Fitting Pocket Watch Mainspring

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  • #49647
    tukat44
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 76

    I am thinking that a Mainspring that I have ordered for Waltham Pocket Watch 6s is the wrong one, else I may have need to modify the one I have as the inner coil of this going barrel is sloppy in the fit i.e. the inner coil is sloppy around the arbor attached to the cover. My question is this- might I have to bend the inner coil to fit snug enough for a proper fit? If so, will I need to soften this end by annealing? After this has been done and the spring bent so it is more snug in it’s fit, will I then have to reharden? Seems like this would be an awful lot of heating and I am not confident the spring will take this much fiddling without breaking. I appreciate help on this- thanks in advance. Tukat

    #63114
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218
    #63115
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    @tukat44 wrote:

    might I have to bend the inner coil to fit snug enough for a proper fit?

    Yes @tukat44 wrote:

    will I need to soften this end by annealing?

    No
    Tukat, that very end should be in the softer state for exactly the reason you mention (fitting the arbor, clock or watch mainspring’s). Unless you are making a repair and have cut off a section there will be no need for heat. Have fun, William

    #63116
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for your information on tools (Bernie,) and further info on not needing to mess with the temper of the spring (William.)

    Brother Joe posted that question on my behalf. I had sent up a red flare for his help, and shipped the barrel, cap with arbor attached, and center square-end arbor, to see if he could bail me out. Since he’s there and has it all with him, I’ll be drop-shipping the necessary tools directly to him so he can complete the job and get it back to me in good working order. I had already collapsed two springs on themselves; broken the ends whilst trying like hell to get that inner coil to comply – and now I know why I couldn’t get the job done – wrong tools. For all the truth behind the necessary skills one must have to do this kind of work, I’ll never underestimate the need for the proper tools.

    And, it just figures, doesn’t it? The ONE watch I MUST fix (belongs to my sister’s father-in-law) has given me THREE new problems that have translated to challenges, that have ultimately translated to new information and skill (after some storied blood, sweat, and tears.) It needed new balance pivot jewels, a new roller impulse pin (boy was THAT fun, with my heartbeat and breathing control getting in the way,) and the new type of spring forming that needed to be done. While I do appreciate the increase in knowledge, couldn’t it have come with a little less heartache and pain??? Maybe next time :)

    So, thank you, and I’m now off to the store, courtesy of Bernie, to get what this job needs.

    And thank you, Brother, for being there for me :)

    Tim :)

    #63117
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Tim just sit down and breath my friend. There is no clock or watch that should cause you anxiety. Just sit down and analyze then proceed with the repair. Ask questions and study on things you are unsure of. After 30 yrs or more I just don’t let them bother me anymore. Hope the tools will help. I have all 3 and use them when doing clock and watch mainsprings. The first pair I listed the step round works really well for watch’s. Anyway have some fun and enjoy.

    #63118
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Bernie,

    Many thanks for the words of support. The truth is, being as new as I am, I’m learning quite a bit. These challenges parlay into knowledge, and thus confidence. But it sure does help hearing what you had to say. :)

    Best,

    Tim :)

    #63119
    tukat44
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 76

    Thanks Bernie and William. And Tim….. I am going to be able to finish this as soon as the Pliers arrive. Thanks for the clarification as to spring end hardness. My main concern was breaking the end and then having to make hole and bend further up where it has been heat treated for the springiness, but now that I have that cleared up, it does make sense- that would be the reason they keep breaking close to the end, it is soft so it can be shaped with the right tools. Good stuff all around. Tukat

    #63120
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    to be honest, the majority of the mainsprings I purchase, I have to close down the inner loop, I use two brass tweezers and tease it into a tighter loop, very slowly and gradually and work the tweezers around the loop..

    #63121
    tukat44
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 76

    Hey Steve, after seeing your post, this is what seems to make the best sense- I can see how it could be teased tighter and I can see it taking a little more time and a lot of patience initially- The Brass tweezers and a little gentle coaxing. It’s always humbling when i find out it would come out better if I took more time but didn’t because i was too anxious to see the results NOW! Thanks to all- Tukat

    #63122
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    IV’s are so humbling.

    When I became a civilian firefighter, and we started our own paramedic program, I decided to do some brush-up ride-along’s on a city ambulance to shake some of the rust loose. The biggest surprise was the IV lines, and how humbling the can be. I’d nail a tiny vein on some old granny, then miss a huge pipe on some bodybuilder right after. I ended up only hitting 50% on the first time – which means on the other 50%, they got hit with a needle a second time.

    Mainsprings are going to be my “IV’s.”

    How humbling 😳

    Best,

    Tim :)

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tukat44Fitting Pocket Watch Mainspring