Longcase Restoration Project

Jim DuBois

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From what has been said and efforts applied I would guess that some well-meaning "craftsman" used Locktite or a similar product on the center shaft and minute tube to lock them tight. That would explain a lot and is also why the various solvents have had no effect. I would try the application of heat to the minute tube, Locktite green releases at about 500 degrees F IIRC. So, it needs to be hot, just not too hot. And of course, don't apply the torch/heat anyplace close to your various solvents. Many of them burn explosively just in case we need to offer a warning. If you have a hot air gun/paint stripper that is of course much safer and will usually deliver the necessary heat.
 
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Snorty

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Thanks Jim, yes that would certainly explain why nothing has worked thus far.
I find it quite incredible the lengths some people will go to in an effort to get it wrong when fixing it the right way wouldn’t have been that difficult in the first place!
Once the paraffin soaking is complete and assuming that hasn’t done the trick on its own, I’ll get the movement fully dried out over a couple of days and then get some proper heat on the job. I do have a heat gun so that is likely the way I’ll head.
Points most certainly noted re the flammable liquids thanks!!

Graeme
 

Snorty

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Well folks, the movement emerged from it’s paraffin bath today. I thought I would leave it in longer to see if it helped loosen the cannon pinion. The short answer is.....no....it didn’t :banghead:
I even found a handy garden tool to assist me but sadly, it won’t budge.
2D686933-4CFC-4979-958D-239184E65174.jpeg

It’s beginning to look like Jim may be right and it has been bonded on!!
Next step.....heat gun and an IR thermometer.....
 
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Mike Phelan

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Heat will have to be the answer, methinks. You'll need to strip the entire movement to (a) wash all this awful paraffin away and (b) surround the front plate around the centre wheel with two solid bars so you can gently tap the top of the centre pivot with ally or brass. To avoid damaging the pivot, put a pin in the hole.

BTW, that gadget you're using will damage the oval spring.
 

Snorty

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Thanks Mike, I really wanted to disassemble the movement after getting the cannon pinion off. If I have to strip the movement whilst leaving it in place, I will definitely be less confident when it comes to reassembling it. The intention was always to fully strip it though.
Are we saying that the application of heat cannot be carried out unless the movement has been fully stripped?
 

shutterbug

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You can apply heat to get it off, just be careful not to overdo it. Just heat the cannon.
But look first to be sure there is no pin blocking it. It wouldn't hurt to try twisting it to see if it loosens up.
 

Snorty

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I really am scared to put any more pressure on it. If heating it to a few hundred degrees C is what it’s going to take then I’ll just have to give it a try! I’ve tried to avoid twisting it too much for fear of snapping the centre arbor.
 

svenedin

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Heat will have to be the answer, methinks. You'll need to strip the entire movement to (a) wash all this awful paraffin away and (b) surround the front plate around the centre wheel with two solid bars so you can gently tap the top of the centre pivot with ally or brass. To avoid damaging the pivot, put a pin in the hole.

BTW, that gadget you're using will damage the oval spring.
Do you just hate paraffin Mike? I love it. My other hobby paraffin pressure lamps and stoves. Never happier than surrounded by the reek of hot paraffin.
 

Snorty

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Do you just hate paraffin Mike? I love it. My other hobby paraffin pressure lamps and stoves. Never happier than surrounded by the reek of hot paraffin.
Paraffin always reminds me of growing up...the folks had various lamps.
I might need to pick up a wee lamp from somewhere....I loved the smell too!
 

novicetimekeeper

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Used to run my tractor on paraffin after they stopped making TVO.
 

Mike Phelan

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Do you just hate paraffin Mike? I love it. My other hobby paraffin pressure lamps and stoves. Never happier than surrounded by the reek of hot paraffin.
Hi Stephen,

Only when folks use it in clocks! Problem is that it doesn't evaporate. I also used to have quite a few pressure lamps.

Where I was a tot there were plenty of farmers with TVO tractors - they were started with petrol to heat everything up.

The fuel in jet aircraft is almost pure paraffin; indeed where I live you can still buy paraffin.
 

svenedin

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Hi Stephen,

Only when folks use it in clocks! Problem is that it doesn't evaporate. I also used to have quite a few pressure lamps.

Where I was a tot there were plenty of farmers with TVO tractors - they were started with petrol to heat everything up.

The fuel in jet aircraft is almost pure paraffin; indeed where I live you can still buy paraffin.
Surely it’s ok as stage one to try to free corrosion and then on to standard disassembly and cleaning afterwards?
 

shutterbug

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It must be a difference in terms on your side of the pond. Over here, paraffin is for candle making and rubber compounds :)
 

Wayne A

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It must be a difference in terms on your side of the pond. Over here, paraffin is for candle making and rubber compounds :)
Was thinking the same thing reading along. The paraffin must be what in the usa is known as kerosene.
 

svenedin

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Was thinking the same thing reading along. The paraffin must be what in the usa is known as kerosene.
Yes Kerosene in the USA, "Kero" in Australia. Paraffin oil in UK, paraffin wax for making candles.
 

shutterbug

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Thanks, Sven :thumb:
 

Snorty

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Evening folks, that’s the first few parts test cleaned. I’m wondering if this is as good as they will get?
I’m also wondering if there is a minimum / maximum time they should be immersed in clock cleaning fluid? 27EB3670-5F05-4B3F-9D6E-08312C0C869A.jpeg
 

svenedin

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Are you using a clock cleaning fluid that contains ammonia? If so I would say the minimum to get the parts clean as prolonged contact is said to leach zinc out of the brass which could cause stress cracking or at least discolour the brass (it tends to turn pink as the copper is left behind). If you want the parts shiny as well then you’d need to use metal polish.
 

Snorty

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Yip....this stuff....
D47F6C79-DD35-4518-94B4-0AFF3188DBAD.png

The parts were very dirty so I probably left them in the fluid for a few days. They look fine but are not shiny at all so maybe further polishing is required!
The cleaning fluid is foul smelling stuff (unsurprisingly really given the ammonia content!) I think perhaps less time submersed next time though...
 

JimmyOz

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Well 2 days is way to long, if you have a US that is heated, maybe 20 minutes is about all you need, then wash the parts with detergent in warm water and a tooth brush and dry with a a hair dryer. If you want the parts to be a bit brighter just use 0000 grade steel wool which is quicker than polish and does not leave polish in the pinions and wheel teeth. As for the plates, you can use polish as this is less abrasive then steel wool therefore less scratches however peg the pivot holes after you have done this.

Some repairers will leave the movement as you have it now and that is fine, however I think it is good to go the extra mile whatever movement I repair.

Also, and not what some do, is to polish the screw heads if you are going to go that extra mile.
 
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Snorty

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Thanks for that, this is all a learning curve for me I’m afraid so I’m probably going to get many things wrong along the way!
I’ll make sure the parts aren’t dipped for too longer in future. I might have a look at an ultrasonic option if that might be better.
Ideally a cleaning fluid with no ammonia would be nice given the stench that comes off it!!
 

Snorty

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I know it is not quite lunch time yet but I am ready to crack a beer in celebration!!! Woo woo!!!! I was getting close to loosing the plot with it too.
It only took getting it to around 230 degrees centigrade but the bugger came off in the end. I am over the moon
:chuckling::chuckling:
41A38DA2-DB71-4B01-9362-302B9559F82B.jpeg


B31AF922-D159-433A-80F7-9C9162E86185.jpeg

Definitely evidence of something here....oddly it melts like lead....

E33F2A71-05FB-48F1-B470-F311F46C240A.jpeg




Thanks for all the support on this one guys.... I almost thought it had me beat! BE290FB7-8099-4D80-8579-7FF2D80B7144.jpeg
 
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Micam100

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Hello Snorty, congrats. If you go back and look at your post #95, where your photo shows 3-4 mm of play in the wheel...there should be no play so you will need to correct that before you put it all back together. That may be where the solder came from.
Michael
 

novicetimekeeper

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Your clock is made from cast brass and wrought iron. It should not be treated like a modern (last 100 years) movement made from rolled brass and steel.

Getting the brass wet risks introducing chemicals deep into faults in the casting that could result in corrosion and potential failure. Yes you can clean parts in liquids but they have to be chosen carefully and immersion times should be limited, plus extra rinsing.
 
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Snorty

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Hello Snorty, congrats. If you go back and look at your post #95, where your photo shows 3-4 mm of play in the wheel...there should be no play so you will need to correct that before you put it all back together. That may be where the solder came from.
Michael
Cheers! Yes, I was thinking about that....oddly looking at it after giving it a clean, it seems to have tightened itself up again. Hopefully it won’t need anything else done with it.
C99934B9-4543-4AB8-B5AF-F3D264459803.jpeg
 
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Snorty

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Your clock is made from cast brass and wrought iron. It should not be treated like a modern (last 100 years) movement made from rolled brass and steel.

Getting the brass wet risks introducing chemicals deep into faults in the casting that could result in corrosion and potential failure. Yes you can clean parts in liquids but they have to be chosen carefully and immersion times should be limited, plus extra rinsing.
I see.....I’m open to anything you can tell me to assist.What would your suggestions be on products and timings?
 

novicetimekeeper

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I see.....I’m open to anything you can tell me to assist.What would your suggestions be on products and timings?
I don't repair clocks, I have them repaired by specialists at the top of their game. I'm just pointing out to you that your clock is not the same as any more recently made clock and in some ways that makes a difference to how you should deal with it.
 

Snorty

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Fair do’s.....I can only be led by the advice that I am given :thumb:
 

Snorty

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Don’t know about anyone else but I’ve got to say, I do find polishing brass strangely rewarding!
Back plate clean up part way through now....I’m quite pleased with it so far :)
7EB26ABB-A55A-4C00-84CE-1E1387148D53.jpeg
 
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Snorty

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Guys, I’m just noticing the following and wanted to get some thoughts please. The crutch seems to have a bit of play on the anchor arbor.
I would have thought there should be none? If there should be no play, what method should I use to get rid of it?
Video below to demo...


quick additional question too....is it possible to disassemble the winding barrel further to allow easier cleaning?

4ABD9BA4-EC0F-4B6B-AD1F-347EF53A2342.jpeg
 
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shutterbug

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That's how you set the beat. But I shouldn't move so easily that it moves on its own as the clock runs.
You can take it apart, but it won't help much for cleaning. Polishing - yes. That elongated hole allows the wheel to slip off the arbor. It's spring loaded. I can't tell if that pin is holding it too. If so, I don't think I'd mess with it.
 

Mike Phelan

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The pin is there so the hole doesn't move. Difficult to move as it wasn't intended to be dismantled. It all looks perfectly clean. Just leave it as SB says.
 

Snorty

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Thank gents. I think the crutch might end up moving when the movement is in motion. I think I’ll need to investigate a way to get it to grip a little more.
That’s fine re the winding barrel. It didn’t appear too keen on coming apart when I was looking at it yesterday. It really was purely for polishing. I’ll just have to give it a rub as it stands. I don’t want it coming to bits irreversibly on me!
 

Jim DuBois

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Generally, the crutch is pinned firmly to the verge arbor in clocks of the period of yours. Sometimes, pinned, sometimes they have a small screw, other times they are soldered or riveted in place. Your clock would be placed in beat by slightly bending the crutch wire in the correct direction when the verge and crutch are firmly connected. Leaving it loose will result in a clock that does not run or will not run reliably unless the connection is slip-resistant to the point of not being overridden by the force of the escape wheel on the verge. Depending on how yours is held in place today will suggest the best solution to tighten it, and I can't tell that from the video.
 

Snorty

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Thanks Jim, I’ve tried to screenshot the method of attachment. It appears to be 2 brass collars, one to either side of the crutch. I’m at work just now
but will try and get some better photos when I’m back at the house.
To me, it feels like it was designed to slip for beat setting but has just loosened up too much. No doubt the cleaning solution gave a helping hand in the process.
A8AB0485-7C27-4882-8247-70E8F01D3F0F.png
 

novicetimekeeper

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As stated above, the original would have been permanently fixed. Any possible adjustment would be a later modification. The crutch on an 18th century clock is wrought iron and easily bent to set in beat.
 

Snorty

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I set the beat previously by doing just that & bending the crutch. I’m not sure if it was slipping at that point or not as I hadn’t any further knowledge of it then.
The brass collars look to have been pressed on so I may need to add a little solder or something to stop the slip.
 

Snorty

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Passing thoughts here folks....I have cleaned up the centre arbor as best I can. I have read bits and pieces on people oiling them before reassembly....I can’t imagine that’s a great idea? Is it worth doing anything with it or should I just leave it as is?
7B8AB422-37C5-43B5-B4DF-BCE2E0F8725E.jpeg

61E46150-11E2-4BDB-98BA-E1C3048DD092.jpeg
 

Mike Phelan

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I'd only oil things you cannot see when plates are fitted, (such as the front centre arbor which the cannon pinion will cover) otherwise just oil pivots after fitting the plates.
 

Snorty

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Have to say this made me laugh....all these inside one winding barrel! Clearly they couldn’t be bothered to extract them every time the clock was re-gutted! :chuckling: A8505D97-A728-487E-BD04-6DFDC6848578.jpeg
 
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Snorty

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What are peoples opinion on this boss....to me, it doesn’t look like it has ever been silvered yet the chapter rings definitely were.
could this simply have been polished brass?

FFBD2A53-ED3A-476E-97EE-42709AA37AE0.jpeg image.jpg
 
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Snorty

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Perhaps it has just lost its layer faster than the other parts of the dial. I just didn’t want to silver something that wasn’t originally that way!
Looks like I have a lot of slivering to do in that case as I think all three rings will be needing re-done.
 

svenedin

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