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Clocks, Watches/Clock won't keep running


QUESTION: I've been trying to repair a small antique Ingersol alarm clock. The hairpin spring was broken. I've taken it all apart, cleaned it, put bushings in plates with worn holes and replaced the hairpin spring. I start it by moving the wheel attached to the spring and it will run for about 10 - 15 seconds and stops. Is there something I should do to preload the spring or any idea of what I am missing that will make it keep running? If you need a photo or video let me know

ANSWER: Hi Todd,
I'll try to help you on this. Do you know how to put the clock in beat and have you done that?

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QUESTION: Hi Michael, no I guess I don't know how to put it in beat. I'm a novice but I've successively repaired a couple of mantle clocks with pendulum action but not one with a hairpin spring. I have the works out of the case on a bench stand. I can get to start beating by moving the wheel attached to the spring but it stops after a few seconds. Any suggestions would be appreciated

Working with hairsprings is different and can be frustrating until you learn it.  The beat has to do with the ticking. Listen to the tick and see if they are evenly spaced in time. If they are, the clock is in beat. If the ticks are uneven it's out of beat. An out of beat clock may stop or not run at all.
There are other adjustments and repairs regarding the balance that are too involved for me to address here. Books have been written on the subject and you might need to get your hands on some diagrams and descriptions of the adjustments and repair procedures. But first check the beat. If that is your only issue I can help you understand that adjustment.

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Michael Radi


Clock repair and clock parts questions.


I have been professionally repairing clocks for 17 years. I owned and ran a clock shop for 6 years and I am the owner of the clock parts supply company;

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors

High school graduate, some college, graduate of Niles Bryant School of Piano Tuning and repair.

Past/Present Clients
I perform about 20 clock repairs per week.

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