Re-assembling Seth Thomas 89C movement

rstl99

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It's been a few years since I've done a movement without spring barrels. I feel I'm asking a newbie question, but I'm wondering how to get the mainsprings back into the movement. I've got them wound up partially, secured by open-C clamps, and put most of the rest of the wheels in there, but before I put the other plate on, I'm realizing that I won't be able to remove the c-clamps, even if winding the springs fully between the plates (since there won't be room between the spring and the plate to extract the c-clamps).
Obviously I'm going about this very wrong.
Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

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Jess19721

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It's been a few years since I've done a movement without spring barrels. I feel I'm asking a newbie question, but I'm wondering how to get the mainsprings back into the movement. I've got them wound up partially, secured by open-C clamps, and put most of the rest of the wheels in there, but before I put the other plate on, I'm realizing that I won't be able to remove the c-clamps, even if winding the springs fully between the plates (since there won't be room between the spring and the plate to extract the c-clamps).
Obviously I'm going about this very wrong.
Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

View attachment 728774
Since we are on newbie questions, thoughts on using heavy duty zip ties that can be snipped at will rather than C clamps? Or is that a big, " you are asking for it?"
 

JeffG

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Obviously I'm going about this very wrong.
Appreciate any advice. Thanks.
Not wrong at all! You're just forgetting that once the plates are together, you can wind the spring to ease the tension on the clamps, then move the clamp so that the ends protrude from the plates and rotate the clamp out from in between. It's easier to do than to explain. Give it a try.
-Jeff

Edited to add-
Since we are on newbie questions, thoughts on using heavy duty zip ties that can be snipped at will rather than C clamps? Or is that a big, " you are asking for it?"

That depends entirely upon the strength of the tiny little tab of plastic within the "buckle" of the zip tie.
 

rstl99

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Thanks Jeff, sounds like I was looking at this wrongly, not realizing the c-clamp can be fished out through the holes in the plates, once the springs are wound sufficiently between the plates. I'll give it a try!
 

R. Croswell

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It's been a few years since I've done a movement without spring barrels. I feel I'm asking a newbie question, but I'm wondering how to get the mainsprings back into the movement. I've got them wound up partially, secured by open-C clamps, and put most of the rest of the wheels in there, but before I put the other plate on, I'm realizing that I won't be able to remove the c-clamps, even if winding the springs fully between the plates (since there won't be room between the spring and the plate to extract the c-clamps).
Obviously I'm going about this very wrong.
Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

View attachment 728774
Generally, if you wound the springs with the clock assembled to put the clamps on, then you should be able to wind the springs now and wiggle the clamps off. Some movements won’t allow clamps to be used, not sure about the ST-89. I usually use tie wire.

As for using zip ties, heavy duty or otherwise, my advice is don’t. High quality ones that are strong enough for this application are far too expensive to sacrifice. Cheap ones are likely to fail with disastrous results.

RC
 

rstl99

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Yeah the clamps went on the Ollie Baker spring winder, not on the clock before disassembly.
I can see that flat C's would have that advantage, Jeff.
I find clock movements with spring barrels are more straightforward to work on, but realize the majority of american clocks didn't use them. Probably in part explains why I prefer acquiring and working on european clocks...
This is the last american clock I expect to work on for quite a while, so I'll be glad to have the movement together and back in its lovely diamantine case.
Thanks.
 

R. Croswell

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The ST-89 movements are generally pretty reliable movements, and the open springs are not so bad once you do a few. The flat "C" clips should work on these and are easier to get in close spaces, but on clocks with 0.018" thick (or thicker) main springs the "C's" I have deformed under the load. That was not reassuring at all. The ST-89 normally uses a 0.0165 thick spring I believe so no problem here. #16 soft iron rebar tie wire will hold any spring that one is likely to encounter in an American open spring clock.

RC
 
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wow

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The round ones usually work on all American and foreign reproduction clocks but the clamp must be on the side opposite (next to the wheel) of the expansion pin. If the clamp is on the side where the pin is, it is almost impossible to reassemble the wheel and spring.
 

Kevin W.

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I actually prefer american made clocks over some European clocks. I find GB clocks are not bad for me to work on.
I would like to get the flat C retainers, i have the round type now.
 

Uhralt

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I prefer a soft iron wire over C-clamps. You just wind the spring partially, put the wire on and twist the ends of the wire together where the spring is attached to a post. After the movement has been assembled, wind the spring some more, snip the wire and just pull it out. Much easier than getting a C-clamp out in tight situations and much less interference with levers or wheels.

Uhralt
 
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rstl99

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Thanks for the thoughts about clamps vs twisted wires. I remember using the latter in the past.
Anyway, now to finish putting this 3-D puzzle back together. No matter how many photos I take, it's always a bit of a challenge for me, especially the steel linkage rods and wire springs.
I suppose that like anything, with experience it becomes a lot more straightforward.
Will get there.
 
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