Home Forums General Discussion Forum Use Of Lead/Tin Solder For Fix

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    marc hildebrant


      I just bought a clock to learn on as I fix it up. While complete (Waterbury Calender Clock), it needs wood fixup and more. It only cost me $25.00

      One of the gears in the chime train had some solder used to fix the area where the brass and pivot meet ? While it doesn’t look very nice (blobs of solder used), it seems to “work”.

      Should I replace the part ?


      Bob Tascione

        Hi Marc,
        Wow good price on that one!

        You wrote

        One of the gears in the chime train had some solder used to fix the area where the brass and pivot meet

        but i’m assuming you meant where the brass and pinion meet. If not please let me know.

        There are differing points of view when it comes to the acceptance of using solder in clock repair. My feeling in many cases is if soldering helps improve strength where needed, it’s use is kept visually discrete and the solder can be removed if necessary to bring things back to their original state, then go for it. In the case of your wheel and arbor the solder was most likely added for a good reason so completely removing the solder may leave you with the same problem (maybe a loose fit) the smith that did the soldering faced in the first place. If it’s working well and just looks bad then it may be possible to clean the soldering job up enough so that it’s aesthetically acceptable and keep things the way they are. The fit is most likely very solid and strong.

        Of course if you would like to keep things as original as possible and can locate a replacement wheel then that would be your best option.


        marc hildebrant


          Yes, you are correct. The solder is where the brass and pinion meet.

          Along with the solder, there are “pin pricks” around the brass holes. I think that the idea was to push the brass back to make up for a worn hole.

          Should be a good clock to learn how to add bushings to . Also, the wood needs some repair.

          Curiously, the dial face is in excellent shape.



            You are correct about the “pin pricks”. It was, many years ago an acceptable method of making the pivot hole smaller or even if a new bush was fitted but the fit was a bit sloppy. It is very much frowned upon these days even though you can still buy special punch sets to do it. One of the biggest rules in horology is “Do no harm” but, if its your own clock and not rare or worth a fortune then the choice is up to you.

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