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Smiths Enfield Mantel Clock No. 2


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I have been working on my second Smiths mantel clock over the weekend. I've worked on the woodwork and touched up the blemishes, waxed and polished it. Polished the bezel and varnished it.

The clock seems to work fine for awhile but whenever I return from work I find that it has stopped. The amplitude seems weaker than the first Smiths clock I worked on. The beat seems fine.

When I remove the pendulum, the crutch continues to swing at a high rate. Is this a sign that the pallets are set too shallow?

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With the pendulum off and it is tripping proves that the power is getting through. What sort of swing are you getting with the pendulum on? If it is poor then lower the pallets. Is it oiled correctly only looking at the back plate the oil sinks look dry. Without oil the movement will struggle to work properly. 

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It has been running for over 24 hours now. I guess I was still in watch repair mode and didn't put enough oil on the pallets. 

The required amount of oil is always a question. How much is too much?  Donald de Carle's book say put enough in the oil well till it is just about to run out. That doesn't help much. :phew:

And his book doesn't how much oil to put on the pallets.

And probably some old clockmakers will say "It depends. Some need more... some need less." :pulling-hair-out:

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You do not want to over flow the oil sinks, two thirds full is enough. When it comes to pallets oil the sides that come into contact with the escape wheel teeth again you do not want oil dripping all over the place and also oil the teeth every other one. I used a fine paint brush for the teeth. If you oil the metal parts that come into contact with another part you can't go wrong. Not being rude but a little common sense and experience helps, after repairing a few clocks it will just come to you what to oil and how much. If you need more help I'm always about. 

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Thanks OH. I've learnt a lot from you. 

I discovered that a dental microbrush applies oil to the pallets in a very controlled manner. The microbrush is also useful for "pegging" out pivot holes.

I just received my 3rd Smiths clock. This one appears older than the 1st two. It uses a strip metal pallet instead an anchor. 

This one seems to have a problem with the escapement. It will tick for awhile then suddenly lock up. I'll probably start on it next week.

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On 9/18/2020 at 4:06 AM, oldhippy said:

I forgot to say when it comes to the click always use clock grease not oil, oil will just drip away, grease will stay put and do the lubricating better.  

Being that I have a few clocks also (chiming and otherwise), and work on people's clocks about as often as I do watches, I was wondering if I'm doing right.  Generally I've been greasing the same basic category of part in a clock that would naturally get grease if it were in a pocket watch, and the other parts get whatever kind of oil works best.  Basically, if I need the lube to spread about to surfaces of interacting parts, I use oil.  And if I need it cling where it is and lube one thing constantly,  I use grease.  I imagine there's more to it than just that.  Any hard and fast rules about whrn to use oil or grease, @oldhippy.

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In my opinion I would do this on the keyless work of a watch. As there are no oil sinks tells you that where ever you oil the oil will go wherever it wants too. So I would use good watch grease wherever two or more pieces come into contact even on the stem. Never put great globs of the stuff on. With clocks. Clicks and ratchet wheels that are hidden from the eye again use grease and you do not need to be over fussy if it shows. Same goes if metal parts are used as a function and touch, a tiny bit of grease where they touch, clock leaver posts should have grease or oil, if you use oil make sure its just a tiny amount as it can run past the posts and go onto the plates. I used clock grease. When it comes to visible movements like carriage clocks, be extremely careful as the customer doesn’t want to see clock grease all smeared over the click and ratchet so grease is applied so the customer can’t see it, tiny bit of grease is applied to the shoulder of the screw that holds the click to the back plate, tiny bit of grease on the tip of the ratchet that engages the ratchet wheel and a tiny bit between the ratchet spring and the ratchet. Platform escapements should be oiled in the same way as watch escapements but with pocket watch oil.  

I will now wait for the you know what to hit the fan. I bet I have left something out.:Laugh:

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2 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

How about clock mainsprings? Is oil or grease preferable. And what kind of grease do you use?

I would lightly grease a mainspring.  I defer to Old Hippy on this matter, but I'd bet he'd do the same, and may even have some good recommendations on what kind of grease (of which I'll take note also).

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I always used clock oil. I found oil would distribute  its way around the complete mainspring better then grease. I also have found in some clock barrels where the grease more or less stays put and if its old and the clock isn't used very often it can become hard and difficult to remove. Any clock mainspring that has become distorted when removed from its barrel using a good clock mainspring winder must be replaced if its the time side because this will cause the clock to be a poor time keeper even after service, Strike/chime this will affect the  effectiveness  of its chiming and or striking causing it to be sluggish and in real bad cases the strike/ chime may not last the amount of days it is supposed to work an 8 day might only last 6 days. Clock arbors no matter what type of clock it is from should have the burr removed from the key square with a smooth bench file, then marks removed with various grades of emery sticks and the end should be polished, if the old key no longer fits a new key should be provided, always check the old key as they become worn  and in many cases the customer will more then likely have found a key and it fits, more often then not the key will be a bad fit. Don't for get to use the right sort of key, as an example you wouldn't wind up a Longcase clock (grandfather clock) with a brass butterfly key it should be a crank key, you wouldn't wind up an 8 day mantle clock with a Vienna regulator key.

Sorry if I have gone on a bit. :Laugh:   

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Quite all right.  Good things to know, particulary about oiling, rather than greasing the mainspring.  You make a good point about not wanting to bog down the mechanism.  I work on clocks at times and will adopt this policy myself.  A font of knowledge you are sir.  Thanks.

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18 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Any clock mainspring that has become distorted when removed from its barrel using a good clock mainspring winder must be replaced if its the time side because this will cause the clock to be a poor time keeper even after service,

Thanks OH. When will you start putting all the knowledge you've accumulated into a book. The stuff you're imparting are priceless. 

When it comes to replacing a vintage mainspring, considering the improvements to the metallurgy of the steel, should a spring of the same thickness be used or would a slightly thinner spring be better?

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Always go for as near as possible when replacing providing the spring is the correct size to the barrel. It is good practice to measure the barrel for height and width. To give you a rough guide on springs and barrel size, the barrel should be split into 3. 1 third barrel arbor, 1 third spring and 1 third free space.   

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I encountered something strange with this clock yesterday. This is the 3rd time it had happened. I returned from work to find that it had stopped.

There was absolutely no power in the escape wheel. The pendulum just swings back and forth. The minute hand was at the 55 minute mark and the strike wheel was in warning position.

The minute hand was "stuck", the silent lever was stuck. When I started removing the movement from the case, the obstruction freed itself and started working again. Everything works fine when the movement is on the testing stand. I checked the casing for any interference but couldn't find anything. 

Any ideas on what's going on? :phew:

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I've had similar, the clock worked perfectly out of the case, but in the case no hope.

Turned out to be the strike/silent lever, rubbing against the case, adjust the lever away from the case, all was well.

I had been wondering why this clock appeared to have had no use, it hadn't, been faulty from new!

 

Bod.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update on my clock. It appears that I managed to solve the problem with the "locking up". The movement was screwed in a little too high, so the silent lever could not release the chiming flirt completely. Some how that causes the mechanism to lock up.

Now I have a new problem. The chime cannot last the whole week when fully wound. It would stop chiming after about 4 days, even when the spring is half full and feels quite tight when winding it. I noticed that the spring makes an occasional "clunk" sound when clock is chiming. I added more oil to the spring but it didn't help. I tried greasing the spring 1st then oiled it even, but that didn't help either.

I removed the barrel cover and watch the spring as I wound and released it in my mainspring winder. The spring would twist and wiggle a bit and I suspect that causes the spring to rub against the cover and barrel.

Is there any way to solve this? Would changing a new spring help?

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That is typical behavior of a spring at some time of being removed with out using a mainspring winder, it becomes out of shape in the barrel when it is wound up. A new spring will sort this out. 

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7 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

Thank OH. I just can't imagine what brave soul would pull a mainspring out of its barrel by hand.

I'll probably change all 3 springs just to be safe.

Not by hand but with a pair of pliers.  

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8 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Not by hand but with a pair of pliers.  

Still a brave soul.  Or an obliviously bold one.  Having a violin string break at the far end and put a nifty scar on my forehead gave me an education on what some materials under tension can accomplish if things go wrong.

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