Waterbury 8 Day Walnut Shelf Clock, 1880s

June 4, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

I recently overhauled this Waterbury walnut cased shelf clock made around the 1880s or 1890s.This clock has a nice original painted dial. The hour hand is the original solid spade hand. The minute hand has been replaced.

This clock movement is known for running on thinner than average mainsprings. Even with the weaker springs, there was major wear to the pinion wires (some were cut 1/3 of the way through)! I replaced the wires in 4 of the pinions. On the other four pinions, I reversed the wires to bring an unworn surface into operation. The pinion wear was caused by 2 factors:

  • The gears are quite narrow, concentrating the force in a small area;
  • The clock may have been spray oiled. When oil is on the gear teeth, dust sticks to the teeth and becomes embedded, and acts as an abrasive, cutting away the harder steel pinion material.

The pivots and pivot holes had a typical amount of wear. I polished the pivots and installed 12 bushings.

A weakness of this and some other Waterbury movements are the flat steel clicksprings on the mainwheels. They commonly break. On this clock they were still intact, but the one on the time side looked about to break. I replaced both of them with round steel wire clicksprings. See the photos below.

This movement runs well with thin mainsprings. Both springs in this clock are original:

  • Time mainspring: 3/4 inch wide by 0.0155 inch thick;
  • Strike mainspring: 3/4 inch wide by 0.0165 inch thick.

Here is a movie of the movement and the clock striking:

Here is a movie of the escapement motion with the clock fully wound and run down 9 days:

Repair job 4879. The mainsprings are original, are not too strong, and operate smoothly, so I kept them in the clock.


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Category: American Clock Mainsprings, American Clock Repair

Last updated: June 5, 2010

Comments (1)

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  1. Bill Butman says:

    6-7-10, Hello Bill,

    I ahve a Waterbury, ship strike, #12 that needs a new Balance Staff.
    Where can I get one?
    Thanx – Bill B.

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