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    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

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Rehardening flat springs

TEACLOCKS

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What do you think :???::???::???:?
I am working on a Keininger KSU movement that the click spring has broken.
None of the parts houses have the click spring Because Keininger has closed there doors.
So I was thinging I have a lot of old KSU movements that I would remove some of the old click springs and do this to them.
What do you Think :???::???::???:?
Thank you for you advice.
 
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bikerclockguy

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Let me know if it works! have a similar project with the latch spring on a 1920s era Victrola-style record cabinet, the thumb lever uses a flat spring to keep downward tension to hold it over the latch hook, and all I have left of the spring is a broken stub. I have some old gun mainsprings that are big enough to cut and grind to the right size, but They have seen their better days, and I’ve been hesitant to do that for fear I‘d just have a smaller worn-out spring.
 

bangster

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A very nice procedure. A simpler one I have used is (1) Heat the spring cherry red full length (2) quench it in motor oil.
The oil quench seems to harden it only to the hardness it would have if it were water quenched and then tempered.
It has worked for me.
 

bikerclockguy

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A very nice procedure. A simpler one I have used is (1) Heat the spring cherry red full length (2) quench it in motor oil.
The oil quench seems to harden it only to the hardness it would have if it were water quenched and then tempered.
It has worked for me.
I’ll try that. Thanks, Bangster!
 

kinsler33

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I think that the only difficulty with the oil quench is that your finished spring doesn't look quite so lovely, but I shall try both methods. I think I have some thick brass that will make a reasonable version of that hole-y brass plate upon which he heated the hardened spring, and I think that that may work well to re-blue clock hands.

Advice will be welcome.

M Kinsler
 

kinsler33

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If I lay the tiny click springs on my ceramic soldering plate then heat red hot
will it get both sides hot enough:???::???::???:

Then dunk in oil
My experience is that the ceramic soldering plate seems to siphon off heat rather eagerly. To heat small parts red-hot I'll generally string them on a bit of steel wire and hold them in the torch flame. But tempering to a consistent color, as is necessary when re-bluing steel hands (I can find _nothing_ useful about this chore) is another matter altogether. I've heard of strategies ranging from burying them in brass filings to simply running the torch over them repeatedly. I've adopted this latter strategy, but as in most other endeavors, I'm not particularly neat.

Research continues.

M Kinsler
 

SuffolkM

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To get even heat in a piece, I use a 2mm brass plate, with a layer of fine white sand on top. You heat the plate with a gas burner below, and nestle the pieces in the sand. The advantage of the sand is that it acts as a contact heat spreader, and it's really easy to move around to get the piece evenly heated. I know this might sound a bit difficult compared to firing a gas torch near the piece and moving it around, but for me, compared to other approaches the sand method is 100% successful and every piece can be heat blued with an even colour, including complicated items with varying thickness and other complex patterns such as longcase hands.
 

shutterbug

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I do the cherry red and water quench and the sanding just like the video. Then i use motor oil for the tempering. It burns at just the right temperature for tempering the spring. Just cover it with oil, ignite it and wait until the oil burns off. Allow the spring to cool a bit before recovering it. It will be a spring ;)
 
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bikerclockguy

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I’m trying to make this work in my head. I get everything except tempering the spring with the burning oil. Motor oil is not all that flammable. I’ve poured it over old cardboard boxes to start brush piles burning, etc, and it’s a good catalyst, but I’m having trouble picturing it burning all by itself on a metal spring. Do you use a propane torch or something to get it started?
 

shutterbug

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Yeah, a torch will light it up. After it starts it burns well :)
 
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R. Croswell

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The spring is red hot. Probably enough to ignite the oil.
In the machine shop of the company I worked for in the 60's oil quenching was frequently used. It was not uncommon for ignition of vapors formed as the heated part entered the oil. I don't recall seeing the whole container ignite, but we didn't use ATF. I believe it was oil sold for this purpose. While heating to "red hot", quenching in oil, and tempering to "blue" may suffice these small flat springs, in the machine shop consideration was given to just what type of steel was to be heat treated and the part placed in a little furnace with precisely controlled temperature. Tempering was done the same way bringing the furnace to the correct temperature. Our old German machinist was very particular and fussy about every detail.

A few months ago I make a center shaft tension spring from an annealed clock spring. I water quenched after "red heat" (not too precise as there are shades of red) and tempered it on my glass top electric kitchen stove. When it turned what I thought was a nice shade of blue I just slid it off the hot spot. Gary (the machinist) would have had a fit but the spring worked nicely.......I guess the old saying "close enough for government work" applies here as well.

I would urge caution when quenching with any type of oil. The oil must be in a metal container, you should have a fire suppression plan (metal cover, fire extinguisher, etc.) and be prepared for a little smoke and smell depending on the size of the part and if ignition does occur.

RC
 
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kinsler33

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These responses are splendid, and thank you. I do most of my repairs in the house, so oil quenching needs to go outside. I will admit, however, that often when a flat spring breaks I'll re-engineer the application using a piece of round pivot wire, which is already quite springy. But I've had good luck with other methods and, hooray, I have found amongst my treasures a 2mm thick brass plate. d

Mark Kinsler
 

kologha

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I do the cherry red and water quench and the sanding just like the video. Then i use motor oil for the tempering.
This works well, I have used this method to make small springs for old guns and always had success.
 
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