Assemble, front or back

Kevin W.

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Working on this clock and ready to assemble. Cant see under the back plate to set up strike train. Since the posts are on back plate, would i be better off to assemble the front plate, then put back on and put the pivots into their holes.

repair.jpg repair 1.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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Thanks Bang, can you think of any clocks that you would not assemble this way?
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hi Kevin,

I'll usually assemble on whatever plate has the posts so that I can get the Great Wheel Loop-End Mainsprings positioned.

Exceptions for me are the ST Sonora 89s. They have so many divergent levers coming through the solid back plate that it seems almost impossible to get them in place in such a way as to fit the rear plate over them. You've got three: Chime Activator, Strike Activators and Strike Hammer Lift Lever. They can be a real PITA to get on the same page. Herding Cats! :)
They have to be pre-positioned.

I know that Steven Conover recommends this "upside-down" approach for Ansonia Open Escapement Movements due to their unusual gravity assist spring on the Strike Activating Lever (which I believe is riveted to the rear plate).

Who manufactured the movement you're working on?

Regards,

Bruce
 

Kevin W.

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I am not sure of maker. I dont see it marked on the plates. Yes thats why i was doing this way, the way the spring loops mounted on the back plate as shown in the pic. I turned it over but it looked like setting up the strike would be trickier to do this way.
 

bruce linde

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i started by working on seth thomas regulator 2 movements (the #61) with the posts attached to the back plate. from there, i went to tall case clock movements. it always seemed to make more sense to me to fill the back plate and put the front plate on last... but then i read posts and books by guys who actually know what they're doing, who work 'upside down', filling the back of the front plate, etc.

as other bruce says, it probably depends on the movement. i don't work on a lot of mantel clocks, but i did recently work on a hermle ships bell movement and followed conover's advice to fill the front plate first... and indeed for that movement it would have been twice as hard filling the back plate first.

i just finished working on a three-train 5-tube movement and it was totally easy to fill the back plate first.

your mileage may vary. :cool:
 
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John P

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On your type of movement I always assemble with front plate down because you need the countwheel down in order to set up the strike properly. When i put the retainers on the mainsprings i leave enough spring end out of the retainer to allow me to slip the posts into the spring loops. Usually about 3/4 to an inch.
Trying to assemble that movement the other way is a waste of time and does not work for me.
 
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R. Croswell

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Working on this clock and ready to assemble. Cant see under the back plate to set up strike train. Since the posts are on back plate, would i be better off to assemble the front plate, then put back on and put the pivots into their holes.
On this type of movement (and most mantel clock movements) I place the the parts as you show in the picture, parts on the plates with the posts. I like to get the ends of the springs over the posts. The main exception that comes to mind is the Terry style wooden movement which is much easier to assemble with the parts placed on the front plate. I'm sure there are other exceptions; it really depends on the movement, and to some extent personal preference.

The movement in question is a relatively simple movement. I should go together OK with either side up. You said "Cant see under the back plate to set up strike train", so why not try it the other way and see if it is any easier for you, and let us know how it goes.

RC
 
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Kevin W.

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Thanks RC and others that responded to my posting. I am going to assemble onto the front plate, i started last night. Also thanks Steven in identifying this movement too.
 

shutterbug

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I can only think of a half dozen or so times when assembling on the back plate was better. I almost always assemble front plate down.
 

Bruce Alexander

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I can only think of a half dozen or so times when assembling on the back plate was better. I almost always assemble front plate down.
I'm usually looking at arbors and pivots from the sides anyway. With solid plates you have no choice so that doesn't even come into play for me.

I think it comes down to preference in most cases. In my opinion, the Sonora 89's can only be assembled upside down (Plate with posts lowered onto the assembled trains).

I just assembled an Ansonia Open Escapement movement from a Porcelain Clock as per Steven Conover's suggestion in his book "How to repair 20 American Clocks". I've reassembled this type of movement the other way as well and I prefer to do so with the posts up instead of down. Pick your poison. I think that some designs, even relatively simple ones, are more difficult to reassemble than others regardless of how you choose to go about it. Whatever works best in your hands....
 

R. Croswell

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I'm usually looking at arbors and pivots from the sides anyway. With solid plates you have no choice so that doesn't even come into play for me.

I think it comes down to preference in most cases. In my opinion, the Sonora 89's can only be assembled upside down (Plate with posts lowered onto the assembled trains).

I just assembled an Ansonia Open Escapement movement from a Porcelain Clock as per Steven Conover's suggestion in his book "How to repair 20 American Clocks". I've reassembled this type of movement the other way as well and I prefer to do so with the posts up instead of down. Pick your poison. I think that some designs, even relatively simple ones, are more difficult to reassemble than others regardless of how you choose to go about it. Whatever works best in your hands....
For a clock that has the cannon pinion pressed on outside the plate, and when one opts to not remove the center arbor, or if there are any other parts left attached to one plate, this can sometimes determine how one will proceed - right side up or upside down.

RC
 
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