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400-day clock - ball pendulum problem

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
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I have rotated the A<->R disc to the slowest position, but the clock is still too fast (10 minutes per hour!). It goes without saying that the pendulum is not the original. Any tips or tricks to solve this problem?
 

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
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If the pendulum is not original, and you still want to make it work:
If the weights are iron, replace them with lead ( fishing weights ).
Use the thinner suspension spring.
Do make sure your looking at a problem with the pendulum
first. Make sure it is not fluttering and that the escapement is
locking on each swing. Both of these problems will cause
it to run fast and even slowing the pendulum won't make it
keep accurate time unless fixed first.
Tinker Dwight
 

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
Country
Thanks
The weights are of lead, and there is no flutter. It is in beat. I am using a 0.091m Horolovar suspension spring. In Terwilliger's book, the back plate is Plate 1119. Is there any way I can get the 4 balls further out?
 

John Hubby

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Boblalux, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board and thanks for your inquiry. Your clock was made by J. Link & Co. per the back plate you mentioned, I am finishing up one of these right now and am using the suspension spring shown in the Repair guide, 0.094 mm with no problems.

Have you checked to be sure all the lead weights are in the pendulum balls? Another user found his clock was running 10 minutes per hour too fast and after a lot of discussion he finally checked the balls and two weights were missing.

It will help a lot if you could post photos of your clock here so we can see for certain what you have, in particular the pendulum. With that we can offer better advice. However, if you do have the wrong pendulum, the clock is in beat and not fluttering, then the only way you will be able to slow it down is install a thinner suspension. For 10 min/hr with your pendulum already at full slow, you will need to reduce the size to 0.084 mm size.

We will look forward to see the photos.
 

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
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Friesland, Germany
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P1020656.jpg P1020657.jpg P1020659.jpg P1020660.jpg

Yes, all the spheres contain lead balls. Excuse the quality of the photos! I seem to have temporarily fixed the problem, by being very naughty: you will see on the 4th photo, 2 red arrows representing application of pliers! I squeezed each of the 4 points with the pliers (narrowing the gap by about 1.5mm), thus permitting the balls to move further outwards.
 

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John Hubby

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OK, I can see your problem. You have an original J. Link pendulum, but someone has already taken the pliers to it or most certainly squeezed the ball arms inward and bent the adjusting extensions well away from their normal position. With your pendulum already at full slow, the balls are almost in maximum fast position.

I have taken photos of the pendulum from the clock I am working on that I mentioned earlier and from these you will see what I mean:

Link Copper Calendar Pend Side.jpg Link Copper Calendar Pend Detail.jpg

This clock is presently running exactly to time with the pendulum set at about mid-point in the adjusting range. The suspension spring is the 0.094 mm size recommended in the Repair Guide.

Note the position of the pendulum ball arms in the first photo, standing well away from the center post compared to yours. In the second photo you can see the distinct curve of the adjusting extension from each pendulum arm, bending toward the outside in the direction that you have already moved yours with pliers. I notice in your photo these extensions are almost parallel with the inside edge of the pendulum arm when they should be as per the photo.

To put yours back to their original position, I suggest you print a copy of the second photo and then use it as a guide to bend the adjusting extensions back to the same configuration shown here. You should be able to make the bends by moving the adjusting nut toward fast for several turns until you can see it clearly. Then, grasp a pendulum arm firmly and carefully and slowly pull it outwards from the bottom which will bend the adjusting extension in the direction needed. Repeat for each arm until all are as close as you can get to what is in the second photo. At that point you should be able to bring your clock to time.

Note that although it would be easier to make these adjustments with the pendulum disassembled, I didn't recommend that because all the pivot points are riveted and getting it apart and back together could be problematic.
 
Last edited:

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
Country
<<<<
..........Then, grasp a pendulum arm firmly and carefully and slowly pull it outwards from the bottom which will bend the adjusting extension in the direction needed. Repeat for each arm until all are as close as you can get to what is in the second photo. At that point you should be able to bring your clock to time.
>>>>
I am a little bit worried about doing this - the adjusting nut/disc is surely under great pressure with this method? The pliers method is a bit (very!) coarse, albeit with no pressure on the disc/nut.
At present, I have improved the running of the clock, and it runs about 1 minute slow per 10 hours, which makes me quite optimistic. Still, the adjusting disc/nut is at the extreme of regulation, so perhaps further pliers treatment would bring it to the middle range.
What would you advise: more pressure on the extension arms (so far no breakage!!!), or rather go for the 0.084mm spring?
Also, is there any literature where I can view these J. Link clocks?
By the way, the balls on your photos are very attractive; are they of porcelain?
 
Last edited:

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Calif. USA
It is also possible that the spring you have is too wide.
Even though the thickness is correct, the width is also
important. As I recall they should be .016 inch or so.
We have seen several cases where the spring was wider
than it was suppose to be.
Tinker Dwight
 

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
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Sep 7, 2000
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<<<<
..........Then, grasp a pendulum arm firmly and carefully and slowly pull it outwards from the bottom which will bend the adjusting extension in the direction needed. Repeat for each arm until all are as close as you can get to what is in the second photo. At that point you should be able to bring your clock to time.
>>>>
I am a little bit worried about doing this - the adjusting nut/disc is surely under great pressure with this method? The pliers method is a bit (very!) coarse, albeit with no pressure on the disc/nut.
At present, I have improved the running of the clock, and it runs about 1 minute slow per 10 hours, which makes me quite optimistic. Still, the adjusting disc/nut is at the extreme of regulation, so perhaps further pliers treatment would bring it to the middle range.
What would you advise: more pressure on the extension arms (so far no breakage!!!), or rather go for the 0.084mm spring?
Also, is there any literature where I can view these J. Link clocks?
By the way, the balls on your photos are very attractive; are they of porcelain?
Actually you might be better off to use pliers to bend the arms back to position, to avoid stress on the slotted adjusting plate. What I would recommend is that you turn the adjusting nut until the adjusting plate is in the same position as in the photos I posted. Then, bend the extension arms until the profile for each one matches what is in the photos. You will "for sure" bring your clock into adjusting range and I think that with care you should not encounter any problem with bending the arms. Keep a close watch on them to be sure no cracking occurs.

Tinker, I did an estimate from comparing his photo to mine and by bending the extension arms enough to move the main support arms at least 7/16 inch away from the center twist column he should speed up the clock by about 1-1/2 minutes per hour which would put him in pendulum adjusting range.

Bob, there isn't any literature I know of about the J. Link clocks except for the brief comments in the Repair Guide. I have seen a sale catalog but don't have a copy, perhaps one of our users has one and could share some info from it. The pendulum balls on the pendulum I posted are lacquered with a light creamy white finish. The base, movement support columns, and dial have the same color finish with a floral decals added as well. I'll post a photo later, it's an interesting and rare clock having a month and date calendar built into the dial that actually works.
 

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
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Thanks. The clock is keeping such good time now (albeit nearly at the extreme slow end of the adjustment disc), that I don't want to fiddle around anymore - what a horror should one of the small arms should break after too much bending! I have just ordered 3 Horolovar springs at 1 thickness down (0.089mm, I think) and may try them out. I don't really wish to adjust the 4 balls further outwards, as they will nearly touch the glass dome.
Thanks again all of you.
 
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boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
Country
Have 2 more problems .....
1. When I gently advance the minute hand, it gets harder and harder to turn - as though the nut on the screw shaft is tightening. I attach a photo of the shaft (without nut).
P1020687.jpg -

2. I have a video of the escapement, where you would see (I hope!) that the movement of the escapement, rather than being tic-toc-tic-toc, is tic-tic-toc-toc-tic-tic-toc-toc , if you understand what I mean (clicks/moves TWICE on each side). Don't know how to download the Video - its a .mov format and 59Mbytes).
 

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
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NAWCC Life Member
Sep 7, 2000
12,299
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The Woodlands, TX
Country
Region
Have 2 more problems .....
1. When I gently advance the minute hand, it gets harder and harder to turn - as though the nut on the screw shaft is tightening. I attach a photo of the shaft (without nut).
I had the same problem with the clock I just worked on. the problem is that the cannon pinion (minute hand is supposed to be a light friction fit on the center arbor to provide the clutch for setting the hands, in the manner of many French clocks. There is no tension washer or other friction device. The inside of the cannon pinion had worn to the point the hands would not stay in place if the hand nut was loose, however if you tightened the nut and tried setting the time turning in a clockwise direction it would cause the hand nut to tighten as you have described. The solution was to crimp the cannon pinion in the middle, just enough to make it a friction fit, then when the hand nut is installed leave it slightly loose to allow time setting.
 

MartinM

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Jun 24, 2011
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I also had this problem on a Herr striker movement I got on ebay.

It did it when I tried using schatz hands as the look so similar and many of the parts are interchangeable between wide-plate movements of both makers. When I found the correct hands, the problem went away.
 

boblalux

Registered User
Nov 13, 2013
55
1
8
Friesland, Germany
Country
2. I have a video of the escapement, where you would see (I hope!) that the movement of the escapement, rather than being tic-toc-tic-toc, is tic-tic-toc-toc-tic-tic-toc-toc , if you understand what I mean (clicks/moves TWICE on each side). Don't know how to download the Video - its a .mov format and 59Mbytes).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAxbfH-o9GU

Any ideas on this, the second problem?
 

Randy Beckett

NAWCC Member
May 23, 2012
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Hi Bob,

From what I could see on the video, your clock escapement looked normal for a torsion clock to me. As long as it doesn't flutter, you are good. It is normal to observe the anchor pin to recoil a little in the opposite direction at the instant the escapement releases. When it is fully wound it may occasionally recoil enough to actually back up to the edge of the impulse face. I think I saw yours do it once in the video. When the mainspring winds down a little it should stop doing it. As long as it doesn't flutter when fully wound, I wouldn't worry about it. Randy
 

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