Repairing spring barrel teeth

David S

Registered User
Join DateDec 2011LocationBrockville, On CanadaPosts3,397




Barrel teeth repair and indexer

Early this year I was browsing the old editions of the watch and clock magazine and I came across and article by Doug Sinclair, one of our NAWCC members who published in the #298 issue October 1995. Summer occupies my wife and I with other things, and now that the motor home is put to bed I would like to share Doug's contribution and bring it to the top.

Like Doug I was never too happy with how I was replacing teeth in main spring barrels. The online version of his article is not all that clear, so I contacted Doug and he gave me more information.

This thread will be in two parts. I will show how he replaced the section of the barrel with the broken teeth, and the second and perhaps more important is his ingenious idea for a how to index the barrel in order to cut the spaces between the teeth.

Now if you don't have a lathe and a mill then you may want to pass and go watch TV....or it could give you incentive to buy one... or both.

I will post some pics of the process. Here goes. In the next post​


Last edited by David S; 11-09-2014 at 05:35 PM.​

David S



Layout of the barrel for teeth removal. Milling the "patch" from a piece of bar stock since didn't have thick enough sheet. Slitting saw to cut the patch off to thickness. Turning the patch down. Boring the inside of the patch. The patch is an interference fit in the barrel and is soft soldered once in place.


Doug's idea is brilliant. He simply made a fixture that uses the good teeth on the wheel to index the cutter for cutting the patch. If you look up the article I referenced it is not a great scan, so I will include some pictures of my version of the Sinclair indexer. It is also modified to mount various types of wheels not just barrels.

I find the fastest way to cut new teeth is with a slitting saw, and works best with roots that aren't radiused. If the root has a radius I will cut most of the gap with the slitting saw and finish the root with a ball nose straight fissure dental burr.

Hopefully the attachment will be self explanatory along with Doug's write up. Oh and unlike Doug who appears to have gear cutters, I have to profile them by hand.....no gear cutters yet.





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