Gilbert mainspring click repair advice

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by John P, Oct 14, 2011.

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  1. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Hello, I am seeking advice on how to repair this click spring retainer tab.
    It is broken off the wheel and was laying in the bottom of the clock case.

    Spring was wound tight as a tick and click was holding when I took it down. Now, I have the movement bushed and cleaned but this click spring issue is to be resolved before it can get it back running.

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
    John
     

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  2. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
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    Hello John,

    Have you noticed the click spring is made from brass? After 50-70-90 years of clicking, brass springs become brittle and will fail. It is not a question of if it will fail, but when. It might be a good idea to replace the click and spring while you have the clock apart. If that is a two train clock movement, the other main wheel likely has a brass return spring. It would be a good time to replace both. Spring steel is a much better material for click return springs. Along with damage to the clock movement, failure of a click spring normally will result in a black thumb nail and some hide missing from the hand winding the clock.

    Once the spring and click have been replaced, a hole could be drilled in the boss near where the old retainer was and a rivet could be installed to catch the new spring.

    Best Regards,

    Dick Feldman
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I'd also give attention to the condition of that click wheel. It looks like it's an accident waiting to happen. The teeth should mesh flat against the click, providing a large surface area for stopping/holding the power. More work involved, but could well save you a bruised thumb later, and damage to the clock.
     
  4. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    All good advice.Often times this area of the movement is neglected, and after having a click or click spring fail and hurt you, you remember the pain for a long time after.
     
  5. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
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    The arbor and pivot look to be damage. It might just be the way the light is on my computer. If it is you might want to consider polishing. To retain the click wire. I take and take a small wirer and just make a hook and secure it flush the the other side of the gear. The wire is just for tension on the click.

    H/C
     
  6. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Here's how I'd go about replacing the spring restraint. Others may disagree.

    Get rid of the part of the old one that's still on the wheel. If it leaves a hole, great; if it doesn't, drill one. Stick a tight fitting piece of brass rod into the hole. Secure it with TIX solder. [Method: Brush TIX flux onto the joint. Cut off a tiny piece of solder, not much longer than it is wide, and lay it against the joint. Heat the joint with a pencil torch until the solder melts and runs into the crack. A properly soldered joint should show very little solder outside the joint. Let it cool. Wash off flux residue under hot running water. Dry the wheel with hair dryer to prevent rusting.] Bend the rod over into a hook. Cut off excess. Restrain the spring under the hook.

    If you're of a mind to replace the click spring, there are a couple of ways. I imagine the old spring is just force-fit into a hole in the click.

    Method 1: Pull the old spring out of the click. Get a piece of spring steel wire the same diameter as the old spring. Anneal one end of it. Bend it into a curve like the one in the old spring. Re-harden and temper the new spring. Fix it into the click.

    Method 2: Pull the old spring out of the click. Get a piece of .020 - .025 music wire several inches long. A low E guitar string with the winding stripped off might do. Stick it in the hole in the click. If it's really loose, cut a thin triangle of brass, and wedge it into the hole alongside the wire. Cut off the excess sticking out. Bend the spring over and hook it under the restraint. Cut off the excess. You're done. No annealing, no bending, no re-tempering. If you're worried it might not be strong enough, double it up: use two pieces of music wire. This has the advantage of being easy. It has the disadvantage of not looking original. Neither would the steel spring in Method 1.

    Others will no doubt have different suggestions.
    :Party:
    bangster
     
  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    John,

    A small stepped rivet, similar to what is used on many clicks, is a good repair. I would go just west of the old broken out slot. Make the spacings as uniform as possible to look good. This breakage you have is very unusual, so I would leave the other side as is. Good advice already given about cleaning up those ratchet teeth. If only one tooth has a blunt tip, there's gona be trouble.

    Willie X
     
  8. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Ok, cleaned up everthing real good, click and teeth were just dirty and with no tension on the click spring it just looks like it dont engage right.
    I used Bangster's advice and soldered the original piece right back on the wheel using tin foil behind to prevent any over run. Cleaned again in clock cleaner and hot water. Good repair...looks good and works.

    Another question I have is about the balance wheel escapement.
    There are 2 screw in bearings holding the balance wheel into the plates. Are these to be oiled or no? See picture

    Thanks for the help ya'll
    John
     

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  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Most say don't oil the balance cups. A few say a tiny bit of watch-oil. Take your pick.
     
  10. Watchfixer

    Watchfixer Registered User

    Jun 11, 2011
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    *always* oil these cups. This is steel on steel and need oil to prevent blunting the conical tips and wearing out the cups.

    Cheers, Watchfixer
     
  11. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I say oil cups, not jewels :)
     
  12. Watchfixer

    Watchfixer Registered User

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    There is some clocks that did have jewel cups pressed into the adjuster bolts instead of hardened steel cups. I know about these as I have couple clocks that use that. This also get oil as well. One odd-er thing one clock have one jewel cup and one steel cup, just to put jewelled name on the dial. What a thief of quality, heh!

    Cheers, Watchfixer
     
  13. John P

    John P Registered User
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    I removed the cups and discovered they were metal so they were then oiled lightly.

    Clock is finnished except for missing trim parts.

    Thanks for the tips again
    John
     

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