Help Early 1860s Seth Thomas Column and Cornice Clock

captainclock

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Bend the horizontal part (the part that reaches over to the verge pin) so that it for an angle less than 90 degrees with the vertical part. Press the vertical part into the hole until the tension opens the angle to about 90 degrees. The tension should keep it in place. If not, I suspect one of two things: 1) the hole is either too large or has been wallowed out so the hole is not a uniform diameter for the entire thickness of the plate or, 2) your replacement part is made from some crappy soft steel that bends too easily instead of maintaining tension.
That's what I did, and it didn't work right, it wouldn't keep correct tension on the verge no matter how much I bent it, and the more I bent it, the closer it came to breaking until it finally broke at that the spot between where the fat part met up with the round shaft.
So I have a feeling (and I believe I mentioned this already in a previous post) that these replacement verge retainers are indeed made of some sort of crappy metal that bends and breaks too easily just like you said.

Look carefully in your packing, these typically come with two different size bushing/sleeves. I think a lot of this stuff comes from India and is pretty awful to begin with. If Timesavers does not have the hand set you need you might try Merritt's or one of the other sources, or even eBay where you might find an old original set with the bushing already installed.

RC
I will try Merritt's or Clockworks to see what they have (it seems that Timesavers doesn't do a very good job at keeping things in stock, as that's the second item I tried ordering from them for my clock that they were out of and had a long waiting time for when they would get the parts in, I first tried ordering some dust caps for my clock's weight pulleys which the originals were missing on mine, and those they said they were out of and had a 6 month wait on those, and then I tried to order the OG Style Hands from them and they said there was a 6-8 week wait on those to come in.)

Thanks!

-Levi
 

captainclock

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Well I guess you will need to get or make another one. These are easy to make. Just don't use soft steel wire. Music wire or perhaps a small finishing nail. Heat the end red hot and flatten with a hammer on an anvil. Make sure it is a good fit in the hole. If you use music wire you may need to heat it to bend.

RC
I think that's what I'm going to do, use a steel finishing nail of the proper length, because I think that these modern replacements are of inferrior quality compared to the originals.
 

captainclock

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OK, I've got the correct OG Style Hands on order and they were shipped out yesterday, so I should be getting them Monday possibly.
I got them over at Merritt's.

As for making my own Verge Keeper, how long of a steel finishing nail should I get? 1 inch or so?

Also how does one go about bluing steel? I saw in my old clock and watch repair book something about a bluing pan? But I've never seen such a thing before and I've certainly never seen one for sale on any of the clock parts suppliers websites. I'm assuming I might be able to pick something up at a gun shop?

Thanks for your help,

Levi
 

shutterbug

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Bluing is done with heat, and it has to be even heat. The part is heated red hot and quenched (in oil preferably). That makes it super hard and easy to break. Then it is reheated evenly, watching for the color changes. When the color is right, remove the heat and let it cool. It can be quenched again without hurting anything. It's a learning process, so do some practice on some thin steel that can be ruined without causing tears. It's best to shake the part while quenching to remove the bubbles. They can cause uneven results. :) As an added tidbit, this is also how to make a spring, if you ever need one.
 

captainclock

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A little update on this clock: I finally got it going! My dad helped me make a new verge retainer out of a 1 1/4" 18 gauge steel wire brad which that I got a box of from the local Ace Hardware, and my dad used a small hammer he had gotten from his grandfather's house and flattened one end using the anvil end of his benchtop vise (and no heat) and it works great!

I then set up the verge and the crutch and the suspension rod assembly as per the instructions given on here and its been running ever since.

See video below so you can see if the clock sounds like its running properly, to me its sounds like its running properly, but you guys might know better.


 
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Jim DuBois

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Congratulations! But, you may well have launched yourself downward on a very slippery slope, many of us preceded you on that trip!
 
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captainclock

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Congratulations! But, you may well have launched yourself downward on a very slippery slope, many of us preceded you on that trip!
Thanks! And yes I know I've been collecting clocks since I was 8 years old (and I'm 32 now), and I know how easy it is to want to buy every clock you see.

This clock and my Ingraham Gingerbread clock are the oldest clocks I've owned so far.
 

captainclock

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OK so another update on this clock, I've had this clock running for a couple of days now and it seems to be gaining 5 minutes, and I'm not sure why.

I bought what I thought was the correct size pendulum bob for this thing going by what little I could find about this clock online and through here in my research but now I'm thinking maybe I may have gotten the wrong pendulum bob size?

When I got this pendulum bob the rating nut was all the way at the "top" and I now have it nearly bottomed out and it doesn't seem to be making any difference in how the clock runs (gaining or losing time)and I was following the instructions inside the clock where it said to lower the bob if the clock was running too fast and to raise the bob if it was going too slow, and like I said it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

Any help in this matter would be appreciated.

-Levi
 

shutterbug

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You could try a longer suspension spring. You could also try a thinner one. That gives you a longer pendulum swing and will slow the clock down a bit.
 

captainclock

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You could try a longer suspension spring. You could also try a thinner one. That gives you a longer pendulum swing and will slow the clock down a bit.
Well the original pendulum suspension rod was 18" including the suspension feather, the original suspension feather was .004" thick, the only suspension rod I saw that had those specs at Timesavers was the ones marked 17/18 inches which I had ordered some of those but when I measured them they actually measured 16" and not 17" or 18" like the description said it should of.

Could having the wrong size of pendulum Bob affect it as well?

The reason why I'm asking about this is because right now the pendulum Bob is completely bottomed out and it's still gaining 4-5 minutes within a 8 hour period.

Thanks for your help.
 

hambyl

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I have the Sam click and it came with 7 pound weights. I assume they are original. Mine has not been reworked yet. 68096849-D243-4FAB-A1EF-509104927476.jpeg
 

hambyl

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Ok, thanks, how much does your clock's bob weigh? I'm assuming your clock's pendulum bob is original?

Also are both of your clock's weights the same weight or are they two different size weights?

Thanks for your help.
Both weights are the same. Bob weighs apps 3 ounces. Is 2 1/4” diameter. BA8BB4A6-02E9-40F1-B533-4BAB1D6CC806.jpeg 67E028C6-2486-4389-B8D3-A40FAE122133.jpeg 7B056C05-5321-4517-867D-C695E23FB848.jpeg Here is picture comparing it to a Seth Thomas short drop.
 

captainclock

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Both weights are the same. Bob weighs apps 3 ounces. Is 2 1/4” diameter. View attachment 623503 View attachment 623504 View attachment 623505 Here is picture comparing it to a Seth Thomas short drop.
Ok, thanks! I have a 2 1/4" bob but it's only 2.5 ounces rather than 3 ounces. I ordered a 3.3 ounce 2 1/4" bob that's supposed to be a more correct pendulum for this type of clock from Timesavers and another one that's 3 ounces.
Both weights on my clock are reproduction weights that are 6 5/8 lbs., which is pretty close to 7 lbs. so I think the weights I have are fine, I think it's probably the bob or the suspension rod.
 

hambyl

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Ok, thanks! I have a 2 1/4" bob but it's only 2.5 ounces rather than 3 ounces. I ordered a 3.3 ounce 2 1/4" bob that's supposed to be a more correct pendulum for this type of clock from Timesavers and another one that's 3 ounces.
Both weights on my clock are reproduction weights that are 6 5/8 lbs., which is pretty close to 7 lbs. so I think the weights I have are fine, I think it's probably the bob or the suspension rod.
Remember, my weights are approximate. Also, this works is very forgiving. I am confident that if you don't have any bad bushings and other parts of the works are set up correctly, slight variations in the weight of the pendulum bob and the weights will not be a problem. The 6+ pound weight is driving the strike train nicely and should do fine on the time side. I noticed that the gear above the time first gear has had someone working to close the bushing hole with a punch rather than re-bush. Horrible practice. I would take off the weight and the verge and see if the train spins nicely. Pull on the cord and see how much weight it takes to move the time train. It shouldn't take much--maybe a pound, leaving the remaining 5 or 6 pounds to drive the pendulum. (Someone below may have already told you this. If so, sorry to repeat it.)
 

captainclock

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Remember, my weights are approximate. Also, this works is very forgiving. I am confident that if you don't have any bad bushings and other parts of the works are set up correctly, slight variations in the weight of the pendulum bob and the weights will not be a problem. The 6+ pound weight is driving the strike train nicely and should do fine on the time side. I noticed that the gear above the time first gear has had someone working to close the bushing hole with a punch rather than re-bush. Horrible practice. I would take off the weight and the verge and see if the train spins nicely. Pull on the cord and see how much weight it takes to move the time train. It shouldn't take much--maybe a pound, leaving the remaining 5 or 6 pounds to drive the pendulum. (Someone below may have already told you this. If so, sorry to repeat it.)
There were 3 Rathbun bushings on this clock movement when I first got it, and where you see the punch marks on the first gear of the time train was where one of the old Rathbun bushings was.

And I had gotten an estimate for getting this movement rebushed and they said it would cost $500-800 which I don't have that kind of money.
 

shutterbug

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Do you have room to replace the suspension rod with a longer one?
 

captainclock

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Do you have room to replace the suspension rod with a longer one?
The one I have in there now is pretty close to the same length as the original but the suspension feather is .001" thicker than the one that was on the original suspension rod (.005" on the new one vs. .004" on the original).

As for the bushings (another member here asked me about them) I reinstalled 2 of the old Rathbun bushings onto the clock movement (the ones that were on the 1st and 2nd wheel on the time train) and I don't know if I got them installed incorrectly or what but I can't seem to get the clock to stay running anymore, it will run for about 5 minutes and then slowly come to a stop. one of the members on here noticed that the bushing on the first gear for the time train had punch marks on it, and I had noticed it as well but didn't think anything of it at first, because the clock ran "fine" with it like that, but then when I went to install the Rathbun bushings back where they were originally then the clock quit running.

As for a longer suspension rod goes, the one I have in there now is about as long as I dare go, any longer and I won't have much room for the bob on the bottom.

I hope this helps.
 

hambyl

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Does the time train turn easily and smoothly with the verge and weight removed? If not add arbors one at a time to see where it is binding. The Rathbun bushing might be mis-aligned with the hole, particularly one you worked on.
 

shutterbug

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Your suspension spring can be thinned with emery cloth. About 180 grit. Double it over around both sides of the spring and sweep several times from the wire through the length of the spring. Try about .002" thinner than it is now, and see how it works.
 

captainclock

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Your suspension spring can be thinned with emery cloth. About 180 grit. Double it over around both sides of the spring and sweep several times from the wire through the length of the spring. Try about .002" thinner than it is now, and see how it works.
Ok, I can try that. I'm assuming I can get Emery cloth at the local hardware store?
 

shutterbug

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Yes.
 

shutterbug

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It might be time to get rid of those two Rathbuns and re-establish the center of the pivot holes with proper bushings.
 

captainclock

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It might be time to get rid of those two Rathbuns and re-establish the center of the pivot holes with proper bushings.
As I said I don't have $500 to spend to get this clock rebushed. I think part of my clock's problem is that the verge retainer is not quite right (its not holding the correct pressure on the verge pin) and the crutch isn't quite right either.
 

shutterbug

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You can bush it yourself for a lot less than $500 :) Read the "bushing by hand" information that Bangster has at the top of the forum and jump in there. BTW, your type of clock should not cost $500 to restore by a pro. I would be in the area of about half that much in my shop. There must be other repairmen near you that you could get an estimate from if you don't want to try it. But you can do it. The first one is always scary :)
 

Jim DuBois

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If you were down the street I would invite you in for tea and crumpets, spend a few minutes showing you how to do a bushing and polish pivots, do the required work, and send you on down the road at no cost but hoping you move your interests up a notch. The work is not difficult and I agree with Mr. Bug. $500+/- is too much for at least a hobbyist level of clock and interest. And it would take less than an hour I suspect.
 

captainclock

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If you were down the street I would invite you in for tea and crumpets, spend a few minutes showing you how to do a bushing and polish pivots, do the required work, and send you on down the road at no cost but hoping you move your interests up a notch. The work is not difficult and I agree with Mr. Bug. $500+/- is too much for at least a hobbyist level of clock and interest. And it would take less than an hour I suspect.
Well unfortunately there aren't very many clock repairmen near me. Just two and the one that was wanting to charge $500 is someone who has been doing it for years and he owns a Jewelry Store that has been in the same family since the 1860s. The other one is also an old Family run mom and pop style jewelry store that has been around since 1900 and they don't have a regular clock repairman on staff so they just hire whoever they can get to work for them, in this case the guy that works for them is also a college professor at a local college so he can't take on any jobs until his classes are finished.

Anyways I did finally get it figured out and got running again, and its been keeping better time since, it was between having to tweak the verge and crutch and getting the proper sized pendulum bob as I had a pendulum bob that was too small (I had a pendulum bob that was supposed to be for a drop octagon clock rather than for a column and cornice clock).
 

Jim DuBois

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Any local clock collectors you have met? I suspect there are at least 1 or 2 in your area. Terry Rettig is in South Bend and he has been a very active collector and buyer/seller of clocks for a very long time. John Cote is a NAWCC director and is in the Indy area I think. There are some active folks in the Indy area for certain, Dave Hanna, Mike Partington, and Joe Morgan are all in the Indy area. I suspect several of them would be more than happy to provide introductions as well as at least offer some suggestions to you.
 

captainclock

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Any local clock collectors you have met? I suspect there are at least 1 or 2 in your area. Terry Rettig is in South Bend and he has been a very active collector and buyer/seller of clocks for a very long time. John Cote is a NAWCC director and is in the Indy area I think. There are some active folks in the Indy area for certain, Dave Hanna, Mike Partington, and Joe Morgan are all in the Indy area. I suspect several of them would be more than happy to provide introductions as well as at least offer some suggestions to you.
I'm not interested in driving to the indy area, it's too far for me to drive on my own, and no I don't know that Terry Rettig guy you speak of, never met him. And most of the people that buy and sell clocks around here are just people trying to make a quick buck at antique malls, selling overpriced clocks and watches that aren't even serviced.
 

shutterbug

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You might check with the local NAWCC chapter. There is probably one near you, and someone from there might live closer to you. It's worth a try :)
 

shutterbug

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Click here, then fill out the form. It will let you know where and who to contact ;)
 

captainclock

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Click here, then fill out the form. It will let you know where and who to contact ;)
There's only 2 chapters in Indiana, 83 and 18 and neither of them are very close to me, chapter 83 is in Schererville, IN which is over by Michigan City, IN which is 90 minutes west of me, Chapter 18 is down by Indy, which is over 3 hours south of me.
Chapter 83, which is called "Peace Pipe" is the only one that has their info published on here, Chapter 18 doesn't have their information published on here.
 

shutterbug

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OK, it was worth a shot ;)
 

captainclock

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OK, it was worth a shot ;)
I know I was trying too, but when you have learning disabilities like I do (I have High Functioning Autism, ADD, ADHD, and a Partial Complex Seizure Disorder, all of which are controlled with meds) I don't trust myself to drive more than an hour away from me, especially when its on high speed, highways.

I don't know if I could of messaged the leader of Chapter 83 and seen if he knew of any members closer to me or not (I know sometimes groups like this are kind leary of giving that kind of information out to complete strangers).
 

shutterbug

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You are wise to know your limitations. Clock repairmen are mostly old folks now, and the number is dwindling. You might have to consider using the mail to get help for the clock.
 

captainclock

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Ok, so I've had this clock running running for about 2 weeks now and the time has been pretty spot on and has been running for about 8 days like it should, but for some reason the strike train runs out before the time train does.
Is this normal? Because I know on my other 8 day clocks the time train runs out before the strike train does.
 

shutterbug

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Personally I like the strike to outlast the time. When you are dealing with count wheel clocks, if the strike side winds down before the time side, you have to re-sync every time you wind it. Kind of a pain. But look at your strike side spring to be sure it's actually fully down. You might have a power issue in that train instead.
 

captainclock

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Personally I like the strike to outlast the time. When you are dealing with count wheel clocks, if the strike side winds down before the time side, you have to re-sync every time you wind it. Kind of a pain. But look at your strike side spring to be sure it's actually fully down. You might have a power issue in that train instead.
Actually its a weight driven clock, so no mainsprings.

But that still doesn't change the fact that the strike side runs out before the time does.

The time and strike sides are both using the same size weight (6 5/8 lbs.) which I would of thought would of ran down at about the same rate but the strike runs down faster than the time does.

Would it perhaps have something to do with my fast striking strike mechanism?

Should I perhaps try a smaller weight on the strike side or perhaps see if the strike fan may need replacing or something?
 

steamer471

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It's been my experience a heavier weight on the time side allows it to run out before the strike side does. This keeps you from having to retime the clock if you for get to wind it. Many old American clocks I have purchased have been set up this way.
 

captainclock

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It's been my experience a heavier weight on the time side allows it to run out before the strike side does. This keeps you from having to retime the clock if you for get to wind it. Many old American clocks I have purchased have been set up this way.
Ok, so maybe I'll see about getting an 8 1/2 pound weight from Timesavers to put on the time side when I get paid on friday.

Right now though I was able to get the weights so that they are dropping at the same rate more or less.
 

shutterbug

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Keep in mind that more weight often masks wear. If your weights are original, you may be looking at servicing the clock before it will function correctly again. If you do get a heavier weight, be sure to keep the original in the bottom of the case for the future.
I'm not clear on what issue you have though. Does the time side stop? Or does the strike side sometimes overrun the correct number of strikes?
 

captainclock

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Keep in mind that more weight often masks wear. If your weights are original, you may be looking at servicing the clock before it will function correctly again. If you do get a heavier weight, be sure to keep the original in the bottom of the case for the future.
These weights are not original to the clock they are repops from Timesavers, as this clock didn't have its original weights when I got it.
 

captainclock

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OK, so another update on this clock:

I got some repop dust covers for the weight pulleys on the top of the clock which I had to cut down to the correct size and then use wood filler to fill in the gaps left behind from where the sides of the dust covers were cut off and revealed part of the cutout underneath because the repop dust covers were 6 inches long and the originals were 4 inches long from the looks of the top of the cabinet of the clock where there was an outline from where the original dust covers sat, and then I took and stained the dust covers to match the top of the cabinet as closely as possible (it looked like it was old dark colored stain of some sort like walnut or mahogany stain) and then nailed the new pulley dust covers onto the top of the clock where the originals were at.

Having those dust covers installed onto the clock seems to of slowed the strike mechanism down to a more reasonable speed, but then the clock wouldn't stay running (it would run in beat properly for about 20 minutes and then just suddenly stop, so I tried to readjust the verge and crutch of the pendulum to see if perhaps the dust cover being ontop of the weight pulley may have altered the weight drop speed like it did the strike side and thus made it so that the pendulum needed more torque to keep it running), but then in the process of adjusting the crutch and verge position I ended up breaking the verge/crutch assembly which was the original to the clock, and Timesavers has about 4 or 5 different types of verge gears listed and I don't know what size or type this thing needs.

Any help with this matter would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Levi
 

bruce linde

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i don't see how dust covers are going to slow down the strike... but you need to get the thing running perfectly on a test stand before trying to do so in a case.

also... read the 'how to bush by hand' article... every pivot needs to be straights and smooth. every pivot hole needs to be round. depthing needs to be right. when you've got everything right, they work... when not, they'll drive you crazy. and, when you think you've figure out what's making it stop, it turns out to be something completely different.

also... the words 'broke the verge/crutch assembly ' mean nothing without photos... no idea what you're talking about so can't advise on what parts to measure and/or order.

photos. test stand. every issue addressed appropriately. until that point, you're just guessing.

oh... i think it was shut who said 'the harder a clock is to take apart and reassemble, the more times you'll have to." :)
 

captainclock

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i don't see how dust covers are going to slow down the strike... but you need to get the thing running perfectly on a test stand before trying to do so in a case.
I dont know either but all I know is that when I put the dust covers onto the clock the struck the hours much slower than it did before which before it struck fairly fast.


Also... read the 'how to bush by hand' article... every pivot needs to be straights and smooth. every pivot hole needs to be round. depthing needs to be right. when you've got everything right, they work... when not, they'll drive you crazy. and, when you think you've figure out what's making it stop, it turns out to be something completely different.
I believe I explained this before, I don't have any of the proper tools to do this, nor do I want to spend a ton of money having it done professionally because as I explained previously, I don't make much money so I can't afford to take this clock to a shop to have it redone.

Also... the words 'broke the verge/crutch assembly ' mean nothing without photos... no idea what you're talking about so can't advise on what parts to measure and/or order.
Seth Thomas Verge Assembly.jpg

That's the part I was talking about.

photos. test stand. every issue addressed appropriately. until that point, you're just guessing.
See photo above, don't own a test stand, and I wasn't having any issues with this clock until I put the dust covers onto the case, so there was nothing wrong with the movement before then.

oh... i think it was shut who said 'the harder a clock is to take apart and reassemble, the more times you'll have to." :)
Who's Shut?! :confused:
 

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