Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Friday, February 22, 2019

Oh No, I Over Wound It!

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One of the comments I hear quite often in the shop is "I think it was overwound".   To be truthful, the problem is not usually with the clock being overwound, the problem is usually with the clock needing maintenance, typically a good cleaning and oiling.

A clock movement typically has a front and back plate that holds the gearing in place with a series of pivots.

Through time, the oil in the pivots can get dirty and thick, reducing the ability of the oil to properly lubricate and not allowing the pivots to rotate as freely in the bearing (hole) as should be.  When the clock is wound, the force of the wound spring exerts pressure on the gearing and this the pivots, pushing the pivots to one side and reducing the ability of the gearing to operate properly.

Another culprit in a clock stopping after it is fully wound is the spring.  A spring can "set" over time if left in a fully wound state.  That is the spring, instead of fully expanding and releasing all of its energy, remains in a tight position.  A set spring has roughly 1/10th the energy of a spring that can fully release its energy

The final culprit of a clock stopping after it has been wound, the escapement has been knocked out of beat, or the clock has been knocked crooked while winding.
First check the clock for level, use a spirit level.
Listen to the clock you need to hear an even tick tock left and right.  If a quick tick-tock is hear either to the left or right of center, the clock is out of beat.
To correct an out of beat scenario, move the clock left or right to correct the error, adjust the escapement left or right (this cannot be done on all clocks)
Or adjust the lead to compensate for the out of beat condition.

In short, "over winding" is not a condition, it is a symptom of other problems needing addressed.

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