Hall Clock Chime Volume

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Mortimer Duke, Dec 4, 2018.

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  1. Mortimer Duke

    Mortimer Duke New Member

    Dec 4, 2018
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    I recently had restored a Herschede hall clock gifted from my parents. The primary reason for the restoration was bearing and arbor wear and general maintenance after decades of reliable enjoyment.

    Upon the movement’s reinstallation after restoration, the chimes ring substantially less loudly and clear. The strike hammer leathers were replaced during restoration which naturally will be softer than the material which had hardened and degraded over the decades.

    I realize that the tone naturally will be softer than prior to restoration which the worn leather made unusually loud. I alsounderstand that volume and clarity should improve to a certain degree as the new material compacts and hardens. But the extent to which the chimes ring softer and less clearly seems to be far more than the new leather would cause by itself.

    Does any kind of adjustment exist which governs the strength of the strike?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful insight.
     
  2. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    can you provide a picture of the hammer bank and associated area?
     
  3. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    it isn't clear by your post if the clock plays on tubes or rods. this tidbit of knowledge would be detrimental to the advice we might give you. I am assuming tubes perhaps?

    welcome to the forum.
     
  4. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    I would not increase the hammer spring tension any more than it has been in the past as that will require more power through the gear train. It may even cause stalling. If not right away perhaps down the road a little. You may be able to offset the "power penalty" of an increased spring tension by adjusting the governor blades for a faster speed but then the clock is chiming faster than your parents will be used to.

    I haven't tried it but supposedly you can stiffen leather by soaking it in water and then heating it at low temperature. Here's one article I found on the internet. How to Stiffen Leather

    You might try it on the hour strike leather first and go forward from there if you're pleased with the outcome. If not, well, it's easier to reverse just one leather tip. They are relatively thin pieces of leather. I think Brian previously mentioned that he sourced good replacement material from a leather purse he purchased at a Good Will Store....(or similar). As I recall, he got some interesting looks as he browsed through the purses with his calipers. :chuckling:

    Good luck with it.
     
  5. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    You might try it on the hour strike leather first and go forward from there if you're pleased with the outcome. If not, well, it's easier to reverse just one leather tip. They are relatively thin pieces of leather. I think Brian previously mentioned that he sourced good replacement material from a leather purse he purchased at a Good Will Store....(or similar). As I recall, he got some interesting looks as he browsed through the purses with his calipers. :chuckling:

    Good luck with it.[/QUOTE]

    One thing to consider is gun holster leather. Gun leather is special in that it is treated to remove the natural acids that occur in many leathers - especially commercial clothing products like belts and purses.

    The acids are removed from gun leathers to minimize the effect of the acid on the gun metal. Old gun holsters are readily available and are usually quite stiff to begin with.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    If the old leather was missing, then the new leather will sound way different than metal on metal. You may have to get used to it. But the above questions are good, and we do need a pic.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    A bit of thin CA glue (super glue) applied to the leather tip will quickly soak in and harden creating a harder surface and a brighter louder sound. I also would not change the hammer spring tension, if in fact there are any springs at all. In many (perhaps most) chime clocks the hammers fall by gravity alone. As previously requested, it would be helpful to know if this is a tubular chime or rod chime and to see some pictures. If during replacing the movement the hammers were situated at a greater distance from the tone rods this could affect the volume as well.

    RC
     
  8. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    If during replacing the movement the hammers were situated at a greater distance from the tone rods this could affect the volume as well.

    RC[/QUOTE]

    Often there is a macro adjustment on the whole hammer bank to set the resting offset between the hammers and the rods or chimes on some of these clocks. It has been awhile, but I seem to recall that the resting distance makes a big difference if this is a tube clock.
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Super Glue. RC beat me to it.
     
  10. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    By the way Mortimer, welcome to the NAWCC's Message Board! Please do get back to us so that we can better help you with accurate advice. Since you described the clock in question as a "Herschede Hall Clock", I'm assuming a Grandfather Clock but now that I think about it, the little bronze plaques found on most all of their products say Herschede Hall Clock Company, or something to that effect, so that takes us back to Brian's questions. Tubular Bell or Chime Rod. Thick leather plugs or thin leather covers...it all makes a big difference. A more detailed description, or better yet a photo or two, would be a tremendous help to us.
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    All good info so far.

    I would restate TAT's instruction to NOT mess with the spring tensioners and the leather does need to be very thin, as thin as on lady's split leather dress gloves. This is the only way to get a good sound from the start but durability will be better with something like regular weight driving gloves treated as others have mentioned to make the leather harder.
    Willie X
     
  12. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    was also going to suggest super glue, but got my fingers stuck together and was unable to type until now...
     
  13. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    here is a video I made of leather replacement on a Herschede tube clock we purchased recently.



    the first 3 notes are on new pads. the second 3 are original.

    as mentioned above, it is impossible to know what you have for a clock, but these are not supposed to make a metal to metal contact type of sound. it is bad for the tubes and the leading cause of cracking. it appears your parents are just simply grown used to the old (I might say incorrect)way it sounded before it was refurbished. these clocks came from the factory with a nice soft pleasing note. personally, I would probably just leave it alone to do its thing and replace them again in say 20-30 yrs.
     
  14. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    I agree with leaving it as-is, but consider a soft pleasing note to be an oxymoron.
     
  15. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    If you've got chime rods in that clock you can get plastic hammer inserts from one of the suppliers--Ronnell, maybe, or Timesavers.

    Many of my customers are older than I am, and I've been getting requests to try to make their clocks chime louder. The best solution seems to be all-brass hammer heads, which Timesavers sells in several sizes.

    When I've had to replace really bad or completely missing hammer leathers, though, I've had my best luck making bogus plastic hammer faces by bending a piece of string-trimmer string back on itself, forcing the closed end into the hollow of the hammer head, and cutting the protruding ends off with a wire cutter. The sound is very nice.

    The one time I actually managed to get new hammer leather into a hammer the sound was so soft as to be essentially inaudible. That's when I started trying other materials instead of attempting to duplicate Seth Thomas' tannery.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  16. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Still waiting to hear back from the OP. Who knows what we're dealing with?
     

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