Winding Arbor Loose

Deco10

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Mar 29, 2021
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Hello! This is a rather generic question, applicable to many clocks. I am repairing a movement whose spring rapidly unwound. Upon winding, the spring would not take tension, and I thought perhaps the arbor-anchor was worn. This appeared fine after disassembly, and I discovered that the arbor was intermittently spinning in the wheel- loose enough to release the spring as it is wound. I slid the wheel down the arbor to inspect the axle, and I see that there are a few tiny crimps, likely used to key the wheel to the arbor. Hoping to fix rather than replace, is this problem solved by re-seating these crimps into a fresh area of the brass- the interior of the hole? Or, is this typically a soldered joint? Both? I would prefer to learn the traditional repair before firing up the torch.

A photo is attached, though probably not necessary for experienced restorers.

Thank you so much for your advice. Best wishes, Nate

IMG_9055.jpeg
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hello Nate,

I guess I'll jump in here.

Disclaimer, I don't know how a "traditional" repair would be done. Having said that, it looks like some type of 'knurl" approach was originally taken to fasten/fix these two parts together. Obviously, whatever was done wasn't adequate over time. Are we talking about an antique, or modern movement here? Who knows what happened to break the joint. Perhaps there was a mainspring "event".

If this clock was in my shop, I think that I would place a deep knurled pattern around the entire circumference of the arbor to see if I could attain a truly tight, enhanced friction fit of the parts again. If there was any doubt in the back of my mind that the joint would hold, I'd probably add a very small amount of solder to the joint for insurance. A failure here would probably just spin the arbor harmlessly but why risk it? Besides, the movement would have to be taken apart again. I hate those little nagging "You should have..." voices after the fact.

I have a knurling tool holder for my lathe but you can place one rolling the relatively mild steel arbor against a good file. Search the archives for suggestions/instructions.

I'm sure that others will come up with alternate approaches but based upon your description and photos and what I have to work with, that is the approach that comes to mind for me.

Good luck with it.

Bruce
 

shutterbug

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When the wheel was made, the gear part sat against a wider part of the arbor or over a brass collar. Then the ratchet was added and it was staked tightly against the wheel.
A similar approach needs to be taken to repair it. Take it apart, figure out how it was constructed, and duplicate the process.
Is it from an Ingraham? They seem to have those issues from time to time.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hey SB,

I don't see the collar in his photo. Perhaps the Click Wheel and collar are one piece?
The click reminds me of a Waterbury for some reason, but I'm not sure.

Our OP has the other Great Wheel to study. In the middle of the red circle there appears to be some type of ridge in the arbor. My guess is that it is some type of quickly manufactured knurl to hold the friction-fit collar tightly in place against the arbor to resist rotation.

If that is right, the Arbor's "Ridge" has probably reamed the I.D. of the undersized collar.

That's why I'm guessing that they'll need to do some serious knurling. Hopefully solder won't be necessary but I wouldn't rule it out. Great gears are soldered to spring barrels. I would not have a problem with a neat (minimal) solder reinforced joint here. If the knurled joint is really tight, solder probably won't be necessary. If there is no room for it, it will just make a mess.

That's what I'm thinking at this point anyway.

Regards,

Bruce
 

Deco10

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Bruce/SB, Thank you so much for the advice and expertise. I followed your instruction and was able to add more knurling to the arbor. Once I had the collar pressed back into place, the wheel was secure again. For insurance, I did add a minuscule amount of solder, in hopes of adding additional grip to the knurled texture.

Thanks again for the guidance. I always try to repair the original parts when possible, if for no other reason than to match material and patina. Also, it keeps the soul of the clock together, I think.
 
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Bruce Alexander

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Glad that you got it squared away Nate. :thumb:

One potential downside to the solder is if the wheel needs to be disassembled for click wheel maintenance, for example, in the future. Just so long as the joint is carefully examined, it shouldn't be too much of a complication for someone. If they know how to repair/replace a click wheel, they'll know how to heat/break a soldered joint. I think that the important thing is that you didn't simply try to "glue" the part back together with solder. I don't think that you were headed in that direction anyway.

As you probably know, you want to make sure that you've removed all traces of flux. It can make a real mess of things down the road if you fail to do so.

Best regards,

Bruce
 

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