Spring growly noise remains

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Lynsey, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. Lynsey

    Lynsey Registered User

    Nov 7, 2019
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    Good Morning. Pictured is the movement from my New Haven Banjo as originally unveiled. I have since cleaned and lubricated it per instructions. My issue is the strike spring. She struck 7 this morning and then growled twice. I lubed this spring with the "heavy spring lube" in the bellows looking container, wound, unwound and wound again as instructed. I felt I did it exactly as described and yet I still have this grumpy noise. I would say this is second time I have noticed it since she has been back on the wall, a good 2 weeks say.

    My query is this...did I really insufficiently lube that spring? I thought I put it on quite a bit. Did I smear it all over 100% of that spring with my fingers and a rag? No. I greased it flat on the table, inserting the needle all over the place. Frequently and sporadically along the length. Applying much more in the outer rings and less in the inner rings. Aha! Since today is winding day, does she need more grease in the smaller, tightly wound beginning end of the spring?

    Front of clock.jpg
     
  2. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Jun 24, 2008
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    Lynsey, perhaps the spring is rubbing on the plate or the main wheel. Does all look straight? Is the plate bent anywhere? It is usually recommended that springs be completely removed from the movement, stretched out completely, cleaned with naphtha or some other cleaner, then wiped with a rag which has lubricant on it. There are many choices of lubricants. I use “Slick-50 One” on mine.
     
  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Old springs make noises.

    New springs make noises too but not as loud.

    It only takes about 5 drops, or dabs in your case, of lube to do an average spring. And, as wow already mentioned, the springs need to be clean and smooth. The smoothing often requires starting with not to fine. (150) sandpaper and machine oil, followed by steel wool/oil, both with plenty of elbow grease. Then wipe clean with a soft cloth and apply the lube evenly while it's still stretched out.

    Your old spring might be made from wrought steel. It has a rough surface texture and will always be somewhat noisey.

    Your spring could also be cracked. This will become evident when you stretch it out and will require replacement.

    WIllie X
     
  4. Lynsey

    Lynsey Registered User

    Nov 7, 2019
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    Thank you, gentlemen. This was my first disassembly. I did stretch the springs out and clean and inspect them. No cracks, no rust and did feel clean and smooth.
    Not as clean and smooth as they could have been, WillieX, for sure. As this was my first foray with springs, I can tell you I was hypervigilant in the preservation of my fingers and may have been distracted by that a bit. I had the spring held into a wire shelf with a metal shishkebab stick, stretched across the end of the bed to the other side of the room to clean it. I will dig into this when time permits and examine it for proper fit and finish. Thank you, wow, I will make a point of examining it for those anomalies.
     
  5. wow

    wow Registered User
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  6. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    Is the noise mostly notable when you wind the spring for the last two half turns? If yes, it might just be the steel material the spring was made from. I have a New Haven Steeple clock that makes these noises and it is an excellent runner since many years. As long as you don't hear any slapping noises during winding or feel that the spring suddenly moves when you wind it, this might be normal. The old springs are not as smooth on their surfaces as the modern ones are.

    NB. You seem to use too much lubricant. It will eventually run down your main wheels and attract dust. If you don't want to use your hands to spread the lubricant on the spring you can use a rag. I personally use my hands, this way I can feel if there is a thin spread of lubricant as far as I can touch the spring. For the innermost coils I use a small artist's brush.

    Uhralt
     
  7. Lynsey

    Lynsey Registered User

    Nov 7, 2019
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    wow, I needed a solid structure to hold the spring so where there is a will, there is a way. I have used watches as pendulums too. Biggest annoyance is the four legged family member's curiosity at what I am doing, I am outnumbered and have to get very creative for everyone's safety.

    Uhralt, the noise seemed to happen the day before she is due to be wound. I wind every Sunday. When I wind, it is quiet. I know I didn't use too much grease as I was diligent in making sure nothing was squishing out, leaking, dripping or oozing. As I gain confidence with the spring monsters, I am sure I will use hands and fingers more bravely. I am going to pay close attention to any further utterances from this clock until I can dismantle and observe first hand.
     
  8. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    When the noise happens while the clock is running down, and not during winding, it usually means that there is some stickiness in the inner coils of the spring. A spring made of rougher steel would make a noise during winding but not during running down. The inner coils of the spring probably need to be cleaned and lubricated. It is also possible that there is a kink in the spring that causes this problem, then the spring should be replaced. The kink sometimes occurs in the location of the transit of the annealed most inner coils and the non-annealed rest of the spring. I had a big fusee spring break at this point recently at night and it was quite a shock.

    Uhralt
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    New Haven movements (and some others) typically have some projections from click rivet shank and click spring attachments on the spring side of the main wheel. If the spring is oriented too close to the main wheel the uncoiling main spring coils can hang up on these projections and suddenly release causing the spring to make a shuffling noise as the spring coils recenter after slipping past the "snag".

    New Haven solved the problem in some later models by placing a smooth zinc metal disk between the spring and the back of the main wheel. That worked very well. I've had a couple troublesome New Havens to which I added a similar metal disk cut from the cheap aluminum pendulum bobs supplied with quartz movements. Some clocks have a hole drilled through the frame pillar where the loop-end spring attaches. A wire through the hole keeps the spring close to the plate (not tightly pressed against the plate) and away from the main wheel. On a few occasions where there were problems with spring contact with the main wheel I have drilled the pillar and inserted a wire that solved the problem.

    Too much lubrication isn't likely the problem, just makes a mess. As already mentioned any irregularities in the spring, kinks, coning, cracks, rough or rusted spots can cause uneven unwinding. A replacement spring that is too wide or too short could also be responsible. A bent main wheel could also be a factor.

    RC
     
  10. Lynsey

    Lynsey Registered User

    Nov 7, 2019
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    #10 Lynsey, Dec 2, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    You have all given me so much to look for, I am looking forward to taking this apart again. The latest update is that right after the 10 strike, she went
    "uh, uh-uh" very softly with no attitude. Keep in mind, she was wound just yesterday. This clock has given me fits since day one in regards to plumb. My walls are, but this clock needs shimming forward at the bottom almost half an inch to be anywhere close. Could this have an effect on spring noise?
     
  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    A female clock with no "attitude", sounds like a real problem here. Make sure her hammer rests about 1/16" to 1/8" above the gong. Check the hammer return spring, it could be broken or unhooked. The spring is responsible for how hard the hammer drops.

    Not likely that being out of plumb has any effect on the spring noise. The main issue with being out of plumb (tilting forward or backward) is that the pendulum leader may contact the heel or toe of the crutch foot or loop. The leader should be more or less centered in the crutch. If it contacts the heel or toe a lot of power will be lost and you will have poor pendulum swing.

    RC
     
  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    If you can make the strike loud enough, the noises will go away. :) Willie X
     
    roughbarked likes this.
  13. Lynsey

    Lynsey Registered User

    Nov 7, 2019
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    Yikes. I think my description was misinterpreted!!! The "Uh, uh-uh" noise to which I was referring, was the noise the spring was making. This gives me incentive to remove the throat panel as well and observe the pendulum/crutch loop relationship. The strike is loud, for sure. Once in a while she throws a bone, strike wise, but I think that is caused by my awkwardness in adjusting the hammer or hammers. Thank you for the info on that. I forget what is in there. We cannot get off subject here so we must keep it to the spring noise issues! I will disassemble and report back!
     

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