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Squiffything

Metamec, the cheap throw away.

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Following the advice of the knowledgeable sages on here I’ve been out and about trying to find some time only mechanisms to play with and work on.

First up a little travel clock. Lovely little thing but for my purposes not much good as it’s working perfectly :( 

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Finally I found something that didn’t work. A cheap Metamec little mantle clock. From the 60/70’s Time only, no alarm and no worries if I mess it up as all three only cost me a tenner. 

So a strip down first and as expected it is cheap. Thin metal both on the case and the frame of the mech. Still a lovely little thing when opened but dirty. 

Close inspection showed little wear to the pinions but very gummed up. 

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With that last movement, one of the main problems that would happen is the balance pivots would wear. If you picture a blunt pencil, then what it would be like after you had sharpened it. The way of sorting that out would be to put the balance less the hairspring in a lathe and stone the pivot into a nice point, the balance cups also tended to wear, with those you would swap them for new.

A nice travel alarm clock to work on as a sort of starter is one that has Europa on the dial. These you are able to re-bush. You can buy the bushes for the various wheels readymade. You just tap out the old and with a flat punch tap the new ones in.   

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Can't give you any tips on servicing the Metamec, but as a side note if Metamec's interest you their is a good book on there history and usual info on dating them.

It's called 'Metamec The Clockmaker Dereham' by Clifford Bird

The book is aimed more at collectors than repairers, but it is good for helping to date the clocks

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Working in the Jewellers in Axminster, we stocked Metamec clocks. They were far better than Smiths and the other brand names in every way. 30 hour 8 day wind-ups. Mains and battery movements. Whatever you wanted for your home Metamec could provide.

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Full strip down and ultrasonic clean to start with. Then a careful thorough clean and inspection. The pivot connected to the hair spring wasn’t bad at all. The cups that it sits in was gunked up so carefully dug the gunk out cleaned and the pivot ends polished. I haven’t yet got a lathe so hand polishing with emery paper. Nice and bright silver. Fairly snug in the pivot holes but enough space to allow a little movement. 

The hair spring gave a little bit of a problem but soon resolved it. 

The mainspring was fun. Not as powerful as the Westminster Smith but still enough to give a nasty nip. My spring winder tool wouldn’t fit so I had to get inventive and take things slowly with a pair of pliers. Did it after a while. I’d decided I’d use the spring holder rings which went well.

Same fun and games putting it back together

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Arrrggghhhh it’s been running all afternoon so I put it back into the clock. Once back in it’s a sealed unit so you can’t get to the mech to start it moving but a little tip and away it goes.....

for about 5 seconds then it stops grrrr. 

Granddaughter is over so it’s Moana on the tele and a dolls house built. No time for clocks. Tomorrow morning I’ll be up early to have a look at what I’ve done wrong.

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Looking at the two photos, you have the main spring on the other side? Also the balance spring needs to be as flat as you can get it, it looks cupped to me, take the taper pin out, the spring should then go back to flat, gently hold the spring and put the taper pin back in, do not allow the spring to be dragged down with the taper pin, when it is flat and the taper pin is in just a gentile tap the pin to hold it in place is enough tension.

You have a knack of starting on the more difficult clocks, time only pendulum would have been better :huh:

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Well spotted but would that make a difference once in the clock? The frame is designed to have a second spring and beforehand it ran for hours.

I’ll revisit the balance spring.

i do like to throw myself in at the deep end. I’m off to Greenwich soon to see if they have anything down there that I can have a go at ;)

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On 3/3/2019 at 5:44 AM, Squiffything said:

Arrrggghhhh it’s been running all afternoon so I put it back into the clock. Once back in it’s a sealed unit so you can’t get to the mech to start it moving but a little tip and away it goes.....

for about 5 seconds then it stops grrrr. 

Maybe the movement is being flexed when you attach it to the case lossen off the screws 1/4 of a turn and see what happens.

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I’ll give it a try. I’m loving the challenge but heck is it frustrating especially when I have to involve normal everyday life :) 

just to throw another complication in my mix I’m looking at cheap cuckoo clocks to play with. Jim I know that’d be right up your street.

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Yip it sure is, better to get an 8 day one though, the one day cuckoo's are just that and if you forget to pull the chain (he he) you will get pissed having to set it over and over. Now I think you said you have a Granddaughter that visits, the issue is that young kids grab the chains or weights and pull the clock off the wall which can be dangerous just keep that in mind when you are placing it somewhere. Also, MAKE SURE THE SCREW IS IN A STUD, most of the repairs I do are from people that think plasterboard or drywall for my US friends, will take the weight and after pulling up the weights a few times it falls off the wall!!

Try to avoid Huber Hass clocks as the brass is to soft and even new one's may need bushing after a few years, Regular are a bit better. If you buy an antique one they are all good, however be ready to re-bush it.

Maybe because I repair so many I only own one myself an 1880 Beha, the most sought after maker and this one is very rare as it is a spring driven wall cuckoo clock, people did not buy these as they liked the look of the weights hanging down. 

To start with, buy a cuckoo only clock, do not buy a music one as with all the water wheels, dancers and people banging beers on the table and so on, these are not easy to get right, well for a beginner anyway.

If/when you get it start a new thread as I am thinking it may go for a while... he hee 

 

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If I get one it'll be cheap. I would get one to look at and practice with. At this stage I want to get cheap and cheerful movements to see how they run, to pull apart and put back together again. to practice cleaning and soon to have a go at re-bushing. 

Just had a postal delivery of a selection of bushes, broaching files and a prodder/puller stick thing to assist with the pinions when putting the mechanism back together. Small collection of useful items is getting slowly bigger.

Note to self - stop looking at ebay! spotted this little beauty. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Venetian-Wall-Clock/273738981812?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D307a475d848443a7ae9c50d9e2898882%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D273738981812%26itm%3D273738981812&_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042

Now I'm not sure but I don't think this is a Venetian Wall clock. It looks more like a French Morbier clock. No weights or brackets but it would make a great project. Not sure of the vintage, looks like it might not be too old albeit dirty.

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Had a look at the Beha Cuckoos. The carving on his clocks is something else. I can see why you have that make if no others.

I did fine a You Tube clip of an 1867 drop dial which looks strange without the pine cone weights. Not bad, just different and still with that fantastic carving. Your a lucky guy to have one.

I'll try to find a cheap Regular.

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3 hours ago, Squiffything said:

Now I'm not sure but I don't think this is a Venetian Wall clock. It looks more like a French Morbier clock. No weights or brackets but it would make a great project. Not sure of the vintage, looks like it might not be too old albeit dirty.

It does not have brackets anyway, just the weights that are missing, nice clock for the money and it is a Morbier type clock not a Regulator.

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4 hours ago, Squiffything said:

Just had a postal delivery of a selection of bushes, broaching files and a prodder/puller stick thing to assist with the pinions when putting the mechanism back together. Small collection of useful items is getting slowly bigger. 

On the prodder/puller thing, be careful using it on fine pinions as you lose the feel somewhat, no way use it on a French clock as dragging the pinion on the plates will surely snap it off, better to use tweezers as you have more feel and control. 

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