How do i open a sealed spring barrel of a Gustav Becker clock?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by icestormboy, Mar 16, 2017.

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  1. icestormboy

    icestormboy New Member

    Mar 16, 2017
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    Hello
    My name is Ian and I am writing from Australia. I have a beautiful Gustav Becker mantel clock and I fear one of the springs has broken as it continues to wind then I hear it release within its barrel. I believe it is an early clock as the serial number is 2081 and so I would really like to keep it chiming as it sounds so lovely. I have successfully removed the barrel but I do not know the correct way to open it and I do not want to just pry it open without checking first as I do not want to damage it.
    This is my first time on this forum and so I hope I have posted correctly. I did a search for this problem prior to posting but did not find anything. I would greatly appreciate any help and advice.
    Kind regards
    ian
     

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  2. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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  3. icestormboy

    icestormboy New Member

    Mar 16, 2017
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    #3 icestormboy, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    Hi THTanner
    Thank you very much for your fast and very helpful advice. Problem solved much easier than I had expected. Just gave it one give bang on the work bench and off popped the cap.
    Much obliged.
    Kind regards
    ian
     
  4. icestormboy

    icestormboy New Member

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  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Ian, will appreciate if you could post photos of the case of your clock and the back of the movement. We can likely identify the model number using available period catalogs. The serial number indicates your clock was made in the second half 1927. GB changed their serial numbering system in May 1925, discontinuing a 75-year practice of using consecutive serial numbers for their clocks made with "massiv" movements (solid plates, cut pinions, Graham deadbeat escapements). That included wall, mantel, bracket, 400-Day, and hall clocks all within the same system. From May 1925 until the end of 1932 when the Freiburg factory was closed, they restarted numbering but used the same system for at least four different types of movements in including 400-Day, Westminster, spring drive time & strike, and weight driven hall clocks. This resulted in multiple duplication (quadruplication) of clocks having the same serial numbers. I have documented a number of these.
     
  6. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
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    That was a long post.http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?1...g+barrel+steel Did anyone mention that you should mark the barrel cap, so it goes back to it's original position, before you take it off. Might be a good idea< I always do this. Plus you may want to look at the barrel and cap and see if they need to be bushed. The arbors wear just the same as wear on the plates.
     
  7. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    Look to see where it failed. If it failed near the outside of the
    spring, there is usually no issue.
    If it failed near the center, you need to check the second
    wheel to make sure the pinion doesn't have a bent leaf or that
    the second wheel arbor is bent.
    Checking the arbor is easy. One just puts it between the plates
    and spins it.
    For the pinion, you can put the barrel ( with cap ) back between the
    plates. With a little drag of your finger on the second arbor, slowly
    rotate the barrel. Do a full 360 of the barrel as well.
    It is also possible that the person before you just wasn't able to get
    the spring to hook on the center. It can be tricky. In which case there
    it may look like a failure at the center but there is no damage done.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I have often heard that recommendation, and am dubious that it is something that is really needed. I have never marked them, and never had an issue.
     
  9. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    why would it be important?
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    The only reason I mark them- with a temporary ink felt pen - is to examine the barrel for true round shape and if it is not true then it is easier to re-align the cap and inspect it to see if it too was damaged. If the barrel or the cap are not true and you try to put it back on in a different orientation it can cause other issues.

     
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