Gilbert 1807 intermittently skips striking the hour

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Jayke, Aug 8, 2017.

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  1. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Last year I bought a Gilbert 1807 bim bam tambour clock. It keeps time very well and the movement appears reasonably clean (assembled and in the case anyway). It's worked beautifully for some time, but lately it seems to skip striking the hour. For example, it is correct when I go to work at 07:30 am, but when I get home it might be an hour off or several hours (it varies). Heck sometimes it even catches up to its self if I leave it alone long enough.

    I'm interested to hear suggestions as to how I might correct this problem. My very novice guess would simply be that it needs to be cleaned and oiled, but if I trusted my own judgement I wouldn't be here begging for suggestions :chuckling:

    Thanks in advance,

    Jake
     
  2. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I have moved this to the Clock Repair forum where it might do better.
     
  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Well, if the count is lagging behind, their are several main areas to look at.
    The less likely, but easy to cure, problem would be that the release mechanism is not quite lifting high enough to let the train run every time.
    A more likely area of concern is that the train is being released but not running. This could be as simple as the hammer lifting on warning, or the hammer stroke being to long. Then it could be as complicated as a badly worn strike train. If the strike is slow starting and sluggish running, worn out parts are often the problem
    If I were You, I would set the clock in a place where it could be well monotored and try to figure out exactly what the movement is doing when it comes up to the hour and failes to strike.
    I'm assuming you have the springs wound up good.
    Willie X
     
  4. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Check the paddle and make sure that is is landing center to the slot. I believe this is a count wheel. Plus make sure that the pickup flirt is not keeping the paddle from locking out. And check the warning to make sure it is always locking and releasing. Do you have good power when it does activate??< this is important And are the springs well lubricated??
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I'm not real clear on whether it's skipping a strike or running ahead. jayke, how sure are you that it's skipping?
     
  6. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    You are probably right that it does need cleaning and oiling. Based on my experience such problems can be as simple as that you didn't wind the strike side. Start there and troubleshoot it.
     
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  7. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Thank you for your help and I'm sorry for posting it in the incorrect category
     
  8. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Hi there. The strike train does run, just not every time. It runs with normal speed, though it does run slightly faster when the spring is wound completely (I wind every Wednesday).

    I'm very new to clocks in general and I'm only starting to understand how all of the parts work together. It's funny because I don't recall hearing the warn engage the clock as long as I've had it (about a year). I need to check to see that. Perhaps this weekend I can pull it down off of the shelf, put it on my desk, and check to see what its doing about 10 minutes before the top of the hour.
     
  9. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    My dear R & A I'm afraid your use of lingo has gone a bit beyond me :) I believe I understand the parts to which you refer. I am guessing the paddle is that which rides around the countwheel? Awww heck I'll just google it. Gotta run but look forward to chatting to you folks soon!
     
  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    One key piece of information is "It's worked beautifully for some time". That suggests that the clock is assembled correctly and unless someone has messed with it, the adjustments are probably correct. So we look for what has changed. It could be that something has broken of become badly worn and finally quit but there is a very good possibility that your guess that it needs cleaning is correct. During a proper cleaning the clock will be disassembled and the problem(s) should become obvious and easily corrected when the strike train is reassembled and adjusted. The real question now is do you plan to take the clock to a shop for service, or are you prepared to do this yourself? By the way, that 1807 date would likely be a patent date for some part of the clock. I expect your clock is much newer. Some pictures would help identify it.

    RC
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Take a look at Count Wheel Basics. Might help.
     
  12. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #12 gleber, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
    I think 1807 is the model number. I have a Gilbert 1807 Tambour. But, I think I read somewhere on this forum that 1807 was a common model number based on something about the year Gilbert Clock Company was founded. I can't find that thread, but there are threads on here with mantle clocks and banjo clocks both referred to as 1807 (so maybe model number is not correct?).

    Here are two photos of my 1807 Tambour Bim Bam (currently being stripped to fix the drip stains - it looks like someone just poured polyurethane over it, but I digress...):

    313631.jpg 313632.jpg

    As mentioned, I think the key here is to find out if it is skipping or jumping ahead. With that, and an understanding of count wheel basics, it should be easy to observe what is happening or not happening. If your movement is like mine with solid plates, it would probably be easier to observe with it removed from the case. You can run the minute hand around and not have to wait for it to run on its own, just go slow near the top of the hour so you can see the action. If it is the same as mine, I would be happy to compare notes on the exact sequence (maybe with Skype or something) to help you identify the problem and find a solution.

    Tom
     
  13. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Wm. L Gilbert was born in 1806, so it would have been his first birthday in 1807. He died in 1890, so had nothing to do with the 1807 tag on these clocks.
     
  14. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks Harold. You convinced me to dig deeper. See post 8 in this thread (and posts that follow for further discussion), which is the reference I mentioned earlier. https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?47020-Gilbert-model-1807. I'm not studied enough to claim correct or refute this information.

    Tom
     
  15. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Hello again Shutterbug. I am reasonably confident that it is skipping/failing to strike the hour intermittently. For better or worse I'm a bit of an obsessive/compulsive and therefore correct the hour count almost daily. When rotating the hands manually I've actually had it fail to engage the strike train. What I have been doing is moving the clock hands, listening to the number of hours it strikes, setting the hour hand to the correct hour, then advance the hands to the correct time. Sometimes while I'm in the process of advancing the clock to the correct time it will skip an hour. I am then forced to advance the clock an extra hour and reset the time.
     
  16. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    OK, then double check that warning setup mentioned above. It may be too short, or skipping. Let us know what you find. Also note how many turns the fly makes when it enters warn. Rather, just make sure it turns several times.
     
  17. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Hello R. Crosswell

    The intermittent nature of the problem suggests something sticking/hanging up rather than a break. In my own convoluted sense of logic a break would result in a regularly recurring problem, whereas something hanging up suggests to me that something is sticking due to lack of adequate lubrication, and is therefore an intermittent problem.

    Apart from putting the clock in beat when I first got it (actually bending the pendulum rod because it would only operate with one side jacked way up in the air) there have been no adjustments made to the piece.

    Though I would love to get stuck in learning to disassemble the movement and reinstalling everything correctly I recognize that I lack the skill to accomplish this (though I suspect this simple style of American movement might be a great "starter"). I also don't have a mainspring winder, a let-down tool, staking set, bushings, clock oil, cleaning solution, or a cleaning tank/machine. I could only clean and oil it assembled and as you quite rightly pointed out that is not the proper way to do it. I'm inventive, but not willing to half-ass it. Someone figured out the trigonometry, engineering, machining, and true craft. I am eager to try, but not bright enough to make it happen...alas

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    Eggggggcellent! Thank you so much
     
  18. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    I believe you are correct based on what I have read in the past. I don't even believe Gilbert was in business in 1807. There seems to be a good number of Gilbert 1807's about. I always took that as the movement's model number. I was told by the man I purchased the clock from that it was likely made circa 1920-1925. I have no real idea of how to verify that. I do have another Gilbert 1807 that I believe to be even newer than the one I'm referencing. The one currently malfunctioning was my first clock. The second Gilbert I have is because I preferred the look of the case and the strike pattern to the one I originally bought, but because the malfunctioning one was my very first clock I can't bring myself to part with it. I have developed a most unhealthy obsession/addiction to antique and vintage mechanical clocks :)
     
  19. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Hello Tom,

    I wish I had bothered to read your post before replying to the previous poster. I mentioned that I too thought perhaps 1807 is a model number. Your Gilbert's case looks like my second Gilbert that I purchased, though the movement looks to be identical to mine. It's a beautiful clock. I'm glad you're getting rid of those drips. Who does that to a clock:???: I mean really. At least it's in good hands now.

    Your suggestion to remove the movement is a good one. I don't have a movement stand, but I can likely improvise that to observe and test the chime train's function. As you rightly point out (and that failed to occur to me) I can operate the movement to observe its function (or lack thereof) manually; thereby the time train wouldn't have to be operating via pendulum swing.

    I was saying to Shutterbug I am reasonably confident that it is skipping rather than advancing. My rationale for this conclusion is that when I'm adjusting the time/synchronizing the strikes it will occasionally not respond at the top of the hour when moving the hands manually. Usually on the next rotation it will respond, but an hour behind what the hands read.

    I'm most honored at your offer to help me via Skype. I may take you up on your kind offer.
     
  20. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    I will sit down and observe it likely this weekend. At the end of a work day there's less brainpower and energy left than I'd like and I'm not one with much to start with :) Forgive the hopelessly amateur question, but the fly is the fan like apparatus that spins when the chime train is running is it not? I've always wondered what the purpose of that thing was.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Egggellent bangster! Thank you so much

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    Wonder if that is the origin of the 1807 name for the clock. That's quite interesting. Btw I love the quote :)

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    Well so much for my model # theory
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Yes, that's the fly. It's purpose is to hold the train at an even rate for the strike.
     
  22. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    Shutterbug I want to thank you for being kind to a novice. It has been a really great experience here for me thus far. No one has been condescending or rude despite my obvious lack of knowledge. Of course I'm a part of a 12 step program. They have a saying: "If you like everyone at the meetings, you should go to more meetings!" Lol.

    It's only speculation, but would it be safe to say that the fly has blades on it because the air acting on the blades keeps a constant pressure relative to the surface area of the blades, thereby regulating the speed at which the strike train's mainspring can unwind? If that is the case I finally understand why there needed to be a "fan" on the mechanism. I saw no other purpose, save to blow dust off of the works (which would likely be ineffective in light of the lubricating oil suspending it), OR to mitigate the temperature increase caused by the friction of the pivots spinning in the holes (which also seemed far fetched).
     
  23. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I think you have it. The fan can only turn so fast against the pressures against it, so it regulates the speed of the train.
     
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  24. Jayke

    Jayke Registered User

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    I'm so sorry for not following up sooner, but I JUST finally got back in. I had a very difficult time getting in after the forum format was changed. As it turned out I just removed the movement and oiled it. Problem solved! Thank you everyone for your replies!
     
  25. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    There may be a small cloud hanging over your parade. A clock like this in good condition will actually run with no oil (although that's not a good idea). The fact that it stopped running suggests that it is very badly worn, or that dried up oil and dirt in the pivot holes created enough friction to stop it. If you just added fresh oil you now have new oil, old dried up oil, and accumulated dirt, all in a slurry. I suspect your success will be short lived until and unless you remove the old crud that was there when it stopped. Abrasives in contaminated fresh oil will also cause more rapid wear.

    RC
     
  26. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Happy you made it back, jayke!
     

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