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Author Topic: Cleaning a clock movement - Advice requested  (Read 17235 times)
Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« on: March 23, 2009, 03:56:28 pm »

Hi chaps. And specifically you, Harold, this is your domain.

I went to see my grandmother yesterday and somehow, she managed to persuade me to fix her old clock. She's had 90 years experience at this sort of thing  Roll Eyes

Anyway. About 12 months ago, my parents took this clock to a proper horologist, with the intention of having it professionally cleaned. The chap quoted £130, and said it'd be worth £20 when it was done. That, obviously, was a no-starter.

And so, she asked if I thought there was anything I could do. Not wanting to disappoint, I found it and had a look. It only seemed dirty.

I've taken the movement out and got some pics. Nothing is obviously worn or damaged, slipped, jammed or missing, so I assume it's just dirty. As an aside, 2 or the 3 barrels that contain the springs are wound to the stop. The third, which operates the chimes, holds no power.

So then; what's the best way to clean this? Once it's clean, will hte springs start to wind themselves down, or will I need to release the tension?

Here's some pics:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 04:35:08 pm »

Basically the same as a watch, only difference being the number of driing springs involved, and a different (ie, slightly thicker) lube oil..
Always let down the tension in mainsprings before working on any watch, basic safety rule.. (and its less likely to cause damage to any parts in the train.
Make sure you tension the plate pillar screws equally, to ensure the plates are properly parallel..

Thats about it...
Cheers
Harold
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
Captain Spice
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 04:48:02 pm »

Right, tension's off and I've got some naptha-based stuff that should do for the remaining oil.

As for re-lubing it afterwards, would 3-in-1 be adequate? Or is it too thick, as I suspect?
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 05:05:40 pm »

Right, tension's off and I've got some naptha-based stuff that should do for the remaining oil.

As for re-lubing it afterwards, would 3-in-1 be adequate? Or is it too thick, as I suspect?

if you have nothing else 3-in-1 will work, just use it sparingly.. You don't want it to attract too much dust and such, and become a sludge. If the pivots are not jeweled, oil from the outer side of the pivot..

Cheers
Harold
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2009, 05:08:59 pm »

Very well. It's drying in the garage now.

How much is "Sparingly"? I was planning on dipping a needle in the oil, touching it to the pivot and allowing capillary action to draw the oil in. 
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woyzeck
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 05:24:13 pm »

check out www.nawcc.org - they have a forum there for just this sort of thing.

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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 05:42:44 pm »

Very well. It's drying in the garage now.

How much is "Sparingly"? I was planning on dipping a needle in the oil, touching it to the pivot and allowing capillary action to draw the oil in. 
That's the ticket.. best way to oil..

Cheers
Harold
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 05:48:16 pm »

Great.

Assuming all goes well, I'll get some footage of it chiming the hour, once it's all lubed and assembled.
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 05:52:28 pm »

All has gone well.

However, after a light lubing, the clock still won't run for more than a minute.

Any hints?
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HAC
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Zeppelin Overlord
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HAC_N800
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 06:55:49 pm »

If its a minute exactly, then you may have one bad tooth on a ger, or a binding problem somewhere. COuld also be a cannon pinion or hand clearance issue.
Is the mainspring still good, or does it feel soft when winding?

Cheers
Harold
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clockdug
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2009, 07:01:35 pm »

The first thing to check is that the movement is level when you try and run it; both side to side and front to back.  It also needs to be in beat, which basically mean the tick should be the same length as the tock.  You may can tilt it a little from side to side to find the sweet spot.

It's hard to tell from your pictures, but it looks like some of the pivots may have been surrounded by icky black gunk before the cleaning.  If that's the case there's a good chance that a "dip and swish" cleaning won't get the job done.  That's often a sign that the pivot hole  is out of round and that you'll need to put in a bushing to true it up.  And probably you'll need to polish the pivot as well.
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