Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movement

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by MikeDeB, Aug 8, 2017.

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  1. MikeDeB

    MikeDeB Registered User

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    I've recently got this Seth Thomas cottage clock which has a 30 hour lyre movement in it for repair. The movement is marked Plymouth, Conn. and the case is marked Thomaston, Conn. putting it in about the early 1860s. The client said they had it repaired about 15 or 20 years ago and the strike side has not worked since. There is no maintenance cam or lever. Two of the wheels have pins on them (upper wheels in the train). There was the remnant of a wire spring attached to the lever assembly but no indication of how it worked or what it was attached. I have been looking at this since yesterday and for the life of me I just can't figure out how it works. I'm attaching several pics. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, Mike
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Hello Mike,

    I've never had one of these on my bench but it looks like the pins on the Great wheel may serve to lift (or lock) a J-Hook lever and lock the Strike Train at the appropriate time. I say this because from what I can see, the distance between the pins increases in a counter-clockwise direction in your last photo. The pins on S-2 (2 of them soldered) look like they do the heavy lifting of the strike hammer. Does that make any sense or do I sound like Captain Obvious?
     
  3. Time After Time

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    It's hard to get a sense of depth but it looks like lock in on S-3, and Warning on S-4. The J-Hook has been pretty bent up. It would help to see it in action of course. My guess is that the J-Hook lifts the train out of lock and into warning. The warning run would have to be sufficient to clear the pin on S-1 but still leave the next lift pin on S-2 out of contact with the Hammer Tail. When the J-Hook drops, Warning and Lock are free until a pin on S-1 lifts the train into lock again.

    If that's it, I think I can understand why the J-Hook assembly is all bent up. :whistle:
     
  4. R. Croswell

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    #4 R. Croswell, Aug 8, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    This is an unusual movement but once you get it right it does work reliably. Sorry, I didn't make any video of mine while it was out of the case but I believe it is the same movement. The picture perhaps will help. On this movement the main wheel IS the count wheel, but the lever shown that follows the pins is LIFTED to stop the striking. The warning locking is on pin on the 3rd wheel, and the end of striking locking is on the 4th wheel. If need be I can take the dial off and try to make a video. Its a pretty simple system one you understand that it stops on the count lever lift instead of the drop. Mine has a rather short warning run, and the stop is rather 'abrupt'. Hope this is some help.

    RC
     
  5. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    OK, I just made a video of mine hope this helps. Don't know how to use you-tube so posted it on my website. See if this works. www.greenfieldclockshop.com/video/st-strike.mp4

    RC
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Does the strike train run, but the strike doesn't sound? Can you provide more symptoms for us?
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    I'll try to describe the sequence:

    1. The "J" hook is raised by the trip wire on the center shaft...
    2. The warning stop lever is raised to position to arrest warning pin on 3rd. wheel...
    3. The "J" hook is raised more releasing the stop lever from the stop pin on the 4th wheel...
    4. Warning run takes place so the count lever is no longer held up by the count wheel pin on the first wheel...
    5. "J" hook drops and warning stop lever drops and striking begins....
    6. Count lever is raised by the next pin on the count wheel which positions the stop lever to arrest the pin on the 4th wheel and striking stops.

    That bent up wire should be straight and stiff. It fits in the "eye" shown and is used to manually lift the lever to advance the strike count.
    That's how it works but there are lots of things that can keep it from working. As Shutterbug asked, we really need to know the symptoms being experienced.

    RC
     
  8. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Lock or Stop on S-4 is something I never would have guessed, good thing you could clear that up RC. Can't imagine what the bent up Trip Wire "spring" was all about but, as is, it's pretty misleading. :?| I can see why Mike was having trouble figuring it out.
     
  9. MikeDeB

    MikeDeB Registered User

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    RC, thank you so much for the video and the explanation! As far as the symptoms I experienced, I really didn't experience any. The trip wire on the main shaft would raise the J hook but nothing happened after it tripped. It was basically set the way you see it in the first pic. The mangled wire in the pic with the levers was actually attached to the stop lever for the 4th wheel. It then went around the arbor then into nothingness. The wire I took off of the eye was straighter and of a heavier gauge. Again, thank you so much for your help and the video!

    Mike
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Someone probably mistook it as a helper spring. Those are quite common, but they don't look like that :)
     
  11. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    If it does nothing - no warning run, then the locking lever likely isn't being moved enough to unlock at the 4th wheel. Once you understand what each lever does its a matter of getting them all formed correctly so they do it. It is a strange little movement and I can understand why they didn't make them this way for very long.

    I agree the tangled little wire was likely a 'helper spring' that would have been wrapped around the arbor and attached one end to one of the levers and the other to the plate to help keep the levers from bouncing. Many older clock didn't have these, but we find that they have often added later. Probably not necessary, but if you want to use a helper, use very light spring wire (usually brass) with minimal tension.

    RC
     
  12. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    The tangled wire is a trip wire to use for syncing the strike.
    These are common on kitchen clocks. It is connected
    to the loop at the center of the count lever and is intended
    to be straight.
    In the clock, one can lift it and trip the strike until before the
    desired strike.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  13. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Understood, Tinker. But the way it's all bent up, it looks like someone thought it should be a helper spring instead :)
     
  14. Time After Time

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Considering that the stop/lock action takes place on the fast moving S-4, and that the J-Hook assembly surface where it occurs is so narrow I can see why someone may have had problems dealing with bounce.. A gravity-assist spring may have been added to make the strike train lock/stop reliably. All speculation of course, but the control surfaces/levers look pretty bent up to me so someone made a lot of adjustments to them over the years.
     
  15. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    On mine the stop pin slams into the stop lever with some rebound and then comes to lock. Helper spring would not be a bad idea and justified if locking is an issue. Don't know if that was original or not.

    Tinker, See post # 9 where Mike said "The mangled wire in the pic with the levers was actually attached to the stop lever for the 4th wheel. It then went around the arbor then into nothingness. The wire I took off of the eye was straighter and of a heavier gauge." I had also incorrectly assumed that the mangled wire was the sync trip wire.

    RC
     
  16. bangster

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Is there ANY way this Rube Goldberg contraption is supposed to be superior to a standard count wheel?
     
  17. Time After Time

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Fewer parts?
     
  18. shutterbug

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    I believe it's more efficient. The elements are few, and the stop more reliable. Not much fiddling required, like getting the count lever entering a groove exactly straight :)
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    If it's superior, why didn't ever'body adopt it?
     
  20. shutterbug

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Hard to redo tooling, and it was likely patented :)
     
  21. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Never heard any claims of superiority. Mine and this one are the only ones I've ever "seen". Never had a problem with it but don't like the hard stop on the 4th wheel. There are other movements that have a round count wheel with raised places in place of slots that stop when the count lever raises. If it was superior one would expect all clocks to be made that way.

    RC
     
  22. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Yep, I went back and looked at it. It seems to be a helper
    spring but it will need some work to get it back to the intended shape.
    It might be better to start with some fresh spring wire.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  23. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    I just looked at mine again and it does not have the helper spring and works just fine that way (which is often the case with missing helper springs). No harm in just leaving it out and seeing how it works.

    RC
     
  24. Tinker Dwight

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    #24 Tinker Dwight, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    It has to catch reliably on the smaller stop is all. The trickier part
    is that when the J hook drops on the hour, the warning wheel has to
    turn slow enough to let the stop detent drop below the stop pin
    before it turns around and gets caught. That shouldn't be an issue
    with the stop pin, one wheel down from the warning wheel.
    I'd think the next trickiest part is to have enough warning to have the count
    lever clear the pin on the main wheel.
    At least that is my thinking( not having the clock in hand).
    Tinker Dwight
     
  25. MikeDeB

    MikeDeB Registered User

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Just want to let everyone know the clock is up and running and striking the hours as intended. Thanks again for all the advice and help. RC, a huge thanks for the explanation and video!

    Mike
     
  26. R. Croswell

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Glad it was a help.

    RC
     
  27. Time After Time

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    Mike,

    Glad to hear you got it up and running.
    Did you place a new helper spring or does the strike work fine without one? Just curious is all.
     
  28. MikeDeB

    MikeDeB Registered User

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    Re: Can't figure out how the striking train works in this Seth Thomas 30hr lyre movem

    I didn't put a new helper spring in and it works just fine.
     
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