Cannot set clock. Too hard to turn

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Minneapolis51, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Minneapolis51

    Minneapolis51 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2020
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    #1 Minneapolis51, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    This is a very sentimental clock for me. I would like to fix it myself.

    I am retired, I have time, I am careful, and I learn fast.

    So I am asking here to talk to friendly experts.

    The biggest issue is I can't set it. The setting knob really won't turn and I don't want to break anything.

    Can I oil it without taking it apart? Could I use a little light oil from my shaver? I also have some SAE 20 3 in 1 oil.

    Also, how can I get the setting knob off to take the assembly out of the plastic case. Does it just pull off?

    The clock runs but it's noisy. If it's a fire hazard I don't want to run it. I will have to check if it gets hot. But mainly I just think the gearing is old. It makes soft "gear sounds" as it runs. Maybe that is normal? It did run from 1947 to 1999 constantly.

    This is the clock I looked at so many times growing up. So many memories


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  2. davefr

    davefr Registered User
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    Nov 29, 2008
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    Most of these electric clocks have a clutch gear. That clutch gear is what allows you to advance the time while the motor is still running. Over time that clutch gear can become dirty, corroded and stiff. A good cleaning will usually help. It needs some friction but not too much. I'm not too familiar with ST, but in Telechron this is what the gear looks like. (attached)

    Those are very simple movements and yours looks like it comes apart very easily. (good movement for a first time DIY'er). I'd remove the motor and then take the entire movement apart and clean every individual part really good. Take some images if you need to for reassembly. Nothing needs oil except where shafts enter bushings and less then 2 drops should be enough for the entire clock. Don't oil gear teeth. Oil attracts dirt and becomes an abrasive slurry. Clean is way more important then oil. A tiny bit of oil on the motor's main shaft is a good idea if you can access it. That might quiet down the clock as it seeps into the motor's main bearing.

    I don't know how the knob is removed, but in Telechron you usually loosen the knob in the opposite direction you turn it to advance the time. (ie left hand threaded). Sometime knobs are splined for a press fit. Just inspect it closely and it might be obvious.

    The single best thing you can do to mitigate any safety issue is to ensure the wiring is in good condition. Replace any stiff, worn or damaged wiring. The motor leads can be re-insulated with shrink wrap tubing. After you connect the cord, secure all the internal wiring with tie warps so none of the internal wiring is subject to strain or movement. If you want to take it one step further use a 3 wire power cord and attach ground to a metal anchor point on the movement. Use a GFI protected power outlet.

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  3. Minneapolis51

    Minneapolis51 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2020
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    DaveFr,

    Thank you so much for your helpful reply. I appreciate it.
     
  4. Minneapolis51

    Minneapolis51 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2020
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    #4 Minneapolis51, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    Happy to report that my clock now can be set, and runs pretty quietly.

    I put a tiny bit of oil where the clutch gear was seized, and now it can be set.

    Surprisingly I saw little wear on the gears. Even the fiber wheel off the motor had sharp, new-looking teeth after 53 YEARS of constant running.

    Amazing.

    I put a tiny fraction of a drop of oil on about three gear bearing areas where they shared a shaft. Each seemed stiff on independent rotation when I had them out in my hands. The tiny bit of oil freed them up perfectly.

    I reinsulated the electric wires where, indeed, the insulation had frayed the the entrance to the motor coil.

    Upon reassembly, the clock is now very quiet.

    I am very pleased with the help and guidance I received here.
     

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