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Author Topic: Clockwork Timers  (Read 676 times)
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Baz599
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« on: February 07, 2022, 11:17:15 AM »

Anyone have any contacts for servicing clockwork timers, ie Tatone and KSB and preferably in the UK.
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Ployd
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2022, 08:29:12 PM »

Probably not and it depends on what servicing you think your timers need. I have been doing mine for years, but unfortunately I'm on Australia.

Ployd in OZ
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lincoln
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2022, 11:25:14 PM »

Arebthere people who still fix mechanical watches?
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THB
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2022, 04:05:57 AM »

Hi Lincoln - watch repairers mainly change batteries and wristbands these days in my experience ;-)  but yes Baz599 I'd think a good watchmaker could repair a timer - maybe not at hobby prices though! Have you tried silly putty timers or electronic?
Tim
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lincoln
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2022, 04:12:36 AM »

Old time camera shop, maybe? Not that we have one in my town any more.

Tomy timers are fairly easy to make, and are mechanical.
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Baz599
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2022, 04:30:26 AM »

Thanks guy's, The problem I have with them is they are tending to run slow or stop after they have just started. I feel that all they need is a good clean and maybe lubrication (if you lubricate timers). I think they have been left not being used and 'seized' up.
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GM
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2022, 08:03:12 AM »

Probably not and it depends on what servicing you think your timers need. I have been doing mine for years, but unfortunately I'm on Australia.

Ployd in OZ

Ployd. Can you tell us if these timers follow the traditional construction of spring in a barrel, gear train ending with an escapement and a balance wheel and balance spring? Do your remove the spring with a spring winder to grease it?

Generally watch cleaning will disassemble the gear train, remove the spring from the barrel, clean everything including the pivots and jewels, then reassemble and lubricate very sparingly because oil attracts dust and wears the mechanism.

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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2022, 08:49:16 AM »

Alex Andrikov  has some info on cleaning mechanical timers on his website.
Go to andriukov.com > technical info > mechanical timer cleaning.

He also has mechanical timer mechanisms for sale. These are the self timer
mechanisms used for cameras and are the same mechanisms used for his
mechanical F1B timers, which are no longer in production. They may be a bit
large and heavy for small models. For those you need the TOMY toy based
timers. I'm not aware of any still being made.

Louis

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faif2d
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2022, 09:49:59 AM »

oddly When I used to work for TI defense on the HARM missile they used what looked much like the mechanism on a sileg timer in the fuse.  It was used to keep the warhead from detonating until it was well away from the launching plane.
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USch
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2022, 11:01:00 AM »

...servicing clockwork timers, ie Tatone and KSB...
...they are tending to run slow or stop after they have just started. I feel that all they need is a good clean...

In the old times I used to wash and clean the timers once a year. I disassembled the timers from the model and had a look that there were no big pieces or chunk inside and mechanically everything looks right and no bent pieces. Then I gave it a full charge and set it in a glass full of nitro thinner. Normally the timer keeps running at a very slow pace, keep it unwinding fully. Through the glass you can admire your timer and see what happens.

If the timer stops before the spring is completely unwound, take it out of the glass and leave it unwinding in the air, maybe even helping it with forcing slightly on the output disc. Put it again in the nitro thinner for an hour, take it out and wind it up fully and back in the thinner. Keep doing so until the timer unwinds in the thinner. The reason is to expel/soften the old oil/grease on the spring that sticks the windings together. Dont worry if you forget the timer in the thinner, also a day or two doesn't harm!

Later you take out the timer and leave it drying on a paper towel. Afterwards I used to give it a good amount of a spray like WD-40. WD-40 not only lubricates, but eliminates humidity and corrosion. Let it unwind 2-3 times on a towel to leave just a bit of oil on the timer. It should not be drowning in oil! A we bit is enough.

Now that is how I did it. The oiling was always a theme of discussion, some avoid it because it attracts dust. Someone oil it very sparingly with a micro trop of watchmaker's oil. I enclosed the timers in a tight box to avoid the dust. To everybody his believe   Wink Grin

Urs
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2022, 11:23:06 AM »

Quote
Put it again in the nitro thinner for an hour, take it out and wind it up fully and back in the thinner.

I have had success with a similar but much cruder method to Urs


Quote
Generally watch cleaning will disassemble the gear train, remove the spring from the barrel, clean everything including the pivots and jewels, then reassemble and lubricate very sparingly because oil attracts dust and wears the mechanism.


Don't wince GM... by spraying them with lighter fluid to wash out to old oil then re-oiling with sewing machine oil on the end of a pin applied just to the bearings ...I have also missed out the re-oiling bit and the still run much better
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Starduster
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2022, 02:24:07 PM »

It was used to keep the warhead from detonating until it was well away from the launching plane.

Which is always a good thing....
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lincoln
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2022, 04:33:19 PM »

Are any of these all metal, with no plastic or paint? If so, maybe brake cleaner or carburator cleaner would work.
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PeeTee
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2022, 04:37:16 PM »

If all else fails Mike Woodhouse (Free Flight Supplies) has a good stock of timers using (I believe) Polish mechanicals!

Peter
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ffkiwi
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2022, 04:47:32 PM »

Thanks guy's, The problem I have with them is they are tending to run slow or stop after they have just started. I feel that all they need is a good clean and maybe lubrication (if you lubricate timers). I think they have been left not being used and 'seized' up.

This is a fairly common problem-especially if in models that have been stored for some time and especially in cold garages/cellars etc. One trick that usually works-though it might require removing the timer from the model -unless your home is very generously equipped-is putting it in the linen cupboard or wherever your hot water cylinder is located and leaving it there for a day or soak to heat soak-then see if it runs and run it repeatedly through dozens of full winds whilst watching the box or whatever-this usually gets erratic timers running fairly reliably-certainly my KSB DT timers respond fairly well-I have far fewer issues with the KSB or tatone engine timers-probably because they run faster and have fewer gears and bearings in the mechanism.

If you want someone to do a strip and service-you might be better served by seeing if there are any amateur horologists in your district....your local library or community groups organiser is probably a first port of call for info.....given that these people's passion is making their own clocks etc they probably have as good working skills with clockwork mechanisms as any classical watch repairer-the latter being a very endangered species these days...

 ChrisM
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Ployd
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2022, 07:30:47 PM »

Lots of questions and alternate methods of servicing DT timers (have to make the distinction between what most modellers use and watch mechanisms which contain added springs and gears we do not need or use).

I will describe my servicing method and confine it to the Polish timers, Seeligs, KSB, Tatone and Graupner mechanical timers (I have used all of them).
Firstly: I do not pull them apart unless something is broken, stands to reason. Secondly: there are different versions of the KSB/Tatone/Graupner timers and this becomes apparent when you remove the back cover case. The early versions used 4 small brass spacers to separate the timer face from the mechanism while the later and probably more numerous version had a clear plastic or acrylic spacer plate. THIS IS IMPORTANT as it dictates what cleaning fluid you can use so do this check first.

KSB type: I remove the winding disk, face plate and plastic spacer (Don't loose the screws and don't mix with the back cover screws as they are different lengths) and put to one side. I soak the mechanism (fully unwound) in acetone to loosen any gunk and with an artist's paintbrush GENTLY clean it especially around the spring. I usually temporarily attach the winding disc and wind the timer up and let it run in the acetone bath. After this I remove the timer , place it on a clean paper kitchen wipe and allow to dry.

Okay, assembly time and the application of some sort of lubricant. I have used sewing machine oil, gun oil, 3 in 1 mystery oil, light machine oil which will all work up to a point .....until they dry out and gum up the spring and they are temperature sensitive and that was the problem I faced until I was given some spray lubricant called INOX MX5 Plus which does not dry out and contains P.T.F.E. I spray the entire mechanism until it is dripping wet and place back on the paper towel until all the excess has drained off. I then re-assemble the timer noting the face plate is retained by 3 long screws (2 short ones hold the back cover) and then run the timer a few times to make sure it runs consistently .....simple.
A tip: I dab a small drop of balsa cement across each screw head and the face plate so that it will not come loose through vibration (do the same on Seeligs; I flew a contest with the timer literally falling apart without me noticing...never again).

Seelig and Polish timers: I don't do any disassembly of these timers (Polish one's have an enclosed spring) but rather just hand clean with an artist paintbrush whetted with acetone. I then liberally spray them with INOX and allow to dry on a paper towel. I have a 1/2A Seelig that went through this process 18 years ago and has not been touched since (flew the model this timer is in a month ago and still runs like it was cleaned yesterday.

Hope this is of some help.

Ployd in OZ







 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 07:41:20 PM by Ployd » Logged

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THB
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2022, 03:17:08 AM »

i have a few of these in a box somewhere and will keep your advice Ployd on file for the day they go back in a model! Thank you!
Tim
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Tim
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lincoln
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2022, 05:52:32 PM »

It was used to keep the warhead from detonating until it was well away from the launching plane.

Which is always a good thing....

That depends on who you ask. Someone at the target might have an entirely different opinion.
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