Please step away from the soldering iron...

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Willys_1, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    57
    1
    8
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I started working on this Junghans mantle clock and opened a can of worms. The owner said that a "clock repairman" had worked on the clock several years ago, but that it only ran for a few months before it stopped. He stated that he was able to get it running again by liberal application of WD-40 :clap:

    There is a "bushing" made entirely of solder, solder on the rack hook, and finally a mainspring soldered to the arbor. No effort was made to clean any of the flux, so there is some nasty corrosion. The movement was dripping WD-40. You can see the worst of the effects on the inside of the back plate.

    I have run across this particular "repairman's" work before, (memorialized in this very Hall of Shame) I have to admit, I was actually a bit excited to see what new bodges he had left for me to clean up. He didn't disappoint. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

    Oct 19, 2010
    567
    4
    18
    Male
    Retired Military
    Hampton, Georgia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Wow, you have a chore ahead of you. I have never seen a MS soldered to the arbor. I am not to old to learn. I always thought they had to be bent to fit the arbor.
     
  3. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    57
    1
    8
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The soldered mainspring was a first for me as well. The hook on the arbor and the hole in the mainspring were both OK. They could have been used with a little reshaping of the inner leaf of the mainspring. I plan to replace the mainspring as there is corrosion from the flux.
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    1,851
    7
    38
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    please tell me that this guy is not a member of the forum?

    we need to get him online here as soon as possible and reading through the hall of shame threads.... and asking how one does something before he butchers another one.
     
  5. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User

    Jun 6, 2016
    182
    0
    16
    Country Flag:
    The worst I've come across is the punching of pivot holes and mangling of levers. I think you have the grand prize winner for the Hall of Shame.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    34,642
    44
    48
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    How in the world did that soldered mainspring withstand the sheer strength of the mainspring being wound up? That may be the dumbest repair yet! If it was silver solder, it may take a bit of heat to remove it :rolleyes:
     
  7. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    57
    1
    8
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It took quite a bit of heat to separate the spring from the arbor. I was planning on replacing the spring anyway, so I went straight for the butane torch...after I cleaned the WD-40 off of the spring. (I know that the aerosol in the WD-40 is what is highly combustible, but there was enough gunk coating the springs that I didn't want to take the chance. Better to clean them than spend the next decade trying to explain the spiral burn marks to your wife):whistle:
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    8,142
    32
    48
    I've never seen a soldered mainspring either. Willie X
     
  9. Piisimuhkaan

    Piisimuhkaan Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    77
    0
    0
    Ottawa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Wow, a soldered mainspring! That says a lot about the repairer, especially since the arbor hook wasn't missing.

    That so-called repair man must be a gifted sales person. I've noticed this ability in many incompetent repairers. I love it when they claim they have years and years of experience. There is a lot more to this trade than experience.

    I've seen 'solder bushings' a few times. They were fun to fix especially when the depthing was incorrect. I charge a bit extra when I have to remove excess solder.
     
  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    6,717
    32
    48
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Just when we think we've seen it all someone comes up with something even more stupid and nasty. I can't imagine anyone soldering a main spring to the arbor......and ever expecting it would hold. Glad I wasn't the one that had to wind it! At least that example from this thread deserves to be in the HOS. This guy (if it was a guy) needs to find a now occupation!

    RC
     
  11. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
    3,302
    8
    38
    Country Flag:
    Wow what a heck of a botch Well maybe he saw where somebody told him solder was an option.
     
  12. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,680
    28
    0
    Calif. USA
    What a creative way to deal with attaching the main spring
    to the arbor. That is such a pain to do.
    I guess he had the soldering setup out anyway for the main
    spring so why not gob some solder in for a bushing.
    Did you explain to the customer that the WD-40 was not
    real good for a clock movement.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  13. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    57
    1
    8
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I had a conversation with the customer about how WD-40 reacts with the brass and should never be used on clocks. I will reinforce this with pictures when I return the clock.
     
  14. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I don't know why Junghans employed that off-set brass spool around the mainspring arbor. In my experience they don't hold well. Perhaps they require some precision adaptation of the mainspring's inner coil. I ran across a Tambour that had one of these set up on it's Chime Mainspring and the thing had let loose and caused damage to the gear train. I ended up replacing the "spool" so that the new mainspring wouldn't slip off the hook and cause damage again..
     
  15. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    7,710
    14
    38
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good point, never noticed this.
    RJ

     
  16. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    57
    1
    8
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Only one of the arbors (the one that was soldered to the mainspring) has the brass sleeve. I'm thinking about machining it off and making a arbor new hook.
     
  17. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,680
    28
    0
    Calif. USA
    I was looking at that solder bushing. I looks like he stuffed the pivot
    into the mostly hot solder.Wow!
    What a hack job.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  18. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    936
    0
    0
    Building trades Project Manager
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Willys, I find it incomprehensible that the hack did not do what you intend to do. (install a new arbor hook)
    It seems some people don't want to do the simplest machining steps even if they can get by with doing it with a hand drill.
    While I may be pounced here about using a hand drill, it is still possible to do a passing job with one on a hook as you have to do, plus drilling out for bushing replacements as he ought to have done on the pivot.
    Dave.
     
  19. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #19 Time After Time, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    That's exactly what I did in my case. I used a screw for a hook and reshaped the head. Maybe the person didn't have a lathe, but that's when you "step away from the soldering iron" and farm it out.

    Here's a photo of the Sleeve (or "spool") that I ran across:
    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of photos of how I repaired the resulting damage to C-2
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I machined off the original sleeve which I could not get to work reliably with the new mainspring

    [​IMG]

    and fit a more conventional round brass sleeve. I used a screw as the replacement hook. Although not shown in the photo, I filed the screw head down to a directional, lower profile hook.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow, Junghans must have gotten their off-set sleeves to work but I just could not get the inner coil of the replacement mainspring to conform reliably to the shape of the original sleeve. Evidently someone before me must have had the same problem which resulted in significant damage to the gear train. Although I am reluctant to alter original parts, I thought it was justified in this case. I suppose that simply removing the sleeve would have worked too but I wanted to retain as much of the original form as I could.
    What I did to repair the movement worked. I'm sure someone with more skills and knowledge could have done a better job, but I'm glad that I wasn't tempted to throw some solder at the problem. :)
     
  20. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 18, 2011
    5,888
    24
    38
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Nice work Bruce. Sometimes you have to do what you think is best with what you have. Others with different resources may take a different tact..so be it.

    David
     
  21. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    16,480
    30
    48
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I copied Willie's initial post to the Hall of Shame thread, with a link back to this thread.

    bangster
    moderator
     
  22. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks David. Many of us are still early in the learning phase. One just does the best they can and hope that "best" gets better. When correctly applied, I believe there is a place for various solders in Horology. I don't think that "Gluing" mainsprings to arbors is one of them! :)

    You should at least have a good idea of what you're attempting. The MB's collective knowledge/wisdom can help steer us in the right direction. I must admit that much more often than not, that direction is away from solder.
     
  23. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    936
    0
    0
    Building trades Project Manager
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Time after time,
    I would not have faulted the use of a bit of solder on that screw's threads to lock it, so long as you cleaned up after.
    You went up to close to original diameter with the brass collar, so you were faithful to the diameter needed to keep the spring and the arbor from growing weak. Good fix.
    Dave.
     
  24. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    6,717
    32
    48
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree that there are a few places where solder may be appropriate but affixing main springs to winding arbors is certainly not one of them. There are four (*perhaps more) questions one should ask before using solder:

    1. Is there a reasonable expectation based on past experience and other examples that soldering will result is a durable and functional repair?

    2. Will the clock be damaged the by soldering, or damaged if the "repair" fails, such that the "repair" cannot easily be reversed and redone using a more acceptable method later?

    3. Is the person doing the repair doing so as a business and charging someone else for the work? One is of course free to use and abuse one's own clocks in any way one deems appropriate and learn from the mistakes, failures, and successes, but when one represents ones self as a "clock repair technician" offering services to others one has an obligation to adhere more closely to recognized "best methods" which may or may not occasionally include solder.

    4. Do you really know HOW to solder? Many "solder repairs" fail not because solder was used, but because the solder was incorrectly applied, wrong type of solder used, wrong flux used, improper surface prep, too much heat, too little heat, too much solder, incomplete flux removal, and so on.

    RC
     
  25. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    16,480
    30
    48
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Look at Solder 101
     
  26. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hello Dave, thank you. As I was removing the original spring hook it did occur to me that perhaps the easiest fix would have been to just extrude the hook a little. If I had done that and soldered it as you suggest, that might have provided an adequate anchor/hook to keep the spring from letting loose. I think the original sleeve was ground down a little to allow the end of the inner coil to form a continuation of the sleeve's contour. No doubt it worked beautifully with the original mainspring but it can obviously be quite a trap for folks who need to replace it. I did try to contour the inner coil several times without success and was becoming concerned that I would introduce metal fatigue before I got it right. :(
     
  27. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    936
    0
    0
    Building trades Project Manager
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yep,
    There are folks on here that know a lot about metallurgy and preventing fatigue.
    In the Watch repair forums there is Karl Mansson...
    Keep that winding arbor as large as the original to keep from having the arbor end of the spring breaking due to fatigue as you mention.
    And I suppose some of the grinding you mentioned was on the side of the screw head away from the hook side.
    Thus allowing the main spring to coil over your arbor naturally...
    David.
     
  28. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    6,717
    32
    48
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    One should keep in mind that the strength of a screw used in this application is similar to that of a steel pin the diameter of the root of the thread. A 1/8" diameter pin in will be significantly stronger than a 1/8" diameter screw.

    RC
     
  29. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks RC, I see your point and will keep that in mind should I ever use a screw as a hook again. The original hook was no longer a tight enough fit. Perhaps re-use and solder would have been acceptable? This was/is a machine screw with relatively shallow crests (compared to a wood screw) so I think the diameter of the root shouldn't be too much less than a rod. The tapered head was fully seated into the brass sleeve. That probably has no effect as far as tensile strength is concerned but the head at the point of mainspring force probably has similar properties as far a pin is concerned (granted, there is a taper to consider). The original formed pin was not completely round in this case so it probably wasn't as strong as it might be otherwise although it probably isn't significantly weaker. In any case, I'm fairly confident that it will hold. The clock is "permanently" in our collection, so I'll know if it fails again. Hope not. Since I filed down the head to get more of a hook form, getting a pin back out would probably be easier and I sure don't want to take another "crack" at C-2! :) Thanks again for the cautionary note!
     
  30. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    7,710
    14
    38
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #30 RJSoftware, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    I sort of feel a sense of discomfort with a thread of this type. It's not that the job was done poorly, or more correctly put, wrong. It's just that I don't need to pat my own back and say to myself "well, at least I'm not that stupid".

    When I run into other people's poorly done work I have to smile to myself because it's a little more gravy on my mash potatoes. It means when I get the job done right it comes back to me. The only time it ever gets me mad is when I purchase something on the quick and I was too lazy to look the thing over and see the error.

    In my younger days I may have done something like that. Full steam ahead and "get-r done". No, I never soldered a mainspring to an arbor but you got to hand it to the guy for his gusto.

    Keep in mind that hind sight is 20-20. The internet is not soo old as some of us are and we didn't have money for much and especially some hobby. So what general references would there even of been? The best we had was Chilton's books for our cars. Who had time for hobbies? Go to a library, we had dirt/grease on our fingers. The only places we went to back then was the junk yard, the parts house or the bar.

    All we really had back then was will power. Today we live in a wonder age of information. It's as different as day and night. These days I have son's in laws that are fairly savvy but they can't even (or probably) won't even twist a wrench. Everything soo disposable. Trade it in. Good money after bad.

    A bad repair job, well, at least he tried.

    RJ
     
  31. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 18, 2011
    5,888
    24
    38
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I am with you RJ. We have no idea who did some of these repairs that we think belong in the HOS. Way back when these were just utilitarian devices and if it stopped you just wanted to get it going again.

    I don't hesitate to use solder if I think it will make a robust reliable repair. What disturbs me more is the damage done by leaving the corrosive flux all over the place.

    Perhaps even in Bangster's solder 101 tutorial more emphasis could be placed on the correct selection of flux and the importance of removing all traces of corrosive fluxes. I wish I knew what make of flux I have. It can sit on copper or brass for years and not have any damaging effects.

    David
     
  32. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Personally, I'm not focused on the person but rather the person's *repair*. Perhaps it's hard to separate the two but instances like this or like many (not all) of the entries in the "Hall of Shame" thread offer opportunities to learn. It's often said that you learn more from your mistakes. That doesn't mean that you can not learn from the mistakes of others as well. The mission statement of the NAWCC is as follows:

    Our mission is to provide methodologies, resources, and encouragement to inventory; and to preserve, repair, restore, and disseminate knowledge about America's public clocks as a public service resulting in heightened visibility for, and a sense of satisfaction to, NAWCC, its members, and its chapters.

    To the extent that examples such as these are used as learning opportunities, I think they help fulfill the NAWCC's stated mission. If someone just want's to laugh at the work, well, that's their business too. Who am I to judge? I'm here to learn and to help others if I can.
     
  33. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    7,710
    14
    38
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #33 RJSoftware, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    You guys are good guys and not to worry. But (for me) the logic of HOS is not really there.

    Take for example I could take a sludge hammer and bash a clock into pieces and then sell it as "Possibly repairable".

    Now, if you look at it in a positive light you might say to yourself, "Wow what a challenge, I wonder if I could actually fix the thing".

    Or

    you could say to yourself "Wow, I got to display this p.o.s. cringe worthy clock on the HOS".

    I know you see the difference. One way is more productive and positive.

    Now focus forward, a link to your good repair job gives your clock the honor it deserves. Some future newbian see's your repair and is inspired by it. Inspired to do it right, the way you did it.

    It is good when newbians leave bread crumbs behind of their experiences. Because when we forget later we can't relate. What becomes our "old hat" or second nature is taken for granted. So much is lost in translation/relation.

    Newbians should never hesitate for advise on any opinions or questionable repair. We can all respectfully disagree and that is healthy exchange.

    But, no shame, ever..!


    RJ
     
  34. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Understood RJ and I hear what you're saying.

    Appreciation of antique clocks does require historical context. Maintenance of them probably should too.

    The problem is that in considering an "amateur" repair, there's just no way for us to know what the particular circumstances were. In most cases we don't even know how old the repair is. The clock is still in existence and so some argue that "The repair, although not very pretty, kept the clock in existence so it did the job. Can you do it any better?". That's fair I think.

    Professionals here sometimes lament the prolific work of some hack in their area. I'm no Professional but I can understand their anger or amusement with the work of "hacks" especially if they still have love for their field.

    So I just choose to focus on results and how best to improve upon them with what I can bring to the bench.

    I think that the best of the HOS entries are kind of a combination of your two examples. Even if the OP doesn't post his or her efforts to correct the issue, there are many excellent Horologists here who may be inclined to post their assessments or perhaps offer their advice to the OP or others (if asked) as to how to proceed with meeting the "challenge". I guess it comes down to what you want to put in/get out of the Message Board at any particular point in time. Humans can be a moody bunch, but we do like to laugh. :rolleyes: To that extent, laughter at the work of some anonymous repairer of clocks doesn't advance the goals of the NAWCC but it can foster a sense of satisfaction if it prompts newbies to put in the effort to do better.

    For example, this discussion will prompt me to put more thought and effort into correcting a problem like this in the future because of comments and observations made in the thread, I now know that I could have done a better job. If, while working in isolation, I hadn't already known better I might very well have tried to use solder to fix it....::nervous laughter:: :whistle:

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  35. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
    97
    0
    6
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Another interesting thread. I can tell you as a newbie these threads serve two purposes for me. 1) To learn and learn some more about how to approach a repair properly and 2) They inspire me to do the best repair I am able. Without a doubt my repairs will get better as I go along but I know what the end goal should be.

    For example, I picked up this clock on the weekend. As I am breaking it down for evaluation, I see there is a large, rather ugly blob of solder holding the hammer arm to the plate. I mean, it's probably been there for decades and served it's purpose but I just don't think I can button it back up without trying to improve the job.

    [​IMG]
     
  36. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 18, 2011
    5,888
    24
    38
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well at least there isn't old flux all over the place...at least it doesn't look like it.

    When I encounter some of these repairs, I will often consult with the owner to see if perhaps there is some family history here. If the repair seems robust and reliable, even though perhaps not what I would recommend from scratch, we have sometimes agreed to leave it as part of its legacy because "Gramp", or "Dad", probably repaired it.

    David
     
  37. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You bring up an important point David. Much of what I do involves working on my own clocks or restoring antique clocks that I'm proud to offer to the public. If you are doing work for someone on one of their clocks, everything pretty much begins and ends with their informed decision(s) beginning with their decision to bring the clock to you in the first place.
     
  38. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    16,480
    30
    48
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    A repair that, by current standards, is a disaster....is a disaster, no matter what the standards may have been back then. It's something to be avoided, not emulated because it was once peachy-keen.

    Isz what I think.
     
  39. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I've seen many instances where solder has been used on the hammer assembly. I think it's always helpful to keep in mind that solder is not a structural material. Folks who keep adding blobs of it to "strengthen" the joint just don't understand how to use it properly. French Movements often employ solder but you'd be very hard pressed to see it. I don't blame you for wanting to clean up the mess. Have fun.
     
  40. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hard to argue with bangster. The bodge the OP shared with us was a disaster in its own right, and a much larger disaster waiting to happen.
     
  41. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,680
    28
    0
    Calif. USA
    I can understand why one might punch a bushing to tighten
    it up ( I don't much care for the damage though ). I just can't
    reason why on a simple count wheel someone might hack saw the
    back plate to replace a mainspring.
    The thinking is so wrong, it just would never have been an option
    in my mind.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  42. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    34,642
    44
    48
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I've seen two of them so far, and hope not to see another!
     
  43. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    6,717
    32
    48
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree with your thinking on this matter, and as I some times say, "just because it ticks does not mean that it's fixed". Still one needs to consider the complete context of the situation. If I buy an old clock at a yard sale its mine to do with as I please according to my own objectives. If I end up creating a disaster its MY disaster and perhaps my punishment and lesson learned. The acceptable methods one might use to restore a museum piece can be significantly different from those one might employ to get a few more years from that $5 yard sale piece. Solder has a place in clock repair, perhaps a much smaller place in clock making. The important thing is to know the limitation of soldering and when it may be ok or not ok in a given situation. A solder job does not have to be a disaster and does not have to look like a disaster.

    My first clock was an Ansonia LaFrance iron mantel clock, a pretty ordinary clock that was pretty much worn out. My objective in 1967 was to make it run again and not spend any money having someone else fix it, didn't have any money anyway. Well, I got it running even though is sounded a little strange. Knowing nothing, I concluded the pallet strip (verge) needed to be bent to a different shape - bad move. Why after 100+ years would it need bending? Anyways I didn't know that these things were hardened so it busted in half! So I stuck it back together using something similar to JB-Weld. Nasty gob of stuff sure looked like a hack job but it the clock ticked and kept time. That was my objective, so objective accomplished and I learned about hardened pallet strips as a bonus! That was some decades ago and I have since rebuilt that movement using more acceptable methods............except that patched together verge. It runs fine and that was my objective so I just left that part the way is was. It my clock, my 'disaster' if will, I like it, I run it every day, and if anyone don't like it, well........... they can select a different method that fits their goals and objective. I wouldn't use that method today, don't want to end up in the HOS you know.

    RC
     
  44. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Putting the Devil's Advocate aside, I'm guessing you couldn't care less about the HOS RC. I do know that if your LaFrance came across my bench and I was trying to restore it to some semblance of an appropriately aged and well maintained antique clock, I wouldn't be happy about having to replace the MacGyver'ed verge, but it comes with the territory. If that clock did somehow come across my bench, I'm sure you wouldn't (and probably couldn't) care less about my state of mind, either. Bent strip verges do wear out so I'd get it done, and probably with an appropriately adjusted, pre-manufactured replacement. I wouldn't consider that to be a "disaster" and I certainly wouldn't equate it with the "repairs" which started this thread.
     
  45. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,680
    28
    0
    Calif. USA
    My first attempt to adjust the depth of the pallets on a tall
    clock ( cheap Chinese clock ) ended in bending the escapement
    wheel teeth.
    Like you RC, it was a learning lesson.
    If anyone notices, the teeth show the abuse. It doesn't have
    perfect beat if you listen carefully. Still, I don't intend to clean it
    up and it runs fine otherwise. If the movement ever fails I'll
    most likely just replace the movement. The case is nice.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  46. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 18, 2011
    5,888
    24
    38
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Back before I joined this MB and wasn't taking many pictures, I came across a movement where someone had cut the plate to replace a mainspring. What struck me was the craftsmanship the person used. It appeared that they had first placed fishplates across each side that would be cut, drilled and pinned it, as well as secured with small screws. The fish plates were removed and then the plates were cut with a very clean straight cut. After the spring was replaced the entire thing was assembled back together. The "fixer" obviously knew that there would be metal removed due to the kerf, hence the plan to place the fish plates and secure prior to cutting.

    So here was someone who I guess figured out that while he didn't know how to set the clock back up if he took it all apart, he did know how to replace the spring and get it working again.

    I am not recommending this, but it has always stuck in my mind since it was done so well.

    David
     
  47. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    3,155
    13
    38
    Retired General Dentist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That is a friggin' hack in my book, David. I don't care how skillfully the movement's plates were sawed off and cobbled back together.
     
  48. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 18, 2011
    5,888
    24
    38
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I can assure that if someone looked at it and don't know how the clock was originally made they would not call it a hack. The fishplates were rectangular, accurately cut with bevelled edges. The pins provided precise alignment, and the small screws were carefully oriented. The fishplates were the same width as the plates so the saw cuts weren't visible from the front....had to look in from the side.

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder I guess :).

    David
     
  49. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    34,642
    44
    48
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It's a pun! :D
     
  50. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    6,717
    32
    48
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Totally unnecessary butchery but I bet the clock ran just fine. Another example of "my clock, my disaster". I have a wooden works movement where someone just sawed a slot from the outside of the plate to get the count hook in place. (If anyone cares, the trick is to assemble these on the front plate and everything goes in place nicely) Now if we could just be born with 50 years experience.

    RC
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Please step away Forum Date
Jauch 96 pendulum replacement??? Help please! Clock Repair Nov 10, 2017
Pallet strip help please Clock Repair Nov 7, 2017
Help Please! SBS FEINTECHNIK 661 Not Striking on the Half Hour Clock Repair Oct 15, 2017
Anyone know the maker of this platform escapement please? Modern, Swiss Clock Repair Aug 26, 2017
Ticks for only a few seconds - what is my next step please Clock Repair Jan 23, 2013

Share This Page