• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    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.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Seth Thomas 89 J Help Requested

Dan13

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Jan 21, 2021
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First post, and I will tell you all up front I have very little experience in clock repair. However, I am what you would call a tinkerer and very much enjoy tearing things down and fixing them, and especially if they are old. I have restored three antique tractors with no prior experience, restored three antique GE and other fans with no prior experience, and generally am the go-to guy in my family to fix broken stuff. Now to my reason for joining - 20 years ago my mother gave my new wife and I an old Tambor style Seth Thomas mantel clock with a 89 J movement for our wedding gift. The clock ran perfect for well over a decade and I sure enjoyed seeing the old guy run so well for being so old. It finally started having issues staying running no matter how I shimed it to keep it in perfect beat. I must have tweaked that poor movement for months before finally just buying another 89 J movement off eBay that was restored and rebushed. I could not bring myself to throw away the old original movement so oiled it well, placed it in a partially open ziplock back, and put it away for another day. Fast forward to now - I am retired and found the old movement and the tinker-bug fired up in me to get it running smoothly again, or as much as possible without professional equipment. I would like to start by taking it apart and giving it a good cleaning to give the mainspring as much umph as possible. My first thought was to use brake cleaner so I would not run the risk of taking it apart and not being able to put it back together, but after reading a few posts here on that very idea I decided to "attempt" to clean it correctly. Bushing look pretty good except the top gear the rocker plate runs off of.

It appears the springs are held in place by a separate panel and I "think" I can purchase some spring clamps and just remove them - correct? Is there a reasonably priced manual on these movements that can assist me in insuring once I tear into it, I can actually put it back together again? Once again, just looking to clean it. If more serious repairs are needed I would have to break down and take it to a repair shop as I would hate to loose this specific movement due to where it came from. Any tips to make my life easier and for better success?

Thanks all,
Dan
 

dickstorer

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Oct 19, 2010
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Tip number one to make your "clock repair" life easier. Learn the correct names for the parts. NOT----
"top gear the rocker plate runs off of". Take many pictures before you take anything apart. There a lot of experts here that will help you take it apart and put it all back.
 

Grant Perry

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Jun 5, 2002
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Welcome to the forum Dan,
You will find the help you need here to get you through your first project. As mentioned, take lots of pictures until you are familiar with the layouts of different movements. For the mainsprings, you don't need mainspring clamps on this movement. You do need to fully let down the power of the spring though before you disassemble the movement. A let down key is required for this, however you can fashion a homemade one to get the job done. This is the first step....and lots of pictures for you to reference.
Grant
 
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Dan13

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Jan 21, 2021
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Welcome to the forum Dan,
You will find the help you need here to get you through your first project. As mentioned, take lots of pictures until you are familiar with the layouts of different movements. For the mainsprings, you don't need mainspring clamps on this movement. You do need to fully let down the power of the spring though before you disassemble the movement. A let down key is required for this, however you can fashion a homemade one to get the job done. This is the first step....and lots of pictures for you to reference.
Grant
Thanks for the reply Grant. If the spring winder only goes one direction, how does a let down key work? do you attach to the post then remove the back?
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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Dan, you attach the let down tool to the winding arbor just as you do when winding. You turn it slightly, enough to release the clicker. While holding it in that position you use a small screwdriver or similar tool to hold the click away from the click wheel. Then, while holding it away from the click, carefully let the tool turn in your hand , letting down the power of the spring until it is clamped.
 
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Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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Your original movement was probably the victim of wear causing friction and low power.
The difference between clean and dirty will not make the movement go again.
If you do not address the real problem, you will only become frustrated.
There are many books written by experts that could serve your situation well.
Your local library has those books or has access to them.
Dick
 

Grant Perry

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Jun 5, 2002
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This is a video (below) that I found that demonstrates how to release the click and let the power down into a clamp. As I mentioned, you do not need to release the spring into a clamp. You can safely release all the power without a clamp. When released without a clamp, it will look something like this. You can then safely disassemble the movement, however there will be some residual power in the spring, so expect some additional release.
Removing the mainspring like this will allow you to fully inspect, clean and lubricate the spring.
Good luck!
1611318884058.png


 
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Dan13

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Jan 21, 2021
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Good news, bad news. I was able to let down my springs and open up the movement without any issues. Below is a pic of the time side mainspring, does it look set to you?

I opened up the movement to clean all the pivots and pivot holes with a toothpick. It actually looked quite clean. I took quite a few pictures of the gear placements before touching them so I could put them back in the same position when reassembling.

Now the bad, somewhere between reassembly and holding my mouth just right to get all the pivots back into the holes, it appears I got a tooth or two off on the strike side. The blade is not lifting off the count wheel notches to clear the next tooth. Drats! 20210122_094742.jpg 20210122_094742.jpg
 

tracerjack

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Jun 6, 2016
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Spring looks fine. Opening up the movement several times to adjust everything correctly is fairly normal procedure for me. I’ve certainly gotten faster at it with all the practice.
 

Grant Perry

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The spring does look a little tight in the inner coils, but it will probably work fine as is. You should remove them from the arbors, clean them and lubricate with mainspring grease. I usually use a combination of isopropyl and steel wool (0000).
As TJ stated, adjustments are usually par for the course. My advice is to take a few minutes to really understand what the levers are doing, where the locks are, and how these components work together. It will make the task much easier....imo,
 

tracerjack

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If the spring is set, my understanding is that it will still power the clock, and it will function properly, just not for the full expected time period. Instead of 8 days, you might only get five.
 
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Dan13

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Jan 21, 2021
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Took it back apart and lined up the gears as I observed in the pictures (great suggestion by the way) and adjusted the strike levers a tad to get the strike working correctly. The blade barely clears the count wheel teeth right now, but it goes into warning, hops through the hour chime slots, and stops when it hits the deep groves as designed. I have it set up without the pendulum right now and it seems to be working fine.

Thanks for all the help! 20210122_152832.jpg
 
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