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I have a superior 8 day clock that runs absolutley fine for 5 days, i wind all my clocks on Sunday morning and by Thursday it's stopped. As long as I wind it every five days it never stops. Wouldn't that be a sign of a set mainspringA "set" mainspring should be one of the last things you consider as a possible cause for poor performance. Even if your mainsprings are set, they will likely provide adequate power to the gear train for a significant portion of the movements designed run time. For example, if you are working on an 8-day movement, set springs will likely provide 4 or 5 days (for example) of good operation before their torque curve peters out. If you have a way to measure the spring's torque, you could plot out a curve and get some idea of how quickly the power/torque falls off as the spring unwinds, but without some real world references, you won't be able to determine if the spring is too "tired" (another description of "set") to get the job done.
There are general rules of thumb. If the spring expands less than 2 to 2 1/2 times the diameter of the barrel, it may be set. If there are many coils spanning the inner and outer coils, the spring may be set. Neither of these general guidelines are sufficient evidence, by themselves, to seriously consider replacing the spring(s).
Here is a link to a recent Thread which touches upon these concepts: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/chime-spring-for-waterbury-mantel-clock.180762/#post-1476387. The original poster StuartG, reinstalled his original mainspring. Hopefully he'll find the time to let us know how things have worked out so far.
Good luck with your project and welcome to the NAWCC's Forums Alan.
Not necessarily. It may be a sign of wear in the time train. Older mainsprings were made of quality material and most new ones are not. When a clock wears and the pivots wear the holes in the plates enough to cause the wheels not to mesh properly, the clock will not run as long as it did before the wear. Usually, as others have stated, the problem is not in the mainsprings.I have a superior 8 day clock that runs absolutley fine for 5 days, i wind all my clocks on Sunday morning and by Thursday it's stopped. As long as I wind it every five days it never stops. Wouldn't that be a sign of a set mainspring?
Thanks, it ran when I got it and without taking it out of the case looked pretty clean. But the 5 day run confused me. I didn't figure it would run for that long if or had wear problems. Shows I'm still way way green at this.No, I have a similar Ansonia "Extra" with the original wrought iron main-springs. It will do 10 days any time you want to try it.
Short runs are almost always caused by trouble within the train. The list of problems is a long one. Now, if you have a main-spring that's only 3 feet long, thar's yer problem.
Personally I think that it could be, but by itself that is not definitive.Wouldn't that be a sign of a set mainspring
This is my 1st attempt at Clock restoration. So I don’t know what 100+ year old springs should look like. It’s a Seth Thomas 89 C. They’re clean, no rust. I had expected them to play out more than they did. Thanks for your comments.I would ask what the background for your concern.
This subject comes up every so often and then goes into obscurity for as long as memories last.
My feelings are that main springs and escapements are zeroed in on because they are what is visible. I also feel both are most times victims rather than the cause of problems in clock movements.
I feel the most common cause of clocks not being reliable is low power in the train. Low power due to friction due to wear. That wear occurs in the pivot holes in the plates. New main springs and adjustment of escapements is seldom a long lasting fix for movements.
So—I believe the first approach to clock repair should include diagnosing and solving that wear.
As a partial answer to your question. Main springs seldom go bad. Main springs break and come unhooked as well as a number of other maladies. Many/most main spring problems are the result of click assembly failure. There is a lot of power stored and one should be sure that power can be properly restrained, every time the click assembly works.
I have mentioned before that this board is populated by repair people of all levels. The same is true of U Tube videos, etc. Many of the current myths of clock repair are innocently spread by novices to the trade.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clock movements but are mostly preventative rather than being curative. Those processes being basic and necessary are part of that set of myths.
I would appreciate hearing your situation and the cause for your concern over main springs.
A photo or six would also be helpful.
Thanks, just the sort of book I've been looking forDo you have David Goodman's book? Dr. Goodman and I had the same way of thinking about trouble-shooting a clock.
To fix a clock you need to figure out what's wrong with it and that is best done before you take it apart. The list can be long or short but you need to know how to look for and find the problems first and then learn how to best address the problem area/s.
Sounds overly simple but it's a lot deeper than you may think.