Problem with New/Old Movement.

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Stickler, Mar 26, 2020.

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  1. Stickler

    Stickler Registered User

    Nov 2, 2017
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    When Mason & Sullivan went out of business in 1992 I purchased the plans, dial, hardware, and movement needed to construct their “Crystal Regulator Clock”. That was 28 years ago and now that I am retired I have finally got around to building the walnut case from scratch.

    The movement was stored in its original packaging all those years and before installation I did lubricate it as best I could with a clock oiler. So far so good, it keeps excellent time, losing less than a minute over 6 days. But that 6 days is the problem, when fully wound the clock consistently stops then, even though it is an 8 day movement.

    I infer from that that the mainspring somehow got gummed up during those 28 years of storage, such that it is unable to provide the full power. So the question becomes what can be done about it?

    The original movement is a M&S 3396X, with polished brass plates, made by Hermle. A new replacement movement (Hermle 131-080, 23 cm) is available, but that one has the standard Hermle dimpled plates instead of the polished ones, and since the glass sides of the clock make the movement highly visible a polished appearance is preferable.

    My question (as a case-maker, not a clock repairer) is as follows — would the cost of having a professional fix the mainspring (assuming that is the problem) in the original polished movement be competitive with the cost of a less-than-ideal replacement? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Well, it's pretty easy to let down the springs, then remove the lower half plate and remove the barrels. They are different so be sure to mark at least one. :)

    Note, the click springs are made of soft metal and easy to bend. Be careful to lift the click just barely enough to release the click wheel.

    After some studying, you could let the movement soak in mineral spirits a few days and use a small brush to move the arbors around, making sure all the pivots are free to move back and forth in their holes.

    While your doing the 'soak/rinse and inspect', take out the springs and stretch them out, as far as you can, and clean them up with 4-0 steel wool and baby oil or 10W machine oil. When done wipe thoroughly with a dry cotton cloth and then apply about 4 drops of clock oil and make sure it's spread out for the length of the spring. Put the spring barrel assembly back together. Do one spring at a time, start to finish. It's best to oil the barrel sleeve bearings now.

    Use a hair blower on high settings to dry the movement and it's a good idea to let it stand in a warm place overnight and then dry it again.

    Put everything back together and see how it goes.

    Note, ® Mobil 1 - 5W-20 synthetic oil is good for both your main-springs and oiling your clocks pivots. Use barely enough oil to see in the pivot holes with magnification, pivot holes only.

    Good luck,. Willie X

    And, if your clock has a floating balance it needs to be rinsed dried and tested separately.
     
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  3. Stickler

    Stickler Registered User

    Nov 2, 2017
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    Thanks for the quick response, Willie X, but you aren’t suggesting the procedures you outlined are a suitable first venture in clock repair for someone like me who has neither experience nor training, are you? I’m just asking whether having a clock guy do the job would be more expensive than buying the available but non-polished Hermle replacement movement.
     
  4. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
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    I think he’s saying that you could probably do it if you really wanted to and read up on it. That’s my interpretation. Not sure how mechanical you are, but I’d have to agree if you read a little bit on here, you could most probably do it yourself.
     
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  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Stick,

    8th line,."after some studying", should have been closer to the top.

    The springs are small and can be handled by hand and you really aren't doing that much actual work. Nothing is being replaced or repaired, with no real disassembly, except for the easily removable spring barrels.

    If you aren't comfortable doing this, take it to a local clock repair person to do it.

    I can't think of any good reason to trash a NOS movement.

    Willie X
     
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  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    But to answer your question, the repair would be comparable to a new movement in price. Possibly even a bit less. Call around to your local repair shops for estimates.
    A better chance of getting a reliable repairman is with your local NAWCC Chapter. Find it by clicking HERE.
     
  7. Stickler

    Stickler Registered User

    Nov 2, 2017
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    Thank you Willie and Powestroke. I might very well decide to tackle the job myself, although I would practice on an old movement first. Of course, if there is not that much actual work, with nothing being repaired or no real disassembly required, then a repair guy shouldn’t charge very much, right?
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    A repairman will not offer you that option. He'll do a complete service of the movement, replacing any worn parts or repairing them so when you get the movement back it will be reliable for many years. What was suggested above is a way to perhaps get a few more months of use from the clock. It might work, and might not. I do not believe your issue comes from the springs. It's more likely that the movement is on the brink of stopping completely because of wear in the plates.
     
  9. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    My understanding is that this movement is new old stock and has only recently been used. It had been stored new for 28 years. So there shouldn't be any noticeable wear. All it needs is cleaning and oiling.

    Uhralt
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Thanks, Uhralt. Senior moment ;)
    However, if it were coming to my shop it would be disassembled and cleaned, inspected and re-assembled, because when it leaves the shop it has my reputation going with it. The OP is probably better off doing what was suggested himself in this case.
     

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