Mainspring opinion

penjunky

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Mornin guys

Took a pic of two mainsprings, both from a 16s waltham 1899 model The one on the right is blue looking it came came from a 19j and is what you guys are saying already set, and the one on the left came from a 17j and it is white looking and stretched out to 13 inches from the center coil so I figure it's a fairly new spring (maybe white alloy) and it's the first spring that long I have ever taken out of a pocket watch.

Since waltham says it's the same spring for both 1899, and they both have the same hole in the end and right at the same width and thickness, I plan to put the one on the left in the 19j instead of having to buy a new one which I'm guessing would be about the same as for looks, but I wanted to get opinions before hand. It also has about 11 ½ turns in the coil when unwound so I'm guessing the length is OK.

Roger

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Skutt50

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I would install the white spring and check how the watch behaves.

If you get acceptable amplitude you should be fine!

Wind it little by little and make sure it doesn't start knocking, which might damage the impuls jewel.

If you don't get good amplitude you have to consider if it depends on the mainspring or the rest of the movement.
 
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penjunky

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I would install the white spring and check how the watch behaves.

If you get acceptable amplitude you should be fine!

Wind it little by little and make sure it doesn't start knocking, which might damage the impuls jewel.

If you don't get good amplitude you have to consider if it depends on the mainspring or the rest of the movement.
Thanks Skutt.

I've never yet had a new one but I did see a video of a new one and it was stretched out long like mine. Haven't got a reply from the guy I bought it from to see if he installed it new. I've been cleaning on the watch for about 3 hours now so hope I get everything right so I do have a good amplitude.I will wind as you say and keep an eye on the swing.

Roger
 
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Skutt50

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I've been cleaning on the watch for about 3 hours now
That should be a very clean watch....lol.

Don't forget to peg the jewel holes and to remove and clean the end stones of the balance.

Good luck with your watchmaking and don't forget to report back how it went.
 
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glenhead

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As you pointed out, all Waltham Model 1899s use the same mainspring. The original specification for them is that they're 2.8mm wide, either 0.18 or 0.19mm thick, and 640mm (25 inches) long. As you'd also already figured out, the one on the left is a new alloy spring. That's what they do when you uncoil a new alloy mainspring. They go on and on and on forever and have that nice reverse-S curve. New mainsprings for auto-winding wristwatches regularly have well over a full curl on the outer end.

The thinner mainspring was originally intended to be used with higher jewel counts. Higher jewel counts have less friction loss through the train, so they don't need as heavy a spring. A lot of modern alloy springs come only in the thinner version, as the alloys used have better elasticity than the older spring steels. In your case the difference between 17 and 19 jewels is a nit, so a lighter spring will serve both watches very well indeed.

When you want to get the 17j running again the springs (0.18mm thick) are readily available from the parts houses. Today's designation for them is the JA710 or MS-JA710.

Good luck with the watch!

Glen
 
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penjunky

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That should be a very clean watch....lol.

Don't forget to peg the jewel holes and to remove and clean the end stones of the balance.

Good luck with your watchmaking and don't forget to report back how it went.
We'll do Skutt.

I was hoping I could have me a show off to brag on. This is my baby and I'm treating it like a baby, even ordered a set of original looking fresh blued hands from Marty, a new balance staff from Daves watch parts and the dial is mint and got a nice case so I am hoping for the best.

Roger
 
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penjunky

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As you pointed out, all Waltham Model 1899s use the same mainspring. The original specification for them is that they're 2.8mm wide, either 0.18 or 0.19mm thick, and 640mm (25 inches) long. As you'd also already figured out, the one on the left is a new alloy spring. That's what they do when you uncoil a new alloy mainspring. They go on and on and on forever and have that nice reverse-S curve. New mainsprings for auto-winding wristwatches regularly have well over a full curl on the outer end.

The thinner mainspring was originally intended to be used with higher jewel counts. Higher jewel counts have less friction loss through the train, so they don't need as heavy a spring. A lot of modern alloy springs come only in the thinner version, as the alloys used have better elasticity than the older spring steels. In your case the difference between 17 and 19 jewels is a nit, so a lighter spring will serve both watches very well indeed.

When you want to get the 17j running again the springs (0.18mm thick) are readily available from the parts houses. Today's designation for them is the JA710 or MS-JA710.

Good luck with the watch!

Glen
Hi Glen.

The white one was actually closer to your figures than the old one, it was 2.77 wide and 0.19 thick. Since I was afraid to stretch it out for the length the horology lesson says a mainspring should be from 11 to 13 turns inside the barrel and this one was about 11 ½ so I figured the length was OK.

I did see somewhere that higher jeweled watches don't take as strong spring than the lower jewel. I will make a note of the numbers you gave.

The 17j like most of the rest I have, even this 19j has something broken, bent or missing and I have to rely on one to the other for parts. That's why I only working on waltham 1899 and 1908 cause almost every part from one fits the other. It's a hot mess.

Thanks...Roger
 

penjunky

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That should be a very clean watch....lol.

Don't forget to peg the jewel holes and to remove and clean the end stones of the balance.

Good luck with your watchmaking and don't forget to report back how it went.
 

penjunky

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That should be a very clean watch....lol.

Don't forget to peg the jewel holes and to remove and clean the end stones of the balance.

Good luck with your watchmaking and don't forget to report back how it went.
Hey Scutt. You ask me to post back my results.

Well after on and off for about a month I finally got this Riverside put together and it runs like a scared hant. The balance swings right at ¾ both ways from zero position, best amplitude I have ever had on a watch, best I can figure it's about a 260-70 degree swing and just to think I had 90 degree in my mind all these years, just hope it keeps time like it runs.

Many thanks for all your help...Roger

20201007_191521.jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi Roger,

On the subject of mainsprings, you might find this interesting, as it covers some theory and also includes useful calculators.

Regards,

Graham
 
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penjunky

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Hi Roger,

On the subject of mainsprings, you might find this interesting, as it covers some theory and also includes useful calculators.

Regards,

Graham
Thanks for all your help Graham

Seems I recall seeing this somewhere or one like it before but this time I bookmarked it and will study it.

Roger
 

penjunky

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Congratulations and thanks for the update.
Hey Skutt

Guess I put the horse before the cart. I replied back to you when I first got the watch running cause I was so excited that it ran so good, but it's ran now for 18 hours and loosing over a minute per hour. I watched it through my microscope and the seconds hand wants to stop ever so often and it's not rubbing the dial, so I figure I'll go back in to the train first cause it seems the balance has no interruption at all. All the jewels, pivots, and everything looked good to me but I've missed something. This watch has been a good teacher.

I did run across a thread where a guy was having the same problem with a waltham and a lot of guys posted possible causes so I kept the thread for further guide.

Roger
 

Skutt50

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Well been there, done that.....lol (I use a timing machine and a movement that seems to be running quite nicely may actually be quite "sick" when the timing machine has its say.....)

Some quick checks without taking the movement apart:

1 - Remove the seconds hand and check if it still is loosing time.
2 - Check the canon pinion is not too loose.
3 - Check that the regulator pins are properly gaped and that the hairspring is centered inbetween.
 

penjunky

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Well been there, done that.....lol (I use a timing machine and a movement that seems to be running quite nicely may actually be quite "sick" when the timing machine has its say.....)

Some quick checks without taking the movement apart:

1 - Remove the seconds hand and check if it still is loosing time.
2 - Check the canon pinion is not too loose.
3 - Check that the regulator pins are properly gaped and that the hairspring is centered inbetween.
Thanks Skutt, I'll do that first thing.

I read somewhere on this forum that the gap in the regulator pins supposed twice as wide as the thickness of the spring. I'll also check that the spring is hitting the outer pin on it's rotation opposite of hitting the inner pin, seen that on a video.

Roger

EDIT--Took the back off and watched it through my microscope, the balance, fork and escapement seems to run smooth and constant but I could see the seconds hand wheel stopping often.
 
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gmorse

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Hi Roger,

EDIT--Took the back off and watched it through my microscope, the balance, fork and escapement seems to run smooth and constant but I could see the seconds hand wheel stopping often.
Do you mean the 4th wheel?

Regards,

Graham
 

penjunky

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Hi Roger,



Do you mean the 4th wheel?

Regards,

Graham
Yea Graham, it's the fourth wheel.

Going to do what Skutt recommended first before taking it back apart.

Sometimes I talk like a guy that shouldnt be working on a watch lol.

Roger
 

gmorse

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Hi Roger,

Before you remove the seconds hand, check how tight it is on the extended arbor, that it isn't rubbing on the dial and also that the pipe is clear of the edges of the hole. When you do take it apart again, check all the train for damaged wheel teeth and pinion leaves and look for anything stuck in the tooth spaces.

Regards,

Graham
 

penjunky

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Hi Roger,

Before you remove the seconds hand, check how tight it is on the extended arbor, that it isn't rubbing on the dial and also that the pipe is clear of the edges of the hole. When you do take it apart again, check all the train for damaged wheel teeth and pinion leaves and look for anything stuck in the tooth spaces.

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham

I checked and the seconds hand isn't rubbing on the dial and is clear of the hole. I will check the wheel teeth and pinion leaves as you say.

As for anything stuck in the tooth spaces, it's odd to me that I'm always finding this white blob stuff that looks like white jelly. I cleaned it from several places, and cleaned the whole watch again in naptha before I put it together, (which makes about the fifth time) this time took a circular electric toothbrush to it, looked at all the parts under my microscope and didn't see anything and put it together then today when looking at it I saw several white jelly looking blobs again and I have no idea what it is nor how it's getting there. Before I cleaned it the last time I got a ball of that white stuff from the escapement cannon, it was soft just like jelly with no fibers nor nothing solid I could tell.

However, since I don't have any way to polish pivots I did put some brasso on a tissue and scrubbed the pivots which seemed to make them cleaner. Don't know if I'm not getting all that off or maybe lint or what but none is there that I can see until later. I am wondering if maybe the naptha might be turning the grease I used on the wheel teeth white or peeling off the finish. Any way like it or not it has to go back to the cleaners yet another time.

I have been accusing this watch of playing mind games with me by the way some of the things have played out. Maybe it's haunted or something.

Roger
 

gmorse

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Hi Roger,

I am wondering if maybe the naptha might be turning the grease I used on the wheel teeth white
Do I read this as meaning you've greased the wheel teeth? If so, that's totally wrong; wheel teeth are never, never lubricated, with the exception of the escape wheel teeth. I think you should tell us exactly how you're cleaning it and what lubricants you've applied where!

Regards,

Graham
 

penjunky

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Hi Roger,



Do I read this as meaning you've greased the wheel teeth? If so, that's totally wrong; wheel teeth are never, never lubricated, with the exception of the escape wheel teeth. I think you should tell us exactly how you're cleaning it and what lubricants you've applied where!

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham

Well I guess I'll tell on my self since truth is stranger than fiction.

I did grease the wheel teeth just a tad and this is the first time I ever have done it simply because I read in one of those lubricant charts somewhere to do so, every moving parts must be lubricated (metal on metal) but it didn't specify any particular watch as I recall. Also somewhere else I read to oil the escapement and fourth wheel teeth but none on any other wheel teeth.

I grease all the winding mechanism teeth and stem and I grease the case sleeve and stem with KT22 and the mainspring barrel with 8200 breaking grease..

Except for the pallet, I oil the escapement and fourth wheel jewels and escapement teeth and balance jewels with moebius 9020, and the second and third wheel jewels and shafts on the hour and minute hand and a bit on the mainspring and arbor with moebius hp 9104

I clean, soak and rinse with naptha, regular and circular electric tooth brush, another stiffer brush and a eyelash curler that women use to clean wheel teeth and pinion leaves and peg wood to get into the holes on the pillar plate and jewels.

So if you say I did a no-no then either I have totally misunderstood what I read or was reading lubrication for something besides a watch. (adult ADD in my case)

Sure glad you showed up and thanks.

Roger...2+2=5
 

gmorse

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Hi Roger,

Well, I'm glad that's clarified what's going on. I suggest that 9104 will do very well on the barrel and centre wheel arbors, but that's all, 9020 for the rest of the train is what's usually recommended, and 9010 on the balance for smaller calibres. 8213 is a special braking grease designed for automatic barrel walls only, where the spring bridle has to hold on to the wall but be able to slip when it becomes fully wound by the automatic mechanism, whereas 8200 is a straight grease and is good for mainsprings which don't have slipping bridles.

What are you putting on the escape teeth? Moebius recommend 941 for slower trains and 9415 for faster, (36,000), trains, but I've found that the latter is good on all trains, even including verges. It's a grease which only becomes a liquid when the teeth contact the pallets, so it tends to stay put and not migrate.

The point about lubricating all metal to metal surfaces is valid, but that's solely for situations where there's sliding friction; the contact between wheel teeth and pinion leaves is theoretically rolling, not sliding, although in practice, especially with pinion leaf counts below ten, there is some engaging friction, but nevertheless, the teeth are never lubricated.

Naphtha will act as a degreaser and is quite good for a pre-clean, but it won't necessarily remove all the tarnish and surface dirt, at least without a lot of scrubbing. Commercially available cleaners such as the L&R products contain detergents, different solvents and other ingredients which are more effective, including some with ammonia which has the effect of brightening metal surfaces.

The electric toothbrush is an interesting idea which should be more effective than simple hand brushing, and the pegwood for the jewels, other holes and pinion leaves is fine.

The BHI document on the practical lubrication of clocks and watches is a good guide to follow.

Regards,

Graham
 

penjunky

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What are you putting on the escape teeth? Moebius recommend 941 for slower trains and 9415 for faster, (36,000), trains, but I've found that the latter is good on all trains, even including verges. It's a grease which only becomes a liquid when the teeth contact the pallets, so it tends to stay put and not migrate.
HI Graham

I use the moebius 9020 on escapement teeth, but I will certainly check that 9415 for sure.

I got the watch apart today and going to clean it up and won't lubricate the teeth or leaves, this is the first time I have did it anyway:???::???::???:?

I took the seconds hand off first, wind it a bit and the fourth wheel still stops/hesitates often so I will try to find why.

I plan to get away from naptha, it's not doing that great of an all around job and I have already been checking into other cleaners including the L&R.

I bookmarked the BHI document from a thread where you had posted it and studied it a couple of times. maybe that's where I seen all moving parts should be lubricated but not sure. I've been trying to stay with the advice I'm getting on here, but for some reason on this watch I have went backwards on it. Reminds me of my past construction days, I will do 20 jobs perfect with no mistakes and everything works well but there is always been a job that came along and nothing went right, full of mistakes and do-overs maybe this watch is one of them.

Have a great day...Roger
 

gmorse

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Hi Roger,

I bookmarked the BHI document from a thread where you had posted it and studied it a couple of times. maybe that's where I seen all moving parts should be lubricated but not sure.
I fear you're mistaken. Although in the second paragraph of the Introduction, (section 2), it states, 'The purpose of lubricating a watch or clock is to minimise friction between points of contact.', which may be ambiguous, but it goes on to qualify this at the bottom of page 1 to state that, 'Oil in the wrong place, such as wheel teeth, will retain dust and accelerate wear.'.

Regards,

Graham
 

penjunky

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Hi Roger,



I fear you're mistaken. Although in the second paragraph of the Introduction, (section 2), it states, 'The purpose of lubricating a watch or clock is to minimise friction between points of contact.', which may be ambiguous, but it goes on to qualify this at the bottom of page 1 to state that, 'Oil in the wrong place, such as wheel teeth, will retain dust and accelerate wear.'.

Regards,

Graham
Yea Graham, I do find my self often misinterpreting what I read quite a bit, It's been with me a lifetime that's a fault I have never gotten over.

Like on this forum, I'll find a thread of what I'm studying at the time, read it, then move on through the watch repair section, click on more threads that interest me, read them and when I;m all finished I've lost the needle in the haystack again and have to jump in there and try to find it, nothing but confusion.

But, on another note, here lately I have only been searching for advice on the particular part of the watch I'm working on, taking notes as I go so maybe if I can stick to and learn one part at a time I might get over my "DUH" situation.

Roger
 

penjunky

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1 - Remove the seconds hand and check if it still is loosing time.
2 - Check the canon pinion is not too loose.
3 - Check that the regulator pins are properly gaped and that the hairspring is centered inbetween.
Hey Skutt, have a question.

Still working on this riverside, it was loosing about one minute and 10 seconds per hour cause the 4th wheel was hesitating often, some of the teeth were flat causing this, so I replaced it and it's not hesitating and now it's only loosing about 50 seconds per hour. I've checked everything in the watch and can't find anything else to cause it to loose that much time. The train runs smooth and free and so does the balance when in the watch with just the hairspring and staff. However I had to replace the hairspring cause the original one was kinked really bad and then broke and I notice it swings slow when assembled and wound but with good amplitude. Been searching the forum trying to find how much time the watch would gain if I shortened the hairspring but can't find the answer I'm looking for.

So my question is, could it gain much time if I shorten the spring say one centimeter? Can't find any chart to go by or any answers to this.

Been looking at a timing machine, shows the BPH and beat error and so forth but right now I am checking out a lathe, accs. and a few tools and haven't yet got the Fried repair Manuel got to take it one step at a time.

Thanks...Roger
 

Skutt50

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From your description it sounds like it is a balance/hairspring problem. You don't need a timing machine to confirm this but it is a very useful tool, so keep looking for one.
Try the following:
1 - Find a watch with a seconds hand that is running with the same BPH as your watch should have. Lay it flat, Dial Up, on your bench.
2 - Remove the balance from the movement and support it by hanging in the hairspring in some make shift holder. The idea is to have the balance to stand on the watch. The spiral will be shaped like a cone. No problem!
3 - Give the balance a touch so it starts to oscillate.
4 - Now observe the seconds hand and at the same time count the oscillations of the balance. If I remember correctly you should have 150 swings during one minute for a 1800BPS balance.
5 - If you have less, move the point where you hang the hairspring a bit. 1cm could be a good start, and repeat........

I use a pocket watch with a fish eye crystal for timing and some self closing tweezers to hold the hairspring. The tweezers are in turn mounted in a small stand on the desk.

In this llink there is a picture from my set up a bit down in the thread.
Hairspring vibration stand.
You can read more on this subject by searching for "vibrating hairspring".

And regarding your question: I have not seen or heard of such a table. I think it would be difficult to make one since each makers hairspring/balance combination probably would be unique......

Good luck with the task.
 
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penjunky

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- If you have less, move the point where you hang the hairspring a bit. 1cm could be a good start, and repeat........
Hey skutt

That's a neat set up you have, I've seen it before but I guess I missed the point of how it works. So if it's swinging at a slow right rate you move the locking tweezers a bit to see if the swing changes to give you an idea of how much to shorten the spring? I have to get a couple of tools anyway so will see what I can come up with to try your way.

So far I have checked this watch with my quartz—extra slow, and also placed another waltham which keeps excellent time side by side and counted the fork movement and the other waltham fork moves more times than this watch does in the same time frame and can even see that the spring doesn't expand and contract as fast so that's why I figure the spring might need adjusted.

I'll keep trying and reading more threads on the subject and I do believe I will fix this frankenwatch sooner or later.

Thanks again...Roger
 

Skutt50

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counted the fork movement and the other waltham fork moves more times than this watch does
Well it sounds like you have the answer here...... The hairspring is too long!

So if it's swinging at a slow right rate you move the locking tweezers a bit to see if the swing changes to give you an idea of how much to shorten the spring?
NO! You keep changing the attachment point until you have the correct BPH. Then, before you cut it, you add a bit for the attachment of the stud and the distance to the regulating pins. Remember, the regulating pins are a bit away from the attachment point at the stud and you need to allow for that or you will have a fast balance i.e. a short hairspring.
 
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penjunky

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NO! You keep changing the attachment point until you have the correct BPH. Then, before you cut it, you add a bit for the attachment of the stud and the distance to the regulating pins. Remember, the regulating pins are a bit away from the attachment point at the stud and you need to allow for that or you will have a fast balance i.e. a short hairspring.

Thanks skutt, now I think I understand the whole picture, glad you explained it. I'll keep your reply and use it when I get to work on the spring.

When I first ran across the vibrating threads I was picturing the hairspring vibrating was maybe vibrating up and down when the watch was running and they were after a fix.

Many thanks...Roger
 
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