New Spring Oiling/Greasing…

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  • #49302
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Hey Fellas,

    It’s been a crazy week! However, I did finally receive my Illinois mainspring from Cas-Ker, so I have a quick question:

    This spring came fully wound to the correct size of my mainspring barrel. I would like to install the spring without pulling it apart and handling it for one good reason: my mainspring winder does not have an attachment that fits inside the mainspring barrel all the way. It DOES fit into the upper portion, which is a couple millimeters in depth – but not nearly enough depth to be able to safely insert the spring without coming undone in a catastrophic way – thereby risking injury or damage to the spring. I learned this the hard way with that 2nd spring I had. The mainspring barrel has a “lip” just below the top edge that prevents the mainspring winder attachment from bottoming out. Sorry, I’m on duty and don’t have pics!

    So, if I can just insert the mainspring into the barrel while pushing it out of the factory retaining ring, then grease/oil it from the top of the coiled spring while it’s in the barrel, that would be great…then I wouldn’t have to mess with risking damage/injury due to the winder attachment only barely fitting the barrel.

    Thanks Guys, hope all are well :)

    Tim

    #60212
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Tim,

    The “approved” method , I think, was/is to remove the new mainspring from its constraint to check if…..

    1. It has become set over time
    2. Remove any protective coating/film via cleaning
    3. Ensure dimensions are correct. and spring is in good shape
    4. Apply thin film of lubricant via a lint free cloth during winding

    I’m not sure if these rules apply to alloy springs as I believe they are hand me downs form a bygone time when blue steel MS would/could rust and set during long term storage.

    Before I had a mainspring winder I would take the new spring, while is was secure in its transport ring, put it in a little cleaning solution (still wound) and let it soak for an hour, take it out, brush it, dry it well, then press it into the barrel and apply lubricant after installation.

    So YES, you can do it.
    Is it approved?? Depends who you speak with. I’m feeling another study thread coming on

    So here’s my question, if you’re working, what are you doing messing around on the forum 😆

    #60213
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    So, Chris, you said you were a firefighter in times past? I’m pretty sure you’re not lying – it’s that “special brand” of needling that only firefighter’s come to know and love, haha. We DO have DOWN-time, you DO remember that, RIGHT CHRIS???
    :D :D :D

    C’mon, stop being so coy – where did you serve?

    T :)

    #60214
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    No, not a public firefighter, (public as in government salaried serving the public) I was part of an underground mine rescue/fire team. So basically on call.
    But we had to spend downtime doing push-ups and pole dancing, not surfing 😆

    #60215
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    I agree with Chris. I take all mainsprings out of the restraints, clean and lube them. Doesn’t matter if it is a watch or clock. Will save you a callback and tearing it back down. Don’t ask me how I know this. 😳

    #60216
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Thanks Chris!

    I’ll most likely just perform your “alternate” method…if it needs fixing, it won’t cost me a dime, since it’s going to be mine :)

    Ohhhhh – You were a “Rope Dink?” You mean like all those bowline, wrap 3 pull 2, butterfly, double loop figure 8, and inline 8 knots? That’s cool. I’ve been to Rescue I (ropes and hauling systems, two weeks,) and also, the best class I ever took – Rescue II (that’s breaking/breaching, moving heavy objects, crawling through huge concrete rubble piles, cranes, and my personal favorite, search dogs :) Rescue II was a month long. Awesome stuff!

    Hi Bernie,

    Thanks for your advice – especially on those misaligned hands on the wristwatch…On the spring, Chris’ “alternate method,” while not in line with the purist’s view, will probably be my method of choice – this time. Of course, you’re well aware of me adoption of several “Bernie” techniques, right? :)

    #60217
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    There are many approaches and variables to discern here I think…and we all have different experiences that drive us to our own methods.
    No one method is always correct…..
    I buy pretty much all my mainsprings from Jules Borel. I have purchased from Cas-Ker as well. Those that I buy are new stock from what I see, and already pre-lubed. I don’t remove them, as they were packed in this way so that the repair person only had to press it into the barrel. I them dip a large oiler in moebius 9020, and spread each at 120 degree passes on the top of the installed spring. That’s following what I have read in a number of articles, books, forums, etc. I then place the cap on…and proceed with the rest of my assembly.

    Not saying it works for everyone….but it has for me.

    Best

    Randy

    #60218
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Randy I have a question. I was always told that the grease or lube on a mainspring if it be for a watch or clock was just for rust prevention. When I was a apprentice my mentor always made me clean all new springs and then lube them. Am I missing something here all these years? Just curious.

    #60219
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Hi Bernie..that could be..but I’m not sure that’s in every case ? I know that older blue springs where/are that way, but the modern alloys from what I remember reading, are ready to insert.
    Bob even mentions it in an older post on this forum from 2012:
    He said,
    “I believe that all the newer white alloy mainsprings are pre-lubricated with teflon and can be installed right into the barrel. I usually put a couple of tiny dots of grease on top of the spring before pressing the cap on. This probably isn’t necessary but for some reason I feel comfortable doing this.”

    I’ll keep digging though to see what else I can find .

    Best

    Randy

    #60220
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Thank you Randy, I really appreciate you coming on and giving your opinion and method. Like every other guy on here, you’ve said kind of the standard disclaimer, which is every/no one method is right, there are many, many different and acceptable ways of approaching a problem or process, and all of this comes with a big helping of humility, with respect for your fellow watchmaker. You too, Bernie – and all the rest.

    I think this little topic deserves some of my own digging, and so I am going to contact Cas-Ker tomorrow to get as much information on this particular mainspring – and their mainsprings in particular – so that we can all learn from the horses mouth (well, at least THIS, Cas-Ker’s mouth anyway). It may be that Cas-Ker has their own process/procedure. Chris? Do you see what I’m doing Chris??? :geek:

    I tend to believe that this particular spring is ready to go into the barrel without any cleaning, removing from the retaining ring, and maybe even any additional lubrication. That comment Bob made about Teflon is all kinds of interesting to me – but, then, it would make sense, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it be so much better than the watchmaking processes of old to improve (where needed and warranted) on Horology as a whole? I’m thinking that in this case, Cas-Ker perhaps cleaned/sterilized, pre-lubed or Teflon coated, and it is very obvious that they intended for the watchmaker to install the spring directly into the barrel, as the coil they have wound up inside the retaining ring is precisely the size that my barrel is. Hmmm…no grease/oil, no mainspring winder, no cleaning, etc. Sounds good to me! Of course, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have all of these things done for us all the time, but considering the wide range of watches and clocks out there, I’m pretty sure there would be plenty of practice and experience to be had on the various models.

    Oh, and by the way, I will probably dab a few Mobius grease applications around the top, and as Bob said, (I’m paraphrasing/embellishing,) “Because I’m comfortable, and because I said so.” Haha (read: this is the best process I know how to do:)

    Once I call Cas-ker, I’ll follow their advice and get to reassembling my baby. You may or may not hear from me for a day or two :)

    Great conversation, Guys. Thanks for the interesting and stimulating information!

    Best,

    Tim :D

    #60221
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    It would be interesting what Caskers or Jules Borel would have to say. Thanks Randy for the info. The few springs I have in stock are the blue ones. I use them because I am to cheap to buy the newer ones. :mrgreen:

    #60222
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Guys. why not use the “approved method” If not just for the 4 reasons Chris gave? They sound like good reason to me to take it out of the retainer and go thru it.
    William

    #60223
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    William, he doesn’t have a winder, so the “alternate” method is due to that reason. Something I think we’ve all had to do before we built up our tool supply,….improvise :)

    #60224
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Chris… @maitai11 wrote:

    my mainspring winder does not have an attachment that fits inside the mainspring barrel all the way

    Maybe Tim can get us some photos of the winder he does have,

    #60225
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Bob even mentions it in an older post on this forum from 2012:
    He said,
    “I believe that all the newer white alloy mainsprings are pre-lubricated with teflon and can be installed right into the barrel. I usually put a couple of tiny dots of grease on top of the spring before pressing the cap on. This probably isn’t necessary but for some reason I feel comfortable doing this.”

    Got to watch out for that Bob guy Randy. Never know what off the wall nonsensical comment he might make :D

    I know that adding this oil to a Teflon coated spring fly’s in the face of some watchmakers beliefs and I can understand why they feel this way. I’m just more comfortable knowing that there’s a small film of thick oil or grease between the cap and the mainspring to help lubricate possible dragging between the spring and the cap. Also like to lightly grease the bottom of the barrel for the same reason. No need to lube the spring itself though when the spring is new.

    Of course I could be completely wrong doing it this way!
    Enjoy,
    Bob

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maitai11New Spring Oiling/Greasing…