Horological Best Practices

Kieran McCarthy

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Dec 15, 2020
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Does a relatively concise list of Horological Best Practices exist? The Dos and Do Nots of clock repair.
For example, in my relatively short Horological journey, I have adopted some basic principles.
1/. Be meticulous when cleaning, especially pivots, pivot holes/oil sinks, and pinions.
2/. Use the correct oil in the appropriate quantity to the precise location.
3/. Only use new taper pins, correctly cut and neatly filed to length.
4/. Only use brass to steel, and steel to brass taper pins.
5/. After plate assembly, check for binding and excessive play in all wheels, etc.

This is just a flavour of what I mean. But such a well-defined checklist if one exists would be great for us newbies.
Regards Kieran
 
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shutterbug

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In the repair forum, at the top there are some stickies that you might benefit from. One of them "Errors newbies make and how to avoid them" is one that is both entertaining and useful. "Best practices" is an ever evolving thing that is quite a bit different now than it was 100 years ago. And it seems every repairman has a different opinion of what it consists of.
 

Willie X

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What Bug's just recommended.

That written matter at the top of this page is the best knowledge base I know of. It's sort of a compilation of what all the books might teach you.

I would not discourage what you are doing there, especially if it helps you learn. However, I can guarantee that your list will become to long and to complex at some point and most of your points will be arguable, even amongst career pros.

Good luck, Willie X
 

Bruce Alexander

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Kieran,

In addition to the excellent advice you've received

Very generally...

Take your time and do your best.

When something goes wrong and you're at a loss, work your way from the power source up or from the escapement/governor down through the trains. Check every wheel, arbor, metal joint, spring, tooth, pinion, pivot, pivot hole, lever, cam, detent, pin and anything else the invisible power "touches". Test with finger power before you apply weight or spring torque.

Use your ears and sense of feel in addition to your eyes.

Also, do NOT change factory settings without a very good, clear reason.

When in doubt, know when to stop and ask questions

Work safely. Enjoy the challenges you'll face and the opportunity for growth that they'll bring.

Have fun,

Bruce
 
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JimmyOz

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3/. Only use new taper pins, correctly cut and neatly filed to length.
I agree with the "filed to length" (the sharp end where cut), however if I am doing an old clock movement I use the same taper pins (if they are not nails) and clean them up and put them back in the movement.
So there you go a difference already, a bit like Lawyers, they all study the law, however have different opinions on every part of it.
 

roughbarked

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I agree with the "filed to length" (the sharp end where cut), however if I am doing an old clock movement I use the same taper pins (if they are not nails) and clean them up and put them back in the movement.
So there you go a difference already, a bit like Lawyers, they all study the law, however have different opinions on every part of it.
But they have to employ somebody to wheel the reference books around with them.
 

JimmyOz

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Of course they do ... if not there wigs could blow off as they would have no hands left.
Op's sorry to the OP getting off subject :offtopic:
 
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Michael Linz

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I agree with the "filed to length" (the sharp end where cut), however if I am doing an old clock movement I use the same taper pins (if they are not nails) and clean them up and put them back in the movement.
So there you go a difference already, a bit like Lawyers, they all study the law, however have different opinions on every part of it.
For me, I prefer to keep everything as original as possible, so unless the taper pins are junk, I clean and reuse them too.
 
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Willie X

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Sometimes, it's hard to decide what path to take. Like when it has one missing pin and the ones left are all different ... I usually leave things as they were except for adding a pin where one was missing.
NO, I don't leave things like: sewing pins and paper clips. :) Willie X
 
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