E-clip or locking clip removal on back plate Regula movements

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Chris M., Nov 17, 2018.

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  1. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Sep 15, 2018
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    Happy Saturday Night NAWCC Community:

    I just got finished reading prior threads on this topic because I didn't want post a new thread on the subject but.... I just totally scratched up the back plate of a 1970 Regula movement trying to remove two clips on arbors on the back plate. What is the point of perfectly cleaning a movement if you have to scratch the "bleep" out of the back plate in order to remove the the e-clips?! Note: the different style clips on the front of the movement came off nicely. See pics.

    I had read about the clip remover tool at Black Forest Imports on prior threads - I purchased. One of the tips bent on my first try and still managed to bend the clip to an unusable state along with some additional scratches on the plate (see pic). Is there a technique for using these pliers without bending their tips?

    I also read that some folks just break the clips off and put a new clip on after finished with the movement. This sounds good to me. What is the least traumatic way to remove (even if just breaking them off) and the procedure for putting them (or a new one) back on? Slide them down the arbor or pop them on over the side of the arbor at the plate or some other method? Thank you, Chris

    Reguladisassemble1.JPG 1970Regula1.JPG 1970Regula2.JPG 1970Regula3.JPG 1970Regula4.JPG Eclip remover.JPG
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    I have used small snap ring pliers with the tips shortened and ground to adjacent triangles. It's best if you go in as straight as you can, in line with the shaft, open the clip slightly and slide the retainer straight off.

    I have also had good luck using a simple 'L' shaped drill rod or steel chime rod. The tip, on the long end of the rod, has to be ground square for a good tight fit into the little triangle notches on the inside the ears of the retainer. With the tip pushed into place, rotate the handle about 45 degrees and the retainer will open slightly. This will usually allow you to slip the retainer right off. If it only goes a short distance, put a wood shim between the plate and the retainer and force the tip of the rod in further. The retainer will slide off easily.

    The 'L' shaped rod needs to be about 5/32" x 5" long. Heat it red hot at about 1 1/2" from one end and make a sharp right angle bend. The tip can be ground square on the side of a bench grinder stone, leave it rough with a good taper.

    Willie X
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I bend one half of the eclip with pliers and force it to open or break. Either way is fine with me. You can get new clips here.
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i've had good luck using a business card underneath to protect the surface and using needle-nose pliers to pry them open... got kind of a long tradition of not using the right tool for the job. :cool:
     
  5. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Them things in pic #2 --I call them crab clips--are one of the many banes of my existence. I have never found a way to take them off except brute force: a screwdriver prying them off and bending them beyond redemption. And I have never found a way to put them on. With the movement lying flat on a solid surface, it might be possible to perch the crab clip on the end of the arbor, then drive it down in place with a hollow punch. I've never tried that, but I may some day. All it could do is ruin the movement.

    Good luck.
     
  6. John P

    John P Registered User
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    If you tap the end of the shaft just a bit with a small hammer, you can get under them with flat nose pliers.

    johnp
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Normal e-clips slip into a slot in the arbor. These things just grab onto the arbor, and yes bangster, they go on just as you say you haven't tried yet ;).
     
  8. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    I put the inside of the back plate over a crow’s foot and simple drive out the arbor with a brass hammer. Then reinsert the clip using a hole punch and hammer. The clip can be reused.
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks, Mark. Good idea.
     
  10. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    I use these four tools. The pliers from BFI work great, I've only bent mine once or twice, so lay off the Wheaties;):D . I use the small screwdriver to pick off the e clips. When putting clips back on I magnetize the larger flat head and depending on where it's going, just push it on with that or get it in place and hold it a finger and finish it off with the needle nose. On the movements with the spring loaded activation lever, I use the pliers to put on the clip.

    1542578355958383620299770368708.jpg 15425783878672015573734938184846.jpg
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    You can do that with a c-clip (or e-clip), but not with a danged crab clip.:(
     
  12. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Update! I got a replacement pair of lock clip removal pliers from Black Forest Imports and they work great! Well worth the money to save time and aggravation. The key is to only spread the clip slightly and then slide it straight up the shaft! Reverse the process with the same tool to put the clip back on. No sweat and did not wreck the locking clip or scratch up the movement. Thanks.
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I generally pry them off with a screwdriver, cursing the while.:mad:
     
  14. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    More ways of doing it wrong: I read on another thread that "Knipex 46 21 A01" pliers work great, but I wound up buying what I thought were similar pliers from McMaster-Carr. I found the McMaster-Carr pliers were nowhere near strong enough to open the Regula clip. Next I'm going to try out the real Knipex 46 21 A01 pliers from Amazon. Ouch. I'm feeling like I just used a $20 bill to light a candle.

    Before I learned about pliers that would remove the clip, I used a hand puller to push the post through the brass plate, popping the clip off in the process. It worked, but scratched the heck out of the post - bad form.
     
  15. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    #15 dad1891, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    Grainger carries a vast selection of quality pliers. Snap rings are a huge problem without the right tools. I have never had any luck with the inside/outside/any size sets.
     
  16. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    The pliers from BFI actually work great. You just have to engage the tips of the pliers into the little crab claw portion of the clip and only squeeze hard enough to slide the clip up the arbor and off. You are NOT trying to "open" the clip. Only spread enough to slide up the arbor and off. Once you get it to work, it makes perfect sense and is no problem in the future with no scratched movement plates.
     
  17. Jim Hartog

    Jim Hartog Registered User
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    Hello,

    For those of you who do not want to or can't justify the purchase of the correct tool, there is a simple, effective way. After watching a person fighting with those clips on YouTube, I recently tried the following on two Regula 25's and a 34 (first cuckoo movements I have taken apart). Real expert, eh!

    Hold the movement in one hand, hit the arbor with a small hammer. The clip will slide to the end of the arbor with no damage. You can easily pull it off when it is at the end.

    To re-install, bevel the end of the arbor a bit with a file. Place the clip on the bevel. Support the other end of the arbor on some soft metal (aluminum, copper). Use a hole punch/hammer to move the clip into position. If you move it down too far and it is too tight (no end play), pry it up with a shop knife.

    Worked for me.

    Jim
     
  18. dperry428

    dperry428 Registered User
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    #18 dperry428, Feb 26, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
    You must have been watching me on YouTube. The first of these I had to get off was also rusted to the arbor. Really fun. I just fought them again the other day and is found on a portion of another of my YouTube videos. You might enjoy the rant about industrial engineers. By the way, thanks for the suggestions for techniques and tools from those on this tread.

    Start at 8:45
     
  19. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Might as well post this again ...

    It requires a large screwdriver with the faces ground on a coarse stone. The grinding of the faces adds 'tooth', this will keep the clip from flying off the tool. The tip of the screwdriver has to be ground off until it is exactly the right thickness to force into the clip. Just push it sgraight in and slide the clip off. Easy peezie. Willie X
    20190214_135724.jpg
     
  20. dperry428

    dperry428 Registered User
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    Thank you. I'll give it a go. Those doggone things have been driving this old fart crazy. Once I get them off, I make a brass collar with a tapped hole in the side, make a matching screw and secure the levers with them. I'm retired and enjoy making them, but I sure as heck didn't enjoy getting those devilish boogers off. I applaud you for your ingenuity in crafting that simply tool.
     
  21. dperry428

    dperry428 Registered User
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    I bought the Knipex tool. Here is how easily they remove the "crab clips". Easy, even for an old fart.
     
    Bradford Needham likes this.
  22. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Nice demonstration! I have one more tip though. While you're holding the movement, try putting a finger on the lever/arbor on the front side and push up. There is usually some end shake and that will lift the clip up a little from the plate and you'll get a better grip on the 'crabby clip' and your tool won't slip off as often. And for putting the clip back on, I stick the tips of the tool a little deep in the clip so that when it goes on there's a little space/ end shake.
     
  23. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    My Knipex pliers arrived yesterday and I tried them out on a Regula 25 movement: they work great! I'm totally sold on them: removing or replacing those weird Regula clips is simple with these pliers - as if the pliers were made to do it :) I was going to post a video, but Don beat me to it.

    As Don shows in his video, the trick is to separate the clip arms just enough to slide the clip upward and off the post. Unlike normal e-clips, these Regula clips don't open wide enough to push sideways off the post.

    See the Amazon listing for these pliers.

    Thanks for the video, Don!
     
  24. dperry428

    dperry428 Registered User
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    Part of my problem was doing the video this morning. I am currently dealing with a condition that causes extreme pain and joint stiffness that is much worse in the morning and the medication I take also affects my eyesight. Your points are well taken and I thank you.
     
  25. dperry428

    dperry428 Registered User
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    Thank you for the backup confirmation for this tool. I'm used to seeing your name on my videos. I wish I consulted this message board more often. I've been a member of NAWCC so long, I still have a hard time thinking of it as having resources other than The Bulletin and the lending library.
     
  26. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    I have those knipex pliers, but I admit I've always just done them the way I was shown years ago, just hold the back plate by the post under the clip make sure the levers are free of the front plate and with the back of my tweezers on the post push the post through with my thumb, Sometimes putting a piece of card paper cut a bit like a dial protector under the clip, though maybe half the cuckoos I see already look like they got in a fight with a wild cat. Lol. Oh and then I just push them on with a hollow punch.
    Dan
     

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