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Help with Illinois pocket watch


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Once again I am asking for help.  I cleaned an Illinois pocket watch.  It was running well, but had a lot of lint and other debris inside.  I cleaned the balance wheel and hair spring without taking the hair spring off.  Cleaning was done in lighter fluid in an ultrasound machine.  The movement was cleaned in an ultrasound machine using watch cleaning fluid followed by two rinse soakes.  Everything went back together well.  When the balance cock and hair spring were placed the spring was not parallel to the plate.  None of my manipulation could make it so.  If the balance wheel is manually the escape wheel moves normally, but the watch will not run.  When not in the watch the hair spring is parallel to the balance wheel.  

I have included pictures.  The one from the side was meant to show the h.s, but is hard to see. 

Thanks in advance for your help. 

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EED6E16B-EE5D-4388-9B7D-17620D858C05.jpeg

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I can see the hairspring is not correct. It is to near to the balance and could be rubbing (red arrow) You will need to free it from the regulator. if you need to adjust the hairspring, bend it down a little here (yellow arrow) it is a trial and error so be careful. You might need to drop the stud a little here (blue arrow) You need to have the hairspring level all the way round. See how un-even where the red arrow is pointing to the green arrow.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bill3 said:

When the balance cock and hair spring were placed the spring was not parallel to the plate.  None of my manipulation could make it so.  If the balance wheel is manually the escape wheel moves normally, but the watch will not run.  When not in the watch the hair spring is parallel to the balance wheel.  

what sort of manipulation did you do? At least what sort of manipulation that did not work?

It looks like it's bent at the stud. When the balance wheel is out of the watch not attached to the bridge if it's parallel and everything looks fine then the problem is going to be either the regulator pins or the stud. most commonplace that hairsprings get bent is at the stud. It's possible if the regulator pins are too tight it can hold the hairspring up higher or lower or somewhere it's not supposed to be. But usually it's the stud.

Then the watch doesn't run after cleaning? Is the balance wheel show any signs of movement at all?

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 Old Hippy, thank you for your interest in my problem in repairing my pocket watch. I am not sure how to lower a stud.  Is there a video or other that I can use to see how it is done?

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JohnR725, Thank you for your comments. My “manipulations” were to use tweezers to pull at the hair spring to try to get it level.  The balance wheel moves freely.  I can turn it manually and the escape wheel rotates.  It does not spring back and forth.

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looking at how you responded to our questions and noticing your relatively new I would suggest finding a practice balance wheel or even better a practice watch that you don't care about. then you can start to learn how to bend they hairspring rather than a watch that you think you want to keep. it's really easy when you're starting to make it inappropriate bend and have more problems than when you started.

Lowering the stud is easy it may still not fix your problem though. Just loosen the stud screw a little bit. It depends on how tight the stud is in the hole a lot of times loosening the screw the stud will fall all by itself other times gentle pressure from the top will lower it down try not to push it out. hen you are cleaning the watch did you remove the balance wheel from the bridge?

so the balance wheel moves freely? If you rotate the balance wheel like half the turn and let go does the hairspring pull the balance wheel back in other words does it oscillate back-and-forth? Then when it's oscillating back and forth from the energy you supplied do you see the pallet fork moving back and forth?  the problem I'm having is I'm trying to visualize what you're describing and I don't think were quite on the same page or were missing a page?

When you are assembling the watch with the balance wheel out and the pallet fork out and you wind the watch a little bit did the train spin freely? Then you put the pallet fork in wound up the watch a little pushed on the fork did it snap from one side to the other with a nice quick snapping action?

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Thank you for your interest.  No, the balance wheel does not oscillate back and forth.  I had to move it manually back and forth to make the escape wheel rotate.  

I did not dissambled the watch completely.  I took the balance and cock out, but did not take the pallet fork out.  The pallet fork moved after I wound the watch a little, but it did not "snap" back and forth.  The movement was sluggish.

 

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you really need to take the pallet fork out when servicing the watch. It makes assembling the gear train much easier and you can verify the train spin freely.

simplistic if you have a sluggish watch it's never going to run. If the balance wheel is in the watch and you rotate the entire movement back and forth in your hand the balance wheel should freely move.  then the balance wheel really does have to be very very free to run. For instance if you have no power on the watch manually rotate the balance wheel around one turn let go the energy stored in the hairspring will pull the balance wheel back and it will oscillate back and forth until finally it runs out of energy. if you manually rotate the balance wheel let go and it sits there that's definitely a problem.

So basically we have two problems sluggish movement which means no powers getting to the balance wheel or not enough to get it to run and balance wheel problem with a side order of hairspring irritation.

so let's go back to the beginning you said the watch was running fine before you serviced it? This is always helpful because it tells us where the problem originated from it just doesn't tell us what the problem is. By servicing running through the ultrasonic not taking out the pallet fork did you take out anything else?

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bill3 said:

 Old Hippy, thank you for your interest in my problem in repairing my pocket watch. I am not sure how to lower a stud.  Is there a video or other that I can use to see how it is done?

It is the tiny screw near the blue arrow.

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I am still trying to get the Illinois pocket watch to work.  Because the trouble centers around the balance wheel and hair spring, I have removed them and done a closer examination.  When out of the watch the hair spring is flat (all in one plane), but the plane of the hair spring is not parallel to the balance wheel.  I have included a couple of pictures.  If anyone has suggestions, they are welcome.

Bill3

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37D6DE52-42D6-40A7-A7D1-0563CB402404.jpeg

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It seems to me that the balance stem is not seated in the upper jewel. The upper jewel could be broken.Take a look at it with a loop.

The upper balance staff is easy to break when reinstalling the balance.There are two jewels in the upper & two in the lower, the lower jewel of the two keeps the staff from wobbling while the upper is what the staff rides on and the reverse holds true on the bottom.:)

imagesnnn.png

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I can see the upper jewel on the top and bottom, but I am having trouble seeing the bottom jewels.  I will try to arrange better lighting.  Do you have suggestions about how to secure good visualization?

Thank you,

Bill3

 

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First things first, do you understand the diagram I posted about the jewels? Also what is your experience in working on watches? These are not questions to belittle you, just to give me an Idea how to go about helping you.  

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Yes, I understand the diagram.

I have been doing minor things (cleaning, lubing, buffing the crystal) to watches for about 20 years. About two years ago I started to take them completely apart, instead of the partial disassembly I do for cleaning and putting them together again.  Since that surge of interest I have done about 10 - 12 minor repairs e. g. replace a mainspring, replace a stem etc.  I have never replaced a jewel.  I am a hobbyist, I have NO formal training. The last person on this city who would work on mechanical watches died about five years ago, so I am on my own.  

Thanks for your interest, 

Bill

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Thanks Bill

I have come across this many times with American pocket watches  & it is usually that the balance staff is not in the upper jewel hole. or that jewel is either broken or made larger. Which makes for a wobble. Or the bottom of the staff is not in it's jewel hole.

You are going to have to take it apart and inspect the jewel for cracks or enlargement. If its ok you are going to have to make sure the top if the staff is in the jewel hole when you reinstall the balance. If that's not the problem the we will move on from there.

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