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  1. #1
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    Default Ridgeway Grandfather clock

    I have a Ridgeway grandfather clock, it's not old it was made in 2004...it's not a real pricey one but I like the style, I'm having trouble with this clock chiming, I can take the side panel off an reach in an make it chime an it will work the top of the hour an again quarter past an again at the bottom of the hour, an all sounds good... Then it doesn't do it anymore till you go in an make it the clock is weight driven an all the weights are in correct order. It has been hauled recently to my home, but everything has been wrapped an packaged an care was taken in the process...I have oiled the clock an looking at the gears an all the mechanisms it all looks like new an seems in very good shape... Also the clock has the silent lever on the right side of dial an is in the chime mode...when it's time for it to chime you can hear a little click an nothing happens like on the right side train doesn't set its self up for the chime, so I can reach in with my finger an trip it an it will be fine again for a little bit then it quits... So could something be bent or out of adjustment? Does anyone have any clue as to what I might be able to do to fix this...I'm up for any challenge big or small just hate for something not to work right

  2. #2
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Thwm31)

    Welcome,

    You say you "oiled" the movement. Can you give us some detail of the oil you used, and where and how you applied it, and how long ago? I hope it was not WD 40 that you used! You don't mention whether the clock uses chains or cables from which the weights are hung. If it uses cables, there may be a chance that the cable on the drum (likely on the right side as you face the clock) has become tangled during the move. You mention that the weights are in their correct locations. Are the weights actually marked ( i e. L, R, M?). The weight in the chime side (usually the right side) is usually heavier than the other two. Check the hammers at the back of the movement have not become "tangled", or one bent over and caught against an adjacent hammer. If the clock uses cables, the weights are hung from pulleys. Be certain the cables are properly oriented around the pulley wheel.

    If there is no "quick fix" for your problem, the cause may be such that the solution might be more involved. Especially if you used WD 40! The best solution might be to simply replace the movement. If this proves to be the best cure for the problem, you will need to print all the information that is stamped on the back side of the movement (maker's logo, movement model number, pendulum length), then check with someone like Mark Butterworth of Butterworth Clock Industries for a replacement.

  3. #3
    Registered User Dick Feldman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: doug sinclair)

    Hello Thwm31,

    Welcome to the message board.

    Clock movements, like all machines, will wear with time. The normal lifespan of a modern (made within the last 50 or so years) is between 20 and 30 years, depending on operating conditions. This puts your clock in the last part of that 30 year period and I would expect the movement to be worn. Generally, the chime train is the first to fail due to it being the train that requires the most energy. After the chime train has failed, the time train may still operate. Since the chime train triggers the strike, only the time train will usually operate. The proper solutions for a worn movement are to 1. Rebuild the existing movement or to; 2. Replace the worn movement with a like, new movement. Both of these solutions require some skill and possibly considerable expense. Many times the replacement option is the less expensive due to labor costs. Sometimes rebuilding the existing movement is the only option because a replacement movement may not be available. A short term solution might be to add weight to the chime train. This will work only till the friction caused by wear again overcomes the power supplied to the movement.

    Cleaning and oiling are preventative measures and neither is a long term solution for wear in clock movements. It may be your clock movement is simply beyond its useful life.

    Best regards,

    Dick

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Thwm31)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thwm31 View Post
    I have a Ridgeway grandfather clock, it's not old it was made in 2004...it's not a real pricey one but I like the style, I'm having trouble with this clock chiming, I can take the side panel off an reach in an make it chime an it will work the top of the hour an again quarter past an again at the bottom of the hour, an all sounds good... Then it doesn't do it anymore till you go in an make it the clock is weight driven an all the weights are in correct order. It has been hauled recently to my home, but everything has been wrapped an packaged an care was taken in the process...I have oiled the clock an looking at the gears an all the mechanisms it all looks like new an seems in very good shape... Also the clock has the silent lever on the right side of dial an is in the chime mode...when it's time for it to chime you can hear a little click an nothing happens like on the right side train doesn't set its self up for the chime, so I can reach in with my finger an trip it an it will be fine again for a little bit then it quits... So could something be bent or out of adjustment? Does anyone have any clue as to what I might be able to do to fix this...I'm up for any challenge big or small just hate for something not to work right
    You will have to study the movement with the dial off until you understand how it works, in order to troubleshoot why it doesn't work. Clock repair can be learned, but not quickly.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: doug sinclair)

    Stopping after a move is fairly common.

    It sounds as if your chime train is stalling. But, I can't think of any reason for the chime to stop on the third quarter only. I always look at the bottom of the movement first. Then, take the dial off and study what is happening at that 3rd quarter. Has to be something happening, or not happening, at the 3rd quarter.

    Make sure that the first hammer is not being lifted at the warning phase of the chime. It is possible that this could happen at the 3rd quarter and not the others.

    You have the old 'lack of power' vs 'to much load' issue. This can take a while to sort out but the problem should be most evident right at that 3rd quarter start-up point.

    It's a good thing to make a thorough search for 'foreign matter' that could have dropped into the movement during the move.

    Willie X

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: doug sinclair)

    Well the oil used is in a little clear tube with a long needle on the end there is no name on it, but seems like a very light type... An I have applied it to all places where there is a shaft coming through the plates, an it has been about a week ago...an then on as many exposed gears that I could get to...it is weight driven an has chains, an all are in place, on the gears an are pulled up 1" from wooden base...now the weights have letters on them, L,C,R, I take it that the L goes to the left, an C goes to center, an R goes to the right side my right facing the clock...ok the hammers look to be 1/8 or less from chime rods, I failed to mention I have hauled this clock about 40 miles lying down wrapped in big thick blankets, with the chains on rubber bands pull to base of cabinet, an weights wrapped separately in micro fiber, this clock did not have a problem before the trip, I feel that I have took great care in setting this clock back up, it is leveled, all chains are hanging freely, weights seem to be in correct order, pendulum is swinging freely also, clock is keeping great time...but all this being said I feel the trip could have caused the problem...thanks for your input.

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Thwm31)

    Well, you shouldn't have put oil on the gears. The movement now will need cleaning.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  8. #8
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: harold bain)

    These clocks very often act the way you describe after being shut down. The longer they remain dormant during a shut down,, the greater the likelihood they will behave the way you say yours does. From the sound of the description you gave of how you prepared the clock for the move, I very much doubt that the move damaged anything.

    If you put oil on all places where a shaft comes through a plate, that is good. Under the circumstances you describe, I usually do as you have done. Did you pull the dial when you did this? If not, I would suggest you do it. Some clock dials are held onto the movement by 4 pillars which project backwards from the dial, each going through a hole in the front plate of the movement, near each corner of the movement, and are held in place by a tapered steel pin. The hands come off and the tapered steel pins come out, then the dial comes off. Some dials are set up the same way, but there are no pins. The dial is held in place, each by a flat steel clip inside the front plate which can be "toggled" to one side on a rivet. If that is what you have, they need a substantial pull to cause them to release.

    Once everything I can reach has been oiled, I manipulate each shaft, back and forth, end to end ten times or so, to work the oil into the bearings. The oil mixes with the "grunge" in the bearing causing a "slurry" which seeps out of the bearing, leaving mostly oil. This process works 95 % of the time, but it is only stop gap, and repeating the process several years down the road, often is not successful.

    Please let us know how you do with the process.

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: harold bain)

    Thank you...well I have the movement out, an made a wooden stand so movement can work freely...can I clean it this way with out any further disassembly? An what would be a good way to get the oil from the gears is there a solvent that should be used? I really do appreciate all your expertise.

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Willie X)

    Willie...yes I do agree there is something not happening...the hammers do look like they are setting good, they are not touching an are away about 1/8 or less from chime rods, it seems as if its not setting it's self up, like no warning phase is happening...I am still in the process of studying what is going on, I have the dial out an on a stand I made, I am learning, well I hope anyway...I am trying to figure out how to get all the oil from the gears, I didn't realize that was a no no, but now I do... Thanks friend.

  11. #11
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Thwm31)

    DO NOT try to clean the clock, fully assembled! To attempt to do so will result in solution accumulating where you can't rinse it out or dry it. The only correct way to do it is to dis-assemble it completely! I never oil gears, either, but I doubt that it is likely to cause a problem with your clock. The theory is that, if you oil the gears, then as wear between the brass gear and the steel pinion occurs, the metal particles and oxides remain on the gear and pinion teeth rather than falling off. The resultant slurry remains and acts like burnishing compound, wearing the teeth. Your clock will be totally worn out before worn teeth become a problem. Try the suggestion I made in an earlier post, moving the arbors end to end to work the oil into the bearings. If you are motivated to try to clean the thing, go to Radio Shack or an auto supply place, and pick up a couple aerosols of ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT CLEANER. Go over the clock once, focusing on the shafts that you previously oiled, give each of them a shot, wait a couple minutes for the solution to soften the gunk, then give each spot another shot to blow the gunk out. You can remove the oil from the wheels that way too. Then allow 24-hours for the cleaner to completely evaporate, then re-oil it. After this is done, pray you will be forgiven for damaging the environment with the CFCs that are in circuit cleaner. DO NOT use WD 40!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: doug sinclair)

    As I understand it, the problem lies with the chimes for the 1/4 hours which I assume are Westminster. OK, if you advance the hands to strike the clock around, the 'sticking' point is at the 1/2 hour. This is the point where I would look for the fault but, I think you've already got it out, remove the movement to a stand where you can access the chime wheel, I think it's called the 'snail', the experts will be able to tell you more but this 'wheel' has a number of cut-outs of a different width, the narrowest being the first 1/4, next is the 1/2 hour, next is 1/4 to and the widest the full chime for the hour so it would be the second (1/2 hour) position that you need to look at to see if the arm that lifts and drops into the cut-out is sticking or there is something stopping it from operating like a thick lump of grease or dirt or something that's restricting its movement. Don't worry about synchronisation of the chimes/hours as the movement should do this automatically when you reinstate it in the case and put it going.

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Oldfathertime)

    Wow! Sounds good Oldfatheroftime, I am familiar with this gear an will check it out thanks!!!

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    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: doug sinclair)

    Thank you Doug... I have no intentions in using WD-40 lol...but will follow you on the rest! I do appreciate you taking the time to write me back, an giving me the information to help get this fine piece fixed!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ridgeway Grandfather clock (RE: Thwm31)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thwm31 View Post
    Willie...yes I do agree there is something not happening...the hammers do look like they are setting good, they are not touching an are away about 1/8 or less from chime rods, it seems as if its not setting it's self up, like no warning phase is happening...
    The hammer spacing of 1/8" sounds good. What I was referring to is what happens just before each quarter. This is called the 'warning'. You can hear the clock go into warning. There is a little click and a whir; this happens about 3 to 5 minutes before the quarter drop. The drop or drop off is what happens at the quarters, again a little click and the warning lever drops, this frees the train to run.

    Look at the hammers as the clock goes into warning. There will be a little whir sound about 3 to 5 minutes before each quarter when the warning happens. None of the hammers should move at all. No hammer should budge until the train has actually started to run, after the drop-off at each quarter. The fly on the chime train should rotate at least 2 or 3 turns before you see a hammer start to move.

    I hope this explains better what is meant by a hammer "lifting on the warning".

    You could put a few drops of that unknown oil in a little metal or glass dish in a warm place for a while. A car that sets out in the sun is good. If it thickens or skins over, you've got trouble. Might be a good idea to go ahead and act now, as someone already suggested, and rinse that baby out.

    On close examination, do you see any black deposits around any of the pivots? Wear is not out of the question on a 7 year old Hermle clock.

    Good luck,Willie X

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