31 day time and strike

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Dave_P

I cleaned, (complete disassbly) a 31 day time and strike regulator type clock made in China. I ran it for 3 weeks on my bench, without the hands on (except I'd put the minute hand on once a day so I could adjust the beat). Once in the clock I needed to get it back in beat and it was a chore. I left it and it stopped on the half hour some 3 hours later. When I moved the minute hand forward it almost felt like there was a bind but it started right up again, it ran for several hours, did the same thing with it feeling like there was a bind. This time I moved the minute hand forward and as I came up to the 12 it struck a number that it should have struck 2 hours ago. I go one more hour and it strikes correct time. So its back out on my bench, in beat yet I can't seem to keep it running more than 2 hours. It is not catching it just stops. Yes it is in beat with the pendulum equal on both sides. Thanks for any help. DAVE
 
D

Dave_P

I cleaned, (complete disassbly) a 31 day time and strike regulator type clock made in China. I ran it for 3 weeks on my bench, without the hands on (except I'd put the minute hand on once a day so I could adjust the beat). Once in the clock I needed to get it back in beat and it was a chore. I left it and it stopped on the half hour some 3 hours later. When I moved the minute hand forward it almost felt like there was a bind but it started right up again, it ran for several hours, did the same thing with it feeling like there was a bind. This time I moved the minute hand forward and as I came up to the 12 it struck a number that it should have struck 2 hours ago. I go one more hour and it strikes correct time. So its back out on my bench, in beat yet I can't seem to keep it running more than 2 hours. It is not catching it just stops. Yes it is in beat with the pendulum equal on both sides. Thanks for any help. DAVE
 

Mike Phelan

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Hi Dave
Don't see why you need a minute hand to set clock in beat! I just use ears ;)
Is it a rack or countwheel strike? I guess it iss probably rack. It struck 10 at 12; what does it strike on other hours? If it is always 2 hours behind (12 at 2, etc) then the hour hand needs repositioning. If it strikes no more than 10, the rack is not falling fully - did you give it time to drop when you advanced the hands?
As for the stopping, it seems as though the strike release is the culprit - check everything is smooth, and the stop piece is not hittiing the warning pin because the strike train is mistimed.
What is the general condition like - any worn holes, tired spring, escapement depth and pallet wear?
 
D

Dave_P

Mike, my movement holder I used would not allow the minute hand to go around with out bumping into my bench so I was placing the minute hand on the clock to see if I needed to ajust the pendulum length. I knew what I meant but guess I did not explain it very well. Now I have it on a holder that allows the hands to pass cleanly. Back to the problem at hand.
It is a rack, and the clock stopped on the hour again, I started to move the minute hand forward and it felt jammed so I turned the minute hand counter clockwise an hour and a half and it seemed like the whole system loosened up. I moved the minute hand forward to the correct time and started it up. Its striking the correct hour and half hour and has been running for 4 straight hours, (just checked it). I've never worked on a clock that you could turn the hands backwards so I'm not really sure of what to be looking for. Thanks
 

Mike Phelan

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Ah, Dave, lightbulbs are going on inside my head now :)
You didn't mean 'adjusting beat', you meant regulating the clock. In beat is when the ticks are evenly spaced, rather than 'paired'.
OK - the stopping problem. I reiterate what I said before. Most clocks made since WW2 and a few before allow you to turn the hands back safely. Try it again, and when it jams, look at where the warning pin is.
When you reassembled the clock after cleaning, were you aware that the strike train needed to be 'timed'? (Sorry if this is teaching my granny to suck eggs!)
Any chance of a pic of the front plate so we can agree on the terminology?
HTH
 
D

Dave_P

Mike, guess I'm a little too analog. I have 3 pictures Front,side and top but can't figure out how to attach them. I know you just click on the paper clip but I'm doing something wrong. Since we last chatted the clock ran 7.5 hours and stopped on the half hour. I started it up this morning and it ran 12 hours and stopped again on the half our. I sure can't see anything rubbing.
 

Scottie-TX

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Maybe this'll help: As you said, "the paper clip" and it brings up file source and prompts, "browse" . Type in your file source and click "browse" . Now your file source should appear with the desired pictures. You can post only one picture per reply I believe. Right click on the desired picture and choose "SELECT" from the drop down choices and click on it. Now your files disappear and that screen with file source/browse returns. At that point you can choose and click on "Post Now" and NAWCC begins to load your picture and you'll note a progress bar at bottom showing load progress.
 
D

Dave_P

And now a top view. I sure couldn't see anything that looked out of place. DAVE
 

Mike Phelan

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Dave
Hmmm....on the second pic, it would appear that the warning wheel carries a stop arm, rather than a pin, and this is pointing downwards, so it is possible that the warning lever is butting it as it rises. The stop arm should be somewhere near the top. How far does the warning wheel rotate when the warning occurs? Should be about half a turn.
The warning lever is the one top right in the first pic.
Can I ask again - did you time the strike train when you assembled the clock?
Of course, all this may be wrong, and the problem may be simply lack of power causing the clock to stop when the most effort is required from it.
 

Scottie-TX

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HEY! You got it bro. Awsum job on photog. But I think you'll find Mike got it. He's very good - intuitive. I believe you're gonna hafta re-locate that one wheel with the pin on it, that it's ramming into a lever because of timing. Back to you Mike.
 

Scottie-TX

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Gues we wuz both typing at the same time Mike but you beat me by 4 min. I talk slower. I'm with you but one exception: The resistance he mentioned earlier is probably the resistance that stops the clock and also related to and causing the problem - an abnormal and unsurmountable resistance.
 

Tom Kloss

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I han a split canon pinion do this but that was on a clock much older than this. Check for burrs on the lifting levers. It seems to be a power problem. At some point ther is a resistance. of some sort.
 

Scottie-TX

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Mike, I think he understands your question but he may have the same one if he doesn't. "Time the strike train"? Are you referring to positioning the snail? And not that it's necessary that I know - it may be local jargon there - but the granny bit went WAAAY over my head. Thanks
 
D

Dave_P

Mike, no I did not time the strike train, this was my first try with a rack and snail works, I thought I put it back exactly the way it came apart. Remember this worked for 3 weeks, I didn't have any problems till I put it in the case. I'm wondering if I messed something up when I was putting the clock in beat after mounting it? Its pretty tight quarters.

This evening the clock stopped with the minute hand pointing to the 9. When I gave the pendulum a push I noticed that the pallets engaged the same teeth of the escape wheel, in other words it did not "tick tock". So I very slowly advanced the minute hand. I noticed that it seems like it was "bound up" When the minute hand reached the 10 there was a noticeable sound, the minute hand turned easily and when I touched the pendulum the clock started right up again.

One thing I see now looking at the works. If you follow the rack arm (one with the little teeth that engages the gathering pin)there is a piece of metal that looks like it is acting as a pin that should be riding on the snail, is not but is actualy pushing on the side of the snail.
I've turned the minute hand counter clockwise and that pin is now on top of the snail and it strikes the correct hour. Question; if the rack arm is bent and that pin is pushing on the snail, can it affect the time side? Looking forward to everyones thoughts. DAVE
 

Scottie-TX

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Well you might have. Found something. "It worked for three weeks outside case." Was it reliably always striking the correct hour, etc.? The strike mechanism has no effect on the clock's beat. However if there is a strike fault as there is - the strike mech can cause the clock to stop. Now the arm you describe. It does not ride the snail. Actually it is held just above the snail and when the rack is released it drops onto the snail and establishes the number of hour to be struck. It's position if I envision it properly should be in front of the snail not rubbing against the snail and free to drop onto the snail on request. I still think you have another unaddressed problem associated with that resistance you described at nine and twelve.
I suggest: Put it in operation and allow it to run to fail condition. In failed condition very carefully observe the positions of all components and see if, without disturbing it, you can identify the obstruction. Last resort, start manually moving perhaps the minute hand to expose problem. In other words try to sneak up on it. I wish you well my friend.
 

Mike Phelan

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Scottie
The time difference has struck again!
By 'timing' I mean ensuring that (on a rack clock):
1) The train locks immediately after the last hammer blow.
2) The warning pin or arm is approximately half a turn from the stop on the warning lever.

Granny bit - must just be a Brit saying, but 'teaching your granny to suck eggs' means stating the obvious, as in 'have you wound it?' :)
My point about the resistance was that if the clock is only just managing to go, it will probably stop when it faces the extra effort needed to lift the rack hook out of the notch in the gathering pallet

HTH
 

Scottie-TX

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O.K. Mike. Thanks for clarif. Because I think that IS the problem here - same one you helped me with a few weeks ago. It doesn't ALWAYS do it but WILL stop the clock when it does it. And yes. I also understand a feeble clock syndrome and how any load will stop it in that condition.
 
D

Dave_P

OK it has stopped again on the half hour. Again that pin is not above or on the snail it is pushing against the snail and lying on the (is that the minute or hour arbor)? When I push the pendulum the pallets engage the same teeth in the escape wheel ---No tick tock. OK I am now slowly advancing the minute hand still no ticking. Clock strikes 12 even though it is pointing at 2, and that pin is now above the snail and the clock is running freely. OK so it looks to me that I have a problem with the rack arm, there is some lateral movement with the rack, is there a way to tighten this up?

I'm wondering if I may have pushed on the rack while I was trying to put the clock in beat by adjusting the crutch on a slip fitting on the arbor which is barly visible in photo 2 and 3 above. Does that make sense? And yes the clock was striking properly the 3 weeks previous to this, other wise I would not have been putting it in the case. This has been a real learning experience for me and I sure appreciate everyones help. Keep it coming. DAVE
 

Scottie-TX

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Well, "Yes" Dave. I believe that part is bent. It should never rub against the snail. If it does rub it can't drop freely to the snail and strike the correct hour. Now I'm not certain how that stops the clock but it certainly is not correct. I'd bend it to where it needs to be and observe again.
 
D

Dave_P

This is a picture of the rack when the clock stops note that the rack arm is in back of the snail.
 
D

Dave_P

This picture is not great but You can see the pin that is on the rack arm is behind the snail and actually wedged up against it.
 
D

Dave_P

This is after I turned the minute hand counter clockwise to the 12 position. Look mid way down the rack arm and you can see the pin I'm talking about, it looks like a triangle piece of sheet metal.
 
D

Dave_P

This is the way the clock looks after setting the time.

It seems the rack arm falls behind the snail and stops at 1:30 most of the time. I'm looking for thoughts please to correct this problem. Thanks Dave
 

stewart

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Check these things:

Is the beat strong? Don’t set it on the basis of equal angular displacement either side of some center. Adjust it until it sounds strong and even. Tic-toc tic-toc tic-toc … not ka-tic ka-tic ka-tic etc …. You’ll know you’re in beat not by your eyes but by your ears. Close your eyes when you listen to it. Hang the clock and tilt it (tilt your movement if it’s out of the clock) from one side to the other and listen to the beat as you move it. Note the sound as it begins to stop. Don’t bend the crutch at this time, just tilt the clock or movement and listen. Adjust the crutch later.

Where is the clock or movement running? Make sure you are on a rigid platform or hanging solidly on a wall. Be sure the movement or clock cannot rock, tilt or shake. No tables with wobbly or excessively long legs.

I do put a little oil on the pallets.

Stewart
 
T

Tom Chaudoir

Hi Dave,

That bit should never fall behind the snail. If needed, just bend it out a little. Before that though;

Note that there are 2 lobes on the cam that lifts the warning lever. Turn the center arbor until the lever just falls off of the higher of the 2 lobes. Check to see that the rack tail is landing on the middle of one of the snail landings. One 'oclock is a good place to check it. That's the highest landing.

Here's why to check that. It's midnight. The rack tail falls on the lowest landing, but it's really close to the solid vertical step going up to 1 o'clock. The clock runs for a couple more minutes before striking. In that time the rack tail ducks behind the snail and gets stuck back there. The dance is over.

Teaching your grandma to suck eggs isn't just a Brit thing. Over here it's probably most common among those of us who remember when black and white tv's were just called "tv's". :)

Regards,
 

Scottie-TX

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Wull Dave, I believe Tom's got it. 1. You say it nearly always does it at 1:30 and the lever is behind the snail. That will stop the clock because it can't overcome the resistance. The reason it got there is because it wasn't lifted clear of the tall vertical rise in the snail after passing 12:O clock. Since it didn't rise above the snail, the snail is trying to push it out of the way as it advances. It accomplishes this by riding over the front of that lever and pushing it behind the snail. Now what that means is you need to time the snail using Tom's advice, such that the lever is poised ABOVE the snail, anticipating the strike of one.
 

Mike Phelan

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Dave
Been away for weekend, hence no reply, so a few comments:
Firstly, you can reassemble the clock with everything in the correct place, but the strike train will still need timing.
Is the rack tail falling behind the snail even if both hands are fitted? You see, without a minute hand, the hour wheel can move forward, allowing this.
If for any reason, the clock is failing to strike, the rack tail will jam as Tom and Scottie have mentioned, but somewhere around 12:30.
I use one of the smaller steps (more critical) to time the motion work - get rack tail central on, say, 10 o'clock step. I never use either 12 or 1 because sometines the 'big step' is undercut, not radial.
If you lift the rack up into the fully gathered position, it should only fall just before the hour, and be picked up as the clock strikes. For the single half-hour blow, it should not drop at all
HTH
 
T

Tom Chaudoir

Hi Mike,

Good point. With the minute hand off, the snail could be wandering out of range of the rack tail.

Here's my reason for using the 1:00 landing. It seems logical, but please check my thinking.

All of the steps occupy 30 degrees of rotation. In that sense, they are all the same size. The higher steps are bigger because they are a 30 degree slice of a larger circle. The 1:00 step then, is a magnified version of the 12:00. It's my opinion that we can judge the center more accurately on a large step than on a tiny one.

If the big step is undercut, we should still be ok. The tail will be up and out of the way about 30 minutes, or 15 degrees ahead of time.

I'm making this stuff up, so please let me know if I wandered off the trail someplace :)

Regards,
 

Mike Phelan

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Hi Tom
We may both be right on that one! My reasoning, I think, is that I have seen a couple of snails where the '1' step was more that 30 degrees, and I think I just feel safer if the pin lands centrally on one of the narrower steps. I suppose any step but 12 will always work - it is just force of habit.

I suppose we need to be grateful that French clocks have marked wheels, as stepless snails would be an absolute pain to time, and they have a reverse slope on the big step, as well, to lift the rack if the strike fails. :frown:
 

Tom Kloss

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Dave

Take a very close look at the motion works.
If the anchor of the escapement can swing and the escape wheel doesn't move trace back to the firt wheel that has power and work from there back to the escape wheel. IMHO the problem almost has to be a bind. I have had this symptom from a burr on a lifting lever.

Tom
 

Pete Riegel

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If the clock runs on the bench but won't in the case, try loosening whatever mounting screws exist so that they are just barely holding the works in place. Sometimes a slight mismatch between works and case can cause a strain to be given to the works when the mounting screws are tightened fully.
 
D

Dave_P

My day job has kept me from checking back in with all of you, will check this out later in the week. DAVE
 
D

Dave_P

OK back after a couple of weeks and the clock is stopped at 1:40 and the tab on the rack arm is behind the snail and it is bound up. Before leaving I bent the rack arm just a smidge outward. (My wife thought it ran for almost a week before stopping but she really wasn't watching). So yesterday I checked where that "button" on the rack arm landed on the snail and it is on the first 1/4. I bent the rack arm a bit more and started it up. Ran through the night and I watched it as it struck 12:00, 12:30, 1:00 and 1:30 and the button stayed where it needed to be. I guess we will let it run a while. I did notice that the "pillar" I think that's what it is called that the end of the rack attaches to has a spacer on it beteen the front plate and the rack and there is a bit of movement there. I did test to see if the rack was pushed all the way back and the spacer was flush against the front plate if the button would catch the top of the snail or fall behind. In my test it could not fall behind the snail, but there is still some wobble there.

If this works, and I think it will, I'm still going to have a problem adjusting the crutch on the slip bushing when I put it back into the case. Any suggestions. Just the slightest movement moves it from being too far on one side to too far on the other. Not a lot of room to get my fingers in there. Thanks DAVE
 
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Tom Chaudoir

Hi Dave,

Good news all around. Sounds like you have made some real progress. Now about the sloppy fit from the crutch to the anchor arbor;

What you have there is a "self correcting beat" mechanism. A lot of Chinese clocks went way overboard with this. There is almost no friction at that joint. A lot of German clocks went too far in the other direction. It takes 2 men and a boy to make it slip. The situation with Chinese clocks is probably better. Here's how it works.

Grab the pendulum and give it a big overswing. One side of the anchor will land between escape wheel teeth hard. The clutch will slip a little. When the pendulum swings the other way it will happen again, with a little less slip. This continues until the anchor doesn't touch bottom anymore, and the clock is in beat.

It's a nifty idea, and works if all conditions are just right. One thing that can trip you up is a case that's too narrow for a good overswing. Yell if you run into that problem.

Regards,
 
D

Dave_P

I played with this today and finally got that button to fall behind the snail. I did it by advancing the hands and not letting the clock to strike and what I noticed was that at the 1:00 time I could get the button to fall just short of the snail and thus be forced behind the snail. An earlier post suggested that I place this button midway on the snail, at the 1:00 time as that is the largest surface area. Will this cause me problems at the later hours say at 11:00 or 12:00. Also is there an easy way to do this? DAVE
 

Mike Phelan

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Dave
It sounds as though you have sorted it. Most newish clocks (and some older ones) have either a springy rack tail or have the pin mounted on a separate spring, and the end of the pin is sloped, so, if the clock fails to strike 12, the rack tail will go behind or in front of the snail so that it does not stop the clock. Therefore, your clock seems to be performing as intended.
As to timing the motion work, it is just a case of getting the cannon pinion so the highest of the two cams has just dropped the warning lever, and placing the hour wheel so the rack tail drops in the centre of any step but 12. If you canot find a point where i does this, unmesh and rotate the minute wheel and try again.
 

Tom Kloss

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I've always found that the center of the 11:00 step to be a good staring point.


Tom
 
D

Dave_P

I hope I have this timed right, I'm closer to the outside edge of the snail than I am the center, but it has been running since Monday. (Now after saying that I'll get home and it will be stopped, I hope not). The self adjusting beat is sure slick. I want to thank everyone for their help and suggestions, I plan on putting the works in the case this evening.

DAVE
 

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