immutable laws of clock repair

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by bruce linde, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    #1 bruce linde, Aug 14, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    the difficulty involved in re-assembling or re-installing a movement is directly proportional to the number of times it will take... plus a few for good measure.


    the smaller and more irreplaceable the part, the harder it will be to find on the workbench (or floor).


    rule #1: do it right the first time, or you'll be working on it again.
    rule #2: see rule #1
    rule #3: weren't you listening?!??


    there's no such thing as too careful (he said, looking at the trashed escape wheel embedded in the sheet rock post-polishing).

    the more the client charges for their services, the less they'll want to pay for yours.


    every job is an opportunity to buy another tool.


    by the time i'm done with this _________ i'll know how to do it!


    mucking around with clocks makes me happy.
     
  2. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
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    This made me laugh. I'm just getting going in clock repair, I read all these threads as if I'm a sponge because I just know I'm going to face these issues in the future. Thanks for the laugh and for keeping it light-hearted, this will serve me well when I get frustrated.
     
  3. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Bruce,

    I dearly love your sense of humor. Thanks for giving me a MUCH needed laugh!!!

    George
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    guys -


    the funniest things in life are the true ones. i'm as serious as i am kidding... perhaps more.


    just today i went to wind my colonial/winterhalder and could barely turn the winding key. i tried turning it back to see if the maintaining power was working, but the thing was stiff in both directions. but bruce, you say, surely you tore down the great/winding wheels when you cleaned and serviced the movement?? uhmm... oops?


    of course, in order to do so now (see rules #1-3, above), i had to:


    1. remove the top back of the case to get access to the movement... 9 screws
    2. remove the 5 tubes
    3. remove the 4 knurled knobs with threaded rods that hold the dial to the movement
    4. remove the 4 screws holding the seatboard to the case
    5. cut the weight cords that go into little brass thingeys that screw into the underside of the seatboard and hold the non-great-wheel end of the weight cords so i can remove the pulleys
    5. pull the movement
    6. remove the chime assembly from the top of the movement
    7. disassemble the movement enough to get to the problem winding wheel
    8. tear it apart and clean everything the way i should have when i first worked on it
    9. reassemble movement, add back chime section on top
    10. install on seatboard
    11. pull weight cords through pulleys and little brass thingeys, re-knot cords w/ a drop of crazy glue, screw little brass thingeys to underside of seatboard
    12. reinstall seatboard in case
    13. reinstall dial holding screws
    14. reinstall tubes
    15. check chime side... oops... somehow the chime side gathering pin has gone missing (they press on, no pins holding them in place)
    16. go over the living room and kitchen floors with a flashlight, and then with eyes closed, by touch... nowhere to be found
    17. go over the living room and kitchen floors with a flashlight, and then with eyes closed, by touch... nowhere to be found
    18. go over the living room and kitchen floors with a flashlight, and then with eyes closed, by touch... nowhere to be found
    19. bang head on wall, decide to see if i can find a workable replacement online and put the clock back together in the meantime
    20. repeat steps 12-14
    21. make sure weight cords aren't nested and see missing gathering pin hiding between strike unlocking lever and chime silencer lever... swear it wasn't there before!
    22. try in vain to get fat fingers and/or needle-nose pliers into small opening to press fit gathering pin back in place.. no go
    23. repeat steps 2-4
    23. pull the movement enough to press the #$%&^* gathering pin back into place
    24. repeat steps 12-14
    25. re-install hands, collapse in easy chair

    hence, the (my) immutable laws of clock repair.
     
  5. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Bruce, sounds like you have Murphy's law firmly in your corner.
     
  6. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Any clock repair facility,no matter how big or how small,is Murphy's Paradise. DAMHIKT!!!!!!!!!
    tom
     
  7. wow

    wow Registered User
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    All laws are broken or amended at some point. Including Murphy's.
     
  8. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    No matter how strange some things became. Given enough TIME it seem normal.
     
  9. TEACLOCKS

    TEACLOCKS Registered User
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    Glad your here.
    A clock guy told me a long time ago "you got to do what you got to do"
    SO--- read everything, ask questions (don't get mad at the answers) do what it takes to do it RIGHT.
    Good luck at home, and here at the nut house (forum)
     
  10. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    True, and sometimes 2 new tools.
    :cool:




    Rob
     
  11. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    It never fails every time I put a movement together that goes together quickly without trouble, I find something wrong that requires disassembly and then it takes forever to get it together again.
     
  12. Joseph Coppersmith

    Joseph Coppersmith Registered User

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    Far better to perform the repair correctly the first time rather having to explain later why you didn't.
     
  13. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    yes, except that 'correctly' is a bit of a moving target as you're learning and gaining experience.
     
  14. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Just after you finish broaching the bushing, you realize you're testing it with the wrong pivot.:(
     
  15. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    oooohhh... that's a good one!

    i'm still on 'oh, i better be careful to not broach too much... oops'.
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    And have you ever noticed, while reading this clock repair forum, that everyone hates mainsprings? I don't know what the most beloved clock part is, but the least-beloved is the one that always seems anxious to kill you.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
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    The agony of discovering the American time and strike movement you just completed, has the count wheel installed backwards...
     
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