Gilbert Clock - Won't run

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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Well, this clock is exasperating. I went out to start working on the beat. Hung the pendulum, gave it a push, and ten minutes later it is still running. I took another video, with sound, so you can see the beat and hopefully hear the tick tock sounds. It does not sound off to me, but there is another noise. Sounds like something rubbing. It could be the lever coming off the escape wheel. I'm trying to figure out a way to track it down and will report when I figure it out.
IMG 6305
I can't hear the sound you describe, but put a drop of oil on the end of the crutch in the loop where the pendulum leader goes and see if it quiets the noise.

You are getting decent recoil (overswing), and the beat is not too bad. Ideally, the escape wheel should advance the same amount on each tick when the drops are equal and the clock is inbeat.

I would do nothing more at this time except let it run until you are sure that every wheel in the time train has twice turned 360 degrees. This will help eliminate the possibility of a bent tooth, bent pivot, or bent arbor down in the train that only causes a tight spot in one place.

You still need to replace that EW bushing. 1/3 the pivot diameter is too loose for an escape wheel.

RC
 
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HotCzech46

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May 6, 2022
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:nutjob: Well, I am cautiously optimistic. Put the pendulum on it, and it has now run non-stop for almost 48 hours. The beat appears to be correct. I am convinced that the bent suspension spring was the biggest problem, although a new bushing in the escape wheel is definitely called for. I intend to take it to the next meeting of the local chapter of the NAWCC and discuss new bushings with them.
Meanwhile, I am wanting to clean up the clock housing before putting it back together. Maybe I should run a new thread for this. I will rub in oil by hand on the wood. That is not a problem. I do a lot of woodwork. I won't touch the clock face. I like the fact that this is an antique and it shows its age. I would be worried that I could mess it up.
What I am unsure of is the brass. The patina is very, very dark. I know I can use "Bartender's Friend" and clean it up quickly but don't know whether that is something I should do or not. Just looking for opinions. Leave it alone, or shine it up to look like it did when it was new?

If I have not said it before, I really, really thank everyone for their help and input on getting the movement running. What a great forum.
RC - per your suggestion, I have joined NAWCC as a sustaining member and will join the local chapter as soon as things are setup. I have also started gathering my library. I have Steven G. Conover's "Clock Repair Basics", H.G. Harris' "Handbook of Watch and Clock Repairs", Harold C. Kelly's "A Practical Course in Horology" and his "Clock Repairing as a Hobby". I'm still looking for "This Old Clock" by David S. Goodman and some other books suggested by others. By the way, I tried buying "This Old Clock" as a Kindle book but it is displayed 90 degrees to the page, making it unreadable, and Amazon does not provide a method of rotating it.
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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What I am unsure of is the brass. The patina is very, very dark. I know I can use "Bartender's Friend" and clean it up quickly but don't know whether that is something I should do or not. Just looking for opinions. Leave it alone, or shine it up to look like it did when it was new?
If you plan to sell this clock, it may be worth a few bucks more to a serious collector like it is. If you plan to keep this clock, then it is you that has to look at it, so do whatever to make so it is attractive to you. Me, I usually polish the brass if it is very, very dark, but admit that I'm rather neglectful about keeping it polished.

Just my opinion.

RC
 

RJSoftware

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Apr 15, 2005
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I like the ol chocolate brown brass patina. Think, it takes years and years to acquire. To me seems a shame to remove
 

HotCzech46

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May 6, 2022
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Hmmm. Two trains of thought. The dark patina definitely makes it look old, but it also makes it look like the clock has suffered neglect. Polishing brass is something any homeowner can do. When I get done with this clock, I will have given it a "new lease on life". As such, I think it deserves a face uplift as well, and since I intend to keep it, I decided to polish the brass. I also oiled the wood and it came out great. Really pleased with the appearance.
I have the clock all back together and things are working fine. Had a little problem with the pendulum swinging slightly sideways and hitting the glass but easily fixed with slightly twist to the suspension rod. It was no surprise since that rod had so many bends and kinks in it before. I did put a drop of oil where the crutch contacts the rod as well.
Thanks everyone.
 

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