Hair Spring

rfh11

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Dec 13, 2008
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I have a Welch marine clock. I need to replace the very small spring at the top of the works. I order hair springs from one of the main suppliers. I now have a lifetime supply of springs which I don't need. I have looked at both large suppliers and neither one has the spring. Can someone direct me where to purchase the spring and the correct name for the spring?


Thanks
 

eskmill

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RFH11.

It is obvious that you are in need of a small spring for a Welch marine style clock. Apparently you have obtained a quantity of "hairsprings" that don't fit your need or isn't like the missing or broken spring "at the top...."

I can only guess that you bought an assortment of hair-springs for balance wheels that are too small for your clock and you need a hairspirng for a larger balance wheel. :confused:

Of course the spring "at the top" could also be the mainspring because some old marine style clocks had the movemen mounted in the case up-side-down.:rolleyes:

You need to be more specific or provide photos of the movement and the spring that you need.:bang:
 

rfh11

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Dec 13, 2008
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Eckmill,
You are correct that I need a hair spring and the ones tha I purchased are too small. I guess I need to call the suppliers and explain what I need. Or do you have another suggestion?


Thanks,
Randy
 

eskmill

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The older balance wheel clocks such as those made over a hundred years ago have much heavier (massive) balance wheels and need a much stronger hair spring than what most clock parts suppliers have in stock.

I am not aware of any suppliers of heavier, thicker, stronger hair springs.

You may have to resort to having one made to match your balance wheel by one specializing in "timing" a balance wheel so that it beats the correct number of beats to match the wheel train of your Welch Marine clock.
 

RJSoftware

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Eckmil has given you excellent advice.

There is however one more option and that is to find cheap disposable alarm clock type movement (many windup chineese imported alarm clocks would qualify) and use those balance wheel and hairspring combo to suffice.

The trick is to find one near as identicle. The reason to keep the cheap hairspring & balance wheel combo is because they are mated at factory by expert means.

This all assumes you get lucky and find a cheap one that is simular size.

RJ
 

rfh11

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Thanks guys for the information. I was afraid that I was going to have a problem locating the spring. I will look at old alarm clocks.

Thanks again.
 

dholk

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The real trick is finding a balance wheel and spring of the correct frequency. I have Schatz ship's clock with a 14400 BPH escapement. I happen to check a Baby Ben to find it was the same. With much adeiu I was able to fit the balance and spring into the Schatz.

David
 

bangster

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The real trick is finding a balance wheel and spring of the correct frequency. I have Schatz ship's clock with a 14400 BPH escapement. I happen to check a Baby Ben to find it was the same. With much adeiu I was able to fit the balance and spring into the Schatz.

David
How do you determine the BPH?

bangster
 

RJSoftware

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Bangster, I'm pretty sure they have attachments to the same scope type you all use on regulating clocks, but for watches.

In the books, the old way you pretty much eyeballed two balances spinning over top of one another. This is part of the process of sizing the hairspring.

First after installing new hairspring to collet, the hairspring is picked up at end and tweezer adjusted till balance wheel hangs down 1/2" from tweezer held hairspring. Then it is cut there (including some slack).

Then that balance arrangement is compared to known working balance/hairspring to fine tune hairspring length once they both VIBRATE same speed. (compared by eye). Some slack is left for bends to conform to regulation loop.

I just go by size. Allot are aproximatley the same weight and a working balance from factory has the hairspring sized to work with it's balance wheel. So I don't need to vibrate the hairspring to get it correct. Besides that's allot of work.

And newer hairspring are more bouncier/stronger I think. The old hairspring material seems to have more give so they have less coils.

I could be wrong about that though, seems too that I can never find one with an apropriate sized collet. Either the collet's too big or too small.

It'd be nice if one of the pro's chimed in on this too.

RJ
 

shutterbug

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How do you determine the BPH?

bangster
In general terms, most balance wheels are rated at 9000 BPH, and most platform models are 18000 BPH.
 

dholk

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My Schatz escapement had the frequency stamped on it. I checked the Baby Ben with my Time Trax timer (very handy device, but moreso for precisely setting the beat). Your clock will probably require counting teeth and calculating the ratios. You can search the files for a post. If you don't have any luck let me know and I'll send you what I have.

David
 

coop301

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The real trick is finding a balance wheel and spring of the correct frequency. I have Schatz ship's clock with a 14400 BPH escapement. I happen to check a Baby Ben to find it was the same. With much adeiu I was able to fit the balance and spring into the Schatz.

David
Were you able to find a source for the Baby Ben hairsprings or did you find a donor clock?
 

coop301

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Were you able to find a source for the Baby Ben hairsprings or did you find a donor clock?
As a followup to my last post, I did find a source for a hairspring assortment. www.pmclocks.com There are 2 hairsprings in the kit that are the same thickness and width as the Schatz spring but the hub is too large to fit the balance shaft. If you have the time, patience and a microscope or good magnifier and good eyes, it may be possible to replace the spring on the hub. I am attempting that at the moment. Have the spring in place, now need to set the beat to get the clock to slow down.
 

coop301

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As a followup to my last post, I did find a source for a hairspring assortment. www.pmclocks.com There are 2 hairsprings in the kit that are the same thickness and width as the Schatz spring but the hub is too large to fit the balance shaft. If you have the time, patience and a microscope or good magnifier and good eyes, it may be possible to replace the spring on the hub. I am attempting that at the moment. Have the spring in place, now need to set the beat to get the clock to slow down.
Timesavers also has a 72 piece hairspring and collet assortment.

http://www.timesavers.com/catalogmain2.asp?GroupID=77&Level=2
 

Smudgy

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If you still need to find a hairspring you can try http://www.dashto.com/ They sell mostly watch parts, but may have a hairspring that will work for you on hand. If you go to the hairspring lists and click on one of the 'Selected Materials List-NOS' link, scroll down to 'Selected Materials List' and click on '217-Selected Blank Hairsprings' it will take you to the listings of the hairsprings they have on hand. Clicking on the 'PIC' link in this list will bring up a CGS size chart based on balance diameter and type of escapement, anchor (lever) or cylinder. You will want the lever type. These hairsprings are unmounted blanks, so you will also need to either make a collet or purchase one (they do have collets on the site). You will also need to vibrate to length. I don't know if you have these skills, but you may decide to go this route even if you have to learn a new skill set.
 

coop301

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I also found a site http://stores.ebay.com/FindingKing that has a "10 hairspring assortment with collets". There were 2 included that had just what I needed. Ironically, in my google searches, I actually found someone that had (1) balance wheel w/hairsping for my exact clock. I picked it up too. I am using the hairspring assortment to repair the clock. If unsuccessful, I will be using the other balance wheel and hairspring. I have just about got it though. Still running slow but that tells me that the hairspring it the correct specs. Just need to get it adjusted. The clock has always run fast because the hairspring was too short.
 

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