Minute and Hour Hands Won't Turn

Bill Stockton

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Feb 4, 2017
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I'm working on a South Bend grade 219. There was a problem with the winding/setting mechanism and I replaced the clutch spring because the old one appeared a bit "stretched". Also it was pretty filthy so completely disassembled, cleaned and reassembled it and the train runs find. Problem is that the minute and hour hands don't turn. Center pinion turns but when I put the hour wheel and hands on, they don't work. Its like the center staff is spinning inside the center pinion. Any suggestions as to what the problem is:???:
 

richiec

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I would advise removing the dial, installing the hour wheel and hands and see what is not turning. Chances are the cannon pinion may be loose on the center wheel or the gears are not engaging.
 
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DoughBoyWatches

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I'm working on a South Bend grade 219. There was a problem with the winding/setting mechanism and I replaced the clutch spring because the old one appeared a bit "stretched". Also it was pretty filthy so completely disassembled, cleaned and reassembled it and the train runs find. Problem is that the minute and hour hands don't turn. Center pinion turns but when I put the hour wheel and hands on, they don't work. Its like the center staff is spinning inside the center pinion. Any suggestions as to what the problem is:???:
Question? Are the hands not turning when you try to set the time or are the hands not moving as far as time keeping?
if its not allowing you to set the time then my guess is that spring needs to be replaced because its not strong enough to allow the clutch to engage.
If its not keeping time then is most likely a loose cannon pinion, not familiar with south bend but if its not the canon pinion it could be the setting mechanism for example i know certain models of the elgin have a mechanism that moves a gear forward to engage the wheel that turns the center cannon pinion and hour wheel, so if the mechanism ever gets stuck in such position bc a case has a bad stem sleeve, or improper oiling, etc. the hands wont turn or at least not keep great time.
 

John Runciman

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I found a link with the picture of the watch. It would be Nice to see a picture the dial side see if we can see a problem? Then I notice on the backside there's interesting screw with an arrow? Some watches have mechanisms to put them into setting when they're out of the case. How'd of curiosity is this watch in the case are out of the case right now

What was the original problem with the winding and setting? In other words whited whited you perceive there was a problem.

https://southbendhorology.com/watches/grades/16-size-grades/16-size-model-2/16-size-grade-219
 

Bill Stockton

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Feb 4, 2017
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I may have found the problem. Appears in the first photo that when the pinion gears mesh with the minute wheel is when the hands quit turning. Then after looking at 3 center pinions, I noticed that as in the second photo they have what appear to be crimp marks. So my conclusion is that when there is even slight resistance the pinion is slipping on the center wheel staff instead of rotating with it. Therefore I need to crimp the pinion "barrel" ever so slightly to create friction so they rotate together and therefore turn the hands. Although fairly new at this, I have serviced several watches and have not had this problem. SO, is my analysis correct? If so, what tool do I use to crimp the pinion? If not, what else could be the problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

IMG_2997.jpg IMG_3001.jpg
 
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Bill Stockton

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Feb 4, 2017
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Question? Are the hands not turning when you try to set the time or are the hands not moving as far as time keeping?
if its not allowing you to set the time then my guess is that spring needs to be replaced because its not strong enough to allow the clutch to engage.
If its not keeping time then is most likely a loose cannon pinion, not familiar with south bend but if its not the canon pinion it could be the setting mechanism for example i know certain models of the elgin have a mechanism that moves a gear forward to engage the wheel that turns the center cannon pinion and hour wheel, so if the mechanism ever gets stuck in such position bc a case has a bad stem sleeve, or improper oiling, etc. the hands wont turn or at least not keep great time.
I have replaced the spring and the watch now winds and sets well. Another problem also contributed to the winding, setting problem in that the "sleeve" inside the case stem was broken. Had that replaced. I posted a followup with photos this morning.
 

Bill Stockton

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Feb 4, 2017
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Mishawaka, Indiana
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I found a link with the picture of the watch. It would be Nice to see a picture the dial side see if we can see a problem? Then I notice on the backside there's interesting screw with an arrow? Some watches have mechanisms to put them into setting when they're out of the case. How'd of curiosity is this watch in the case are out of the case right now

What was the original problem with the winding and setting? In other words whited whited you perceive there was a problem.

https://southbendhorology.com/watches/grades/16-size-grades/16-size-model-2/16-size-grade-219
Thanks for the input. Please see my followup below. In addition, yes the screw with the arrow adjusts the winding/setting mechanism. Best way to adjust it is with the movement in the case without the dial so you can see the effect of turning the screw.
 

Skutt50

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Mar 14, 2008
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is my analysis correct?
Probably. Just make sure that the minute wheel is loose. If for some reason it is not, the canon pinion will not turn.....

If so, what tool do I use to crimp the pinion?
I use a staking tool and a reamer. The reamer goes inside the canon pinion and the canon pinion/reamer is held against a short stump in the staking tool. Then with a punch that looks like a sharpened screwdriver, I give the canon pinion a light tap, usually where the old mark is on the canon pinion.. Test on the watch and if needed, repeat. Just light taps, nothing hard... it may become too tight......

The reamer prevents that the canon pinion becomes too flat and is good for holding the canon pinion in place.
Some use other tools but a reamer works fine for me.
 

DoughBoyWatches

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Jan 5, 2021
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I may have found the problem. Appears in the first photo that when the pinion gears mesh with the minute wheel is when the hands quit turning. Then after looking at 3 center pinions, I noticed that as in the second photo they have what appear to be crimp marks. So my conclusion is that when there is even slight resistance the pinion is slipping on the center wheel staff instead of rotating with it. Therefore I need to crimp the pinion "barrel" ever so slightly to create friction so they rotate together and therefore turn the hands. Although fairly new at this, I have serviced several watches and have not had this problem. SO, is my analysis correct? If so, what tool do I use to crimp the pinion? If not, what else could be the problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

View attachment 634424 View attachment 634425
just as i thought loose cannon pinion. there are tools you can buy on ebay like described above but they can be quite expensive $50+ there are other ways to do it if you dont have those tools such as a nail clipper. But please note it doesnt take much to crimp these and there is a good chance you will damage it so try and find something you can slide the pinion onto before you crimp like wire, needle, pin, old center wheel that fits, sometimes i crimp them right on the center wheel. BUT Honestly I would be prepared to find a donor if this is something you have never done.
 

John Runciman

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Perhaps we should slow down here and not jump to conclusions even though it probably is the canon pinion needed to be tightened.

If the canon pinion is off and you push on the minute wheel can it turn effortlessly? Also of course the watch has to be in running mode when it's out of the case otherwise you cannot drive the setting parts and it definitely can slip.

Another way to tell if you're going to have a problem before you even get the hands-on is. When the canon pinions then the minute wheel hour wheel etc. before the dial is on you can do it after the dial but it's nice to it before put the watch in setting and see how much friction you feel. If there is zero friction you're going to have a problem. But how much friction did need that's kinda subject to the particular watch and it's subjective.

I give the canon pinion a light tap, usually where the old mark is on the canon pinion
Fortunately on American pocket watches the canon pinion Usually take a lot of force to do anything with them. You do have to be careful though if you attempt to tighten in the wrong place ill actually get worse. So ideally would be nice to find wherever they did it before. It can become challenging if there is multiple marks.
 

Bill Stockton

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Feb 4, 2017
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Mishawaka, Indiana
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Thank you, Thank you and Thank you to all who responded. Mission accomplished! First I tried what sounded like the quick and easiest way by crimping the pinion while on the staff. Didn't work. I assume that is because there was no room between the inside wall of the pinion and the staff. Then used my staking kit. Used the suggestion of inserting a "reamer" (small broaching tool) into the pinion then put it on the anvil of the staking kit with a flat side of the broach facing up. The screw driver shaped staked was too big so used the smallest rounded tip stake and tapped it. Worked great. HOWEVER, after I installed the pinion, noticed that I had broken off one of the teeth...CRAP! So got another pinion from one of my sacrificial watches and did it again but more carefully. Seemed a bit tight so rotated the broach inside the pinion to take away a little of the "crimp" and it worked fine. The watch is fully assembled and after 15 hours is still running and keeping acceptably good time. Thanks again to you all.
 
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Chris Radek

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Excellent, well done! To avoid this wear happening again, be sure to lube the cannon pinion because it's a frictional connection of steel against steel. I like to use a dab of 8201 there.

That spot gets thinner every time it wears away and has to be crimped more. The only prevention is routine service!
 
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