Gerbrüder Resch clock running fast

Gra

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Jul 23, 2020
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I have recently acquired a wall clock which did not work. Having become interested in Horology since the lockdown and worked on several wrist and pocket watches I thought I would have a go at the wall clock.
I have stripped it cleaned and oiled it and replaced the catgut. It now ticks nicely, however it is gaining 20 minutes a day, I have adjusted the pendulum as far as it will go but I cannot get it to run any slower.
It is a simple time only mechanism so I am at a loss, can anyone help with any ideas, thanks.
Graham

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Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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The anchor position may be to shallow.

The escape wheel teeth must drop onto the slightly curved (dead) faces of the pallets.

Are you sure the pendulum is correct? IOWa, have you actually seen this clock keep a good rate with this pendulum?

Willie X
 

Gra

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Hi Willie,
Only ever seen the clock not working, the catgut was brittle and snapped and it was swimming in oil, as for the pendulum, it may or may not be original. Just to give you an idea about my doubts, the whole clock has to be hung at an angle to run at all, I got the case properly aligned with a spirit level, checked the movement mount was square and it would not go, accidentally moved the case and go a tic.tock......tic.tock. Kept moving the case until an even beat and the clock was well out of true.....The suspension spring was held in with wire and pendulum fastened to that with a safety pin. As you can see from the photos there are also case screws missing so I have no idea what is or is not original.
I've cleaned everything in an ultrasonic and oiled with a bottle of clock oil that came with it. I've had the clock running for 4 days now but as I say it gains hugely.
I'll try to look at the escape wheel and pallet teeth, I did just polish the pallet faces with some fine Emory to remove some roughness, could I have made them too smooth or altered the profile?
Graham
 

Uhralt

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I suspect that your pendulum is too short or the suspension spring is much too short. There is a beat plate beneath the pendulum and normally the pendulum threaded end should be long enough to extend over the beat plate, so that you can actually read what the pendulum amplitude is.

Uhralt
 

Gra

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Hi Uhralt,

The suspension spring is 50mm long, I've looked on Cousin's website and 50mm is the longest they do. The pendulum is about as long as the case can stand with only 20 mm clearance.
The slot in the pendulum has a peg that fits in and it is right at the top of the slot, (sorry I don’t yet know all the correct names for the parts, feel free to enlighten me, it’s the only way to learn)
Regarding amplitude, the travel of the pendulum barely reaches the 1st numbers, it’s the shortest travel I have ever seen in a clock, even my mantel clock travels further in proportion to its size.

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Willie X

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Your symptoms are pointing to an escapement error.

Did you read "beat setting 101"? It's at the top of this page.

Willie X
 

Gra

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Hi Willie,

Could not see link to beat settings, but had a glass of wine or two will look for it and get back to you tomorrow, thanks for advice.
Gràham
 

Dick Feldman

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If that clock came to me, here is the approach I would take. That does not mean it is 100% correct but it should give you some direction.
Boiling that problem down to its basics, the escape wheel is moving faster than original design. There is a direct mechanical connection between the escape wheel and the hands. If the hands are moving too fast, so is the escapement. Whatever is wrong is between the escape wheel and the bottom of the pendulum. If the “stuff” looks like it all hooks up properly, I would assume it is native to the clock. It is a disappointment to see safety pins, wires, etc. in clock movements but in reality, the clock may run fine with them. If anything seems to be out of place or just does not fit the style of the clock, I would be suspect.
I would second Willie in checking out Beat Setting 101 to get the clock to operate within the limits of the case. https://mb.nawcc.org/wiki/Beat-Setting-101
Sometimes with fast running (hands), one can listen for a an error in the cadence of the pendulum/escapement as it runs.
Once the movement is removed from the case, there should be observation holes in the rear plate to allow one to watch the action of the escapement. I assume that is a dead beat escapement and there should be a video showing proper operation.
Here is one, there are more: Escapements in Motion!
You should be able to see the locks/drops by holding the movement in your hand while supplying power to the train with your fingers and moving the pendulum crutch back and forth. I might mention that many times a bad escapement is due to a previous poor repair. Clocks with ill adjusted escapements are living proof that trial and error does not work well. If you find a problem with the escapement, it is time to study, study and study before you adjust. A good reference that may be in your local library is This Old Clock, By David Goodman. If not, it is not expensive on Amazon or eBay.
Also–You must remember that clocks are machines and will wear with time. That is no different than your lawn mower, your automobile or your washing machine. Clean, oil and adjust are poor solutions for wear in clocks. If those make a non-running clock go, the repair will likely be short lived. Your low amplitude of the pendulum is a dead give away there is not enough power to the escapement. Low power due to friction due to wear due to long operation.
Many times, mis diagnosis of wear results in another reason the clock will not run. Right problem, wrong solution. If you have two things keeping a clock from operating properly, it is more than twice as difficult to trouble shoot.
Good luck with your clock,
Dick
 
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Tim Orr

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Good evening, Graham!

I suggest giving the works a good inspection, from verge pivots at the top to rating nut at the bottom. If you are gaining 20 minutes a day with the bob as far down as it will go, something is seriously wrong. I suspect that when you find it, you will slap your forehead for having missed it.

I hope the "peg" that engages the pendulum rod slot is not rubbing on the top of the slot. The fact that it is not in the approximate middle of the slot suggests something is incorrect there, and actually suggests that the suspension spring is too long, not too short. A suspension spring that is 50mm long sounds very long for a clock of this sort.

Saying that the clock has to be tilted to run suggests it's very out of beat. Here is the beat setting link: https://mb.nawcc.org/wiki/Beat-Setting-101

There are two little knurled knobs, one on either side of the pendulum leader in your second picture in Post #1. Once you read the beat setting article, you can use either of these knobs (both do the same thing), to reposition the "peg" to the right or left to correct the beat. Most experts say that beat setting has no effect on timekeeping. Some disagree. But in any event, it won't solve your major problem.

Generally speaking, for dependable running, you want the largest pendulum bob displacement. However, for highest accuracy, you want the smallest displacement. It's a compromise. The longer the pendulum, usually, the less displacement. I would expect your mantel clock to have a fairly wide displacement. The pendulum is very short and the "tick" rate is very high.

Best of luck! Please report back!

Best regards!

Tim Orr

(I see Dick was typing at the same time I was.)
 

bangster

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BEAT SETTING 101 seems to be corrupted I'll work on getting it fixed.
bangster
 

Gra

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Thanks Dick & Tim, I’ve quickly read the article, I’ll read it again then try out a few suggestions.
When the clock arrived I noticed that the peg on the crutch had been wound fully to one side, I will also try it with the repair to the slot removed as I don’t see how it could be helping and may be hindering.
While I had the pendulum off I noticed that the tick remained in beat, I tried it with the case level and got a tic.tock.....tic.tock even though the movement mount is vertical.
Will report back when I’ve tried a few thing out.
Thanks again
Graham

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shutterbug

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It is not uncommon for the bottom rating assembly to break off if the pendulum dropped some time in its life. Take a close look at that to see if that's the case. Or shoot us a pic of the back side of the pendulum. They also screw into the pendulum stick, and you could replace it with a different one. CLICK HERE
 

Gra

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Hi Shutterbug,
Here are photo’s of the rear of pendulum with and without weight.
Graham

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shutterbug

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That looks OK. Some folks add a little BB shot inside the pendulum bob. That lowers the center of gravity and will slow the clock down, just like adjusting the rating nut. However, keep that as a last resort. If what Willie mentioned above is the problem, it needs to be addressed first. It could be skipping a tooth now and then, and that will damage the escape wheel.
 

Willie X

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On an old clock, there will always be a nice rub mark at the stick, at the top of the pendulum bob. This mark is exactly where the bob needs to be, 90% of the time.

Also, the threaded bottom part of the rating rod will normally have a nice point at the tip. If broken, the tip will be flat and a little raggedy. Willie X
 

Gra

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Well reporting back guys, striped it down again cleaned and oiled, replaced the bent wire with a brass pin and removed the botch repair on the pendulum arm, for some reason I cannot explain it started to run to within 4 mins a day??

Decided to take shutterbugs suggestion of what others had done and added a small amount of lead to pendulum weight and.....1 min per day....great result if not an ideal method.

Thanks to all who listed comments I could not have done it without your support. Downside is I WANT MORE CLOCKS!!!!!
 

shutterbug

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That's not a down side, Gra. It's a blessing :D
 

kdf

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I have never seen suspension spring 50 mm long for this type of clock, did you take a picture of the clock with pendulum but without movement? It is strange... By the way vienna regulators are very sensitive clocks and not very good for beginers to learn...
 

Gra

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Hi kdf,
I took one photo as I first got the clock, this shows the suspension spring, it was held in place with a piece of wire so not sure how original it is.
Graham

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