• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

Buying mainsprings in the UK question

ClipClock

Registered User
Deceased
Jun 20, 2013
1,593
6
38
Kent, UK
Country
Just been fitting a couple of new mainsprings back in their barrels and was having a devil of a job because there just didnt seem to be room to pull the sleeve out, it was all very full in there. Eventually I measured the length of the new springs and compared them to the originals and they are a full 11 inches longer.

I know they are the same thickness and width as the original ones and I measured the barrel diameter and got that right too lol, but springs often seem to come a lot longer than the old ones. Has anyone else found that? How do you deal with it?

For those that are puzzled by this post I'll just add that in the UK the clock parts sellers seem to give the mainspring width, thickness and barrel size in the options, they don't show the length..... Frustrating, much! Bleugh, I hate springs :mad:
 

ClipClock

Registered User
Deceased
Jun 20, 2013
1,593
6
38
Kent, UK
Country
Thanks AJSBSA, I always buy from M&P due to an unpleasant experience of Cousins 'customer service'. I assumed all the suppliers did the same in terms of measurements, seems not.

Oh well. I found some decent springs in an old parts movement so managed to get the job done. I'm sure the other springs will come in handy soon :)
 

David S

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Dec 18, 2011
7,207
248
63
Brockville, On Canada
Country
Region
Clip how about just cutting off the excess and re holing the barrel hook end? I know that you can do that.

David
 

ClipClock

Registered User
Deceased
Jun 20, 2013
1,593
6
38
Kent, UK
Country
Clip how about just cutting off the excess and re holing the barrel hook end? I know that you can do that.

David
Yeah I could have done that David, and would have done if I hadn't found the good springs, right size etc in the old parts movement. I might have to re-hole the new ones when I need to use them, they are really stupidly long.

I was on a mission to finish this movement lol, its been a really loooooooooong haul, it (and its case) was in a very bad way and I've been working on it every spare minute to the point of obsession :rolleyes: Its the one in this thread: https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?123854-Gold-paint-in-the-movement-stops-play

But happy to say its ticking and striking at the moment :)
 

Talyinka

Registered User
May 14, 2011
650
10
18
England
Country
As far as I know M&P cut their own springs, so asking for a particular length should probably yield a positive result. I find their service very good and buy all my springs from them.
 

oldticker

Registered User
Jan 15, 2005
848
2
18
Birmingham, UK
Country
Region
I've had the same experience with Cousins - if you have problem after you've paid - TOUGH!

Ahhh a Frenchie...I buy from H S Walsh too - better customer service. Sometimes more expensive but living in Birmingham I can pick up. Saves on the astronomical postage from Cousins.
 

AJSBSA

Registered User
Nov 24, 2009
558
21
18
60
Cheshire, UK
www.ajsbsa.co.uk
Country
Region
I do agree that the customer service from M&P is outstanding they always ring if they have any sort of an issue, but I found that M&P springs seem to take a set quicker than I would expect and I had some of my early clocks returned under warranty.
I switched to Cousins after reading a reference to their springs in Clocks magazine and have since spent many thousands with them with not a single problem shipping is rarely more than £2.95 even for a large box which I think is reasonable certainly on par with other suppliers.
I have no connection with the company other than being a satisfied customer
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Talyinka

Registered User
May 14, 2011
650
10
18
England
Country
I do agree that the customer service from M&P is outstanding they always ring if they have any sort of an issue, but I found that M&P springs seem to take a set quicker than I would expect and I had some of my early clocks returned under warranty.
That may explain why they couldn't deliver all sizes for a while some time ago. They told me that they had some difficulty sourcing the right type or steel or something similar. I have not experienced any issues and they seem to be able to deliver all sizes again.
 

Ralph B

Registered User
Nov 25, 2006
610
22
18
Napier, New Zealand
Country
Cousin's postage can be ludicrous, and out of step with everyone else.
The cost seems to be worked out on the value of the items, rather than their size.
My feeling is that if I'm prepared to take the risk, and tick the box saying so, then the cheapest postage is fine.
One, ( shouldn't be necessary), trick with Cousins is to split your order into multiple parts.
One recent example was where the postage was £13, but split in two was £2.90 each. Not much I know, but irrationality annoys me......

If Cousins pulled their head out of you know where and sorted this then they would have the English market to themselves as their range, and availability, is far ahead of the rest.
Maybe just as well they have this chink in their armour as it ensures there's some competition.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ClipClock

Registered User
Deceased
Jun 20, 2013
1,593
6
38
Kent, UK
Country
Thats interesting re the postage Ralph, wow what a difference!

I think the other chink in their armour is their customer service. I havent bought a thing from them since my early bad experience but have placed many orders with M&P and, to a lesser extent, Walshes. I would buy from them if it was absolutely the only option, but so far that hasn't been necessary :)
 

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
13,666
72
0
Calif. USA
With a barreled spring, if it is too long, it will
jam in the barrel at part wind. There is a formula to
be found on the MB that is used to calculate the
optimal length. Too short and you don't get maximum
run time and there is increased strain on the end
when winding because of the smaller bundle at the
end of winding.
It is best to use the optimal length or at least close
to. There is no advantage to using a shorter spring.
You'll know if you use one that is too long, it will
jam when winding in the barrel on the spring winder.
Tinker Dwight
 
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Forum statistics

Threads
162,554
Messages
1,411,833
Members
84,186
Latest member
ae6941
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,856
Last edit
Waltham Watches by Clint Geller