Advice needed, please, regarding a Hamilton Grandfather Clock

wiheathen

New User
Jan 31, 2011
3
0
0
Hello, clock list folk!

I would be grateful for your opinions and advice regarding the following:

I have finally been able to re-acquire a grandfather clock that was my mother's. The brass plate inside is stamped:
83
[symbol] HAMILTON
NO (0) JEWELS
UNADJUSTED
MADE IN WEST GERMANY
1151-050H
94CM/66

I have poked around a bit on Google... am I correct in concluding that the clock was created in 1983?

It has four chime settings, Silent, St Michaels, Whiteh[?] and Westminster.

We've reassembled the chains/weights/pendulum and the clock seems to be working fine, and keeping time... but it does not chime. When we stand close at the hour/half hour/quarter hour, we can hear the little internal click that seems to indicate the clock mechanism has signaled "time to chime!" to the chime mechanism... but no chime happens. We have shifted the settings around, none of them play.

What now? I am fairly certain the clock is not of great collectible value, but it has tremendous sentimental family value. Do I pick a repair person, sight unseen, from the internet or yellow pages? Am I looking to repair or replace? Where do I start?

thank you in advance for pointing me in the most sensible direction!

best regards,
Christine Ponder
South Central Wisconsin
 

Smudgy

Registered User
May 20, 2003
2,874
26
38
Country
Region
Check for a lever that puts it into silent mode (should be visible on dial if it's there). Another possibility is that there will be a steel arm that can be placed to keep the hammers from hitting the chimes, so check that it is pushed down far enough to allow the hammer full range (it will be on the back of the movement near the hammers). Manufacture year sounds OK. Whith? could be for White Hall, but I'm just guessing.
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
10,882
332
83
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
It'll be Whittington.

If it just clicks every quarter, as Smudgy says, it's probably on Silent.

If there's a locking device for the hammers for transit, you'll hear the chiming train whirring after the clicks.

If you need to repair it, someone on here might be your best bet; picking one out of the blue is a recipe for disaster from some of the tales I hear! :eek:
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,909
688
113
WI
Country
Region
Make sure the chime train hasn't fallen out of sequence. It will only click if it's out of sequence and doesn't have an automatic chime corrector.
 

David B Pendley

NAWCC Business
Aug 25, 2000
629
6
18
Country
Region
Make sure the heaviest weight is on the chime train. Lightest on strike or left as you face the clock. You may need to hold the hammers back and let the clock try to chime to see if chime drum turns. It could be stuck. If these strike out may need to have it serviced. Good Luck!
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
190
63
74
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
At the age of your clock, if it shows enough wear to require an overhaul, it is better to replace with a new movement rather than putting money into repairs.
 

Kim St.Dennis Sr.

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Mar 20, 2003
467
8
18
76
Los Angeles
Country
Region
wiheathen;527658 said:
Do I pick a repair person, sight unseen, from the internet or yellow pages? Am I looking to repair or replace? Where do I start?

thank you in advance for pointing me in the most sensible direction!

best regards,
Christine Ponder
South Central Wisconsin
Hi Christine
I would contact your local chapters of the NAWCC in Wisconsin for help. See the following link for local contacts:

http://www.nawcc.org/index.php/chapter-information/find-a-chapter-and-officers#Wisconsin

They will know the local craftsman who can advise you on the repair of your clock.

Please let us know if this help.
Good Luck
Kim
 

wiheathen

New User
Jan 31, 2011
3
0
0
Mike Phelan;527693 said:
It'll be Whittington.

If it just clicks every quarter, as Smudgy says, it's probably on Silent.

If there's a locking device for the hammers for transit, you'll hear the chiming train whirring after the clicks.

If you need to repair it, someone on here might be your best bet; picking one out of the blue is a recipe for disaster from some of the tales I hear! :eek:
Thanks to everyone for your replies!

Hi, Mike. Nope, actually, no 'click' when set to silent... the click only happens when it is set to one of the three chime settings. And there is (sadly) no chiming train whirring after those clicks.

Christine Ponder
-> posts merged by system <-
chimeclockfan;527806 said:
Make sure the chime train hasn't fallen out of sequence. It will only click if it's out of sequence and doesn't have an automatic chime corrector.
I would love to follow this advice, but do not know where to start. This, however, is what my husband and I suspect may have happened... something jarred out of place, not aligned properly to start the chiming when the minute hand signals that's it's time to do so.

The clock was moved twice in the last 5 years by people who probably took little care to handle it gently. They told me it was not working properly when we showed up at their house to claim it and bring it home.

My husband is a very precise, handy guy (an electrician by trade, never inclined to hasty, rough handling of ~anything~.) Is there something in particular that I could tell him to look for regarding the chime train being dislodged?

Thanks to you, ChimeClock Fan... I would so love to hear this clock's voice again!

Christine Ponder
 

wiheathen

New User
Jan 31, 2011
3
0
0
David B Pendley;527882 said:
Make sure the heaviest weight is on the chime train. Lightest on strike or left as you face the clock. You may need to hold the hammers back and let the clock try to chime to see if chime drum turns. It could be stuck. If these strike out may need to have it serviced. Good Luck!
Eureka! We never even noticed the weights were not all the same!!!!!! We switched the weight around and advanced the hand... and the clock acted like maybe it would do a little anemic whirring if it could work up the energy....

So my husband applied a little gentle pressure to the chime chain weight, and we advanced the hand again.... and it actually chimed!! Slowly. Very slowly. We did that a couple more times, and the chime effort continued... but my husband observed, 'yeah, but it should not be taking that much extra effort from me to make it chime...'

Of course we did not need to increase the weight... we needed to decrease the resistance. So.... with much trepidation, because we are NOT clock experts at all, at all, at all..... he sprayed a little WD-40 into the mechanism.

Voila! The clock chimes in schedule, all the chime melodies play, everything seems to have been restored to full operation!!

Gentlemen, I cannot thank you all enough for your generous advice, which has helped us restore our modest family heirloom to it's beloved full functionality.

Christine Ponder
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
10,882
332
83
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
Hi Christine

Good result! But ....

However, WD40 or spraying anything into a clock is about the worst thing you can do. Sorry!

As it's a nice clock and not cheap, you really do need it cleaned and lubricated properly ASAP.

Why?
Apart from certain parts, all the parts in a clock movement should be bone-dry, or they collect dust. Dust + lubricant = great grinding paste.
Only a few hidden parts should be libricated, and that with the correct oils and greases.

WD40 also reacts with many cleaning fluids used by clock repairers - q.v. [Search] above.

Apologies for pouring cold water (or WD40) on your success, but I'm sure others will have done when the sun gets round to the other side of the Atlantic.

On the plus side, if it did not chime at all with a slightly lighter weight, it probably needs attention.
 

Scottie-TX

Deceased
Apr 6, 2004
936
71
0
82
Mesquite, TX
Country
Region
Yeah; Congrats on getting it running but as we suspected, your clock was congested with thirty year old grease that was binding it.
Good gnus! Now we know your clock only needs PROPERLY cleaned, dismantled, and lubed properly as your WD will produce only temporary success when again it will cease.
Also, I believe the lightest weight will go on the center chain.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
176,189
Messages
1,542,167
Members
53,170
Latest member
pinoccio
Encyclopedia Pages
1,065
Total wiki contributions
3,031
Last update
-