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Thread: Tinkers!

  1. #1
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Tinkers!

    I look after the two tower clocks that we have, locally. One in particular, a Howard "round-top" time and strike that I and the local NAWCC chapter (#145) restored about 20 years ago. I wind it once a week, and City maintenance people wind it once a week. Recently, I noticed that one of the four dials was indicating time which was 11 minutes slow! I checked all the usual suspects such as loose bolts, etc., but ended up having to enlist the assistance of my spouse and her cell phone (outside the cupola), while I applied my trusty crescent wrench to loosen the extension shaft, and to re-set the time on that dial.

    For years, this clock has run within about 1 minute per week. But recently, after I had descended the ladder at 4:50 pm, after winding the clock, I hear it strike 5:00! I hadn't checked the time. Back up the ladder to re-set the clock. One week later, when it was my turn to wind the clock, I checked to see it 10 minutes FAST! I re-set it, marked an index mark on the regulator knob, and adjusted the regulator. The following week it was still fast. I re-set it again, moved the regulator, and posted a sign on it advising the City crew to not "fiddle" with things. I checked again yesterday (Friday), and it was still fast. I re-set it and moved the regulator again! I don't know if perhaps the reason this is happening is that the City crews who do this chore once per week will not refuse to do it, but are telling me by suggestion that they would just as soon not be bothered! Woe is me, and others who care so much about tower clocks, but who exist in a world of indifference toward them!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tinkers! (RE: doug sinclair)

    One of the techniques I used in my former occupation to detect "cause of failure" when there was suspicion of tampering was the use of clear fingernail polish.

    I can think of using it on the suspension adjusting nut. It's not easily visible but cracks in the lacquer are obvious with a good light and a magnifier.
    H.J. (Les) Lesovsky, Alhambra California

  3. #3
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tinkers! (RE: Eckmill)

    Les,

    Thanks for the suggestion. At present I don't need to wonder if the regulator has been turned. I KNOW it has! The trick is to know how FAR they turned it! I have marked an index on the regulator and am in the process of re-setting and regulating it as required, once per week when I am there. As of Friday, I had it down to a 3 minute per week gain. What irks me is that I had it to within one minute per week before some donkey (spelled ---) moved the regulator.

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