Help Re- bush a previous bush repair?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Richard Hadden, May 19, 2020 at 8:52 PM.

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  1. Richard Hadden

    Richard Hadden Registered User
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    Oct 16, 2019
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    My interest in clock repair is fairly new. I know that bushing pivot holes is one of the main skills needed and I have practiced with a few KWM reamers and bush's that I acquired. Photo's 1 & 2 show my attempts made without any expensive equipment. I now have an old FMS movement from a wall clock. Once out of the case it ran well mounted on the bench. When I took it apart and cleaned it I found what looks like a previous bush repair on pivot holes that now need to be repaired (bushed) again. It also looks like the past repair required a lot of peening to get the bush's to stay in plus some staking to close up other holes. The question I have is, can I ream and bush in the old bush or do I need to try to get it out first and ream to a larger bush? By the look of the plate around the two pivot holes in question I'm afraid I would do too much damage for any repair to be made and I may be better off just reassembling and oiling. Like I said, it did run pretty well. I've attached pictures that show the pivots and damage.

    Bushing Practice 1.jpg Bushing Practice 2.jpg FMS 76.jpg FMS 78.jpg FMS 74.jpg FMS 77.jpg FMS 73.jpg FMS 68.jpg FMS 69.jpg
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    This is the kind of job we all hate to see come in where someone did a not so great previous bushing job. At least a couple of the bushings look to have the pivot holes off center. Accurately reestablishing the the original center without machine tools will be a challenge and may come down to making your best guess and praying. If you have a larger OD bushing with an ID that is not oversize I would go for that. I would not chance bushing a bushing that someone appeared to have installed by questionable means. If you have a lathe you can easily make a bushing with a large enough.OD to cover the mess and an ID to fit the pivot. I'm not a fan of hand bushing methods, so I probably haven't been much help.

    RC
     
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  3. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I've seen worse. Those bushings might have been done with bushing wire and riveted in rather than pressed in. (The former is more reliable and was used prior to the introduction of the KWM system in the 1960's.) You can certainly ream them out with a KWM reamer and re-bush them if you wish, but if the side-shake seems fairly okay I'd just polish the pivots and re-assemble it. If the pendulum motion isn't as large as you'd like you might consider re-bushing the escape wheel and verge, but if the clock runs reasonably well I'd just let it rattle along for eternity.
     
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  4. John P

    John P Registered User
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    That looks so bad, I would try to locate another movement. Each wheel would need to be checked for depthing issues resulting from off center bushings
    and
    bushings would have to be hand made. Anything can be repaired if you pour money and time into it.​

    .The time and cost needed to bring that one back would be deep pockets. If its your clock then go for it but if I could never warranty a job like that
    nor would I attempt to repair it for a customer.
    good luck with that
    johnp
     
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  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I would probably give it a whirl, checking for depthing issues as I went. If this is a customer's clock I'd get an OK to proceed first, because a mess like that could get expensive. If it's your clock, you're going to learn a lot as you bring it to life again. Enjoy the process, and ask questions when you are not sure.
     
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Well, if the clock runs as well as the OP says it does I would think that the depthing issues are already resolved, as are other bushing issues. It's certainly taken a battering from one practitioner or another, but if the pivots and holes are all there and don't seem to be rattling around more than they're supposed to it's not clear what other measures should be taken.
     
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  7. Richard Hadden

    Richard Hadden Registered User
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    Thanks to all for your advice. I don't have any professional tools like a lathe, (yet), and it is my own clock that I would be trying to get running as well as I can. The case on this one cleaned up very well and I think I will take the good advice of finishing the cleaning, oil and let it run on for as long as it will, at that level of care. I do have other clocks, without so much damage, that I want to work on and may get back to a full bush repair on this one someday.
     
  8. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Hello Richard,

    If, either now or later, you decide to reverse these repairs and "tweak" the pivot centers keep in mind that Jerry Kieffer describes a method of properly re-locating off center pivot holes, (or depthing in place), without the use of expensive equipment like Depthing Tools or Mills. (There are plans out there for homemade Depthing Tools but accuracy is always a concern). It takes some time but he reports that it can be very accurate.

    Jerry's method involves the use of a steel template, clamps and bushings with outer diameters that are larger than those being replaced. See this thread post for more details. I haven't used it but it certainly sounds like a straight-forward approach to me. Ask Jerry if you have questions.

    Good luck,

    Brce
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I don't know how many clock people actually use a lathe for much. I don't--at least not my real one. I've been happy with a bogus, no-tailstock, foot-controlled, sewing-machine-motor-powered, horizontal-shaft, uh, thing for several years now. It's just a 1/2" Jacobs chuck that spins, and I use it to polish pivots, run a small wire-brush or buffing wheel or grindstone and on rare occasions a drill bit. It works nicely for re-pivoting using Al Takatch's method (100% success rate thus far) and occasionally I'll use it as sort of a lathe with a file or (once) a graver. Its very existence infuriates some of the parishioners here.

    Lathes in general and Sherlines in particular have acquired more of a cult status than I'm comfortable with, for if you're resourceful there are lots of ways to accomplish the same ends. Yes, the Sherline is a marvelous little machine. I'd vote for the old South Bend bench lathes if any existed, but Sherline has certainly done well enough. Harbor Freight and others make a reasonable line of little lathes as well. But there are two concerns here:

    One is that, for the most part, you don't need a lathe to fix clocks and do a good job of it. Most shops didn't bother with them--certainly ours didn't in the 1960's. There are some operations where they really come in handy, but those are rather few.

    I believe that some of the latheomania for clocks comes from watchmakers who make a huge deal out of, I think, the Boley lathe. But I worked for a short time in a trade watch repair shop, again in the 1960's, and if anyone was using a lathe I never saw it. If a special part was required we'd send out for it, but for the most part the buckets of watches we'd get every week from Cleveland jewelry shops didn't need repivoting. (I will admit, however, that lots of spare parts were available for watches at that time, and the store was on the top floor of our building.)

    But none of that's particularly important here. My concern goes back to my days on a usenet list called rec.crafts.metalworking maybe 25 years ago. We'd get new people who were wild to build a little steam engine. I had similar ambitions myself, but I'd grown up with a wood-working father and a love of machinery since approximately birth (I reportedly dismantled a window fan down to the nuts and bolts at age 5.) We worked with some success on cars, and I took machine shop in high school, much to the disdain of my fellow students.

    But once I began corresponding with these newcomers to the metalworking group I realized that their experience was nothing like mine, for they were around 30 years younger, went to schools where shop classes had been abolished, had never worked on their own automobiles or even bicycles and, having seen videos about machine tools and machining, were determined to be informed consumers. Just which lathe, they asked, shall I buy so that I can build my steam engine. Shall I buy the milling attachment?

    When gently asked about their previous shop experience--say, drilling, filing, sawing, welding, forging--the responses varied from puzzled to hostile. Look, dude: I just want to get into machining and make kewl stuff. I believe many were computer professionals, a skill set that I admire but which is not altogether compatible with dealing with a stuck drill or a brittle piece of metal.

    And so these non-technical guys resorted to what they'd learned in their '80's school days, which was consumerism--that is, you can purchase anything you want, including skills and experience. I hear a bit of that in this forum.

    It shouldn't be that way. Clocks can be repaired and always have been repaired with inexpensive hand tools and these should be mastered prior to any concern with machine tools. A lathe or mill, Sherline or otherwise, is not a first step. I've considered it myself but have never been able to justify it--partly because I already have a silly-looking Chinese 3-in-1 lathe-mill-drill, but mostly because I'd never use the thing. I used to make special bushings on the lathe, but I've found it just as easy to use brass tubing, of which I have a good selection.

    One closing word about Jerry Kieffer, whose name I've probably spelled incorrectly again. He is closely associated with the application of machine tool techniques to horology, and his skills, knowledge, creativity and integrity are manifold. To be more specific, I would class Mr Kieffer as a miniature machinist, a specialty that's discussed at some length in a novel by Nevil Shute called "The Trustee in the Toolroom." (Highly recommended--consider it an assignment.) A miniature machinist is a horologist raised to the third or fourth power.

    Mr Kieffer is notably generous with his time and advice, conducting NAWCC classes and helping all comers on this forum, including me. He's invented several clock-oriented attachments for Sherline machines (check Timesavers.)

    However, I think it's important that newcomers here understand that neither machine tools nor a miniature machinist's skills are required to repair clocks and do a good job of it. That's because the standards of accuracy available from machine tools are not required for clocks, which were designed and developed centuries before modern industrial practice. In this their design is exceptionally clever, for you've got this awkward-looking piece of machinery that rattles if you shake it and has vaguely-lubricated plain bearings and gear teeth with fanciful tooth profiles. Yet it keeps time and runs about forever.

    And that's why guys like me, who have shaky hands and a limited level of skill, can fix clocks with simple tools. You don't need a lathe.
     
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  10. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    Mark,

    You can be a very funny guy, with a good writing style. We often fail to see things in the same way but I appreciate your craftsmanship with the written word.

    https://nawcc.org/index.php/main-education

    I know that you not a Collector and you have your own good reasons for spending some of your time here. I am a Collector. I repair and restore clocks for my own enjoyment and as a service to others. I try to restore my clocks to the best of my ability and naturally I try to treat clocks belonging to others in the same way. I can't give away my time, but I can give a full measure of it. Horology is both a Hobby and an Avocation to me as I spend some of my waning seconds, minutes, hours... on this Earth enjoying it.

    With that in mind please know that no disrespect is intended in my response to some of your comments below...

    As I began reading some of your familiar comments....
    First of all, no it doesn't. Shall we take a Poll? This is a theme which can found throughout your counsel to folks new to the Message Board. As I read through your intro I began to think that you may actually "believe" we're some kind of cult here...

    "Lo and behold", within the next sentence or two, you actually used the word "cult"...

    Where else would you recommend that someone order a new, well made mini lathe or mill manufactured in the United States? Does Harbor Freight really make anything or do they just market imported knock-offs? Just recently a Harbor Freight opened very nearby. Great! Let the Corporate Giants battle it out to see who can best get their hands deep into our pockets. Mom and Pop have left the building. I've shopped there. Sometimes they have good deals on Nitrile Gloves. I don't recall ever having bought nor ordered anything else from them. At least I haven't yet. I still like Lowes. At least they give a 10% Military Discount to Veterans. I appreciate that. I also shop Home Depot when I can't find what I'm looking for at Lowes. Harbor Freight is an after thought to me. Someplace to drop by when I need gloves and/or want to kill some time before it kills me.

    In my view, most folks come to this website/message board/ forum in order to solve problems and/or to learn how to improve their clock repair skills. That can be pretty important to Collectors. We're an international association of clock and watch collectors. We're not a cult.

    The original of clocks was closely aligned with the periodic rituals and religious services of mere mortals like you and me. While I've often thought of motivated students as Nerds, I've never in my entire life heard them described as a "cult" before. Perhaps it is just a matter of degree and purpose. I'm not looking for a Meet and Greet with my Maker through Horology. A Meet and Greet with like-minded Clock Makers and Hobbyists, sure thing! If not in person, at least on this Message Board.

    Clearly the OP's example shows a job where close was "good enough". The clock worked okay so all was fine with their World. Maybe the clock repair person in that case was really cranking them out and didn't have the time nor the desire to do any better than what was absolutely necessary to get the clock out of the shop.

    While Richard may not wish to re-do all of that bush work, he can critically evaluate it and look for ways to do a better job in his shop.

    They were made with the best, most accurate tools available at the time. Later, they were manufactured in great numbers using modern industrial practices/machinery. You can't make, nor can you simply clean and service movements with spit, polish, teeth and nails. You need tools man!

    You own and use an Ultrasonic Cleaner, is that right? Why is that? We don need no stinkin' Ultrasonic Cleaners! Clocks were designed, developed and maintained centuries before Ultrasonic Cleaners came along.

    I happen to own a basic Sherline Lathe and more recently I acquired a Sherline Mill. I can and I do a lot more than just polish pivots with them and I've only begun to machine the surface. Do I need them to perform good routine maintenance on clock movements. No, but I think that they really improve the quality of my efforts. Plus they expand my abilities beyond what I was capable of doing before I acquired them. Things that I might otherwise have to farm out I can do "in house". Plus, I enjoy my shop time more. To me, that's important.

    Amen.

    Bruce
     
  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I vote that we give Kinsler33 the "MacGyver Award". But seriously, in any trade or hobby there is something called best methods.(sometimes called standard methods for........). Of course everyone has a right to his or her own opinion and the right to disregard the generally practiced methods. I do however find it troubling when beginners are encouraged to use MacGyver-like methods, and especially troubling when the use of more accepted practices is discouraged. Regarding a lathe, I have two of them; a big old South Bend that's seldom used for clock work, and an older Sherline that carries the Sears Craftsman badge. I'm not part of any "cult". To me, a small lathe (any brand you like that has the needed precision) is an essential item for any real clock repair shop or serious clock repair hobbyist.

    Regarding Bruce Alexander's comments in post #10, I agree completely. Amen.

    RC
     
  12. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    How about a picture of this beauty? :)
     
  13. TooManyClocks

    TooManyClocks Registered User

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    As a relatively new hobbyist, the most effective way I learn clock repair is by reading comments like Marks and Bruces. I then consider them and how it would apply to what I’m doing or will be doing in the future given my talents or lack of them.

    I appreciate comments like the ones Mr. Kinsler made above, because I have no machining skills and to be buying a lathe and not know what to do with it likely wouldn’t have a good outcome. Could I take a class somewhere, somehow? Sure, but for various reasons it won’t be happening.

    People like him who are successful in what they do and can do it with minimal tools is an encouragement to me, and probably to others as well. I’m a hobbyist on a budget and have to consider the cost. If i have an aspiration with tooling, it’s to acquire a bushing machine, which may or may not ever happen due to cost.

    Reading varying opinions is how one learns what is best in a given situation, and I would hate to see someone’s opinion discourged on this message board because others have different talents, outlooks, and aspirations. I learn from all of you, and I can’t be the only one who does.

    I learn from Mr. Croswell also. He has stated in the past that he is not a fan of hand bushing, and I have argued my point against that in the past. Over time, looking at my work as it progresses, I have come to agree with him and have had to adapt my methods using a simple guide that Jerry Kieffer has shared on other threads and I’ve adopted.

    I learn from Bruce, too, as he and Mr. Croswell skillfully guide others through issues with their clocks on various threads, both freely giving of your time.

    The point is, it isn’t just me. Others come along and learn from all of you as well.

    To borrow a phrase from that wise sage of this message board:

    Is what I think

    John
     
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  14. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    That's very kind of you guys. Thank you. I'm still very much a student. I try to help where can and stay out of the way when I can't.

    I've learned, and continue to learn a great deal from folks like RC, bangster, Jerry, Chime Clock Fan, Willie X, Mark Butterworth, Shutterbug, David LaBounty, Uhrait, and Al Dodson...just to name a few of the many, many very accomplished folks past and present, living and deceased who have freely shared their time and expertise here. And this is primarily just through the Clock Repair Forum. Think about that for a moment. The NAWCC is unlike any organization I've ever been involved with. I don't think that they serve Kool Aid at their functions, but I wouldn't worry about cyanide if they did. :)

    Speaking of Mr. Kinsler, I do enjoy his contributions. I understand and I am often entertained by his well written thoughts and opinions. I don't know how he manages delicate clock work with significant hand tremors, still he persists and manages very well so he must enjoy the work. I read his posts, sometime steeling myself before I do. Like any good teacher he makes you think.

    Which brings us back to Richard's clock. As a collector, if I had an interest in the clock and looked under the hood to see this kind of maintenance work, I'd pass on it. You can't see everything when looking at an antique. If I picked it up and got into the movement, I'd probably complain bitterly about it. Perhaps post to the Hall of Shame Thread before being reminded by RC that these types of things come with the territory of working with antiques and that they represent an opportunity to learn through departure from the routine. I would then be admonished by Mark (and perhaps David S) not to be so damn judgmental. :chuckling: I'd do what I thought needed to be done and move on to the next project.

    I think that Richard has a good plan forward. Whatever he decides to do, help is always just a few keystrokes away.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
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  15. Richard Hadden

    Richard Hadden Registered User
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    Thank you Bruce for your comments and the link to Jerry Kiefer's thread. I have to agree that the help and discussions on this forum are the best thing out here. It is nice to learn of some methods that make it possible to make repairs if a person doesn't have machinery, or the training to use it properly, but can still make a repair that is satisfying and you can enjoy the work. I look forward to getting back to this clock!

    Richard
     
  16. fbicknel

    fbicknel Registered User

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    Funny thing: I recently had to repivot, but the pivot was too small for Al's jig. So, I built a new jig sized for a smaller drill. It worked perfectly. But... I couldn't have done it without my lathe. :whistle:
     
  17. fbicknel

    fbicknel Registered User

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    I'll second that.
     
  18. fbicknel

    fbicknel Registered User

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    I've bought a bunch of stuff from them, but I have to admit I've moved away from buying stuff there. I'm pretty happy with the drill press, but the table saw has given me fits getting it true. Still, it does serve the purpose for most tasks, but I could never do any precision work with it.
     
  19. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

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  20. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Hi Frank,

    Timesavers sells a lot of low cost imported items too. I've been pretty disappointed by their items a number of times.

    We often don't have much of a choice. Merritts doesn't seem to carry a lot of stock or provide much selection. Sometimes I feel like
    it's a poor use of time searching their online catalog but I keep doing so anyway.

    It's cliché about getting what you pay for (regardless of the name on the equipment) but there's truth to it.

    We've seen it happen when looking at the quality produced by some American clock companies when they began to have problems turning a profit in a changing market.

    I try to support American and local businesses when I can but sometimes it's like spitting into the wind.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  21. fbicknel

    fbicknel Registered User

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    Couldn't have said it better.
     
  22. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Hey Richard,

    You're welcome but all I did was provide a link to Jerry's work.

    Let us know if you have any questions.

    Good luck and have some fun.

    Bruce
     
  23. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    That's a delete dot. :)
     
  24. fbicknel

    fbicknel Registered User

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    Dat's da delete dot.

    Don't dis da delete dot.

    Delete dot da daddy.

    I think quarantine has done something to me.

    Wait, one more:

    Doh! Delete dot.
     
  25. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    I detect no change from before. You seem like the same ole' Frank to me ...:D (which is good)

    Stay safe.

    Bruce
     
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  26. Rod Schaffter

    Rod Schaffter Registered User

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    In addition to being an excellent read, "The Top 300 Trade Secrets of a Master Clockmaker" by J.M. Huckabee contains a collection of practical techniques for machining clock parts.

    Regarding Harbor Freight, I bought my MJ-189 Unimat 4 clone from them about 15 years ago; sadly they no longer carry it as it is a handy little lathe, and I recall paying around $200 for it.

    However, big caveat is that they don't carry a lot of parts, which keeps their costs low. I also hate buying something sealed in a box as as sometimes tolerances are sloppy. I recently purchased a jeweler's screwdriver set there that was complete crap; the only reason I didn't return it is that the case was very nice, so I put my beat up old ones in it. However, their screwdriver sets with the interchangeable bits are pretty decent. Caveat Emptor....
     

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