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First proper project - Smiths windup

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Hi all,

Fixed an electric clock and got a broken windup Smiths clock off ebay.
The alarm and setting the alarm itself are working fine (albeit a little stiff) but when winding, there doesn't seem to be any movement in the mainspring.
I can turn and turn but there doesn't seem to be any movement or tightening in this.
As this is my first real attempt, next steps? (btw, I have left the dial attached as the hands are very thin metal...)


Thanks in advance


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If the key is turning and nothing is happening look closer at the very inner coils of the mainspring.

If none of it is moving you either have a broken eye on the end of the mainspring, or a broken hook on the arbor of the winder so its not engaging the spring. If the last few cm of the spring is winding up but not the rest of the spring then the mainspring is broken and will need to be replaced.

The only way to check is to dismantle but make sure you remove the power on the alarm side first.

If you haven't already I suggest buying a book on clock repair. One that isn't too expensive and is easy to find is 'Practical Clock Repairing' by Donald de Carle.

Some parts of the book is a bit dated, but its still a good book to start with.

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The main spring might be un hooked from the arbor, my guess is the spring has broken at the arbor end. The hands pull off. Be careful not to damage them. 

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Hi  I agree with the above comments regarding the problem, but be sure to unpin the balance spring and remove the balance before splitting the frames. Might save a lot of aggro later.

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The balance complete still looks to be pinned. If you haven't taken it out you need to. Un pin the hairspring and feed it back through the regulator.  Check the pivots of the staff to see if they are blunt, they should be pointed like a new sharpened pencil, mace sure the inside of the cups are good and not marked, You need a lathe if the balance pivots are blunt to re-point the balance. The main spring if broken can be pulled out of the movement with a pair of pliers as it is just hooked over the movement pillar. You need to measure the width and the thickens for its strength and order a new spring, ask for an open end spring, it is a 30 hour clock so a smiths mainspring is what you need.    

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Thanks - am I being thick or is this the balance wheel + hairspring?

If so, great - I can remove that no problem. I was wondering about this.  
With getting a new mainspring, if I need to replace it, do you have any recommended sites to use?
I'm going to remove it and check it over now.



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Yes that's the complete balance. You should be able to find an old movement and the mainspring on ebay. I'll have a look for you, just give me a little time. 

Here you go.

Here is a place for all parts


Give these a ring 01959 543 660

Walsh clock parts and tell them what you want. I think this is the mainspring you want, to be on the safe side mention the number its SKU CM3201 https://www.hswalsh.com/categories/loop-end-mainsprings

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Thank you for that info - I'd have struggled to find someone with that amount of parts.

So in order to get the mainspring off, I'm trying to remove this wheel (see tiny Swiss knife in photo for reference) but is this correct? Other than trying to remove the pillar pins, I can't see where/what else I need to get off.


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That pin is for the alarm. If you are going to take the movement apart you need to let the alarm down, make sure all the power is off before you take the movement to pieces. If you put a screwdriver under the loop of the spring that is around the pillar here (see red arrow) and pull the spring right out. You don't need to take the movement apart in order to replace a new spring.  


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That's fine have you made sure there is nothing of the mainspring left around the arbor. As this is your first time working on this type of movement, are you going to take it apart to clean it? If so take photos of it so you will be able to see how the parts fit. As most of the (train) that is what we call the wheels are out if I was you just wash it out in petrol using a stiff brush and dry it using a hair dryer. Don't forget you will need to obtain the parts. 

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Providing no power is on just remove the plate from the nut side. Don't take apart anything that wont just lift out, You can clean the center wheel attached to the plate. Its a bugger to get free from the plate and a bugger to put back. No need to create unnecessary work.

I forgot to mention Windles clock oil is all you need, it is the best for clocks, it will work fine on the springs, train and the cups for the balance, add a few drops on the escape wheel teeth and as it rotates it will come into contact with the pallet pins and oil those due to the action. 

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FINALLY got the damn thing to come apart - the alarm mainspring was caught on a wheel and preventing me form loosening it.

Bagged it all up whilst I help The Wife with some painting.


With cleaning it bit by bit, starting with the caseplates, would Brasso be suitable or should I use petrol?




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