• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Gilbert Strike Train Won't Run

rexdub

Registered User
Jul 1, 2021
5
0
1
74
Country
You guys were amazing in helping me with my first project on the ST OG. Now, I need help on a 1920 Gilbert movement. We picked up the clock for very little at an auction, sight unseen and with no real knowledge of what we are doing. However, we are eager to learn! The clock had obviously been stored in a shed or garage for a very long time. Mildew inside the case, filthy, and the movement was frozen with grunge. After cleaning and reassembling, the time side is working well. However, on the strike side, the levers lift and then fall with no power coming from anywhere. I placed a small screwdriver behind the mainspring because it looked like it was bound and I got movement. I tried to show this in the first picture. There are a couple of other pictures, but I really don't know what to show you. I cannot get the strike movement to move in any other way. Could it be a bad mainspring? I am at a loss and would appreciate any help! Thanks!

IMG_5985.jpg IMG_5986.jpg IMG_5987.jpg
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,962
1,853
113
Complete stoppage is unusual.

Start at the top (at the fly) and go down, wiggling the wheels and arbors as you go. Somewhere along the line there will be no wiggle. That is where your problem will be. Could be many things like bent pinion trundles, bent arbors, bent teeth. Probably something serious but maybe not.

Willie X
 

Dick C

Registered User
Oct 14, 2009
1,872
100
63
Country
Is the mainspring for the chime side installed in the correct direction?
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
2,713
281
83
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
I lifted the following from a post a day or so ago. I think it is appropriate
"My feelings are that main springs and escapements are zeroed in on because they are what is visible. I also feel both are most times victims rather than the cause of problems in clock movements.
I feel the most common cause of clocks not being reliable is low power in the train. Low power due to friction due to wear. That wear occurs in the pivot holes in the plates. New main springs and adjustment of escapements is seldom a long lasting fix for movements.....
So—I believe the first approach to clock repair should include diagnosing and solving that wear....
As a partial answer to your question. Main springs seldom go bad. Main springs break and come unhooked as well as a number of other maladies. Many/most main spring problems are the result of click assembly failure. There is a lot of power stored and one should be sure that power can be properly restrained, every time the click assembly works....
I have mentioned before that this board is populated by repair people of all levels. The same is true of U Tube videos, etc. Many of the current myths of clock repair are innocently spread by novices to the trade.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clock movements but are mostly preventative rather than being curative. Those processes being basic and necessary are part of that set of myths...."
Your clock has steel plates vs. brass plates. The pivot holes are usually in brass plugs inserted into those steel plates. That style movement is notorious for having faulty/worn click assemblies. The strike side is kind of complicated to change due to the count wheel attached to the main wheel. My first impression is that a 100 year old movement will be worn and need quite a few bushings to be serviceable in the long run .
Best,
Dick
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
2,713
281
83
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
Is the mainspring for the chime side installed in the correct direction?
There is no Chime side spring. The movement is a time/strike movement and it has a strike spring.
If the spring were installed backwards, the strike click assembly will have no hope of operating.
Best.
Dick
 

Dick C

Registered User
Oct 14, 2009
1,872
100
63
Country
l guess that it is best that we leave the questions, answers and suggestions to the experts in the future.
 

rexdub

Registered User
Jul 1, 2021
5
0
1
74
Country
I appreciate all of the information! As Sargent Schultz would say, "I know nothing!" I figured the springs had only one way of being mounted or nothing would work. When manipulated with a small screw driver behind the striking main spring, the strike movement flies, so I figure that everything was lining up right. As much as I hate to take the movement apart again, I probably need to do that and examine every detail more closely. The levers rise and fall when moving the minute hand, but the train does not start. Maybe I will see something when I disassemble - again! Thanks everyone!
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,962
1,853
113
Lift the count finger, at the top of the count wheel, the train should run. If not, don't take it apart until you find out WHY it won't run. Willie X
 
  • Like
Reactions: disciple_dan

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,521
2,204
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Gilbert clocks are famous for cracked pinions on the minute arbor. That might be a reason for your strike not engaging correctly. The typical symptom of this problem is a very loose minute hand. Look at that to see if it's a possibility.
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
2,713
281
83
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
There is no fault in being a beginner.
There are certain background things one must know to be successful in this trade. Successful as a hobbyist, as someone who has an interest or as a qualified repair specialist. As one advances, more and more knowledge is added.
My best advice to the OP is to find everything you can written about clock repair and read it. Some of the material can be discarded or saved for a later time. A good starting point might be THIS OLD CLOCK, by David S. Goodman. That is a publication that may be available through your local library and for sale on Amazon or eBay. It is fairly inexpensive. That reading process will get you to the point where you can “walk the walk and talk the talk” There are more good publications. I would caution you about U Tube videos. A lot of misconceptions and poor practices are spread on U Tube.
I would also suggest you try to find a mentor. Even a mentor with bad repair habits can teach a lesson. A good source would be to join the NAWCC, find a chapter and attend a meeting or two. Most people at those gatherings are more than willing to share their experiences.
Jumping into clock repair using trial and error is not necessarily a recommendation. With those hard learned lessons, many times irreversible damage occurs.
A third recommendation is to not get tied into the Clean, Oil and Adjust myths. Those processes are not bad for clock movements but are not necessarily curative. Those are preventative. By the time something mechanical makes a clock stop running, the time for Clean, oil and adjust has long passed.
Best of luck with your interest in clock repair.
We wish you well and look forward to hearing from you,
Dick
 

Forum statistics

Threads
168,755
Messages
1,472,407
Members
48,562
Latest member
car-nut1
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-