• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Grandfather clock gains time

Steveo7

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Feb 20, 2021
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Just purchased a Colonial of Zeeland (1979) grandfather clock. Movement is an Urgos UW03038B, 9 tube triple chime. Clock has a lyre style pendulum with a 10.5 inch bob. Runs smoothly and is in beat, with a steady and even tick tock rhythm. My problem, the clock gains approximately 4 minutes in 24 hrs. The pendulum is adjusted to the limit of its maximum length (one more turn of the nut and the bob falls off the pendulum). I have verified that the bob itself is slid down against the regulating nut (not stuck) and that the shoulder of the regulating nut is correctly located in the slot/ notch on the back of the bob. The leader appears to be a correct Urgos style leader measuring 6 7/8 inches. The suspension spring appears correct based on photos online. Per the online chart I found, this movement should have a 116CM pendulum (the CM # is not stamped on the movement or the pendulum). Everything I have read thus far says that you cannot simply measure the length of a pendulum for an Urgos movement, since the measurement includes more that just the pendulum. Can anyone verify for me how to correctly measure (pivot point on movement to center of bob?). I need to determine whether someone has modified or substituted an incorrect pendulum. I am not a clock repairman, just and enthusiast of of older things and times, but I am technical in nature and will understand what you suggest... so any information is appreciated.
By the way, my pendulum measures 41 1/2 inches from where it hooks into the leader to the very bottom of the adjusting rod. So if you happen to have the same movement and would measure yours, it would be appreciated.
Steve
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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How much pendulum swing, measured at the tip of the rating rod? This hould be well over 3".
Take the pendulum off and run the rating nut up about 1/4", then carefully examine the end. Does the rod appear to be broken off? Willie X
 

shutterbug

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I've seen a few broken off like Willie implies. If that's the case, you can cut it shorter, and then hard solder a new threaded part to it. Cutting it shorter is to ensure that the solder won't be hampering the movement of the nut in the future, and to hide the repair behind the bob.
Don't try softer solder. It needs to hold a lot of weight.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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The broken thread is quite possible. An alternative fix though is self adhesive wheel balancing weights that can be stuck to the back of the pendulum.
 

Steveo7

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The rating rod does not appear to be broken. At the present adjustment, the 9 rods above the bob are slightly out of their guide at the top of the bob... so it would seem that the rating rod has more than enough threads.
The pendulum swing measured at the rating rod in only 1 1/2 inches. If my understanding is correct, could this mean that the center weight is insufficient? The right and left weights are stamped R and L, so I should have all three in the right order. I have not weighed them.
What would be other causes of too small of pendulum swing?
Thanks for the replies
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Probably an escapement problem. The escapement has worn to a point where the escape wheel teeth are now landing to close to the pallet tips, on the slanted "impulse" faces, instead of the "dead" upper faces of the pallets. Look up 'dead beat running like a recoil' in the archives. This is a very common problem with older UW03 movements.
Others will probably know a better way to search your problem. Willie X
 

Steveo7

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Feb 20, 2021
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Probably an escapement problem. The escapement has worn to a point where the escape wheel teeth are now landing to close to the pallet tips, on the slanted "impulse" faces, instead of the "dead" upper faces of the pallets. Look up 'dead beat running like a recoil' in the archives. This is a very common problem with older UW03 movements.
Others will probably know a better way to search your problem. Willie X
Thanks for the input Willie X.
I'll see if I can educate myself on this. If this turns out to be the problem, sounds like its off to the clock repairman.
Steve
 

Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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Steve,

With that movement being 42+ years old, you can expect it to be in the last stages of its useful life or well beyond that. Clock movements are machines and will wear like any other machine. The normal expected life span on that vintage/style clock movement is 20-25 years.
Those 03 Urgos movements are kind of known for escape wheel problems. It seems the escape wheel teeth wear allowing the verge to skip every once in a while, making the hands travel too fast. In the first phases of that wear process, the center distance on the escapement can be sometimes adjusted to compensate for the wear. This, however, is normally only a stopgap measure and the wear will continue till any attempt at adjustment will make no difference. Your movement may already be beyond that fix.
A new escape wheel is available for some models of Urgos movements. Contact Mark Butterworth on that matter. The change out on the escape wheel is not usually a major problem and normally does not require any machine work. The mating verges seem not to be a problem and will function well with a new escape wheel.
The last resort is an expensive one. Hermle bought out the remains of Urgos many years ago and in 2005 started making movements that would be direct fit replacements. Hermle still uses the Urgos name and the new part number for your clock is UM03083. This will be a Hermle design but will fit just fine and operate as the original.
If you get to the point where you are deciding between rebuilding the old movement vs. purchase of a new movement, be sure to consider that the escape wheel may be a recurring problem with the original Urgos design.
I would not recommend trying to save money by buying a used/reconditioned movement on any of the auction sites. Those movements are many times poorly done and have a very short life span.
I presently have three of that early style movement that do not justify a proper rebuild. The ones I have were take outs from replacement with new Hermle style movements.
Best of luck with your clock.

Dick
 

Steveo7

New Member
Feb 20, 2021
4
0
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Steve,

With that movement being 42+ years old, you can expect it to be in the last stages of its useful life or well beyond that. Clock movements are machines and will wear like any other machine. The normal expected life span on that vintage/style clock movement is 20-25 years.
Those 03 Urgos movements are kind of known for escape wheel problems. It seems the escape wheel teeth wear allowing the verge to skip every once in a while, making the hands travel too fast. In the first phases of that wear process, the center distance on the escapement can be sometimes adjusted to compensate for the wear. This, however, is normally only a stopgap measure and the wear will continue till any attempt at adjustment will make no difference. Your movement may already be beyond that fix.
A new escape wheel is available for some models of Urgos movements. Contact Mark Butterworth on that matter. The change out on the escape wheel is not usually a major problem and normally does not require any machine work. The mating verges seem not to be a problem and will function well with a new escape wheel.
The last resort is an expensive one. Hermle bought out the remains of Urgos many years ago and in 2005 started making movements that would be direct fit replacements. Hermle still uses the Urgos name and the new part number for your clock is UM03083. This will be a Hermle design but will fit just fine and operate as the original.
If you get to the point where you are deciding between rebuilding the old movement vs. purchase of a new movement, be sure to consider that the escape wheel may be a recurring problem with the original Urgos design.
I would not recommend trying to save money by buying a used/reconditioned movement on any of the auction sites. Those movements are many times poorly done and have a very short life span.
I presently have three of that early style movement that do not justify a proper rebuild. The ones I have were take outs from replacement with new Hermle style movements.
Best of luck with your clock.

Dick
Thanks for the invaluable input from both yourself and Willie X, I have learned some things today.
I have been observing the clock closely. The movement of the second hand is not uniform, varying from 1 second movements to approximately 1 1/2 second movements. I also now notice that the clock occasionally will miss one or more beats. When this occurs, the second hand will momentarily miss its movement, then jump ahead a couple of seconds. This combined with the insufficient swing of the pendulum probably verifies the escapement problem. I don't know the service history of the clock ,other than the case has been remarkably well cared for. The previous owner knew little about the clock having received it as an inheritance from and relative. I suspect that a new movement would likely be in order. I now know what that would cost, expensive but assures resolution of the problem.
Thanks again to everyone for all the replies.
 
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