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Solvent to Clean a balance wheel movement

UncleDoc

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I'm trying to find Willy's thread(s) on how to clean this sort of movement. I recall it being something like lighter fluid. Not looking for a treatise, just a clue on how to find existing info.

Thanks.

Duane
 

Willie X

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Harold and myself used about the same method. Just drop the balance assembly in a Yogurt cup with about 2 ounces of Coleman Lantern Fuel (CLF). Let it soak a about 10 minutes and carefully brush away any crud from all the holes and crannies of the balance wheel and the frame. Re-rinse and carefully use low pressure compressed air to finish the job. It will dry on its own (in seconds) no need for a drying step. I always test them.

You're right all this should be in the archives at least a dozen times ...

Willie X
 

UncleDoc

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Thanks Willy. My wife loves these little clocks. I’ve tried to warn her that they may be permanently dead, but it’s worth a try.

Duane
 

UncleDoc

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First movement I tried it on is ticking away nicely. Soaked a bit, selective light scrubbing. Dry then oil strategically. Started on its own. very cool.
 

Willie X

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No oil next time ... that may have been yer problem at the start. :)
Willie X
 

UncleDoc

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Update: The cock runs seemingly for hours, then stops. Flick the heel and it starts back up. I'm thinking that the spring is dirty (I know, I can see it). Trying to think of the best way to lube the spring in situ. Should I just apply oil when it's fully unwound and go through several cycles, distributing the lubricant?
 

Willie X

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The springs and balance are rarely the problem.

It would be much more likely that the holes in the barrels are worn out and almost a certainty of wear in the train pivot holes.

I'm assuming a 30+ year old Hermle 340 or 350 series.

We are shooting in the dark without photo/s, description, or age, of what you have there.

Willie X
 

UncleDoc

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The springs and balance are rarely the problem.

It would be much more likely that the holes in the barrels are worn out and almost a certainty of wear in the train pivot holes.

I'm assuming a 30+ year old Hermle 340 or 350 series.

We are shooting in the dark without photo/s, description, or age, of what you have there.

Willie X
It's a tiny little movement. I'll post pics shortly. Violated the picture rule!!!
 

Willie X

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I've seen many clocks with similar (rear wind and set) movements. More like an oversize pocket watch. Do you know anyone who works on pocket watches?

These babies are often called 'fit-up' movements, or 'novelty clock' movements. Willie X
 

UncleDoc

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He ^ seems nice...

I think it's really a spring issue now that I've gone through several cycles of winding with sparing application of oil and it seems to run strongly and hasn't stopped since last night. Prior to the lube winding the spring you could feel the metal on metal grinding. I know removing an rehabbing the spring is best, but this is a cheap clock and I'll call it good. My wife'll be happy with it ticking in her office.
 

gmorse

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Hi UncleDoc,

No, it isn't a watch, but it does have the 'poor relation' of a lever escapement, (it's a pin-pallet, found in many 'dollar watches' and alarm clocks), so lubrication can play a part in its performance. Can you tell us exactly which parts of the escapement you oiled, and with what?

Regards,

Graham
 

UncleDoc

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Hi UncleDoc,

No, it isn't a watch, but it does have the 'poor relation' of a lever escapement, (it's a pin-pallet, found in many 'dollar watches' and alarm clocks), so lubrication can play a part in its performance. Can you tell us exactly which parts of the escapement you oiled, and with what?

Regards,

Graham
Just the mainspring. Using Beat 101 as a guide, I found that it’s in beat. Going out for the night so I’ll take another look later tonight.
 

gmorse

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Hi UncleDoc,
Just the mainspring.
The balance wheel pivots in their conical bearings would benefit from some sparing lubrication, and so would the pallet pins, but not the lever fork or the lever pivots, and most definitely not the balance spring. Use what oil you have to hand, provided it isn't too heavy.

Regards,

Graham
 

UncleDoc

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Hi UncleDoc,


The balance wheel pivots in their conical bearings would benefit from some sparing lubrication, and so would the pallet pins, but not the lever fork or the lever pivots, and most definitely not the balance spring. Use what oil you have to hand, provided it isn't too heavy.

Regards,

Graham
Cool. I know that the spring needs to be free of schmutz. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s doing when I get home. I’ll give each pivot a small dab. Thanks for the input.
 

bangster

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It seems that Way Back When, they regarded kerosene as a lubricant. Left a small bottle of it in the
case, so's the fumes could lube the movement. I have no advice on the plausibility of this theory.
 

UncleDoc

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It seems that Way Back When, they regarded kerosene as a lubricant. Left a small bottle of it in the
case, so's the fumes could lube the movement. I have no advice on the plausibility of this theory.
From a chemist's point of view it seems dubious. The fumes would be made up of the more volatile compounds in the kerosene, not the higher molecular weight, less volatile ones, which are more like the lubricants we normally think of.
 

shutterbug

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Yep. But you do find a small bottle or a damp Kerosene soaked rag in a few clocks still. Sometimes there's even a feather that they used to spread the stuff on the wheels :)
 

Willie X

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When you see a clock with a very dark (almost black) dial paper and case, that is from repeatedly swabbing out the movement with kerosene. Willie X
 

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