A Barrel of Fun – Dugena mantel clock issues

I am continuing work on my Dugena mantel clock with a Hermle movement. Everything seemed to go well after re-assembly but the strike barrel.

A serious problem or simple fix? The latter, thankfully. Something was definitely amiss since the winding arbor was not engaging on the mainspring. The spring was either broken or had not engaged the winding arbor sleeve.

Mainspring barrel

I had no choice but to open up the barrel but it was not much fun getting the cap off. Some suggestions I received on a clock forum site were to bang the arbor with a steel hammer or a rubber hammer and it would pop neatly into my hand. This did not work. Finally someone suggested that if it was really stubborn to find a piece of hardwood, hold the barrel in a gloved hand and bang it with some amount of force on the hardwood. It worked!

Once I got the thing apart I inspected the spring and arbour for possible damage. I initially thought the spring catch (see photo with black arrow) was broken but a member of NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) assured me that this was quite normal. I re-positioned the catch onto the spring, tested it and snapped the cap back on.

Strike mainspring barrel on the left

The barrel can be easily slid back into the clock without taking the movement apart. Using the clock key I gave it a few turns, tested the action of the strike side and everything seemed to be working.

Arbor sleeve spring catch

Now for bench testing. I put a make-shift hour hand for the clock to see if it marked the hours properly. Testing for a week or so will reveal any issues and allows for finer adjustments before I install the movement back into its case. Everything looks good at this point.

Mainspring with barrel cap off

The original problem was that the clock was running too fast and no amount of adjusting would slow it down. I am hoping now that after a good cleaning it will run as it should.

8 thoughts on “A Barrel of Fun – Dugena mantel clock issues

    1. The original catch is fine.The clock is old so there is some wear on the catch but not enough to require a repair. They can be quite tricky to attach to the spring as you may know. Not something you want to do often but only when the spring either needs replacement or regular maintenance when cleaning the rest of the clock.


        1. if you can remove the old hook/catch by filing it and punching it out, then thread the hole, and put in a screw with a shoulder to catch the spring. Cut the screw almost flush to the outside of the barrel, then peen (hammer) it to lock it in. The length inside the barrel should be 3/16 of an inch or less.

          The second method is to locate a donor barrel from another clock.

          The third method is to secure a reproduction replacement from a clock supply dealer.

          Hope this helps.



    1. Timesavers.com in the US or Perrin in Canada will supply the mainspring you require. Measure the thickness and the width and compare those measurements to the springs available for purchase. Buy US made springs for best quality.


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