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Clock German Time Bomb Defused!


NAWCC Member
Mar 12, 2011
Loiano, Italy
Hi All,
After reading very carefully all the available threads on the Elgin S. Haller "german time bomb", I found one on eBay and I decided to have a look at it.
Many years ago, I was trained in the Army as an EOD blaster (well, I mean defuser) and WORKING VERY CAREFULLY and wearing all possible protections, I followed the instructions posted by Mervyn Passmore and I succeded!
I have no intention of posting a tutorial about this procedure; I can only say that it is REALLY dangerous and not for the faint of heart!
I'll report only a useful hint: After removing the escape wheel and the pendulum (with the movement wheels blocked) I CAREFULLY removed the blocking peg... and nothing happened.
While keeping one wheel blocked with a gloved finger (I was wearing cut-proof Kevlar gloves) I tried to find the blocking reason; I carefully tried to rotate the first wheel... and instantly the train started wheezing at a good speed!
Braking was possible, only because those gloves are REALLY cut-proof; and it took a LOOONG time!
Now I'm facing a problem. I was initially planning to consider the possibility to reproduce those (in)famous nylon spools using, maybe, brass; and so, render the bomb really innocuous.
But inspecting the nylon spools I found that the material was not brittle at all; the nylon is still elastic and seems quite new and not degraded.
It is not impossible, although quite difficult, to reproduce those spools using brass; and if I can produce a pair, maybe I can produce some more (for other clocks) but now I'm in doubt. Will that worth the candle?
So here I am, looking for the wise advice of the REAL experts...
I'm attaching some photos, explaining why the movement was frozen: somebody sprayed the pins with some industrial lubricant, and with time it became a goo, a sticky black gum with the consistency of asphalt.
I will try to remove it using Benzin first, and then #111 ultrasonic cleaner.
Looking forward to your expert advice...

IMG_3525.jpg IMG_4206.jpg IMG_4231.jpg IMG_6889.jpg

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