Home Forums General Discussion Forum Elgin 18 Main Spring Barrel Pin Question

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      I’m overhauling a 1880’1 Elgin 18 pocket watch and when installing the new mainspring the pin or stud that holds the spring in the barrel fell out. The pin appears to be threaded but the brass has worn away leaving the it somewhat loose. Any suggestions as to the best way to secure it in the barrel? I have used loctite but I’m not sure it will actually work. I thought I check in with the group to see what you have used with success. I thought about staking it but I want to leave that as a last resort.


      Bob Tascione

        Hi Steve,
        Yes you run across loose hooks now and then. If your hook is salvageable then yes you can rivet it to where it will work. I usually use a small bench anvil to support the hook on from the inside and tap with a small punch and hammer from the outside.

        The following is going to sound much more complicated than it actually is.

        If the hole is too far gone you can either drill and tap a new hole or make a slightly larger hook from a screw. The screw head can be shaped into a hook by first screwing the piece into the barrel (from the inside out) to see how it will set when tightened down. Then mark the hook side and remove. File to shape, reinsert then rivet.

        You can also make a hook from a piece of round stock if you have a tapping plate or small enough die. There are also other ways to do it that don’t require tapping. Some just rivet the hook in without tapping.

        Also the hook can be made square and then driven into a hole whose diameter is equal to the distance across the square of the hook. The hook is then riveted in place. It’s important to grind the bottom of the hook (the part that will cut into the hole) so that the sides are sharp. Otherwise when driven through, the side of the barrel wall may bulge out.

        Hope this helps Steve,

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