Chelsea US Navy ships clock

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Mikie T, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

    Jun 25, 2012
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    Hello all.
    I found this US Navy ships clock at the local antique store last Friday and it has a broken balance staff.
    Where could I find parts for this clock?
    (I am a watch guy so I don't know much about finding clock parts)

    Thanks everyone.

    Mike

    Chelsea Clock Co Boston.jpg
     
  2. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    You might find one, but they are not abundant. Much like watch work, you might have to make a balance staff (or have one made for you). There are some good "how to" video's on Youtube.
     
  3. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    OK... Where should I look. Do any parts suppliers have this type of item for clocks?

    OR... would this be more in the realm of pocket watch parts?

    When I looked inside and saw the balance staff was broken I noticed the balance wheel was about the size of a pocket watch wheel.

    :confused:
     
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    No supplier has them (as far as I know). There are several skilled lathe people who could make you one if you don't have the tools. You might check over in the watch repair forum. Someone might have a source that I'm not aware of.
     
  5. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Thanks Shutterbug!

    Mike
     
  6. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    #6 Kevin W., Aug 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
    Another option a watch maker could do, is re pivot it, its small work but can be done, might cost less than making a staff.
     
  7. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    There are some that advertise in the Mart that work on balance staffs, I sent one in for a Chelsea, he cleaned it and replace staff, not cheap, but good job.
     
  8. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Same here, I sent one for repair and was well satisfied.
     
  9. emhitch

    emhitch Registered User
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    You might want to check with Chelsea. I broke a balance staff from a Chelsea movement and they had replacements available though they were not inexpensive as I recall. I think I bought 2 of them in case of another disaster.
     
  10. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Thanks for your replies everyone.
    I think I have a plan in mind now.
    Thanks for the contact Dave!

    Mikie
     
  11. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    This may be a long shot so don't get your hopes up....but at one time Waltham made balance staffs for Chelsea, or so this thread says. I repaired a Chelsea with the balance wheel mounted to the plate, like this one, and found that a Waltham 7355 balance staff would fit. You can also take some measurements with a micrometer and see if the dimensions are the same. Otto Frei is one source. There are usually some on eBay too.
    Good luck,
    Allan
     
  12. ClipClock

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    Dave T likes this.
  13. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    COOL..... thanks for the parts sources guys.
    My clock is a 12E so it has an escapement platform like this:

    s-l1600.jpg

    I am still working on getting the clock apart for a complete cleaning. The gasket on the bezel is about half gone and cracked so moisture has gotten inside. It looks like the only real issues are a broken staff and a bunch of rusted screws.
    I have hit the screws with a penetrating oil so they are starting to break a loose.
    PROGRESS!!

    Mike
     
  14. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    How about a "progress" picture. Show us what it looks like inside.
     
  15. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Will do.
    I am at work right now but I will get pics and post tomorrow.

    Mike
     
  16. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    I finally found a few minutes to start taking the Chelsea apart for cleaning. Looks kinda bad right now.
    chelsea 001.jpg chelsea 002.jpg chelsea 016.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    chelsea 038.jpg chelsea 041.jpg
     
  17. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Doesn't look so bad. Just needs a little cleaning!
     
  18. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Got a few parts cleaned.
    I have the plates soaking in ketchup.

    003.jpg

    More later
    Mike
     
  19. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Why in ketchup, yes needs a clean and oil.
     
  20. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    I used the acid in the ketchup to remove the stains on the brass.
    I didn't get a picture of the "after" result on the plate but they sure do look much better now. The plates were stained black in many places.
    I plan to TRY to find some Brasso today so I can polish the plates. Then onward to the mechanical issues of the clock.

    I did manage to get the hands straight. The second hand was badly bent. ALSO, the "white" on the hour and minute hands had turned black.

    What was on the hour and minute hands? Was it the radioactive white substance that glows in the dark?


    Mike
     
  21. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Also, another question.
    Can someone tell me how to get the mainspring barrel open? I need to clean the mainspring.

    chelsea 037.jpg

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  22. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Hold the barrel in a gloved (or cloth covered) hand, lid side up, and bang the arbor smartly on the bench. The lid will pop off - it's a press fit.

    JTD
     
  23. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    If you expose the hands to bright sunlight, you'll most likely see that they still glow in the dark.
    As for the Brasso, I think I'd use something less aggressive. Like 0000 steel wool and some fine metal polish.
     
  24. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Thanks JDT. That is similar to what I do for removing a mainspring from a watch barrel.

    Since this whole situation is on a larger scale than I am used to,...

    How do I SAFELY get the mainspring out and then after I get it clean..... how do I get it back in?

    Thanks everyone!

    Mike
     
  25. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Well, as for the hands.... I had to scrape off all the crud and the finish came with it.
    I need to re-paint the hands with something. Either just paint or a replacement of the original substance.

    Good idea on the OOOO steel wool. I have that handy at my shop. Do you think some silver polish would be enough to clean the brass?

    Mike
     
  26. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The safe way is to use a spring winder. You can make one using information from the thread at the top of the repair page. The riskier method is to unwind the spring from the barrel using your hands. You need good hand strength, and must be careful to not let the spring rub against the barrel lip and ruin it. Winding back in by hand is even harder, and the best advise I can offer is 'don't stop once you've started until it's back in!' Use a thumb to keep the spring from jumping out of the barrel. Folks have been hurt that way :)
    Wind OUT from the inner coil. Wind IN from the outside barrel hook. Don't just yank the center out or it will cone on you.
     
  27. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I use 0000 steel wool and Autosol polish (it comes in a tube) but I know other people have their favorite (Peek and other brands). You can achieve good results like this and I think it is far better than Brasso.

    When you have finished polishing, be sure you get any residue out of all the holes by pegging really well.

    To re-do the hands, you can get luminous paste from Timesavers. It works pretty well.

    JTD
     
  28. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Thanks for those words of wisdom and words of instruction shutterbug and JTD.
    I will post my progress as I move forward.

    Mike
     
  29. Mikie T

    Mikie T Registered User

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    Well.... thanks to the help of Lenny Taub, I have my Chelsea back together and running!
    Lenny replaced my broken balance staff for me. While I was waiting for the balance platform to return, I cleaned and polished up all the plates and gears. I got this old girl re-assembled yesterday afternoon and then I gave the mainspring a couple of turns with a key I also got from Lenny. Happily, this old girl sprang to life! I checked this morning and she was still running strong.

    069.jpg 071.jpg 073.jpg

    Mike

    :D
     
  30. shutterbug

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  31. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Excellent job Mike, Your clock looks like new! :coolsign:
    I have only one Chelsea and was amazed at how easy it runs. I've got mine regulated to keep nearly perfect time.
     
  32. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Good job Mike, they are well made clocks. You will enjoy yours.
     

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