Abiel Chandler NH Mirror Clock

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Good afternoon. I've been struggling to get this Chandler running steadily --- I've rebushed the movement, and at the slightest touch of the finger to the great wheel, the power is transmitted to the escape smoothly. The escape comes to a nice spinning stop after a few moments without power -- everything seems freed up. When in the case, it clicks away a mile a minute -- and then slowly fails. Sometimes it runs a few days --- my question and suspect is beyond the usuals. I can't even get it to run much with the motion work off --- the pivots are all polished up and there is end shake and side shake. I'm beginning to wonder if the suspension spring is too heavy. The rod, bob, etc seem original, but the spring is handmade and pretty heavy. Perhaps it's having trouble overcoming that level of resistance? Does anyone know of the correct thickness for a spring in this application? Best wishes to all. Dave
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Here's the suspension spring currently -- about 5.5 thousands and loaded with what looks like hand filing. The written records inside this clock detail maintenance and repairs steadily from 1847 through 1964. There are about 16 entries -- it's possible someone made this spring, even though it looks nice and original because of its primitive nature. attachment.jpg
 

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wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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I am sure you have checked, but is there any chance that the movement is mounted too far to the right, allowing the cord to rub on the mounting board at some point. That, of coarse, would stop it. As long as that suspension spring is, I doubt that it is too stiff. Cannot see the crutch/ leader/ suspension set up in photos. That may help.
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Hi Will -- good thoughts -- the cord is OK --- here's my best shot at the suspension area ---- I do note that the slot appears to be more sloppy (wider) at the bottom of the post than at the top, allowing the spring to wag a little within it near the bottom of the post it's all suspended from --- a tiny amount).
attachment.jpg attachment.jpg
 

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wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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You may have something there. Do you have thinner suspension spring material to make a new one from? I think that's what I'd try.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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David,
Do you have any history on this clock? The cable and the suspension spring do seem suspicious to me. Does yours have a large flat weight?
It's not unusual for nice old clocks to be made complete with items at hand and no thought for how (or if) they will ever run.
Willie X
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Hi guys -- I do have some thinner material -- I get the sense that originally, there was a little brass block on top of the suspension spring (now replaced with a little wire loop) -- it probably had a triangular shaped bottom that fit in the suspension post (which has a triangular groove in the top of it) -- Here's the weight on this one --- attachment.jpg since it was made about 1830, I see repair dates written in pencil inside the door from 1846, 1847, 1859, 1868, 1874, 1870, 1896, 1904, 1906, 1921, 1925, 1932, 1936, 1941, 1942 and 1964. Obviously, it was hard to keep the clock running for a very long time -- many are listed as cleaning, but a number are repairs (someone bushed the plates along the way). Fascinating. I believe the weight is correct, at least according to Parsons' book.
 

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Dick C

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Oct 14, 2009
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My Abiel Chandler mirror clock with alarm has a different movement; however, my suspension spring appears to be made out of what could have been spring steel, approximate thickness is .0065 inch.

From your photos is appears that the cable is touching/rubbing against the next wind on the spool....might that be stopping it?

Also, I assume that the pulley is good and not binding periodically.
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Dick - thanks for the measurements --- pulley is fine -- the shot with the cable not well tracked was just after I had removed the weight --- I since re-wound it from ground zero. I'm wondering if the temper in the old spring is uneven, so not providing a stable impulse. It's all I've got for theories at the moment ---- as I write, it is running - I fully intend to find it stopped in the morning though.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Looks like the movement is against the backboard. Are there cut-outs for the pivots and are they all lined up? Does the weight weigh around 8 pounds?
Willie X
 

kinsler33

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Aug 17, 2014
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I wonder if the escapement--that is, the escape wheel and the anchor--could stand re-bushing. Though I have no experience with this particular device, I've discovered that even a small amount of lost motion up there can really affect the performance of any clock.

M Kinsler
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Hi Willie --- I deliberately put a shim behind the movement to avoid that, and it still stopped -- as for the re-bush, I noted that the bushings someone else put in had almost no wobble, so I broached them enough to allow for the bending a few degrees off center --- this morning, it is running. I'll keep everyone posted. It has run for two or three days here or there before stopping. We'll see!
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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One thing I did notice yesterday, that the suspension spring was slightly bent as it came from the block it's pinned into --- every so slight ---- so I did straighten that as best I could (given the temper). Not sure if that's playing a role.
 

shutterbug

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From your original description, I get the feeling that you are running it without the pendulum. Some clocks will run that way, but most will not.
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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Hi there Shutterbug --- I have tried running it just the rod, which it seems to do ---- I'm adding the Bob in to "go for broke" --
 

David D'Apice

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Mar 22, 2012
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To report back -- the clock has now run for 4 days (pendulum and all) -- after having straightened the slight bend in the suspension spring where it comes from the top block of the pendulum rod. Is it possible that the bend was biasing the pendulum swing, in effect working against its swing when traveling in one direction, but not against the other direction, which was difficult for the clock to overcome? It's a possibility maybe. Other than that, I have no theory as to why it's suddenly running. Either way, it is rather heartwarming to hear it ticking away! All the repair dates tell me it's had a rather finnicky life.
 

shutterbug

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:thumb:
 

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