Help How to let down a Mauthe mainspring?

Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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I'm a beginner hobbyist and this movement is waaaay out of my league! I bought the clock on eBay thinking it included only the case. Wrong. Inside was a 3-lb. Mauthe movement: time, strike, and chime (no hands, pendulum, or chimes). My experience extends only to a few time & strike movements.

I would like to let down the mainsprings in this movement, then put it away until I have more experience. The ratchet gear is missing from the middle spring and the winding arbor comes out, so I suppose that spring is already let down. However, I cannot turn the winding arbors on either of the other two springs even a little to release the click from the ratchet. My questions are, does this mean I'm just not strong enough to wind these springs, or are they already wound up too far to go any more, or is something frozen and a little oil and patience will help? Should I pry the click away from the ratchet while holding on to the let-down key for dear life?

Mauthe 75272  16a.jpg Mauthe 75272 16b.jpg Mauthe 75272 16c.jpg
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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The mainsprings may indeed be fully wound and thus unable to have enough wind left to release a click. It should not be much trouble though to allow these ttrains to run a little in order to allow the tension to come off a little.

Turn the minute arbor until the lifting star pinion behind the hour wheel lifts and drops off the chiming stop, thus allowing it to run for one set of chimes. then simply keep lifting the lever and allow it to run until it completes the sequence. After which the strike will begin. Now once the strike is free to run, simply hold the levers out of the way and allow the strike to continue running until the click will move so that the rest of the spring tension can be let off. Similar procedure with the chime side.
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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I feel you should this one to the side until you have more clock repair experience.
 
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Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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Thank you all for your advice. I'm inclined to put it aside for awhile-I truly find this movement intimidating! In general, is it better to leave the springs wound while storing a movement?
 

shutterbug

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Mauthe's are often backward like yours is. Chime on the left, strike on the right. It appears that the intermediate gear for the time (center) is missing, and that spring is down. It might have broken, and that could be the reason you have the clock ;)
The other two should wind clockwise. I don't like either click. They do not look original, or at least will require some reshaping to be safe.
 

Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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I see what you mean about the clicks. There's a Mauthe movement (really dirty & rusty) for sale on eBay, and the business ends of its clicks are shaped very differently from those on my clock; they're almost triangular at the end.

I would like to know more about this movement. Is a good description and possibly explanation available?
 

tracerjack

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Jun 6, 2016
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The ratchet wheels do not have the normal saw tooth design, so the clicks seem original to me. I don’t like the look of them either, but hopefully they perform better than they look. I get many 400 day clocks with the mainspring cranked so tight, the click can’t be released. Do as suggested to release some of the tightness, then they should let down easily.
 

Dave T

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That is an interesting movement. I've never seen a Mauthe with that type winding mechanism. Looks like a higher than standard quality to me.
I'd be inclined to let those springs down and take a closer look at it.
 

Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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Good evening! I've been giving it a closer look. The winding arbor for the center (time) spring goes through the middle of the spring barrel. However, for both the strike and chime springs, each winding arbor is mounted through a sort of bridge to a small gear (pinion?) which articulate with a larger gear centered on the barrel and which the click engages. None of these has ratchet teeth. I blush to say that I bought the other movement on eBay which I mentioned above; it has a similar arrangement for the springs, but I think the clicks are shaped differently. I'll post photos when it arrives.
 

Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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Thinking through it a little more, this is like down-shifting your bicycle to go uphill. That small gear attached to the winding arbor goes around many times for each time the big gear, attached to the spring below, goes around. Likewise, upon let-down, the let-down tool attached to the winding arbor will spin much faster than the larger gear. WOW. Those must be some strong springs!
 

D.th.munroe

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Feb 15, 2018
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I have serviced a couple of these and they are a bit scary, very strong mainsprings and the arbors are hollow with a sleeve held with a pin.
I am trying to find pictures of the last one repaired, It was extremely worn out.
Dan
 

R. Croswell

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This movement has the gear reduction winding system to make it easier to wind the strong springs. The disadvantage is that it also makes it easy to wind the springs so tight that the clicks can't be released. I would do what Roughbarked suggested in post # 2. It may help to oil the pivots to get the chime and strike train running to allow the springs to run down. Don't take any short cuts. If something slips and that spring suddenly "lets go" it will likely damage the spring barrel and/or second wheel teeth and possibly bend the second arbor. Let the springs run down as far as they will, not just enough to release the click, The ratchet wheels and clicks look original to me and they are obviously doing their job so I wouldn't change anything, but after it is apart that drive pin should be carefully checked..

RC
 

Eckytock

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Feb 24, 2012
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Yes, the saw tooth ratchet wheel is missing from the middle time spring arbour. You should be wary of the strike side (right) ratchet spring as it is bent and would not return the click into the ratchet as can be seen in your first photo #1.
 

Diana G.

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May 18, 2020
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I noticed that bent spring, too. So long as the strike spring pushed a little, the click remained in place. However, it fell away from the gear once the spring was all the way run down. I'm still working on letting the chime spring run down all the way (thank you, RC) , little by little. I've oiled the pivots, but they're still pretty dirty, which means a lot of friction.
 

D.th.munroe

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I could not find pictures of my customers clocks but I found a movement, missing a couple parts but I have it here if you need pictures of anything.
Another odd thing on these is the mixture of normal and lantern pinions.
 

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