1840 Longcase/Grandfather strike bell and hammer adjustment. How?

berntd

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Jun 21, 2009
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Hello,

I am pulling my hair out.
This has a huge bronze bell on top of the 8 day movement and hammer coming from the strike side.

I cannot get the strike to sound properly.

I have a gap between hammer and bell.
The hammer wire hits a movement pillar as a stop. This then resonates through the case into the floor like a knock sound. Unpleasant.

So I fitted a piece of leather around the pillar. Better but it was not there before.

If I make the hammer gap large enough to allow clean striking and ringing resonance, the sound is rather soft.

If I decrease the gsp, the bell sounds great but every second strike or so, the bell buzzes against the hammer and it rattles. That is also unpleasant.

So, questions:
Is the hammer supposed to rest in the fully relaeased position after a strike or rest in a lifted position away from the bell?

How does one set this up correctly for best clear sound?

Regards
Bernt
 

wow

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It is difficult to understand exactly what you are dealing with. Photos would help tremendously.
 

berntd

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I don't have a photo. The clock is not with me. It is a very common arrangement with bell on top of movement.
English.
 

bruce linde

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every one of these movements is essentially the same, but different. not sure how you can work on a movement you don't have with you, but if the hammer rod is hitting the pillar, you have to bend it out so it doesn't... and then bend the top part so the hammer hits the bell.

if you REALLY want the bell to ring louder (i say that because i intentionally quiet all of mine) you can also try bending the post that holds the bell SLIGHTLY toward the hammer... but i would be happy with a not-too-loud one of these... as i tend to have the opposite problem and do like to sleep at night. o_O

we're talking slight adjustments.
 
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berntd

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...not sure how you can work on a movement you don't have with you,...
Because it is ticking away in the clock already, on location at my home.
I was not there when starting this thread.
I am hoping to get it working where it is, equipped with better knowledge from here.

I will bring pictures.

Regards
Bernt
 
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berntd

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Bend the hammer away from the pillar @ the lowest point, then move the bell towards the hammer.
Good luck
That is interesting advise.

Do these normally have a different end stop instead of the pillar?
Should the strike wheel lift the hammer back away from the bell when it stops?
 

John P

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NO....The hammer should not be raised when strike has finished. You may need to reposition the gathering pallet or move a wheel.
The gathering pallet arbor is square so try all 4 positions first. Hopefully you will be able to stop the strike as soon as the hammer drops.
There is very little room for error here.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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On an English clock of this period the hammer spring often works as the hammer stop too. If it is currently hitting a pillar as a hammer stop then I don't think that is the original setup. Sometimes you see bits of brass screwed onto the pillar as a hammer stop but I always think these are later.

You can adjust the hammer arm shape easily to change the position of the hammer relative to the bell, you can adjust the bellstand. Sometimes it is just a case of rotating the bell a bit as the bell may not be round or the hole for the stand not exactly centred.

One of my longcase has two hammers on different bells to do a passing strike on the half hour, the smaller hammer has a pin to act as a stop, it was put there by the restorer as the hammer was hitting the pillar as you say and making an unpleasant sound, he found a hole in the case in the right spot and fitted a pin, it seems there should have been one all along.
 

kinsler33

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Novicetimekeeper is correct. A lot of these clocks have been worked on by generations of not-so-skilled craftsmen, and thus there's no telling what inadvisable alterations have been made.

Mark Kinsler
 

berntd

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Ohh, those pictures are great.
I took pictures last night but now see that exactly the part in question is obscured.
I am quite sure though that there is no little protrusion on the hammer lever as shown in you pictures.
The spring looks about the same.

Here is what I currently have.

Regards
Bernt

20201025_135945.jpg
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes your cable tie is doing a good job of obscuring the area. However both your hammer and bellstands look bent. I think it has had a lot of adjustment in the past
 

kinsler33

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Note that if horrible things happen, these clocks were sufficiently consistent in design and construction that quite a few reproduction parts are available. I was surprised at that, but Timesavers has a few.

And yes, the bell stand was bent, and then someone bent the hammer so it would reach the bell. In general, the hammer would be straight up-and-down when it strikes the bell, and the rebound distance is quite small.

Mark Kinsler
 

berntd

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I think that the bell is a reproduction and it is smaller than original.
The bellstand will not reach far enough for that hammer to be straight. The bell is now as close to the hammer as it can go bat maybe 5mm.
 
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