Clocks and Earthquake Fun

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by THTanner, Mar 20, 2020.

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  1. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    At 6:32 this evening - March 20/2020 - we had a 5.0 lateral motion earthquake centered right under my house about 3 miles down.

    I have a lot of clocks here, and do not have most of them running very often, but there is still some turns in most of the time springs. As I surveyed the house for damage I counted 12 clocks that were started by the quake. It shifted the shop about 4 inches and then back and moved a heavy outside iron stove about a foot.

    I guess the lateral motion of the quake was just about perfect to start all the clocks and not knock any of them over.
     
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  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    wow... good time to double check how clocks are hanging and/or secured to walls.
     
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  3. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Dec 5, 2014
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    That is not an immaterial shift! So glad to hear all is safe.
     
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  4. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
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    I am not sure I would want to make a habit of starting clocks that way
    Glad to hear you are OK
     
  5. G J M

    G J M Registered User

    Mar 2, 2018
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    My novice brain has this down as a classic case of unsympathetic vibration.

    I'm glad to hear that you are well.

    Gary
     
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  6. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    Since the major quake there have been dozens of after shocks - some lateral - some the more usual vertical shifts. The largest was a 3.5 and no clocks restarted. There has been no local news as to what actually happened or why. The maps shows about a dozen fault lines in the area and this occurred on one of the smaller faults. One strange item I failed to mention was that two clocks that site perpendicular to each other both were started even though one pendulum had to have shifted forward and back instead of side to side. I think it must have bounced off the gong coil and ended swinging fairly normally by the time I stopped it.
     
  7. LenzkirchFan

    LenzkirchFan Registered User
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    This is a good time to bring up the subject of securing your clocks to minimize damage during an earthquake. I have bought antique clocks that have holes drilled through the back where it appears that screws were there and I consider the holes an eyesore and damage to a fine antique. I have many wall clocks and grandfather clocks and I live 110 miles from New Madrid, Missouri. Site of the great New Madrid earthquake. The grandfather clocks have no attachments to the wall and the wall clocks are simply on a hanger or nail driven into a stud. None are permanently attached to the wall.

    Do any of you "attached" your clocks to the wall or attempt to secure them? This is a tough decision for me.

    Thanks, Steve
     
  8. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
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    Jan 24, 2011
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    If a wall clock has a hole on the backboard, it's a good idea to secure it to the wall with a screw. Wonder if the earthquake is fracking related, or does Carson City normally get earthquakes?
     
  9. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    so my ST office calendar 1 was on a hook, and had a screw through a hole in the inside back of the case... and the hook failed... and the clock started to fall... and the screw was only in sheetrock... and i heard it going and was only a few clocks away and managed to grab it as it hit the ground... and was able to glue the slightly separated bezel back together but the weight cord broke and the weight crashed through the little piece of wood at the bottom of the weight channel and bent some pieces on the calendar movement... which is just about back to its old used-to-be...

    BUT....

    if you're going to put a screw through the back of the case it's either there to keep the clock from swinging left or right and getting out of beat, or it's into a stud and helping secure the clock... or not.

    be mindful (he said, locking barn door after....)
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    We live on top of the magma field for the Mammoth Mountain Volcano -it bubbles and shivers all the time, but these are mostly mild vertical quakes. The one that started the clocks was a very rare horizontal movement. Carson City is one of the most active earthquake regions in the USA, but most are below 3 which makes them hard to even feel.

    I do offer to secure my customer's floor clocks to the wall without making holes in the back boards by using angle braces screwed into the larger frame parts of the back of the case. For wall clocks I suggest - and install if requested - a screw or side pins toward the bottom of the case. A good shake will move the pendulum pretty badly regardless, but at least as it settles the clock won't be askew. Mantle clocks I leave untethered unless they are very expensive like my William Webster which is in a case and has Museum Wax holding it in place on the glass shelf. My crystal regulator with real mercury pendulum is also secured and the pendulum is held in the middle position with a sponge unless I want to run it. The rest of my clocks are not secured.
     

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