Home Forums General Discussion Forum Ach Zo, You Have A Clock! So Now What?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #49167
    chris mabbott

      Hey my masters of time brothers…

      Well, last night or rather the wee hours of the morn.. After finally completing two PWs that have been problematic in every way possible, I found a sudden burst of ambition, which resulted in the cleaning, straightening and reorganizing of my immediate work space… WooHoo

      Fresh and flushed with my recent successes I grabbed my grandfathers old smiths mantle clock that hasn’t run for about 11 yrs. yes my friends, I freely admit this with shame and place myself at your infinite mercy :?
      Possibly for a mild verbal tongue lashing, in written form of course…

      So, I remove the hands, unscrew the movement and respectfully remove it from the encasement, only to be confronted by ….. Huh, WTF do I do now 😮

      Suddenly realizing that I know dick about clocks, my recent infusion of ambition trickled out of my ears, kinda like when you smoke a really good joint of British Columbian skunk weed which causes the wax in your ears to melt and run liberally down your cheeks 8-)

      So my friends here is what I’m faced with… To you, a simple thing, but to my lovely self, a road map to a strange place that has no North, nor South.

      Being a watch fellow I also found that my more than sufficient selection of tools were suddenly…. Inadequate.. As I scrambled to find a nut driver to fit the hand fastener.. Of course, naturally even, what I posses is either too small or too large, nothing in between, isn’t that just Murphy’s freakin law.

      So finally, after staring blankly at the movement for 30 mins, touching this, making that spin around, and generally being an annoying child man, I put it aside and moved on to another…… watch! Ahh, home and blissful familiarity :|

      Hoping, begging, praying.. I even considered a small animal sacrifice to the ancient gods, that someone, anyone, would cast their guiding hand across me, so that once more, this thing will chime and annoy the hell out of my better half, at 3, 3:30, 4 am etc etc

      I was actually surprised at how clean it was. I had this in my pool room in Canada for yrs, where it ran faithfully, practically impervious to the smoke filled, beer vapoured environment in which it dwelled 😆 I also used it during the years I lived in the US, and maybe, like me, it wasn’t entirely happy with it’s new living environment, thus refusing to work as a form of passive resistance??

      So here, my fellow academicians, is the confusing jumble of brass that I am faced with… I’m still trying to figure out how to let down one of the three mainsprings 😆

      chris mabbott


        chris mabbott

          oh more

          bernie weishapl

            Well Chris for one thing you will need a letdown tool for mainsprings like this. http://timesavers.com/i-8948374-4-piece-let-down-set.html and a mainspring winder of some sort. It could be one of these. http://timesavers.com/search.html?q=mainspring+winder&go=Search Don’t know what you have available over there but I have Ollie Baker (he passed away I think and the true Ollie Baker aren’t being made anymore) which is the same as the Ollie Baker style. Other than that I think you should have most other tools to work on it. Looks to maybe be a older Urgo’s movement. Take lots of pictures of the outside of the front and back which will help when you reassemble the movement. When I first started my mentor always had me after the mainspring barrels had been let down and removed to strip the outside of the front and back plate of all the levers and cams. When you remove the front plate he also had me take each train out and wire them up in the sequence I take them out. That way all are seperated and no chance to get them mixed up with the other trains. Check all the teeth on your wheels and the pivots. After I clean the clock, levers, cams, etc I will assemble on train at a time to see if any bushings are needed. From the pictures it looks to be in pretty good shape. If you do need bushings you could use one of these to hand bushing. http://timesavers.com/i-8948895-kwm-style-hand-reamer-set.html I used this for a couple of years till I was able to afford this. http://www.merritts.com/clock_parts/public/product.aspx?ProductID=81958&SubcategoryID=1958 See picture attached. Probably something you won’t buy because complete with the wood base and the boxes filled with bushings run about $1600. I paid $850 for mine 22 yrs ago. Anyway that is my 2 cents for what it is worth. Others will chime in I am sure. Hope this helps.

            chris mabbott

              Thanks Bernie, and yes as usual your comments and suggestions are extremely helpful and insightful EXCEPT the one about the $1600 bushing setup 😆

              Well, I managed to
              Let down the mainsprings, the hard way, with the key whilst tripping the lock, it only took 5 mins going half a turn at a time but relaxation has been achieved.

              Now ill follow your suggestion Bernie and start pulling it apart, with photos..
              Actually everything looks good, nothing broken that I can see, but then again, I don’t know what everything is supposed to look like… Isn’t this exciting, blundering through I mean 🙄
              Really though, my view is simple, it will run or end up for me to use as scrap brass for other…. Projects.

              True that it is something of family origin, but that line ends with me, so at least ill know what becomes of it, and after all, one a watch guy, always a watch guy. Everything else just fills a weak moment 😈

              What I do need to make though is a holder!!


                Well you certainly jumped in at the deep end and didnt want to start with something simple!
                The great thing about Smiths is used movements and even complete clocks are plentiful on ebay so if anything should go wrong it wont hurt your pocket. You have a floating balance there, take very good care of it, if that centre spring breaks it is game over with the balance, they dont make replacements or even replacement floating balances for Smiths movements.
                Watch Bobs clock service videos just for a refresher, he shows you how to polish pivots and do bushing etc using all sorts of tools. I still bush by hand, I just cant bring my selft to spend that much money on a a tool which does something I can already do fine by hand. I know it is supposed to speed things up but if you saw me do a bush you would wonder how much faster it could be done!
                Bernie has already given you the best advice, take notes and lots of pictures.
                main thing is have fun with it and you know where we are if you have questions or get stuck :)


                  Hi Chris
                  Excellent advise from Bernie and Paul if you do not a main spring winder you can as i do remove the
                  springs from the barrels by hand on a smiths three train clock, but you will a reverse arbor for one of
                  the barrels (you can make one) hope this helps all the best.


                  chris mabbott

                    @Arutha wrote:

                    Well you certainly jumped in at the deep end and didnt want to start with something simple!

                    Hang on a minute, you guys told me this one was easy 😆 Now I find out that the water is bloody FREEZING 😆

                    Thanks for the offer Paul, and the info John…
                    I gotta admit that I’m a little intimidated by it, I’ve decided to let it sit on the desk until I get sick of seeing it, then I’ll give it a go, ya know, become one with the force.. 😆 Option two is…… where the devil is that WD42 😈

                    david pierce

                      I am sure you watched Bob’s clock repair videos. You can also find a wealth of clock repair videos on Youtube. Check out Catskill Painter’s bushing machine in the shop section of the forum. Also, you now have a milling machine which can place precision holes in the plates for new bushings if they are needed. Take a good look at McLark’s post. You can do the same operation with your mill.


                        Nothing to be intimdated by Chris, it is a mechanism, ok its not as simple as a timepiece but it aint as complicated as your mill!
                        Seriously, give yourself a break and buy a cheap timepiece or at least just a striking clock. Much simpler to learn on and with the confidence you gain from doing it and sorting out your tools as you go you will have a proper fighting chance at getting the chime back together and working.
                        You dont need a bushing machine if you are not wanting to do clocks on a regular basis, you can do bushes fine by hand, I do almost every day :)
                        Just a thought my friend :)

                        chris mabbott

                          The mill definitely didn’t have as many gears and didn’t chime 😆

                          Yeah, I’ll get to it, I have to psyche myself up, so if I stare at it, and think on it, eventually I’ll run to it..
                          My first watch repair was on a good watch, I think a Bunn special, I was so careful that all went well, touched lots of wood though 🙄

                          Thanks again sir Paul..

                        Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
                        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.