Advice: Removing chime rod from block

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Douglas Ballard, Nov 3, 2016.

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  1. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Hello . . . I have a newly acquired Herman Miller floor clock. One of the chime rods gets bumped by the pendulum and needs to be adjusted. I have tried a screw driver and pliers but can't get the set screw to budge. I don't think I want to try and bend the rod, although have no clue how it would have been bent in the first place. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. David S

    David S Registered User
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  3. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    #3 Douglas Ballard, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  4. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Yes Douglas that is the one. You select the correct bit and install it. Set the direction collar to counter clockwise (unscrew). Secure the chime block in a vise, place the tool with bit into the screw slot and strike the top of the tool with a hammer. There are youtube video's showing the operation.

    David
     
  5. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Got it, thanks!

     
  6. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    If it's just bent and not broken off. You can straighten it. If it breaks off then you have to proceed as instructed by the other post.
     
  7. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    It obviously somehow got bent and didn't break, however I was under the (maybe false) impression that you could not bend the rods without breaking them? My thought was to release it then rotate it so it wasn't hit by the pendulum, then adjust the hammer as needed.

     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I've bent quite a few out of the way of the pendulum. They take more abuse than you'd expect, and can usually be bent back to original position safely.
     
  9. harold bain

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    Leaving it loose would be detrimental to the sound. Just force/bend it back to where you want it, pushing at the top of the rod.
     
  10. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Sounds like a bend is in order, thanks to all.
     
  11. bkerr

    bkerr Registered User
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    I made this tool several years ago that removes the chime rod without breaking the brass head off. The i.d goes over the brass head and the screw slot is captured with the cross pin. There is a t handle not shown in the picture on the tool. I made three different sizes for different depths and rod type. One of the biggest problems I had was breaking half of the head off when using a screwdriver. With this tool the head cannot split, in fact I have remove rods with half a thread that were butchered by a previous repair person.

    chime rod tool.jpg
     
  12. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Necessity is the mother of invention: nice work! I wish I had the tools to make this type of device. Sounds like it is perfect for the job.

     
  13. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Very nice
     
  14. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    If you happen to check this thread . . . sent you a pm but your mailbox is full.

     
  15. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    I've been reading threads about removing chime rods, apparently some are threaded and some are not. I have not removed the block from the clock (yes, that rhymes), since it is a newer movement will they be threaded, and if threaded will the threads be visible?
     
  16. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Maybe, depending how new, and where made. Chinese are not threaded.
     
  17. shutterbug

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    You'll see a slot for a screwdriver if they are threaded.
     
  18. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    There are screws in the top of the block, can't tell if the rods are threaded but probably not? This is a Howard Miller grandfather, probably made around 1990 or so. Can't read the maker's name until I get the movement out.
     
  19. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Doug if I understand what you are asking. There are large brass screws on the block and rods coming out from the other side of the block. The rods are not threaded into those big brass screws. To remove the rods you have to remove the big screws.

    If this is not my understanding, perhaps a picture of what you have pointing to the items in question would clarify.

    David
     
  20. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    David, you are exactly correct. My dilemma is removing the screws without breaking the heads. Some good suggestions have been posted to address that issue.

     
  21. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Doug. Me and others have given you suggestions. Using an impact driver...electric or manual, has always worked for me. And that would be my preferred choice. However there was a post with a captured tool with cross pin that could do the job as well if you can muster up the strength.

    David
     
  22. harold bain

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    You will never find the rods to be threaded. They are a tight friction fit into the screws that screw into the chime blocks. If you can drill out the broken ends, and taper the rod to be a tight fit, you can reuse the old rods without losing much tone or quality.
     
  23. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    I'm going to buy an impact driver this weekend, thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No broken rods, just one on the outmost part of the block is bent so the pendulum hits it, that is what I need to address. Some have said I can bend it back into place. That makes me a little nervous so I'll try using an impact driver, loose and re-position it.

     
  24. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Doug, removing that rod will not keep you from having to bend the rod. You will still have to bend it away from the pendulum. I would go ahead and bend it in the block. If it breaks, it will break either way. If it breaks, then you will have to remove the screwed end and replace the rod.
     
  25. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    That is correct. The threaded part must be very tight for good tone, so simply turning it in the block won't do what you need done.
     
  26. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Thanks again for the replies. I have been looking this over and it appears, that when the clock case has been leveled, the pendulum swings so as to hit the chime rod on the right (facing the clock). When stopped and hanging straight down the pendulum is not equidistant from the rods on the left and the rods on the right. The movement appears to be seated correctly in the case so I'm not sure what is going on.
     
  27. shutterbug

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    You may have to push that rod back, out of the way. Sometimes there is precious little room for the pendulum to travel.
     
  28. Fred Reiss

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    Not too long ago, I had a customer who broke off two rods when he was transporting his clock.
    I've never had good luck with a screwdriver and end up breaking half the head off the screw or stripping the slot out altogether. I end up having to drill out a new slot or use an extractor.

    The last time this happened, I asked for help on this forum. It was suggested that I put the chime block securely in a vise and use a cordless impact driver. Carefully, and in less than 2 seconds, the screw backed out very easily.

    I'll never use a screwdriver again...without it being attached to my impact driver!
     
  29. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    Fred, I just bought a cordless impact driver this past weekend, per advice here. May be giving it a try. I have to take the movement out to inspect it and if clean, oil it. Plan on pulling the chime block out at that time.

     
  30. Douglas Ballard

    Douglas Ballard Registered User

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    The tools were delivered today, thanks! You inbox is full so I can't send you a pm.

     

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