400-day Schatz - trying to get going

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by Graeme Parker, Aug 3, 2018.

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  1. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

    Aug 3, 2018
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    Hi
    I have inherited my parents' Schatz (49) which I haven't seen running for must be over 40 years.
    There appeared only to be a few issues: the mainspring was snapped, the mainspring barrel was deformed where the spring catch is (sorry about my clock terms, I'm very new to this sort of thing), the suspension wire was missing, the ratchet wheel was missing, and a pivot on the wheel/pinion driven by the mainspring barrel was broken.
    The clock really doesn't have much of a resale value, so I believe getting it restored professionally wasn't really an option.
    Anyway, I bought new items, corrected the mainspring barrel deformation, fitted a new spring and ratchet wheel, mended the pivot by filing, drilling and inserting some steel bar, and hung a new suspension. It all hangs together well (runs when no escapement is fitted), and I've just about set the beat too.
    But, when I wind it up (about 3 turns - which is very stiff), it runs but stops. I have raised the fork to try and increase the escape arc, but it just won't keep going. I'm wondering if there is just not enough power getting to the pallets.
    Any suggestions? Ta.
     
  2. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    After reading even more posts about similar situations, I stripped the movement down and cleaned the pivot holes (bushings?). I used a solvent type of cleaner and wooden toothpicks. There was some dark gloop, but not much.
    I have re-assembled (I'm getting good at this part now :) and gave the spring a couple of turns. It seems to be running for longer but I still think it's going to stop. Only a little more patience will tell.
    When I hear and see the pallets click over, I measure the overrun to be about 90 degrees both directions. The beat looks good. However, I started the clock with 270 degrees about an hour ago.
    So, questions:
    1) Should the pivots be oiled, if so what with?
    2) How do I increase the overrun angle?
    Thanks again.
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Welcome to the board.

    You say you installed a new suspension spring. Was it the right strength for this movement?

    Yes, the pivots should be oiled with a tiny drop of clock oil. Some people suggest using synthetic watch oil rather than clock oil and others say if the pivots are scrupulously clean and polished, no oil at all is required. I do oil them, but with only a very tiny drop of oil. Don't fill up the oil sinks.

    You say the 'ratchet wheel and spring' were missing. This sounds rather as if there was a serious failure when the mainspring broke and this may have caused damage to other wheels that you may not have noticed. I am wondering why it is very stiff to wind the mainspring. It should not be abnormally stiff

    It would be a great help if you could post some clear photos, firstly of the back plate, so we can see exactly which movement you have and then other photos showing the parts you have replaced/repaired.

    400 day clocks are finicky in the extreme, but once set up right, the are fairly trouble-free.

    Meadows & Passmore in Brighton sell a useful book called 'Anniversary Clock Adjusting'.

    JTD
     
  4. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Graeme -

    Welcome to the message board! Congrats on the work and research you've done...you've done well to find the broken parts, get them replaced, and work on the clock to get it working. Do you have the 10th edition of the Terwilliger guide to 400-Day clocks? If you're going to get more into these clocks, you would do well to have the book.

    To your questions. 1) Yes, they should be oiled. I use Mobil 1 50w oil. There are specific clock oils that can be purchased as well. At first, I was putting a light amount of oil on each pivot with a brush before assembling. Now I use dip oilers which can put a small drop of oil into each oil sink after I've assembled the clock and confirmed that it's set up properly.

    As for 2), I'm not sure you want to increase the over run or over swing more than what you have...90 degrees is very good. It takes more power to create this kind of over swing. If you have the clock running at 270 degrees of total rotation, you could probably lower the fork a millimeter or so and then recheck the over swing. Maybe shoot for a minimum of 45 degrees of over swing each direction.

    I'm wondering about the main spring power you have. You said you gave it 3 turns before it gets stiff. That seems like not enough turns...I assume you're talking about full 360 degrees as one turn. If you're only getting 3 turns, it might be that the main spring that was installed in the clock is the wrong size, either too long or too thick. Can you provide the info on what spring you installed?

    Also, could you upload some pictures of the clock including a close picture of the back plate? This will help to identify the clock and parts it needs.

    Thanks...Kurt
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Over swing is VERY important in torsion clocks, and they won't run without it. When you move the fork, big things happen quickly. Moving the fork higher will increase the pendulum rotation, but will decrease the over swing. Setting it lower has the opposite effect. Small changes make big differences, so don't get in a hurry. A larger rotation is less important than a decent over swing.
     
  6. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    Welcome Graeme, As JTD mentioned above since your mainspring barrel had a bulge and you were missing ratchet wheel and had a broken pivot it leads me to think that there was a problem at some point in this clocks life that caused the mainspring to let go and unwind suddenly. When that happens it almost always will bend an arbor or pivot. If you have to take the clock apart again please check that all pivots (and arbors) are absolutely straight. Even the slightest bent pivot will cause you to have loss of power. A good check to assure that all is well with the pivots is to assemble the clock without the anchor then wind the clock one click at a time. The wheels should spin freely after just 2 to 4 clicks. If it takes more than 4 clicks you have a problem with unnecessary friction in the train.

    Although these clocks vary considerably in total rotation I would think you should be able to get 270 degrees total rotation. As mentioned above the overswing is very important also and you should see at least an inch of overswing after a tooth has dropped on a pallet... again this varies from clock to clock.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    Thank you all so much for your welcoming words and advice.
    I have no books on the subject, but I will try and get hold of those that you have mentioned.

    The old clock has been running for about 2 hours now, after a good clean and reassembly. I still need to (probably) oil the pivots.
    The total rotation is about 390 degrees, with 80cw/90ccw degree overswing.
    If I have attached the photos correctly, you'll be able to see the damage to the mainspring barrel, and there is actually a crack where the hook thing is. Another image shows the backplate and the calibre (?) number 49. And another shows the position of the fork on the torsion wire.

    The replacement torsion/suspension wire was in an envelope that was with the clock, printed on it "Instruction book, key and spare suspension wire". This is original at time of purchase I'm assuming.
    The replacement spring was from CousinsUk described as 19x0.43x1143x36mm 400 Day, Trifix. I chose this purely as it was the same width (don't know about thickness) and of a diameter that was a little less than the barrel. It may not be the correct part. I put a couple of drops of oil on it before snapping shut the cover. It does get stiff after 3 full turns, but hasn't grumbled when I made another 2.
    The replacement ratchet wheel (Who knows what happened to the original. As it just sits loose on the mainspring arbour I guess they are easier to get lost) was also obtained from Cousins. I guessed at 18mm from photos of other clocks. This seems to fit. All I needed to do was file out the small square hole.
    One of the photos shows my attempt to mend the pivot (to the right of the barrel crack) using pivot steel. The stepped profile was not deliberate, but just my hand-held skillz with a drill and small file. The pivot itself (I'm not taking it apart again for a photo) looks very smooth.

    Originally the clock had white painted columns, base, and pendulum weights. The paint was chipping off in many places and looked untidy. So I cleaned it up! I could put it back to how it was with a steady hand, but I like the overall 100% brass look.

    [I'll post this first then attempt the pictures, just in case something goes wrong]
     
  8. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    The photos as promised.
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg
     
  9. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    Just to mention that I did run the movement without the anchor, and indeed I recall that the wheels started spinning after a couple of clicks.
     
  10. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Graeme -

    With that kind of response with the swing, it would seem your clock is running quick strong. That's pretty good. How is the time keeping? Does the clock keep good time? There was a question about the suspension spring. Can you time that the balls rotate through 8 beats? Pick a ball and start a stop watch when it come to rest. The time for it to go from stopped to stopped at the other side should be 7.5 seconds....but just count the number of stops up to 8. When the clock has stopped 8 more times, it should be 60 seconds. I hope I explained that well!

    It appears you have the right main spring according to the repair guide. The ratchet wheel should have 20 teeth...hard to tell from your picture...but it fits and holds the arbor and hits the click so it works for you. That spring barrel, though, is worrisome. With that crack, it won't be long before the barrel hook pulls through with a massive let down again, taking clock bits with it. Schatz 49 spring barrels should be pretty common and easy to find...buy a "parts clock" off ebay and use parts as needed.

    Kurt
     
  11. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    It is noticeably running slow. I did the timings and a pendulum swing takes 8.25s (or 8 swings in 66.25s).
    I guess small adjustments can be made using the dial at the top of the pendulum, but over 10% slow might be too much.
    Should I buy a new wire specifically for the 49, or could I attempt any modification to the current one? Shortening it for example?

    Getting hold of spares in the UK seems much harder than the US. I'll keep looking, as (like you) I don't like the look of that spring barrel :(
     
  12. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Meadow & Passmore in Brighton have everything you need, as well as the book I told you about. You can go on line to look at their catalog. The suspension spring for your Schatz 49 is .004" or 102mm. It is Meadows & Passmore part no. 0401 004015 and they come in packets of three.

    Another good book is 'Repair and Restore your 400 Day Clock' by Joseph Rabushka.

    JTD
     
  13. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    Thanks. I've heard of M&P. If I buy the books then I'll be starting a new hobby and end up buying more clocks! Not a bad thing.

    Is the pendulum swing directly related to the length of the suspension spring? That is, if I shorten it by 10% will it swing 10% quicker?
     
  14. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    I agree that you have the correct mainspring and I agree with Kurt that the barrel is worrisome. The hook is eventually going to let go with the crack that has already started and it will cause damage. A new barrel should be easy to find for your clock but another solution would be to install a new barrel hook in a different position on the barrel. See here for an explanation of how to do that.
     
  15. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Shortening the spring is not really the way to go on this. If your clock was running too fast, you could thin the spring by running it between a small folded sheet of fine grit sandpaper. But if it's running slow, you need to purchase the right thickness spring. Think "thick spring" as being stiffer and thus flexes more rapidly because it's stiffer.

    Kurt
     
  16. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    The pendulum rotation is not going to be affected by the spring length. The amount of rotation is more a product of power transfer between the escapement and the fork. The thickness (strength) of the suspension spring will also have a part in how much rotation there is but that is not an option as a .004" spring (102mm) is the only spring that will allow your clock to have the correct beats per minute.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I'll make a couple more points. You mentioned a difference in the over swing from cw to ccw. That indicates that the clock is not in beat. When it is, the two will be identical.
    The timing adjuster on most torsion clocks is good for up to 4 minutes per day of total adjustment. You also get 4 minutes per day difference for every .0001" difference in suspension spring thickness ... thicker will make it go faster.
    When you buy suspension springs, always buy the individual springs marked Horolovar. If you buy the complete assemblies, often you get springs made by other companies and they will not function correctly as time keepers. If you want complete assemblies, buy only from Horolovar.
     
  18. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

    Aug 3, 2018
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    Thanks shutterbug.
    I wasn't attempting to get the clock 100% in beat yet as it still needs some work doing. Does being slightly off beat affect time keeping? Would it account for the 10% slow that I'm experiencing?
    I ordered a 3-pack of Horolovar suspension springs yesterday, so will have some more playing to do soon.

    Regarding the book "400 Day Clock Repair Guide by Joseph Rabushka", I found it on books.google.com (the first 31 pages). It's a good read so will likely get a copy.
     
  19. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    I'd like to try installing a new hook in a different position. But now my problem is I have to remove the mainspring from the barrel. It was easy to put it in as the new one arrived all bound up with a wire retaining clip. Just pop the mainspring in and the wire clip is pushed out of the way.
    How does one, without any specialist equipment, remove and re-instate the spring without losing a finger or eye etc?
     
  20. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    You really should have a spring winder. There are winders that can be purchased...pricey, but they are definitely the right tool for the job. You can make a winder, referred to anecdotally as a "Joe Collins" winder. Look at the top of this forum area:

    Horological Tools

    for a thread on plans. You can also search the forum and find other people's version's of the homemade winder. As you alluded to, make sure you do this right as there is a lot of power stored in the spring once you wind it up to remove from the barrel. Note that you will need some extra parts beyond the winder, such as a chuck to grab the arbor for winding along with the appropriate sized sleeve to slip around the wound up spring for removal and insertion.

    Kurt
     
  21. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    The Horolovar website has instructions on removing a spring from a barrel without using a winder. Another point of interest on the Horolovar mainspring page notes that the springs are not lubricated from the factory so that is another reason to remove the spring from the barrel again. Unfortunately the Horolovar instructions do not give a way to reinsert the unwound spring back in the barrel. By far the best method would be to use a spring winder but as noted above they are rather expensive especially for someone only interested in repairing one clock. Perhaps you can find a nearby clock shop that would be willing to help out on this one step of your repair. Also I know it is possible to wind the spring back into the barrel by hand, one coil at a time. Some will tell you that this method will possibly cause 'coning' of the mainspring somewhat but I do not have experience in trying this. No matter which method you decide to try to remove and reinstall your spring Safety should be your first concern.. leather gloves and safety glasses will go a long way to protect you if the spring gets out of control. Good luck and be safe!
     
  22. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    Definitely safety first!
    I was able to pull the spring away from the back of the barrel using an Allen/hex key inserted behind the spring and pulling firmly but slowly from the open end of the barrel. Only about a mm.
    Then I drilled 4 equi-spaced holes through the barrel back. Using a short length of plastic rod I tapped the spring slowly out of the barrel and back into the original retaining wire that it came with.
    The spring windings were tight together so I don't suppose it "ingested" any brass swarf.
    I just need to add the replacement hook opposite the old one, and the job is done.
    I know it's not the professional way - but it doesn't look too bad.
     
  23. Peter W

    Peter W Registered User

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    You must also oil a new mainspring. By your insertion method described you couldn’t do that. I am also told on the very best authority to oil where the barrel and its cap revolve on the barrel arbour. That is more important than oiling where the arbour turns in plates when winding, the only time arbour is turned there.
     
  24. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    I made a contraption to safely unwind the mainspring. Then I gave it a light oiling, wound it back up and placed it back into the barrel.
    Tonight's task is to oil all of the pivot holes and re-assemble.
    And then to re-hang the pendulum with the correct gauge suspension spring.
     
  25. Graeme Parker

    Graeme Parker Registered User

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    So, it'all back together and running. It has the correct suspension wire now, and the beat seems good. Total swing is just under 360 degrees, with an equal overswing of about 80 degrees.
    In the last 12 hours it has lost one minute. I guess that can be adjusted using the pendulum dial/wheel thing.

    To recap: I've spent about £15, several/many hours, and have a running clock that's worth not much more than I spent on repairs. But the point is, is that I've got my parents' clock running after 30+ years idle, and I might just go and buy another "non-worker" and have fun with that.

    Thanks for all your help.
     
  26. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Welcome to the Rabbithole.
     

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