Repair of Decrepit Ansonia Mantel Clock Movement

This Ansonia mantel clock movement was sent to me for repair. After examining it, I thought it might be too far gone to be worth repairing. The customer really wanted it done, and sent me a down payment on the repair, so I proceeded. After lots of cleaning and repair work, it operates like new and looks great too!

The movement has the patent date of June 18, 1882 and says 4 1/2 on the right rear movement leg.

The pendulum is not original to the clock, but it is an old Ansonia pendulum of the correct style that is probably about an inch longer than the original.

I disassembled the movement, and let the parts run in the cleaning machine for most of the day. Every half hour or so, I scrubbed the parts with a fine brass bristle brush. (I don’t use a motor driven brush, because the resulting finish doesn’t look right.)

The mainsprings were rusty, so I replaced them. Here are the measurements of the original mainsprings:

Time: 3/4 by 0.0159 inch, Strike: 3/4 x 0.0156 inch. Notice that these are thinner spring than user in many antique American clocks. I replaced them with mainsprings from Empire Clock, part number 280-19-009, measuring as follows:

Time: 3/4 x 0.0142 x 120 inches, Strike: 3/4 x 0.0147 x 120 inches. Notice that these are even thinner than the original springs, but they provide plenty of power, as you can see in the video below. Unfortunately, Empire Clock is out of business, and I have only a few of these springs left in stock.

I made the following repairs to the movement:

  • Install a new crutch loop (the original had been cut off!);
  • Shape strike locking lever correctly (it had been badly bent);
  • Straighten and smooth strike warning lever;
  • True the escape wheel teeth;
  • Polish the pallets to remove wear, then adjust the escapement;
  • Install new pins in 5 pinions (the small gears with wires instead of teeth) and polish and reverse the wires in one pinion;
  • Replace the click rivets in the main wheel (they were loose);
  • Made new tension springs for the strike hammer and warning lever;
  • Straighten the center arbor (the shaft the minute hand goes on);
  • Replace the suspension rod (the rod that the pendulum hangs on);
  • New leather in strike hammer;
  • Polish the pivots;
  • Install 14 bushings.

See more photos.

Repair job 5444.

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  1. Thanks Bill,
    Well I found a movement. How about pricing. What did you charge that person for fixing their Ansonia movement?

  2. I love what you did, it is amazing. So, I am looking for this type of movement exactly (I think). I have a family clock I ruined when I was 7. It has this style of innards and has the same markings like the name and the 4-1/2 stamp. In your expert opionion, are there any repaired versions like this for sale? I went to ebay and everything is broken. None for sale that run. Mine is rusted beyond salvage, it went through a river flood. The only thing unharmed was the china like enclosure. Everything else is ruined. It is ansonia and the porcelain enclosure is stamped with the name, “thistle”. My grandparents owned this in upstate NY.

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