Colonial of Zeeland 1977 Grandmother Clock

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by KPMcCulley, Sep 5, 2017.

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  1. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    [​IMG]
    I picked this up recently via Facebook marketplace for next to nothing. The previous owner said that the piece in the plastic bag was identified as needing replacement by a friend of his who last examined the movement. The guy who was going to fix it seemed to have disappeared and previous owner just never got around to fixing it. Those other two pieces were in the bottom of the case.

    [​IMG]

    I get the feeling that it has sat idle for many years. The movement looks very clean yet when weights are connected to the chimes, the hour striker seems to get need just a little more umph to raise and release the hammers. If I lift the hammers, it the mechanism will continue trying to strike without the resistance. The quarter chimes seem to be just on the edge of being able to play.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I've had a fixation with clocks since I was a small child and this grandmother clock is right up my ally. I do not have any real experience working with clock movements or a lot of financial resources to put into this, but I do have time, mechanical inclination, and the desire to make this a family heirloom. Do you think I can fix this clock myself? What is your advice?

    With Regards

    KPM
     
  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Welcome to the board.

    I can't see any of your photos, just little green squares. The best way to post pics is to use the little camera icon on the toolbar.

    Please let us see photos, then there will be people who can help you.

    JTD
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    #3 JTD, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    The photos have suddenly appeared - so forget my previous post.

    The pieces in the bag are a broken suspension spring, but you seem to have a new one already shown with the piece above (verge and crutch). The long thin piece is the pendulum leader.

    Have you got the weights and the pendulum?

    JTD
     
  4. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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  5. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    Movement appears to be a Hermle 451-053 based on the length of the hand shaft. Movement appears to have the verge installed but I cannot tell for sure. A clear picture of the back of the movement would be a great help in determining what you need to do.

    Essentially the pendulum lesder is suspended from the through-pin in the suspension spring, which is secured to the suspension post by a threaded pin. The leader has a hook that engages the spring, hook clearly pictured in your photo. The pendulum itself hangs from the through-pin on the opposite end of the leader.

    IIRC the weights should be 4.7, 4.7 and 6.6 pounds. Weights shouls be installed from the front of the case, left to right in the order called out earlier.

    So, a good picture would help a lot.
     
  6. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    Here is a picture of a similar Hermle movement thai may help you out with how the parts attach to the movement.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #8 gleber, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    Hi KP,

    Welcome to the message board. Given your qualifications ("I do have time, mechanical inclination, and the desire to make this a family heirloom") and the super friendly and ultra knowledgeable people on this message board, I do believe you can fix this clock yourself (well, with a cast of virtual assistants for back up support).

    It looks like you have all of the pieces you need in the bag. First, check out some of the DIY resources:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/forumdisplay.php?306-Repair-Hints-How-to-s-Supplies-and-Services
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Encyclopedia_Subjects
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?118686-How-To-Do-It-Articles!

    (Side Note to Moderators - it seems like some of the pages above are not formatting properly - for example, the how to do it articles are not links?)

    At some point, you will probably need to disassemble, clean, inspect and maybe repair this movement if it is sluggish. A time/chime/strike movement is probably not the best place to start, but I am self taught (with the help of people here) and within my first year I was bushing a chime/strike movement.

    For now, you can try to install the pieces from the bag. You will need to insert the verge/anchor through the opening in the back of the clock and secure it with the two screws. The screw slots are adjustable. You want the verge/anchor to be aligned with the escape wheel so that when it rocks back and forth, it locks, but doesn't bind (sorry, it is easier to show then describe, look at the images in the first few responses to this post (specifically, reply #3): https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?39874-Clock-Parts-Terminology). If the anchor is too close, it won't allow the escape wheel to "escape." If the anchor is too far away from the escape wheel, you won't get good lock or it could spin freely. Do this adjustment without the weight on and pull the chain with your hand. If the weight it on and it freewheels, it will probably destroy the escape wheel teeth. Once you have that done, the pendulum leader will be installed on the suspension spring, and then the pendulum installed on the leader.

    And, the most important advice I can offer is to ask questions. We are here to help.

    Best of luck.

    Tom
     
  9. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yes, that is correct. This is a better representation of your clock's anchor set up: https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?39874-Clock-Parts-Terminology, see reply #3 (but this shows a spring driven movement).
     
  10. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    You are correct, the image was intended to show you the relationship of your parts when assembled correctly. Hermle makes the 451 in both high and low bridge versions, however there is no real difference in the movements, some cases just do not have the room to accomodate the high bridge version.. I believe that the high version is also an attempt to make the auto beat feature work more effectively.
     
  11. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    Well.. how about that.. it seems to be running now. I used my cell phone leveler to level it, though the tock seems to be closer following to the tic than the other way around.. Do you think oiling the chimes would be sufficient?

    KPM
     
  12. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Glad to hear that. It seems like you are at least familiar with the concept of beat, but the link for Beat Setting 101 on https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?118686-How-To-Do-It-Articles! seems to be unavailable. I'm not 100% sure, but I think your crutch is friction fit on its arbor, so you might try to adjust that to even the tic and toc. You can watch the pendulum and listen for the tic/toc. If it seems like the tic/toc is occurring more on the right side (when facing the clock), move the crutch in the opposite direction (to the left when facing the clock) to center the beat.

    Oiling will probably help, but don't overdo it and don't oil levers, just the wheel pivots. That may be enough for now to make it run better, but if you want this to become an heirloom, you will need to do a proper service to ensure a long life.

    Tom
     
  13. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Link worked o.k. for me just now.

    JTD
     
  14. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    Great! I'll try this later this evening. As for doing proper service, I've browsed some of the listed techniques.. What I fear is re-assembly. Do you know of an exploded view of this movement? I can see just from the work that I've done today that some parts have to be put in before others can be.. this is the one thing that scares me as I had some nightmares occur when I first started doing all my own work on my truck and before I learned the glory of the Haynes manual. There is a clock shop down the street but I wanted to talk to you folks first so I didn't walk in like a cross fit guy in a power lifter gym. Again, you folks have been wonderful. I look forward to your reply.

    PS, The link works for me now too..


    KPM
     
  15. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    The link I posted works, but a lot of the topics on that page, like Beat Setting 101, do not have links. This is what I see:

    View attachment 355764

    Can you actually click on "Beat Setting 101" and view the topic?

    Tom
     
  16. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yes, there are a lot of parts on a chime/strike movement. The one advantage is that most of the adjustments are made via cams that are held by screws, so when you assemble the wheels in the plates, you do not need to worry about synchronizing them and can do that once the movement is assembled (usually you do need to synchronize the strike wheel so that it is not in the middle of a lift and there is a little free play when the train is stopped). I found that the key for me was to work on simpler movements to gain some experience, and I like to draw the movement before I disassemble to completely understand it. The drawing doesn't need to be a masterpiece, just enough to uniquely identify each wheel and locate stop pins, etc. I know a lot of other people recommend photos, but I like to draw since it forces me to look at each wheel and lever carefully, so it helps me understand the operation better. Another option instead of working on simple movements, is to just work on one train at a time. You will have to disassemble and reassemble several times, but you gain experience and confidence each time. Start with just the time, reassemble and test to make sure it works. Then do just the chime or strike, etc.

    Example drawing:

    View attachment 355774

    Tom
     
  17. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    #17 KPMcCulley, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    Indeed.. I suppose I'll have to get this bad boy out of the case.. Question, does anyone have any of the original manuals or material on these movements? I find a Hermle maintenance manual, though the site wont let me download it. It has all the steps that need to be taken towards servicing it, but all via text and not pics. Also, how do I remove the hour hand? It says it is friction fit... but I'm a strong guy and the pressure I attempted already made me nervous. Does anyone have any, 'Oh.. and just incase you an idiot.. do NOT do the following.." You know... like use WD40.. that's the one thing I picked up in from lurking here.. lol I'm glad as the idea had crossed my mind.

    Also, the clock won't run for more than 2 minutes or so.. I think this is because I'm going to have take the movement out of the case to secure the verge/anchor properly. I sort of had to use a right angle screw driver and probably didn't get it as centered as it needs to be. Also, I noticed when looking from the top down that the part to which the suspension spring attaches to the anchor (suspension post I believe) is attached seems to point left ever so slightly.. Is this a big deal?

    Thanks again,
    KPM
     
  18. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    I see what you mean now - no, I can't open 'Beat Setting 101' either. But the whole format of the front of the mb seems to be different today - I don't know what's going on.

    JTD
     
  19. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #19 gleber, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    I'm glad I'm not crazy. Or should I say, welcome to the crazy club? :screwball: I noticed the front page "issues" too.

    Is there a Moderator or Administrator in the house?

    Tom
     
  20. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I'm sorry, I don't have or know of any manual or references.

    You can try to turn the hour hand when you pull it. That might help break it free. Some clocks have an alignment pin (my Colonial 1387 does), but I don't think yours does.

    I think your best bet is to take the movement out to work on it. You can also study it better to look for any other issues. As for not running long, the first step is to check the beat. If you just installed the verge/anchor, I would check the adjustment on it and the escape wheel. Other than that, it may be dirty or wear.

    Tom
     
  21. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    Contact Mark A Butterworth for the Hermle manuals on a thumb drive. WWW.butterworthclock.com acct: butterworth pw: butterworth
     
  22. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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  23. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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  24. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Glad to say that everything seems to be back to normal and 'Beat Setting 101' opens as it should now.

    JTD
     
  25. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    So, after pulling the movement out, I played around with the clutch and the verge/anchor. After watching several videos on youtube about putting clocks in beat, I noticed how the demonstration movement when in adjustment would move freely back and forth.. No matter what I did, I could not locate such a sweet spot and came to the realization that before I could make any further progress, the movement had to be oiled. Since I have gone over my budget this month for hobbies, can any of you recommend a household oil alternative to at least get it going? I'd like to go ahead attempt to oil it so I might find out if I am going to have to disassemble the whole thing or not. My first thought for an alternative is WD-40... NO! I'm KIDDING! How about the oil I use on my hair clippers?

    Cheers,
    KPM
     
  26. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Before you oil anything, could you explain a bit more. You say that the movement you watched in the videos 'moved freely back and forth' but implied that yours didn't. Do you mean it jammed? If so, that is more than just out of beat. A clock which is out of beat will sound uneven, tick-TOCK or TICK-tock, but it will still move freely. If yours is not moving properly, it sounds to me as if the depthing may be wrong on your movement. Just oiling it is not going to solve the problem.

    Have your read 'Beat Setting 101', which is now accessible via the link that Tom mentioned in his post? This is a very good learning text.

    Perhaps you could post a photo of your movement with the verge in place -or, if you can, a video showing what it's doing.

    JTD
     
  27. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #27 gleber, Sep 7, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    I agree with JTD. Since you installed the verge, the chances that it is out of adjustment is a possibility (not a criticism, just a thought). If the verge anchor will not rock back and forth and let a tooth "escape" each time, it is probably too close and will need to be backed off. With a little hand pressure on the chain, you should be able to rock the crutch back and forth and watch the escape wheel turn. You should check this all the way around. Sometimes, if it is close, one tooth might be a little longer and catch (not "escape"). Of course, if the verge is too far away, multiple teeth can "escape," which is not good either.

    Unless there is a lot of corrosion, or very gummed up pivots, the mechanism should be able to turn freely. If it is not turning, and locking up, something more than needing oil is likely the root cause.

    I do think your clipper oil would be fine. Go sparingly.

    Tom
     
  28. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    It does turn freely.. but the the weight will not drive the movement forward. When I apply pendulum, the momentum of it drives the clock for a few minutes and then it stops. If I remove the pendulum, I can gently rock the verge and the movement will advance but it will not move back and forth without me giving it a little help.

    KPM
     
  29. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    So.. I oiled it up with a good synthetic, put it in beat, and it has run strong for several hours keeping perfect time... even the chimes work. I suppose this was the best $30 I've ever spent.. Thank you all so much for your assistance on my first dabble into clockwork... I don't think it will be my last.

    Cheers,
    KPM
     
  30. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Congratulations! :clap: :coolsign:

    And, all of us here are 100% sure it won't be your last. Resistance is futile...:cuckoo:

    Tom
     
  31. KPMcCulley

    KPMcCulley Registered User

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    Actually, I think I want to get into building them.. not the movements but the cases. I mean.. what better present to give someone for their wedding or graduation than a mechanical clock you built yourself that can become a heirloom? Now.. if I only knew anything about wood working.. LOL

    One other thing I wanted to update you on... I noticed after a day that it was running slow. I took the pendulum out and examined it. I noticed scratch marks above the bob that seemed to reflect that it had one time had been adjusted there. I moved the bob up (about a full inch) and it has kept perfect with my laptop since. I'm pretty tickled with myself about all this. I figured I would somehow manage to get the thing to burst into flames just by barely touching the movement. LOL Thanks again for all the help you folks provided.
     
  32. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Glad it's working well and keeping time. You should be proud of yourself - it's not rocket science, but it's not super easy either, so to take a non-working clock in pieces and no prior experience and get it running is quite an accomplishment.

    Now is a good time to start learning woodworking...

    Tom
     
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