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SPRING DRIVEN CLOCKS

Introduction:

A Spring Driven Clocks movement is the part of the clock that has all the gearing in it. The Spring Driven Clocks movement is often called these other names: the "clockworks" or the clock "inners" or the "motor". They all just mean the part of the clock that is doing the work, the two brass plates with all the gears in it. The dial, hands, pendulum (if it has one), and weights (if it has them) attach to the Spring Driven Clocks movement and are not included with a new replacement.

If your Spring Driven Clocks was made from around 1965 to the present day, there is hope to get a new movement to replace your old one. Replacing is better than repairing because the new movements are free from bushing wear and sometimes the maker of the movements improve them over time. To pay someone to overhaul a movement that is still in production does not make sense. The cost would be about the same, or in a lot of cases, much more expensive. This is because of the extensive time and effort that is involved with the overhaul.

Identifying the Spring Driven Clocks movement:

The first thing to do is to get all the information off of the back plate of the Spring Driven Clocks movement itself and write it down. Be sure to remove the weights and pendulum if the case is to be moved to get to the movement. Do not make the mistake of looking for the model number of the clock, this number is on the paperwork that comes with the clock and is not what is needed to replace the Spring Driven Clocks movement. As stated above, the numbers needed are on the back plate of the movement itself. Hermle produces approximately 75% of the Spring Driven Clocks replacement movements we sell.



Select the beginning of the Hermle number below

Seth Thomas clock owners:

These Spring Driven Clocks movements have numbers on the back of them that look similar to Hermle numbers but they start with an A at the beginning. For example: A406-010 would be a Seth Thomas movement number. These movements are still made by Hermle and we have them in stock, just follow the link to the Seth Thomas page and get the Hermle replacement number.

Mason and Sullivan clock owners

These movements have numbers on the back of them that ends with an X. For example: 3318X would be a Mason & Sullivan movement number. These movements are still made by Hermle or Kieninger and we have them in stock, just follow the link to the Mason & Sullivan page and get the Hermle or Kieninger replacement number.

If no luck yet:

If your clock did not match up with any of the Spring Driven Clocks numbers above, then your clock could be made by Kieninger or Urgos. These movement manufacturers are harder to get Spring Driven Clocks replacements for, but we do stock the most common models. You can check the Kieninger, Urgos, or Jauch pages within this site for your Spring Driven Clocks movement, or Email Us the numbers and we will see if we have it. We do stock some units that are not listed, so again, when in doubt Email Us the information off of the back plate of the movement and we will check stock for you.

Repairing a Movement

Putting a clock in beat

In many cases the complaint with a Spring Driven Clocks mechanical clock is that it stopped working after it was moved. This is usually from someone moving the clock without taking the pendulum off and this puts the clock out of beat. Out of beat is a term used in clock repair that basically means the clock is going tock-tick, tock-tick, or ticktock, ticktock instead of tick tock tick tock. It is sometimes corrected by putting a matchbook or Small piece of wood under one side of the clock case to make the tick and the tock evenly spaced. This can temporarily correct the problem and the Spring Driven Clocks runs fine. This method however is not as good as correcting the beat and having the clock run when it is truly straight and level.

This can be achieved on most clocks by slightly bending the verge one way or another. The verge is the only movement part that touches the pendulum and whacks the pendulum back and forth.

The verge is what gets bent or pushed when the clock is moved, without taking the pendulum off the clock. A verge that is pushed or bent effects the escapement of the clock; the escapement being that part of the clock that actually creates the tick and tock sound.

American Clock Movement
Front Escapement

By bending or pushing this verge back into position, and then listening to the sound, you can make the clock go tick tock, tick tock rather than tock tick, tock tick or ticktock ticktock which means the Spring Driven Clocks is in beat. This method is the same for most mantle clocks, kitchen clocks, grandmother clocks, and grandfather clocks. Just about all clocks are this way except for the 400 Day clock or the Atmos, which are entirely different timepieces.

Clock is ticking OK but stops

If the clock is now in beat, meaning the tick and the tock are evenly spaced, but then the clock stops after awhile, what now? Here are some other common ailments that are meant to be looked into before going into a cleaning procedure. Are the hands touching the dial, or each other? Bend the hands so they do not touch.

Is the pendulum touching another object during its swing? The pendulum cannot touch anything during its swing. It is commonly found in mantle clocks that the wrong pendulum bob has been put on the clock. Bobs are lost frequently like clock keys. If someone decides to replace the bob but hooks on a fatter one then the original, it may bump into the movement during its swing, even though the clock is level. Being off level is the most common reason for the pendulum to be blocked during its swing. If a clock is not level side to side and front to back, (or close) the bob may hit the case. It depends on the clock. All clocks are meant to be level and in beat from side to side, but not all clocks are meant to be perfectly level from front to back. The point is, to keep the pendulum totally free from obstructions because it uses its own weight and momentum to help keep the clock running. If it bumps anything, even slightly, then it loses some momentum and the Spring Driven Clocks will eventually stop.

If these things do not fix the clock then it would be safe to assume there is a general lack of power in the time train. It is time to give the clock a good cleaning and check it over for excessive wear. If the old oil dried up, then this would cause too much friction for the Spring Driven Clocks to run with the weights power. Clean out the old oil and check for excessive wear at the pivot holes. Pivot holes are explained in another section.

To get to this point means it is time to look for a New Movement. Unless you find clocks as interesting as I do, then the time required to overhaul the movement is not worth it when you can get a New Movement, improved by the factory with bronze bushings, which will be more cost effective. It can be much more expensive to overhaul a movement because of the extensive time it takes to disassemble the movement, work on it, and then put it all back together again. Forget about the movement being sentimental when it comes to replacing it, keep the case sentimental, not the movement. If the Spring Driven Clocks movement is on our charts, then it is best to replace it.

No tick tock sound?

If you do not hear any tick tock from a Spring Driven Clocks mechanical clock, even if the verge is moved back and forth by hand, this means there is a big obstruction in the way of the mechanics of the movement. This could mean any of the following:

1.The hands are touching something, bend the hands to freedom.

Spring Driven Clocks
Clock Hands

2. The Spring Driven Clocks chiming mechanics are out of synchronization and they are doing something to stop the movement. If the chime mechanics seems to be your clocks situation, it is recommended to read up on these parts with our E-Book.

NOTE: There are only two general methods that a Spring Driven Clocks synchronizes the chime with what hour it is, these two methods are called Rack and Snail or Count Wheel. Both of these involve many interactions between the arms inside the movement (The arms are in the front of the movement in a rack and snail style movement).

CLOCK REPAIR

Rack & Snail movement

3. The weight chain or cable is pinched or hung up somewhere. This can happen during the installation of a Spring Driven Clocks movement to its case. See if the chain or cable is rubbing anything or getting pinched anywhere.

4. Star cam not aligned correctly. These are the two star like looking gears that are on the outside of the movement plates. One slips over the winding arbor and one is near each winding arbor. Not all clocks have these, but for the clocks that do, it can be tricky to get these correctly aligned if not told how.

The only way these can get misaligned is to remove them, so if the winder arbors were NOT removed from your clock movement, this would not be your reason for stoppage. (winding arbor = the arbor with the square end that the key goes on) Now for the people who did have the winding arbors removed, let's first explain what the purpose of these stars are and then how to install them correctly so we can get some ticking out of the clock.

These star like gears have a purpose of not allowing the weights to go to far up or down. If you look close at them you will see there is one tooth that is longer than the rest on the winding arbor star gear, and one tooth entry point that is not as deep as the others in the other star gear. These gears work fine until it gets to the point where the tall tooth hits the short hole and this stops the clock. It does this to do two things: not let the clock get so wound up that the weight and chain attachments go into the movement; and it also stops the weight from dropping too low during running, where it will hit the clock case bottom or run out of chain so it falls to the bottom.

These can be removed completely and not reinstalled if you choose. Just don't wind the clock weights up so high the chain or cable gets caught up in the movement. Risk being the weights end up at the bottom of the clock case about the ninth or tenth day and you risk the opposite end of the chain getting stuck in the movement. The fix for the star cams is not that bad, so you might as well put them on as your supposed to.

Just wind up the clock to where you would like the weights to hang at full winding, while you watch the action of these star gears. Then install the gears so they lock at that spot while the Spring Driven Clocks is being wound up. At this spot there should be plenty of room for the weights and its attachments to be free from touching anything, and the clock not too top heavy that it will fall over on someone when the door is opened. That's it, its done, the lower side will take care of itself and stop in 8 days like it should

Working with Mainsprings To purchase mainsprings through us, you'll need the following information: the width in mm, the thickness in mm, and the approximate length in inches of the existing spring. Then determine if the mainspring is a hole end or a loop end. It is easy to tell what style a mainspring is. Some mainsprings have a cover around them, and these covers are called barrels. Mainsprings that are in barrels are always hole end mainsprings.

Loop end mainsprings are the type that are visible from the back of the clock and they have a loop at the end of them. This loop goes around the pillars that hold the movement together. For this reason, a clock with a broken loop end mainspring must come completely apart to replace the spring.

Replacing Spring Driven Clocks mainsprings involves letting the power out of any other mainsprings in the movement, so they won't fly out of control and damage you or the rest of the clock. This is done with a mainspring let down tool. Do not attempt to use the clock key, this could cause an injury.

As the power is being released from the spring, it is desired to keep the mainspring small and harmless, so the power of the spring is released into a mainspring clamp with a mainspring let down tool. One of these clamps goes over the mainspring after you wind the clock up, then the power of the spring is released slowly until the spring is harmless in the clamp. Mainsprings are serious business, they pack a punch, so please do not take them too lightly and end up getting smacked by one. If you use these tools as suggested you will be fine and have nothing to worry about. As far as the mainsprings in the barrels go, they sometimes can be removed from the clock without taking the movement completely apart, but it still needs the power released first.

After the barrel is in your hand, with the mainspring inside, it is time to take the cap off the barrel. The cap is the only part of the barrel that comes off, so it is pretty easy to find. Pop off the cap off with an appropriately sized screwdriver inserted into the slot provided and you will see the broken mainspring. The arbor that connects to the center of the spring is only connected by a nub hooked inside the hole at the beginning of the mainspring. Just turn the arbor the opposite way of the spring winding direction, and you will see the nub pop out of the mainspring hole. The arbor will be loose and able to come right out of the barrel. Now all you have is a barrel with a broken spring in it.

I have used this method when a winder is not available to remove an old spring: I hold the barrel tight with a towel wrapped around it, with only a small opening in the towel to get a pair of needle nose pliers to the mainspring. I hold the entire operation as far from my body as possible, then yank the spring out with the pliers. Of course the spring goes wild when this is done and it's moderately dangerous. I have never gotten injured doing this and hope you won't either. Just take control of handling mainsprings with precaution and confidence, and you will find that they are an easy obstacle to conquer. Oh, by the way, I am not liable for anything and you are at your own risk. Sound encouraging? If you do not like this style of removing a mainspring from a barrel, we offer various books with other techniques. We also offer the hole end mainspring winder / unwinder.

To put the new spring into a barrel is tricky depending on the size of the mainspring. The bigger the mainspring the harder it is to get into the barrel without a winder. It is important to be sure the mainspring is going in the proper direction. You can usually tell by the direction of the nub on the center arbor. It only locks in one direction. A small mainspring you can just cut the wire that comes wrapped around the spring so it is expanded. Then you would lock in the hole in the outer end of the spring into the nub of the mainspring barrel wall, and work around and around the spring into the barrel until the center coil snaps in. Of course if it is a big spring it would be very difficult and dangerous to do this. If this is the case send the barrel and spring into Clockworks and we will put it in for a fee and send it back to you.

The cap of the barrel can be put back on easily with a vise. Start putting the cap on the barrel with your fingers until it wants to go in, but needs that 'snap' to get it into place. Just apply just enough pressure to see it snap into place. Give the movement a visual check over to see if anything was damaged due to the mainspring breaking. It is quite an impact on the clock when a mainspring lets loose and it is good to check the following: See if the click, the part that keeps the mainspring winding in only one direction, is okay and not too loose; check if there are any bent gears; and see if there are any bent pivots.

Pivots are the part of the gear arbor that stick through the plate of the clock. It is really an arbor, but the skinny end of the arbor that sticks throughout the plate is called a pivot in clock world. If these get bent, then it will create too much resistance in the Spring Driven Clocks gear train to let the clock run.

Chiming the wrong time This section is for the clock that chimes at the wrong time, or chimes the wrong amount on the hour. This usually happens when the clock is laid down on its back and then later put back upright and attempted to run again. It is easy to fix.

NOTE: Understand these two points first before proceeding: Some clocks do not like it when the minute hand is turned counter clockwise, so for the beginners, just go by the rule that all clocks should only go clockwise with the minute hand and you will be safe. In fact most clocks you can go backwards just fine, they are designed like this so it is okay, but to be safe for the sake of the few that can not go backward, go forward only. Also understand this one other point; on just about all clocks, with the exception being newer Japanese clocks and 31 day clocks, the hour hand is only a friction fit and can be turned on the hour tube to any position on the dial, backward or forward. If the hour hand becomes loose during this, just push back on its tube and it will be tight again. Now that you understand those two points, to move the minute hand forward only and the hour hand is usually only pressed on being a friction fit, we can continue setting the clock chime.

To correct a Spring Driven Clocks mantle or wall clock that is bonging the hour when the minute hand gets to 6 o'clock instead of 12 o'clock, just count the bongs, take off the minute hand and reinstall it on the clock pointing to 12 o'clock, then turn the hour hand to the hour you heard the clock bong and its done. To correct a clock that is bonging the wrong hour on the hour, just turn the hour hand to the correct hour the clock bonged, then reset the time correctly with the minute hand letting it bong as you go. Your done!

Quarter hour chime clocks This section is for Westminster or other 15 Minute melodies not chiming the hour, on the hour. If the clock is chiming prematurely only about 5 minutes or so before it is supposed to chime, on most clocks you can just take off the minute hand and turn the bushing that is in the center of the hand one way or another so it is exactly on the hour when it bongs its melodies. If the clock chimes the first quarter when it is supposed to be chiming the hour or something similar, just remove the hands and put them to the time that it is bonging.

NOTE: On many quarter chime clocks, they have a self correcting feature and you should wait until a couple of hours go by after setting up the clock, to see if it will correct itself. There is a short cut to this, simply go around once or twice with the minute hand, letting it bong as you go. If a hour or two has gone by and the clock is still singing the wrong song at the wrong time, then remove the hands as stated earlier and put them to what ever time the clock is bonging, then reset the time with the minute hand.

Cleaning - not disassembling the movement Cleaning without disassembly is not as effective as breaking down the movement, but it is sufficient in most cases. Not everyone is ready to break down their Spring Driven Clocks movement and put it back together. We offer a Basic Clock Cleaning Kit that is for the person who would like to do a simple clock cleaning without having to learn an intense amount of clock repair. The goal to cleaning a clock movement is to remove old oil that has solidified and put new oil in its place. Solidified clock oil creates wear to the movements outer plates and eventually causes too much friction for the Spring Driven Clocks to run.

Cleaning disassembled Disassembling and reassembling a movement for a cleaning is a job that takes patience and some time to learn how the Spring Driven Clocks movement operates. If these are not things you wish to invest, it is best to get a New Movement from our charts that would fit your dial, pendulum, weights and chime rods, they are usually in stock and ready to ship.

If you are willing to learn how your Hermle operates, and would like to clean and repair the clock yourself, it is best to start out with the simple kit we have put together for this purpose. It includes The Clock Repair E-Book that guides you through each step of this process and explains the striking components so you can reassemble the movement and have it strike correctly. You need the E-Book to assemble a striking movement, don't kid yourself. I would not have written it if you didn't need it. It is too much information to put in a typical HTML format such as this page because of load time, so it is all in a downloadable zip file. This E-Book is included in the Basic Clock Cleaning Kit. You get the clock cleaning solution, the E-Book, a brush, a clock level, clock oil and a vision visor. The E-Book explains what to do with these items.

There you have your options, get the Basic Clock Cleaning Kit and start reading up on how to clean and oil your clock movement, or just replace it with a brand New Movement. You can start with seeing if the Spring Driven Clocks movement is available, and if it is then try the clock cleaning kit and see if you can get it to work on your own before making the new movement purchase.


CLOCK CLEANING KIT

Our Clock cleaning Kit offers the basic items required to clean a clock movement without disassembly. Cleaning without disassembly is not as effective as breaking down the movement, but it is sufficient in most cases. Not everyone is ready to break down their clock movement and put it back together. This kit is for the person who would like to do a simple clock cleaning with out having to learn an intense amount of clock repair information or Horology. The goal to cleaning a clock movement is to remove old oil that has solidified and put new oil in its place. Solidified clock oil creates wear to the movements outer plates and eventually causes to much friction for the clock to run.


CLOCK CLEANING SOLUTION

Clock Cleaning Kit includes One pint of concentrated ammoniated clock cleaning solution that can be used to clean movements by hand, or to use with a ultrasonic cleaning machine. Just mix 1 part of this solution to 6 parts of water to clean old clock oil from the movement. The E-book that is included with this kit has instructions on how to clean the clock movement in the best and safest way, so refer to it before starting the cleaning process.

BRASS BRISTLE BRUSH

Beautiful brass bristle brush which brings bright beauty to big bulky brass plates. This is to be used on stubborn spots of grime, to be used with cleaning solution.

VISION VISOR

Clock Cleaning Kit includes This magnifier can be worn over glasses. This fits over the head and will be the most convenient magnification for inspecting important components of the clock movement and parts. This quality tool is made here in USA and is a must for this type of work. This flips up over the head when there is an interruption in your work and has 2 1/2 magnification power.

OILER WITH OIL

The oiler is full of oil and are the size of a fat pen. A Small amount of oil gets applied to anything that has friction after the old oil is cleaned off. This is enough clock oil to do many clock movements. This is enough oil to do about 7 clocks!

CLOCK GEAR / HAND PULLER

This is used to pull gears or hands off clocks in a straight and safe fashion. With 400 day clocks in particular, the hour hand sometimes is difficult to get off. Doing it by hand could increase the hour hand holes diameter and the hand will not fit back on correctly because it would be touching the dial. Using this simple tool prevents this from happening. Included

CLOCK LEVEL

The level is needed to be sure the clock stays in beat from one place to another. Learn to set the clock in beat by the directions in the E-book, making sure the clock is level when it is being done. Then keep a level with the clock and where ever the clock goes, as long as its level, it will be in beat. By being in beat, it means to have an even tick-tock-tick-tock rather than ticktock---ticktock---ticktock. Often many repairs ONLY need to be set in beat to work - however a cleaning is usually suggested anyhow.

NOTE: Spring driven clocks would need the below tool

LET DOWN TOOL (Spring Driven Kit)

This is a wooden tool that will go over your key in a spring driven clock and allow you to release the power of the mainsprings. If the power of the mainsprings are not released in a spring driven clock during the cleaning process then they risk breaking and damaging the clock movement. It is also a tool that is needed to disassemble any spring driven movement. This is really a ring clamp, but it works very well for this purpose. To get this tool added, you must select "spring driven kit" below

Clock Repair E-Book - Included


Clockworks Clock Repair eBook

The tremendous success of this E-Book is from the simplicity in the answers and the ease of use. This will make it very easy for the clock owner to solve simple problems that may arise when there is an issue with the clock. The topics you see below are the actual topics that are presented on the cover page of the E-Book. Please review them and see if this E-Book will help you. You will find this very helpful in solving many different clock repair issues and questions on cleaning and oiling a movement. This file will be Emailed to you shortly after you order. Please select NO SHIPPING option upon check out as there will be nothing physically shipped.

Ebook Categories

Weight Driven Clock Repair Weight Driven
  • Introduction
  • Putting it "In Beat"
  • Ticks ok but stops
  • No tick tock sound
  • Quarter chime is off
  • Cleaning - Assembled
  • Cleaning - Disassembled
  • Reassembling the works
  • Repair methods
  • Replacing with a new movement
Spring Driven clock repair Spring Driven
  • Introduction
  • Putting it "In Beat"
  • Ticks ok but stops
  • No tick tock sound
  • Working with mainsprings
  • Chiming the wrong time
  • Setting quarter chimes
  • Cleaning - Assembled
  • Cleaning - Disassembled
  • Reassembling the works
  • Repair methods
  • Replacing with a new movement
400 Day Clock Repaid Anniversary Clocks
  • Introduction
  • Setting up the clock
  • Changing Suspensions
  • Putting it "In Beat"
  • Cleaning the Movement
  • Reassembling the works
cuckoo clock repair Cuckoo Clocks
  • Introduction
  • Parts Check
  • Checking for Wear
  • Replacing Bellows
  • Replacing Bellow Cloth
  • Putting it "In Beat"
  • Not Cuckooing at the Right Time
  • Cuckooing the Wrong Amount
  • Movement Removal and Installation
  • New Cuckoo Set-Up
  • Changing the Hands
  • Cleaning the Movement

CLOCK CLEANING KIT

Have a Spring Driven Clock repair question? Send us an E-Mail
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