Clock chime troubles

HermanW

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Mar 31, 2021
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Hey all. I'm back with phase two of my Howard Miller floor clock project - the chimes.
Last week we got the clock ticking and in beat with adjustments to the verge and crutch (https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/howard-miller-grandfather-clock-keeps-stopping.178416/).
The clock is keeping good time, and all the mechanics for chimes and hour are working -- but ONLY IF I exert significant additional force on the chime and hour weights. If I do not pull on the chains, the flywheel never starts to move and the gears never advance. So, my naïve theory is that the movement is in need of cleaning and oiling to reduce whatever resistance is requiring all the additional force.

Questions:
1. Is my theory that cleaning/oiling is the next step correct?
2. If so, could someone point me in the direction of an online manual for doing this my first time. Or if not, what should I check first?

Thanks!!
Herman
 

Vernon

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Dec 9, 2006
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I believe that part of your theory is right. You should also include polishing pivots, bushing and otherwise correcting wear. It's a slippery slope once you step forward, but an enjoyable hobby if you want to make the educational and financial investment.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Herm,

You would be sort of 'asking for disappointment' to start a clock repair hobby with this clock. I always discourage this. It's like throwing someone who can't swim in the middle of a big river. :(

It's best to start with simple one (or two) train movements. Once you learn how to disassemble, rebush, and reassemble those clocks with confidence. Then it would be time to use your new skills on a three train movement.

Course, it wouldn't hurt anything to remove your movement from the case, remove the dial, and try to learn exactly what is wrong with the clock in question, and oil it ... insert what Vernon just said here. :)

Just don't crack open those plates yet, remember the "big river".

Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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It is evident that your clock is lacking power on the Chime and Strike trains.
This is an indication of friction in the movement.
That friction is likely due to chronic wear due to long use.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clock movements but seldom will those help with wear problems.
The predominant problem with used clock movements is wear.
People normally do not sell, gift or abandon working clocks.
Your clock likely needs a lot of bushings installed to reduce friction to a tolerable level and be reliable for a long time.
That is normally well beyond the capabilities of a novice.
There are many well written books in your local library about clock repair.
A good information source is This Old Clock, by Dr. David Goodman.
It is a manual that he used teaching a clock repair course and is not expensive to own.
I am skeptical about the information given on U Tube and other on line sources because of lack of ability of the posters.
If your goal is to repair one worn clock, the expense in learning the proper methods and failure due to lack of experience could be offset by simply purchasing a new replacement movement.
This is your second post about the clock and I believe you were given essentially the same advice the first time through.
JMHO
Dick
 

Willie X

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Seems like the 'going number' of bushing lately is FIFTEEN. Willie X
 

HermanW

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Mar 31, 2021
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Update:
SUCCESS!
I heeded your words of caution and kept from dipping my toes in the "big river."
After cleaning out dried oil from pivots, I reoiled. Cleaned old, fouled grease off chime barrel.
Rack hook wasn't reliably falling fully down off rack at end of hour strikes. Cleaned and buffed with microcloth, and we're off to the races!
Pivot points all seemed quite secure - no ovaling -- so no bushings here!
No doubt it could do with a nice ultrasonic bath - but for now, we're happily ticking and chiming away.

Thank you all for humoring me. I needed the support to work through even these trivial basics for the first time.
 

shutterbug

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Eventually you'll be back in the same boat again, but at least you got a toe wet :) At some point down the road the clock will misbehave again, and you'll have to learn to take it apart and do some bushing and pivot work on it.
 

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