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How do I remove hand nuts if perhaps a glue was used?

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
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I have a nice old Hubert Herr cuckoo clock. I must remove the hands to remove the movement. However, the hand nut will not budge even with the use of pliers. I suspect a super glue or Loctite was used. I tried applying heat carefully, but perhaps I didn't get hot enough. The force of the pliers was not enough. I did try a little drop of WD40 overnight in case of rust, but that didn't do the trick. Help!!!
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Heat ... and protect the dial, no matter how careful you think you are. :) Doesn't have to be that hot, around 350°F will do it. Willie X
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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I was trying to a hair dryer up close and personal - and with a protection layer for the hands and dial. Perhaps a little more time.
 

Tim Orr

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Sep 27, 2008
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Good afternoon, Muenster!

A small electronic-tip soldering iron can apply heat in a pretty localized area. If you have a variac or other rheostat (even a home-made controller using a light dimmer), you can cut the heat back. Unlike a hair dryer, you aren't spraying the heat everywhere.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Good suggestion Tim! I just tried using my soldering iron to strategically heat up the nut and threads. But, still no turn. Now I have the acetone out and will hope to get to penetration down into the threads and that the binding material doesn't like acetone!
 

SuffolkM

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Jun 15, 2020
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I recently dealt with a clock where the hour hand had been replaced and glued to the front of the canon (instead of being held using friction , i.e. a brass sleeve). I used a temperature controlled soldering iron and shielded the dial using a damp cloth. The smell and the fumes of superglue burning off are deeply unpleasant - try and keep the windows open and maybe a small fan on hand to move the smoke away from you!
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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I applied a good amount of heat, but now the nuts turns with the minute hand shaft. The client said that he is not opposed to a new 8-day Herr movement, so I may just remove the movement (hacksaw the nuts off) and put in a new one. Looking at the new ones, they look just like all the Herr movements throughout the decades. Is it truly the same design as 70 years ago??
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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There will be at least a few differences.

Drastic measures to remove the nut:
#1 - Break off the minite hand and get someone to hold the clock so the nut is on a good size anvil, split the nut with a sharp chisel.
#2 - Break off both hands, then remove the movement from the case. Disassemble the movement. Now you can grip the handshaft with small
vise-grips, or in a vise, heat and remove the nut.

Heavy handed, Willie X
 

Michael Linz

Registered User
Oct 2, 2014
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There will be at least a few differences.

Drastic measures to remove the nut:
#1 - Break off the minite hand and get someone to hold the clock so the nut is on a good size anvil, split the nut with a sharp chisel.
#2 - Break off both hands, then remove the movement from the case. Disassemble the movement. Now you can grip the handshaft with small
vise-grips, or in a vise, heat and remove the nut.

Heavy handed, Willie X
Maybe use a jewelers saw to split the nut in one or two places. Just be careful not to damage the threads!
 

JimmyOz

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Feb 21, 2008
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You can use a Dremel and a thin disk, cut each side off leaving a little brass on so not to hit the thread, grab both tabs that are left with pliers and twist.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
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It is a movement that works well sometimes. It ran for 6 months and then it will not go. There is a burr of something that needs attention. It will run like a champ, and then just stop. Then there is the intermittent problem with the cuckoo closing the door between cuckoos. The movement needs attention - and getting a new movement may not be a bad option with this hand nut difficulty.

Below is a photo of the movement. The clock looks to be a 1950 or so model. I imagine the Herr 8-day movements sold today are pretty much like this one in terms of form and fit. Yes?

movement closeup.jpg movement closeup.jpg
 

POWERSTROKE

Registered User
Jan 11, 2011
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Heat. The opening and closing of the doors is the timing of the gathering pallet and pin that lifts the lever between the movement. Put a drop of oil on the threads and use a lighter and it will come right off
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,568
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It sounds like heat is the popular solution. I added a drop of oil to seep into the threads. Then I cleaned the connections on my soldering gun and went ahead with applying heat. No budge. Then I applied the heat for longer and the hand centered both combusted in a puff of smoke. Okay, there goes the hands. Then the movement was removed from the housing - since the nuts where smaller than the dial hole. I tried again to get that nut off and - no budge whatsoever. I am leaning towards a replacement unit.
 

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