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To Bush or Not to Bush

kevin21

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Aug 30, 2021
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Hi Everyone,

Help...

I own pendulum clocks (wall and grandfather) that my deceased father-in-law made 30-40 years ago. He would make the cases and buy the movements. He also did repairs and servicing. Unfortunately, I never took the time to learn these skills before he passed but now I'd like to. All my clocks seem to run fine, however I recently decided I should clean them and check them out. I have started with a grandfather that has a Urgos UW03051B movement.

After I removed the movement from the case I then removed the pendulum-related mounts (leader, suspension spring and mount for these) and the chime hammer assembly and wheel so I would have clear visibility to the pivot holes on the back.

With my limited knowledge I would say there are at least 3 holes on the back and 2 holes on the front that need to have bushings inserted. I hopefully have attached images that show these holes marked with X.

I have read many posts that talk about the various ways to broach out these holes and insert bushings. I realize I'll have to pick one of those methods and buy the gear to do it. My questions at this point are as follows:

First off, should I even attempt to insert these bushings or since my clock is still running should I just leave it alone?

And then, assuming I do go ahead with fixing it, based on my images can someone tell me what size of broaches, files, and bushings I will need for holes marked X? I realize my images don't give you the details to see how much these holes are worn. I can say, they aren't worn super badly. I just don't have a good feel to know how big beyond the original hole one typically makes the hole for the bushing.

I assume I will need to get the tools and bushings at places like Timesavers, Butterworths, etc. but I'm just looking for help in buying the right thing.

Kevin

UW03051B-Front.jpg UW03051B-Back.jpg
 

Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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Hello Kevin and welcome to the MB,
You have opened the proverbial can of worms.
The following is my take. Many others will differ. Understand that this board is populated by all levels of clock repair people. You may even get some bad advice once in a while.
My advice to clock owners is to operate and enjoy working clocks. My reasoning follows. Clocks are machines and like all machines they will wear. My observations are that clock movements have a lifespan and that is usually about 20-25 years. A conscientious clock owner may maintain or have the clock maintained by a professional over that life span. Unfortunately, that maintenance does not seem to prolong the lifespan of a clock movement. A maintained clock movement will last as long as a clock movement that gets no care. I question the usefulness of Clean, Oil and Adjust. If it is not broken…. Those functions are preventative. Many times, when I see a clock that has run its course, the owner has spent lots of money in vain. The repair cost will be the same as if the clock has run till it will not.
Many times, amateur repair people will zero in on Clean, Oil and Adjust to solve wear issues. Another common stance is to look at the power (springs, weights) and the escapement as problem areas. Most times those are victims of lack of power in the train due to wear. Many escapements I see come into my shop are fouled by previous repairers. That usually makes two things wrong with a clock movement which are more than twice as hard to trouble shoot than one.
If you want to learn how to install bushings, I would suggest two things. First, get yourself a mentor. There are lots of repair people out there willing to share. The in-person experience will be much easier than trying to get it from of a video or a book. My second suggestion is to find a junk/useless movement to learn on. That way a big mistake will not be of consequence. That junk movement will do you best if it is as simple as you can find.
Welcome to the message board and good luck with your venture.
Dick
 

kevin21

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Aug 30, 2021
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Thanks Dick for taking the time to respond. I have seen both of your suggestions in other posts and will look into them, though I'm not sure how to go about finding a mentor. Any ideas besides asking at local clock repair shops? I have seen one guys ads state that while he will accept a movement from someone who has removed it from their clock, he won't work on it unless he does the installation back in the clock. He is definitely not a sharer...

As for the junk/useless movement, I guess I wonder if that is what I have in my clocks right now. These are movements that are 30-40 years old and I can tell you since I have either had the clocks for that long or know the people who had them that they were not cleaned very often. So maybe the lack of maintenance has prolonged their life :) Other than the sentimentalness of the fact that they are the original movements, maybe they are nearing their end of life. Or am I missing what you mean by a junk/useless movement?

Kevin
 

Vernon

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Dec 9, 2006
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If your untrained eyes see problems, then it's likely worse. The worse that can happen is that a wheel becomes unmeshed from it's mate and slips. Then you are replacing pivots, teeth and straightening arbors. You may want to practice on a simpler clock from your collection.

Vernon
 

shutterbug

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I mostly agree with what Dick said above. I would recommend getting yourself a time only, or at most a striking two train American clock to start on. A big three train chimer is just going to frustrate you and dampen your enthusiasm. If you can't find a mentor, the next best thing is a video repair course. I like the one that Tascione has. It is not too expensive, and is very user friendly.
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
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seen both of your suggestions in other posts and will look into them, though I'm not sure how to go about finding a mentor.
A good approach would be to contact a local NAWCC chapter and maybe attend a meeting. Part of the NAWCC is promoting clocks. Somebody in a chapter will be happy to help you out. Maybe you have something they need.
while he will accept a movement from someone who has removed it from their clock, he won't work on it unless he does the installation back in the clock. He is definitely not a sharer...
I can understand why the local repair person would make that requirement---sort of.
Removing the movement is easy but installing it and the final set up might be a problem for a novice.
You might offer to do menial tasks for him for gratis for a while. Feed his ego.
I once saw the following posted in an auto mechanic's shop.
Shop labor rate is $20.00/hour.
If you have worked on it, $30.00/hour.
If you help, $40.00/hour.
Carry on,
Dick
 
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Kevin W.

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Its very difficult to even try to get a mentor here. With Covid going on. The Tascione courses are very good and well priced.
 

kevin21

New User
Aug 30, 2021
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Again, thanks for the replies!

I checked out the Tascione site. That looks promising. I think I will try those as a first step. As for the local chapters, COVID does seem to have caused major issues. I live in SoCal and none of the sites appear active. Ventura, maybe but everything south of there seems shut down.
 

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