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Need some assistance, please

Chuck Crouch

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I have a major friggin problem. I was reassembling a French movement. I am thinking it is possibly circa 1870-ish or later. It has the French recoil.
As I was slipping the escape wheel into place, I bent the pivot. I did not feel I had too much pressure as it was only the weight of the back plate. I was holding the movement at the barrels. When I tried to straighten the pivot it broke.
I need some advice as to how to repair the pivot as I am almost sure I will not find one in a parts house. It broke at the shoulder of the arbor. The arbor is only 1.03-mm.
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Is there someone on this forum that I can send the original to and have another arbor and pivots made? I don't believe I have enough lathe experience to make this myself. At this point, I am not sure if I could make an arbor that I could get the pinion and the escape wheel off.
Thanks
 

Jaap

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Mar 6, 2013
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Hi Chuck, you would need a watchmakerslathe. Then you could drill a 0.3 mm hole in the broken end with a tungsten carbide drill and put some pivot wire in the hole. Else, I would farm it out.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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I think there is a list of clock machinist in the sticky notes.

I've used Fendley's for many years, now Fendley & Cox, with good results. I also know that David LaBounty is very good.

Good luck, Willie X
 
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Chuck Crouch

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I have a Harbor Freight mini-lathe I use for polishing pivots. It did come with a tail stock to accept centering tools and a drill chuck. I believe it might work but I have never attempted to replace a pivot. I am thinking my first try should not be on a customers clock. I have some other movements that I bought for learning how clocks work and service/assembly. I believe I need to farm this out to be sure it is done by someone that can do it correctly. I certainly do not want to split the arbor or get the hole off center.
Jaap, is this something that you can do?
 

Chuck Crouch

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Hey Willie, I am not sure what you mean by sticky notes? Where can I find those? I can also try to google the two names you offered. Thanks
 

Steven Thornberry

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Tim Orr

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Good evening, Chuck!

French clocks have notoriously hard – even glass-hard – pivots that snap off if you just look at them wrong. As a good friend told me when I broke a pivot, "We've all done it. No need to feel bad." He wouldn't even try repivoting, even though he was a retired machinist, because he said the arbor was so hard that he didn't feel confident about annealing it soft enough to drill then re-tempering without distorting the whole thing.

At his recommendation, I used Fendley & Cox, like Willie, and was very pleased with the result. Got it back in a week. Very good investment by comparison to the blood, toil, tears, and sweat I'd have had to invest if I'd tried it myself. I hear they use some kind of laser system to do the work.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 
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bruce linde

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fyi, labounty currently has a six (plus) month waiting list.
 

gmorse

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Hi Tim,
He wouldn't even try repivoting, even though he was a retired machinist, because he said the arbor was so hard that he didn't feel confident about annealing it soft enough to drill then re-tempering without distorting the whole thing.
Carbide drills of decent quality and appropriate length to the task, (not used PCB drills!), make this possible without the need to anneal, but at this size the precision of the alignment that's essential means that it still isn't easy and requires accurate equipment and great care in setting it up. See Jerry Kieffer's various posts on the subject.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jaap

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Mar 6, 2013
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I have a Harbor Freight mini-lathe I use for polishing pivots. It did come with a tail stock to accept centering tools and a drill chuck. I believe it might work but I have never attempted to replace a pivot. I am thinking my first try should not be on a customers clock. I have some other movements that I bought for learning how clocks work and service/assembly. I believe I need to farm this out to be sure it is done by someone that can do it correctly. I certainly do not want to split the arbor or get the hole off center.
Jaap, is this something that you can do?
I've done it in the past on a french clock. But live in the Netherlands. So I would look closer by home..
Good luck.
 

Chuck Crouch

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Jan 23, 2019
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Hey Tim,
thanks for the advice. I reached out to Fendley and Cox yesterday late afternoon. I hope to hear from them sometime today. I have also reached out to the local NAWCC chapter here in AZ also.
Thanks to everyone for their assistance and advice. I need to learn this part of the service. I guess it is not an IF you break a pivot , it is more of a WHEN.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Thanks to everyone for their assistance and advice. I need to learn this part of the service. I guess it is not an IF you break a pivot , it is more of a WHEN.
Chuck

My personal method and reasons as follows.

In the planning of any job, I try to place myself at the greatest advantage. In this case as others have mentioned, the arbor is likely brittle hard.
While it can likely be drilled with the proper drill designed for the job such as a "Armor " drill, you must be equipped to control the drilling process as suggested by the manufacturer.

My first step in this case would be to anneal only the length of the arbor that will be drilled. This is easily done per the annealing devise shown in the first two photos, one clock and one watch arbor. The leg is heated from the bottom up until the arbor section making contact is reached, and then that section is heated red hot. Leave it sit for ten minutes to cool and the arbor section making contact is annealed for drilling.

In your original photos, if the arbor is 1mm, the pivot appears to be less than .5mm. This is roughly the size of some pocket watch pivots.
In order to assure success and quality work, you must have a lathe tailstock with perfect alignment. Finding a Lathe that comes with the required alignment is very difficult unless your willing to pay a very high price and this includes watchmakers lathes. One option can be seen in the third photo per the blue arrow. In this case, a factory option that allows adjustment in ALL directions can be utilized to achieve perfect alignment initially and anytime it may be lost.

In addition the arbor must run true to spindle rotation. Again in the third photo, shows a watch center wheel mounted for drilling, To assure that the end of the arbor runs true, it is supported by brass stock (red arrow) mounted in the tool post. The brass stock was spot drilled by the lathe spindle and then drilled in size to match the arbor, this assures that the arbor tip will run true to the spindle rotation. I find that this is more accurate than I am able to adjust a steady rest for small work.

The key to success is the quality of the drills used and be designed to drill the material being drilled. While quality is not cheap, neither are parts damaged beyond practical repair. If the tool has no name and manufacturer instructions for use, I would suggest you only work on items that justify the risk.

Another key to success is to spot drill the work piece utilizing the same tip angle as the drill to be used. This assures that the drill will run true.
The fourth photo shows a .4mm spotting drill top and a .4mm drill bottom both carbide designed for steel.

Jerry Kieffer

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Old Rivers

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In addition the arbor must run true to spindle rotation. Again in the third photo, shows a watch center wheel mounted for drilling, To assure that the end of the arbor runs true, it is supported by brass stock (red arrow) mounted in the tool post. The brass stock was spot drilled by the lathe spindle and then drilled in size to match the arbor, this assures that the arbor tip will run true to the spindle rotation. I find that this is more accurate than I am able to adjust a steady rest for small work.



View attachment 677368
Jerry,
Your improvised "steady rest" is a brilliant idea - I will try this!

Bill
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Jerry,
Your improvised "steady rest" is a brilliant idea - I will try this!

Bill
Bill
Thanks for the kind words.

However, I failed to mention that once the hole is drilled, you can not touch the cross slide hand wheel until the work piece is removed.

In addition, we often need to machine on the end of a work piece where a steady rest is to cumbersome or inaccurate because of work piece size.

The same method can be used per the setup in the attached photo. The non critical slot in the support was filed with the edge of a course file in about 30 seconds. The rest I think is self explanatory.

I think I will bring these examples to my watch class down your way in December and place on the demo list
Jerry Kieffer

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Chuck Crouch

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Jan 23, 2019
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Hey all, Richard Cox repaired the escape wheel that I broke the pivot. Clock is running great. However, there is an issue in the strike train that was the reason for the service to begin.
A little history for this service. I was told the clock would occasionally strike and always the wrong hour. Clock was very dirty. I did the tear down and ultrasonic bath. Polished all pivots for both time and strike trains. Checked all pivot holes for wear or out of roundness. None appeared to be bad. During the assembly is when I broke bent the pivot of the escape wheel. Now the movement has been reassembled, oiled and allowed to run. Continued to run for almost eight hours. I was working on another clock at the time when it made a strange noise. Not sure what to compare the noise to but at the seven hour it only strikes for three. Having a look at the count wheel, the strike chain was now in the position for the half hour between 3 and 4. Since then, I have manually drove the clock through several 24-hour rotations without issue. I have watched the strike wheels for binding. I don't know what the noise was and I do not see anything that looks to be "wobble" or possibly bent or out of alignment when the train runs.
I guess my question is, It has barrel springs and I was wondering if the barrel could have possibly slipped? My other thought was the "warn" tab missed the pin on the warn rotation. I don't really think that happened because it would have still run the 7 hour strike and not spin forward to the 3. :emoji_confused:
Thanks for any suggestions
 

shutterbug

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Not likely the barrel unless it is missing a tooth. But if the mainspring wasn't cleaned and lubed well, you might have heard a sticking coil or two suddenly release.
 

Chuck Crouch

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Jan 23, 2019
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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did here in SE AZ. Little cool but plenty of sun and friends to enjoy the day. Now it is back to work time. I am still trying to locate the why to the problem I have in this French clock. What I do know is the #1 wheel drives the count wheel and drives the #2 lift (Hammer) wheel. #2 is driving the #3, the lock wheel. The lock is also the count arm and it is held in the count sequence by rises and flats on the count wheel. The flats between the rises mark the half hour and the 1 hour. #3 drives #4 which is the warn wheel which locks against the tab from the lift arm. #4 also drives the fan.
I don't have a good way to hold the movement outside the frame so I have to operate the movement manually holding it in my hand. I will try to explain what I have seen although it happens so fast it is hard to find the why. Rotating the minute hand lifts the count arm which releases the lock wheel (#3). The lock wheel rotates 1/4 rotation as the warn wheel (#4) does a 3/4 rotation and locks against the tab for the lift arm. Sometimes, and not every rotation of the minute hand, just as the lock releases, the barrel releases power. It happens so fast hat I am unable to locate either of the locking pins until it stops. Once it stops, none of the locking pins are where they are supposed to be in relation to the lock tabs. Continuing to rotating the minute hand to either the hour or half-hour only lifts the lock tab and when the lift falls the lock just falls. None of the wheels rotate as if the spring has no power. If I rotate the lock wheel by finger pressure, the train will operate and lock normally. As I said, it does not happen all the time which would make it easier to locate the problem. It is extremely intermittent and I realize if you cannot see the fault in the operation it will be hard for you fully understand.
I have looked for warn pivot holes, bent pivots, bent locking pin, worn lock tabs and most anything I can think of. I am looking to anyone, new or long time guys and gals, that may have seen a similar or close to this problem. I have been in this for a little over 6 years now and this is the first I have ever seen or heard of this type of run away and not continuing until all power is expended. Can I have a setup problem? I possibly don't have one or both lock and warn wheels in the proper sequence locations? I always take pictures during the disassembly for reassembly and where I see the wheels in the picture may be the wrong location to start. I am rally confused and any advice, suggestion or we are sending prayers is accepted.
I am attaching pictures of the wheels.

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