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May 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm #48267
Greetings all, I have a couple of simple questions about a new mainspring I am installing but first I should introduce myself.
I live in Sydney Australia and have been collecting pocket watches for a bit less than a year now. It all started when I bought an old German staking set at a country swap meet (I like old tools) and then decided I would collect some watches to use it on. Gotten slightly out of hand since then collecting watches (mainly Omega and Elgin), tools, parts, books, learning and practicing, watching videos (thanks Bob) etc.
Anyway, I am about to fit my first new mainspring. I am wondering if there is a standard way of removing them from their shipping ring. I ask as my previous attempt to remove a spring from a barrel didn’t go as well as I’d hoped (ie like in Bob’s video) and ended up as a bit of a hair ball. So if there is a neat trick I’d like to hear it.
Also, this is a new Clark spring – does it need lubricating or do they all come pre-lubed.
Thanks in advance.
PeterMay 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm #51692Bob TascioneModerator
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Welcome to the forum Peter and thanks for the intro!
I’ve never heard of a tangled mainspring described as a “hair ball” before! That’s a good one!
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.
Hopefully the spring will fit into the barrel while still in the retaining ring. If so then all you need to do is place the spring into the barrel with the ring resting on top and then just push the spring home. This works well for most mainsprings with normal folded back bridle ends but for hole end mainsprings that need to catch a hook on the inner barrel wall such as found in many pocket watches care must be taken not to damage or shear off the hook.
If you do need to remove the spring from the retainer so that you can insert it into the barrel with a winder then it can be removed from the retainer by working the inner coil out the same way that a spring is removed from a mainspring barrel. Another way is to place it over a large diameter winder barrel and then push the spring out of the retainer directly into the winding barrel. The spring can then be pushed out of the winder onto a piece of clean wax paper (or any other clean surface) by using the winders plunger.
This is all easier than I’ve managed to make it sound so if I’ve confused you in any way or if you have more questions please let me know.
I hope it helps though.
Enjoy Peter and again Welcome!
BobMay 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm #51693
Hi Bob, thanks for the response. I was hoping that the spring would slot in to the barrel while in the shipping ring, but it’s just a little bit too big. It’s also an 18 size spring so I don’t have a winder big enough to transfer it in to.
Looks like I’ll have to work it out from the centre as you suggest. Fingers crossed.
PeterJune 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm #51694wingmanParticipant
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I have a spring winder and I still get “hair balls”. Also springs that fly around the room. I have found that after some practice they will wind onto the winder if you hold the ring close and tight to the winder. Usually then you find that you have put it in backwards. Then after a few bad word I gently work it out. My supplier in Vancouver doesn’t carry the better alloy springs.
SteveJune 19, 2012 at 3:58 am #51695
Hi Steve et al, in the end it was easier than I expected – no where near the pent up energy I had experienced removing springs from barrels. So th mainspring is in and I am just waiting on some new hands.
I am careful about winding the right way, but also expecting to get a few the wrong way…
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