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Carriage clock spring

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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I have a carriage clock that I have come to believe has the wrong main spring. I measured and matched the spring in the clock but I am convinced it's to strong. Takes an act of Congress to wind. So comes the generic question. Does anybody have a clue as to the correct spring.
It's french carriage, movement is 3.25" x 2.5 inches. The best I can do is include pictures. Included is the 2nd spring I haven't installed but I re-measured the broken spring and it matches. I'm thinking 1 of 2 things, either the original spring was replaced with a stronger spring and I matched a replaced one wrong spring or it just too tight and suppose to be very strong. My other choice is to replace this spring with a weaker spring. I just tried to wind both springs and it takes the arm of super man.

Thanks Patrick

20211019_215654.jpg 20211019_215644.jpg 20211019_215644.jpg 20211019_215621.jpg 20211019_215856.jpg
 

Christopher Lloyd Owen

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Aug 27, 2020
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I'm a bit confused by this. Which spring is hard to wind? Going, or strike? Or both?

Of course, as a starting point, carriage clock springs should be quite easy to wind, so something is wrong somewhere. It might help if we saw photographs of the spring(s) in the barrel(s) as it's difficult to know where the problem is.
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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I would guess the thickness should be no more than 14 .All you can do is try a weaker spring and see what happens.
 

Uhralt

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If the dimensions of the springs are as shown on the label of the bag, I think they might be correct. My carriage clocks have springs with thicknesses between 0.25 and 0.30 mm, so 0.28 mm is well within this range. Did you clean and oil the new springs before installing? They might have had a protective coating that may be sticky and make the springs harder to wind. That coating must come off.

Uhralt
 
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shutterbug

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Did you try winding without the springs? Might just be a sticky and binding click/arbor or similar?
 

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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I have a carriage clock that I have come to believe has the wrong main spring. I measured and matched the spring in the clock but I am convinced it's to strong. Takes an act of Congress to wind. So comes the generic question. Does anybody have a clue as to the correct spring.
It's french carriage, movement is 3.25" x 2.5 inches. The best I can do is include pictures. Included is the 2nd spring I haven't installed but I re-measured the broken spring and it matches. I'm thinking 1 of 2 things, either the original spring was replaced with a stronger spring and I matched a replaced one wrong spring or it just too tight and suppose to be very strong. My other choice is to replace this spring with a weaker spring. I just tried to wind both springs and it takes the arm of super man.

Thanks Patrick

View attachment 677146 View attachment 677147 View attachment 677149 View attachment 677150 View attachment 677151
Thanks for all the thoughts, so Christopher, I measured the old spring vs the new and it appears to be twice as long. Thoughts, well one is that the previous repair person just cut the damaged area from the spring and reinstalled the remaining spring. Second comment you had both springs or one. Both springs and since I didn't replace both just the time side. "It" refers to winding and my weak arm.
I was hoping not to have to disassemble but that appears I will have to do.
The current spring is 1150/ 45.4 mm vs 711 mm or 28 inches of the old spring.
Uhealt, I don't think it's sticky though I did not clear the spring before I installed it. I will do that now. The issue is how tight the spring is to wind.
As I am writing this it occurs to me that the spring did take up more area then it should have.
That sounds like my answer, I'll open it this weekend and report back. As I remember the spring should take up about 1/3 of the barrel.
Thanks for helping me brainstorm this issue. I haven't run it in years.
Patrick
I have a carriage clock that I have come to believe has the wrong main spring. I measured and matched the spring in the clock but I am convinced it's to strong. Takes an act of Congress to wind. So comes the generic question. Does anybody have a clue as to the correct spring.
It's french carriage, movement is 3.25" x 2.5 inches. The best I can do is include pictures. Included is the 2nd spring I haven't installed but I re-measured the broken spring and it matches. I'm thinking 1 of 2 things, either the original spring was replaced with a stronger spring and I matched a replaced one wrong spring or it just too tight and suppose to be very strong. My other choice is to replace this spring with a weaker spring. I just tried to wind both springs and it takes the arm of super man.

Thanks Patrick

View attachment 677146 View attachment 677147 View attachment 677149 View attachment 677150 View attachment 677151
 

Christopher Lloyd Owen

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Aug 27, 2020
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Springs occupy approximately half the volume of the barrel. I have a clock in pieces on the bench at the moment, and here's a photograph of the spring in the barrel.

I'm afraid you are going to have to disassemble, yes! While at it, if the strike spring winds easily then mic up the thickness of the spring, which you may be able to do without removing it from the barrel. The two springs would have the same thickness (or "strength").

(A tip for removing the barrel cap is to bang the winding arbor end on a piece of copper or brass (quite lightly really) and the cap will pop off. Better than digging at the hole in the cap with a screwdriver. Before you do that note the position of the cap hole to the barrel and replace as was. There is often a punched dot in the barrel to mark the position: if not, make a tiny mark.)

If a correct spring doesn't wind easily, you have another problem altogether, and I'm not sure what without seeing it! Obviously the click should be free moving. Try it with no train.

I'm also sending by you by PM a couple of images explaining how you can measure for a spring.

Chris

IMG_9831.JPG
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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When you know the thickness of the spring, the diameter of the barrel and the diameter of the winding arbor you can calculate the optimal length of the spring. Search for "mainspring calculator" on this forum.

Uhralt
 

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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Springs occupy approximately half the volume of the barrel. I have a clock in pieces on the bench at the moment, and here's a photograph of the spring in the barrel.

I'm afraid you are going to have to disassemble, yes! While at it, if the strike spring winds easily then mic up the thickness of the spring, which you may be able to do without removing it from the barrel. The two springs would have the same thickness (or "strength").

(A tip for removing the barrel cap is to bang the winding arbor end on a piece of copper or brass (quite lightly really) and the cap will pop off. Better than digging at the hole in the cap with a screwdriver. Before you do that note the position of the cap hole to the barrel and replace as was. There is often a punched dot in the barrel to mark the position: if not, make a tiny mark.)

If a correct spring doesn't wind easily, you have another problem altogether, and I'm not sure what without seeing it! Obviously the click should be free moving. Try it with no train.

I'm also sending by you by PM a couple of images explaining how you can measure for a spring.

Chris

View attachment 677327
The clock is torn down and I have added the pictures. The spring measurements all agree on the broken spring, the replacement spring and the old strike spring. Everything moves without any problems. As if that wasn't enough I dropped the balance bridge breaking the balance staff. Ugh!!!

20211021_175456.jpg
 

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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The clock is torn down and I have added the pictures. The spring measurements all agree on the broken spring, the replacement spring and the old strike spring. Everything moves without any problems. As if that wasn't enough I dropped the balance bridge breaking the balance staff. Ugh!!!

View attachment 677497
Before I forget, thank you Christopher for the detail you sent me. I will be studying the information.
Thanks Patrick
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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A spring (11 thou thick) should wind with two fingers. This would be typical for a French clock.

The spring length on the left one (last photo) might be just a little short but should be plenty close enough.

Are you used to winding clocks?

Willie X
 

Christopher Lloyd Owen

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Aug 27, 2020
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Oh dear oh dear - you now have another problem if you've broken the balance staff. (I'm not quite sure why you needed to do any more than remove the platform to get to the spring barrels anyway.)
 

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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Oh dear oh dear - you now have another problem if you've broken the balance staff. (I'm not quite sure why you needed to do any more than remove the platform to get to the spring barrels anyway.)
As my luck would it, the platform slipped out of my hand and dropped upside onto the balance.
Why did I remove the platform, I needed to remove the platform to separate the plates and remove the barrels. As for the broken pivot, I use Clint Eastwood's words "a man has to know his limitations", the balance is on its way to Colorado for repair.
 

Shipsbell

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Apr 12, 2010
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A spring (11 thou thick) should wind with two fingers. This would be typical for a French clock.

The spring length on the left one (last photo) might be just a little short but should be plenty close enough.

Are you used to winding clocks?

Willie X
Gosh yes, winding clocks. Been doing it for over 50 years. Ok let me confess.
I took my daughter's word that it was too tight. Well after I released the springs and opened the barrels, they were wound all the way. I haven't repaired this clock in years. Might explain why it wasn't running. Oh well after years you tend to forget, but not winding clocks, that's all I own including my watch.
Thanks for asking you don't know my history. Patrick
 

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