Help Russian Submarine Clock

Vance Johnson

Vance
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Feb 10, 2009
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I'm working on this Russian Submarine clock, but I can't figure out how to let down the spring. There is a click lever that easily lifts out of the click gear, but the power doesn't release because of the mechanism mounted on the side of the spring barrel. Using a winding key, the mechanism will permit the spring to be wound up, but it will not release the power. There is a sort of paddle attached to the winding arbor that fits tightly into the slot on the 'butterfly' shaped mechanism and the wings on the mechanism prevent the spring from unwinding.
Does anyone know about this mechanism and how to get it to release so I can unwind the spring?

IMG_3822.JPG IMG_3824.JPG IMG_3826.JPG
 

glenhead

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Nov 15, 2009
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That's called a "Geneva Stop" mechanism. I'll ask you to google it to get the deep details, but its purpose is to keep the power of the mainspring in its middle band. It will stop the mainspring from winding tight and from unwinding completely. Once it's let down as much as can be there should be minimal power left on the train. In my experience it's frequently, but not always, zero power. If you remove the escapement at that point it should finish running down quickly; any residual power can be easily controlled with a fingertip.

Once you get the barrel out of the clock there will still be a wind or two of power that the Geneva Stop is holding. Take note of exactly how the two parts mesh once you get the barrel out - you'll want to put them back together in that orientation. To remove the Stop, secure the barrel in something (a gloved hand can work if you can still reach the parts) and take the pressure off of the Stop with your letdown tool and hold it. One of the two pieces should either slide out of the way or unscrew, allowing you to let the rest of the power down. Count how many unwinds there are to completely down.

When you put it all back together, put the Maltese-cross-looking part back to the correct angle, redo the number of winds on the mainspring, and slide the other piece back in to lock mechanism. Or just reverse whatever the sequence was if you had to unscrew something or something. The goal is to hit roughly the same spot on the mainspring for the Stop to hold.

Hope this helps.

Glen
 

Vance Johnson

Vance
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Glen,
Thanks for the background and the tips. However, I still don't see how to release the power of the spring in this clock. The maltese-cross is at the stop point and I think it is at the lowest point in the winding process. Does that mean that by letting down the rest of the power as you suggest by removing the escapement, I can then safely disassemble the movement and remove the barrel?
 

shutterbug

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The click will be separate from the stop mechanism. Look at it again, and listen for the "clicks" as it winds to help locate it. Maybe on the other side of the winding arbor?
 

drjjpdc

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Apr 14, 2021
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I am a beginner and I couldn't find all the names of parts of a russian submarine clock. A friend of mine that asked me to look at it is even more clueless than I am! There is a part that I am missing. The mainspring was removed, next to the ratchet and the clicker part there is a flat piece of bent metal, I assume acts like a tension spring. Is there a name to this part? If I can't find could I make one? Is there a possible substitute?
 

drjjpdc

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Here is the best picture I could find since the clock I am working on doesn't have what I am looking for. If you look at the guy's finger in the top right corner, there is a black rivet that clicks into the mainspring. To the right of it is the bent piece of metal, looks like a flat metal spring to provide tension. The open end is next to his fingertip. It almost reminds me of a flat spring used in firearms. If you need it larger, you can use your browser's zoom function.

images sub clock (2).jpg
 

drjjpdc

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Well I posted 2 photos and I still didn't get any answers.

@ Willie X, in addition none of the threads I searched thru had anything about the part I asked about.

If the part I was asking about is too simple a question and is something I should've known about before I signed up here please let me know.
 

shutterbug

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I think the lack of response is because it's such an unusual clock, with an unusual stop work. The function involves two wheels that turn together until a preset spot is reached. The click spring is not involved in that interchange, and one of the wheels will be removable. You'll have to look at both of them and determine which one comes off, and how it's attached. Usually one is permanently mounted, and the other is not. When you get one of them off the movement, you'll be able to let the spring down in the usual way. Your pics are not large enough to see much detail, and enlarging them makes them too blurry. But I think you'll be able to make some headway with this info.
 

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