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stanleybmanly's avatar

Are there any clock makers, tinkers or hobbyists among us. If so, I require your counsel?

Asked by stanleybmanly (23429points) 1 week ago

We have a mantle clock which has ticked along faithfully for better than 40 years. It’s spring driven (3 keyholes), strikes and chimes. Several months ago, the strike spring refused to be wound, so I lazily reverted to simply winding the spring powering the hands. Now that spring also defies winding, and I am trying to decide between 3 courses. I can:
1. replace the entire Hermle movement by ordering one online at a price of $368.00

2. I can ship the movement. away for a complete rebuilding at a cost of $225.00 or

3. I can attempt to tear down the movement myself and simply order 3 new winding barrels (complete with springs) at $30 each at a total of $90.

The downside to the 3rd option is that I know nothing about clocks. I just have a history of taking things apart, and reassembling them with fairly good luck. This time, I can see that this would be no quick fix. I will almost certainly have to build (or buy) a stand to mount and secure the movement, and devote hours to the project, but what else have I to occupy my time? Then there’s the additional fact that I might not recognize other factors in the dozens of bushings wheels and gears that require my attention. Does anyone have advice for me regarding the project?

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2 Answers

Vinoveritas's avatar

Hi. Reviving several inherited clocks has been one of my projects during lockdown, although mine are older Black Forest movements; despite their antiquity the actual value is low, so I was inclined to go down the diy route (I also looked at second hand movements which were super cheap, but figured that their springs were probably exhausted). It sounds like your spring has ‘gone’ and while they are easy to replace, getting the barrels in and out of the frame is easier said than done, and as I found winding them into a barrel a challenge. Rewinding springs is not for the faint-hearted so if it is a matter of changing barrels so much the better. My top tip is to photograph everything and lay out parts on a polystyrene board. Most of my clocks have spent a great apart of their life stopped (one memorably banished to the loft after its gathering pallet slipped and it awoke the entire household by chiming constantly one night) so I have not felt the need to re-bush anything although if it is apart, that would be the perfect time.

kritiper's avatar

Best to take it to an expert. Much better, longer lasting results that way…

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