First Timer - Re-bushing and Tooth Straightening

Dave From Oz

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Hi All,

Quick Introduction:

Dave from Australia (just south of Sydney if you are down under). First time I have tried repairing a clock. I started building a wooden clock, however I was distracted by building a woodworking bench and renovating a kitchen, so it's still in a box waiting to be completed.

So no real "clock makers" tools (yet), but have access to tools for bashing, twisting clamping etc. Apart from the woodwork, I have also done a "bit" of blacksmithing, and have a degree in computer engineering so I have a bit of know-how to figure out what I need to do to achieve something (though no guarantees that I will work out the best way on my own!).

I have a Waterbury Mantle clock that I picked up cheap as it "doesn't work". Figure I can't do worse than "doesn't work" and I would have a go at getting it running.

What I have done so far:

  • Numbered pivots and wheels and took lots of photos from various angles;
  • Released mainspring (the chiming spring is missing);
  • Dismantled;
  • Gave all of the parts a bath to remove the grease and grit, and dried in a warm oven;
  • Reassembled without the mainspring to check that I could;
  • Felt where wheels have too much play;
  • Dissassembled;
  • Identified that a number of bushes need replacing;
  • Read posts here and watched some YouTube videos;
  • Went looking for replacement bushes and failed to find matching ones.
My Questions:
  1. Can someone help identify these bushes? I have checked Burgeon and KWH sizings and I don't think they match (much larger OD for the required ID). I figure if I can press the existing ones out and replace with the same size it will be easier than trying to re-drill the holes (I also don't have much room on one bushing for expanding the hole. OD of the hole is approx 4.35mm and OD of the oil well is approx 5.3mm. (see photos) OD Inside of plate OD Oil Well Closeup of Oil Wells
  2. There are a couple of bent pins on the count wheel (I think that's the right name). Would I be able to bend them back, and should/how would I heat them to try to avoid breaking, and would I need to heat treat them afterwards? Bent Teeth

What I plan to do next:
  • Purchase:
    • Winding key;
    • Bushes if I can find some that will work;
    • Broaches (cutting and smoothing) to size to pivot pins (1.3mm);
    • Oil and Oiling pins;
    • Maybe new main and chime springs (might get it working with old mainspring first and see how it goes);
  • Make a bushing jig to assist pressing old bushes out and new ones in;
  • Replace bushings that need replacing;
  • Bend count wheel teeth back;
  • Reassemble;
  • Oil;
  • Test and play until it works with some semblance of accuracy;
  • Fix the case which is pretty neglected;
Any advice, links to useful posts (already bookmarked Bushing Using Handtools) would be appreciated.

Any help identifying suitable replacement bushes would also be helpful (and if you are a seller please send me a link).

Thanks in advance.
Dave.
 

wow

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You will need a reamer and/or broaches for the bushing job. The OD of bushings will not be the same as the original. You use reamers slightly smaller than the OD of the bushing and the bushings are pressed in tightly. Then a broach is used to match the pivot if necessary.
 

Dick Feldman

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Hello Dave,
It seems every clock repair person will develop methods. Not all are good. Here are some ideas and suggestions for your questions. My patent answers to requests like yours are to first read all you can about clock repair and secondly find a mentor. Some books are better than others and you can cull what you do not like. A good, straight forward and inexpensive publication is This Old Clock by David Goodman. It is for sale on Amazon and/or eBay. I would caution about U tube videos. Many times those are made by rank amateurs and propose some very shoddy methods. A mentor will be of great help to you. Even a bad mentor can and will teach some good lessons. A mentor will short cut the learning process greatly. This board can be a great source of information. Basic tools will get you going. You likely have those or ones that can be adapted to your needs.
I use KWM sized bushings but use those made in the USA due to cost. Each system is sort of proprietary due to the OD and ID. Not much interchanges between Burgeon and KWM. The holes in the original plates are in virgin material and there is no such thing as punching out and replacing. You will have to bore the original hole and push the new bushing in. There is an interference fit between the bush and the bored hole. Bushings can be “set” with a small hammer. (Plastic, raw hide, brass or even steel heads are suitable). Care must be taken when boring to maintain the original center as the holes have not worn evenly. Once installed, a bush can be sized with cutting broaches and polished with smoothing broaches. Often, the remaining margin around the new bush is thin. That is a fact of life and one must be very careful to leave enough margin to maintain stability. The pivots on the arbors should be inspected for grooves and roughness. My recommendation is to be fastidious about bushing because clock movements wear throughout rather than in select areas. Bush more holes rather than less.
The bent teeth on your count wheel may not be able to be straightened. You can try to to heat each (dull red) and pry back to normal but they may break off. Those do not have to have a lot of strength as they are basically spacers. Most annealed brass pieces (teeth) will work harden with use but can be hardened after heat by striking with a soft headed hammer. If the teeth break, plan B would be to dove tail and replace the teeth or to find an donor movement with a replacement. Replacing teeth is covered in This Old Clock and many other clock repair books.
Your clock once struck instead of chimed. Striking is counting of the hours and chiming is music.
Something often overlooked are the click assemblies. With use, the click pivots will become loose and allow the clicks to wander. That may cause the click to miss align with the ratchet teeth and distort those. With time, the click will fail. That failure happens when the clock is being wound. The entire stored force for the spring is released in a nanosecond against the hand winding the clock. The key wings normally tear flesh from the hand and give a blue thumbnail. Brass return springs on clicks (to me) are an additional hazard. Brass becomes brittle after a hundred years or so of flexing and will break. I suggest brass return springs be replaced with those made from spring steel. I make new clicks from brass stock and fit rivets because the ones available from normal clock suppliers are usually made in India with brass return springs. Those are of very poor quality.
Clock main springs seldom go bad. A usual failure is breaking. Main springs and escapements are many times blamed for lack of power in a train. Mainsprings and escapements are usually victims rather than the culprits. Wear at pivot holes in the train between the main spring and the escapement etc. is a more likely cause.
Best of luck with your clock movement.
It seems you have a good start.
Dick
 
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shutterbug

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I think you might have steel plates with brass inserts. You can verify that with a magnet. If that's the case, you don't want to remove the inserts. Just put in a new bushing using the original center. You can choose the size you need, and any of the standard bushings will work.
 

Willie X

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Looks like the old bushings are off center. This would be a good time to correct that but requires experience. Moving the hole requires a "D" cutter set-up, or a mill. Might be best to make or modify available bushings for now and leave the holes as they are.

Note, you can also plug the old hole/s and drill + broach a new pivot hole closer to the original center.

Many questions to your many guestion...

Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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I think you might have steel plates with brass inserts. You can verify that with a magnet. If that's the case, you don't want to remove the inserts. Just put in a new bushing using the original center. You can choose the size you need, and any of the standard bushings will work.
Yes,
Give it the magnet test but it does not look a lot like steel plates.
But, yes--install bushings as though the plates are completely brass.

Looks like the old bushings are off center. This would be a good time to correct that but requires experience. Moving the hole requires a "D" cutter set-up, or a mill. Might be best to make or modify available bushings for now and leave the holes as they are.

Note, you can also plug the old hole/s and drill + broach a new pivot hole closer to the original center.

Many questions to your many guestion...

Willie X
Sometimes the oil sink on the outside of the plate may have been installed off center to the proper hole. You cannot always use that oil sink as a guide. Off center oil sinks may become an "optical conclusion." Search for "preacher" as a method of finding proper centers. Also, check This Old Clock. There are more precise and expensive methods to find proper centers but the preacher will normally suffice.
A mentor can give you a big jump start with installing bushings.
Yes, more questions for your questions.
D
 
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Dave From Oz

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So much help in one day! Thanks to all.

Nothing wrong with questions on questions. You have to learn somehow.

Hopefully I work out how to use this post editor as I reply to you all.


I think you might have steel plates with brass inserts. You can verify that with a magnet. If that's the case, you don't want to remove the inserts. Just put in a new bushing using the original center. You can choose the size you need, and any of the standard bushings will work.
You are spot on with that observation Shutterbug. Plates are definitely steel, something I hadn't thought to check, though I did suspect that they weren't brass. So that changes my bushing spec significantly. More time with the calipers.

Hello Dave,
It seems every clock repair person will develop methods. Not all are good. Here are some ideas and suggestions for your questions.
....

Many times those are made by rank amateurs and propose some very shoddy methods. A mentor will be of great help to you. Even a bad mentor can and will teach some good lessons. A mentor will short cut the learning process greatly.

Dick
Thanks Dick. I seem to live in a hypocritical state where I find it hard to accept I should find a mentor, but find that I quite enjoy mentoring those new to what I do have experience in. But I would have to agree with you entirely. Will have to see who is around locally.

Thanks also for the suggestion that bushing all of the pivots (and the pointers in what I need to get started), it is confirming my thoughts that would be the best way to go. I suspect that as the faster wheels get more movement/play in the pivot that will translate further down the train to each pivot starting to wear to that play, even if it's only slightly.

I will look for This Old Clock.

You won't be using a bushing as large as the one you measuring in the pic. You will be putting a bushing inside of that.
It will be larger than the pivot but not that large.
Thanks Dan, when I first read your reply, I was a little confused but along with later replies I am getting what you are saying now. Hadn't thought about the possibility of putting a bushing inside a bushing. There is a whisper in the back of my brain to say I need to think about supporting the existing bushing carefully, seeing I don't have the specialist tools for doing this...

Looks like the old bushings are off center. This would be a good time to correct that but requires experience. Moving the hole requires a "D" cutter set-up, or a mill. Might be best to make or modify available bushings for now and leave the holes as they are.

Note, you can also plug the old hole/s and drill + broach a new pivot hole closer to the original center.

Many questions to your many guestion...

Willie X
You have a good set of eyes to see that in the photos. Yes the holes are off-centre, but as Dick suggested, they are off centre to the Oil Wells. Looking at the inside they seem more centred, with one being obviously egg shaped. Of course eye-balling these things isn't going to be very accurate. It sounds like there is a "preacher" who can help me work out if they are really off centre, something more to learn about.

It also sounds like I may be transferring my woodworking dovetail skills into brass. Thanks for the info there Dick, I will have to give it a go and see if I can bend them back, and then may have my dovetailing skills tested. Having worked with steel a bit, I can see that it might work, but brass is less forgiving of bending stress than steel, so I have to accept that they may well break no matter how much care and heat is applied.

So much to learn. This is turning into the sort of project I enjoy :)

Thanks again all for your replies. I will post back when I have progressed, and likely discovered more questions. Unfortunately my leave is just about over, so the progress will be slow.

Dave.
 

R. Croswell

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Dave, slow down and take a closer look at what you have and make sure you do the correct bushing repair. Waterbury is know for steel movement plates. These are often plated with brass to look like brass. Yours appears to be one of these. The large brass "plugs" were inserted where the pivot holes were to be drilled. It is very important to know that the original pivot holes are frequently NOT drilled in the center of the brass plugs. If you were to replace the plug bushings in the normal way you can destroy the clock because the depthing of the wheels and pinions will be off and you have no reference point to use to get them back where they should be. You should always locate your new bushings centered on the original pivot hole, not the hole where the brass plugs were installed. As already suggested, leave these plugs in place and install a small bushing centered in the worn pivot hole. The bushing ID will likely be smaller than than the pivot in order to use a bushing OD that does not destroy the brass plugs. You can then ream the ID to fit the pivot.

Fitting bushings properly is something that takes a bit of practice. Much has been written on the subject. The critical outcomes are that the hole be centered on the original pivot hole and that the bushing be tight enough to stay in place.

RC
 
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Dave From Oz

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Dave, slow down and take a closer look at what you have and make sure you do the correct bushing repair.
...

Fitting bushings properly is something that takes a bit of practice. Much has been written on the subject. The critical outcomes are that the hole be centered on the original pivot hole and that the bushing be tight enough to stay in place.

RC
Thanks RC. Slow I do well. I figured I was missing something when I wasn't finding bushings that matched the measurements I was seeing in the inserts, hence the question. One thing I have learnt woodworking, and in particular doing some restoration work on furniture, is that until I can see what I am going to do and I know how I expect it to proceed, it's best not to proceed on any action that removes material or may potentially break a bit off.

I am thinking that I may make a test plate to try the process of fitting a bushing out on first. The centring is the bit I need to research more as well. I can see that I have at least 4 egg shaped holes that will need to be sorted.
 

Willie X

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I thought you were dealing with a replacement bushing. On closer examination I think they are all factory plugs, no repair bushings. That good, you are looking at the original centers, just a matter of rebushing to that original center by nibbling or filling.

You will need to be well below 3mm O.D. on your replacement bushings as the holes in the steel plate are about 1/8". When you get close to about 3mm there is danger of the original plug splitting in two. Then you will have to use 1/8" bushing wire, or a simple riveted in plug.

I would 'preacher' each hole, one at a time, as you do them. This way, if one of the factory plugs splits, there will be no problem. Do the preacher thing first, before you do any filing or reaming, etc.

You can probably straighten that count wheel tooth, use a small knife blade. Go slow, you may only have one shot. I wouldn't heat it.

Willie X
 
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shutterbug

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A preacher is a type of tripod gizmo that helps find centers. There are pictures here in the forum if you use the search function.
 

RJSoftware

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Choose Kwm, Burgeon is overpriced hype. Choose number 3 reamer and choose bushing pack with smallest i.d. hole. You can always broach them out larger. Somewhere I have a post that goes into great detail on this beginner bushing setup.

Basically it's a number 3 kwm reamer and handle.
Kwm bushing pack
A selection of broaches
A punch

The kwm system reamer & bushings makes life easy. The reamer cuts hole for kwm bushing to perfect friction fit. You place plate inside edge against anvil. A small tap of round nose punch in bushing center guarantees they stay put. Then broach pivot hole to fit. Some use smoothing broaches while others use pin gauges. The pin gauges are ground to point on end. Twist them in as a final sizing after cutting broach gets close to size. Pin gauges are better because they are not tapered.

To hold broaches or pin gauges requires a pin vice. Get the multiple ( 4 head set). Each end has head with insert tip. Each insert flips providing 2 sizes.
 
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Willie X

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I do about the same thing as RJ.

Look up 'nibbling', this becomes easy with practice. A beginner would need to practice quite a bit first and go really slow. You have to learn how to remove metal in just the right place. If you make a slight mistake (early on) you can correct. If you make a big mistake, or the hole is extremely elongated, there is no choice but to go to a bigger reamer. This can bring up a big problem as already mentioned. But don't worry ... you will just be forced to learn a new trick!

The wear on one of your holes there is going to be marginal for a #3 cutter.

My 2,. Willie X
 
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bangster

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Dave:
I'm glad you mentioned "Bushing Using Hand Tools." Heed the details in the article, and pay attention to the advice others have given.

bangster
 

Dave From Oz

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Adding nibbling to preacher to my research list. Will look at the KVM bushings. I can see that putting a small bushing in and then reaming out is the common thread to the advice.

Thanks All
 

Jim DuBois

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A preacher is a pretty worthless piece for most clock repair folks. I have never needed one in more than 50 years of work. They are only useful when you know where the pivots must fall, then mark the plates with the two markers on them, then mark the pivot hole. That is only necessary if you have filled the pivot hole completely with a hammered in brass plug after you have marked the work with the preacher, or have completely botched keeping the recess on center. Other than that, the preacher has no useful purpose to us. A depthing tool is a much better approach when center positions are lost, but they should NEVER be lost in the vast majority of the work we do. Careful reaming of a bushing recess on a plate, and then properly bushing it, is not all that difficult in the first place, in spite of the thousands of comments found on this site suggesting it is more difficult than it really is.
 

Willie X

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I don't usually use a preacher either.

On this particular job, I would use one, for the same reasons Jim just mentioned. There's a good chance you will need to plug one of those holes and with no reference, you would just have to make your best guess where to drill the pivot hole in the plug, or use old style bushing wire and hope you get lucky.

Note, I would do that worst worn hole first and use the preacher. If all goes well, probably no need to use it on the less worn holes. There are other 'tricks' too ... :)

Willie X
 

RJSoftware

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A typical clock repair usually involves bushings.

So pressure of one gear pushing against other eventually causes the bushing holes to wear into an oval shape. Under high magnification one can see (usually) remnant of the original factory drilled bushing hole.

(Holes in the plates that pivots turn in -even if just a hole, is referred to as bushing. Oddly we insert bushings into those holes, tiny cylinders of specific length, diameter of width(o.d.) and a hole in center which becomes the new bushing with specific i.d.) So we suffer a little funk in communication.

With springs released or weights removed we jiggle the main wheels back and forth on each train. The gears shifting direction back and forth reveal which bushings are worn as the pivot tips can be seen moving.

The general rule is to rebush if the pivot tip moves back and forth with a distance approximately 1/3rd or more the pivot diameter. But this is an eyeball determination.

I like to take my time and scribe a light scratch with an exacto knife, to make an X so that before I rebush the factory center is not lost. i don't make a deep scratch, just enough for me to see under the loupe. A fine razor can make a nice straight line without straight edge. Establishing a straight edge guide can actually cause an offset. Don't underestimate slow free hand.

Doing this can prevent the need for a preacher, but these clocks can pass through many hands. So sometimes the original bushing location gets lost.

You can employ same triangulation technique with a compass making faint circular scratch. These tools, preacher and compass are cruder forms of the ultimate tool for this which is the depthing tool.

Basically, a depthing tool test distances between 2 gears for the absolute proper functioning distance. Points on tool are used to tranfer the distances to the plate.

The mesh between 2 gears is highly precise. The depth is not simply one gear's teeth against other. There is a percentage of air space (relief) and percentage of engagement. There is a whole science to how gears mesh. The depthing tool however makes this simple by testing gear mesh by feel and using loupe. The ultimate approximation tool.

The preacher and the compass rely on holes in the other plate to be accurate. The depthing tool is a start from scratch.

Fortunately, the incidences of needing these tools are rare. One can also walk a bushing hole using the KWM reamer. Adjusting location by cutting in a favored diection. But dont guess, better to use a compass or preacher than eyeball.

Always look for that tiny portion of the remnant factory hole. Make your X as best you can. A pencil or pen or marker is wrong thing to use, too easily removed by accident. Pencil, pen, etc. tends to be too thick, sacrificing accuracy. A razor scratch is about as thin as it gets.

Also note: Do not buy a depthing tool as majority are for watch sized gears. Rarely will you see a clock sized depthing tool. But you can easily make one from a staking set and reliable wood hinge.
 
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Dave From Oz

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Loving the knowledge here.

I checked out the preacher, simple concept, and I can see how it would be useful if you used a blank (or were forced to due to error). It also seems like a good safety precaution for beginners to have reference points just in case. I am also seeing a limitation in that you are effectively guessing the correct centre that you are marking the two reference points from as that point doesn't actually exist. There is still an element of eyeballing the centre. It is a good backup plan though.

I've always known a bushing as a sacrificial insert used as a basic bearing. I guess that doesn't exist in clocks (kept the cost down?) so the housing and bushing are sort of one and the same until you add an actual bushing..

As for terminology, how does a tool for finding centre become a depthing tool? What depth is involved? More research.

So a question on what ID to look for. If i have 1.25mm to 1.4mm pivots, what initial ID would people suggest on a bushing and what size would I be looking to open that up too? These are of course the measurements I need to work on for ordering bushings and appropriate tools. I am looking at KWM L16 (1.2 ID, 2.7 OD, 1.4 depth) for the 1.3 mm plate.

Also, should I be looking at burnishing the pivots before sizing the final ID of the inserted bushings? Will burnishing significantly change the pivot diameter? The pivots mostly look OK under 12x, but my calipers are catching if I slide them, so I assume there is some roughness that would be best dealt with while I am at it.
 

Jim DuBois

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Scratching marks on plates as well as punching marks via a "preacher" on plates are considered botchery by restorers and conservationists. Using a sharp-tipped black felt-tip marker seems a much better solution if someone thinks they have to mark bushings to be worked. It may not seem entirely relevant on steel plate kitchen clocks, but there might be a day when hacking them up will be considered bad form, as it is today when it comes to Quare or East, or Tompion, etc.

88183232_1153834148301931_6404922541969768448_o.jpg
 

Dick Feldman

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It seems everyone has excesses.
Me included.
Some on one end of the spectrum, some on the other.
To some, making it go is OK. To others, the repair must be top quality, invisible, etc.
Everyone is correct.

Ball bearings are an option with clock repair.
Mark Butterworth has developed a system that he markets. Some say that is a mis application, some rave at the results.Here is an old discussion about Mark's bearings in clock movements.
https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/butter-bearings-anyone.104691/

I do not advocate polishing pivots with abrasives because of the potential of embedding abrasive particles in the pivot. I feel burnishing is a better solution but expediency sometimes gets those rough pivots replaced with smooth wire inserts.

Best,
Dick
 

Mike Phelan

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It seems everyone has excesses.
Me included.
Some on one end of the spectrum, some on the other.
To some, making it go is OK. To others, the repair must be top quality, invisible, etc.
Everyone is correct.
I suppose it depends on who the clock is for, and whether you are being paid for the repair.and all sorts of other imponderables.
I do not advocate polishing pivots with abrasives because of the potential of embedding abrasive particles in the pivot. I feel burnishing is a better solution but expediency sometimes gets those rough pivots replaced with smooth wire inserts.
I would never use abrasives on pivots - file and burnisher only.
 

Thomas Sanguigni

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There are lots of way to repair clocks. Some of the old timers and conservators were equipped with such barbarous objects like, hole closing punches, Rathbun devices, the Chauncey Jerome cleaning method, and soft solder repairs. Previous notable clockmakers used to scratch their names, (Simon Willard and his offspring), on cases and movements. See also the NAWCC bulletin July/August 2021 the 'WAM' monogramer.

Now, after 200 plus years this is called poor craftsmanship, but at the time it was considered cutting edge. I have seen and repaired so many clocks that would have been discarded because of previous conservators efforts. Using the word Bodger is a convenient way of deflecting blame from the previous repair generations. Methods of repair are constantly improving and mechanical clocks are still here and working. The use of common sense is the most important tool in our bag. If you cannot do a competent repair, ask for assistance or send the part to a professional.
 
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shutterbug

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I'll just comment on using the preacher. The most logical way to use it is to mark the center from the opposite plate, and transfer that finding to the plate in question. Then you can be pretty sure it's going to correct. It's used when the original hole has been moved and the correct position is an unknown ;)
 

RJSoftware

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Scratching a mark that can only be detected under a loupe. But now you see a deliberate misinterpretation. They understand how easily the marks are polished out, but ...

The odd thing to get use to is cutting the factory remnant out first. That's why a good reliable X is important. You adjust reamer starting cut location eyeballing for center. You basically walk the hole back to center. So yes it is eyeball, but remember you made that X with the thinnest means possible using a razor. No pen gets that thin or accurate. Get dead center on that remnant factory curve.

A lot is "much to do about nothing" but speaking from experience it's quite easy to lose a sharp pen mark of any sort. Even when tape is applied. I'm sure with enough discipline a pen could suffice but a light scratch is another step of assurance. If you miss the mark do it again. A thin slight razor scratch is easily removed if that concerned.

I don't consider a movement all glossed up shiny a valid repair. Much of the time this is a tactic used to impress. That and using abrasives to remove patina is a crime to me. The only circumstance where this kind of strip down becomes necessary is when shellac starts to shed and that is most times a Nubian duncan swish the whole movement assembled, in the ultrasonic.

Thing I was trying to point out before is to not buy your way through repairs but to build skill. KWM is learned, not bad at all.

Skip concern for the depthing tool for now. I didn't mean to distract you. It's just information you may never need. Go KWM, choose bushing set that has OD for number 3 reamer. Then select package with smallest ID. Pick a broach set from Timesavers, Swiss 5 sided are better than 4 sided.

It's fun to use the broach. After taking care of pivots, file and burnish only if needed, Mic (digital calipers are nice) the pivot. Lock the caliper. Poke broach into tiny piece of paper and stick broach tip in crack of caliper measure. Insert and slide paper till feels like full. Now paper shows location of about how far to insert/cutting broach in while turning. No, smoothing broaches do not increase i.d.. They burnish which makes surface harder, longer lasting. Brass is a strange metal beating brass thin turns it into a spring. Quite different rules than iron.

Once you get close test fit the pivot. Pivot should not stand firmly at 90 degrees, but ideally have a 3 to 5 degrees of lean in all directions. The slack is necessary due to imperfections of design. More accurate method is to switch to pin gauges to finalize hole shape as there is a slight taper on broaches.

Good luck!
 
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Dick Feldman

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A preacher is a pretty worthless piece for most clock repair folks. I have never needed one in more than 50 years of work. They are only useful when you know where the pivots must fall, then mark the plates with the two markers on them, then mark the pivot hole. That is only necessary if you have filled the pivot hole completely with a hammered in brass plug after you have marked the work with the preacher, or have completely botched keeping the recess on center. Other than that, the preacher has no useful purpose to us. A depthing tool is a much better approach when center positions are lost, but they should NEVER be lost in the vast majority of the work we do. Careful reaming of a bushing recess on a plate, and then properly bushing it, is not all that difficult in the first place, in spite of the thousands of comments found on this site suggesting it is more difficult than it really is.
I have the utmost confidence in Jim DuBois. His advice has proved to be valuable to me many times. His reputation and abilities bring him only the best of clocks. Thank you for your contributions to this board.
A depthing tool is one of the best tools used in establishing proper centers. The price of a depthing tool is well beyond the reach of most clock repair people. I did see, (one time on this board), that someone had made their own from a door hinge. Not impossible but maybe not to the precision that the commercial models have.
It is, of course, at least not courteous, to scratch or mark up customer's clock plates. An alternative to leaving marks might be to use layout dye before marking. That is a common tool of machinists. The dye is painted on a surface and scored with a sharp scribe to mark surfaces. Generally, the residual scratches are not visible after the dye is washed off (alcohol soluble).
Many of the movements Jim works on are "one off" examples and not factory built. Much of the original work was tediously done by hand by craftsmen. The precision tools he uses are well beyond the technology levels available when the clock movements were built. The end result is a better than new movement.
Best,
Dick
 
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Thomas Sanguigni

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I think we have veered off track here. The OP was trying to find out how to bush and straighten teeth. I don't think anyone questioned Jim's qualifications. As a clocksmith, I respect the group we represent. As a group we tend to help lots of people who may or may not be qualified to work on clocks. Personally, I do not think most people should take risks repairing their clocks.
 

RJSoftware

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Here is how I try to express concern over method.

I like to do X because of Y reason.
I find X works perfectly for me.


I like using a toothbrush and Dish soap more than using an ultrasonic. It is more tactile, intimate. I do use the ultrasonic as an initial cleaning unless shellac is involved.

I like making an X with the pointed tip of a fresh razor. I can scratch ever so faint a line that to see it I have to play with the reflective light to see it.

I like the assurance that the scratch won't disappear by some errant movement, finger touch etc. that accidentally smears and/or dissolves the mark.

I like old dark brass patina. Dark chocolate brown and even spots of black. As long as it's clean.

Part of the joy is to feel the age. Food for the eyes. Just like a dial shouldn't be replaced, whitey white new, just feels wrong. Like the eyes being the window of the soul, the dial is the soul of the clock. Same thing for stripping brass patina. Even the smell of age...

If I wanted perfect shiny new clock then I could go to Wal-Mart and get a pretty Chinese quartz clock. No defects just pretty pretty.

I enjoy the astonishment on the faces of those who see my clocks, especially those new to clocks. I relive my own fascination as the time travelling wave passes through them. All the senses, sight, sound, touch, smell and taste (interrelated in reality).

I wonder why someone would ever strip patina. But if a customer wants then a customer gets. It's good .

I read some conservationist in museums are required to mark/identity parts that are not original. Understandable.

The discussions about using expensive bushing tools and/or drill press are another option that some express desire for while others fear run-out error. Just more food for thought.
 
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Dave From Oz

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I think we have veered off track here. The OP was trying to find out how to bush and straighten teeth. I don't think anyone questioned Jim's qualifications. As a clocksmith, I respect the group we represent. As a group we tend to help lots of people who may or may not be qualified to work on clocks. Personally, I do not think most people should take risks repairing their clocks.
Veered off track... Yes. Is that a problem... No, not to me (the OP), I am learning by listening and digging into some of the topics on the side.

Like all communities of crafts people there are differences in opinion in how to achieve a task and how a beginner should go about learning and getting into the craft (the only course I have found in country is part time over a number of years, in another city, something that doesn't fit with an established career and supporting a family). Currently this is hobby level, maybe one day I could see taking it further and doing it professionally, but I am not going to take money from someone without plenty of experience under the belt, and some form of qualification.

Also we are seeing the whole Repair/Restore discussion that I have seen with furniture and tools, and it's no different to other communities I have been involved with.

To me furniture patina is what makes it an antique. Antique tools I use (if it isn't used it's an ornament), so if it is required to make it work, then I will do it (a patina on a plane blade will usually make that blade unusable, as it is likely to be rust and therefore make for a non-flat surface). Clocks seem to sit in between. The case is the furniture and the patina is part of the character of the clock. The movement is a tool and if losing "patina" allows the clock to do the job it needs to do, then OK. As it's my clock, a small scratch or punch mark on the inside of the plate isn't going to bother me as much as having a non-working clock (the layout die is a good suggestion Dick, though if it's alcohol based and your clock is shellac'd beware).

All of that being said, if I want a shiny pretty clock movement, I think I would buy a lathe and mill and a stack of brass and steel and start cutting and polishing (maybe one day I will have a go). Actually maybe something more like this: Clocks - Clock 166 - Will Matthysen Clocks
 

RJSoftware

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As to teeth repair, say one breaks after attempting to straighten, you may find that the job can easily be done with saw and file. See, you can drift off into the "buy your way out" with super expensive tools too. It's not that these tools are bad, just falling into the trap of thinking them impossible to do job without.

If teeth break look into dovetail tooth repair. I like also to solder a dovetail repair, for me, it make the repair nearly invisible. When 2 brass pieces are snuggly fitted together the solder does an excellent joint. Filing that becomes invisible. I like the assurance that the dovetail is secure.

You can do miracles with a file and time. I try to imagine scenarios like the birdman from Alcatraz. Building elaborate bird cage from sticks. He had time. No, no desire for prison but admiration for determination. I use to tell my daughters how good it is to take care of your car and drive safe, because look how long it would take to walk...

Peening a bushing is good enough, no solder required. I use a punch who's pokey end was grinded to shape of a small ball bearing, like a bb.

With the inside of plate against anvil, the inside edge of plate and back of bushing meet parallel. I set the bb end of punch in oil sink of bushing and hammer a couple-few whacks to further secure the friction fit of the bushing. Even though the KWM friction fit is adequate, having peened them in place is much more rugged. Then broach. You will appreciate this during assembly.

Some use drill bits to countersink. I dont find this necessary. KWM does a good job with matching thickness. But some manufacturers plates are thicker than others. Excess bushing length has no effect as long as back of bushing is even with inside plate edge.
 

Dave From Oz

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Thanks again RJ.

I am working through my shopping list this evening, I suspect that I am going to spend twice what the clock cost me. The majority of that is tooling, so if I do it again I will be set. Still the amount I am spending is dwarfed by what I am gaining from learning something new.

The dovetail would provide good strength to prevent the tooth pulling out, but I can't see it providing any strength on horizontal pressure (from the side of the wheel), so I can see that soldering would make sense (though I guess a correctly aligned clock shouldn't be putting horizontal pressure on the teeth).

I saw the peening suggestion in Bushing-Using-Hand-Tools and it made sense if the bushing fit was loose.

I have been reading the KWM Bushing System documentation, and am interested to see that they actually seem to recommend not broaching the bore to ensure a straight internal bore, rather than the pivot running on a point. I also suspect that peening would push out the bore walls causing a similar peak within the bore. Much of the advice given here is counter to the documentation, but I also guess working on clocks that weren't designed with the matching spec pivots makes it a bit hard to stick purely to this.

Screenshot from 2021-07-21 21-23-17.png
 

RJSoftware

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it's not that the fit is loose, it's not. Its just that during assembly they can come out accidentally. Peening dead center tightens up the fit.
 

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