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Old 09-20-2011, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,863 posts, read 6,383,819 times
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I have a clock from the 40s and the mainspring just broke. I have one ordered from EBay.

How hard are these to replace? I don't want to take the clock apart only to find a bunch of little pieces fall out and I can't figure out what to do with them.

There is a jewler in town that works on old clocks but I just wanted some opinions if I should tackle this myself or just take it to him.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,160 posts, read 44,716,995 times
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Depends on how good you are with small, intricate mechanisms. If the clock is worth much, I would take it to the jeweler, if you take it apart first it makes his job a lot harder.

Most have a safety mechanism that "catches" the mainspring if it breaks, if this clock did not have that there will be damage from that, too.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,863 posts, read 6,383,819 times
Reputation: 2418
Thanks. I'm going to take it to the jeweler.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:01 AM
ino
 
Location: Way beyond the black stump.
680 posts, read 2,196,000 times
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You'll have to separate both plates to replace the mainspring properly. Can't afford to bend or break the small pins {pivots I believe they are termed} on each end of those gear wheels.

You'll also need to either let down the other spring/s fully {unwind it/them} or tie wire around it/them to keep it/them from springing unwound when undoing the nuts on the backing plate, if that/those unwound spring/s let go it/they will damage the gear wheels in the mechanism. This is *MOST* important so don't forget! There is an incredible amount of power in those springs if they are let loose in the clock mechanism.

It's not difficult to repair these clocks, but you must be aware of the tension of the unbroken spring and tie wire around it to prevent it from unwinding rapidly. If you don't, it will unwind sooooo fast you won't get a chance to stop it, that's when damage is done.

You'd also be advised to bend a small 's' shape on the end of a long piece of stiff wire so you can use this to either push or pull each gear wheel pin into their respective holes in the plate when putting things back together.

Mark each gear wheel as you remove them with a 't' for time, 's' for strike, and 'c' for chime if you have a westminster or a clock that plays a tune on the quarter hour so you don't get the gears mixed up when putting clock back together. I use a piece of sheet polystyrene foam to push each gear wheel into in the same configuration as they came out of the clock. This makes it easy to remember which wheel went where when putting them back in the clock.

Good luck. If you decide to have a go yourself just make sure you have patience and take it slow.

Last edited by ino; 10-01-2011 at 01:11 AM.. Reason: Forgot 'c' for chime.
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