Cirkut camera mainspring repair
Here's an anecdote to add to the Cirkut knowledgebase, along with a request for information:
The mainspring on my No 10 Cirkut broke at the end of the Summer, and I looked around for someone to repair it. After some telephone conversations, I sent it to Bill's Clock Shop in Fairborn, OH. In addition to clocks, they also repair antique Victrolas, so I figured they had a bit more capability than an ordinary clock shop. They had some different sizes of springs in stock, so in the best of all possible worlds, I'd have the mainspring repaired in two weeks.
This isn't the best of all worlds. They had to special order the spring. When it arrived, they rejected it (I guess this is a good thing), and ordered another. Bottom line: the repair took nearly two months. When the spring did finally arrive, I was happy with the workmanship.
I had always read the warnings against opening the mainspring case, as there were supposed to be 25 feet of razor sharp spring wire eager to leap out at astonishing speed and hell-bent on lacerating any available flesh. The folks at Bills' told me a slightly different story - that the mainspring was not one continuous spring, but was three springs wound together.
This latter fact lead to a little sticker shock at invoice time. They had quoted me a price of $60 to clean, inspect, polish and lube a spring. To repair a spring, they estimated less than $100. The bill came to $190 - $60 apiece for the two good springs, and $70 for the replacement spring.
I had also shipped them an unbroken mainspring from a No 8 Cirkut. They told me this was one continuous spring, and they cleaned, inspected, polished and lubed it for $60.
The common belief amongst Cirkut users is that the lubrication in a mainspring is provided by graphite. This was universally derided by all clock repair people I talked with, all of whom use some proprietary lubricant. My local guy uses Slik 50. One opinionated 85-yr-old stated that no informed manufacturer used graphite after the 1890's.
Now, here's my quandary and questions: the mainspring in my backup No 10 is also broken. Where shall I send it for repair? Back to Bill's, for another $190? Has anyone else gotten their mainspring repaired? Was yours also three springs wound together, or do I have a Franken-spring? If everybody else's springs are really just one spring, I'd be happy to send the broken one to Bill's, since they've now got experience.