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Thread: Pendulum Wobble

  1. #1

    Default Twisting Motion of Pendulum

    In a long case clock, the pendulum has a twisting motion rather than a motion in the same plane. Could this stop the clock? How can one fix this ?

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: clockman230@comcast.net)

    It could be the suspension spring is twisted or partly broken. May be time to call a repairman to fix it.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: harold bain)

    The suspension spring and crutch need to be in line and the crutch loop needs to be parallel to the floor. There should be a tiny bit of wiggle room where the pendulum hanger passes through the crutch.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: shutterbug)

    In a tall clock the pendulum my be suspended from a bracket mounted to the case. The movement must be parallel to the back of the case and the path of the pendulum. Would help to see pictures of the suspension spring and how the crutch contacts the pendulum. A bad suspension spring (already mentioned) can be the problem sometimes even if it looks OK.

    RC

  5. #5

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: R. Croswell)

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Croswell View Post
    In a tall clock the pendulum my be suspended from a bracket mounted to the case. The movement must be parallel to the back of the case and the path of the pendulum. Would help to see pictures of the suspension spring and how the crutch contacts the pendulum. A bad suspension spring (already mentioned) can be the problem sometimes even if it looks OK.
    RC

    hmm... the previous posters are the guys who really know what they're talking about.

    on the other hand, this newb has discovered that he needs to check all of the following, each time:

    - movement parallel to back of case (which, hopefully, is perpendicular to the floor... which, hopefully, is also level)

    - suspension spring not kinked or funky

    - pendulum hanger (if applicable) hooks parallel and lined up with each other so they hang on the bottom of the suspension spring hooks (if applicable) evenly. if it's a standard tall case suspension spring with a brass block at the top keeping the pendulum assy from slipping down through the suspension block, make sure there's not too much play in-between the suspension block extensions that spring sits between

    - crutch pin (where it goes through the crutch plate/pendulum rod) perpendicular to the pendulum rod and parallel to both floor and sides of case

    - pendulum bob mounted snuggly to pendulum rod... not able to twist on the rod because the top is loose

    not talking big adjustments to any of the usual suspects... just suggesting you call them all in for questioning. heavier bobs tend to be more forgiving of slight alignment issues, just as a heavier car will have a smoother ride over a rough rode than a light car.

    this is all theoretical without photos and/or a video of the actual wobble.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: clockman230@comcast.net)

    Note to RC - I'm pretty sure smike was including you in the "previous posters" He quoted you as a good example, but on reading it you could possibly think otherwise....at least I did and had to read it a couple of times.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Note to RC - I'm pretty sure smike was including you in the "previous posters" He quoted you as a good example, but on reading it you could possibly think otherwise....at least I did and had to read it a couple of times.

    my intent was to expand on rc's answer, but make it clear that he and the previous posters were the posters with actual credibility
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: bruce linde)

    Yep, knew that, smike. Just wanted to be sure RC didn't read it like I did the first time through
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: clockman230@comcast.net)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Yep, knew that, smike. Just wanted to be sure RC didn't read it like I did the first time through
    rc knows i respect both his knowledge and skills, as well as the consistently high road manner in which he presents his comments. he's one of my favorite teachers here for both clocks and learning how to communicate well with others.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: bruce linde)

    Thanks for all the advice; however, I followed all the suggestions and the pendulum still does not have acceptable motion in one plane. I am baffled by this.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: clockman230@comcast.net)

    Does the floor bounce much when someone walks across the room?
    The man who knows how to make it work will always have a job, The man who knows why it makes it work will always be his boss.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: clockman230@comcast.net)

    Quote Originally Posted by clockman230@comcast.net View Post
    Thanks for all the advice; however, I followed all the suggestions and the pendulum still does not have acceptable motion in one plane. I am baffled by this.
    I have had cases where the suspension spring looked fine, but it was in fact causing a wobble.
    Dave Diel

  13. #13

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Yep, knew that, smike. Just wanted to be sure RC didn't read it like I did the first time through
    RC read it as complementary (perhaps more than deserved) as intended. Glad to have my comments expanded on. Pendulum wobble can be a most exasperating issue to solve. I've seen suspension springs that look fine cause a problem (as already mentioned) as well as some that looked like they had been through a meat grinder run perfectly. Rate adjusters can also be an issue if the 'chops' are loose and wobble side to side or uneven. Sometimes a suspension post slot may be wider on one end and narrow on the other where someone 'pinched' it. and on and on.

    RC

  14. #14

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: R. Croswell)

    Why don't you post some pictures of the situation in question. Will give a better understanding of what we are actually trying to pin down??
    R&A

  15. #15

    Default Re: Twistig Motion of Pendulum (By: R&A)

    funny, i have a used-to-be-a-grandfather-clock-but-now-it's-hanging-on-the-wall-without-the-base-or-top seconds clock and i noticed the pendulum was wobbling ever so slightly as it swung to the far left... and thought of this thread.

    i swapped out the suspension spring, but no go.

    what i ended up doing was:

    - closing the two parallel pendulum hooks (hanger assy: make a peace sign with your index and middle fingers and then curl your fingers forward) at the top of the pendulum so they were a little snugger to the suspension spring pins... essentially curled them a little more

    - moving the pendulum hooks a little closer together, so the suspension spring had less slop between the two pendulum hooks... bring those two fingers a little closer together

    - held the suspension spring and pendulum assy carefully in my hands while watching the pendulum swing back and forth... using the straight lines of my hardwood floor as a guide. i noticed that when the suspension spring was perfectly perpendicular to the floor boards, the pendulum rod (and bob) were not... they were torqued a little, with the right side a little farther away and the left side a little closer to me.

    - grabbed the base of the pendulum hanger assembly with needle nose pliers and twisted the assy slightly until the rod and bob were perfectly perpendicular to the suspension spring... making sure the two pendulum assy hooks were still aligned correctly.

    - re-installed original suspension spring, all good.

    as my clock mentor often says: it usually comes down to bending stuff! 8-)
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

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