Newbie: Balance wheel/hairspring woes

Streetsnake

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Feb 28, 2021
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Hi all. Im trying to work on an Elgin model 7, Grade 291. Im having two issues. The first is that the hairspring may be rubbing on the balance wheel, thus keeping it to keep running. The second issue is that the roller jewel seems to be ”jumping” past the pallet fork when it does try to run. Can you please help me fix these problems. Not sure what to do. 282FB972-198E-438A-AA18-2F1BF021328E.jpeg
 

Rick Hufnagel

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The safety pin looks like it's been bent, just for a quick observation.

Just for some background info for people trying to help you, have you completely disassembled the movement and cleaned/checked everything? Mainspring cleaned and lubricated (or replaced), cleaned and lubricated the balance hole and cap jewels.. do the balance pivots look good and straight. Did the hairspring look centered when it was removed from the balance cock. Do all of the train wheels and pallet have acceptable end and side shake, or are any pivot holes excessively worn?

A good check of balance motion is to install the balance without the pallet in place. Give it a little puff of air and it should oscillate freely and continuously. I usually spin the movement around in different positions while the wheel is oscillating to check each position.
 

Streetsnake

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Feb 28, 2021
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The safety pin looks like it's been bent, just for a quick observation.

Just for some background info for people trying to help you, have you completely disassembled the movement and cleaned/checked everything? Mainspring cleaned and lubricated (or replaced), cleaned and lubricated the balance hole and cap jewels.. do the balance pivots look good and straight. Did the hairspring look centered when it was removed from the balance cock. Do all of the train wheels and pallet have acceptable end and side shake, or are any pivot holes excessively worn?

A good check of balance motion is to install the balance without the pallet in place. Give it a little puff of air and it should oscillate freely and continuously. I usually spin the movement around in different positions while the wheel is oscillating to check each position.
Thanks and sorry. Yes everything was disassembled cleaned and lubricated. Everything seems to be functioning as it should be. I believe the pivots are ok. What is the safety pin for?
 

Streetsnake

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[QUOTE A good check of balance motion is to install the balance without the pallet in place. Give it a little puff of air and it should oscillate freely and continuously. I usually spin the movement around in different positions while the wheel is oscillating to check each position.
[/QUOTE]

So I tried this. It is definately getting bound up somewhere. I'm guessing the hairspring rubbing on the balance wheel. Any suggestions on how to fix it? I know hairsprings are no fun to mess with. Ugh
 

Rick Hufnagel

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There is a good starting point!

Does it get bound up in all positions, or just in one position? If so, which way?

Have you demagnetized it?


You'll have to look in the very closely to see if it's rubbing on the balance cock or the arms. The overcoil looks pretty close to the balance cock, but it's hard to tell in a picture.
 

Skutt50

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The stud holding the balanc seems to be mounted a little bit too low. At the same time the overcoil seems to be very close to the balance cock.

This can be linked and the result of a bent hairspring. Someone may have lifted the cock with the balance stuck or excessive dangeling of the balance when moved.

If you remove the balance from the cock and look from the side you should be able to see if the hairspring is flat and round.
 
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roughbarked

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Yes. I don't approve of "I Guess it is touching". I'd rather hear, "I can see it is touching" or "I have looked to see if it is touching".
and speaking of bent, it looks like the inner regulating pin is bent and is likely causing the spring to appear bent.
 
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Streetsnake

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Yes. I don't approve of "I Guess it is touching". I'd rather hear, "I can see it is touching" or "I have looked to see if it is touching".
and speaking of bent, it looks like the inner regulating pin is bent and is likely causing the spring to appear bent.
Yes. It is touching. I can’t put it in a position were it doesn’t rub. I messed up the staff as well. I tried to replace it and bent the balance wheel. I’m going to set this aside until I get a new staff in and figure out what to do with the balance wheel.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Yes. It is touching. I can’t put it in a position were it doesn’t rub. I messed up the staff as well. I tried to replace it and bent the balance wheel. I’m going to set this aside until I get a new staff in and figure out what to do with the balance wheel.
While others have addresses the hair spring, I thought I would make a suggestion on your balance wheel repair.

I am going to make the assumption that you bent/damaged the center balance arm. If so, I would suggest the following option.

In most cases, the damage will occur in the area per the red arrow first photo. In these cases the popular publications and others will typically suggest the use of a staking set for repairs. However, the small diameters of staking punches can easily indent the thinner areas of a balance causing expansion and damage not easily repaired if repairable.

Personally I prefer the following.

(1) I machine a short steel cylinder the diameter of the ID of the balance per second photo and press in a machine vise. This is a very safe highly effective procedure the reforms the balance arm over its full length.

(2) When machining the cylinder, the front that makes contact with the balance is faced off at high speed for a smooth finish and is not touched.

(3) The rear is parted off and a center recess is machined per third photo assuring that the cylinder will seat square against the vise jaw.

For some years now, I have perform this procedure on a balance when replacing all staffs even if no damage is visible. Since doing so, along with other staking cautions, adjustments on the truing calipers have not been required in some cases or minimal in most cases.

Jerry Kieffer


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