Gustav Becker 400-Day Clock Barely Runs (Need Help)

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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I recently acquired clock # 1844717. It barely runs with only about 120 degrees rotation. Seems to be in beat and all the gears move freely without the anchor in. The anchor adjustment screw slot has been messed with as the slot is now hour glass shaped. When I first put the pendulum on to test the clock it was fluttering. The fork block was almost hitting the plate. Since then I've raised it to the top and tried everything in between. No more fluttering but make no difference to the low rotation.

Anyone have any ideas what to try or check next? Also, how heavy should the pendulum be?






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GB.jpg
 

KurtinSA

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The clock dates to the first half of 1905. Typical disk pendulums for Gustav Becker run about 13.5 oz in weight.

Moving the fork higher takes more power to run so that could be the reason for the low rotation. But the amount of over swing you have is really most important. It should be even both directions and probably a good 20-25 degrees of rotation at least.

There must be some clearance between the fork tines and the anchor pin...typically the thickness of a piece of paper. Have you looked at the locks and drops of the escapement? As you indicate with the eccentric mangled, there's a good chance that those aren't right. One thing that's difficult to do on these clocks with no pallet viewing holes is to get a good view of the escapement. But with good polished plates and a strong light, you can get a reflection off the inside of the plates to let you see what's going on.

Kurt
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Thank you Kurt,

I'm posting a picture of the over swing shown by pink post-it pieces. I think it's within the 20-25 degree range but since the pendulum is offset to the base it's making it hard for me calculate. Short pink to long pink marker is the over swing.

The anchor pin seemed super loose when I first got the clock so I tried tightening it up. Checked the clearance with paper and opened it up some.

Not sure where the locks and drop should be so I did a movie clip but the movie is too large to put on this post.

The pendulum is lighter than what you mentioned at 11.2 ounces. The suspension spring is .004".

The pendulum (non GB) is adjustable so should I put the hands back on and see if the clock keeps time or try to get more swing first?

IMG_0736.JPG
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Thank you Kurt,

I'm posting a picture of the over swing shown by pink post-it pieces. I think it's within the 20-25 degree range but since the pendulum is offset to the base it's making it hard for me calculate. Short pink to long pink marker is the over swing.

The anchor pin seemed super loose when I first got the clock so I tried tightening it up. Checked the clearance with paper and opened it up some.

Not sure where the locks and drop should be so I did a movie clip but the movie is too large to put on this post.

The pendulum is lighter than what you mentioned at 11.2 ounces. The suspension spring is .004".

The pendulum (non GB) is adjustable so should I put the hands back on and see if the clock keeps time or try to get more swing first?

View attachment 722457
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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According to the 400 Day Clock Repair Guide by C. Terwilliger the pendulum was made by Kienzle Clock Factories Circa 1905. It's plate 1423 on page 195. I was kind of disappointed the clock doesn't have a Gustov Becker pendulum but at least it's around the same time frame.
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Here's some pictures of the slotted Kienzle pendulum. It only has two of the six to eight iron washers mentioned in page 194 of the Repair Guide.

No change in swing by loosening the fork tines some. Didn't get any changes by raising or lowering the fork either.

IMG_0731.JPG IMG_0730.JPG
 

etmb61

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Here's some pictures of the slotted Kienzle pendulum. It only has two of the six to eight iron washers mentioned in page 194 of the Repair Guide.

No change in swing by loosening the fork tines some. Didn't get any changes by raising or lowering the fork either.

View attachment 722461 View attachment 722462
From the serial number on your pendulum it came from a Würth clock.

Eric
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Eric,

Can that number on the pendulum be used to a date it?

I ended up taking the clock apart to see how hard it is to turn the eccentric. It turns rather easily. I marked it before changing the position but still can't get the clock running. I'm guessing besides the eccentric being moved the pallets probably have been too. Probably should have seen if it held time but I'd like to see the clock have more rotation. It would look strange sitting next to the Schatz that's spinning 540's and the Kundo is at 290 degrees.
 

etmb61

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Eric,

Can that number on the pendulum be used to a date it?

I ended up taking the clock apart to see how hard it is to turn the eccentric. It turns rather easily. I marked it before changing the position but still can't get the clock running. I'm guessing besides the eccentric being moved the pallets probably have been too. Probably should have seen if it held time but I'd like to see the clock have more rotation. It would look strange sitting next to the Schatz that's spinning 540's and the Kundo is at 290 degrees.
Wurth was out of business by 1911. Your pendulum is from 1 or 2 years before that. Bear in mind that has nothing to do with the Becker date.

Eric
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Thank you Eric,

The clock runs really fast with that pendulum so even though the years of manufacture are somewhat close at this point it's not a direct fit as found.

After further tinkering with the eccentric the clock got to about 180 degrees swing. It ran 7 minutes fast within a half hour so I placed some lead balls on the pendulum. Now it's slightly over 16 ounces. It seems to be running at the rate of about 20 minutes a day fast with the .004" spring.

Perhaps I should get the pendulum to 13.5 ounces as Eric noted above and then try to time? Were some GB pendulums heavier and should I try to make the pendulum heavier than 13.5 ounces?
 

KurtinSA

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You could look at thinning the suspension spring. It's too thick for the pendulum weight. But you would need to reduce the thickness a lot! Might be best to buy a thinner spring. Most Beckers that I have use the 13.5 oz pendulum.

Kurt
 
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rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Thank you Kurt,

I have a good selection of springs that came in a lot. Any idea what spring to start with at a pendulum weight of 11.2 ounces running 14 minutes an hour fast with a spring that's .004" thick?
 

KurtinSA

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I think it is 0.0001" for 4 secs per min or 4 minutes per hour. From memory!

Kurt
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Kurt,

Your numbers worked out spot on. After running the clock with the pendulum fast then on slow ended up going with a .0035" suspension spring and made it about 1/8" longer than what was found. After an hour at full fast it gained 1 minute 45 seconds and on full retard it is 1 minute slow.

The rotation is now at slightly more than 150 degrees with over 45 degrees of over swing. Looking at the clock it still seems to barely run. I've tinkered with the eccentric and found a couple burrs on the escape wheel that I was able to clean up but still not much rotation. I have a feeling someone moved the pallets and for now my skills aren't up to being able to comfortably move them. The fork could be lowered some but at this point if clock continues to run and keeps decent time I'll probably leave it alone.

Thank you,

RR
 

Dells

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rromero
I don’t know what part of the world you are in but there is a GB pendulum on uk eBay at the moment.
Dell
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Dell,

Thank you for the heads up on the pendulum as well as the information posted on your website. I watched some of your videos and that's when I checked the escape wheel and realized it was getting hung up.

This morning the clock was only rotating about 135 degrees and I started at it again. After winding the clock more it started fluttering. Then I moved the fork up didn't help. Moved the eccentric to lower the anchor and now "no run" situation.

I'm going to read the Guide carefully and try to figure out how the escape works. I keep watching it and no matter what I'm trying by moving the eccentric or the fork something doesn't seem right.
 
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rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Reading through the Guide, and if only the clock would spin as much as my brain is now it would be great. Struggling trying to figure out and make sense of how the clock escape, which has a counter clockwise rotating escape wheel, is functioning versus all the figures which explain how the escape works on an escape wheel going clockwise. My learning process seems to go smoother with visuals but not at this point.

It sure would be nice to get this clock to rotate over 180 degrees with a full wind and not flutter.
 

Dells

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Reading through the Guide, and if only the clock would spin as much as my brain is now it would be great. Struggling trying to figure out and make sense of how the clock escape, which has a counter clockwise rotating escape wheel, is functioning versus all the figures which explain how the escape works on an escape wheel going clockwise. My learning process seems to go smoother with visuals but not at this point.

It sure would be nice to get this clock to rotate over 180 degrees with a full wind and not flutter.
If it’s fluttering with the fork in approximately the correct place then the locks are not deep enough, although it’s essentially a Graham deadbeat, torsion clocks have a deeper lock, if you watch the escapement a tooth should hit the anchor above the polished face not on the face itself , on entry pallet and exit pallet, most torsion clocks escape anti clockwise.
Dell
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Dell,

I've tried lowering the anchor and it ends up stopping the clock.

I've been tinkering with the clock in between my normal workday so sometimes I do something to it and leave to come back later. I must have changed the eccentric then came back to the clock and it was rotating about 180 degrees. When I checked it for being in beat it's not even close. One way it had about 90 degrees of over swing and on the opposite side there was barely any over swing. When I put it in beat the rotation slows down. I'm going to try to post a movie clip.

I have a feeling one of the pallets is not set correct. I've been making changes to the eccentric and beat and watched all kinds of interesting actions. Sometimes the entry pallet will land on the top of a tooth pause then drop. I thought for a while the entry pallet was bumping the tooth below it then dropping to lock. It seems sometimes it locks on the face then rolls over. For whatever reason the exit pallet seems to be much more consistent. I'm not sure about the exact names of the pallet areas so I'll do some looking around to get the names correct in the future.

Thank you,

RR
 

KurtinSA

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RR -

Well, given all that you have changed, you have to return to basics. Typically changing the eccentric is not recommended even though it's apparent that it has been moved in the past. The eccentric is used to make sure the drops are equal. This is the distance that the pallet falls immediately after dropping off the escape wheel. You can really only study this by manually moving the anchor pin back and fork but stopping as soon as the pallet drops off. Note gap with the tooth that it just dropped off. The eccentric should be changed per recommendations in the book. Then don't touch the eccentric again.

The rest of the escapement is the locks. Again, manual movement of the anchor pin will help see how much lock there is. The escape wheel tooth must not fall on the impulse face, but on the lock face of the pallet. The pallet must not dig into the back of a tooth while the escapement is working. If the locks aren't the same, then you must adjust the pallets in the anchor per the repair guide.

One other important feature of the escapement is that when the anchor pin is vertical, an escape wheel tooth should be just beginning its travel down the impulse face. If the anchor pin is off to one side or the other, then the pallets need to be adjusted.

If you can get through all that, you should have a good escapement and the clock should run well. If not, then you have friction or main spring power issues.

Kurt
 

Dells

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Have you checked the escape wheel teeth because a bent tooth or a burr on a tooth can cause the anchor to catch on said bent tooth, I have had that in the past it made me think that the eccentric bush had been messed with but luckily it didn’t look like it had been touched , I found one damaged tooth , and one clock I found a burr on a couple of teeth, it doesn’t take much to stop the clock.
Dell
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Kurt and Dell,

I checked the drops and locks which was mentioned in the book and made clearer by Kurt. I noticed the entrance pallet lock was shallow landing on the impulse face sometimes while running so according to the Guide the correction is move down the exit pallet. I measured as best I could and dropped it .003" - .005" range hard to get exact measurements. The entrance pallet was about .002" - .004" less deep than the exit so they were very close. That put the clock in a "no run" condition kept hanging up. Then I raised the escape pivot and now running without flutter while being wound tight. It ran for about 10 hours and was out of beat 50 and 30 degrees of over swing. I just set the beat and now at about 45 degrees over swing both ways 150 degrees rotation. I'm going to see if the clock continues to run and if so will put the motion works back on and try to regulate.

So far did find and correct a couple burrs on escape wheel, moved eccentric the pivot is slightly lower than when i began. Lowered exit pallet. Smoothed a pallet surface (light passes with Arkansas stone) that had a minor burr and has some slight chips or wear that needs to be ground and polished to be fully corrected. Reduced torsion suspension spring thickness by .0005" and increased length .125" to slow down timing.

The anchor has pin problems. It looks to be off vertically as well as crooked being angled where the top is further from the saddle. The previous repair to the anchor is ugly with lots of solder. I was leveling the base then realized the movement leans back so now the base is tilted forward engaging the anchor pin closer to the suspension spring. Does the anchor pin being tilted contribute to fluttering?

Thank you Gentlemen,

IMG_0751.JPG IMG_0752.JPG
 

GRZESIEK

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rromero
I don’t know what part of the world you are in but there is a GB pendulum on uk eBay at the moment.
Dell
This is not a pendulum suitable for this clock number
GB has several disk pendulums
Regards
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Thank you Dell,

I ended up purchasing the pendulum pictured above. Not sure how I'm going to fix the rod but will figure something out. The pendulum comes with a newer GB clock that carries a different serial number than the pendulum.


Reading through the Gustav Becker post by John Hubby he identifies different variations of GB pendulums.
The pendulum design variations for Becker discs have all been documented to be made before 1910, with the exception of two variants that were added in the late 1920's after Junghans took over GB operations. There was considerable overlap in the years 1905 to 1910 with six variations appearing in those years. In order of first appearance based on serial numbers I've labeled them 23A, 23B, 23BB, 23C, 23D, and 23E. The progression of changes was definitely toward making them less expensive to manufacture, with the first one having a disc in which the bottom and top are brazed together with a lead-filled annular ring on the bottom side, gallery disc cap, and assembly screws to hold the pillars in place. The last (and most common version by far) has a spun brass cap and stamped bottom cover for the disc, with a removable lead ring inside, no gallery disc cap and no holding screws for the pillars. The final two versions include 23F which is almost identical to 23E but the gallery discs are smaller in diameter and the disc made of thinner brass; and 23G which has no gallery but the disc identical to 23F.
Even with the bad pictures I posted I can tell the pendulum is not made to the quality of which would have came on the clock. It does have the screws for holding the pillars in place which I like.

The pendulum for sale in England doesn't have the screws for the pillars so it's newer than my clock and the style is different than what should have been originally on the clock.

Although the pendulum I bought isn't exactly correct for the clock it's a whole lot closer than the Wurth pendulum that came with the clock.

GRZESIEK,

Thank you for posting it sent me looking for information and now I know much more about the GB disc pendulums than I did yesterday thanks to people posting on these forums especially John Hubby.
 

Dells

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Hi rromero
Again there is someone on eBay selling GB pendulum rods.
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Following up on the clock. Ran the clock without motion works for several days it kept working. Put on motion works clock stopped at about 2:35 after two days. Two days later it stopped again near 2:35. Removed motion works smoothed out a very small burr on one of the gears. The hands washer on the front had several low spots from the taper pin so filed it smooth. Put it back together and installed a new taper pin.

The clock has been running with just slightly over 200 degrees rotation for several days loosing about 1 minute a day.

Gentlemen,

Thank you all for helping.
 

rromero

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Mar 20, 2010
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Pendulum update:

Got clock BHA # 2065503 with pendulum pictured above post #24. The pendulum isn't correct for either clock although since it has the pillar screws it would probably suffice on GB # 1844717. The pendulum condition is somewhat disappointing as someone tried to remove the bottom piece of brass and did a number on it. After much straightening the pendulum is presentable on the topside and I managed to fix the regulator rod by drilling holes in each side and using a broken drill bit as a pin to join the two pieces. Using the pendulum on the GB clock will require a different suspension spring.

I'm pretty sure the pendulum Dells mentioned in post #15 would be a good match on the BHA clock.

For now I'll run the GB clock with the Würth pendulum, further regulate, and see if the clock continues to run.
 

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