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Elisha Hotchkiss Jr. Pillar and Splat Wooden Movement Question

Watchie Logan

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I recently bought this clock at auction and have gotten it running with a bob that is not original. My question is, what size and weight bob should I be looking for that would be period correct. The bob I'm using is about 1- 1/2 in diameter and weighs 5.25 oz. Clock runs with it, but very fast. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Andy Dervan

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30 hr. wooden movement clocks require 3.5 weights; 5.25 lbs. is to much.

2" diameter bob is more appropriate.

Andy Dervan
 

Watchie Logan

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30 hr. wooden movement clocks require 3.5 weights; 5.25 lbs. is to much.

2" diameter bob is more appropriate.

Andy Dervan
Thank you, being a novice in clock repair, I'm pretty much learning on the fly. I believe I have the clock in beat and it will run for a couple days and stop for no apparent reason. Would the heavier bob cause that?
 

Andy Dervan

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You described the clock as pillar and splat; that is very confusing as the two major case types were "Pillar & Scroll" and later "Column & Split. Both of - these clock types only contained a only 30 hr. movement basically only ran 1 day!

If the clock actually runs more than 1 day then it has a completely different wood movement.

It sounds like you have improperly described the clock. Photographs of clock, dial, movement, and label would be helpful to properly identify it.

Andy Dervan
 

Watchie Logan

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What I meant was, I wind it every day, and it will run steadily for a couple days, then stop. I am attaching some photos. Sorry for the confusion.

PXL_20201122_200131823.jpg PXL_20201122_200231094.jpg PXL_20201117_153457631.jpg
 

Jerome collector

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I recently bought this clock at auction and have gotten it running with a bob that is not original. My question is, what size and weight bob should I be looking for that would be period correct. The bob I'm using is about 1- 1/2 in diameter and weighs 5.25 oz. Clock runs with it, but very fast. Thanks for any suggestions.
If I understand correctly, you're asking about the size and weight of the pendulum bob. Is that correct? Diameter isn't particularly critical, but they tend to be around 2 inches in diameter, as Andy indicated. I just weighed a couple of bobs from 30-hour wooden works clocks, and both of them came in at 4 oz. 5.25 oz. seems a bit heavy, however I don't believe it would cause the movement to run fast. Can you define what you mean by very fast?

Incidentally, your movement is a type 8.137, based on the numbering/identification system developed by Snowden Taylor. Elisha Hotchkiss and Hotchkiss & Fields are identified as the makers of that movement.
Mike
 

Watchie Logan

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If I understand correctly, you're asking about the size and weight of the pendulum bob. Is that correct? Diameter isn't particularly critical, but they tend to be around 2 inches in diameter, as Andy indicated. I just weighed a couple of bobs from 30-hour wooden works clocks, and both of them came in at 4 oz. 5.25 oz. seems a bit heavy, however I don't believe it would cause the movement to run fast. Can you define what you mean by very fast?

Incidentally, your movement is a type 8.137, based on the numbering/identification system developed by Snowden Taylor. Elisha Hotchkiss and Hotchkiss & Fields are identified as the makers of that movement.
Mike
Mike
It gains about a half hour over 24 hours. I replaced the suspension spring and rod and its a bit to short. I thought if I got a bob that is adjustable, it would correct the gain. The other issue is it that it doesn't run consistently. I believe it's in beat and will run for a few days and stop. Haven't figured that out yet. Are you the same Mike that I contacted about my Jerome Ogee? It was a few months ago and I was looking to replace the reverse painted glass. Lee Davis did it for me using the old glass, came out great.
Bill
 

Jerome collector

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Sounds as though you just need to start again with a longer pendulum. As for not running consistently, I'm not sure I'm the right person to try diagnosing the problem remotely.

And, yes, I'm probably the same Mike you contacted about your Jerome ogee. Can't go wrong with a Lee Davis tablet.
 

Watchie Logan

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Sounds as though you just need to start again with a longer pendulum. As for not running consistently, I'm not sure I'm the right person to try diagnosing the problem remotely.

And, yes, I'm probably the same Mike you contacted about your Jerome ogee. Can't go wrong with a Lee Davis tablet.
Thanks Mike
 

Watchie Logan

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I'm trying to keep this clock running, but not having any luck. It will run for a couple days and just stop. I have the hands and the dial off and have oiled it and it seems to be in beat. Seems to me that if it runs for 2 days there shouldn't be too much wrong with it. I replaced the suspension spring and I ordered a bob that is the correct weight and size. The bob I'm using now is a bit to heavy, 5.25 oz. I'm a beginner at this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

gleber

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When it stops...

Is there tension on the weight cords?

Is there any power to the escape wheel? You can tell by rocking the crutch/anchor (the piece that connects the escape wheel to the pendulum rod). If you rock that, the escape wheel should advance, not go back and forth between the same two teeth.

Can you start it again without winding it more, and if so, how long will it run?

It could be a variety of things, but I suspect something like teeth binding sometimes, so it will stop randomly and not every time the pair of teeth engage. If the weight cords are not taught, the weight or pulley could be hung up or stuck. If the weight cords are taught and there is no power, you will probably need to remove the movement and trace back from the escape wheel to find the point of binding. You will probably need to restart it and wait for it to stop again. If it doesn't stop when removed, it may be something about how it is placed in the case.

Other things to check. Are the cords over the pulleys at the top correctly? Do the pulleys rotate freely without a lot of wobble binding or dropping (like the hole is oblong instead of a circle)?

Don't give up. It should be traceable and then fixable. Good luck.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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When it stops...

Is there tension on the weight cords?

Is there any power to the escape wheel? You can tell by rocking the crutch/anchor (the piece that connects the escape wheel to the pendulum rod). If you rock that, the escape wheel should advance, not go back and forth between the same two teeth.

Can you start it again without winding it more, and if so, how long will it run?

It could be a variety of things, but I suspect something like teeth binding sometimes, so it will stop randomly and not every time the pair of teeth engage. If the weight cords are not taught, the weight or pulley could be hung up or stuck. If the weight cords are taught and there is no power, you will probably need to remove the movement and trace back from the escape wheel to find the point of binding. You will probably need to restart it and wait for it to stop again. If it doesn't stop when removed, it may be something about how it is placed in the case.

Other things to check. Are the cords over the pulleys at the top correctly? Do the pulleys rotate freely without a lot of wobble binding or dropping (like the hole is oblong instead of a circle)?

Don't give up. It should be traceable and then fixable. Good luck.

Tom
Tom
Should the suspension rod be tight in the crutch loop or loose?
When it stops...

Is there tension on the weight cords?

Is there any power to the escape wheel? You can tell by rocking the crutch/anchor (the piece that connects the escape wheel to the pendulum rod). If you rock that, the escape wheel should advance, not go back and forth between the same two teeth.

Can you start it again without winding it more, and if so, how long will it run?

It could be a variety of things, but I suspect something like teeth binding sometimes, so it will stop randomly and not every time the pair of teeth engage. If the weight cords are not taught, the weight or pulley could be hung up or stuck. If the weight cords are taught and there is no power, you will probably need to remove the movement and trace back from the escape wheel to find the point of binding. You will probably need to restart it and wait for it to stop again. If it doesn't stop when removed, it may be something about how it is placed in the case.

Other things to check. Are the cords over the pulleys at the top correctly? Do the pulleys rotate freely without a lot of wobble binding or dropping (like the hole is oblong instead of a circle)?

Don't give up. It should be traceable and then fixable. Good luck.

Tom
Tom
Thanks for this great advice, no, I'll never give up!
 

gleber

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Tom
Should the suspension rod be tight in the crutch loop or loose?
No, the pendulum rod has to be loose. It is elongated so the pendulum can hang straight down from front to back. From side to side it has to be tight enough so there is not a lot of gap, but not too tight that is can't slide. The point of rotation of each is at a different distance from the point where they touch and therefore that point on the pendulum swings a different arc radius than that point on the crutch. The amount of relative movement is small, but it does have to move. If it is too tight so that it binds, it will rob power and can stop the clock. If it is too loose, the crutch will "slap" at the pendulum rod and will not impart the full amount of power and that can stop the clock too.

If you can slip a strip of paper (not heavy weight paper) between the rod and the loop, that is probably good. It could probably be a little tighter, but everyone has a piece of paper they can use as a measurement device, even if they don't have feeler gauges, so it's a practical gauge.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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No, the pendulum rod has to be loose. It is elongated so the pendulum can hang straight down from front to back. From side to side it has to be tight enough so there is not a lot of gap, but not too tight that is can't slide. The point of rotation of each is at a different distance from the point where they touch and therefore that point on the pendulum swings a different arc radius than that point on the crutch. The amount of relative movement is small, but it does have to move. If it is too tight so that it binds, it will rob power and can stop the clock. If it is too loose, the crutch will "slap" at the pendulum rod and will not impart the full amount of power and that can stop the clock too.

If you can slip a strip of paper (not heavy weight paper) between the rod and the loop, that is probably good. It could probably be a little tighter, but everyone has a piece of paper they can use as a measurement device, even if they don't have feeler gauges, so it's a practical gauge.

Tom
Tom
Thanks for this info. I'm still waiting for the new bob, but I did check a few things today. When it does stop, the weight cords are taut and there is power to the escape wheel. I played with the beat again and tightened up the crutch loop a little so it only moves very slightly. Running now, but for how long, nobody knows!
 

gleber

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Yeah, the diagnosis gets tougher from here if you can't isolate something like an obvious power problem. It still sounds like power, and I would double check everything that moves, from the weights to the escape wheel.

You have to be careful when isolating the problem and texting "out of context." It is good to test with just two wheels at a time to ensure proper depthing of the teeth, etc. But I had my wooden movement on a stand and had the weights hanging down. It worked fine. When I put it back in the case it would stop. I traced it to the weight pulling up lifted the arbor and allowed two teeth to hit tip to tip. When the weights pulled down, this did not happen.

Tom
 
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Watchie Logan

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Tom
Still playing with the beat, I read a post in the encyclopedia part of this forum, that described the process of getting it in beat in real simple terms. So if I understand it correctly, the power to the escape wheel, through the pallets is what delivers the impulse through the crutch to keep the pendulum swinging. So if that is correct, would it follow that too heavy a pendulum would be problematic? Sorry for the basic questions, but as I said, I'm new at this.
 

gleber

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As always, there are no simple answers, but there are simplifications. Yes, the impulse from the escape wheel on the pallet is transferred to the crutch and then the pendulum. And if the pendulum bob is too heavy, that could lead to the clock stopping. But, if the pendulum bob is correct, that doesn't mean the solution is to use a lighter pendulum bob. The stopping means there isn't enough power, which could be for a variety of reasons, and that needs to be corrected. You could try a lighter bob and that could help confirm a low power diagnosis (as opposed to say teeth to teeth interference or some other issue). It's sort of like adding more weight, which would maybe also work, but not be in accordance with the original design and will lead to more and quicker wear. Ideally, we want to find the source and fix that, not use compensating approaches. Sorry if I sound preachy. I just to make the point that while band aids may be a quick fix, they should not be left on forever.
.
Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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As always, there are no simple answers, but there are simplifications. Yes, the impulse from the escape wheel on the pallet is transferred to the crutch and then the pendulum. And if the pendulum bob is too heavy, that could lead to the clock stopping. But, if the pendulum bob is correct, that doesn't mean the solution is to use a lighter pendulum bob. The stopping means there isn't enough power, which could be for a variety of reasons, and that needs to be corrected. You could try a lighter bob and that could help confirm a low power diagnosis (as opposed to say teeth to teeth interference or some other issue). It's sort of like adding more weight, which would maybe also work, but not be in accordance with the original design and will lead to more and quicker wear. Ideally, we want to find the source and fix that, not use compensating approaches. Sorry if I sound preachy. I just to make the point that while band aids may be a quick fix, they should not be left on forever.
.
Tom
Tom
I had asked an earlier question in the thread about the bob weight, and was told 5.25 oz was to heavy. Should be 3.5 oz. that's why I mentioned it. I have one on order and if the clock continues to stop with the correct weight, I will take the movement out and try and set it up on a stand. I'm a bit reluctant to do this, but I guess I have to learn sometime.
 

gleber

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You have plenty of help here, and with zoom or other video chatting software, it's the next best thing to looking over your shoulder. Do you have some other object you could try until your weight arrives?

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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You have plenty of help here, and with zoom or other video chatting software, it's the next best thing to looking over your shoulder. Do you have some other object you could try until your weight arrives?

Tom
The bob should get here this week. I was doing some reading on weights for wooden movements, some suggest up to 4 pounds for the going train. What would be the proper weight?
 

gleber

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I have 3 WW. All are 30 hr. One is a Groaner and the other two are Terry types. I think the weights for the going trains are 3.2 to 3.7 pounds. 4 pounds may be okay, but if it is stopping, especially with the correct bob weight and it does not seem to be interference causing a hard stop, but power related, the movement will need an overhaul.

Other power robbing issues, to name a few could include: bent pinions, dirty pinions (generally you don't want to oil WW pinions, unless they have brass bushings, and the escape wheel bridge) , worn pivot holes allowing misalignment, no end shake clearance (ability for an arbor to move front to back and front again without some clearance, the pullies weight dragging on the back or side of the case as mentioned, gear teeth profiles that mesh tightly instead of freely (especially if teeth have been broken and replaced).

If the lighter bob doesn't solve it, you will need to take the movement apart and start hunting.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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I have 3 WW. All are 30 hr. One is a Groaner and the other two are Terry types. I think the weights for the going trains are 3.2 to 3.7 pounds. 4 pounds may be okay, but if it is stopping, especially with the correct bob weight and it does not seem to be interference causing a hard stop, but power related, the movement will need an overhaul.

Other power robbing issues, to name a few could include: bent pinions, dirty pinions (generally you don't want to oil WW pinions, unless they have brass bushings, and the escape wheel bridge) , worn pivot holes allowing misalignment, no end shake clearance (ability for an arbor to move front to back and front again without some clearance, the pullies weight dragging on the back or side of the case as mentioned, gear teeth profiles that mesh tightly instead of freely (especially if teeth have been broken and replaced).

If the lighter bob doesn't solve it, you will need to take the movement apart and start hunting.

Tom
Thanks for the advice, I hope it doesn't come to that. I have no experience with that, but I suppose there is only one way to learn.
 

Watchie Logan

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Thanks for the advice, I hope it doesn't come to that. I have no experience with that, but I suppose there is only one way to learn.
This clock is going to drive me to drink! Has run 3 days without skipping a beat. Just put the new bob on, keeping my fingers crossed.
 

Watchie Logan

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Thanks for the advice, I hope it doesn't come to that. I have no experience with that, but I suppose there is only one way to learn.
Tom
I've finally noticed a pattern in the stopping of the clock. It nearly always stops at the warning phase. Does this help in the diagnosis of the problem?
 

Jim DuBois

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A bit more power is required to lift the levers and commence warning, from the time side of a clocks gear train. If a clock has other problems it is not unusual for commencing warning to stop a clock. I would suspect your clock needs rebushing work or has wear in pinions or bad tooth replacements, any or all of which will give a clock issues like you are having. I recommend a careful inspection of the entire movement and then correction of the issues found.
 

Watchie Logan

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A bit more power is required to lift the levers and commence warning, from the time side of a clocks gear train. If a clock has other problems it is not unusual for commencing warning to stop a clock. I would suspect your clock needs rebushing work or has wear in pinions or bad tooth replacements, any or all of which will give a clock issues like you are having. I recommend a careful inspection of the entire movement and then correction of the issues found.
Thanks, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't have any experience in clock repair or diagnosis, just the very basic stuff. I suppose I need to take the movement out of case and see if I can see anything obvious. Perhaps a good cleaning would help too. Any tutorials out there for cleaning a WW movement?
 

gleber

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Yes, the warning phase does require extra power, so if it is stopping then, that does mean an underlying power problem. But, is the problem with the time train or the warning lever?

I like to test the power in general by starting the clock, then lifting the weight and letting the pendulum swing die down, then lower the weight again. The pendulum swing should increase. It's not a black and white test, but it does give you a feel for how much reserve power you have. You can run several tests to see where it restarts the clock vs after the clock has been running for a while and reaches steady state. Observe the difference between the pendulum swing. If it is barely noticeable, you are running on the edge. The quicker it picks back up and the more the swing increases, the better.

I would check the warning lifting lever too. Does it raise easily on it's own. Is there any sign that the lifting lever is catching on something? Is there any sign the lifting lever surfaces are nicked and getting stuck? The power may be fine and the root cause is in the lifting lever/mechanism.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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Yes, the warning phase does require extra power, so if it is stopping then, that does mean an underlying power problem. But, is the problem with the time train or the warning lever?

I like to test the power in general by starting the clock, then lifting the weight and letting the pendulum swing die down, then lower the weight again. The pendulum swing should increase. It's not a black and white test, but it does give you a feel for how much reserve power you have. You can run several tests to see where it restarts the clock vs after the clock has been running for a while and reaches steady state. Observe the difference between the pendulum swing. If it is barely noticeable, you are running on the edge. The quicker it picks back up and the more the swing increases, the better.

I would check the warning lifting lever too. Does it raise easily on it's own. Is there any sign that the lifting lever is catching on something? Is there any sign the lifting lever surfaces are nicked and getting stuck? The power may be fine and the root cause is in the lifting lever/mechanism.

Tom
Thanks, I'll try that.
 

Watchie Logan

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Thanks, I'll try that.
I have taken the movement out of the case and I don't see any broken or damaged gear teeth, and the lifting mechanism appears to move freely. I'm trying to figure a way to set the movement up securely, out of the case, with weights attached so I can observe it running. I noticed on the counting wheel (see photo) that on the right side, 2 teeth appear to be metal studs. Also I was reluctant to oil the pinions because it was suggested not to oil them unless they have brass bushings. In the photo they appear to be brass.

PXL_20201215_164354970.jpg PXL_20201215_164448833.jpg
 

Watchie Logan

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Looking for some advice here on this wooden movement. First, I need confirmation whether this has brass bushings or not. It appears to me that it does, so it's ok to oil? Secondly, when setting this movement up on a test stand, do the weight cords need to be set up like in the case with pulleys or can they just hang with the weights on?
Thanks

PXL_20201215_164448833.jpg
 

gleber

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I do not see any indication this has brass bushings, but the escape wheel pivot looks very very grungy. The other pivots don't look so bad.

I strongly recommend you set up some way for the weight cords to pull upward like they do when in the case. If not, then on the stand the weights will pull the pivots down, but in the clock the pivots will be pulled up and the wheel depthing and teeth contact with the second wheel will be altered.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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I do not see any indication this has brass bushings, but the escape wheel pivot looks very very grungy. The other pivots don't look so bad.

I strongly recommend you set up some way for the weight cords to pull upward like they do when in the case. If not, then on the stand the weights will pull the pivots down, but in the clock the pivots will be pulled up and the wheel depthing and teeth contact with the second wheel will be altered.

Tom
Thanks
Are the metal studs in the counting wheel normal? See previous post.
 

gleber

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Yes, those are from a previous repair and not done very well. You should try to repair them properly. Here are 2 samples. They are not too hard to do with simple hand tools. I used cherry with the grain running along the radius. I started with a saw to rough cut, but did the final shaping with a set of micro files.

Tom

20201218_202938.jpg
 

Watchie Logan

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Yes, those are from a previous repair and not done very well. You should try to repair them properly. Here are 2 samples. They are not too hard to do with simple hand tools. I used cherry with the grain running along the radius. I started with a saw to rough cut, but did the final shaping with a set of micro files.

Tom

View attachment 628006
Thanks
As far as the counting wheel being operational, should it interfere with anything but the strike?
 

gleber

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It is probably functional as is, but as mentioned by Steven, the teeth look a little long, and they will cause extra wear on the driving pinion. In general, no it will not interfere with the time.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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It is probably functional as is, but as mentioned by Steven, the teeth look a little long, and they will cause extra wear on the driving pinion. In general, no it will not interfere with the time.

Tom
I finished cleaning the movement following your instructions with mineral spirits followed by turpentine and linseed oil mixture. I noticed a couple of things, first there was a tooth on the counting wheel that was cracked and fell off ( see photo). What are my options for repairing? I have the piece that broke, is it worthwhile to try and glue it back? If not, what do you suggest, something similar to the other repairs on the wheel? I don't have the capabilities or tools to make a new wheel. Secondly, and I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I see what appears to be metal on 4 of the holes (see photos). I just want to know if they should be oiled. Thanks

PXL_20201220_192315955.jpg PXL_20201220_192118805.jpg PXL_20201220_192144180.jpg PXL_20201220_191722303.jpg
 

gleber

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There is not a lot of load on the count wheel, so gluing it will probably work.

In this set of photos it does look like there might be brass. They all look gummed up and the movement should probably receive a disassembly and proper cleaning and inspection.
Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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There is not a lot of load on the count wheel, so gluing it will probably work.

In this set of photos it does look like there might be brass. They all look gummed up and the movement should probably receive a disassembly and proper cleaning and inspection.
Tom
Thanks
I'm going to glue it and try and bench test the movement, if it keeps stopping I will attempt a more thorough cleaning.
 

Watchie Logan

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Thanks
I'm going to glue it and try and bench test the movement, if it keeps stopping I will attempt a more thorough cleaning.
I've completed cleaning the movement and oiled the bushings that are brass along with the verge. I've set up the movement on a crude test stand with weights positioned approximately the way they would be in the case. So far I have been unable to get the movement to run for more than 5 minutes. There is nothing in the gear train that jumps out at me as being damaged, except for the count wheel, which I have glued the tooth back on. I'm not totally convinced that the movement is in beat, but I think its very, very close. Is it worth the effort to replace the pallet? Is it possible its not giving the pendulum enough push through the escape wheel?
 

gleber

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Can you post a clear video of it running?

When it stops, is there any power at the escape wheel? You can tell by moving the pendulum left and right to see if the escape wheel advances. There may be power, but maybe not enough, but if there is no power then you know for certain something is hung up somewhere farther down the train.

Tom
 

Watchie Logan

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Can you post a clear video of it running?

When it stops, is there any power at the escape wheel? You can tell by moving the pendulum left and right to see if the escape wheel advances. There may be power, but maybe not enough, but if there is no power then you know for certain something is hung up somewhere farther down the train.

Tom
I have attached a short video of the clock running. It will run for about 5 minutes and stop. The escape wheel advances when moving the pendulum, so their is still power there and will start up again and run for 5 minutes or so. Striking phase seems to work fine when it reaches that point. All the teeth are present on all the gears, nothing obviously broken. If you raise the volume, the tick- tock seems even to me.
Can you post a clear video of it running?

When it stops, is there any power at the escape wheel? You can tell by moving the pendulum left and right to see if the escape wheel advances. There may be power, but maybe not enough, but if there is no power then you know for certain something is hung up somewhere farther down the train.

Tom
I
 

Watchie Logan

Registered User
Nov 28, 2020
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Country
I have attached a short video of the clock running. It will run for about 5 minutes and stop. The escape wheel advances when moving the pendulum, so their is still power there and will start up again and run for 5 minutes or so. Striking phase seems to work fine when it reaches that point. All the teeth are present on all the gears, nothing obviously broken. If you raise the volume, the tick- tock seems even to me.

I
Trying to post a video, but this site says the file is too large. What are the parameters of attaching videos? The one I tried to post is only 27 seconds.