Help Early 1860s Seth Thomas Column and Cornice Clock

shutterbug

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He meant me :)
Your crutch issue is not too hard to fix. Remove the broken part from the verge, It is staked, so you'll probably have to file it down and punch it out. Then smooth out the end of the long piece so it fits in the hole in the verge. You'll want it to protrude about 1mm on the other (inside) side of the verge. Use a marker to mark the outside part right at the edge of the verge. Now you want to flatten the wire just below that mark so it's too big to go through the hole.
Now position the wire into a vice at the flat area and put the verge onto the wire in the right position for the bottom bend to be right for the pendulum slot. Now using LIGHT taps, spread out the part of the wire that protrudes through the verge until it's quite tight.
You're done. The shorter length will not affect anything. No need to buy any parts. ;)

Can you show us a pic of the dust covers you installed?
 
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captainclock

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He meant me :)
Your crutch issue is not too hard to fix. Remove the broken part from the verge, It is staked, so you'll probably have to file it down and punch it out. Then smooth out the end of the long piece so it fits in the hole in the verge. You'll want it to protrude about 1mm on the other (inside) side of the verge. Use a marker to mark the outside part right at the edge of the verge. Now you want to flatten the wire just below that mark so it's too big to go through the hole.
Now position the wire into a vice at the flat area and put the verge onto the wire in the right position for the bottom bend to be right for the pendulum slot. Now using LIGHT taps, spread out the part of the wire that protrudes through the verge until it's quite tight.
You're done. The shorter length will not affect anything. No need to buy any parts. ;)

Can you show us a pic of the dust covers you installed?
OK, thanks!

The dustcaps or covers which ever you'd like to call them (I've heard them called both) were the large dust caps from Timesavers, the small ones didn't even fit, but the large ones did. I can't get a picture of them right now because they're on top of the clock and the clock is mounted on a shelf about 5' off the ground and its kind of hard to get it down, because its also above my computer desk, they were about 2 inches too long for what I needed so I had them trimmed down and then I filled in the sides where there was an opening from the cutout on the bottom side where the pulley went through and sanded and stained them and put them on and thats when I noticed that the clock was striking a little slower than it did before.
 

shutterbug

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The cable might be dragging against the side of the hole (?)
 

shutterbug

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I should have said the cutout that you mentioned.
 

captainclock

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Alright a little update on this clock (and I realize I've been a bit uncouth recently on here and I apologize, I've been having a lot of stuff going on in my life recently that has been really bugging me.)

I can't seem to get this clock to stay running for more than 5 minutes or so, and I've tried adjusting the crutch position and the verge position several times to no avail, and I even put the Rathbun Bushing back on the escapement wheel bushing area, and the clock seems to run a lot better that way (not as much slop in the escapement wheel movement as it had without it) but the clock just absolutely refuses to stay running for any longer than 5 minutes.

It will run in perfect beat for 5 minutes but then it will suddenly start going out of beat about a minute before it stops and then it just stops altogether, and when I try to start it up again, the verge won't catch on the escapement wheel to create the "tick-tock" no matter how hard i swing the pendulum, it acts almost like the verge is for some reason shifting itself away from the escapement wheel over time as the clock runs to the point that it no longer is in contact with the espapement wheel teeth at all period which is what causes the clock to stop running.

My question is, what would cause the verge and crutch assembly to gradually shift away from the escapement wheel to the point that it eventually stops the clock altogether?

One thing I should of noted previously is that the mounting pin assembly for the verge assembly to attach to under the escapement wheel is attached to the clock with a screw rather than riveted on like most clocks I've seen, and I don't know if that has anything to do with what's going on with this clock or not, but if it does, I wonder if the original verge mounting pin was replaced years ago and a replacement was installed and was installed with a screw rather than a brass rivet like the original would of been?

Any help with this would be appreciated.
 

shutterbug

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It sounds like your verge is moving. Check to see how tight it feels.
 

R. Croswell

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I can't seem to get this clock to stay running for more than 5 minutes or so, and I've tried adjusting the crutch position and the verge position several times to no avail, and I even put the Rathbun Bushing back on the escapement wheel bushing area..............

, and the clock seems to run a lot better that way (not as much slop in the escapement wheel movement as it had without it) but the clock just absolutely refuses to stay running for any longer than 5 minutes.

............ the verge won't catch on the escapement wheel to create the "tick-tock" no matter how hard i swing the pendulum, it acts almost like the verge is for some reason shifting itself away from the escapement wheel over time as the clock runs to the point that it no longer is in contact with the espapement wheel teeth at all period which is what causes the clock to stop running.

Any help with this would be appreciated.
I believe this clock has problems that go beyond the position of the verge. You said that it gets to a point that the verge is no longer is in contact with the espapement wheel teeth at all period. If the verge is not in contact with the escape wheel at all, one of two things will happen :

1) the escape wheel will spin rapidly out of control, or....
2) the escape wheel will stall and stop moving with no teeth touching the verge.

We really need to know which is the case.

If the clock runs OK for a few minutes and fades out to a stop very likely you have a power problem typically caused by wear. The presence of the Rathbun bushing confirms excessive wear at one location but clocks like this seldom have excessive wear at just one location. As for going out of beat, understand that "out of beat" means that the pendulum swings further from the center resting position before it ticks in one directing than in the other. Lets say your beat is off by 2 degrees and when you start the clock the pendulum swings 20 degrees. It may not even sound like it is out of beat, but as the power falls off and swing gets smaller, say 8 degrees, then 2 degrees out of the 8 degrees total becomes quite noticeable. So the clock appears to be drifting out of beat when it really was already slightly out of beat but not noticeable. Then at some point the overswing approaches zero and the verge only gets power from one pallet due the 2 degrees out of beat and it sounds really bad and the overswing hits zero and it stops.

If the lift angles of the verge are not equal then one pallet is "pushing" the pendulum harder than the other which can also cause an out of beat condition as the driving power falls off. But I would disassemble the movement for a proper cleaning and inspection and install proper pressed in bushings (or have someone install them) where needed and reassemble and adjust the verge for equal locks and drops and reevaluate the situation. If you don't have good power to the the escape wheel, messing with pallet spacing and lift angles may only create new issues.

RC
 

captainclock

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I believe this clock has problems that go beyond the position of the verge. You said that it gets to a point that the verge is no longer is in contact with the espapement wheel teeth at all period. If the verge is not in contact with the escape wheel at all, one of two things will happen :

1) the escape wheel will spin rapidly out of control, or....
2) the escape wheel will stall and stop moving with no teeth touching the verge.

We really need to know which is the case.

If the clock runs OK for a few minutes and fades out to a stop very likely you have a power problem typically caused by wear. The presence of the Rathbun bushing confirms excessive wear at one location but clocks like this seldom have excessive wear at just one location. As for going out of beat, understand that "out of beat" means that the pendulum swings further from the center resting position before it ticks in one directing than in the other. Lets say your beat is off by 2 degrees and when you start the clock the pendulum swings 20 degrees. It may not even sound like it is out of beat, but as the power falls off and swing gets smaller, say 8 degrees, then 2 degrees out of the 8 degrees total becomes quite noticeable. So the clock appears to be drifting out of beat when it really was already slightly out of beat but not noticeable. Then at some point the overswing approaches zero and the verge only gets power from one pallet due the 2 degrees out of beat and it sounds really bad and the overswing hits zero and it stops.

If the lift angles of the verge are not equal then one pallet is "pushing" the pendulum harder than the other which can also cause an out of beat condition as the driving power falls off. But I would disassemble the movement for a proper cleaning and inspection and install proper pressed in bushings (or have someone install them) where needed and reassemble and adjust the verge for equal locks and drops and reevaluate the situation. If you don't have good power to the the escape wheel, messing with pallet spacing and lift angles may only create new issues.

RC
Well the odd part is that the "wear" on the escapement bushing seems to be in the "up-down" wear pattern, and the "side-to-side" seems to be non-existent, is that normal? also the 1st and second wheel (the 2 bigger gears that take the power from the escapement gear to drive the hour and minute hands) have Rathbun bushings on them as well but when I remove them and move those gears in their original bushings there doesn't seem to be as much slop as there is in the escapement wheel bushing, so I'm not sure what's going on.

I'm familiar with the concept of how bushings work (old electric fans use a very similar concept called bearings which if the bearings start getting worn the fan will start running abnormally or not at all, but in the case of a clock bushing its on a much smaller scale than a fan bearing so not as easy to work on.)

As for the "swing pattern" the pendulum on this clock takes, from what I can observe by using the "viewing window" on the bottom tablet the bob seems to swing further to the right than it does to the left but I'm not sure of the significance of that or whether or not it's really doing that, (I have the clock sitting on a shelf mounted about 5.5 feet off the ground or about the height of the average fireplace mantle in an American Victorian Home Parlor room in the mid to late 19th century) and the lighting in my room is all indirect lighting so there's shadows everywhere including on my clock's pendulum when its swinging.

As for rebushing this clock, like I said I don't have the proper tools to rebush a clock, and I know you need to have a special type of press for that and I looked at the price of one of those over at Timesavers and Merritt's and they wanted over $100 for one of those and I don't have that kind of money to spend on that, also as I stated about a hundred times before, all of the clock repairmen in my area want to charge $600 to rebush this clock which I don't have the money for, and even the $300 that some of you guys offered to do it for is still too much for me to afford. I'd might as well sell the clock for scrap for that price.
 

captainclock

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I think I have the issue figured it out, its got something to do with the way my verge and crutch assembly are adjusted. I took a look at a couple of pictures of clock movements similar to mine online and the crutch portion of the crutch and verge assembly has a slight arc to it from the bottom of the verge to the top of the loop for the suspension rod to go through, and then the verge is at a slight angle that makes it almost perpendicular to the escapement wheel, so I've adjusted the crutch so that it matched the arc of the crutch on the clock movement I saw in the pictures I saw online, and the verge angle also matched the verge angle on the verge on the clock movement in the clock I saw online, and the clock seems to be running properly now.

It's amazing how tempermental these old clocks can be if you don't set them up correctly or adjust them just right. :emoji_astonished::emoji_cold_sweat:
 
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captainclock

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Yep. That is what I was trying to say above ;)
I knew it had something to do with the way they were adjusted, I just didn't realize how far off my adjustments were until I saw those pictures, because when I got this clock the orginal verge and crutch assembly was adjusted very similarly to how I had it adjusted previously (although who knows how well it ran like that previously or if it even ran at all like that.)

But anyways its running properly now and it seems pretty happy as it has been running pretty well (nearly spot on time wise) for about a day now, so lets see if its still running when I get back from my trip down to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. :)
 

captainclock

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Well I'm currently bidding on a Seth Thomas 8-Day Weight Driven Movement from about the 1870s (it says Thomaston on it rather than Plymouth) that I'm going to try and get some parts from to get my Seth Thomas clock going properly because the strike side and time side started acting up again.
 

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