Hairspring bunched over to one side.

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by PWfanatik, May 18, 2017.

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  1. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    In my collection I pulled out a Swiss Governor to see what it would present to repair.
    All seems well except the hair spring seems to have its coils bunched to one side.
    Looking at it with the eye, the coils seem to dish upward a bit, but this could just be because the outer coil goes upward a bit to enter the holding point. There is a slight distortion in the spring between the regulator loop and the holding point. Could this be effecting amplitude in the balance? (presently getting about 180 deg swing). Watch appears to have gotten behind by about 50 minutes in just 8 hours.
    The eye viewing the flat tells me the spring does not appear to be hanging on the balance cock or anything else.
    the outer coil goes through the regulator coil, and the coil after the one going through the regulator does not touch the first outer coil, so no clues on how this could be caused.
    Anyone have some ideas?


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Thanks, Dave.
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    If you loosen the stud screw on the balance cock, you may try turning the stud in the balance cock anticlockwise gently. ie: pull the outer coil back into concentricity by rotating the stud slightly.
     
  3. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    It kind of looks like you need to form a proper dog leg at the terminal curve. The curvature at the section closest to the stud needs to be a tighter radius to leave space for the rest of the spring. The deformity you show in your pictures will affect timekeeping but it's hard to say if that's the only issue causing your problems.

    Best
    Karl
     
  4. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I would expect a hairspring looking like yours to render a movement running fast, not slow!

    Did you demagnetize the movement? Magnetism can cause strange behavior.

    It is worth trying to rotate the stud however I don't think it will do the trick. Check that the hairspring is placed in the center of the regulator pin(s) and that it stays in the center during the entire arc of the regulator arm. I believe it currently is resting against one side!

    From your photos I think I can see a kink in the hairspring about where the regulator pins are currently set.
     
  5. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Looks like it's bent a little right at the regulator. Looks like a small push a little past the regulator would solve the tiny bend and straighten out the bunching. See how the last loop starts to curve outward past the regulator. Or it could be my eyes tricking me.
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    There does appear to be a bend there. It could also be that the scew tightening the stud did turn the stud when last fitted, which could possibly bend the hairspring at the regulator.
     
  7. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Yes, it looks like it's a compound issue. Just fixing the bend at the regulator won't do much good if there's no space for the spring to go in the other direction. Looks like something needs to be done to the curve closest to the stud, as I implied earlier. Either to the spring itself or the stud, as roughbarked says.
     
  8. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Yep, agreed, the offset is too much.
     
  9. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Demagnetized and it made no change...
    Will try making the spring a more natural shape and see what happens.
    Thanks all.
     
  10. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Are you familiar with the sequence that makes shaping a hairspring the least amount of work?
     
  11. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    This news just in...
    Well the time keeping issue I noted is in large part caused by the minute hand not pressed down correctly.
    Karl I am no expert on the shaping sequence but I have a little familiarity with it.
    I found a bad kink right near the stub that was not very visible while it was installed.
    When I finished, the coil seems to be in a much more natural shape in regards to the bunching I noted first.
    I took the liberty of cutting away the excess of the spring that went beyond the stub, so it would not rub on anything.
    I let the stub loose and took the balance away from the movement, and I was able to put the spring mostly back into its normal shape, which is with no over-coil.
    I left the regulator in the center and I am going to adjust it against one of my quartz watches.
    Thanks for the input Karl, and everyone else.
    Dave.
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dave,

    I hope you get away with this; it's better to just bend it out of the way a little until you've finished refining the shape and made absolutely sure that the balance is performing properly before cutting off any excess. There's no going back after that!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I agree with Graham regarding cutting the excess hairspring. More than once have I worked on movements where there is some excess hairspring. After service, the movement is fast and the extra hairspring is needed to get it back to normal rate. I can only guess that someone before me shortened the hairsprings to speed up a movement that for some reason was slow......

    On the other hand on old Swiss cylinder movement it is more a rule than an exception that there is an excess amount of hairspring left. Bent away from any balance wheel movement, it does not cause any problems....
     
  14. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Thanks for that...
    I think I will have to re-shape the minute hand opening, the hand is still a bit loose.
    And look under the dial to make sure the wheels are working ok.
     
  15. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    #15 karlmansson, May 21, 2017
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
    No problem!

    The sequence I normally follow is this:
    Out of movement:
    True in flat
    True in round (even spacing between coils, centering and terminal curve comes later)
    In movement:
    (Place spring on balance cock without balance) Adjust angle at which the spring leaves the stud. May require a small segment to offset.
    Start with regulator all the way to "slow" and identify where the spring deviates from the regulator sweep visually. It should be perfectly centered between the pins at all times. For each adjustment, move the regulator back towards slow and grip the spring with hairspring tweezers at the last point you know to be correct and stroke the spring with a needle to persuade it to go in the direction you need.
    Move the regulator back up towards fast again until it touches the spring. Repeat the previous procedure until you have corrected the entire terminal curve.
    Next up is the centering of the collet over the jewel. Here there can be some differences in shape of the transition between spring and terminal curve. Some springs have two rather sharp bends to form a "dog leg". Others have a more drifting curve that blends the two. This will be up to the look of the original spring and your taste. The dog leg gives you two adjusting points to move the coordinate that is the collet. The sweep will give you an endless amount of points. Remember to move the regulator all the way to fast in order to make these adjustments, so that you don't accidentially alter the shape of the terminal curve in the process.
    Mount the hairspring back onto the balance and assemble the escapement. Final tweaks can be made with the spring in the movement.

    I should add that for increasing or decreasing the diameter of the terminal curve roughly you can set the regulator to an arbitrary point that you deem appropriate and the gently push the spring inwards or outwards. This will not create a final shape but it can alter your starting point and reduce the work required. Sometimes it's painfully obvious that you will need to adjust the terminal curve forwards and backwards for every half millimeter.

    Also, the technique you use to adjust the spring is a matter of taste. I like the tweezer (#7) and needle method because it doesn't create any sharp bends and sewing needles are usually very well polished and won't scratch the spring unless you use the tip. Some use two pairs of tweezers to manually bend. I stroke the spring with the needle in the direction I want it to go and adjust stroke length, angle and how far away from the tweezers I start and stop depending on how aggressively I want to bend the spring. Direction also matters.
    The two tweezer-method is my go tofor trueing in flat. Two tips perpendicular to the spring and close together. You then lever them in relation to each other.

    A good rule of thumb is: For adjustments in flat you adjust halv a turn before the problem is apparent. For problems in round you adjust a quarter turn before. It saves time.

    Hope this helps!

    Karl
     
  16. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    The rules are quite simple; flat, round and concentric. The flat and the round aren't too hard but getting the concentric correct is a little more difficult.
     
  17. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Karl thanks for the post,
    I have copied that and dropped it in my files!!!
    Dave.
     
  18. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    On the restoring in the round you can use one tweezer and a finger tip or needle if you like. Where ever the tweezer grips is where your bend is going to happen. So you see a spot effecting the round you can grip it there and move it in a good position so you can bump it with finger or needle tip. You might be surprised how well a fingertip works. See you can touch anywhere on that portion of hairspring you have gripped, but it will only bend where you have it gripped.

    On the restoring of the flat, when you find the spot, you have to use two tweezers. One to grip stationary and the other right next to it to twist. In a perfect world the twist would be in the exact spot and effect only the problem spot. But usually it's clunky kind of corrective move to pull a coil down that is errant. An errant twist causing err in the flat can be hard to see.

    Sometimes I have to give myself a break and do a few relief bends, which pulls part of the body out of the way so I can see clear enough to understand what I am dealing with. But, you have to be careful on how hard the relief bends are made. I'd rather make a few 30 degree bends that I can later correct than 1 hard 90 that might snap the hairspring when removing the 90.

    RJ
     
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