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Jefferson Golden Hour Retaining Ring Removal

chezwilly

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The accepted method of removing the retaining ring from the glass is to slip a knife blade between the two and work it around to break the adhesive. The problem with this is sometimes the glass may crack. Does anybody have a better solution? Has anybody tried soaking it with something like acetone? Thank you in advance.

Willy
 

shutterbug

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There shouldn't be any glue. The ring that can be lifted out at the opening. If it has been glued, you can probably remove it with heat or Acetone.
This might help.
 

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Berkshire Vet

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The drive ring and glass are all glued in from the original factory build, using a heat-cured adhesive. Separation of the drive ring and glass is the most common cause I see for the clocks not working.

The easiest method (I figured out after breaking too many face-plates) is to soak the entire ring in a glass dish (CAUTION: You must use glass containers ONLY for working with acetone) with acetone to cover the items completely. Give it a few hours and the face plate glass will fall right out almost effortlessly. Don't wait too long or the acetone will evaporate and you'll have to start over. The acetone left behind becomes 'goopy' and can be easily scraped off the metal and glass while it's still wet. Don't let the ring or glass dry before you wash it off. When the acetone dries, the old adhesive re-adheres on your parts a bit. Finish up by washing both parts with some warm soapy water and a scotch brite dish sponge. Carefully inspect the drive ring to ensure none of the old adhesive gets stuck between the gear teeth. Any remaining bits of adhesive can be removed with an Exacto knife. I make another pass around the drive-ring and glass with a Q-Tip soaked in acetone or alcohol. Any remaining bits of dried adhesive can interfere when you re-bond the glass, so the parts should be scrupulously cleaned first. Many owners attempting a home repair of their clock will try to re-bond these parts with super-glue or similar. The acetone will dissolve all of these as well as the original factory adhesive.
 

shutterbug

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Sounds like a good plan .... but if the ring is that solidly affixed to the dial, why remove it? The typical reason the clocks have issues with keeping time is that the dial and ring separated. They only other common issue is that the motor went belly up.
 

Berkshire Vet

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That is completely correct of course, but the old adhesive does get brittle with age and it's impossible to predict if or when it would fail. Also, I've seen quite a few 'home' repairs with super glue or similar that can't be trusted to hold. I take a very conservative view and don't mind the taking the modest extra time and effort to reattach them. That way when the clock goes out I can be confident the adhesive won't fail for many more years of service. It would be my dumb luck that the customer would plug it in, and have it fail in a few hours.
 

kinsler33

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Yup. The old glue gets brittle. I've used something called Go2 Glue from Loctite for most everything lately, and it worked splendidly to re-bond the separated gear ring to the glass on a Golden Hour.

The problem with these is that they're made out of die-cast zinc. You can't polish them because the gold plating over the zinc is about three atoms thick, and the rotating glass and gear wear out the vestigial guides cast into the ring. The ring also gets egg-shaped, which you correct by carefully squeezing it in a clamp. The repair advice given at Timesavers, who I think bought out Jefferson, is not quite as great as it should be because it was written for new Golden Hour clocks, which don't exist: they're all pretty well worn by this time.
 

Berkshire Vet

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Correct. The casting is a zinc-alloy with nickel substrate and the gold plating over that. Owners often and incorrectly think it's brass and use abrasive brass polish that rubs through the gold leaving the nickel showing through. I ultrasonic clean everything using Blitz cleaning solution and the results are amazing. After the tank, I wipe down everything with a non-abrasive dish washing sponge, very warm water and a spritz of dish soap, thoroughly rinse and dry. A buff with a jewelers gold cloth finishes the cleaning job. I wipe it all down with alcohol and then coat it with ProtectaClear by Everbrite. You can also find it on Amazon. It's a product specifically for polished metal of all types that seal it completely from tarnish, dirt, dust and everything. Two light coats applied with a sponge brush covers the gold surfaces beautifully. There is a learning curve to apply it smooth, but especially keep the sponge brush barely damp. Don't be tempted to load it up, that causes areas to run. Also, very, very light strokes work best. I almost use the weight of the brush alone and just pull it along. It's best to keep all the brush strokes going in the same direction too. Goofed areas can be wiped down with a bit of acetone and reapplied. Keep an eye out for dust bunnies and other atmospheric floating stuff that will stick immediately to the drying surfaces. My cat that doesn't shed much at all, can walk through the room, 8 feet away and leave moisture seeking fur that finds my work piece instantly.

ProtectaClear has a gloss finish that tends to minimize the appearance of areas where the nickel substrate shows through by giving it an appearance of depth. ProtectaClear only needs a dusting to keep the glow to it and a water dampened paper towel for actual dirt or liquid splashes.

It take a two-step approach to dealing with worn areas of the chapter ring. I would really worry about using any type of mechanical force to get it back 'in round' in that zinc castings are notoriously brittle due to interstitial corrosion with age. It's the same process that creates the dimples pushing through to the surface of the casting. The alloy helps some, but it is a formulation from the 40s. First, I build up the primary wear areas including the vestigial pads with about a 3mm strip of single adhesive-sided teflon PTFE tape, cut to about 5 1/2" and placed from 3:30-7:30 on the chapter ring. I push it back from the curved area where the drive gear meshes the ring and don't cover the wear-pad areas, instead use smaller pieces of the tape on either side. I remove, clean the notched out area for the nylon pads if used, then replace it with new ones using a small drop of super-glue. I hold the edges of the pad with tweezers and drop it onto the glue surface and quickly square it up. Ensure the tape runs along the track true and doesn't ride up on the vertical edge of the chapter ring. Carefully trim the ends so there are no lone fibers sticking out where the tape could be caught by the drive gear. Burnish the tape a few times to get the best adhesion and to smooth down any areas where it might have buckled a bit. Don't be tempted to cover more of the chapter ring with tape. The tolerances are reduced with too much tape and will bind the drive ring assembly. Following this, I put (2) coats minimum of Neolube #2 on both inside surfaces of the chapter ring, including the tension spring beds. Neolube is an awesome product and used extensively for dry surface lubrication in the nuclear navy (where I came from these many moons ago), which it was developed for. It is a colloidal graphite suspended in alcohol solution that leaves a thin, dry and tough film of graphite when the alcohol evaporates. I use a slender artist's paint brush or lint-free q-tip swab to apply it. I cover everything with it including the nylon wear-pads. I also coat the drive-gear, toothed and flange surface that rides on the tension springs and the springs themselves once they are dropped into place. Any areas where it's accidentally applied and unsightly, can be cleaned quickly with an acetone dampened swap. Neolube on the glass surfaces comes off easily with an alcohol swab. Obviously, these steps are time-consuming and fussy, but the result is a noticeable reduction in the friction between the drive assembly and chapter ring. Through testing I've proven this works by seeing increased accuracy of the clocks, quieter and cooler running motors that should add up to an extension of the motor life.

top base.jpg

(3) coats of ProtectaClear and you can see the appearance of 'depth' on the surfaces.

I hope these tips are helpful to someone and would love to hear about any others folks have come up with.

Cheers-
 
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shutterbug

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That is completely correct of course, but the old adhesive does get brittle with age and it's impossible to predict if or when it would fail. Also, I've seen quite a few 'home' repairs with super glue or similar that can't be trusted to hold. I take a very conservative view and don't mind the taking the modest extra time and effort to reattach them. That way when the clock goes out I can be confident the adhesive won't fail for many more years of service. It would be my dumb luck that the customer would plug it in, and have it fail in a few hours.
Yep. Completely understand your reasoning, and agree with you. I've never seen one of those where the owner attempted to mess with it. Shudder at the thought :)
 

Berkshire Vet

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I just got in a record for major "fail" home repairs. This one had duct tape installed all the way around the chapter ring and was missing 2 tension springs, one of them was stuck under the tape. I had to use my soft-jaw pliers to remove the cone nut when I was taking it down, so I knew beforehand, I was going to find a real treat inside. :eek: I suppose this is why the repair business is good. :cool:
 

Berkshire Vet

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Yup. The old glue gets brittle. I've used something called Go2 Glue from Loctite for most everything lately, and it worked splendidly to re-bond the separated gear ring to the glass on a Golden Hour.
I stick with the 3M #847 Nitrile High Performance stuff, that I've seen as recommended. It's a little pricey but a 5 ounce tube will last forever. It has a tiny bit of elasticity when cured and I think that provides some protection to the bond under the clock's drive torque. I lay the assembly out on a piece of cardboard, squeeze a thin bead of adhesive around the flat portion of the ring, trying not to get any on the gears. I have a small, flat spatula-shaped probe to schmear the goop around the ring, making it fairly even, before dropping the glass in place. If it's done quickly enough, I try to give the glass a bit of a turn while applying a little downward force, that spreads the adhesive even more evenly. Then I cover the whole thing with a clean rag and weigh it down with a few cans of beans. If the wife lets me back in the house, after stinking up the kitchen (the adhesive smells like Newark at low tide), I allow it about 24 hours cure time, take it off the cardboard and scrape the excess adhesive off with an Exacto chisel blade, again paying close attention to the gears. It comes off easy with a nice sharp blade.

PS- The Exacto is a real friend for my work and I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Fiskars Softgrip Craft Knife handle. It's under $8 at that link to Amazon and well worth it, your hands and fingers will love you for it, trust me.