Gustav Becker

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Ed Schmitt, Mar 6, 2017.

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  1. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    I have in a Gustav Becker wall clock. The serial number dates is as 1892. I have cleaned, and lubricated the movement, and put it back together, ready to put it back into the case. With the case laying down, I moved the hand to check the position of the hammer hitting the chime rod. As I advanced the minute hand, all I received was one strike on the chime rod. After taking it out again, on the test stand it worked properly. I wonder if the rack hook in the upright position has enough weight for it to drop on its own, or should I apply a spring to make sure it drops even in the horizontal position.


    Ed Schmitt
    Shadows of Times Past
     

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  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Ed, I wouldn't expect a clock to function properly in any position other than the position it was designed to work in. Kind of like having a floating balance stop if you lie the case on its side.
     
  3. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Ed, I agree with Harold that the strike will be unlikely to function properly with the clock laying on its back. The rack hook is designed to be gravity operated, just as the movement is designed to be in an upright position while in operation. Adding a spring would only complicate your adjustments.

    All adjustments of the strike hammer and gong need to be made with the clock on the wall or a stand.

    You mention 1892 as a date for the clock, I notice the serial number on the front of the movement looks like 144454X (the last digit is hidden behind a click spring). That would place the movement being made at the beginning of 1900, but will appreciate if you can confirm the actual serial number so that date can be confirmed or changed. My data are posted HERE for your info.

    Also could you post a photo of the back of the movement to show the logos and serial number as well as the complete back plate and upper suspension. This can be used to confirm the manufacturing date based on which logos are present as well as what features are present.
     
  4. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    #4 Ed Schmitt, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2017

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  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Is that hammer spring right? I suspect it in an invention placed there by a repairman. I would think the spring would be inside the plates, but am not a GB expert by any stretch of the imagination :)
     
  6. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    Shutt
    As far as I've been able to find out, the spring is in its correct position.

    Ed
     
  7. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Ed, thanks for the additional photos. One question, are the letters "D.R.P." stamped at the bottom end of the pendulum hanger? This design was patented in the 1890s and some have the stamp but some don't, trying to figure out if this is related to some feature of the clock.

    Also, will appreciate if you could post photos of the dial, case, pendulum, and movement support bracket so the documentation of your clock can be completed. Would like to know what type of clock it is and other details.

    Shutt, this hammer spring is correct and original. GB used these from the first introduction of their rack strike T&S spring driven movements about 1881. This continued until mid-1900 around serial number 1464000, five or six months after Ed's clock was made. There was a redesign of the movement at that time, and the hammer spring went between the plates. Just for info, GB weight driven T&S movements are all rack strike and all have the hammer spring between the plates. Their T&S spring driven movements with an external countwheel on the back plate have the hammer spring between the plates.
     
  8. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    It sounds like your clock is running as it was intended. The rack is
    suppose to drop from gravity. You shouldn't expect it to work on
    its back, even if it had a helper spring.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  9. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    John
    Here are the additional pictures you requested. I do not see the letters "D.P.R." on the pendulum hanger. Let me know what your impressions of this clock are.
    Ed

    attachment.jpg attachment.jpg attachment.jpg attachment.jpg
     

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  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Nice clock. Do you have the top for it?
     
  11. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    Have no idea what the top should look like. Looking at it from able, there does not appear to have had something added to it.
    Ed
     
  12. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    #12 John Hubby, Mar 11, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
    Ed, could we see a photo of the top of the case? Many of the pediments were held in place by a simple thin slot in the front molding or by being glued to the back of that molding.

    Here are a couple of catalog illustrations showing what appears to be the same case as yours, with two different pediments.

    Model 789 Vienna.jpg Model 792 Vienna.jpg

    In this particular catalog the identical case is illustrated with seven different pediments, basically "choose what you want".
     
  13. Ed Schmitt

    Ed Schmitt Registered User
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    John
    Here is a pic of the top. There is a slot in the top.
    Ed
    attachment.jpg
     

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  14. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Thanks, Ed. That slot is what held the pediment in place. The pediment had a rounded end board to match the slot that was either part of the pediment main structure or added to the back of the pediment. If you look around the usual clock parts suppliers (Timesavers, Merritt's, Meadows & Passmore, etc.) you may be able to find something that would look good and fit well with the case design. I've replaced a number of these, just need a bit of woodworking and refinishing, sometimes need to add a figurehead or other decor to fill out what is available.
     

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