Help Hand shaft removal, cleaning, and replacement

murphyfields

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Jun 24, 2020
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I have a Seth Thomas A403-031 movement (Hermle 1151-053 equivalent), and I was thinking of just leaving the gathering pallet arbor and the handshaft in place while I clean and oil it (I am an experimenter trying to learn how to work on this spare movement). But they both seem to have quite a lot of wear in them, based on a wiggle test. I was able to get the gathering pallet off reasonably easily using paint can openers (thank you for the suggestion) but have some questions about the hand shaft.

First, is the wobble shown in the pictures really too much, or OK? It is most prominent in the direction shown...much less wobble in the perpendicular direction.
I have started pulling the 4-pointed gear (part name?), but would like to know if the hand shaft is tapered, or will I be pulling hard the entire way?
I am not certain it was the gear that started moving, or maybe the collar on the other side. Is there a preference, and if so, is there a simple way to get one to move versus the other?
Regardless of whether I remove the handshaft, do I remove the large gear from the handshaft for cleaning, or leave it on?
Assuming I get it the hand shaft out, how do I get the dang thing back together?

Thank you all for your help.

handshaft inside left.jpg handshaft inside right.jpg handshaft outside left.jpg handshaft outside right.jpg
 

John P

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Sep 17, 2010
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Yes there is too much wear there and will need a bushing that will be flush with the plate. I always remove the wheel to prevent damage.
Install the hand nut, support the plate and tap the hand nut with a soft hammer. It should come right out. To get it back together you will need the proper staking tool to tap the other end while supporting the 4 pointed gear in a piece of pipe or tube that fits.
Leave a small amount of end play in the shaft when finished.
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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Yes there is too much wear there and will need a bushing that will be flush with the plate. I always remove the wheel to prevent damage.
Install the hand nut, support the plate and tap the hand nut with a soft hammer. It should come right out. To get it back together you will need the proper staking tool to tap the other end while supporting the 4 pointed gear in a piece of pipe or tube that fits.
Leave a small amount of end play in the shaft when finished.
Great advice, John. I have found that a crows foot tool is the best thing to use for supporting the gear while tapping it off. Since it is still attached to the plate, it is impossible to support it in a vice.

image.jpg
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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Yes, that is too much wear and the tilt more in one direction is conformation. I use John's method but I heat the pinion for a few seconds in the flame of a butane torch. The brass expands more than the steel and it will take a lot less force to remove it. Clocks using this movement usually have a minute hand with a center collet that can be rotated to position the hand at 12:00 without regard to the position of the part when putting it back together. During installation make sure it goes on as far as it was originally,

RC
 

NEW65

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Nov 17, 2010
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The more modern pinion /star are made from alloy!! The earlier brass ones were much better! I normally just use two screw drivers and initially pry the pinion and then continue prying by stacking a series of small plates around the arbor. I just find it easier to remove that way. To replace, I just gently drive the pinion back down the arbor using a length of pipe.
The cheap alloy versions are rubbish! They can be removed much easier than the brass pinions but when refitted they are relatively loose! They can almost be refitted by using hand pressure! They are a very poor idea.
 
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