Recommended oil for Ansonia Andes mantle gingerbread clock?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Darkstrike, Aug 4, 2019.

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

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I did some more research and learned that my free gingerbread mantle clock is an Ansonia Andes from roughly 1906.

    I ran it for a day to see if it kept time and it seems to work perfectly! The timekeeping has been spot on perfect and the chime has gone off perfectly on the hour and half hour.

    However, I want to clean and oil it before I start using it again after my brief test run as the previous owner had never used it (thinking it was broken?) and I have no idea when it was last oiled or cleaned.

    Does anybody have a suggestion for an oil to use? I've been researching and many different sites recommend many different things...

    Cheers and thanks!
     
  2. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    2,977
    244
    63
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    A synthetic oil like Mobil 1 works well on these movements. You can also use commercially available clock oil, but it is more expensive and doesn't offer much more.

    Uhralt
     
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks for the reply!

    Is there a certain blend of synthetic oil that works best? 5W40? 5W30...?
     
  4. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    1,067
    113
    63
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The oil should be 100% synthetic. Any weight will do. Thin out the oil to the consistancy needed with a solvent.
     
    Darkstrike likes this.
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,105
    471
    83
    Use Mobil-1, 0W-20 or 5W-20. Reducing an oil's viscosity with a solvent is a questionable practice. Willie X
     
    Darkstrike likes this.
  6. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    #6 Darkstrike, Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    @Joseph Bautsch - Thanks for the info...not sure I'd feel comfortable with using any amount of solvent on 110 year old brass though!

    @Willie X - Thanks, any particular reason it has to be Mobil 1 brand, would full synthetic from another brand do in those two viscosities?

    Cheers and thanks again to you all for the help!
     
  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,105
    471
    83
    Yes, whatever brand that floats your boat will be fine. :)

    Solvents won't hurt brass. If they do? I've hurt a lot of brass in my day!

    Willie X
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    9,942
    914
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi,

    I'm with Willie; when the solvent evaporates, the oil will be back close to its original viscosity, so what's the point in diluting it in the first place? Plus the oil may have migrated more than it should, due to the reduced viscosity.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
    Darkstrike likes this.
  9. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
    6,171
    272
    83
    Why not just buy some clock oil from a reputable supplier? Easy, cheap and far less trouble.

    Maybe it's just me, but that's what I think. We're dealing with a pretty straightforward movement here.

    JTD
     
  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,751
    372
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    My own somewhat unscientific tests (time required for the same quantity of oil to flow by gravity alone through a applicator needle) indicated that Mobil-1, 0-W20 flows more slowly than Nye-140 clock oil. For most clocks I felt that Nye-140 was OK but a little thin. Then there were discussions here based on some limited factual evidence that supported the conclusion that perhaps the common clock oils may actually have lower than ideal viscosity. The 0-W20 engine oil seemed like it would be a good possibility being significantly thicker than Nye-140 and about the lowest viscosity synthetic engine oil generally available. I tried it and was impressed with the results but still have some reservations about some of the cladistics of oils optimized of non-clock uses. It would appear however that the anti-wear and anti-friction additives perhaps offer a greater advantage than any disadvantage from additives that reduce surface tension and help the oil to flow and retain dirt for filtering in an engine.

    Why Mobil-1? For me the main reason is that's the brand that is mostr often discussed here and I believe the brand that many here have reported having success with. I once tried a Ford brand synthetic blend and was not impressed. There have been a number of past arguments against using engine oil in clocks, but as far as I can remember I have never heard anyone say that they have had an oil related failure using a Mobil-1 oil of one of the viscosities typically used in a modern engine. That by no means implies that other brands of full synthetic are any better or worse.

    RC
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,105
    471
    83
    The 0W-20 oil was not available until 2011. I bought a 2011 Toyota and had trouble finding the recommended 0W-20 in time for it's first oil change. No break-in oil change and 10K miles between changes for that one. Willie X
     
  12. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    2,977
    244
    63
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #12 Uhralt, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    I think simply because it was the first readily available fully synthetic oil.

    Uhralt
     
  13. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Welcome to the NAWCC Message Board Darkstrike! I think you'll find that you've come to the right place to get good information on the care and feeding of your antique clocks.

    It can get controversial around here at times as there are strongly held, sometimes differing opinions on even some of the most basic of things. There usually is a general consensus though.

    The Message Board's Search Engine is pretty good at returning content you're looking for as can be Google (when you tell it which site to search). The Message Board's Archives are a treasure trove of good advice if you have the time to search through them while taking in the bigger picture.

    Then you'll have all of the members here with decades (cumulatively...centuries) of experience to help guide you.

    Now, when you say "clean and oil", what exactly do you mean by clean? :emoji_skull_crossbones:....:chuckling:

    As far as oil goes, I'm in general agreement with comments/advice already given.above

    Personally:

    I use Nye Synthetic Clock Oil for applications requiring a low-viscosity lubricant.
    For general applications I use Mobil-1 5W-30
    For high viscosity applications I use Castrol Edge Gold 10W-60

    You won't go wrong with a good, name brand synthetic clock oil. It will be more expensive than motor oils but you're not using that much of it per clock. A relatively small bottle will still go a very long way if you don't spill or otherwise waste any it. The little bottles are easily knocked over if you're not careful.

    Be sure to look around and browse through the collection of articles that bangster has assembled in the "Sticky Threads" located at the top of the Clock Repair Forum's Home Page.

    For your convenience here are two such Thread/Articles on oil that I would like to draw your attention to:
    http://www.kensclockclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Clock-Oils.pdf
    Mobil 1â„¢ 15W-50 full synthetic oil at Walmart. $6.95/qt.

    Have fun and hope to see you around.

    Bruce
     
  14. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    #14 Darkstrike, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    @JTD - I wouldn't say less trouble, or necessarily cheaper....conveniently, the suggested 5w20 synthetic motor oil people have suggested is exactly what my car requires, so I actually already have some around....can't get cheaper than something I already own! :p

    My issue is that I am new to this, so even if I went the clock oil route, I don't know what suppliers or brands of clock oil ARE reputable!

    @R. Croswell - Thanks for the info!

    @Time After Time - Thanks for the warm welcome! When I said 'clean and oil' - I meant removing the movement, hopefully NOT having to take it COMPLETELY apart, and trying to gently wipe any dirt or crud off that I can see on any of the pinions, gears, etc with a qtip, or soft cloth, oiling all the bearings back up (and the springs, somewhere I read that I should oil those as well...?) and putting it back together! :) I'd actually found, saved and read that article on Ken's Clock Clinic on oils...informative! That's the main thing I'd found that made me consider using motor oil for my clock, especially as my car already uses 5w20 and I already have some full synthetic of it here at home. Would I be able to put that on the mainsprings as well, or should I be using something different for those? This isn't a large clock, just your usual mantle gingerbread clock. :)
     
  15. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You won't go wrong with that Darkstrike, just be sure to use fresh oil out of the container and not any of that used stuff out of the oil pan. :chuckling:
     
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Haha, for sure! I was editing my post as you replied, so there may be some other stuff in there you hadn't seen. :)

    Do I just use a dab on a toothpick to apply it to the bearings?
     
  17. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #17 Time After Time, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Okay DS, cleaning is a whole 'nother argu..er, debate. If you're serious about working with clocks, you will have to learn how to disassemble and reassemble their movements. There is absolutely no good way around that fact.
    If, however, you just want to kind of get your feet wet first, some advocate the use of so-called "Intact Cleaning" methods.
    I think this Intact Cleaning method is pretty good, but it requires a solder sucker. In the absence of a solder sucker, I suppose you could add more "reps" and substitute cotton-tipped applicators.

    Regarding the use of a toothpick as an applicator, for just starting out, sure...keep in mind that too much oil is almost as bad as not enough. Too much oil will run out of the oil sink/bearing and draw most of the oil with it. Too much oil also attracts dust/dirt.

    Bangster has an online tutorial on the subject. Please see: Oil a clock, How To (5 pages) •

    I'll be "Watching". Have fun and don't hesitate to let us know when you have more questions.

    Bruce

    Edit: You asked about Mainspring Lubricant. Lots of differing opinions on that as well. Very generally speaking, you'll want a heavier viscosity lubricant for your mainsprings. Some folks will apply a light grease. Again, use the oil you have on hand. It will be better than nothing to start with. You'll have a difficult time properly cleaning and lubricating your mainsprings without taking the movement apart. Do the best you can and mentally stick a pin in it. You'll need to come back to the issue later. Others may have more helpful advice...
     
  18. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Just posting an update - I had ordered a #6 key online from Ebay as to my best measurements (without a caliper!), that was the size key my clock would take.

    ...turns out the one I ordered does not fit, so I have ordered a #7 (4mm) key....hoping that does the trick!
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    39,452
    495
    83
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Look at Timsaver's items 10092, 10093, 10094, 10010, 10011, and 10012. They are VERY handy to have for sizing clock winding arbors and for sizing existing keys!
     
  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,751
    372
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Be aware that there are American and Swiss key sizes. A #6 American and a #6 Swiss size key won't be the same. My experience with new keys offered by the popular suppliers is that the sizes are not always consistent. Two keys with the same number, one may fit and the other may be tight. Then sometimes the winding arbors may, for whatever reason, not be what they are supposed to be with one being somewhat larger than the other. The tools mentioned by Shutterbug I do find helpful.

    RC
     
  21. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You won't go wrong with the specialized measuring tools that Shutterbug cites above. They are fast and accurate.
    I keep an even and odd set nearby, but I use them mostly to wind movements that I'm working with. There's no case or dial to get in the way.
    They are less expensive and much handier than buying a bulky set of keys (Don't ask...:rolleyes:).

    I do suggest that if you don't have a good Micrometer, you should look into getting one of those first, Once you can accurately measure the winding arbor or key socket, you can reference this chart: Key Sizes I agree with Shutterbug and RC, if you're going to work with a wide variety of clocks, you should consider purchasing the specialized measuring/winding keys. The more you use them, (and you'll use them a lot) the more they'll be worth the cost to you.

    Bruce
     
  22. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks for the info gents....I carefully tried to use my new key once again. I can get it onto the gong winder with very little force *IF* I have they key positioned a certain way. It does SLIGHTLY fit over the time winder, but nowhere near as well as the gong winder. So, it DOES seem I have the correct size, but maybe the key isn't perfectly machined...? Or maybe the square winders for the gong and the time are actually slightly different sizes to one another?

    I did order another key in the next size up, so hopefully that does the trick!
     
  23. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    2,977
    244
    63
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The winding arbors are often not identical. They may have been filed in the past to remove rounded shoulders. I set of needle files is rather inexpensive and can solve problems like this easily and is useful for may other tasks.

    Uhralt
     
  24. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,476
    168
    63
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'd suggest that, if the clock is running perfectly, that you leave it alone and let it continue to run perfectly. I haven't seen any evidence that preventative maintenance is of any particular use in a clock. It's important in a high-speed mechanism like an engine, but things happen so slowly in a clock's life that nobody ever lives long enough to know what works and what does not.

    It's also not particularly satisfying to work on a clock that's already working well, for your work cannot lead to any improvement in its performance and it's possible that, as a newcomer, you might make things a bit worse. There are plenty of non-working clocks to work on. If you wish to fix clocks your next stop should be to order a catalog from Timesavers.com, which sells lots of the weirder tools and supplies one would need. The less-weird tools and supplies are hardware-store items--I prefer Harbor Freight Tools for most stuff.

    I'd also suggest that if you'd like your life to be happy and peaceful upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee that you never ask anybody about anything having to do with clock oil. Also, WD-40.

    M Kinsler
     
  25. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    820
    128
    43
    N. Mariana Islands
    Region Flag:
    Order a catalog? Like, as in paper? Much faster and easier to just find it on the website or google it with the site: parameter.

    In addition to Timesavers:
    Clock Parts - Clock Movements : Clockworks
    Ronell Clock Company
    Merritt's Clocks & Repair Supplies
    Butterworth Clocks, Inc. - pw:butterworth
    black forest imports.com
    Mile Hi Clock Supplies

    And while I'm poking the Luddite masses: WD40 Rocks! :devil:
     
  26. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    A clock in good working order with an unknown service history may still need to be properly cleaned and lubricated. For me, there have been numerous occasions where I was tempted to just oil a movement and call it good. I decided, however, to take the movement apart for a proper cleaning and found issues early, like rust on pivots for example. Also, when you're just learning, sometimes it's a useful learning experience to take a working movement apart, service it and get it put back together again. There are situations where it is perfectly acceptable to simply re-oil a movement after careful examination. In brief, if there are no signs of significant wear, no accumulation of dirt or deposits around the pivots and the pivots are not dry it's "okay" to draw out the old oil and replace it with fresh oil for preventive maintenance.
     
  27. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I haven't oiled it since I got it, I took it apart to see if things SEEMED OK (not being a knowledgeable clock guy, but I am a tinkerer, so knowing how a clock works isn't too much of a stretch for me).

    I have had it running straight-time (with the face and hands off) for the last day just to see if it seemed to keep time and gong properly. I was told when it was given to me that it was 'broken', hence why I've been cautious with it. When I took it apart the first time, though, I didn't see anything wrong with it and the movement looks remarkably clean. Lo and behold, with it running straight time for the last day with the face and hands off, it has been keeping near spot-on perfect time....gonging properly the right time on the half hour and hour as it should (it just went off for the 7:30pm half-hour chime as I write this! :) )

    It SEEMS to be working just fine to me? My only issue, and pardon the stupidity of this question, is that I have no idea how much to wind it. I'd only done like...one full turn or two on each winder as I have no idea how much they were wound when it was given to me. I DO know the gong spring must've run out earlier today, so I did maybe....3.5 full turns of the key to it this morning to wind it up again a bit and it's been fine since....? I will say the gong seems more 'eager' to chime when it is time for it to chime than it had been, so I am guessing the mainspring for that didn't have a lot of tension until now when I had to re-wind it a bit earlier today.

    I know this is an '8-day' movement, supposedly...but how many turns are sufficient to achieve that once one of the mainsprings is wound down to nothing? Should I let the clock keep going until the gong and the time springs are completely slack and then wind it up so I know for certain how much to wind it?

    A picture of the movement once again to show how clean it is....also, none of the front bearings look worn to me, and I've tried to gently 'jiggle' some of them and nothing seems to have undue wear:
    DSC_0012.JPG

    I HAVE NOT removed the movement from the case to look at the backside yet though, but if the front is in seemingly this good a shape, I can't imagine the back would be much worse?
     
  28. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,280
    255
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You just wind until you can't wind anymore. You don't need to use a lot of force. You'll be able to tell when the mainspring has been fully wound. You can count if you'd like. Some folks count to keep the mainsprings in the middle of their torque range....not too tightly wound, not too far unwound.

    Come on Darkstrike...You should do at least that much. It's really easy! :)

    You can't see (or properly oil) the bearings in the back plate without removing the movement. Areas which are not easily accessible will often be the most neglected.
     
  29. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,751
    372
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well it looks like the second pivot hole above the winding arbor on the strike side is pretty gooped up and probably has wear that will be more obvious after it is cleaned. Its the dirt in the pivot holes tht can't be seen while the movement is assembled that is usually the problem, not surface dirt on the plates and gears.

    Yes, please go ahead and take it out of the case and let us see the back side.

    RC
     
  30. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    2,977
    244
    63
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Time after Time's advice is sound. Wind the springs fully. A typical American 8-day movement usually takes 14 half winds (7 full winds) after a week of running.

    Uhralt
     
  31. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    21,074
    113
    63
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Darkstrike your clock would benefit from a proper clean and oil, why run it more it will just wear quicker with the black gunk around pivots. Depending where you live in Canada i would buy from a Canadian source, as you know our dollar is doing poorly.
     
  32. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I intend to do so in the next few days! Have to pick up some 5w-20 full synthetic, as I don't have any here at home at the moment!

    Will do! Sometime in the next day or so!

    OK, thanks for the info. That's good info to know, and what I was looking for! I've not honestly wound one before until now, so I have no physical reference to how much effort it should take to wind when it's getting tight, so I had no idea if it was already wound a fair amount or not! :)

    Weird question - is there any benefit to NOT winding them fully all the time (say, only winding them 7/8ths of the way)? Does leaving them a little slack mean they'll last longer or anything of the sort? I'd have thought winding them to max every time could stretch the spring over time or some such...? Forgive my ignorance!

    I know it would, and I intend to do one! I was only running it straight time for a day or two without cleaning it as in the grand scheme of things that shouldn't hurt anything more than it may or may not already be done (everything looks in great working order though) and I was told it 'didn't work' when I was given it, so I wanted to actually see if it worked properly by letting it run that long. It's been about a day and a half now and it seems to work perfectly, so now I'll go through with a proper cleaning! :)
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  33. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    2,977
    244
    63
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    This is not a weird question at all. There are indeed clocks that are made to do just this. They have, what is called "stop works". It prevents the spring to be wound fully and to be fully unwound. Therefore only a part of the spring's power is used where it is relative even over time. The extremes, fully wound and fully unwound are not used. This makes the clock keep better time and there may also be and advantage with regard to wear because the peak power of the spring is never used.

    Uhralt
     
  34. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Registered User

    Aug 4, 2019
    15
    1
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    #34 Darkstrike, Aug 18, 2019 at 10:18 AM
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019 at 10:29 AM
    Thanks for the info! I have no idea if my Ansonia has this or not, but assuming it doesn't!


    Quick update - took the movement out this casing morning before I left for a short job. Here are some pics! Thoughts? :) Pardon the crappy camera-work....the camera is a hi-res Nikon DSLR, but it's the stock lens which is crumby at Macro shots. You might have to download and save them to view them in the greatest detail!

    I see a few bearings from the outside which may need a little cleaning, and a few spots on the inside but it doesn't look too bad to my eyes overall?

    DSC_0015.JPG DSC_0016.JPG DSC_0017.JPG DSC_0018.JPG DSC_0019.JPG DSC_0020.JPG

    One thing that I GUESS is normal, but looks really out of place...on the top of the movement in that last picture, the pin that runs through the clock on the left that holds the movement together, there is a small wire wrapped around it slightly that runs down to the armature that counts how many times the gong goes off on the hour and half-hour wheel...? Guessing it acts as a spring, but it looks like a really weedy spring...is this normal? ('Spring/wire' highlighted in first picture, the armature it's connected to highlighted in the second)
    wirehighlight.JPG
    wirearmaturehighlight.JPG

    Will I need to take the entire thing apart to try and clean it, or would I be able to try and clean it as best I could with something like Q-tips and a solder plunger to try and remove any gunk or debris?
     
  35. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,751
    372
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The helper spring is normal. If the strike train is working, observe how it works carefully before taking the movement apart. Not especially the position of any wheels that have stop pina. Yes you should disassemble for cleaning. But make sure you know how to restrain the springs first. Most good books on basic clock repair explain how to do this.

    RC
     

Share This Page