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Spring stuck outside barrel

rstl99

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Oct 31, 2015
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Hi all,
I'm finally getting around to restoring the movement in a ca. 1830 french clock.
I use an Ollie-Baker spring winder to work with the spring barrels on this one. The spring came out and went back in easily on the barrel for the time side.
For the strike side barrel, it seemed to me there was a bit too much spring for the barrel. Anyway, wound it up as tight as I could, and could hardly slip the slotted pipe to remove the spring. Once I did slip the pipe in, the spring seems to have undone itself from the barrel hook, unwound and lodged itself in the slotted pipe as you can see in the photos. Any suggestion on how to get the spring out of there?

Thanks.

IMG_0072.JPG IMG_0071.JPG
 

AndyH

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Aug 25, 2020
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I've once hit a similar problem.

How about using the method one would use to remove the spring from its barrel without a spring winder?

Gently pull the centre coils out with pliers to the point where it will stay out and you can get a grip on it. Then grasp the bit you've pulled out and gently and gradually twist and pull to remove it probably about a third to a half of a coil each time. When I have had to do this with a barrel it's useful to wrap it in an cloth for some protection in case of a sudden release.

Alternatively if you put it back in the spring winder can you use the friction of the sleeve to wind it slightly to the point where it slips round in the sleeve? If so you may be able to gradually slide the sleeve off a little at a time with each slip to make the above manual removal a little easier. Or, using this method you might even be lucky enough to get the eye end correctly positioned in sleeve slot again.

Andy
 

rstl99

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Oct 31, 2015
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Thanks Andy,
Before getting your answer I decided to just use a bit of brute force. Put the sleeve in the vice in the garage, and used a square piece of wood fitting in the ID of the sleeve, and punched out the spring with a hammer. I did wrap an old towel on the exit end in case. Anyway, the inner coils punched out first and then the outer coils followed out of the sleeve.

Obviously, the original eye hole was cracked and damaged (already?), so I'll need to put a new end and hole on the spring, but otherwise should be relatively straightforward. As I said, there seems to be a bit too much spring for the barrel, but that's what they original maker put in there so who am I to question his intent...

BTW the clockmaker inscribed the date on the spring, 1819, so now I know for sure the age of the clock! (bit older than I had estimated).

Regards

IMG_0076.JPG IMG_0074.JPG
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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That spring has obviously been repaired previously. That very angular end hole certainly isn't original. The sharp angles invite the spring to crack in a corner. So, maybe the spring isn't original to the clock but a replacement where somebody re-used an old spring for your clock? Using the mainspring calculator you could calculate the optimum length of your spring based on spring thickness and barrel dimensions. Then shorten the spring as required.

Uhralt
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Just put a drop of oil on the outer turn of the trapped spring and wind er round and round, while working the spring out of the sleeve and into a gloved hand. This doesn't take much effort and there is very little chance of a surprise. Willie X
 
Last edited:

rstl99

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Oct 31, 2015
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Ontario, Canada
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That spring has obviously been repaired previously. That very angular end hole certainly isn't original. The sharp angles invite the spring to crack in a corner. So, maybe the spring isn't original to the clock but a replacement where somebody re-used an old spring for your clock? Using the mainspring calculator you could calculate the optimum length of your spring based on spring thickness and barrel dimensions. Then shorten the spring as required.
Uhralt
Thanks Uhralt,
Indeed the hole on that spring (whether original or not) seems to have some design issues that our modern clockrepair methods would suggest were not optimal (sharp square corners). I don't recall if the other spring (which is back in the barrel and I'm too lazy to take it out again) was similarly holed. In that case, the spring was clearly a replacement one, whereas this one here appears original based on the date inscribed on it.
Good advice for me to use a calculator to figure out the proper length based on thickness etc, and cut back the length accordingly.
Regards,
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Well, it probably worked as it was (?) and your fixing to remove about 1/2 turn. So, I would probably leave it 'as is' and see how the test run/s go.

No factory ever made holes like that. Evidently someone only had a square file:???: Willie X
 
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kinsler33

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Aug 17, 2014
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The spring you found in the clock may well have been swiped from some other movement.

I, of course, would never even think of scavenging parts from another clock. It's simply not done.

Are you sure that the old spring isn't inscribed 6181?
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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French springs are fairly generic and among the best springs ever made. Their shortcomings are mainly due to their being so thin, usually only .010" or .011" thick.

I don't have any problem at all doing a spring transplant from 'ye ole clock grave yard'. I do this on a regular basis. :)

Willie X
 

kinsler33

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Aug 17, 2014
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French springs are fairly generic and among the best springs ever made. Their shortcomings are mainly due to their being so thin, usually only .010" or .011" thick.

I don't have any problem at all doing a spring transplant from 'ye ole clock grave yard'. I do this on a regular basis. :)

Willie X
Indeed. I purloin parts from every possible source, as should you. That's why a good junk box/bin/railroad car is important for any repair work, especially clocks.
 
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Willie X

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I wouldn't have missed the sarcaso, if I had noticed it was kin's post ... Ha! Willie
 

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