Stake or Solder?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Zu-Astarti, Oct 26, 2012.

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  1. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

    Feb 24, 2012
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    The lady that owns this found it in her father's basement after he passed away. It's a sad old timer with a really grimy dial and a bad case of basement whiff, but she would like it to run. Doesn't appear to need much but a good cleaning and a couple of bushings. However, when I lifted off the wheel that drives the calendar hand (don't know what it's proper name is) it just fell apart in my hand. It looks like someone soldered it at some point, but it has failed. Wouldn't it be better to just re-stake it rather than solder it?

    Note the old repairman's note in the case and the straight pin being used to hold the suspension spring in place. You can see it sticking out from behind the motion works...
     

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  2. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

    Oct 25, 2010
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    Clean things up and do both. Sweat solder for best appearance if that is important to you.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It looks like you have enough material to restake it. I doesn't take a huge amount of force to move the calendar. Half dead-beat. Nice. Who made it?
     
  4. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    It's a Sessions Crescent #8. --Thanks to Harold Bain for identifying it for me...

    Well that turned out to be kind of a "duh" question. Cleaned it up and re-staked it and it seems solid as a rock. Once I got it cleaned up you could see where two of the original factory stakes missed and went into the joint between the two pieces, hence the original weakness. Seems like a lot of people aren't very good at soldering, including me, but somehow that seems to often be the first thing people reach for when something is broken. :cyclops:
     
  5. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    For me it is. I'm good at soldering almost invisibly. I'm not good at staking. You are. Guess what?
     
  6. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    More than one way to skin the proverbial cat. I hope I didn't say the wrong thing. Solder is great for those that can do it. It's blobbers like me I was referring to. No offense intended, Scottie.
     
  7. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Absolutely not offensive bro! I was just stating the obvious - a sort of philosophical spin. If something's better left unsaid - I'll probably say it.
    Mebbe I'm better at soldering because the stakes ain't as high.
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    By all means do what you do best. I would probably solder. Main thing ... make sure you put it on the right way.

    Willie X
     
  9. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    To chime in late, I think Moe has the right idea! I have had a couple of wheels that I have re-staked fail again later on. Now I take no chances and stake and solder in this situation. I care less about being called a hack for using solder than I do about making the repair stand the test of time.
     
  10. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    :D:D:D
     
  11. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I think both staking and soldering can be proper
    repairs if done right but supper glue shouldn't be
    used to attach wheels to arbors.
    I just fixed one of those.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  12. Watchfixer

    Watchfixer Registered User

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    Wheel teeth is on backwards.

    Cheers, Watchfixer
     
  13. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Good catch:glasses:
    Tinker Dwight
     
  14. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    Fortunately I did notice that before it was too late. I guess that would have been an argument for solder. It would be easier to undo than staking...
     
  15. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    I have been thinking for some time that a thread on the proper way to sweat solder might be beneficial to some. If there is enough agreement I'll leave it to one of the resident experts to author that thread...
     
  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Would you like to make an addition to this article? Solder 101

    You're welcome to do it.
     
  17. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    #17 moe1942, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012


    No. IMHO that article is superfluous..Any addition to it would make it even more so. Made my eyes glaze over..I prefer to answer the question if asked.

    I will say that sweat soldering is not really correct in the way I do it as no additional solder is used..but have to call it something and that is as close to understandable as I can come.

    Something along the lines of the city boy asking an old country dude if he knows where so and so is..country dude says nope....but I ain't lost.
     
  18. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    I would certainly like that. I can use all the help I can get. :whistle:
     
  19. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    Oren the next time you have a need to solder ask me and I'll gladly explain what has worked well for me over fifty years.
     
  20. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Soft solder is always an interesting topic in Horology.

    However, over the years, I can truthfully say that almost all of my customer requests involving soft solder in movements has been in regard to removing it rather than installing it.

    For those interested , this can also be discussed.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  21. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    Good subject..harder than applying it..Carry on.
     
  22. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    Yep. Now that I've flipped the wheel over, I have some unsightly residue which was previously hidden, visible on the front of the movement. Nobody will see it when the dial is back on, but I'll now it's there...
     
  23. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Article wasn't written for people like you that already know all that stuff. No doubt your future posts on sweat soldering will make some people's eyes glaze over too...people who already know all that stuff.

    You seem opposed to general treatments of a subject, preferring to solve each specific problem individually. How you'll work that approach into a thread, I don't know.

    But whatever floats your boat.
     
  24. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    On the contrary bang..I thought the article was way too detailed for the uninitiated..and I won't post a how to unless asked..and then I will probably do it in a PM...and I can do it in two or three sentences using understandable terms.

    And people that already know how to should skip over soldering 101 posts.
     
  25. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    How DO you do sweat soldering?
     
  26. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Fortunately removing soft solder is easier and requires less skill than properly applying it. Again fortunately horological manufacturers seldom use it in movement construction, so it is seldom required in returning parts to original condition.

    When restoring parts to original condition, soft solder removal is the easy job. In many cases, the solder will be a cold solder joint and can be simply scraped off. Where a proper joint was applied, I normally heat the soldered area up to melting temp. and hit it with a shot of compressed air that will remove most solder and leave what is left as cold solder. What is left can normally be scraped off with a construction knife blade. The rest can be easily removed with fine grit paper and steel wool.

    What can be far more difficult to repair is the damage caused by its use and or the part modifications made to allow its use. Where it has been used on steel, there will be a fairly good chance corrosion will have started under the solder depending on solder materials used and application. Where corrosion has started, normal cleaning methods have rarely stopped continued corrosion.
    The only method I have found that will stop corrosion other than machining it away has been bead blasting. If you have a bead blasting booth it can also be used to easily remove soft solder in all areas. One difficult area made very simple has been Lantern pinions.
    In addition, Bead blasting can be used for a ton of applications such as metal forming, finish removal by layers on wood, duplicating original finishes and of course cleaning of all types materials etc etc.
    Once you have one you will never be without one.

    You can of course purchase small booths for small shop use, but they will need to have USA built guns and pickup tubes (Or equal) to be useful as suggested above. Cheap Chinese units sold at places like Harbor freight are of little to no value when compared side by side.

    If you would like to have a bead blasting booth and it must be cheap, I would suggest building one rather than buying a cheap unit.

    The following sample site sells booth construction books for $10.00
    In addition, USA guns, pickup tubes and other material can be purchased to make a small booth for under $100.00


    http://www.tptools.com/

    While I have used equipment from this supplier for many years without issue, there are of course other suppliers with equal quality equipment.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  27. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    #27 Zu-Astarti, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    If anyone is still interested...cleaned up pretty well. Most of the old solder simply peeled off when I pulled at it with a tweezer. It left behind a small stain that I couldn't polish out, but most of it is hidden by the barrel -- or is it a tube?.
     

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  28. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Looks good! :thumb:
     
  29. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Very nice Oren. Did you burnish this movement in a tumbler?
     
  30. Zu-Astarti

    Zu-Astarti Registered User

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    I don't have a tumbler. Everything goes through the ultrasonic, then when I polish the pivots, while the wheels are still chucked up and spinning, I go over them lightly with a fiberglass scratch pen. I go over the plates lightly and in one direction with #0000 steel wool, then a little Simichrome. Once all of the repairs are made -- in this case, seven bushings, flipping and restaking the calendar wheel, moving the escape wheel down on the arbor just enough to avoid the irreparable groove in the pallets, repivoted one end of the escape wheel arbor (the pivot had an interesting pear shape), polished the pallets with emery buff sticks, -- then it's back into the ultrasonic one more time before reassembly. I've been using a non-ammoniated solution and an anti-tarnish rinse with good results.
     
  31. hookster

    hookster Registered User
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    What do you use for the anti-tarnish rinse, please?
     
  32. Richmccarty

    Richmccarty Registered User

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    For those of you interested in conservation, let me say there are much, much less invasive techniques than bead blasting used to remove corrosion. The corrosion is not caused by the solder itself, but is a result of not properly cleaning the flux which is usually acidic. The best way is to chemically convert the rust and I'm sure others have also used it - Evaporust works wonders. Failing that, the usual phosphoric acid converters work well too, but leave a blackish coating.

    Do the clocks you work on a favor and leave the bead blaster and high-velocity compressed air in the garage where they belong.

    To answer the original question - If there is enough meat left on the collet, then you should be able to rivet the wheel back on with a watchmakers hammer and split stake. You can tell the riveting is strong enough when if you hold the arbor very gently by the ends between thumb and finger and the wheel rings audibly when tapped on the edge. Hold it up to your ear and listen carefully - the wheel should ring.

    Best,
    Rich McCarty
    http://www.clockconservation.com
     
  33. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Maybe the case for American manufacturers, but not the case for those built elsewhere. I have worked on French, German and English movement that have their wheels soldered to their arbors. Some also have the great wheel soldered to the winding drum. Yet others have the hour wheel soldered to the cannon pinion. Soft solder has its place in horology!
     
  34. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Most definitely. Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  35. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    High pressure bead blasting has rarely been used in Horological manufacture and should not be used in repair unless one is highly skilled in its use for a specific application. On the other hand, controlled low pressure bead blasting has been used in the manufacture of Horological movements (Both watch and Clock) for well over the last hundred years. Its normally used as a final surface finish in part or the entire part especially in the highest quality movements and instruments. One company notorious for this type work is Patek Philippe. An excellent example would be parts of their 1.8 million dollar Sky Moon Tourbillon. Examples and discussion can be seen in their 250 page hard cover collection books published yearly.

    Without bead blasting capabilities, duplicating original manufacturing finishes will not be practical in many cases. In regard to corrosion, the proper use of bead blasting can many times be used to erase and or blend surface damage allowing it to be easily polished to an original finish minus any visibility of damage. However, this would need to be demonstrated to be understood by those not familiar with bead blasting technology.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  36. turboflyer

    turboflyer Registered User

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    Can a new guy assume it is not particle from a future repair scenario that a couple of TIG welds spots on the mating joints is not acceptable? It seems from this thread that either or both, solder or staking is fine.
     
  37. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    It appears that you have resurrected a thread that's 8 years old. The repair described in post # 1 can be be done satisfactorily by staking or soldering by one with reasonable skills and no special equipment. I would not suggest TIG welding, or brazing for this repair, although if one has the appropriate size and type of equipment and the skill to use it such a repair should function. I believe a careful "invisible" solder repair might be the least visually obvious repair and would be my choice.
    RC
     
  38. turboflyer

    turboflyer Registered User

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    Thanks I thought as much but too new to have an opinion. Is it better to just to start a new thread? I search out and read then just thought to ask. I done that several times. Maybe I should go copy a post them anew? Still learning the ropes.
     
  39. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    There is no hard rule, but in my opinion, a thread is usually started by someone with a specific problem or question and for the most part the responses that follow should be directed toward helping the original poster (the OP) solve that problem. We occasionally find "run-on threads" that never seem to end even after the original question / problem has been solved. Generally it is best to start a new thread about the clock you are working on including pictures of your own clock and the repair in question.

    RC
     
  40. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's not a big issue, turbo. If your question has been answered, all is good. But if you have other questions, a new thread would be best.
    BTW, welcome to the board! We're glad to have you.
     
  41. turboflyer

    turboflyer Registered User

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    Glad to be here. You folks make my day. And have say make me smile at times. I always learn something even if it is I need to learn something else.
     

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