.

    It was standard operating procedure and it worked rather well.

    M Kinsler
     
  9. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Well there is a clock repair sticker in the case that looks recent. No bushings in the movement. The movement is real clean and I don't know, does anybody do repairs this way anymore? The case is bad, new glasses and modern cheap dial. Everything works and it kept good time despite the knock from the escape wheel. I guess that's why I asked this question.
     
  10. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    It certainly looks like an old movement that's had a long soak in what might have been an ammoniated cleaning solution, which is tough on the brass but shines it right up to an interplanetary yellow. The clock repair sticker means little. I don't use them myself, and others I knew didn't either.

    Probably some people still do repairs like this, for not all of us are completely entranced by press-in bushings. My guess, however, is that the movement might have been repaired some time in the 1930's or 1940's. If I was doing the job I'd bush both ends of the escape wheel and leave the rest of it alone.

    It's not clear what you mean by a 'knock.' I presume that the escapement is making some odd noises, though if the clock runs well a good many odd artifacts in the sound can be forgiven.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  11. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    I agree with Willie and would bush the punched pivots. If you have a depthing tool, you might want to double-check the pivot hole locations as well.
     
  12. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Thanks for your suggestions I will consider it. Unfortunately I do not have depthing tool but is on my acquisition list. The sticker was fairly new (had email address on it) but still means nothing. The knock you could hear was the escape wheel pivot slopping around the bridge. Wasn't much but after you listen to a few you know when hear something not right.
     
  13. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The issue with punching holes is that while it does have the affect of closing the worn part of the hole, it only does so on the outer edges of the hole. That creates a very small area that actually is in contact with the pivot, which in time wears a groove in the pivot. The repair will serve for a while, but in time both the hole and the pivot will need to be dealt with, making more work for the next guy.
     
  14. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I understand the theory here and I have always had great respect for your opinion. But while I've seen some impressively-grooved pivots in my time, none of them resided in previously-punched holes. The worst were in steel-plate clocks, though I had one tiny pivot that had been worn into a first-class thin-stemmed mushroom in an unrestored brass plate inside an old electric clock.

    Both the individual prick-punch indentations and the hole-closing punches once used by every clock shop leave a bearing surface that's essentially the same thickness of the plate. The extra brass comes from an indentation somewhat farther away from the edge of the hole. It would be different if a flat punch was applied across the entire hole.

    M Kinsler
     
  15. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Those punches are rather small, I have a Clark Gilbert from around 1840 that has some I would think some old punch work. The pictures below show the winding arbor and it's deep. You can see it on the other side. Would this be safe to bush or should it be soldered first?

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  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    The hole(s) look like they're still round. How much side-shake is there? At the risk of being censured and expelled from the Royal Horde of Horology, I generally suggest that any hole that's doing its job just be cleaned and otherwise left alone. The bushings will perhaps look better, but that plate is pretty narrow and needs all the strength it can get.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Oh no the punches have outlived their usefulness. Pivots look good no uneven wear just need a little polishing.
     
  18. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's save to bush those holes. Use a smaller bushing on the one close to the edge, and increase the size of the inside hole if needed.
     
  19. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Just to be contrary :) I judge each pivot hole on it's merits. Be it factory or a punched repair, if the pivot hole is round, cylindrical and fits the pivot, I leave it be. I side more with function than appearance. While I will remediate very ugly repairs, most times I do not mess with functional components. But. that's just me.
     
  20. Randy Beckett

    Randy Beckett Registered User
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    If I already had the movement torn down for some reason I would bush the punches, just because it would be convenient. But if I had no other reason for tearing it down, I would leave them alone.
    If it was punched by a knowledgeable person, I would expect the pivots to be in their original location, as a knowledgeable person would know to punch the worn side first, or only.
     
  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Yes. To do this with a hole-closing punch, which upsets the brass in a circle around the hole, you tilt the punch to push the hole in the desired direction.

    M Kinsler
     
  22. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Hey Mark, where does one sign up? :)
    I've seen destructive punch jobs which have required re-pivoting of the arbor in addition to bushing ground zero. I've also seen examples which I considered to have been done very well with care. I didn't bush those so I suppose I tend to agree with Peter though I am probably slightly more concerned with esthetics.
     

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