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Early Gustav Becker 400 Day Torsion Clock Pendulum Balance

Schaferhunde

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What is the purpose of the small screws fitted to the 2 discs above the pendulum?
The length is short of touching the posts?
 
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Schaferhunde

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The photograph shows the same pendulum as my early GB is fitted with, note the small round head screws.
As these don't hold the posts they must be balance screws?
There is little published on these early clocks 1900-1913 is where mine is dated.

H20354-L141263977.jpg
 

KurtinSA

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Welcome to the message board! Those small screws around the circumference of the gallery disks are decorative in nature. They don't have any actual function other than that.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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Welcome to the message board! Those small screws around the circumference of the gallery disks are decorative in nature. They don't have any actual function other than that.

Kurt
Thanks Kurt, that's a surprise, but the screws are so tiny I didn't think they wouldn't be of any use as balance screws.
Its unusual being German that they are not functional.
Is there any documentation on these early Gustav Becker Clocks written?
Kind regards
Nigel
 

KurtinSA

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Nigel -

John Hubby has a significant post here which provides production information as well as some details of Becker clocks:

Post Your Gustav Becker Clocks Here | NAWCC Forums

There are catalogs out there which document some of the early models. The only other place I can think of now is articles that were written in the Torsion Times, a quarterly publication of Chapter 168 the 400-Day chapter of the NAWCC. Those publications are not currently online but they might be down the road, although that road is a bit unclear! The entire collection of Torsion Times publications was offered for sale over the past couple of years. Some of us took advantage of that, if they had not already had their copies from being a member of the Chapter. Not sure of the status of left over copies, though.

Kurt
 

etmb61

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Its unusual being German that they are not functional.
Hi Nigel,

The galleries themselves only serve as decorations so adding decorative screws seems appropriate. Some Becker designer must have liked the look. The earliest Becker disc pendulums didn't have the screws. They come and go over the years.

On other brands the screws actually hold the galleries together.

Eric
 

Schaferhunde

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Hi Nigel,

The galleries themselves only serve as decorations so adding decorative screws seems appropriate. Some Becker designer must have liked the look. The earliest Becker disc pendulums didn't have the screws. They come and go over the years.

On other brands the screws actually hold the galleries together.

Eric
Thanks Eric,
Hi Nigel,

The galleries themselves only serve as decorations so adding decorative screws seems appropriate. Some Becker designer must have liked the look. The earliest Becker disc pendulums didn't have the screws. They come and go over the years.

On other brands the screws actually hold the galleries together.

Eric
Hi Eric
Thanks Eric all tricky stuff. I bought my clock because it was early and in an Ebonised case. Slowly cleaning up the mess, and damage.

thumbnail_20210120_093041.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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Nigel -

John Hubby has a significant post here which provides production information as well as some details of Becker clocks:

Post Your Gustav Becker Clocks Here | NAWCC Forums

There are catalogs out there which document some of the early models. The only other place I can think of now is articles that were written in the Torsion Times, a quarterly publication of Chapter 168 the 400-Day chapter of the NAWCC. Those publications are not currently online but they might be down the road, although that road is a bit unclear! The entire collection of Torsion Times publications was offered for sale over the past couple of years. Some of us took advantage of that, if they had not already had their copies from being a member of the Chapter. Not sure of the status of left over copies, though.

Kurt
Thanks Kurt that's very interesting information, as it dates my clock between 1900-1906 I think.
 

KurtinSA

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Nigel -

Does the back plate have a serial number? Or does it only have the GB logo? I see one logo has been date-ranged to 1900-1906. Those logos have subtle differences that take some close inspection to narrow the choice.

Kurt
 

etmb61

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Thanks Eric,

Hi Eric
Thanks Eric all tricky stuff. I bought my clock because it was early and in an Ebonised case. Slowly cleaning up the mess, and damage.

View attachment 633321
Hi Nigel,

I have not encountered one with an Ebonised case before. All the literature I've seen shows only oak, walnut, or mahogany for the choices. I wonder if your case has been refinished.

Eric
 

Schaferhunde

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Nigel -

Does the back plate have a serial number? Or does it only have the GB logo? I see one logo has been date-ranged to 1900-1906. Those logos have subtle differences that take some close inspection to narrow the choice.

Kurt
Hi Kurt
Please see pics attached, thanks for your help.
Kind regards
Nigel
PS I didn't put the scratches in, these can be professionally removed later on, I am in the process of cleaning it up
to assemble and run hopefully, have ordered a new suspension spring, cleaned up all the damaged screw heads
will blue after polishing, will post pics when finished.

thumbnail_20210121_075217.jpg thumbnail_20210121_075258.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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Based upon John Hubby's estimated production numbers, that serial number dates to about Apr/May 1904.

Kurt
Yes I looked at Johns revised notes and that's really good that its well over 100 yrs old, making it a genuine Antique.
The age and unique ebonised case is what attracted me to it, also being German.
Unfortunately like every old clock, there are lots of age and owner related issues to deal with, ea consuming
a lot of time to fix. Anyway thanks for your help Kurt.
 

Schaferhunde

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Yes I looked at Johns revised notes and that's really good that its well over 100 yrs old, making it a genuine Antique.
The age and unique ebonised case is what attracted me to it, also being German.
Unfortunately like every old clock, there are lots of age and owner related issues to deal with, ea consuming
a lot of time to fix. Anyway thanks for your help Kurt.
Yes I looked at Johns revised notes and that's really good that its well over 100 yrs old, making it a genuine Antique.
The age and unique ebonised case is what attracted me to it, also being German.
Unfortunately like every old clock, there are lots of age and owner related issues to deal with, ea consuming
a lot of time to fix. Anyway thanks for your help Kurt.
I have attached some of the dealer photos, unfortunately the original gilt lacquer was too far gone to save, plus the brass had oxidised
badly in some areas. I had to remove the remaining lacquer, polish and seal with Renaissance wax.

dealer_ukhorology_superhighres_1602848981105-7531148846.jpg dealer_ukhorology_superhighres_1602849093613-9529588654.jpg dealer_ukhorology_highres_1602849142211-0725103065.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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Regarding my earlier question about the small screws I picked this up on the web.
The earliest examples of these clocks used a flat brass disc for the rotating pendulum bob, with two smaller adjustable discs on top of this to provide timing adjustments
 

Schaferhunde

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I own this example, please see the pendulum pics, note the decorative edge, which the dial bezel also has, sorry a bit out of focus on a couple of pics.The pendulum is lead filled as someone had over tightened the centre screw pulling the post down and with it the 2 weights, making a slight impression.
I pulled out the impressions and made a spacer up that fits under the pendulum post, it takes up a little rebate so the screw can be firmly tightened without compressing the pendulum centre. I also made 2 spacers to fit under the 2 front pillars so again these can be tightened without driving the support bases into the case, as they are hollow.

thumbnail_20210121_154312.jpg thumbnail_20210121_154427.jpg thumbnail_20210121_154628.jpg thumbnail_20210121_154641.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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Hi Nigel,

I have not encountered one with an Ebonised case before. All the literature I've seen shows only oak, walnut, or mahogany for the choices. I wonder if your case has been refinished.

Eric
Hi Eric
I think the ebonising is original, its been there a long time as the finish shows significant age related deterioration.
I stripped the case down to clean up the glass and all the frame joins had ebonising on them. There is a red lead primer under the ebonising.
I'll post a pic showing the underneath tomorrow.
 

Schaferhunde

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Hi Eric
I think the ebonising is original, its been there a long time as the finish shows significant age related deterioration.
I stripped the case down to clean up the glass and all the frame joins had ebonising on them. There is a red lead primer under the ebonising.
I'll post a pic showing the underneath tomorrow.
thumbnail_20210121_193201.jpg thumbnail_20210121_193319.jpg
 

KurtinSA

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I had to put on my sunglasses to look at the pictures! Nice work! I need to work harder on my clocks...they don't look anything like yours!

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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I had to put on my sunglasses to look at the pictures! Nice work! I need to work harder on my clocks...they don't look anything like yours!

Kurt
Hi Kurt
Thanks for the kind reply, the hrs of work is a bit too much to take for anyone, especially standing all day bending over in my little workshop.
One question puzzles me, is there a spring between the back of the cannon pinion wheel and front plate?
Because mine did not have one? Or I have misplaced it, as I had to make a brass spacing washer fitted behind the hands collet between it and the min hand front.
Kind regards
Nigel
 

KurtinSA

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Nigel -

What you need is something that creates a somewhat tight fit of the cannon pinion to the center arbor that sticks out from the front plate. Not sure if this is a full list, but I can think of 1) a football shaped or even round washer that is concave that fits between the pinion and the front plate; 2) a cannon pinion that "squeezes" in the middle such that it grabs onto the center arbor; or 3) a flexible washer under the hand nut or if a taper pin goes through the end of the arbor, it pushes the flexible washer toward the plate. These things tend to create a little friction on the cannon pinion do it doesn't allow the minute hand to flop down but allows some movement when you move the minute hand around. On my Beckers, I think I've had 2) and 3) most of the times.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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Jan 12, 2021
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Nigel -

What you need is something that creates a somewhat tight fit of the cannon pinion to the center arbor that sticks out from the front plate. Not sure if this is a full list, but I can think of 1) a football shaped or even round washer that is concave that fits between the pinion and the front plate; 2) a cannon pinion that "squeezes" in the middle such that it grabs onto the center arbor; or 3) a flexible washer under the hand nut or if a taper pin goes through the end of the arbor, it pushes the flexible washer toward the plate. These things tend to create a little friction on the cannon pinion do it doesn't allow the minute hand to flop down but allows some movement when you move the minute hand around. On my Beckers, I think I've had 2) and 3) most of the times.

Kurt
Yes I thought a spring was missing, I have some spring steel feeler gauge strips which I can make one from.
Unlike the Eureka clocks which don't have one.
Thanks Kurt.
 

Schaferhunde

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Hi Kurt
What metal was used for the tension spring? I made one out of spring steel 0.15mm, maybe a little too much tension, I am yet
Yes I thought a spring was missing, I have some spring steel feeler gauge strips which I can make one from.
Unlike the Eureka clocks which don't have one.
Thanks Kurt.
Hi Kurt
Which metal was used originally, brass or steel? I made one from 0.15mm feeler gauge yet to punch the hole and bend centre and ends.
Its maybe a little too strong in the tension dept? But I suppose I can anneal it a tad?

thumbnail_20210215_170719.jpg
 

KurtinSA

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I tried to measure some premade ones that I have...they seem to be the same dimension 0.005" or 0.15mm. Not sure about annealing.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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I tried to measure some premade ones that I have...they seem to be the same dimension 0.005" or 0.15mm. Not sure about annealing.

Kurt
Thanks Kurt, what are they made from, brass or steel? There are no witness marks on the back of the wheel. The centre arbor is stepped where it come through the front plate, so the tension spring could be fitted clear of the front plate.
It will be very small about 1cm in length.
 

KurtinSA

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The one I looked at, and typically, was made of steel. Often times too, there's a large flat washer that actually touches the end of the cannon pinion and then the spring sandwiches between the shoulder on the center arbor and the backside of the washer...so there won't be any witness marks.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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The one I looked at, and typically, was made of steel. Often times too, there's a large flat washer that actually touches the end of the cannon pinion and then the spring sandwiches between the shoulder on the center arbor and the backside of the washer...so there won't be any witness marks.

Kurt
Thanks what are the dimensions of an original, just out of interest?
 

KurtinSA

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Sorry, I wish I had a Becker apart at the moment. Of the few that I've worked on, one had a football shaped spring but no backing washer that I mentioned. The other two have a "necked down" cannon pinion that creates drag on the center arbor. I think of the situation this way...if the cannon pinion were "glued" to the center arbor, the clock would still work but you just couldn't move the minute hand to adjust the time. So, in reality all this tension washer or whatever setup is being used is for is to not permanently fix the cannon pinion to the arbor but provide enough drag somewhere so that the minute hand will stay put at it rotates from 0:15 to 0:45 but can still be moved when needed.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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Sorry, I wish I had a Becker apart at the moment. Of the few that I've worked on, one had a football shaped spring but no backing washer that I mentioned. The other two have a "necked down" cannon pinion that creates drag on the center arbor. I think of the situation this way...if the cannon pinion were "glued" to the center arbor, the clock would still work but you just couldn't move the minute hand to adjust the time. So, in reality all this tension washer or whatever setup is being used is for is to not permanently fix the cannon pinion to the arbor but provide enough drag somewhere so that the minute hand will stay put at it rotates from 0:15 to 0:45 but can still be moved when needed.

Kurt
All good thanks for your help, I'll file it down to fit and see if there is room for a thin washer which I can make.
As I don't want the spring ends to cut into the back of the wheel.
I can make a thin washer if my right arm doesn't seize up?
 

KurtinSA

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Some of the tension washers are actually small circles with the edges curled up. There are no sharp points to dig into the pinion. You'll just have to be careful to not stack up too much material. If after compression, you can't get the taper pin into the hole at the end of the arbor, you'll have to consider another plan.

Kurt
 

etmb61

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Here is a tension washer from a similar Becker clock in my collection. You can see the relative size to the cannon pinion. It's made from a thin bit of steel spring.
tension washer.jpg

Sorry the clock is assembled so I cannot take measurements.

Eric
 

Schaferhunde

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Thankyou all understood, I am filing down the spring using diamond files, its a lot of work for such a small tension spring.
But hopefully worth it. I am familiar with this spring as I have other clocks fitted with it.
 

Schaferhunde

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Thankyou all understood, I am filing down the spring using diamond files, its a lot of work for such a small tension spring.
But hopefully worth it. I am familiar with this spring as I have other clocks fitted with it.
Thankyou all understood, I am filing down the spring using diamond files, its a lot of work for such a small tension spring.
But hopefully worth it. I am familiar with this spring as I have other clocks fitted with it.
WE HAVE A PROBLEM HERE, there is no room for a tension spring. With the new spring fitted un-tensioned if tensioned it would push the cannon pinion wheel off the gear below it. Only a day wasted making 2 springs for nothing!

ts 2.jpg ts4.jpg thumbnail_20210217_143833.jpg
 

etmb61

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Not all Beckers are created equal. Your cannon pinion should be friction fit to the tapered center arbor. There is a cutout section in the middle where you can squeeze it gently to give the fit.
cannon pinion.jpg

Here is one from another of my Beckers.
5.JPG

No tension washer is needed with these.

Eric
 

Schaferhunde

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Not all Beckers are created equal. Your cannon pinion should be friction fit to the tapered center arbor. There is a cutout section in the middle where you can squeeze it gently to give the fit.
View attachment 638685

Here is one from another of my Beckers.
View attachment 638686

No tension washer is needed with these.

Eric
Thanks Eric, I'll work something out, but I think the clock has always been like this and run efficiently. I'l
Not all Beckers are created equal. Your cannon pinion should be friction fit to the tapered center arbor. There is a cutout section in the middle where you can squeeze it gently to give the fit.
View attachment 638685

Here is one from another of my Beckers.
View attachment 638686

No tension washer is needed with these.

Eric
Hi Eric Thankyou for your suggestion, I am a bit reluctant to compress the cannon pinion as the clock has always been that way.
Let me finish it, and see how the min hand holds, I do have a brass spacer I made that can be used to create tension between the cannon pinion and hr wheel. This is all exhausting.

thumbnail_20210217_162216.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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Thanks Eric, I'll work something out, but I think the clock has always been like this and run efficiently. I'l

Hi Eric Thankyou for your suggestion, I am a bit reluctant to compress the cannon pinion as the clock has always been that way.
Let me finish it, and see how the min hand holds, I do have a brass spacer I made that can be used to create tension between the cannon pinion and hr wheel. This is all exhausting.

View attachment 638687
I should have looked at it more closely than spinning off into mainspring explosion.
 

etmb61

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I do have a brass spacer I made that can be used to create tension between the cannon pinion and hr wheel.
There should be no tension between the cannon pinion and the hour wheel! If there is the clock won't run.

Eric
 

KurtinSA

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From memory, I don't think there's a center sleeve. The cut down portion just makes it easier to squeeze between the fingers to create the drag needed on the center arbor. Maybe one has to use pliers, but thinning it down makes it easier to do that.

Kurt
 

Schaferhunde

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From memory, I don't think there's a center sleeve. The cut down portion just makes it easier to squeeze between the fingers to create the drag needed on the center arbor. Maybe one has to use pliers, but thinning it down makes it easier to do that.

Kurt
I will have this part sleeved again.
 

KurtinSA

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It's not clear to me what you're trying to do. Sleeving it again? It wasn't sleeved to start with. This is what the pinion looks like in place after just slipping off the hour pipe on a GB of mine.

Kurt

30GBCannonPinion.jpg
 

Schaferhunde

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It's not clear to me what you're trying to do. Sleeving it again? It wasn't sleeved to start with. This is what the pinion looks like in place after just slipping off the hour pipe on a GB of mine.

Kurt

View attachment 638879
The burr left in the cannon pinion is not for applying drag for the min hand, its simply left from the machining process and should be removed.
 

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