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Clock Regulation on slowest setting and still running ahead

Conner'sClocks

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Jan 24, 2021
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Hello Everyone, Just a fair warning, I am quite new to the forum posts, so I apologize if this isnt the way to really do it. I know this question has been probably asked and it may be confusing in terms if the clock is running too fast or not, so I am going to try to put all of the detail I have into this thread.

I have a Hamilton branded Hermle 340-020 movement with the old floating balance escapement (which means the regulating tab (idk what it is called, forgive me) is on the top of the balance wheel). I set it to the lowest regulation after seeing it was 40 minutes ahead. After setting it to the slowest I can get it in terms of regulating tab, I woke up this morning to it being at least 25 minutes ahead.

This clock has been sitting in a box for over 5 years with the movement out of the case. I do plan on getting oil soon because it desperately needs oil.
Should I consider taking it to a professional to get it regulated or at least checked out to see if I need to replace it, or is there an easy way I can check this. I will add that the balance wheel isn't rotating a lot, mainly the adjusting pin going from one side of the escapement hole to the other side.
 

Wayne A

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Sep 24, 2019
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The rotation of the balance when its right should be about 360deg stop to stop. Your getting allot less which makes this balance run fast. Probably needs servicing, more than just oiling.
 

Conner'sClocks

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Jan 24, 2021
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The rotation of the balance when its right should be about 360deg stop to stop. Your getting allot less which makes this balance run fast. Probably needs servicing, more than just oiling.
I would personally assume so, judging by how low the rotation is. I dont really feel confident, especially considering I dont really have the money and time to be able to do it myself, I'll just have to take it in to a professional at this point. I want to get it oiled at least so it can be a bit healthier than it is right now. pivots are looking disgusting.
 

Kevin W.

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Adding oil to a dirty movement will speed up the wearing of it. Its better to put to the side. Oil wont repair its problems.
 

Conner'sClocks

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Adding oil to a dirty movement will speed up the wearing of it. Its better to put to the side. Oil wont repair its problems.
so basically I should take it in to get cleaned and checked out to find all issues on it (bushings, regulation, etc.)? At this moment, I am still in the process of getting quotes for this at a repair shop. Closest one being an hour away from my location.
 

Kevin W.

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Yes Conner, if you dont know how to repair it yourself. A chime clock is not a good clock to learn on.
 

Conner'sClocks

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Alright, may as well get all of the issues done before doing any oiling myself on any clock. Thank you for the help
 

Conner'sClocks

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UPDATE: so my repair shop doesnt deal with the old movements, so I’m probably just going to get the movement replaced with the newer movement with the hairspring
 

Rob Martinez

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May 3, 2013
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A repair shop that 'doesn't deal' with old movements.... Sounds fishy to me.... I'd find a real repair shop versus one that seemingly wants to replace the movement for any/all issues.... On the other hand, a new movement will likely have a simular cost as the repair... Oh, and let them oil it. You will use so little oil its not cost effective to buy it and you will be stuck with a lifetime of oil sitting around...
 

Conner'sClocks

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A repair shop that 'doesn't deal' with old movements.... Sounds fishy to me.... I'd find a real repair shop versus one that seemingly wants to replace the movement for any issues....
Frankenmuth Clock Company (Frankenmuth, Michigan) gave me that statement. They dont work with those movements because its more “delicate and difficult to work on”, and because “the newer hairspring movements are recommended.”
 

kinsler33

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Aug 17, 2014
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The following will get you in great trouble with the Royal Swiss Horological Panzerkorps, but: Remove the movement and spray out every pivot with a can of Walmart brake cleaner. Use the nozzle, and use a hair dryer to keep the movement warm so that the cold spray doesn't cause moisture to condense. Even a gentle squirt down the balance wheel tube will help matters, but you'll want to concentrate on the upper time train.

This doesn't always work, and when it does it doesn't always help for as long as a proper cleaning and re-bushing, but it can give you an idea of what's going on in there. If it works, the balance motion will increase. The brake cleaner removes the oil, but the clock will run anyway without it. Apply the tiniest bit of light oil (I use Mobil 1 0W-20 motor oil) to each pivot but _not_ the balance wheel.

Then think about learning enough clock repair--use this forum, some books, and old movements from clock shops or eBay--to fix this and other clocks. Don't use this one as your first clock repair job, though.

Mark Kinsler
 

Conner'sClocks

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Jan 24, 2021
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The following will get you in great trouble with the Royal Swiss Horological Panzerkorps, but: Remove the movement and spray out every pivot with a can of Walmart brake cleaner. Use the nozzle, and use a hair dryer to keep the movement warm so that the cold spray doesn't cause moisture to condense. Even a gentle squirt down the balance wheel tube will help matters, but you'll want to concentrate on the upper time train.

This doesn't always work, and when it does it doesn't always help for as long as a proper cleaning and re-bushing, but it can give you an idea of what's going on in there. If it works, the balance motion will increase. The brake cleaner removes the oil, but the clock will run anyway without it. Apply the tiniest bit of light oil (I use Mobil 1 0W-20 motor oil) to each pivot but _not_ the balance wheel.

Then think about learning enough clock repair--use this forum, some books, and old movements from clock shops or eBay--to fix this and other clocks. Don't use this one as your first clock repair job, though.

Mark Kinsler
I would prefer not to get in trouble in any condition. the spring is touching the post and
i find it more reliable with a new movement at this point because of all issues and the lack of cost to get everything needed. I understand this is a temporary fix, but I want this clock to run for many years, cleaning everything properly and using synthetic clock oil.


tl;dr I am not going to risk getting in serious trouble for a temporary fix that may not even work. I’m sorry if that came off as rude but im being straightforward.
 

Conner'sClocks

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Jan 24, 2021
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UPDATE: so my repair shop doesnt deal with the old movements, so I’m probably just going to get the movement replaced with the newer movement with the hairspring
ANOTHER UPDATE: I have, since this post, decided I want to keep the original movement. This was a family clock my Grandfather had received in 1985, no matter what, I have changed my decision to keep the original movement. as of taking a look at it, I dont see any worn out bushings, nor do I feel any play between any of the gears. I dont see any reason to replace the entire movement. really all that needs to be done is get a new floating balance escapement, regulate it, then clean and oil the clock.
 

kinsler33

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Mobil 1 0w-20 is a full synthetic. I like it better than the Nye 140 I used to use. And it's vastly better than whatever Hermle used to initially oil this movement: I've had to pull hard to free some of the upper time train wheels when that stuff has hardened. But for this movement some recommend watch oil on the upper time train. No oil goes in the balance assembly, but brake cleaner helps here in any case. Also, check to see if the pivot wire is scored by moving the balance wheel up and down to feel for roughness.

A spraying with solvent won't hurt anything in the movement. The major difficulties one encounters in these movements involve the delicacy of that alarm-clock-type fork and the extra pivot holes which are there so they could be used with a pendulum escapement as well.

The clocks with flat hairspings are identical to these: only the balance assembly differs, and they're interchangeable.

I'd strongly suggest that you learn basic clock repair on some 'scrap' time/strike movements. These Hermles are worth learning because there are so many of them, but do that afterwards.

And please note that I continue to get reports of some truly horrible clock repair operations here in south-central Ohio. Please be wary if anyone else besides you does the work. Mail the movement to one of the posters on this forum instead.

Mark Kinsler

Except me.
 
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John P

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Any Hermle 340-20 that is over 25 -30 years old has reached the end of its service. You can clean and oil untill the cows come home, replace this and that but you will not have a reliable clock.

Replace that movement with a new unit from Butterworth and get dads clock back up running and chiming . Then you can play with the old one.

I have run close to a hundred of those movement through our shop in the last 20 years and i am speaking from experience.

johnp
 

shutterbug

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A lot depends on how the clock was working when it was stored away. No doubt the dirt is loading up the pivots and causing some of the problems. It still needs to be professionally cleaned, which means taking it apart, assessing the pivot condition and possibly adding some bushings where wear is apparent. You might look up your local NAWCC chapter and get some ideas of who does quality work in your area. If a shop feels less than confident in doing that movement, it would probably affect my confidence in them as well.
The balance is not likely the problem, and just replacing it will not help you much.
 

kinsler33

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Any Hermle 340-20 that is over 25 -30 years old has reached the end of its service. You can clean and oil untill the cows come home, replace this and that but you will not have a reliable clock.

Replace that movement with a new unit from Butterworth and get dads clock back up running and chiming . Then you can play with the old one.

I have run close to a hundred of those movement through our shop in the last 20 years and i am speaking from experience.

johnp
Why wouldn't the old one ever be reliable again? What part or system wears out or otherwise ages beyond repair? Bushed pivots are equal to new ones. So are cleaned and lubricated mainsprings. Is it the escapement?

Mark Kinsler
 

John P

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Ok, say you want to rebuild your 36 year old 340-20.

The movement will need 3 new spring barrels and the chime spring if you want it to run more than six days.

A new balance assembly and fork.

Bushings on several 2nd wheels, bushings on T3, bushings on C3 and C4, bushings on S3 and S4.

The chime hammer lifting points will be worn down on 2 or 3 hammers so the lift is low there. No one sells them.

You will also spend several hours at the work bench assembling and testing.

By the way, you have spent almost the cost of a new one.

You then must give the owner a 1 year warranty.

The Hermle 340-20 will only be reliable when everything is perfect. They are not forgiving at all.
The factory repair manual has recommended replacement after 25 to 30 years. They are right.


johnp
 

shutterbug

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Yes, wherever the greatest pressure is. That's also why they have larger pivots.
 
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