Placing Mainsprings in barrels

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  • #48469
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Overall I’ve been pretty lucky in getting new m/s’s in place.

    I had a nice Watchcraft winder for p/w’s but the studs on the winding arbors let go and I couldn’t get them reset.
    I replaced them with a Marshall set,but I’m finding that I hate it.
    Now looking for a new Watchcraft set,..and at this point I’ll stop whining ?

    Now..the questions

    1. What tricks do you folks have for pushing in a new spring that comes already coiled ?
    I can get them into the barrel OK,..but sometimes I’m struggling with getting the tab on the end of the m/s into the barrel slot.
    I just destroyed a new spring trying to get it into the barrel of a Hamilton 921, which is not my normal experience by far.
    But not being classically trained, I’m thinking that there has to be a method taught for getting the tab into the slot with more regularity, using the precoiled springs ? The 921 M/S only has the double brace tab on the one side, as these go into the barrel for a Counter clockwise wind.
    I’m used to having a tab on both sides, so that if I miss getting the tab engaged, I can use pegwood to nudge the sring until it pops into the slot.
    I’m open to some training here.

    2. Which P/W winders do you all prefer ?

    Thanks !

    Randy

    #52704
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Randy,
    Make sure you watch Bob’s videos on watch repair. Also, if you go to Youtube and pull up “HOW I REPLACE A BROKEN MAINSPRING, ELGIN WRIST WATCH” you can watch an amateur watchmaker (Bunn Special) fight his way through the same problem.
    david

    #52705
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Thanks David I may have missed some tips in the course material, I’ll review it again.

    I just checked out the video, which didn’t help much, as he’s transferring the precoiled spring to his winder before installing. But that may be my answer as I would then have the end of the spring out where I could place it better.

    I’ve done many , many spring replacements,..but this one just made me start to rethink my methodology a bit
    I was hoping that I could have better luck with just leaving the spring in the carrier it came in, and I’ve had good luck with that overall..but I think that won’t be my option with this style.
    When the new one arrives,..I’ll just transfer it to my winder,…and get the job done !

    Thanks
    Best,

    Randy

    #52706
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Randy,
    In part 2 the spring pops out of the precoiled container and he if forced to wind it with the spring winder. He struggles with it and after several failures winds the spring with the spring winder. Did you watch part 2?
    david

    #52707
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey guys, cant help much with technique but my question relating to the process would be, do these mainsprings come from the manufacturer properly lubricated?????, I think I would want to take it out of the holder to begin with and make sure the spring is ready to my standards. I clean and lubricate clock mainsprings that come in new… thank you for your input, William

    #52708
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Willofiam,
    Bob, a professional watchmaker, recommends the application of mainspring grease by putting some grease on paper and pulling the spring through the grease while pinching the paper. Bunn Special, an amateur hobby watch guy, puts the spring into the barrel and then places a drop of oil on the spring. Probably this is ok but I would certainly give Bob the nod on this one. What makes the Bunn Special videos intresting to me is watching someone who is essentially on the same level as most or us struggle through these problems. This can also be a valuable part of the learning experience.
    david

    #52709
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    I am sure some of these springs if not all come with an anti corrosion coating which should be cleaned off before lubricating, so as William suggests, I think it would be wise to clean and lube the spring before fitting in the barrel.
    Just my 2 pennies worth.

    #52710
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Hey Randy

    I see you are in Marysville. Are you a NAWCC member? If you aren’t you might consider joining. They have a couple good chapters in the Tacoma and Seattle areas.

    I believe the springs are supposed to install without a winder but darned if I have been able to install them this way. I enjoyed Bunn Special’s videos. I struggle each time I install a mainspring. The old style iron springs are really fun.

    Steve
    Victoria, BC

    #52711
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Thanks everyone,
    I’m realizing that I will have to transfer the precoiled springs to a winder, in order to improve my success rate.

    New springs are supposed to be pre-oiled, but I’ve used both Bob’s method and the one where you put a line of oil across the wound spring ( once in the barrel ) at 120 degree intervals.
    I don’t trust the factory oil I guess !

    Steve, I do not belong to a chapter yet,..but I need to do so.

    David,
    I did watch the second half !

    Again,

    Thanks everyone !

    #52712
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Hello Randy

    The NAWCC NW Regional Convention happens in May at Clackamus, OR. Its really good and you will probably enjoy yourself. There is generally good stuff for sale at the Mart.

    Steve

    #52713
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Thanks Steve,
    I’ll look into it !

    Best,

    Randy

    #52714
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hi All,
    Many newer mainsprings come pre-lubricated with a teflon (I think it’s teflon or something like it) coating which they say doesn’t require any lubrication. That said, opinions do vary about the need to add a couple of drops of oil or dab of grease to the top of the spring after installing and before putting the cap in place or just to leave it as is. I’ll just add here that there’s always the danger of oil running out of the barrel and wreaking havoc in the watch so… ;)

    Bob

    #52715
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Thanks Bob.
    I try to be very judicious in my application of lubricant, anywhere !

    Take care !

    Randy

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randyPlacing Mainsprings in barrels