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Bill's Clock Repair

 
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:54 PM
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Bill's Clock Repair

We've had this old wall clock, since the late 80's I guess. I had it professionally repaired in 1991. Not sure what they did to it, but I know it was 1991 because I kept a record of the dates over a few weeks, while I weekly adjusted the pendulum to perfect the time keeping. It's been remarkably accurate for the 20+ years since then.

Until a few weeks ago when winding it, a horrible screech, and no more workie. It isn't so easy to find a good clock repair shop these days, so after looking at it dead on the wall for a few weeks, I decided to tear into it myself.

Easy enough to pull the hands off, pull 3 screws to remove the dial face, and the actual clock works comes out easily.


The problem was sure to be a broken mainspring, just judging by the noise it made when it broke. And that was quickly confirmed. Fortunately nothing else was damaged.



The spring had broken about 4" from the outer end. I thought about trying to simply lose that 4" and reattach the loop to the remaining spring, but it wasn't going to be easy to punch a tiny hole in that spring steel. A google session found a good source of a wide selection of mainsprings. Found a perfect fit for about $20 delivered to my door.



The clock is a New Haven, made in the good 'ole US of A.







The mainsprings seem to be fairly universal in design, either a loop end, or a hole end style, but there is a wide variety of sizes to choose from. You just need to measure the thickness, width, and length. Length is the hard one to figure. This one is about 8' long and not easy to straighten out without getting cut. Instead of doing that, I measured the diameter of every coil, calculated the length of each coil, and just added those up. This one is about 96" long, 3/4" wide, and 0.018" thick.



By the way, I took all these photos (and more) not to share here, but so I could remember how to get the thing back together. Figured I might as well share them too.



Got the mainspring in just a couple of days, and put it all together tonight. Cleaned and lubed everything while I had it open. She fired right up, and has been tic tocing away for a few hours now. Timekeeping seems in the ballpark, but I expect to have to do a little regulating over the new few weeks.
 
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:26 AM
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. Nice fettle Bill. You're probably good to go for another 20.
 
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:47 PM
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Very nice Bill. Thanks for sharing the pic's.
Glad to see that time doesn't stand still here!
Maybe a new hobby as it's something many won't do?
 
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:45 PM
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If I buy a clock that needs fixing, I know where to send it!

Jim
 
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:52 AM
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The inability to get almost everything fixed, nowadays, is such a sad commentary on our society. We just throw it away.

So many skills being lost every day by America.

Anybody that can fix anything is almost surely from "The Old Country"

Pop
 
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:58 PM
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Good job Bill.
 
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:00 PM
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Got to talking with Carol about how long we've had that clock. And remembered that I refinished the case on the front porch of our apartment in Santa Fe Springs. We moved out of there into our first house in '82. So reckon it's been hanging around longer than I wrote above. Time gets away from ya.
 
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:27 PM
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That was cool. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

gw
 
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:43 PM
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Thanks Gail. How's everything up your way?


Found this site, which seems pretty good for old clocks.
Antique Clocks Price Guide - Grandfather Wall and Mantel


Found this one,
Antique Clock Details


and this one,
Antique Clock Details


They both look like ours, except they have REGULATOR on the glass and ours has STANDARD TIME.


They want money to give you any real info, and I'm too cheap for that trap.


Found one on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Large-New-Haven-REFEREE-Wall-Clock-Key-Pendulum-Circa-1910-/301531079259?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4634a7225b
 
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bpounds View Post
Thanks Gail. How's everything up your way?

Hey Bill, I'm good, thanks
Not nearly as ambitious as you are, but good.
 
 
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