It's only a myth... or is it?

Thyme

Banned
Sep 18, 2006
3,948
3
0
metro NY area
By now we all know that a clock being "overwound" is only a myth. At least I haven't seen any convincing argument that it isn't a myth.

However... Infrequently, and with no apparent reason, one of the clocks in my collection of over 30 of them (and not any particular one) will stall out upon a full winding. It just won't run until I retry starting it repeatedly. Then, just as mysteriously, it will start running after such repeated prompting and run the full duration of seven days until the next winding without stopping. And it's not an issue of any sign of deficiency in the movement, as it will run for indefinite lengths of time without the situation reoccurring. I can remember removing a movement once when this happened, examining it, finding nothing deficient about it and having it return to normal operation thereafter.

Ideas? Possible causes? Gremlins? Evil spirits?
 

chimeclockfan

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,569
441
83
WI
Country
Region
I have seen a longcase clock with a three train 5 tube movement. The strike weight is wound all the way up, and doesn't work, even when set to 'Strike'.
It looks like the weight hit the seatboard, it is possible the weight got stuck, and cannot transmit power to the train.

Some weight driven clocks (chain driven) have rings just after the weight end to prevent the weight from going all the way up.

On spring driven clocks with spring barrels, it could be because oil built up in the springs, and is making it stick. No other reason I can think of.

If I ever maintained a mechanical clock, I would wind it just shy of being fully wound to avert such issues.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
19,971
503
113
utah
Country
Region
"Overwinding" would have to mean something like: winding the spring so tight that it won't unwind. Only thing I can think of that might cause that would be adhesion, like Chimefan suggests.

:confused:
 

Scottie-TX

Deceased
Apr 6, 2004
936
61
0
80
Mesquite, TX
Country
Region
Dunno;
This happens here periodically, particularly on two weight drivens.
Weight isn't jammed into seatboard. Free to drop, clock just seems reluctant to restart only after several assists. Then runs reliably for perhaps months.
 

jmclaugh

Registered User
Jun 1, 2006
5,344
247
63
Devon
Country
Region
You don't say if it is spring or weight driven or the type of escapement. Anyway I have had that happen sometimes with a weight driven deadbeat movement without maintaining power and a spring one with a platform movement but they started running again at the first time of asking. I guess its one of those things you just shrug your shoulders to.
 

soaringjoy

Registered User
Feb 12, 2009
7,238
33
0
Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia
Country
Region
Every time I look at those crooked, plier bent inner coils
of the springs, sharp edges and all, I get dizzy.
Could well be, the springs get stuck there, when wound up
to a full stop?

Jurgen
 

ticktock19852004

Registered User
Apr 5, 2007
649
1
0
Hello!

My morbier clock does the same thing periodically. If I wind it until the weights touch the bottom of the case; the clock wants to stop. If I wind the clock to to where the weights are about 1/4 from the bottom of the case, it runs like a champ.

Thanks!

Neal
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,113
1,517
113
By now we all know that a clock being "overwound" is only a myth. At least I haven't seen any convincing argument that it isn't a myth.
I would definitely vote for 'Not a Myth'. I have seen 100s of clocks that would not run, or require several restarts when wound up tight.

Although, I always had a problem with the word use of "over-wound". 'Wound up tight' would be much better. Sort of like 'cleaning' ... service with disassemble, overhaul, complete repair, etc. would be much better.

I will admit that nearly all of the clocks that would not run when wound up tight would respond very well to a full service, or replacement, of the mainspring. :)

Willie X
 

Thyme

Banned
Sep 18, 2006
3,948
3
0
metro NY area
I would definitely vote for 'Not a Myth'. I have seen 100s of clocks that would not run, or require several restarts when wound up tight.

Although, I always had a problem with the word use of "over-wound". 'Wound up tight' would be much better. Sort of like 'cleaning' ... service with disassemble, overhaul, complete repair, etc. would be much better.

I will admit that nearly all of the clocks that would not run when wound up tight would respond very well to a full service, or replacement, of the mainspring. :)

Willie X
I should have mentioned that all my clocks (except two cuckoos) are spring driven, T&S, eight day clocks.

Typically when I buy a clock I check the movement for whatever it might need. But if it doesn't require a full disassembly I won't bother to remove the springs just to lube them. (Yeah, call me lazy about that...) My guess is that the time side main spring is binding up when fully wound and thus not delivering power to the train. But it's odd that the strike side springs never do it.

Maybe we should rename "over-wound" to "binding spring" if an under-lubed spring is indeed the problem. I can't think of anything else that would cause it.

Of course most of the people who think a clock is "over-wound" say that because in desperation they keep winding the spring until they can wind it no further - and nearly always the movement has other problems that are causing it not to run.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,113
1,517
113
Of course most of the people who think a clock is "over-wound" say that because in desperation they keep winding the spring until they can wind it no further - and nearly always the movement has other problems that are causing it not to run.
Yep, a lot of customers seem to think that they have done something wrong, when the ole clock lays down for any number of reasons.

When you think about it from the customers non technical point of view, it all makes sense. Wind it, it runs a week, wind it it runs a week, etc. for many years, and then wind it doesn't run, wind it very tight, still wont run. Must be the winding, right?

Willie X
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,499
130
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
I like to see overwound or wound too tight in a listing or hear it from a flea market vendor.

But there is no such thing.

If for example the spring coils where sticking when fully wound, then the error is cleaning and lubrication.

If by winding the spring fully enough torque/tension pushes a gear into a bad mesh situation (ovalled bushing) then it is a bushing problem.

If the clock stops from being fully wound where it would normally run not fully wound, it still is not a winding problem, there is no reason not to fully wind unless one want's to milk an improperly running clock to run without taking time to fix it.

The only error that I can concieve where one could say a clock/watch was overwound is if when winding the winding mechanism was busted and/or twisted off from sheer torque.

RJ
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,719
1,913
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I'm still gonna say "myth" until someone can verify the problem on a recently lubed spring :) Weights - that's a different animal. Possible that the string/cable has been wedged between two coils.
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,499
130
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
I'm still gonna say "myth" until someone can

verify the problem on a recently lubed spring :)
Yep.

With fully wound coils they are tight and the pressure is there. If let go free it would let you know it had power.

But in the position of being meshed I think it depends on the ability of one coil to slip past another. That is what I assume. It could even be where the coils could be soo tight that even lubrication does not help.

But I would think also that just the tension on the end portion of the spring would be enough to provide some movement. Like bow bends to shoot an arrow. Then as the end portion maintains train movement, the coils loosen and begin to slide and full power kicks in.

So, it may be that the angle on that last portion of spring might not be bowed.

So the solution might be to provide just a little curve to the end portion of the spring to maintain power when the spring is fully wound, as fully wound spring has tendency to make coils stick together.

Or it could be completely opposite, where a bowed end absorbs mostly what end energy is available like a shock absorber.

Some experiment is in order.

Hmmm, since I invented it, I'll call it the Arjay Mainspring Bow. :D

RJ
 

lifeisgud71

Registered User
Jul 30, 2008
34
0
0
Nebraska
Country
Region
I have had a problem where the clock would stop upon winding, not always, then when the pendulum was swung, the clock would continue running fine.

I always looked at this as an issue where the clock just stopped at such the right moment as to not have enough force from the escape wheel to move the pallet to get the clock running again. I certainly could be wrong in this assumption, but it seemed to make sense.
Garry
 

Thyme

Banned
Sep 18, 2006
3,948
3
0
metro NY area
I have had a problem where the clock would stop upon winding, not always, then when the pendulum was swung, the clock would continue running fine.

I always looked at this as an issue where the clock just stopped at such the right moment as to not have enough force from the escape wheel to move the pallet to get the clock running again. I certainly could be wrong in this assumption, but it seemed to make sense.
Garry
The condition I'm referring to is one where the clock will not run at all after being fully wound. Then, after making numerous attempts at restarting it by activating the pendulum, inexplicably it will begin to run and continue to run reliably for an entire week without stopping.

As a condition this does occur and I have experienced it myself (with one of my own clocks just recently). It has commonly been called "overwinding" but calling it that doesn't mean that is the cause for it happening. The occurrence is not a myth, but the name for it is misleading.
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,499
130
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
The condition I'm referring to is one where the clock will not run at all after being fully wound. Then, after making numerous attempts at restarting it by activating the pendulum, inexplicably it will begin to run and continue to run reliably for an entire week without stopping.

As a condition this does occur and I have experienced it myself (with one of my own clocks just recently). It has commonly been called "overwinding" but calling it that doesn't mean that is the cause for it happening. The occurrence is not a myth, but the name for it is misleading.
true.

RJ
 

Forum statistics

Threads
166,352
Messages
1,449,409
Members
86,827
Latest member
kawasemi
Encyclopedia Pages
1,057
Total wiki contributions
2,911
Last edit
NAWCC Forums Rules by Steven Thornberry