Gilbert Regulator

wingtips515

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Dec 9, 2020
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Just picked up this Gilbert clock. I have not started to look into the works but the face has some water damage. The question is two parts, can this face be replaced and will this replacement lower the value of the clock?
It appears this is a calendar clock by the 31 numbers printed on the outer ring. There is a third hand situated on the inner most portion of the time shaft which I think indicates the date. There is only one winding shaft so I do not think there are any chime mechanism.
The owners remember this this clock being in the classroom of their grammar school over 70 years ago.
Regards,
wings515
 

R. Croswell

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Just picked up this Gilbert clock. I have not started to look into the works but the face has some water damage. The question is two parts, can this face be replaced and will this replacement lower the value of the clock?
It appears this is a calendar clock by the 31 numbers printed on the outer ring. There is a third hand situated on the inner most portion of the time shaft which I think indicates the date. There is only one winding shaft so I do not think there are any chime mechanism.
The owners remember this this clock being in the classroom of their grammar school over 70 years ago.
Regards,
wings515
Can we see pictures of the water damage?
Replacing parts generally lowers resale value, are you planning to keep or sell this clock?

RC
 

wingtips515

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This is a friends clock so it here for cleaning and oiling. I don't know if there are any other "problems". I have not taken one screw out of the case yet.
Been working on their 98 Mustang with speedo gear problems.

Wings515

20220815_122533.jpg
 

JTD

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can this face be replaced and will this replacement lower the value of the clock?
Yes and yes. (But it's not a hugely valuable clock).

But if that is the worst of the damage, I would leave the dial as it is - I don't think it looks so bad.

JTD
 

R. Croswell

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This is a friends clock so it here for cleaning and oiling. I don't know if there are any other "problems". I have not taken one screw out of the case yet.
Been working on their 98 Mustang with speedo gear problems.

Wings515

View attachment 721482
If it came in for cleaning and oiling, that’s what I would do.
Dial looks like a paper dial. I don’t know how, but I suspect someone may know how to bleach out the water stains.

RC
 

shutterbug

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You can use a photo editing program to erase the water spots and print out a new dial. You might have to have a copy shop do it because of the size, unless you have access to a printer that can use larger sheets than 8.5X11. If possible, hang on to the original dial and keep it with the clock.
 

JTD

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If it came in for cleaning and oiling, that’s what I would do.
Dial looks like a paper dial. I don’t know how, but I suspect someone may know how to bleach out the water stains.

RC
Yes, it's a paper dial. But I wouldn't do anything about those stains, they are really not bad. The paper is glued to the dial pan and I don't think you can bleach out the stains in any satisfactory way.

The owner only wanted cleaning and oiling, so that is another reason to leave the dial alone - but I really think it looks quite well as it is.

Anyway, just my thoughts and opinion.

JTD
 
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shutterbug

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I'm inclined to agree. The stains might be from glue bleeding through the dial. At any rate, it's part of the clocks history, and a little patina is a normal part of old clocks. Like an old scar :)
 
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wingtips515

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I took the works out of the case and mounted on my clock stand. The escapement worked fine. What I did see is a large amount of play in the hand/calandar shaft. Letting the clock run for a while indicated the minute hand does not rotate at the required rate. The minute hand is very loose with respect to the minute gear. If I understand the operation of this shaft, it should have some resistance between the shaft and the gear so that the hand can be advanced to set the correct time. This gear/shaft combination has much too much slop to provide adequate tension for the hand to progress correctly. I'm wondering if there is any "fix" to this lack of resistance.
The only marking on the case is 'SD'. It does appear this is a very inexpensive movement.


Advice?

Regards,
wings515
 

wingtips515

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As requested.
Also, I guess my question on advice was how to increase the gear to shaft resistance on the minute hand.

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wingtips515

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Since this may be beyond repair, does anyone have a replacement that I can purchase?

wings515
 

tracerjack

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If I understand correctly, the minute hand turns too easily with not enough tension? I can see the the last photo that the spider washer on the center arbor is quite flat. Removing the spider washer and bending the legs for a steeper angle will increase the tension.
 

wingtips515

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If I understand correctly, the minute hand turns too easily with not enough tension? I can see the the last photo that the spider washer on the center arbor is quite flat. Removing the spider washer and bending the legs for a steeper angle will increase the tension.
Please excuse my ignorance, can you explain what the spider washer is and where exactly it is located? Thank you for your assistance,
wings515
 

wingtips515

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Well, it's apart. The gear on the shaft in the picture has a crack from the center out radially. There is also a small hole in the shaft that looks like a pin should go in but I do not see any other gear with a hole for a pin. Also, the gear with the crack can move easily along the shaft. I suspect it should be a press fit at some predetermined location. Where to go from here?

20220816_163605.jpg
 

tracerjack

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In your last photo, the three legged washer is a spider washer. But, that is not your problem. You have the classic cracked cannon pinion which occurs often on Gilbert movements. The cracked gear that is still on the arbor in your photo can be replaced. A new gear can be purchased at TImesavers.com. The gear is friction fit, but having it too tight is what leads to cracking. Most suggest the new gear be broached so that it fits well, but not too tight. Or, you can close the crack in the gear and solder it to the arbor. Cleaning out the crack with a jeweler's saw will allow the crack to close. Cracks between teeth are easier than when the crack goes from a tooth tip to the center. Some close the crack, drill a hole through the gear hub and the arbor and pin it in place. Some have used Locktite. There are quite a few threads on this forum for how to repair a cracked cannon pinion. All the methods seem to work well since that gear doesn't get a lot of pressure.
 

wingtips515

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Thank you for the information. Is there supposed to be a pin holding the spider against the cannon gear? I am going to look in the case for the missing pin. Also if I purchase a new cannon gear, how do I determine the position on the shaft? A critical measurement of this gear will determine the tension of the spider. I "think" the missing pin holds the spider against the cannon mating gear.
Thanks again.
wings515
 

R. Croswell

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Thank you for the information. Is there supposed to be a pin holding the spider against the cannon gear? I am going to look in the case for the missing pin. Also if I purchase a new cannon gear, how do I determine the position on the shaft? A critical measurement of this gear will determine the tension of the spider. I "think" the missing pin holds the spider against the cannon mating gear.
Thanks again.
wings515
Some of these used a pin to hold the spider gear, some used a pressed-on collar - yours appears to have a hole for a pin, so yes, you need to find or replace the pin. The cannon pinion (the cracked gear) is a tight press fit on the shaft and can be installed in any position. Note that the new replacement gears are usually undersized and may need to be reamed out just a bit to get them on, but it must be tight pressed fit.

RC
 

tracerjack

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As RC posted, a pin is often used to hold the spider washer in place. As for the position of the cracked gear, I suggest you find a pin for the spider washer, reassemble the gears on the arbor, then reassemble the movement. The interacting wheels (gears) will indicate where the cracked gear needs to go.
 

wingtips515

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Thank you for your quick reply. I have looked at the gear posted on Timesavers and it looks to be the one needing replacement. I did a quick measurement of the hole in the shaft and it is slightly bigger than 0.032". Will any pin work or should I purchase a tapered pin and cut the length to size? Any thoughts as to how to position this cannon gear on the shaft relative to the pinhole? It seems critical to have sufficient tension on the spider but not so much to prevent the minute hand to be moved while setting the time.

Again many thanks.
wings515
As RC posted, a pin is often used to hold the spider washer in place. As for the position of the cracked gear, I suggest you find a pin for the spider washer, reassemble the gears on the arbor, then reassemble the movement. The interacting wheels (gears) will indicate where the cracked gear needs to go.
Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the gear and pin from Timesavers. I'll assemble the gears and spider on the shaft with the old cracked gear and mark the shaft. This way I have a good idea where the new gear will sit.
 

shutterbug

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Just size it for the arbor and put it in the same position the old one was in. You'll be able to see where it sat originally. The placement of the teeth is not important.
 

wingtips515

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Just size it for the arbor and put it in the same position the old one was in. You'll be able to see where it sat originally. The placement of the teeth is not important.
Since it slid off the arbor, the position is unknown. As to sizing, it looks like the new gear is about 0.010" smaller in hole diameter. I have ordered some jeweler's files to see If I can open the hole to be only about 0.003" smaller. I think this will allow a press fit. If not and it gets too big, there is always crazy glue!

wings515
 

wingtips515

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The pin should not be tapered and it should be a length that will allow it to fit inside the recess in the spider washer. The pin is held by the pressure of the spider, it is not a press fit but neither should it be sloppy.

RC
That's what I was thinking, the spider will put tension on the pin. The tapered pins were available from Timesavers.
wings515
 

shutterbug

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Go slow when resizing the hole and you'll be fine. Check often. You want it tight, but not stressed so much that it will crack again. I think that's the main reason for so many of them cracking from the factory.
 

Willie X

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A 5 sided cutting broach would be the tool you need to make the pinion hole larger. That pinion/spur gear has to be tight on the shaft and just in the exact place to give you about .010" end play when assembled between the plates.

Willie X
 

wingtips515

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A 5 sided cutting broach would be the tool you need to make the pinion hole larger. That pinion/spur gear has to be tight on the shaft and just in the exact place to give you about .010" end play when assembled between the plates.

Willie X
Can you provide a link to a broach supplier? I searched the web and could not locate a broach with this small diameter.

Thanks,
wings515
 

R. Croswell

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That's what I was thinking, the spider will put tension on the pin. The tapered pins were available from Timesavers.
wings515
A tapered pin will apply more tension to one side of the spider than the other. It may work but the pin should be straight. Look for pinion wire, pivot wire, music wire, blued steel wire at Timesavers.

RC
 

wingtips515

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I ordered the broach that will provide about 0.003" for a press fit. I think this should be the amount of diameter differential to provide the gear to hold on the shaft. If anyone has a different opinion on the diameter differential I am open to the suggestion.
I also ordered a set of brass wire assortment for the spider hold down. I am hoping there will be one of this set of wires that will fit the shaft. I suspect the wire is bent slightly to hold it in place and provide sufficient tension on the spider.
wings515
 

wingtips515

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I received the gear and tapered pins yesterday. Careful inspection of the hole in the shaft indicated the hole is tapered. One of the pins I received fits perfectly. All I have to do is cut the pin so it sits inside the spider. It will only be about 0.140" in total length so the amount of taper over this distance should be minimal. Waiting for the broach to arrive.
I don't want to hammer the shaft to assemble. I'm thinking of placing a tube of the correct diameter against the gear and over the shaft. Then put the shaft/tube in a vise for compression. Any other suggestions as to how to press the gear onto the shaft?
wings515
 

R. Croswell

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I received the gear and tapered pins yesterday. Careful inspection of the hole in the shaft indicated the hole is tapered. One of the pins I received fits perfectly. All I have to do is cut the pin so it sits inside the spider. It will only be about 0.140" in total length so the amount of taper over this distance should be minimal. Waiting for the broach to arrive.
I don't want to hammer the shaft to assemble. I'm thinking of placing a tube of the correct diameter against the gear and over the shaft. Then put the shaft/tube in a vise for compression. Any other suggestions as to how to press the gear onto the shaft?
wings515
I would rather see you using a steel pin. I've never encountered a tapered hole here, perhaps that was done by someone after it was made. Either way, make sure the end if the pin has a small radius. Poke the end of the pin in the hole (the tail will be on the ridge of the spider spring). Then use pliers between the pin tail and the opposite end of the hole. The pin should enter the hole and compress the spring at the same time.

RC
 

wingtips515

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Continuing the repair. As I was attempting to ream the cannon gear to the correct size, something did not seem right. I'd measure the shaft at 0.168" and very carefully use the reamer to open the cannon hole. Then measure the hole to make sure I was getting close. After a number of tries, I decided to measure the outside jaws on my HF digital micrometer. Lo and behold the outside and inside jaws were different by 0.003". Luckily I had another caliper and verified this difference. I then reamed to within 0.0005" and was able to press fit the gear.
Assembling the mechanism I noticed the cannon gear was hitting the gear associated with the winding spring. I don't know the technical term for this gear. In any case, the reason was the new gear from TimeSavers is 0.038" thicker. If I moved the cannon gear away from the spring gear the spider was overly compressed. Removing the shaft and cannon gear and placing them in my drill press I used a file to reduce the thickness of the cannon gear to be within 0.005" of the original. I still had to find the correct location of the cannon on the shaft and that took about 6 disassemblies and re-assemblies. After getting that all set there is a gear train used to advance the calendar hand. This shaft was bent out of alignment and it took a number of tries to get to the correct position. With it bent it preventer the minute gear from turning.
After all this, the clock has been running for two days. I am going to let it run another two days to check the calendar function and then put it in the case with another two-day run. I am hoping I will not have to start again if there is a stoppage.
Thanks to all for the suggestions and information on the TimeSavers supplier.
Regards,
wings515
 

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