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Separating the plates on a Waterbury miniature

Ramsey Badawi

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Hello

I hope folks are not getting tired of my newbie posts, but since everyone is being patient and friendly I am going to keep asking!

Trying to separate the plates on this Waterbury miniature carriage clock, but have just realized that I lack the secret to disassembling the minute arbor. Since there are components on each side of the plates, this is a bit of a show-stopper. Any guidance would be most welcome.

Many thanks,

- Ramsey 20211124_174928.jpg
 

shutterbug

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The winders can be removed by turning them the opposite direction of the winding arrows. The other parts will just pull off with a little effort. Then you should be able to split the plates.
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I tried pulling off the components on the minute arbor but they are pretty firmly attached. I stopped when the force level got scary and I confess there is now a small bend in the minute arbor which I will have to sort out ...

Since I am going to clean everything anyway, perhaps there is no harm in using a little liquid wrench?

Is there some other trick I am missing?
 

JimmyOz

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The knob on the back plate, I have used a little heat at times as people glue and in one case soldered the knob on.
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I guess brass has a higher coefficient of expansion than steel? So the knob should free itself on heating?
 

Ramsey Badawi

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OK, significant progress has been made; plates are apart, most of the wheels are off. However, I am still having trouble with the minute arbor. There are components on both sides of the front plate and I am not sure how to get them off. All guidance gratefully received! 20211126_125254.jpg 20211126_125027.jpg 20211126_123801.jpg n
 

shutterbug

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It appears that the star wheel and the snail are one assembly. The pinion looks like it has a pin, which is keeping the other parts from lifting off. Remove that pin and see how it goes.
 

Ramsey Badawi

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OK, got the pin on the transfer wheel post out and also removed the spring that engages the star wheel. This has clarified things. In the pic, the red arrow (left) points to the component that is preventing the snail/star wheel assembly from coming off from the front, and the green arrow (right) is pointing to a collar that is keeping the wheel from coming off from the back. I tried grasping the collar with a pair of flat pliers and pulling, but fear (caution??) prevented me from trying too hard - and it did not budge.

Any further thoughts?


Picture1.png
 

shutterbug

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It looks like it might be the one behind what your arrow points to. Try prying that off. That's an unusual movement!
 

Ramsey Badawi

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Hi Shutterbug
I am not quite clear what you are referring to. On the back, the bit behind the arrow (on the arbor) is the wheel/pinion, and that turns freely, but is prevented from moving backwards on the arbor by the collar that the red arrow points to. On the front, the bit behind the arrow is the snail/star wheel assembly, and that shakes freely on the arbor, until it hits the bit right at the end of the arbor that the green arrow points to. Can you elaborate your thought a little?

Many thanks!
 

Peter John

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Hi Shutterbug
I am not quite clear what you are referring to. On the back, the bit behind the arrow (on the arbor) is the wheel/pinion, and that turns freely, but is prevented from moving backwards on the arbor by the collar that the red arrow points to. On the front, the bit behind the arrow is the snail/star wheel assembly, and that shakes freely on the arbor, until it hits the bit right at the end of the arbor that the green arrow points to. Can you elaborate your thought a little?

Many thanks!
I think the part the red arrow is pointing to is the minute hand hub. It needs to come off. Friction fit. The part behind it looks like the hour hand hub. It needs to come off too. Friction fit. Are the hands missing? Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I pried the hands off - they seemed to come off without damage. I'll have another fiddle with the minute hand hub and see if it comes off.
 

Peter John

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I pried the hands off - they seemed to come off without damage. I'll have another fiddle with the minute hand hub and see if it comes off.
You may need a puller for the minute hand hub. Can you give us a photo of the minute hand? Especially the hole end. It sure looks like the hub is still on the center post. Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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Here are some pics of the face and arbor before I pulled the hands. I am not at my workshop right now (damn day job gets in the way! :)) but will post pics of the removed hands when I get home.
20211120_162940.jpg 20211120_163102.jpg 20211120_163225.jpg

I actually have another thread on pulling the hands:


If I use a puller it is going to need to be pretty small - smaller than what I have. Should I try a watch hand puller (will need to purchase) or do you have a better recommendation?
 
Last edited:

Peter John

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Here are some pics of the face and arbor before I pulled the hands. I am not at my workshop right now (damn day job gets in the way! :) but will post pics of the removed hands when I get home.
View attachment 683131 View attachment 683132 View attachment 683133

I actually have another thread on pulling the hands:

Yup, you pulled them off of their respective hubs. Now you need to get the hubs off to remove the hour wheel/snail and the rest of the stuff on the front plate. Then you need to reinstall the hands to their respective hubs. Day jobs do interfere with the fun stuff.
Here are some pics of the face and arbor before I pulled the hands. I am not at my workshop right now (damn day job gets in the way! :)) but will post pics of the removed hands when I get home.
View attachment 683131 View attachment 683132 View attachment 683133

I actually have another thread on pulling the hands:


If I use a puller it is going to need to be pretty small - smaller than what I have. Should I try a watch hand puller (will need to purchase) or do you have a better recommendation?
 

Peter John

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Yup, you pulled them off of their respective hubs. Now you need to get the hubs off to remove the hour wheel/snail and the rest of the stuff on the front plate. Then you need to reinstall the hands to their respective hubs. Day jobs do interfere with the fun stuff.
I would use a small gear puller. I think Timesavers has them. Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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However, the minute arbor is still not coming off unless I can get this pinion off, which likewise seems to be very firmly fixed, and has VERY little clearance. But I am wondering at this point if I really need to bother? Can I not just clean it like this?
20211129_201254.jpg
 

shutterbug

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Unless it needs a bushing, you can just leave it on. Clean around it as best you can. If it needs to come off, you can heat it up and drive it off. Be very careful not to ruin any threads, etc. Some folks make a couple of thin wedges to work under it and force it off. There's also a commercial puller that uses wires. I never found it useful.
 

Peter John

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Unless it needs a bushing, you can just leave it on. Clean around it as best you can. If it needs to come off, you can heat it up and drive it off. Be very careful not to ruin any threads, etc. Some folks make a couple of thin wedges to work under it and force it off. There's also a commercial puller that uses wires. I never found it useful.
It looks to me like the hour hand hub is still on tube? You’re going to need to get it off as well so you can get the hour hand riveted back onto it. Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I subsequently got the hour hand hub off as well. Interestingly, the snail and star wheel are still not separable from the hour pipe - there is another collar that stops them coming off.

I am not clear about the riveting process you are recommending - any chance you could describe what you have in mind? I was going to try just pressing it on and seeing if the fit is tight enough ... once I have cleaned the penetrating oil off.
 

Peter John

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I subsequently got the hour hand hub off as well. Interestingly, the snail and star wheel are still not separable from the hour pipe - there is another collar that stops them coming off.

I am not clear about the riveting process you are recommending - any chance you could describe what you have in mind? I was going to try just pressing it on and seeing if the fit is tight enough ... once I have cleaned the penetrating oil off.
you can press them on, but they may not be tight enough to stay put. when you pried them off you also sheared off the small lip of brass that was holding them tight. look at some hands that have hubs and you will see what I am referring to. Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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Peter -

How do I go about riveting the hands to the hubs?

If this is a high-skill job, is there any down side to super-gluing the hands to the hubs? I'm sure typing "super-glue" screams "newbie", but I figure asking is a better way to learn than making the error with someone else's clock! :)
 

Peter John

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Peter -

How do I go about riveting the hands to the hubs?

If this is a high-skill job, is there any down side to super-gluing the hands to the hubs? I'm sure typing "super-glue" screams "newbie", but I figure asking is a better way to learn than making the error with someone else's clock! :)
Not hi-skill but you do need to have the tools and ability to use them. I would fit them back on the hubs and see how much brass is standing above the hand hole. Then a determination of what course to follow could be made. If there is enough brass standing proud you could just peen it over onto the hand as it was before you pried them off. If there is not enough then I would solder them on using either tix solder or stay-bright. Superglue will sort of work but it is not sturdy enough to fix the hands solidly enough. The next person to work on the clock would have the same problem that was created when they were pried off. The hands would come off and the hubs are still on the clock. Peter
 

Ramsey Badawi

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On reflection, peening is also going to leave us in the same position - if you don't realize you have to pry the hub and not the hands, peening is not going to stop the hands coming off the hubs.

I actually think this is a design flaw with these particular clocks - it is not readily obvious (at least, not to this to this noob) that these hands have hubs. I bought a couple of similar (busted) clocks on ebay for spares and both of them had hands off their hubs.
 

Peter John

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On reflection, peening is also going to leave us in the same position - if you don't realize you have to pry the hub and not the hands, peening is not going to stop the hands coming off the hubs.

I actually think this is a design flaw with these particular clocks - it is not readily obvious (at least, not to this to this noob) that these hands have hubs. I bought a couple of similar (busted) clocks on ebay for spares and both of them had hands off their hubs.
Not a design flaw. You have learned your first lesson as a noob. As you progress you will learn many more. Just carefully examining the hands before you pried the wrong part off you would have realized that the hub also needed to come off in order to get the wheels apart. As you work on the many varied configurations your knowledge will grow. Most minute hands have a hub, hour hands almost 100%. Peter
 
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