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Author Topic: The Mother in Laws mantel clock. Chimes.  (Read 11959 times)
sidecar_jon
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« on: November 03, 2009, 06:39:09 pm »

I have been given a mantel clock from the Mother In Law. Its nothing great or wonderful. Probably dates from the 1950's in a ply wood veneered case and i think probably wasn't extremely expensive when new. The thing was decommissioned when it disturbed the neighbours with its chiming (paper thin walls in those post war days), so it hasn't run for a lot of years. Its not worth anything at all, and was to be thrown away but to my mind, someone spent time making it, and to discard it is disrespectful.

Anyway, i took the workings out, its stamped ENFIELD, brass, with chime (coiled spring type.) With a bit of jiggery pokery i cleaning it and oiled it (toothpick dipped in sewing machine oil, just touched to the pivots) and got it "in beat" it works!. However i have messed up the chimes. It now chimes on the quarter and quarter to and seemingly pretty random number of chimes at that!.. How do you set the chimes?..........
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Noxtradamus
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 12:42:46 am »

How random are the chimes? If its regular, but at the wrong time (i.e.: it strikes twice on the hour, but a 4pm three times at 5pm, and so on...) it is the hour hand which is misplaced. Turn the minute hand until it strike the hour, then move the hour hand to match the chimes. If it chimes at seemingly random moments, but always the same, both hands might be misplaced. Make it strike the hour, then remove both hands and put them back at the correct time. For a totally random chimes, I can't tell, but its unlikely to be that.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 01:38:48 pm »

A nights observation tell me , it strikes the hour (wrong hour) on the quarter past and one bong on the quarter too...(do the bong on the half hour?) So the plan is Hoik the hands off, find when it bongs the hour, plonk em back on there at that hour.. sound like a plan at least but there must be an accepted procedure for this?
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Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 03:01:14 pm »

If it chimes twice an hour..or rather if it's supposed to chime twice an hour I'm guessing it would on the hour (with the correct number of chimes) and then a single chime on the half hour. Otherwise it would chime on the hour, the quarter, the half hour, the three quarters and then the hour again.
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 04:38:20 pm »

Well, there is a way to take the hands off correctly, but other than that, it is pretty much the correct procedure. Just, you don't remove the hands first then wait for the bong, you have to turn the minute hand until it chimes, then you remove one or both hands depending, and put them back in the right position. Unless there is a calendar, moonphase, or other complication, the "correct" position of the hands depend only on the chimes. Without even chimes, you could put the hands back in any position and it would just keep ticking normally. (I might not have been clear here, kinda multitasking right now, but ask if anything I say seems weird)

-Gabe
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 06:38:33 pm »

Success!.. it seems it bongs once on each half hour then the number of bongs on the hours of the hour...and i got it to do that , thanks for the advice..cheers.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 06:39:41 pm »

oh and the hands are pressed on but also retained by a small pin through the ..."sticky out thing that the hands go on".. cheers again
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clockdug
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 08:23:57 pm »

Congrats on getting the clock up and running!  That, btw, is the correct repair procedure: make the hands match the strike.  To be pedantic on terminology you have a striking clock, not a chiming clock.  Chiming clocks play a melody then strike the number of hours while striking clocks just deal with the number of hours.  There are also clock with a "passing strike" that just bong once at the turn of the hour with a much simpler mechanism.

The odds are high that it uses a countwheel striking mechanism which means that you should never turn the hands backwards to adjust the time...only forward.  As mentioned previously, when you do this you'll need to advance until it strikes and wait till it finishes before you turn to the next place it strikes.  Otherwise you will get the time and the strike out of whack. 
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2009, 10:07:28 pm »

Thanks for the info. I'm now tweaking the pendulum to get it more accurate, well satisfied with my  clock.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 08:28:19 pm »

After a week of living with the now working mantel clock. Its got a load bong, its tick is a bit fast for my liking and quiet too. The Bonger mechanism is also a bit clunky, For some mystery reason it seems to start almost three minets before it strikes a slight weeerrring and a girding of loins, then more as it starts to bong...what it can be doing so early i havent a clue!
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Burr
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2009, 12:03:36 am »

Warming up for the big performance, clearly. Wouldn't want it to strain itself, would you?

I just found an old clock in the attic recently. Seeing if I can get it going again too.
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Darkhound
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 01:36:39 am »

How many places do you wind the clock? If it has two keys or keyholes, I have no idea why it gears up before striking. But if it only has one, it's winding the striker. You wind the clock and the clock winds the striker.

By the way, did you know that "clock" originally meant "bell"? Striking came first, the hands were an afterthought!
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 12:44:47 pm »

It has two bits to wined it up ...most odd...
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2009, 12:51:35 pm »


I just found an old clock in the attic recently. Seeing if I can get it going again too.

My advice is, take the whole gubbins out in one bit. I sprayed it with WD40 to loosen it up... then got really inventive and put it in a bowl with a dose of Flash liquid floor cleaner and poured very hot water over it. Did that a few times then let it dry for a day on a radiator. Then re oiled it with sewing machine oil dropped on to each pivot with a tooth pick...dashed if it didn't work!
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Burr
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2009, 04:47:22 pm »

I'd love to know if any horologists flinched while reading that. Go on, admit it.
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2009, 10:38:18 pm »

I'd love to know if any horologists flinched while reading that. Go on, admit it.
Not anymore..epecially not around here.. (although I have seen some similar posts on serious watch forums..) My watchmaker has shown me watches/clocks that have been DIY'ed with everything from WD-40 and silicone spray, to Febreze and KY-Jelly, including one clock that had been dunked in brake cleaning fluid, then dipped in 30 weight oil. He tends to make a fair bit of income "repairing the repairs"..
 
Its a testament to the robustness of that old clock movement, that it could endure such treatment and continue to run..

Cheers
Harold
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clockdug
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 05:18:51 pm »

Actually, the floor cleaner and hot water method was a lot closer to "old-fashioned" correct than you might think for a clock movement.  Gasoline or kerosene would have been even more appropriate.

The response to the WD40 is a strangled cry of "nooooo......"

WD40 = bad for clocks.  It loosens up the dust and metal particles for a bit and then it dries out into a wonderful abrasive paste that shreds the pivot holes.  Then; when you take it into a clock repair shop to fix the damage and have a lot of bushings installed you get charged a lot extra since the WD40 will react with the ultrasonic cleaner's formula and turn the whole thing into a vat of useless jelly if it isn't dealt with manually first. 

Again:  WD40 = bad for clocks.  The sewing machine oil is perfect; it's designed for the same kind of long lasting lubrication that clock oil is designed for. 

BTW, the sound before the hour is normal.  It is called the warn and happens on all striking clocks.  It kind of gets the hammer set to strike so that the spring doesn't have to raise the hammer and strike as well; that can sound very...draggy once the spring has run down some.  Coil gongs can sound more like a clank than a gong; you might try wrapping some leather around the hammer and adjusting the hammer position to get a cleaner sound.  As to the speed of the tick that is dependent on the length of the pendulum and for a mantel clock with a short pendulum will be fast.  It should be around 9600 ticks per hour with a pendulum of 5.5 inches.  And now Harold will laugh and tell us how fast watches are rated.

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HAC
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 07:13:55 pm »

And now Harold will laugh and tell us how fast watches are rated.
I concur, WD-40 is the tool of the devil when it comes to watches and clocks, but oddly enough, for older 18s pocket watches, sewing machine oil, will do, IN A PINCH, if you have nothing else. The real tick is applying sufficiently little of it in the correct places.

As far as watch beats, yes they do run a bit faster, standard beat per hour rates are: 18,000 19,8000 21,6000 25,200, 28,800, 36,000. Seeing as each swing of the balance (in one direction) releases one tooth of the escape wheel and thus moves the entire movement (including seconds hand) one "increment." The terms half-swing and swing are sometimes used interchangeably. Full-swing means from rest to fully counterclockwise, to fully clockwise and then back to rest. Beats per hour always refers to half-swings (or swings), so that an 18,000 bph watch is making 9,000 full swings per hour. Realted to the beat rate is amplitude which refers to the number of degrees of rotation of the swing in either direction. Dial up, a watch in good condition is expected to have a swing between approximately 270 and 315 degrees.

Is a low beat rate bad? No, many older watches were had beat rates of 18K or less and were extremely accurate. At a very fundamental level, a higher frequency movement is more accurate than a lower frequency movement simply because it divides time into finer increments. Finer increments of time measurement translates into higher resolution which means a 36,000 bph movement is capable of 1/10th of a second timing where as a 28,800 bph movement is only capable of 1/8th of a second timing. Statistically high frequency watch movements should also be more accurate simply because the higher number of beats per time interval means that the stability of time keeping of these movements (i.e. the average accuracy) should be higher than a lower beat movement simple because the average is established over a greater number of beats. Put another way, the inaccuracy of any single beat has less of an impact on accuracy since more beats go into timekeeping for a given time period.

There are problems, though with pushing the beat rate too high. 36K beat watches tend to use more mainspring power, can be subject to increased wear, and require specialized oils, to avoid breakdown of the lubrication.

Currently, 28,800 is a pretty standard rate for most mechanicals (notably the Swiss movements, ETA in particular). The workhorse Seiko 7S26 runs at 21,600, as do quite a few others.

Cheers
Harold
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 07:15:28 pm by HAC » Logged
Burr
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2009, 02:53:27 am »

That was an interesting read, thanks.

I was reminded the other day by someone that it was traditional to boil the family clock now and then to get it going again in the old days. I presume the old coal fires and pollution must have really clogged them up.
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von Corax
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 05:47:20 am »

Two slightly-off-topic questions:

First, I've figured out that the "J" number is the number of jewels in the movement, but does that include pallet jewels or just pivot (bearing) jewels?

Second, what does the "S" number describe?
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2009, 07:09:22 am »

Jewel count includes:

Hole Jewels:   These are donut shaped jewels that fit over the gear axles (in watch lingo, the wheel arbors).
Cap Jewels:   These are flat jewels that are placed on the ends of the axles (arbors).
Pallet Jewels:   These are brick shaped jewels on the pallet fork that alternately engage and release the escape wheel. The escape wheel is the gear with funny "boot" shaped teeth.
Roller Jewel:   This jewel is on the large balance wheel that swings back and forth. It engages with the pallet fork on the end opposite of the pallet jewels.

The basic 7 jewels are part of the escapement and balance and are found on all Elgin watches. They include cap and hole jewels for both the top and the bottom of the balance wheel (total of 4), the two pallet jewels and the roller jewel.

The next 8, making 15 jewels, are hole jewels for the fast moving part of the gear train.

The next 2, making 17 jewels, are jewels on the center wheel.

The next 2-4, making 19-21 jewels, are cap jewels on the escape wheel and the pallet fork.

Some watches, mostly pocket watches, the mainspring barrel will be jeweled. In order to safely jewel the mainspring barrel, the watch needs to have a "motor barrel" instead of the more common "going barrel". This brings the jewel count up to 23 jewels, which is the maximum you will normally see on a pocket watch.

Additionally, any complication will probably add jewels to the jewel count.

Cheers
Harold
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2009, 12:40:00 pm »

Well im aware that WD40 isnt great for clocks, i sprayed it to disolve any clag from dried out oil. Then endevored to clean it all out with hot water and detergent. I did contemplate petrol but i only have some with two stroke oil in it..
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2009, 08:18:13 pm »

Well.. Then forgive my disdain, on the wd-40, looks like you have it figured.. No offense was intended, for sure..
My watchmaker sasy that they used to use naptha way back when as a solvent..

Cheers
Harold
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2009, 01:53:04 pm »

No offence taken!

I found out it had been stoped since 1970 and left on a shelf in a room heated by a coal fire... so a pretty Victorain environment!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 01:55:16 pm by sidecar_jon » Logged
rogue_designer
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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2009, 11:22:08 pm »

Second, what does the "S" number describe?

Can you explain further?

The only thing I can think off hand - is the Size number for the movement. ie. a 18s pocket watch.
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