Always move hand backward?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by CJo, Jun 2, 2020.

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  1. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Aug 22, 2005
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    This is a new one for me. This elderly lady told me that she always moves the minute hand on her clock backwards, like when she has let the time run down. She has a 1980 Howard Miller with Hermle 451-050. She got upset when I was moving the hand forward, she thought I was going to mess up the chiming sequence. I had told her the last time i was at her home that it was best to only go forward. This time she had the book, that came with the clock, out to show me in it where it says only move the minute hand backward. I was surprised to see it written up that way and was wondering if that is a misprint, or am I learning a new lesson after 18 years. I'm ready to take my licks with a wet noodle!:mallet:

    IMG_3902.JPG IMG_3901.JPG
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Well it shouldn't really matter which way, for most rack and snail clocks. They could have designed their clock better is what they are actually saying in the instructions..
     
  3. Hudson

    Hudson Registered User
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    Yes the two Howard Miller clocks that I am responsible for are much easier to set moving the hands backwards. It is recommended by the manufacturer. Just turn em backwards till you get to the time setting you want. Do not stop on for anything. If turning FORWARDS. you have to stop and let it chime and or strike on the quarters. My 90+ year old mother, who read the manual, educated me on this.
     
  4. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Well, blow me down, learn something new every day. I did move the minute hand backward, and must admit that I didn't care for the way it felt as I was going by where about the warning would happen, but if it says this is okay in the instructions, I guess it must be. Thanks guys!
     
  5. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Before moving the minute hand backwards, you should check to make sure the rack tail pin has a taper so it will be pushed aside by the snail, or that there is some other mechanism to allow it to pass without binding. Same thing for the star cam that lifts the chime or strike lever. If either is not allowed to pass freely and you force it, you could damage something.

    Tom
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Which is why it is wise to RTM.
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's always safe to recommend moving the hands the way they naturally move. Not all clocks can be turned backward like that, and it's just good practice to discourage it. If they don't want to wait for the chimes, they don't have to. Most clocks will fix themselves at the next hour. I have no idea why the instructions say they will get out of sync and not be able to recover if you do it that way. It's just not true.
     
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  8. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    Like Shutterbug, I always tell people move the hands only clockwise, yes there are some that are made to go backwards but to make it simple, JUST FORWARD.
     
  9. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Just to add if it is a timepiece then if the hands allow you can do either, I always go for the shortest route.
     
  10. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Some chime clocks have the chime train's starwheel lever sitting upon a post which does not allow for the hands to go backwards - the minute arbor's starwheel will get jammed if trying otherwise. General rule around here is to only turn the hands backwards if it's a timepiece or the instructions state it's OK.
     
  11. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I think by "timepiece" the posters above mean time only. Those can go either way safely all the time.
     
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  12. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Aug 22, 2005
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    Thank you everyone! I’m still for going forward on a chime unit, even if it’s okay to go backward.
     
  13. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Yes. Whatever the instructions say on this particular clock. All the chime clocks I have seen otherwise in as long as I can remember have all been self correcting within the hour.
     
  14. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    I recently encountered a similar situation where the owner had been told to always go backwards with can be done with most Hermle's and other modern movements. However, I don't do it as a rule and always tell customers to go clockwise. If they don't to wait for all the chimes just note where the time is switch the clock to silent, (if it has a shutoff), and advance the clock to 3 minutes before the next quarter. Turn the silent lever chime on and then advance the hand to the next quarter. On Hermle's silent will make it run the next quarter when silent is turned back off. Of course, it will reset but I have had panicked people call and say the chime was off because they did not wait for the auto reset to happen. By stopping just short of that next quarter when the chime comes on it will be in warning for the coming quarter. This is easier shown than explained to the uninformed but this group knows what I mean.
    I had a customer who was told he could turn the hands either way. He did so on a very old Seth Thomas and I had to straighten all the levers afterward. I just say go forward only.
     
  15. Ron Roberts

    Ron Roberts Registered User
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    I deal with customers and to almost all the movement and how it works is a great mystery. And they have no idea of whether their movement would allow the minute hand to be rotated counter clockwise without damage. So I always advise people to only move the minute hand clockwise.
     
  16. James McDermaid

    James McDermaid Registered User
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    Apr 29, 2011
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    I always turn my clocks forward (clockwise). Some clocks have a means whereby if you turn it backwards it can slip over a ramp and not damage the release.

    I can see in this case where if the clock stopped due to lack of winding you could reset the time by turning the minute hand backwards to the correct time of day without triggering the strike.

    The snail would move backwards and the strike should remain synchronized with the time.

    Most clocks that use the rack and snail will track the strike and time unless something is bent.

    I mess with calendar clocks so if it stops I have to set the time so midnight is the calendar trip. then set the date (Forward) and then the strike (usually a little wire) you can touch to trip the strike. And don't be the guy that moves the hour hand to sync the strike.

    Jim
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Why do you say that, James? On a rack and snail, that's the only logical way to do it. I'm guessing you mean something that's not too clearly stated ;)
     
  18. Mr. Time

    Mr. Time Registered User

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    Here is my $0.02 on this...

    The following is what is written in the manual for my Howard Miller McArthur mantel clock in regards to time setting........

    ( Howard Miller MacArthur mantel clock )


    • FOR ALL CLOCKS - SETTING TIME

    To set the time, move ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counterclockwise (backwards) until the hour and
    minute hand are at the correct time.
    (See figure 4). DO NOT MOVE THE HOUR HAND WHEN
    SETTING THE TIME. The hour hand will move automatically when the minute hand is moved. By
    moving the minute hand counterclockwise it is not necessary to wait for the clock to chime as the
    minute hand passes each quarter hour.

    The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. If after
    setting the clock on time, it does not chime properly, permit it to operate 12 hours to correct itself.

    630-208 MacArthur mantel clock.jpg 630-208 MacArthur.jpg Howard-Miller-Wall-Clocks-Mantle-Clocks-Manual-5.png
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Yep. That's what they recommend. Those of us in the repair business have had to deal with the bent rack tails that result from this practice, which, I might add, causes the owners of the clocks to spend money for repairs that could have been avoided. I tell my customers to ignore what the instructions say. You can't go wrong turning the hands in the direction they are designed to go.
    I know many people will continue to do what should feel "just wrong" and will have to deal with the consequences. I don't mind the extra income ;)
     
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  20. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Kinda like the guy that wanted to only drive his car backwards to keep down the mileage :):)

    DPC
     
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