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400 day clock

Rod McLeod

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Mar 3, 2019
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I have a 1912 Specialty Trading Co . 400 day clock. It is a plate # 1529 movement -Horolover manual.
I had it running well until my grandson spun the pendulum turning the suspension spring into a spiral. I replaced the suspension spring with a .0033 spring because i did not have a .0032 which the book recommends. It would not run. I have tried a .0038 spring with no success. The movement is cleaned, pivots polished and show no wear, mainspring cleaned and oiled with spring oil, the movement oiled with 859 synthetic oil. With the verge out, the movement turns very freely with a minimum of spring winding. What suggestions would anyone have? Thanks, Rod.
 

Wayne A

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If it was running and keeping time with the .0032 thats what you need back in the clock to keep time. Also keep in mind the guide book spring sizes only apply to Horolovar spring sizes.The .0033 should cause it to run fast but you indicate its not running at all. Is it in beat? Beat setting is critical on 400 day's. Also the fork to pin gap needs some small clearance, I usually aim for 1-2 thousandths clearance.
If you get it to run on the .0033 you can see if you can regulate it with that spring or sand it down until you can regulate it.

Wayne
 

Rod McLeod

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It is a horolover suspension spring that is in the clock. I have also ensured that the fork is not tight or loose. This one id a real mystery, especially since it had been running for some months. Thanks for your suggestion. Rod.
 

Willie X

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New spring might be slightly to long. Sometimes this is not that noticable.
Willie X
 

shutterbug

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Yes, the spring thickness is critical for the clock to keep time, but won't have an effect on its ability to run. Something else has changed, or it has been barely running for a long time. Check your over swing. It won't run without some. You can lower the fork 1mm or so to get a bit more over swing.

I'll move this over to the 400 day forum to get more input.
 
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KurtinSA

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Would love to see a picture of the clock. I have a plate 1529 clock, also "Specialty Trading" and it has a serial number on the plate. My clock was made in 1929 and is a Schlenker und Posner. The notation in the repair guide has been shown to be wrong...it is not a K&O and the suspension spring might not be 0.0032". So, see a good picture of the clock and back plate would be helpful.

Kurt
 

Rod McLeod

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Hi Kurt,, attached are 2 photos of the clock. The shot of the back plate was hard to do because of the reflection in the brass. The serial # is 39708. The Horolover guide gives the movement a ca date of 1912. I hope this gives you an idea of what I have. Thanks, Rod.

IMG_3187.JPG IMG_3197.JPG
 

KurtinSA

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Rod -

I'm pretty sure that this is an SuP clock...there are mistakes in the guide and this has been listed as one of them. Various plates were attributed to Kieninger & Obergfell but information was revealed that Schlenker und Posner was making clocks leading up to WWII. Actually now that I look at John Hubby's presentation at the 2018 National Convention, this serial number was after SuP stock was sold Kern & Sohne and later assembled by Kern. From his graph, the 39xxx serial number puts the date to close to 1940 and might be from some of the last clocks assembled with SuP materials. That is my take on your clock.

Kurt
 
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Rod McLeod

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Thanks, Kurt. I have no idea where Dad came by this clock. I just remember it always being in the house, usually not working. I was born 1942 so it may have been a new clock at that time. I put a .0033 susp spring back into the movement and it still will not run. I have tried moving the fork up and down on the susp with no resolution. Any suggestions re the size of susp spring to try?
Thanks, Rod.
 

KurtinSA

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Having a slightly wrong spring size really won't stop a clock. That said, my notes on changes to plate 1525 suggest that the spring size should be 0.0035". But before you swap out springs, I think the clock needs to be properly set up. Moving the fork up/down is certainly one of the things to check. Note that the fork tines must have a slight gap around the vertical anchor pin...the thickness of a piece of paper is a place to start. The clock must be set "in beat". If you sit behind the clock and look through the two round holes, watch what happens to the escape wheel teeth as they fall of the pallets. To determine if the clock is in beat, slowly move the pendulum one direction by your fingers until you see a tooth fall off a pallet. At that point, let the pendulum go. For a clock to be in beat, the pendulum will slowly rotate the other direction and come to a near stop just as the next tooth falls off the other pallet. If this is not happening then it is not in beat and the top saddle needs to be turned ever so slightly to get the clock in beat.

Be sure about the beat setting first, then go from there. There could be issues with dirt/grime in the train which reduces effective power. Could be that the main spring has become dry and no longer provides adequate power.

Once you feel you have it in beat and the clock seems like it wants to run, you might find that the clock runs slow despite your adjustments with the speed adjuster. If it truly needs a thicker spring, we will know by how slow the clock runs.

Kurt
 

tracerjack

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I don't think the suspension spring is the problem as to why your clock won't run. The one you had was close enough that the clock should have kept running if everything was good, it just wouldn't keep good time. How long does the clock presently run?

I see Kurt already has that base covered.
 

Rod McLeod

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I have another old 400 day (the same size as my problem one) which runs usually for 6-8 months. I tried moving the pendulum bracket, susp spring and pendulum from that clock to the one that does not run. It ran for 8 hours so I measured the spring and it is .0038 so I have now put one of that size in the one I am working on. I will try that for a bit. Thanks, Rod.
 

KurtinSA

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I think you moved/changed more than just one thing, so I'm not sure you've solved the issue. As stated, the thickness of the suspension spring is not really the primary factor that can stop a clock from running. It's a number of factors, primary of which is getting the beat set right and then, more difficult to discern, is the escapement doing all the right things. But do keep looking into things...eventually you will find what works.

Kurt
 

tracerjack

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I'm assuming that when you took the entire suspension from one clock, that included a different fork. You might want to examine the original fork one more time. Not that the original fork is wrong, but that it might have gotten changed slightly while you replaced the suspension spring. I know from experience it is hard to hold them steady while tightening the screws. Very easy to press in the tines without knowing it. From Rabushka's book: the fork must have a 'paper thicknes' (my term) gap at the far turns, and the anchor pin should show a visible lurch at each pass through the center. According to him, that lurch is what gives the pendulum the needed push to run well. I have seen that lurch and until I read that, originally thought the pin should smoothly pass back and forth. I'm actually going to go back to some of my clocks that don't run as well as others and check for that very thing.
 

Rod McLeod

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Thanks Kurt and Tracerjack for your interest and suggestions. I will let yo know how I make out. I may leave it for a few days to give them a break from me!! Rod.
 

Ibehooved

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In this forum, Kurt and several others helped to teach how to put these babies in beat. Although, not necessary, I find the Timetrax beat amplifier simplifies the process for those of us who are learning. I think if you search the forum, you can find some diy versions that use inexpensive guitar pickups that I bet work just as well at a fraction of the price
 

Rod McLeod

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Mar 3, 2019
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1) I polished the fork tines.
2) i ensured the clearance of the fork on the pin.
3) I adjusted the height of the fork on the susp spring until I had the pendulum turn evenly about 3/4 turn.
So far, so good..
Thanks for your interest. Rod.
 

KurtinSA

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I've seen people mention it before...but how do you polish fork tines? I have been polishing the anchor pin where it contacts the tines, but don't have a way of getting onto the tines surface.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Well the small brass forks split in half making it easy. Sometimes there very rough and need allot more than a polish to get that mirror finish.

Wayne
 

Rod McLeod

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Mar 3, 2019
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Both clocks that I own have split forks which can be turned open when the tightening screw is loosened. Then I use the dremel felt polishing piece coated with fabuluster to polish out the tiny imperfections on the tines. I have never polished the anchor pins. Rod.
 

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