Removing a clock mainspring barrel

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Removing a clock mainspring barrel

Often a clock mainspring barrel can be taken out without disassembling the clock movements outer plates. The mainspring will also still stay inside the barrel.

Letting down the mainspring power

The mainspring let down tool allows the release of the mainspring with the fist rather than the fingers.

Put the mainspring let down tool over the square post the key goes onto. With a flat screwdriver, move the click out of the way.

The click has a tension spring that needs to be held back. This is what holds the mainspring so that it winds in only one direction. Slowly allow the mainspring to unwind in the fist.

This method lets the control the speed of the unwind with the whole fist rather than the fingers. Unquestionably, doing this with a key will result in a painful experience on the fingers.

Of course, if the mainspring is broken, there usually is no worry since there isn't much tension to begin with.

After the barrel is out

Once the power has been let down, the next step is to yank out the winding arbor shaft. The clock mainspring barrel should then fall out the side of the movement. After the barrel comes out, you can see the number that is on the barrel end cap.

hole end mainspring to order. Locate the mainspring by using the hole end mainspring chart.

Be sure to check the movement for any damage as a result of the mainspring breaking. In particular, inspect the teeth of the gears, as well as the arbor on the next wheel up. This could have consequently been bent.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2020

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Billy W. Lanier
Billy W. Lanier
2 years ago

I have a Ridgeway clock, spring driven, mechanism marked only “Gravely Furn Co Inc; Martinsville VA/USA; Made in Germany; No (0) Jewels; Unadjusted; n=4390.” There is a serial number at the bottom center “370081.” I need a new mainspring w/barrel. I have the barrel out of the clock, and there are no markings whatsoever on it. The rear cover plate (lid) has a “u” shaped hole on one edge. Barrel is 44.55mm outer (teeth) dia, barrel 39.89mm dia, drum depth 21.31mm, and shaft height from front to back 33mm. Drum has 60 teeth. I can’t find anything that matches this on google. May have been serviced, as there is scratched above makers marks “SITS; 5326; 9-89” Can you help me?

Malcolm Hopker
Malcolm Hopker
8 months ago

Hello, super article. You say “yank out the winding arbor shaft”. I am meeting great resistance to manage this on an HAC clock. It does not look as if I need to separate the plates. Can you advise please?



Malcolm Hopker
Malcolm Hopker
8 months ago

Thank you for answering.

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