Pocket Watch Main Spring Problem

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  • #48087
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob and fellow Members

    I am in the process of cleaning and restoring an Elgin size 18, 1907 vintage, 17 jewel, open face pocket watch
    with a stem wind and time set. One of the problems that I have encountered is the way the main spring and
    winding arbor are hooked together. I am more familiar with the main spring/arbor hook arrangement/designs
    of clocks, where the spring is easily attached to a hook on the arbor. With the pocket watch, I don’t see anything that resembles a hook on the arbor. What I see is a small slotted or notched area on the arbor with a slightly elevated square.
    I am assuming the elevated square is the hook and the spring is some how press fitted over the square.
    I would appreciate some input on the design of the pocket watch arbor hook/main spring arrangement and how they
    are put together with out having a slippage problem when winding.

    Thank You
    BYJWR1

    #50775
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi BYJWR1,
    Yes you are correct. There should be a slight forward taper to that square which acts as a hook to catch the mainspring. The notched area allows for the hook and starting end of the mainspring to lay down below the outer surface of the arbor eliminating a bump from the end of the mainspring and hook that would be present without this setup. If there is no taper then it’s possible that the hook has been damaged or worn off.
    Enjoy!
    Bob

    #50776
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob,

    Thanks for the reply! Please let me know if there is a way to reestablish the forward taper to the square (hook) for
    the main spring to hook onto?

    Thanks

    BYJWR1

    #50777
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi BYJWR1,
    Yes often times if there is enough material left you can use a knife edged or small escapement file to reshape a small taper.
    Good luck BYJWR1 and please let us know the outcome.
    Enjoy,
    Bob

    #50778
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    I can only speak from my own experience (limited) from
    working with Waltham pocket watches.
    My size 18 vintage 1888 needed a mainspring.
    I found one on ebay for about 20 bux.
    These springs fit into a “drum” and the outside of the spring
    has a small “T”. The inside has a small square hole.
    Be careful about which way, clock-wise or Vise-versa it goes.

    Attached is a pic of my 1888 lever set Waltham.
    Bob, the master, is correct (always) in that a fine file and steady hands
    can renew the catch on the barrel hub so the spring doesn’t slip
    off. It’s canti-levered a wee bit so that the spring holds tightly
    to the hub.

    I hope the pic helps all out there who may have similar issues.

    #50779
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob and Clam 71

    Thanks for your replies which were very helpful and appreciated! I was able to address the problem by dressing up
    the hook and re shaping the main spring at the arbor end. I found that shaping the spring to fit around the arbor
    and have it hook onto the arbor hook was critical! It had to be a very tight fit.

    The bottom line is, I put the barrel with spring back together again and was able to wind the spring and it worked
    just fine.

    Thanks again!

    BYJWR1

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byjwr1Pocket Watch Main Spring Problem