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English PW Help with "?" Harris & Son, Liverpool 22 Linge movement

fijidad

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Feb 28, 2010
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This movement came to me missing the hairspring and with a broken staff. I've cleaned the movement and found a staff that fits just right...but my question is primarily about fitting a new hairspring. In order to miss some obstructions around the perimeter of the hairspring, I must reduce the number of coils to make the hairspring fit within its space, and to center the collet over the balance jewel. The movement I get so far is dismal...hardly moving, but still running. So, any advice would be appreciated. I initially picked a fairly weak hairspring, but part of the solution may be a stronger one. Additionally, I measured the size of the pallet yoke and found it to be over 70mm, but the roller table will only accommodate a jewel about 64mm. This table came with the broken staff. Thanks, Dan

Liverpool A.JPG Liverpool B.JPG Liverpool C.JPG
 

Skutt50

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In short you need to match the hairspring with the balance. You can't just shorten a hairspring and expect it to work, and you can't use any hairspring. The hairspring must have the correct stiffness to allow good swing at the correct bph (beats per hour) and still fit in the movement.

To find more on how to match hairspring and balance search for "vibrating hairspring".

Good luck with your watch.
 

fijidad

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In short you need to match the hairspring with the balance. You can't just shorten a hairspring and expect it to work, and you can't use any hairspring. The hairspring must have the correct stiffness to allow good swing at the correct bph (beats per hour) and still fit in the movement.

To find more on how to match hairspring and balance search for "vibrating hairspring".

Good luck with your watch.
I agree...I was approaching this pretty much willy-nilly, just trying to start the process of seeing what size/type hairspring would fit in the space...having nothing to go on. From this "experiment" it now seems to me that the hairspring needs to be an overcoil type, so I'll head in that direction.
 

Skutt50

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If it is an overcoil you should be able to see that by looking at the balance from the side. Is there enough space for an overcoil? Is the hairspring collet at a different level than the hairspring stud?

Regarding your comment abour low swing: Did you service the watch? It might not be the hairspring that is too hard but a dirty movement, that is the reason for poor running performance.
 

Chris Radek

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Just a trick to share: if you've serviced a lot of watches with blue steel hairsprings, you've often seen a balance hanging from its correctly matched hairspring. When you are trying to replace a completely missing hairspring, you can just pick up the balance with various springs and see how much the balance's weight stretches the spring. When one looks right, attach the center to the balance staff with a blob of rodico and see if it has approximately the right period, ideally a little slow since you will trim the spring. Just hold the free end of the hairspring with tweezers and sit the balance pivot on the crystal of a running watch with matching bph and give it a little nudge to check it.

I see you have a bunch of springs in your first photo - you should be able to quickly sort through and find the most likely one.

Be aware the correct bph of your English lever might not be 18000. Count the train to be sure before trimming a spring.
 

fijidad

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Feb 28, 2010
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Just a trick to share: if you've serviced a lot of watches with blue steel hairsprings, you've often seen a balance hanging from its correctly matched hairspring. When you are trying to replace a completely missing hairspring, you can just pick up the balance with various springs and see how much the balance's weight stretches the spring. When one looks right, attach the center to the balance staff with a blob of rodico and see if it has approximately the right period, ideally a little slow since you will trim the spring. Just hold the free end of the hairspring with tweezers and sit the balance pivot on the crystal of a running watch with matching bph and give it a little nudge to check it.

I see you have a bunch of springs in your first photo - you should be able to quickly sort through and find the most likely one.

Be aware the correct bph of your English lever might not be 18000. Count the train to be sure before trimming a spring.
Thanks Chris, and right you are. One thing that made my search more difficult is that I discovered the overcoil spring I needed had to be wound counter-clockwise. Never paid any attention before, but most older American pocket watches with overcoil springs are wound clockwise. I found ONE wound the right way out of all I had, and have that on the movement now. It is running fast, but, as you point out, I can make adjustments. Hope regained! Thanks to all for their input on this very interesting movement.
 

Chris Radek

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Interesting about the direction! This is even more good reason to start with an uncut flat spring and make the overcoil you need in the length you need. I think finding one pre-made that already times right and has the right overcoil will be really unlikely. Ideally if you make your own, you won't have to make any serious modifications to the balance.
 

Skutt50

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It is running fast
How fast is it running?

To make adjustments when the watch is running fast means you need to add weight to the balance wheel. You can´t shorten the hairspring since it would speed up the watch even further.
 

fijidad

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How fast is it running?

To make adjustments when the watch is running fast means you need to add weight to the balance wheel. You can´t shorten the hairspring since it would speed up the watch even further.
I've replaced the timing screws with heavier ones...even that was somewhat difficult as the screw holes in the balance wheel were smaller than the vast majority of the ones I had accumulated...another reminder to stick with what you know! But, I've gotten the time down to about 2 hours in 24, so progress. The problem is that, having done that, it's still 2 hours fast in 24. SO....here's what I'm wondering: is there a way to remove strength from a hairspring with damaging it? My alternatives are becoming limited, so just trying to think outside the box.
 

Skutt50

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is there a way to remove strength from a hairspring
In theory you could draw the temper by heating it to cherry red and allowing it to cool down slowely but it is not something I would try on a hairspring. It will for sure be ruined beyond any repair......

Compensating two hours per 24h is quite a bit.

Timing screws come in different materials, (I even have some in gold that are indeed heavy!) but if you don't have any it is not an option.

When you say Timing screws do you mean the pure timing screws or all the screws on the balance wheel. (Some are for for temperature compensation.) (Timing screws are often in a different color) I think your best option is to make the balance wheel heavier and you if you could sacrifice the temperature part you could attack all screws. You could even use empty holes (if there are any....... )

Timing washers might also slow it down some. I checked my assortment and 5 minutes per 24h is reached with the thickest washers in my assortment. A number of washers could give you some 30 minutes or so.....

I don't think you will get any performance worth mentioning from this type of repair but it may be a good learning about timing issues......

If you really want to paly around with odd repairs you could glue some small lead weights to the balance arms. Just remember that all of this is not accepted by watchmakers as acceptable repairs but as I said you learn about timing and balance wheels......
 

gmorse

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Hi fijidad,

is there a way to remove strength from a hairspring with(out) damaging it?
Some of the older watch repair books talk about grinding the balance spring with some oilstone dust on a glass plate to reduce its height, (the strength or stiffness of a spring is proportional to its height but to the cube of its thickness). They don't mention any way of reducing the thickness as far as I recall. However, I've never tried this and I really wouldn't care to!

Regards,

Graham
 

viclip

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You can slow the watch down by lengthening the hairspring, in this case the effective length thereof. Spreading one or both of the regulator pins away from the hairspring increases its effective length; if it contacts neither pin you wind up with a free-sprung watch. This will certainly help slow the watch down but I don't know about 2 hours worth.
 

Chris Radek

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I'm probably repeating myself, but it'd really be best if you'd put the old screws back where they were and just vibrate a correct hairspring and form a correct overcoil. You're going to end up with at best a terrible timekeeper, having discarded all existing temperature compensation. Your remaining 2 hours/day error is way too much to compensate with a few more washers or different screws or whatever.
 

fijidad

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Feb 28, 2010
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Hi fijidad,



Some of the older watch repair books talk about grinding the balance spring with some oilstone dust on a glass plate to reduce its height, (the strength or stiffness of a spring is proportional to its height but to the cube of its thickness). They don't mention any way of reducing the thickness as far as I recall. However, I've never tried this and I really wouldn't care to!

Regards,

Graham
I feel the same way...I'd not like to try the oilstone. I can't lengthen it because, it's already at it's end. I'll have to look back through my spares and see if there might be another solution.
 

fijidad

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Feb 28, 2010
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Escondido, CA
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In theory you could draw the temper by heating it to cherry red and allowing it to cool down slowely but it is not something I would try on a hairspring. It will for sure be ruined beyond any repair......

Compensating two hours per 24h is quite a bit.

Timing screws come in different materials, (I even have some in gold that are indeed heavy!) but if you don't have any it is not an option.

When you say Timing screws do you mean the pure timing screws or all the screws on the balance wheel. (Some are for for temperature compensation.) (Timing screws are often in a different color) I think your best option is to make the balance wheel heavier and you if you could sacrifice the temperature part you could attack all screws. You could even use empty holes (if there are any....... )

Timing washers might also slow it down some. I checked my assortment and 5 minutes per 24h is reached with the thickest washers in my assortment. A number of washers could give you some 30 minutes or so.....

I don't think you will get any performance worth mentioning from this type of repair but it may be a good learning about timing issues......

If you really want to paly around with odd repairs you could glue some small lead weights to the balance arms. Just remember that all of this is not accepted by watchmakers as acceptable repairs but as I said you learn about timing and balance wheels......
Good points all. I have plenty of balance wheels in my spares drawer, but 99% of them are from American watches, which all seem to have the larger diameter screw portion of the balance screws. Another limitation is that there are physical constraints that limit the balance screw height...adjacent portions of the movement which are already fairly close to the outer limit of the balance wheel assembly. If it was easy, anybody could do it!
 

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