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Seth Thomas small shelf clock with 103A movement.
Picked this up yesterday at a yard sale. I've got it running now with a little lubrication to the pivots. But, I'd like to take it apart and clean it. I don't know how to let down the spring, but since it's running I think I'll just let it run down on it's own.
Any experts out there who can tell me how to proceed? I think all it really needs is cleaning and proper lubrication. But then again, I have no idea how accurate it may be.
I've never seen one before and have never disassembled one.
Dial side view:
Crusty old case - needs refinishing.
I'd like to know how to let down those big mains, too. I've get several Seth mantle clocks that have been given to me, and the mainspring are exposed with no cage or barrel to contain them.
|IHC Life Member|
Clock springs have to be handled with utmost care or you will be looking on the floor for pieces of your fingers or take an eye out. I use this tool for let down:
And this is the mainspring winder I use:
These are expensive, but fingers and eyes are priceless.
With the let down tool, you essentially do it just like a watch. Place the proper size key on the winding arbor of the mainspring and hold it while releasing the click and letting the handle slowly slip thru your hands. When I use the winder I also have a pair of leather gloves on.
I'll keep these precautions in mind!
As for disassembly of this movement, is there a proper order to it? Maybe I should ask, what is the proper order?
|IHC Life Member|
The movement is an inexpensive one and actually these can present more difficulty than a higher grade movement. The biggest problem is to not ruin the delicate hairspring. You need to remove the pin holding the hairspring end so the balance assembly will be able to be removed. The balance staff rotates in a cone shaped device which is robust and adjustable for end shake, but which also has relatively high friction. If you have a digital camera, take pictures as you start taking the movement apart so you will have a reference for reassembly. I can't give you a step by step for dis-assembly, but it should be fairly straightforward since this is a simple time only movement. Once apart carefully examine the pivots and pivot holes for wear. The holes tend to wear in an oval shape. The best way to repair worn holes in plates is to re-bush the plate sizing the bushing to a properly cleaned and polished pivot.
Thanks again Roger,
This clock would not run at all when I got it. But after oiling all the pivot points, it's now been running steady for about 3 days. (5 days to go to run down the spring).
As near as I can determine this clock is about 1930 vintage? And it surprised me how quiet it is. Quieter than a pocket watch!
I do appreciate the help.
Refinished the case and put her back together.
another view - simple little clock for desk or shelf
|IHC Life Member|
Nice! Enjoy it.
This old Seth runs steady but was losing about 5 min. a day. So, I took it apart and cleaned it and just got it put back together today. We'll see how she runs now. At least it's clean!
|IHC Member 1892|
Hi Dave: Congratulations on a fine effort. Its been a while but I still remember the sense of accomplishment derived from saving one from the bin. John
Re-visiting this 103A. It will not run steady.
It's been so long since I last posted here, and the clock has been sitting idle most of that time because it won't run reliably.
So, I'm going to start over. Not sure exactly what I did before but I'm going to complete dis-assemble the balance wheel and clean the mainspring.
I imagine that's where the trouble is.
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