A clicking Golden Hour clock

kinsler33

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This here beast came in with the gear detached from the glass (repaired with my new favorite Loctite Go2 glue) and a stripped internal motor gear, for which I had to replace the whole motor. I also replaced those three leaf springs, which were worn thin.

But I wasn't happy that the rotating glass/gear assembly was rubbing on the bottom of the frame, and I spent some time trying to remedy that with bits of brass. The clock ran nicely enough when I returned it, but the owner said that it began to click loudly, so she wisely unplugged it and called me.

The brass motor gear is somewhat, though not fatally, chewed up. The glass-surround gear seems to have been made from saw-blade stock and is thus undamaged. I can order a new gear from Timesavers or use her old motor's gear.

There really has to be some sort of a bearing to keep the motor/glass from riding on the bottom of the frame, but nothing of the sort is shown on Timesavers' exploded view of the Golden Hour clock: Golden Hour Clock Repair Tips Sheet

They do, however, list a pair of nylon pads for the Golden Hour: Golden Hour Clock Nylon Pads-2 Pcs.. I can only assume that these would somehow glue to the bottom of the frame where they'd act as bearings for the rotating glass, but I don't know. I've written to Timesavers to ask but they haven't responded yet. Does anyone know?

Mark Kinsler

upload_2020-1-22_17-14-20.png
 

etmb61

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Hi Mark,

The earlier golden hours had some raised areas cast into the dial frame for the ring gear to ride on. There were two at 6 and one between 7 and 8. Over time these wear down as shown here:
df1.jpg df2.jpg

After that the ring gear wears into the dial frame:
df3.jpg

The newer clocks had nylon pads in those three places that were glued into cutouts in the dial frame.

Eric
 

kinsler33

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First, thank you for the information on the Golden Hour clock. It's difficult to tell if this one had the cast-in pads or the nylon ones, for every vestige is gone.

Second, I must apologize for the strange attachment to my initial post. I had no intention of attaching it and I have no idea how that could have happened. In fact, I'd appreciate it if anyone can think of how I might have accidentally attached something from what I assume was another window on my elderly Dell laptop machine.

(It was a comment that I posted to our regional National Public Radio news page. Anyone interested can search for the case of one Dr William Husel.)
 

Karl Thies

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I had one Golden Hour clock that would work fine for a few weeks and then start clicking. Checked the nylon bumpers and everything was good. Finally checked the hold down screws for the motor and found that they didn't keep the motor from twisting slightly. The screws were very short and were beginning to strip. A slightly longer screw with lock washer cured the problem. It seems the twisting of the motor caused it to bind with the case and slip past the gear attached to the glass, causing the clicking noise.
 

kinsler33

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I had one Golden Hour clock that would work fine for a few weeks and then start clicking. Checked the nylon bumpers and everything was good. Finally checked the hold down screws for the motor and found that they didn't keep the motor from twisting slightly. The screws were very short and were beginning to strip. A slightly longer screw with lock washer cured the problem. It seems the twisting of the motor caused it to bind with the case and slip past the gear attached to the glass, causing the clicking noise.
Thanks very much and I shall check that when I install the nylon bumpers.

It occurs to me that these clocks are rather typical of 1950's American engineering and, uh, craftsmanship in that they were neither designed nor built very well. The truth seems to be that things were distinctly _not_ built to last back then, and just about every electric clock from that period illustrates this: aluminum plates with cardboard dials crimped into place. Everything riveted. Consumer goods and automobiles of that period looked great, but craftsmanship headed downhill so quickly that it was only a decade or so before we had to begin learning manufacturing from the Japanese, who learned it from us when we did better work.

My parents built a fancy house in 1956 and furnished it with pieces that you can find at the Museum of Modern Art: Eames chairs, for example. When I sold all that stuff a few years ago I was amazed at how wretchedly it was built: they never cleaned the weld spatter off the black-painted wrought iron and chrome-plated over misaligned parts.

We're making far better stuff now. The competition from global markets has been beneficial for everyone.
 

kinsler33

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Well, it's back again. Same clock. Same ticking. I have tried:

Installing little nylon pads for the glass to ride on
Installing nylon screws whose depth I can adjust, and the glass rides upon those
Learning that the frame was surprisingly egg-shaped, which I corrected by leaning on it and using a padded woodworker's clamp from Harbor Freight Tools,
An illegal shot of dry teflon lubricant
And it still came back clicking, because the glass keeps jamming.

I can't tell if it's jamming because of the friction encountered by the metal ring gear upon the bottom of the ring or if the friction could be the gear teeth on that lock ring, and I don't know what I ought to do about that.

I know Golden Hour clocks are supposed to be everlasting, but whatever is supposed to make the glass turn smoothly is clearly worn out. It's got new glass tension springs.

Any further thoughts?

Mark Kinsler
 

Karl Thies

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If it is binding, check that any glue did not come out on the ring side that rests against the tension springs. If this is good, then with the bezel off check how the motors gear depth is in relation to the ring gear. It should be fairly deep. If the motor gear is too shallow then it can skip. Since you have so much wear on the clock, you might need to adjust the screw holes on the motor to allow it to engage the ring gear better. Make sure that you have the lock washers on the screws holding the motor in place to keep it from shifting.
 

kinsler33

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Thank you. I think I've done all that, but I'll check once again. I've also applied more dry lube. I was just about to see if I could use Butter Bearings as guides for the glass (they're tiny ball-bearing assemblies used in grandfather clocks, sometimes, and I have a few.) But right now the glorious old thing seems to be reasonably at piece with the world.
 

Karl Thies

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In speaking with other clock repairers another thing to look for is if the steel gear that the glass sits in is slightly out of round. I have also included a diagram of the proper meshing of the steel gear and the motor gear, sometimes the gears are too close and bind with each other. Just throwing out some ideas to try. If the clicking comes back you may want to try them.

jeffmoinst.jpg
 

kinsler33

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I think the essential problem is one of poor accuracy--too tight or too loose--plus a tendency for that wretched glass to jam in its frame. I'd love to re-design that clock. If there was room to place steel bearing balls between that big gear and the outer frame...

M Kinsler
 

Karl Thies

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Mar 13, 2018
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Another thing to check for is clearance between the glass and the glass retaining ring. I find there is more problems with this binding than the gear ring on the bezel. Replacement glass varies a bit and also if the glue is rather thick for cementing the glass to the gear ring it can bind. These new motors with all plastic gears do not take much to strip the gears.
 

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