Mainspring -Servicing Full-Length •

Discussion in 'Hints & How-to's' started by bangster, Jan 1, 2010.

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  1. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    #1 bangster, Jan 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
    [copied from a Useful Hints thread.]

    I've seen various procedures described for getting at the full length of a mainspring, for cleaning, inspecting, and lubing. Some of them call for stretching it out full length. The method I use is the simplest and easiest I know of. It involves little stretching, and no special setup. I didn't invent it, and don't recall where I learned it...probably from somebody on this MB. I imagine a lot of people use it.

    mainspring 1.jpg mainspring 2.jpg ms clean - end.jpg
    With the spring unwound, I hook it over the handle of my Joe Collins winder (free plug for JOE, who makes the best 'uns around)...between the coils, not through the center. A screwdriver clamped in a bench vise will do as well. From there, simply walk up it a few inches at a time, letting it coil back up below, until I get to the center, then releasing it a few inches at a time so's it can coil back up normally. I don't try to mess with those last few tight coils in the center, which don't do anything anyway. But I do check for cracks or tears in the arbor-hook hole or nearby.

    Pulling it through, I scrub it down full length with steel wool dipped in mineral spirits, removing rust and crud and inspecting for cracks and problem areas. I wipe it down full length with a rag as I let it coil back up. Then I take a rag charged with mainspring lube, and lube it all the way up, and back again. All done.

    Barring problems, it takes under five minutes to service a mainspring...and you never have to walk away from your spring winder.

    bangster


    Since writing this, I've switched from ms lube on a rag to Slick-50 1-Lube, applied with fingers. No other changes.
    3/30/14
     
  2. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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