Boardman & Wells timing


New Member
Mar 8, 2021
First of all I know nothing about these clocks and the terminology so please keep that in mind.
Long story short, I disassembled this wooden movement clock due to alot of dirt and dust but now I realize that there is critical timing between the clock drivetrain and the chime drivetrain. I did find one timing mark on one of the pinion gears that has two cam features, other than that I'm lost. If there is anyone that can help with the timing using pics I would appreciate it. Thank you

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NAWCC Member
Feb 19, 2005
Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
I'm not 100% sure what you mean. When it comes to mechanical clocks of this type, generally nothing on the time side (right hand side) matters for the locations/orientations of the wheels so long as they're in the correct spots and the right way "up". The strike side on the left, however, does need to have the wheels lined up properly in a certain "orientation". If you need to practice this a bit to get the hang of how they need to line up, you can practice assembling it without any of the time side wheels in the plates.

The main strike wheel has no special position. The next wheel up needs to be oriented so that when the strike side (all the wheels) are "locked" the hammer tail is not partially lifted by a strike pin.

The next wheel (3rd) up needs to be oriented so that the lever pin is dropped into one of the two cam slots when the train is "locked".

The fourth wheel up is a bit less critical. It has a single pin on it to make the movement go into warning (start the wheels ready to strike until the J lever drops free at the hour). I tend to orient the pin to be at the top, but sometimes it can be quite forgiving for the position.

The fan wheel/governor has no special position (as long as it's the right way up.

So all-in-all you need to make sure that the 3 middle gears are all meshed properly. If the position is wrong, the movement needs to be taken apart again and the wheels moved around a few teeth left or right so that everything works. If you're a beginner you may have to do this a dozen times to get it "right". Often it only takes about 2 or 3 tries. You can test the functioning with finger pressure rotating the wheels. The most annoying part of these tends to be the levers which are very finicky.


Registered User
Feb 8, 2014
Welcome Wenjay to the NAWCC forum. Sooth provided an excellent reply as always. I would like to offer two other references that I found to be very helpful. One explanation was written by R. Croswell in a Dec.5, 2015 post reply #39 in response to Bruce Linde question on Nov.22, 2015. The post starts as "newb needs help with Seth Thomas pillar and scroll with wood movement". The next one I found is a rather detailed explanation on setup, troubleshooting and repair was on the web entitled "The levers of American Striking Movements" by David LaBounty. Hope we can all collectively be of help to you on your new adventure. Diane

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