Chronart Clock with Hammond SPIN START Movement * Need HELP for REPAIR

blindraccoon

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Jun 6, 2014
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Hi All,

I've got two Chronart clocks that I've owned for a pretty long time. Currently, the Polar Byrd clock is having issues with its Hammond spin start movement. First, it takes a jillion spins of the propeller for it to 'catch' and start spinning on its own. Second, it may keep running anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours, and then its kaput again. It's not making any noise when it is running. I can only assume it desperately needs cleaning? I'm at a loss with electric clocks. I can change cords, but that's about it. Anybody out there who is proficient in cleaning and/or repairing Hammond Spin Start movements?

The second Chronart that I acquired is Ye Old Windmill clock about 13 years ago. Hammond spin start movement needed help back then. I took it to a local shop for repair (they specialized in animated electric clocks, but no longer in business today). I was told that it could not be repaired. He also said that a replacement Hammond spin start movement would be virtually impossible to locate and he'd have to put a Synchron movement in. So now the Windmill turns immediately when you plug in the clock. I might add that I paid what I consider to be a small fortune back then to replace the movement with a Synchron. My question is this. Are Hammond spin start movements available for this clock? I realize the Chronart clocks that are in excellent condition case-wise even with their orig. movements are worth no where near what they sold for 15 years ago. but I would love to have the original movement for this clock if one could be found.

Thanks in advance for replies to my electric clock repair query! Chronart Polor Bird Clock 10 2016.jpg CHRONART Hammond Spin Start Movement.jpg CHRONART Ye Olde Windmill Clock 1.jpg CHRONART Ye Olde Windmill CLOCK  Synchron MOVEMENT.jpg
 

Dave T

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Dec 8, 2011
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I experienced the same issue with this motor. After some research I learned that you can gain access to the rotor, by removing the solder plug. Then you can clean the interior of all the old dried green sludge like oil, and refresh it with new oil.

After I did that, my clock starts easily with just one start of the lever.
Check this out: http://www.abbeyclock.com/clkgov.html
 

blindraccoon

NAWCC Member
Jun 6, 2014
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I experienced the same issue with this motor. After some research I learned that you can gain access to the rotor, by removing the solder plug. Then you can clean the interior of all the old dried green sludge like oil, and refresh it with new oil.

After I did that, my clock starts easily with just one start of the lever.
Check this out: http://www.abbeyclock.com/clkgov.html
Hi Dave T., I really appreciate the link you provided. Unfortunately, I don't have the necessary tools, ie., stone grinding wheel & staking tool/punch. But more so, my level of expertise/experience taking apart and putting the motor back together would be a -1 :confused:
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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The spin starts are not sealed units. Of cleaning the movement
doesn't bring it back to life, it will most likely be bushing and arbors of
the rotor and first reduction wheels.
I don't know if it uses a fiber wheel but inspect it carefully. A missing
or damaged tooth will stop these motors.
As for replacements, The Synchron is about the only option.
I don't know what you payed but the motors themselves are
not that expensive.
As for the spin start itself, with a good coil it is worth rebuilding.
I don't know what your threshold of pain is, on price.
A shop price will be about the market value or higher.
Fixing the motor or the movement is normal clock work
skills if the coil is good. There is nothing magical about the
armature of the motor. If it has good bushings and pivots,
it will work.
Tinker Dwight
 

harold bain

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Nov 4, 2002
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The Synchron motor you show dates from the late 50's to early 60's and should have a date code somewhere on it. The motors are still made.
 

Dave T

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Dec 8, 2011
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Hi Dave T., I really appreciate the link you provided. Unfortunately, I don't have the necessary tools, ie., stone grinding wheel & staking tool/punch. But more so, my level of expertise/experience taking apart and putting the motor back together would be a -1 :confused:
In your picture 2 of 4, the rotor shows a lot of concave dents, which most likely is rubbing the gears inside, as well as old dried grease. If you remove the two screws holding this rotor, it will lift right off the clock mechanism. After that's done, you can easily grind off the solder joint to show evidence of the plug in the side of it, which can then be removed to clean it out.
As for the clock mechanism, it no doubt needs cleaning as well. But, from my one and only experience with this clock type, the rotor was the main problem.
 

blindraccoon

NAWCC Member
Jun 6, 2014
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The spin starts are not sealed units. Of cleaning the movement
doesn't bring it back to life, it will most likely be bushing and arbors of
the rotor and first reduction wheels.
I don't know if it uses a fiber wheel but inspect it carefully. A missing
or damaged tooth will stop these motors.
As for replacements, The Synchron is about the only option.
I don't know what you payed but the motors themselves are
not that expensive.
As for the spin start itself, with a good coil it is worth rebuilding.
I don't know what your threshold of pain is, on price.
A shop price will be about the market value or higher.
Fixing the motor or the movement is normal clock work
skills if the coil is good. There is nothing magical about the
armature of the motor. If it has good bushings and pivots,
it will work.
Tinker Dwight
Hi Tinker Dwight, Thanks for the information re: this Hammond motor. It's also good to know that the Synchron motor in the windmill clock was the only option 14 years ago to put that clock back into working mode. And it's still working perfectly today. I paid $375 for the work (motor/labor) at that time and all I remember was feeling a bit light-headed when I wrote him a check for the service. I sure don't regret it. That particular shop had the market 'cornered' as they were the only game in town for any kind of electric novelty clock. They went out of business years ago.

Unfortunately, what may be normal clock work skills to you (dismantling a movement or motor), but it is a bit intimidating to me. So yes, I do rely on a local clock repair person for cleaning, bushings, and/or overhaul of my mechanical clocks. He doesn't (or won't) do electric clocks such as these little novelty clocks. It's the primary reason I posted, thinking I could be referred to someone who would contract to do the work following an assessment of the motor.
 

blindraccoon

NAWCC Member
Jun 6, 2014
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The Synchron motor you show dates from the late 50's to early 60's and should have a date code somewhere on it. The motors are still made.
Thanks Harold. The worst case scenario would be having to put a Synchron into the Polar Byrd clock if the Hammond movmt were unfixable for any reason. The Synchron motor in the Windmill clock runs as strong as ever...
 

blindraccoon

NAWCC Member
Jun 6, 2014
275
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In your picture 2 of 4, the rotor shows a lot of concave dents, which most likely is rubbing the gears inside, as well as old dried grease. If you remove the two screws holding this rotor, it will lift right off the clock mechanism. After that's done, you can easily grind off the solder joint to show evidence of the plug in the side of it, which can then be removed to clean it out.
As for the clock mechanism, it no doubt needs cleaning as well. But, from my one and only experience with this clock type, the rotor was the main problem.
Wish I could upload a 40 second up close video of the open case with the clock running... it's as quiet as a mute church mouse. The dents have been there for 14 running years, so I can't be convinced that the dents could be causing a gear rub. All of the suggestions I have received are great, but Dave T., please see my recent:D reply to Tinker
 

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