I'm so ashamed, but I still want your opinion!

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Scott Guth, Jan 10, 2020.

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  1. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    Dear all,

    With a small (1.3mm) but elongated pivot hole about 0.9mm from the edge of my movement's plate (bad design??) there was no hope of putting in a bushing.

    I'm ashamed to admit that I used a slightly round-faced punch to shrink the hole on the elongated side. I feel your scorn ;-). Hack job, I know.

    I used a smoothing broach (afraid to use anything that would cut) to round and polish the hole.

    Anyway, I've attached a photo of the finished work, but I'm curious if there was any other way to do this.

    Scott G

    IMG_0946.JPG
     
  2. Les Sanders

    Les Sanders Registered User
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    In my very humble opinion, necessity is the mother of invention. Look fine to me.
     
  3. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Sometimes there is little one can do to overcome poor design.
     
  4. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Yes I was in a similar position but did rebush it right near the edge. It made the edge of the plate bulge slightly and initially I regretted doing it but when I re assembled all was good with power restored. I figured that any improvement would be better than leaving it.
     
  5. David S

    David S Registered User
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    My first considerations are is it functional and reliable? If it is then good to go.

    David
     
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  6. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    I put the arbor between the assembled plates, and it spins freely with little play. I'm pretty pleased. I'll reassemble then post.

    Scott
     
  7. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Or, depending on how much play there was, could have just used a smoothing broach to make a rounder hole ?
     
  8. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    There was too much play. This hole is for the first wheel in the train, and its misalignment caused the clock to not run.

    Scott G
     
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  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Les said what I was gonna say: Invention is the child of Necessity.:D
     
  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I think there is enough metal there to set a thin wall bushing.

    RC
     
  11. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I probably would have put a small bushing in there and increased the ID. But what you did was considered the norm at one time, and it will probably be functional. I suspect the position of the hole has been altered a bit though. Lets hope there's no depthing issues.
     
  12. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Scott

    My personal methods of repair are of the highest quality of work I am capable of that are invisible and return the item to original operation. It is practiced every day on everything that I work on regardless of its value, if for no other reason than respect for the possessions of others. With that in mind , I would make this repair as follows.

    (1) The movement plate would be mounted in my small milling machine with movement holders per attached photo.

    (2) The spindle would be positioned over the original pivot hole with the assistance of a pivot size gage pin mounted in the spindle also first photo. The slides would then be locked in place.

    (3) While leaving the plate mounted in the mill, I would clamp an aluminum scrap on the bottom of the plate covering the pivot hole.

    (4) Giving the size and location of the pivot hole, I would then high temp (1100) degree silver solder the hole shut sealed at the bottom by the non sticking aluminum. It would then be dressed invisible on top with a bulls foot file.

    (5) Since the spindle is aligned with the original pivot hole, a new hole would be spot drilled and drilled.

    My highest quality work has almost always required less time and skill than lesser quality of the early days, this specific example being no exception.

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_406.jpeg
     
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  13. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    Hi Jerry,

    That's really interesting! Thanks so much for the info... I've never heard of doing this instead of a bushing.

    * I assume you have to use a torch to melt the silver solder. Would a normal propane torch be hot enough?
    * Is the silver harder than brass? How would this wear over time?

    Thanks again,
    Scott G
     
  14. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Scott
    First, I should clarify that I only selected this procedure based on the location of your pivot hole and would bush all others. While bushing this pivot hole is not an issue using bushing plug and milling machine per attached sketch, the method described is a superior repair requiring less time and skill. When bushing this location, the Mill handwheels are set to zero when the original pivot location is found, and returned to zero to drill the pivot hole after milling the bushing hole with an endmill.

    The Torch I use for this type project is a USA made Smith little torch using oxygen/acetylene with a .010" jeweled orifice. With this torch, only a few seconds are required with silver solder (1100 degrees) and limits surface heat to any degree, to about a 1/8" radius with no mess. Anything less such as propane or butane may eventually get silver solder to melt, but after cleaning up the mess and warpage over a wide area, it is unlikely you will ever do it again.

    To make a long story short, High temp silver solder and brass have similar metal working characteristics. With similar characteristics, wear will be determined by the surface finish of the moving member being the harder steel pivot. Unless of course the brass is defective and contaminated with abrasive.

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_383.jpeg
     
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  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Thanks for that, Jerry. I wouldn't have considered that method, but I like it.
     
  16. AllThumbz

    AllThumbz Registered User

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    Would it be possible to clamp the plate in as per above, then plug the oversize hole with a brass drill rod (after opening the hole to fit the rod snugly). Then superglue or silver solder the rod in. Then follow Jerry's procedure of re-drilling the hole (which can be done with a small drill press or even a bushing tool if you are not lucky enough to have a drill).? It's almost like fixing an oversize hole in wood that won't grip the screw anymore with a wooden dowel.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The drill always takes the path of least resistance. It would probably want to wander toward the weaker of the two brass parts.
     
  18. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    Thanks everybody for the replies. I think the soldering might be beyond me, but I kinda like the idea of finding a brass rod that fits snugly then gently tapping it with a wide round punch to tighten the fit.

    A drill punch would work better, possibly, to tighten the fit and set up the correct drilling location...

    What about that crazy idea?
     
  19. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Scott can you clarify what you mean by drill punch. Drill Press?

    David
     
  20. Scott Guth

    Scott Guth Registered User

    May 24, 2019
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    Oh right, wrong term...

    I mean a sharp centering punch to guide the drill bit...

    Thanks,
    Scott G
     
  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    The only difficulty I see is that decent hole-closing punches are no longer available. Punching a hole closed has several advantages:

    1) It solves the problem. When done correctly, it'll push the pivot over to its original location, which you seem to have done. Not quite right? You can readily correct it.

    2) It work-hardens the brass

    3) It doesn't remove any material from the clock plate

    4) It can be repeated. When an existing push-in bushing wears out its hole must be somehow reduced in size to accommodate its replacement.

    5) And it challenges those who vociferously object to it to explain their objections.

    There is no reliable evidence that hole punching is inferior to the installation of a bushing. Hole-closing by punching was standard procedure in the 1960's on most clocks. Bushings were used only in extreme circumstances.

    When KWM's press-in bushings were introduced I eagerly bought a bushing assortment, the reamer, and the red plastic handle, and was laughed at by my colleagues at the shop. It soon became obvious why when my bushings fell out and had to be riveted in: they were all undersized, as is still occasionally the case today. (I still have the bushings and maybe the handle somewhere.)

    I use KWM bushings at present, but I am beginning to fall out of love with them. I've experimented with old-fashioned riveted-in bushings made with bushing wire (consult an old, old clock repair book) but they, too, take up lots of space and lots of labor. I have a set of 'modern' hole-closing punches from Timesavers as well as an old set of French ones, and both are of poor quality. I may make a set of my own.

    For what it's worth, hole punching does not save any time over installing a press-in bushing except for the time spent later correcting end-shake, trimming bushings, and re-installing (and then securing) bushings that have fallen out of the movement after assembly.
     
  22. TooManyClocks

    TooManyClocks Registered User
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    The only experience i ever had with hole punching was when I acquired one of my first clocks, and before I knew anything about this message board. I’d read a comment about the process of hole punching somewhere, and, having a nice little Waterbury schoolhouse clock with a worn pivot hole, and not having any clock repair tools at all, I proceeded to take a punch and took what turned out to be several whacks at it.

    The result wasn’t pretty, might have accomplished something either good or evil, and was generally a mess. Needless to say, once I got some education from the experience and through this message board, and having acquired some bushings and proper tools, I bushed it properly, and it runs happily in spite of my efforts at permanently disfiguring it. So if you do attempt any punching, do it wisely. I’m not likely to try it again...

    Mark likely had someone back in the day to show him where to punch and whatever technique would work. I just took a sort of sharp punch and soon discovered that brass doesn’t act like steel:D

    Since then, I’ve encountered poorly punched pivot holes on some of my other clocks that were hard to find original center when I rebushed them, especially as in one case, the punching was done in the wrong direction!

    I’ve also seen punched pivot holes that had the look of someone back in the day who had an experienced hand at it, based on the results. The punched holes had been closed quite nicely. They were just worn enough to need a bushing after several more years of wear. Mark has seen when it was practiced as a normal part of business in clock repair.

    Other than the above, I am willing to show my total cowardice toward the wrath of those that despise the practice.

    ....and I’m running away before I get caught in the flames!:emoji_fire:

    John

    (PS...if I hijacked this thread, please return it to original programming...)
     
  23. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    My objection to punching is three fold: 1, it's old fashioned and no longer necessary. 2, it's an ugly repair even when done well, and 3, it doesn't really close a hole. It closes the top of it or maybe the top and bottom if done on both sides of the plate. The center is unaffected. Then the pivot runs against a shelf, which is not a good bearing surface, and wears a groove into the pivot over time.
    At one time, it was the best way to repair a clock economically. That is no longer the case.
     
  24. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    The third point is worth investigating, and I shall do a few experiments, for I believe that the inner, um, layer of the plate is also pushed in toward the center of the hole. Top and bottom layers are indeed pushed more (the anvil stretches out the bottom layer) but the profile of the hole's wall is corrected by the subsequent broaching of the hole to fit the pivot.

    I can't do much about the appearance of the repair, though the OP's work looks fine. As for 'old-fashioned,' there are those who might substitute the term 'traditional,' as in 'traditional methods and materials.' Since clocks have been repaired for a cool 500 years or so, someone out there in collectordom must have kept track of how they were repaired in 1930 or 1830 or 1730.
     
  25. AllThumbz

    AllThumbz Registered User

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    Use a centering drill to guide it and keep it from wandering, or the center drill of a bushing tool set. Using a KWM bushing tool with it tightly clamped, it won't wander.
     

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