Barnes and Bartholomew just stopped working

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by abe, May 22, 2019.

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  1. abe

    abe Registered User

    Jan 8, 2009
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    I have a Barnes and Bartholomew wooden works 30 hour clock. Last fall it was repaired by a member of NAWCC that lives near me. It ran well and kept good time. Then it stopped. About a month later I had to move the clock and as it sat on my dining room table it started ticking! I put it back in place and it ran great for about 2 months. Last night I noticed it wasn't running.

    I know I have not given you much to go on but what could be causing this? Temperature or humidity changes? Anything simple I should try?


    IMG_20181025_092352582.jpg
     
  2. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    The first and one of the easiest things to check is whether the clock is in beat, especially if it has been moved. The tick-tock should sound evenly spaced. See Beat Setting 101

    Let us know if that helps.

    Tom
     
  3. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Two months ago it started running after I moved it. It hadn't been moved since then and stopped running this week.

    I should add that that when I push the pendulum it does not tick at all. This is the same scenario as before.
     
  4. Jim_Miller

    Jim_Miller Registered User
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    Perhaps you could provide some pictures of the movement. This might help the folks who know these clocks
    Jim
     
  5. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    That is an indication of several possibilities.
    1. No power to the escape wheel.
    2. A broken or misaligned part.
    3. Something deeper.

    If you can remove the hands and dial and take some photos, we can probably narrow it down.

    Tom
     
  6. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Will do! I don't know if I can do it son as we got Memorial Day and next week I'm very busy.

    The funny thing is, this stoppage with no ticking when I move the pendulum is the same thing that happened this fall but then started working later as I stated above.

    Thank you.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    First try a bit of oil on the escape wheel brass pivot hole. Make sure the weight pulleys turn free. There are a dozen or so other possibilities including damaged wheel teeth.

    RC
     
  8. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Update: I have been too busy to take the hands off and the dial off . I had a few minutes Sunday morning as I was waiting for my wife to get ready to travel to my sister's house. I picked up the clock and set it on the dining room table hoping that it would begin running as it had before. I moved the pendulum. But nothing. No tick, no tock.

    So I put the clock back on the dry sink where it belongs. I did not move the pendulum. About 15 minutes later I'm in the kitchen and I here a clock chime. I look to see if it is my Thomas Lister tall case clock. It's not. I look in the dining room and lo and behold! The wooden works clock is running! I set the time and we leave to visit my sister and brother 3 hours away. We get home at 10:45 and the old Barnes and Bartholomew is running and keeping accurate time! This morning I wind it and tonight at 11:00 it is still keeping time!

    I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth but what is causing this?
     
  9. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Hard to say, but I wouldn't rule out Gremlins.

    Also as a general Clocks 101 rule, you should never move a clock with the weights and pendulum attached.

    Tom
     
  10. abe

    abe Registered User

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    It must be a gremlin! My wife moved the clock to put a new runner on the dry sink and set up a Thanksgiving display. I'm in the dining room and I hear the old clock striking. I run out to the dining room and it's clicking. That was last night and it's keeping good time.

    So was it gremlins? Humidity? I tried moving it this summer to no avail. My wife must be a clock whisperer.

    IMG_20191124_082515217.jpg
     
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  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Looks like the Thanksgiving decorations are staying up all year long now...

    Tom
     
  12. abe

    abe Registered User

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    I just read the entire thread again. I should add that sometime this summer it stopped running.

    So I'll see how long it runs and will report back .
     
  13. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Bump to the top....

    Anyone have any ideas? I'm curious why it suddenly stopped and then started working again. Or shouldn't I look a gift horse in the mouth?
     
  14. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    That sounds like something was hung up. Probably not much to check now that it is running, but if it stops again I would suspect a hang up somewhere, not just robbing, but killing power. Something like a stuck pulley.

    Tom
     
  15. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Ok. Thanks!
     
  16. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    One thing that you can be sure of is that this problem will continue until you identify the cause and fix it. You haven't given us much to work with except that when it does stop there is zero power to the escapement - no tic-tock when the pendulum is moved.

    What time is indicated by the minute hand when the clock stops? If you turn the minute hand ahead from "9" toward "12" can you feel any tight spot before the striking begins? The going train (the time section of the clock) has to provide power to unlock the strike train before the striking can begin. The "hang-up" that's stopping the clock can be in the strike train or the going train so don't limit your search to just the going train.

    When the clock does run, what is the total swing distance of the pendulum from one extreme to the other? That can be one indicator of the clocks general health.

    The symptom you describe can result from something as simple as a bent minute hand hanging up on the hour hand.

    There is generally very little space between the back side of the dial and the "crutch" (the part of the movement that moves back and forth and drives the pendulum). These movements are usually just held in place by 3 or 4 pins of small nails and can be a little "shifty" at best. Dials are also often less than securely fastened. You try removing the hands and the dial and see if the problem goes away.

    Unless there is something obvious, I would begin the task of fixing this problem by first removing the movement from the case and giving it a careful visual inspection. I would first look for any broken teeth, but I would not expect to find any if the clock sometimes runs OK. Next I would look for any previously replaced teeth and signs that a broken tooth has been replaced or re-glued. I frequently find poorly shaped replacement teeth or even nails used in place of teeth any of which can cause intermittent problems. Any previous repairs are suspect until verified accurate. Next I would look for badly worn pivot holes, especially the at the pinion end of the arbor that has the escape wheel, and the next wheel that drives it. This wheel has the smallest teeth of any and if it is not held in good alignment with the escape wheel pinion it can "lock up". Look carefully at the pinion on the escape wheel arbor for any signs of replaced leaf in the pinion. Wooden wheels tend over the years to shrink somewhat unevenly as they dry out thus becoming somewhat oval instead of round which will exacerbate any alignment / depthing issues. There is not much torque in the upper part of the going train so it doesn't take much to cause a hang-up. Wood of course is also affected somewhat by humidity. Your clock is almost 200 years old and if the pivot holes have not been bushed they probably need to be, and if they have been bushed there is a very high probability that the work was done less than accurately.

    We really need a bit more information and some pictures of the movement and its insides, especially any previous repairs.

    RC
     
  17. abe

    abe Registered User

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    RC, thanks for your informative reply. It is running now so I will not take the hands and the dial off, although that is something that is definitely in my skill set. If it stops running I'll look into that.

    Thanks!
     
  18. abe

    abe Registered User

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    My Barnes and Bartholomew clock has been keeping great time since my last post. I love to hear the softer ticking of my wooden works clock compared to my Thomas Lister tall case and my 1929 Sessions Revere banjo. Here a video I took on Christmas. Decorating cudos go to my wife.

     
  19. abe

    abe Registered User

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    Update: February 19, 2020, click is still running strong and it keeps good time.
     
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