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  1. #1

    Default Seth Thomas Mystery

    I have this ST 124 that's giving me fits. When it first came in, time side was fine but chimes were really messed up. Since then I've been fussing with various problems, including a slipping locking plate and one thing and another.

    Finally got the chime into satisfactory shape...and now the time train won't keep running. Specifically, it will run for a while and stop...always in the vicinity of one of the quarters. Usually before, though not always at warning. Sometimes after. With a re-start of the pendulum it generally runs some more with no further help, maybe a couple minutes, maybe all the way past the chime, then a sudden stop.

    I haven't been between the plates on this clock, so whatever is behind the stopping is somewhere on the outside. But for the life of me, I cain't think of any way messing with the chime bidness could affect the going train.

    Y'all got any ideas?
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    Too much resistance to the star cam.
    That and not enough power or the center shaft
    bushing is too warn.
    All just guesses.
    Thinker Dwight

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Never mind. I was just in the throes of a Dumb attack. It's another manifestation of the same problem I had a while back.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    Okay, I'm back with this same problem. It ticks along strongly and then quits.
    More often than not, it quits a few minutes before the next quarter...and before the chime warning.
    Here is a list of quitting times over several days:
    4:14
    4:18
    4:41
    4:44
    4:58
    5:13

    5:18
    5:20
    5:40
    5:48

    ...
    6:15
    ...
    4:43
    5:12

    7:48
    ...
    5:50
    6:50

    ...
    1:50
    4:14
    5:14


    This may be coincidence. But it's enough to suggest a connection between the chime train and the going train that causes the latter to stop. However, the only physical connection between the two trains is the star cam. And I can't imagine how friction there could suddenly develop. Thinking that might be the source of the problem, I added an application of precision grease to the cam lobes. Made absolutely no difference. And I yam out of ideas.

    So I'm going to drop the chime bidness out of the equation, and ask you if you can think of any other factors that could cause a clock to behave this way. I've carefully oiled all the pivots. I have NOT had the plates apart, and hope not to and can see no need to.

    Come on all you fine minds; give me some inspiration. I ain't growing any of my own.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    I'm sure you must have checked, but on this one there are two little spacers that MUST go under the spring box deck or you will have these symptoms. When it does run how strongly does it run - how much pendulum swing?

    RC

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: R. Croswell)

    The washers must be the right thickness as well.
    They should be as thick as the plate they are compensating
    for. Not thicker or thinner.
    Make sure the front bushing is not loose. The star cam could
    be shifting it enough to have poor gear mesh.
    Tinker Dwight

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Thanks Tink, but I can't see the washers as a problem, since I haven't done anything in that territory.#Everything I've done is outside the plates.
    Moderately weak pendulum swing. I very much want to get this resolved outside the plates, because of a promise I made to the owner, price-wise.
    But I'm open to any and all suggestions what might make this Spawn of the Devil stop running at seemingly (?) arbitrary times. Inside or out.

    One of the exasperating things about clock repair: It stops, and I cain't tell WHY!
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    Bang, I'm sure you have checked these simple things, but since the 124 has a long strike lever, it takes a lot of power for the star cam to lift the lever. Are you sure the cam points are not lifting the lever at all during warn? Be sure there is run before the lift begins. Another simple thing I thought of is the suspension set-up. I have seen many of these type movements stop due to a stiff suspension spring. If the adjustment at the top of the spring is adjusted too low on the spring, it causes the spring to put more pressure on the crutch, causing it to stop, especially if the power in the train is weak. Try replacing the SS with a different one with a thin spring and adjust the fast/slow thingy so it is at the top. You can make the final adjustment by using a longer/shorter rod. Another thought: adjust verge as close to EW as possible, possibly creating more impulse.
    Last: check for bad bushings and think about get in between plates.
    Will Walker (WOW)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    Thanks Tink, but I can't see the washers as a problem, since I haven't done anything in that territory.
    but have you checked to see if the washers are actually there?

    #Everything I've done is outside the plates. Moderately weak pendulum swing. I very much want to get this resolved outside the plates..........
    If I understand correctly, you haven't been between the plates, the clock stops randomly, and when it does run it has a weak pendulum swing. I think the work you did on the chimes is unrelated to the stopping if it is as you say random and happens at times when the star wheel isn't engaging the lever.

    Sounds like it was running poorly before you started on it. In addition to the usual suspects (bent pivot, rough pivot(s), worn pivot holes, dry springs, wrong springs or springs mixed up), missing spacers under the spring deck, and the deadbeat verge locking on the impulse face are common issues. the 124 should run well if everything between the plates is right. There should be no need to change the suspension spring unless you believe it is incorrect. I think you will find the problem in the going train and unrelated to the work you did outside the plates, but without having it in-hand that's just a guess.

    Are there signs of any previous bushing work? Bushings installed by others are always suspect until proven innocent.

    RC

  10. #10

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery

    Another simple thing I thought of is the suspension set-up. I have seen many of these type movements stop due to a stiff suspension spring.
    I think Will may be onto something. When I first took the clock in, it was running fine. In the course of much thrashing around working on the chime bidness, the SS broke. I replaced it without paying attention to thickness, and haven't thought about it since.

    But I'm thinking about it now. Stay tuned.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    I think Will may be onto something. When I first took the clock in, it was running fine. In the course of much thrashing around working on the chime bidness, the SS broke. I replaced it without paying attention to thickness, and haven't thought about it since.

    But I'm thinking about it now. Stay tuned.
    Devil is in the details. That changes the whole picture.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: R. Croswell)

    Ok, Bang, I haven't been able to sleep worrying about your clock. Did you figure it out?
    Will Walker (WOW)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: wow)

    This SS is .004". I have an .002" spring on order. When it gets here, we'll see if it makes a difference.

    If it doesn't I shall be very very sad.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    This SS is .004". I have an .002" spring on order. When it gets here, we'll see if it makes a difference.

    If it doesn't I shall be very very sad.
    We shall all be sad.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Seth Thomas Mystery (By: wow)

    I am very very sad. Now it's back to looking for the hard stuff.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

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