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  1. #1
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question

    I have this Gilbert 1903 movement in a mantle clock with the pendulum almost scraping the bottom of the case and still running a bit fast (about 3 minutes a day last 24 hours). It is clocking 9140 beats per hour. I cannot find any reference to the 1903 in the Beat Book. Does anyone know what the rated beats per hour is for these?
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    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    It would be the same as the 1902 and the 1904, as they are just the year it was made. Looks like there is lots of room to lower the pendulum bob.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question

    You might try shortening the pendulum rod a bit and forming a new hook for the bob on the end of the rod. Has the pendulum rod fallen out of the top of the regulator mechanism? It looks to me like the rod is hanging on the crutch by the end of the spring part instead of being inserted into the slit at the top of the regulator mechanism. You can make a dimple in the top of the suspension spring to keep it from slipping through the slit, or some times it's possible to make a short bend in the end of the spring to keep it from slipping. Or you can get a new rod. Some rods also have a small hole in the very end of the spring with a fine wire loop instead of the dimple.
    Last edited by John Arrowood; 06-14-2017 at 10:36 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    I think John Arrowood's right - the end of the spring needs to go in the slot of the regulator mechanism. Then you could regulate the pendulum properly and improve the timekeeping.

    I am quite surprised that it runs at all as it is at present.

    JTD

  5. #5
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question

    Not a good picture I guess. This has the "Vallet" version of the brocot regulator where the top post moves up and down sliding the spring through the fixed chops. The suspension spring is properly set in the top slot and I have put an adjustable pendulum on the rod to try to figure this out. There is currently just barely a 1/4 inch of space left below the bob itself and the bottom of the case.

    I started with the numbers for the 1902 Gilbert from the beat book - but that puts it at 9168.98 which makes it almost 7 minutes a day too fast. The 1905 shows 3792, the 1907 shows 7216 and the 1909 shows 5850 so I am not so sure that the 1903 can be gauged from the 1902 or any of the others shown. There is the possibility that someone changed the EW in a prior repair, but I can't get any tooth counts to match up to the difference between the almost correct 9140 and the 1902 nominal rate of 9168.98.

    I will continue to work with that last 1/4 inch of clearance and see if I can get it to settle in If not I guess some surgery will be in order. The clock came in for service as a newly purchased used clock with the complaint that it would not keep time, so maybe I am chasing someone else's handiwork. All of the mounting screw holes were too sloppy to hold the movement tight and have been repaired, but there is only one set of holes. So either someone swapped a 1903 into the case where something else used to be mounted and used the adjustable tabs to match up the holes, or something else has happened to this movement.

    The matching dial is a Gilbert





    Quote Originally Posted by John Arrowood View Post
    You might try shortening the pendulum rod a bit and forming a new hook for the bob on the end of the rod. Has the pendulum rod fallen out of the top of the regulator mechanism? It looks to me like the rod is hanging on the crutch by the end of the spring part instead of being inserted into the slit at the top of the regulator mechanism. You can make a dimple in the top of the suspension spring to keep it from slipping through the slit, or some times it's possible to make a short bend in the end of the spring to keep it from slipping. Or you can get a new rod. Some rods also have a small hole in the very end of the spring with a fine wire loop instead of the dimple.
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    Last edited by THTanner; 06-14-2017 at 11:24 AM.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    Yes, I see where the spring is now - it certainly looked different in the first photo, maybe the angle it was taken.

    So I don't know what to suggest, other than what you have said yourself.

    Good luck!

    JTD

  7. #7

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: JTD)

    You want the chops as close together as they will go. If that doesn't slow it down, a longer hanger is your only option.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question

    Try setting it to 9120 instead. It may be a typo.
    Of course, an actual tooth count of the clock and you have
    will give an exact number.
    I'm guessing the pendulum is about 6 inches. 3 minutes in
    24 hours is only 0.025 inches. Much less than 1/4 inch.
    Tinker Dwight
    Last edited by Tinker Dwight; 06-14-2017 at 12:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: shutterbug)

    Okay - thanks - I closed that gap a little more to see if I could get it to run too slowly. I am clocking 9116 now and it seems to be almost correct and maybe a bit too slow. The bottom of the bob just clears the case so I think it might need a little excavating to make sure no dust or bug hangs it up, but I think I got it. Once it settles in for a day I will post the final BPH for reference.


    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    You want the chops as close together as they will go. If that doesn't slow it down, a longer hanger is your only option.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Yes - I think the 9120 is pretty close. The CG appears to be right about 6.35 inches, - will post the finals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    Try setting it to 9120 instead. It may be a typo.
    Of course, an actual tooth count of the clock and you have
    will give an exact number.
    I'm guessing the pendulum is about 6 inches. 3 minutes in
    24 hours is only 0.025 inches. Much less than 1/4 inch.
    Tinker Dwight
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    It might be that in its history, someone installed
    an over strength spring.
    Recoils are some sensitive to force of the main
    spring.
    An overly thick suspension spring can also shift
    a clock to be faster than the pendulum would normally
    suggest.
    Tinker Dwight

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I considered a different suspension spring thickness, but measured this one against three other Gilberts I have in house and they are all the same so I left it alone. Hard to say about the main springs. Both have obviously been changed at some point in the history and I have no idea what the originals would have been. The two springs are not from the same source - or at least they are somewhat different shades of blue, but are the same sizes. Right now I am fiddling with final adjustments to let it sit quietly for a few days and calculate the net error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    It might be that in its history, someone installed
    an over strength spring.
    Recoils are some sensitive to force of the main
    spring.
    An overly thick suspension spring can also shift
    a clock to be faster than the pendulum would normally
    suggest.
    Tinker Dwight
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  13. #13

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    I think that someone replaced the original pendulum rod to accommodate an Ansonia (?) bob assembly. This bob probably has a higher center of gravity than the simple bobs that come on most Gilberts.
    Willie X

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: Willie X)

    9120 appears to be the proper beats per hour for this 1903 Gilbert. The pendulum is clearly not what was usually provided with Gilberts (it came in with a Seth Thomas bob in it) and may be part of the problem as Willie noted. I am letting the clock run for awhile now as I search for a more appropriate adjustable pendulum with a lower center of gravity to provide a little more clearance under the bob and the end of the rod. I think most Gilberts were provided with a non adjustable bob style pendulum, which would mean I may have to redo the suspension spring and rod and get it real close in order to use just the regulator to fine tune it in the end. But the current bob - from a Sessions or Ansonia - is working fine and may be what I end up leaving in the clock.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  15. #15

    Default Re: Gilbert 1903 time and strike mantel clock beat question (By: THTanner)

    I believe the last repairman may have replaced the bob to get more adjustment. The original was probably more like this, and the suspension spring would have been longer (as much more as the stick on the current pendulum). You could put it back to near original with a new suspension spring. Make it long to start, and shorten it as needed. Be sure to put the chops in the center position first, so you can get adjustment either way.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

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