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Is 19 bushings too many?

NEW65

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Just a few points of view... I’ve just fitted 19 bushings in an hermle 0451 which included the front centre arbor. That and dealing with pivots!
How many of you folks would consider taking on such a repair job? Where does one draw the line?
Am I crazy ? :chuckling:
I’d just like to hear your views.
 

Altashot

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It can be done, and if they are needed, it should be done.

However, if it’s a movement that is readily available, for me, it’s better to replace it.

My fees to service a movement and install that many bushings would likely come very near the cost of a new movement.

I would recommend a new movement.

M.
 

NEW65

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Thanks everyone. Looks like the vote so far is leaning towards new movements rather than spending hours and hours trying to rebuild a worn out movement.
Roughbarked, it’s a relief to know that I’m not the only crazy one on here :chuckling: :chuckling:
It took me hours and hours to do the job. It’s on a test stand now, just hope that it behaves after spending all that time! Thanks chaps
 

Schatz70

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It can be done, and if they are needed, it should be done.

However, if it’s a movement that is readily available, for me, it’s better to replace it.

My fees to service a movement and install that many bushings would likely come very near the cost of a new movement.

I would recommend a new movement.

M.
If you are paying someone to repair a clock, then, yes, it probably makes sense to replace the movement. If, on the other hand, you know how to fix clocks, it might make sense to sell the clock with the badly worn movement and buy another used clock and fix it. A lot of the Hermle movements cost $300 - $400. It is often possible to buy used clocks with movements in fairly good shape for $40 or less. For the cost of buying a replacement movement, you could buy a bunch of used clocks, say ten of them, some of which will be in working condition and some of which can be fairly easily repaired.
 
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NEW65

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Thanks Schatz70, I’ve got a massive amount of used hermle movements , most are 1151 and 0451 ... unfortunately most of the hermle 0451s were 94cm units and I only had 6 0451 at 85cm pendulums and all are just as worn as the 85cm movement I’ve just rebuilt.
I just checked out your profile picture... the large hammer on your work bench is hilarious lol
 
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NEW65

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Roughbarked, I agree totally with you. The hermle movements that are coming through now are nowhere near as good quality as they used to be. One of the things I dislike about the new ones is the alloy star cam that has been used to replace the brass star cams on the centre arbors! When the alloy cams are removed they are almost loose when replaced; in fact they can be pushed back on to the centre arbors with finger pressure!! Brass is so much better :)
 

shutterbug

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When my repair bill is going to be close to the price of a new movement, I give the customer the option of replacing it. I'll still give them that option if the repair bill will be half of the cost of a new movement (multi-chimers), but they will usually go for the repair rather than the replacement.
 
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R. Croswell

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Just a few points of view... I’ve just fitted 19 bushings in an hermle 0451 which included the front centre arbor. That and dealing with pivots!
How many of you folks would consider taking on such a repair job? Where does one draw the line?
Am I crazy ? :chuckling:
I’d just like to hear your views.
If we are only talking about movements for which new replacements are available, "the line" is often where the cost to the owner to have the movement repaired exceeds the cost to replace the movement, but there is another consideration. Is that movement with 19 bushings really equal to a new movement? The original maker's "blue print" calls for the original pivot holes to be precisely located +/- a very small tolerance. The finished product may be spot on or close to the no-go tolerance limit, we have no way to know. We do not install bushings according to the original blue print but rather according to evidence of where the original hole was. Depending on one's skill and what machine tools are used, our best effort to center a bushing comes with its own +/- error amount. The more bushings we install the greater the cumulative error and resulting friction and decrease in performance. The effect of this error is greatest where pivots are small and wheel and pinion teeth are fine. A 0.005" error on a 0.020" pivot hole will have a more serious consequence than a 0.005" error on a 0.060" pivot hole.

So the question becomes can I really make that old movement as good as new using my skills and the tools available to me? In most cases, probably not; in your case, only you can answer that question. If the roof is leaking, how many places does one patch before buying a new roof?

For antique movements and others for which no replacements are available one has to do the best one can with what one has to work with. I currently have an old Ingraham steel plate movement that someone else bushed on the bench. The pivots are rough and appear to have been finished with a pivot file and never polished. Most are tapered or barrel shaped. Some of the pivot holes that were bushed may be OK now but once the pivots are turned true and polished they will be too loose, so almost every bushing will need to be replaced, along with several pivot replacements. (This is the infamous movement that runs steel pivots in steel pivot holes and really eats up pivots). My point is there can be no limit on the number of bushings. If one decides to rebuild one should do it right or not at all - bush the holes that need it whether it be 8 or 18 is what I think.

RC
 

brian fisher

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personally, if i were presented with repairing a modern 3 train movement, i would cringe and try to find a way to persuade the customer to replace it instead. if it were my clock, i would...not repair it but sell or give it away to someone who might love it more than i. however, i really think it comes down to the money vs. time equation. i believe my last statement can be looked at on two different levels. one would be the customer/ repair person relationship and the other is in regard to the owner repairing his own clock. as to the last senario, if you are poor, and want a working clock, then its probably best to just fix it.
 
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SuffolkM

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I've found that people are often very attached to their clock, for example if it was owned by a grandparent who left it to them and they remember it from their childhood (taking an example of a clock I am currently working on, a fairly modest Kienzle).

Well, in those cases, suggestions about changing the movement don't sound so attractive to the owner, because of the family connection. The repair is the only option that the owner is drawn to, allowing them to preserve something of sentimental value.

As long as the time and cost is made clear, and the repair is successful (!) these are generally some of the happiest customers at the end! I'd say go for the bushings as needed. Your conscience is clear and the decision is made for you, as long as you have mentioned that a new movement could be an option and heard them decline the idea.
 
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Elliott Wolin

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I've written this in other posts, but as an amateur, retired as well, I have plenty of time to repair old movements and not that much money to buy new movements. Indeed I keep an eye out for old clocks that cost too much to repair professionally and often get them for very little money. The owners can't deal with the expense of a new movement or repair and are just happy that someone will get it working again rather than having it trashed. Often they are quite happy that I plan on getting their old clock going again, even if they'll never see it again. Perhaps I should send them pictures after I'm done?

And often I give these clocks to relatives or friends. Of course, many people don't want mechanical clocks, so in some cases I've given away nice quartz clocks and replaced them with the clocks I repair. E.g. I'm giving three quartz clocks (I made fancy hardwood cases and purchased quartz movements) to my kids and replacing them with mechanical clocks I got cheap and repaired.
 

FDelGreco

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A number of years ago I took the field suitcase workshop course #101 -- basic clock repair. I had bought an old kitchen clock movement for the course. I ended up installing 17 bushings on the clock to get it to run properly.

Frank
 
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NEW65

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Thanks Frank. Being in the trade is my biggest problem - the method I use to re bush isn’t that quick so when I’m facing a worn movement with up to 20 bushings required, it can be very counterproductive job! However as mentioned by a few experts on here, not all customers want to pay extra for a new movement. There is definitely a line that cannot be crossed when it comes to pricing- if crossed = very slow turnover! I’d sooner charge less and have a quicker turnover.
May I ask what method of bushing you used on the course that you did?
Many thanks :)
 

FDelGreco

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I used a bushing machine supplied by the instructor. I think it was a KWM. Cleaned out his supply of bushings!<grin>
 
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