French Bracket Clock

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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I just purchased this clock at the regional mart in Florida last week...my first bracket. I love the striking sound. Makes me think of a library scene in a movie. In any event, I'm puzzled about setting this up. Having some difficulty keeping it running. If I split a deck of cards and place half under the front and back feet on the left side it runs. Otherwise it's way off beat. Can someone advise me on the adjustment I need to make so it runs without the playing cards? Thanks! 86138.jpg 86139.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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Hi Susan.Your clock is not in beat which is why you need to shim one side up.I dont have experience in these so someone else should be able to tell you how to put this clock in beat.Nice looking clock by the way.
 

John Meyer

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Oct 22, 2010
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I am an amature at this but from the looks of the face of your clock the dial is a bit off center, looks like it needs to be turned clockwise. If that is the case by doing this it will turn the movement as well which should put it in beat. I think you want the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock perfectly straight up and down.
 

Kevin W.

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I think what you see is just caused by the camera angle I doubt this is the problem.
 

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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Yes, the camera angle is misleading. I would appreciate some guidance from someone who has experience with getting the beat right on this type of clock. Thank you.
 

Steven Thornberry

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There should be a forked cutch between which the pendulum leader hangs. Gently push the forked crutch in the direction you have it shimmed. Push it until you meet some resistance. You may need to push it gently more than once until you get an even rhythmic beat. And you may have to reverse your push if by chance you throw it out of beat in the other direction. Patience is a virtue in this game.
 

Kevin W.

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Susan you should hear a even tick tock when its in beat.
 

Kevin W.

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You could remove the pendulum.But you would need it on to check your adjustment.
 

Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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The movement sure looks out of kilt, relative to the case to me.

Ralph
 

Missy

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May 27, 2004
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These French clocks have a tendency to twist in the case when you wind them. Try to turn the movement a fraction at a time while listening to the beat. If it gets worse, turn the other way. When you hear a nice even tick-tick that's the spot. It only takes a small movement for these clocks to get out of beat when winding. When you get it in beat, try to tighten the bolts that hold it in the case.

Missy
 

jmclaugh

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The dial looks slightly off centre to me too but anyway unless it is way out of beat I prefer to loosen the screws at the back that hold the movement tight and do what Missy suggests rather than bend the crutch especially as it has a gong which makes doing that quite tricky.
 

new2clocks

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The October, 2010 NAWCC Bulletin has a very good article on the issue as to why French strap movements tend to do exactly as Missy and Jonathan suggest. The fix is as Missy and Jonathan suggest.

Regards.
 
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John Meyer

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Oct 22, 2010
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Thank you new2clocks you (along with all the helpful people here) have inspired me to join the NAWCC. I'll still be an amateur but at least I will be a better informed amateur!
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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twowinds;537469 said:
Thank you new2clocks you (along with all the helpful people here) have inspired me to join the NAWCC. I'll still be an amateur but at least I will be a better informed amateur!
Good for you fellow amateur, btw have you got it in beat? Its always nice to hear about a success.

Anyway I must go and finish my notes for a brief talk I am doing for the local WI (Women's Institute) tomorrow on French clocks, God help me though I should get a nice tea after unless I am booed off.
 

Missy

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Jonathan, I doubt you will get booed off, more like a standing ovation. :clap: :clap: I wish I could be there. I always look forward to your posts on the French clock questions as you have a wealth of knowledge and information and freely share it. I have mostly American clocks, but after obtaining my first French clock I am intrigued by them and have acquired 3 or 4 more.

The original poster was Susan and we have not heard if she got it in beat. I wish she would let us know as I always like to hear the "end of the story" too.

Twowinds, welcome to the NAWCC. I know you will enjoy this fascinating hobby.

Missy
 

dweiss17

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Aug 1, 2006
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Missy:

Thank you for your kind note when my Frankie Weiss left us for another world.

Even with the cards under the left side, I'm sure the dial and movement are not centered so the numerals are completely vertical. How is it attached to the case? It seems off center to me.
 

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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Sorry to have "disappeared" after receiving your comments. Too many irons in the fire plus I've been looking for my October bulletin! I did have the camera at an odd angle when taking the pictures posted. I had a small flashlight on the subject which meant I was focusing the light and lens at the same time. I've had another set of eyes look at the dial and we believe it isn't off center but I can try a more scientific approach tomorrow or take additional pictures when I have daylight and not relying on a flashlight. I did adjust the crutch some and it ran temporarily without the cards which was a step in the right direction but then it quit. I wanted to read the bulletin before I made any other adjustments. I'll post back once I've made some progress. Thank you.
 

Missy

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May 27, 2004
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Thanks for checking back Susan. We are all anxious for you to get your nice clock running.

Remember it only takes a tiny adjustment to find the right spot. You will have to have your ear very near the clock as you listen to hear for the even tick when making increment turns to the movement. Wait for the pendulum to settle down after each adjustment. These French clocks are very quiet tickers.

Hoping for good news soon,
Missy
 

giorgio

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Feb 18, 2004
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I am familiar with these clocks. The easiest way to get it in beat, provided there is nothing wrong with the crutch or pendulum, is to loosen the two screws in the back cover and rotate the movement from the front until the ticking is even.
Giorgio
 

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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Well I can finally report some results. Using a plumb bob and the article from the October Bulletin I straightened the dial on the clock. I was still having some issues with the clock's beat...back to using 1/2 deck of cards on the left side back and front to get an even sound. It would run for 3 minutes then stop. I sat down with it again today and made some adjustments to the crutch. Still having the same issue with it running for a few minutes then stopping. I started back with the deck of cards. I now have 2 cards under the left front and one card under the back right and its been running 3 hrs. Progress! It's sitting in the middle of the dining room table so I eventually need to move it to its new home. Is this type of clock typically so sensitive as far as set up to keep it running? Is it possible there's an underlying issue that I'll need to have checked out? Thanks to all.
 

harold bain

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Susan, without going through the whole thread, has the movement been serviced? French clocks have a very quiet tick, hard to hear if it's in beat without amplification. I use a mechanic's stethoscope, with the end either on the movement, or from the front, on the minute arbor. I've had a few difficult ones, that seemed to go out of beat every time I wound them. The crutch wasn't tight enough on it's arbor. Took a while to find the problem, though.
 

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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I purchased this clock at the regional clock mart in Daytona last month. The gentleman assured me it had been serviced. The first (and only) time I wound the clock I believe the dial did slip so I'll be careful next I wind it.
-> posts merged by system <-
To determine whether the crutch is tight enough on the arbor I'd have to remove it from the case?
 

harold bain

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Susan, how good are you at hearing if a clock is in beat? French clocks just won't run if they are not exactly in beat, so there isn't much wiggle room as far as "almost". Setting it in beat involves moving the crutch on it's arbor. If you push the crutch in either direction, you should feel some resistance when the anchor hits the bottom of the escapewheel. The amount of resistance determines if it is too loose or not. Pushing past this resistance changes the beat. Being in beat should involve the crutch having equal movement on both sides of it's center before hitting the bottom of the escapewheel. Setting it in beat is always somewhat trial and error, often more error. Make sure it is on a very level surface when setting the beat, and when running the clock.
 

Susan Moody

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Jan 18, 2010
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I'm pretty good at hearing the beat and I'd say this clock is a little louder than most French clocks. Can I assume that if the clock has been running for almost four hours that it is in beat?
 

harold bain

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Yes, pretty good chance it is in beat if it runs 4 hours. I should have mentioned, to set it in beat, push the crutch toward the side you have to shim to make it run.:D
 

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