Pequegnat kitchen clock servicing – Part II – cleaning, pivot polishing, bushing work and testing

On the bench is an Arthur Pequegnat time and strike kitchen clock which is part of the popular Maple Leaf series produced up to 1941 when the company closed its doors for good. In Part I of this two-part series I discussed disassembly and assessment of the work to be done.

In this Part II I continue with cleaning, pivot polishing, bushing work assembly and testing.

Nickel-plated steel plates
Nickel-plated steel plates

Parts cleaning

All parts are cleaned in the ultrasonic and dried immediately afterwards. The mainsprings were cleaned, oiled and placed back in their spring retainers.

Bushing work

One of the pivots had small amount of scoring but otherwise all other pivots were in good shape, polished and made ready for bushing. Here I have the wheels ready for polishing. An emery board is perfect for pivot polishing. A steady-rest (top right) also comes in handy for those pivot ends that are difficult to secure in the 3-jaw chuck.

Getting ready to polish the pivots
Getting ready to polish the pivots, steady-rest is in the upper right of the photo

As mentioned in Part I, I wanted to begin with the most problematic bushing wear, the escape wheel, but first it meant straightening out one of the pivots. A straight pivot will allow the arbour to align better.

Bent pivot
Bent pivot, escape wheel

Here (below) is the hatchet job of a past repairer. Normally I have sympathy for folks who had few tools to work with in the old days but attempting to close a pivot hole so aggressively and bending a pivot in the process is terrible workmanship. It is a wonder the clock ran at all.

Punch marks around a pivot hole
Punch marks around a pivot hole

The new bushing is certainly an improvement. My one concern was cutting into the steel as the pressed brass inserts for the bushings are not quite on-center. It is a quick way to ruin a Bergeon reamer and this time, it was close! This was the toughest one, the other 4 on the time side were standard installs. As mentioned in the last post, the strike side pivot holes were in great condition which happens when the strike side is not wound.

New escape wheel bushing
New escape wheel bushing

Reassembly and testing

Now, on to reassembly. The last 2 movements I worked on had steel plates with a similar problem; bent plates. If they are bent in any way it is a struggle to align the top and bottom pillars. Moreover, if the plates are bent especially in the middle they may impede the running of the movement as there may be insufficient end-shake for the wheels to run. There needs to be a little end-shake or the gear’s arbour will bind. I am not a big fan of steel plates.

Generally, I do not replace helper springs but if they are broken, replacement is essential. Many Canadian time and strike clocks have helper springs to maintain tension on lifting and locking levers including the lever for the strike action. The hammer spring looked good when I disassembled the movement but during reassembly, the spring promptly snapped. The .35mm brass spring was replaced with one the same size.

Having worked on two other similar Pequegnat movement recently, I knew exactly where to position the stop wheel for the strike side. Everything went together smoothly, the movement is now on the test stand and destined to run for years to come.

The case is in great shape but the dial was beginning to flake. I found the right combination of colours and inpainted where needed.

As received with some flaking of the dial
Maple Leaf kitchen clock
Maple Leaf kitchen clock

While there was little wrong with the clock before servicing it is nice to know it will continue along for many years to come.


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