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Help Haller Triple Chime Clock repair advice

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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I am looking for some advice on a Haller triple chime mantel clock I have that has not run for years.

I have only ever repaired one clock before, a perivale movement, and I was practically handheld through the process through some great advice and pointers from @trackerjack on this forum.

Having gained a basic understanding of how that clock movement works, I wondered if it was worth me starting work on this movement. But the fact that this has a triple chime already has me concerned that it will be a lot more complicated.

As the clock does not run at all, I am thinking at least I can't make it any worse so I am tempted to give it a go - Even if I can only get the time train to work it would be better than nothing.

Does anyone have any advice on this and any pointers as to any major differences there may be between this and the Perivale movement I have already tackled.

Cheers

IMG_0455.jpeg
 

Simon Holt

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The triple chime option should not cause you many additional headaches. Synchronising the start and end of chiming and striking is the same principle as you have already encountered.

Chime selection is usually achieved by moving the pin drum (the wheel bottom left in your picture, hidden behind a plate) along its arbour, so that a different set of pins engage with the hammers. Examine that part of the mechanism carefully, and take pictures during disassembly (being careful not to fail to notice any washers that stick to other components then fall off before you have chance to notice where they came from...)

(You said the clock hasn't run for years but, if you can get the chime and strike trains running prior to disassembly, you'll be able to observe how this mechanism works.)

Finally, after overhaul and re-assembly, you'll have to get it playing the right notes in the right order. Some people say that it is sufficient to set the chime selection lever to 'Westminster', then get it striking the 4-note descending sequence at the quarter hour. But I've seen it written that is not necessarily the case for all clocks to you'll have to wait and see what happens when the time comes...

One caveat: I have never worked on a triple chime selection movement - only doubles (Westminster and Whittington). Others may be able to advise further.

Simon
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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Thanks for the advice Simon Holt.

I fell foul of washers sticking to other components and falling off without me noticing on my Perivale movement. I must admit that I did end up with 2 washers left over after finishing that clock :-/ It does seem to be working OK at the moment.. but obviously I am keeping them safe just in case!

I will make sure I dont fall foul of this on this clock.

With the mechanism still in the case the strike and chime trains dont run at all. I will see if I can get them to operate when I remove it from the case and see if I can see how they work.

Thanks
 

tracerjack

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When you take it out of the case, you should be able to manually coax it along to chime and strike, which will allow you to discover how the chime train is locked and unlocked. I have only worked on one triple chimer, but saw no difference in the chime/strike functions between that one and a single tune chimer. As Simon posted, the chime tune selection is manual and is not critical part of the chime/strike trains. Even if the chime barrel where completely misaligned in notes, the two trains could function properly.
 

shutterbug

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A digital camera is your friend. Take lots of pictures as you take it apart, and they will help you get it back together again ;)
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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I have just taken the mechinism out of the case and have had a bit of a 'play' with the chime and strike trains to see if I can get them moving a bit to try and figure out how they work.

The thing does seem v dirty and siezed up so I didnt get very far, but I do have couple of questions which I am hoping someone can help with. I have some pics attached of the movement.

Bear in mind I have only worked on 1 clock beofre .. a perivale.

1) I have noticed a small hole in the Rack. but I have no idea what this is for?

2) The Rack Hook doesnt seem to move freely. if I raise it with my finger I expected it to fall back into place but this isnt happening. I assume it should? I assume the dirt is stopping that happening.

3) There is a silver 'lever' attched to the Rack. But I am not sure what this is for. I assume it interacts with the pin on the chime locking plate? If so, does the position of this matter when I eventually reassemble the clock. I am guesssing it might be some sort of self correcting mechanism?

4) Finally, in a similar fashion to the Rack Hook, the Rack also does not move freely which I assume it should. i.e. if I release it from the hook manually I expected it to fall until it pin hits the snail. But this isnt happening, the rack doesn't move. Again my assumption is that this is due to the dirty mechanism. Or is this somehow related to the silver lever mentioned about earlier?

I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks

IMG_0630.jpeg IMG_0628.jpeg
 

tracerjack

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I can answer #2. - Yes, the rack hook should move freely and the post is probably dirty as you suspect. #3 - The long tail does interact with the pin on the locking plate. It gradually lowers the rack so that it does not make a “thunk” sound when the lower tail hits the snail. #4 - The rack should also move freely, at least until it hits the pin on the locking plate. Since you can see the movement is dirty, you can be assured there is much more you can’t see.

As for #1, I have often seen that small hole at the end of the rack. Since it had no visible function that I could see, I assumed it was part of the machining process.
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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Thanks tracerjack .. this clock does look like it’s desperate for a clean.

I think I am just going to have to make a start on it. The way things are I just can’t tell how things are supposed to move As everything is so filthy.
 

tracerjack

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You can try oiling it to see if you can make it run long enough just to see how it works. Yes, with all that dirt its going to make a grinding paste, but you won't be running it long enough to do any damage. You can also try letting down the springs and winding them up a few times to try and unstick the mainsprings.
 

JDixon

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Thanks tracerjack.

I managed to get some movement in the trains and I think I am Ok with how everything is supposed to work. With the exception of the triple chime train movement. I am wondering if something is broken on this as I cannot see how the chime lever interacts with the chime barrel to change to tunes. It may become clearer after everything is given a good clean.

I've made a start on this mechanism now, but I made a mistake while seperating the two plates. Because everything was so seized up with dirt they wouldnt seperate smoothly. I was obviously too rough with it, for as soon as I managed to seperate them all the wheels fell out without giving me a chance to take a pic to see how they all fit back together! :-/

I am ignoring this fact for the moment and am giving everything a good clean.

I hope I can figure out the wheel placement when I get to reassemble everything. :)
 

Simon Holt

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1) I have noticed a small hole in the Rack. but I have no idea what this is for?
I checked the photos I took of the two Haller clocks that I have worked on. Both have the hole in the rack with no sign of any purpose.

However, I now wonder whether you could use the hole to engage with the pin on the gathering pallet, thereby disabling striking. Maybe you could 'speriment with that? I no longer have the two I worked on.

Simon
 

Simon Holt

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it’s worth a try Simon. ... assuming I can reassemble it successfully ...
...and assuming you took some pictures before you separated the plates, you should be able to work out what goes where...:rolleyes:
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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Yeah took pics from all angles before the i separate the plates so fingers crossed I will suss it out! Have also figured out the triple chime mechanism now too. Although it wasn’t working as the adjustment spring was all gunked up and wouldn’t move
 
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tracerjack

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I know that feeling well when several wheels tumble out unexpectedly. While I have put entire trains in upside down because I left out the spring barrels, it is very obvious when single wheels are in the wrong place. I have a Haller chimer. Not a triple chime, but it appears to be very similar to yours. More differences on the back. Worse comes to worse, I can pull the back plate and post a photo of the wheels. That hole in the rack does not interact with the pin on the rack hook. Wrong size and wrong position.
haller1.jpg haller2.jpg
 
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tracerjack

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I watched this one work. The difference between this one and the Perivale is the warn wheel with a pin for the chime is the one next to the fan. Below it is another wheel with a pin for stopping the chime train and for chime correction. The lower one enter acts with the chime stop/correction hook.Unless something is broken, I think you will get this one going as well. Just noticed the split plate. That will make things easier when you get around to having the barrels cleaned OR you decide you love fixing clocks and make or buy a mainspring winder to do it yourself.
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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Thanks for the offer tracerjack , but I have managed to get the train temporarily assembled... made the initial mistake of getting the strike n chime spring barrels in the wrong sides! Confusing my left n right and back to front which didn’t help matters. But I have got there!
 

JDixon

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Oct 22, 2020
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tracerjack I have managed to get the clock all back together and running on its test stand.. but I think this may be more through luck than judgement. I was assuming that the positioning of the two pins in the chime train (on the locking and warning wheels) would have needed some adjustment to ensure they are in the correct positions relative to each other.

Was I just lucky that I installed the wheels in the correct postions? Or does it not matter how the positions of these two pins relate to each other?

If it does matter, are you able to explain how they should be positioned?

I did look into getting a mainspring winder to enable me to clean all the springs... but they do seem v expensive
 

tracerjack

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You may have gotten lucky with the position of the pinned wheels, but if so, then I’ve been lucky a number of times. I can’t remember ever having to adjust the position of those wheels on a chimer. I was under the impression that because the detent that stops the pin is controlled by the locking plate, which changes duration with each quarter, there was no exact relationship between the pins and the detent. Hopefully someone will correct me if my impression is wrong. The only part that I saw needing adjustment on this movement is the lock/correction hook which has a set screw just for that reason.

As for the mainspring winder, it has been the most expensive tool I’ve purchased for clock repair, but I knew beforehand that I wanted to repair many clocks as a hobby and have never regretted the purchase. I do not know what the cost is to have someone clean three barreled mainsprings, but once you find out, times the number of clocks you have, that will tell you which path is more cost effective.
 

JDixon

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tracerjack, the reason I asked about the positioning of the pins is that after I put the clock together I suddenly remembered that when I was doing the Perivale movement I rdad something in a book about the positioning of these pins and I posted it on that Perivale thread of mine, even though I now know it wasn’t applicable to the Perivale.

I remembered about it too late but I THINK it said both pins should be at the top at the same time... attached is the pic from the book that I posted. Unfortunately I dont have the book to hand to read what it said.

my pins don’t seem to be in this position, but the movement does seem to work

i will get this book again when I can to see what it says.

98AAFA62-BFB1-4480-A3E4-C5B4AA2A1872.jpeg
 

tracerjack

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Since the lower pin is always caught at the top by the hook, it would be in that top position by default. When the chime train is stopped by the hook, I agree that the best position of the warn pin (wheel next to the fly) would be at the top, so that when it went into warning, it would rotate at least 180 before striking the long lever detent below that holds the chime train in place until that lever drops. More than 180 would probably lift a hammer too soon. But I don't think 180 is critical. So if the clock is running well, I think you must have enough warning run. How much turn of the upper pinned wheel are you getting?
 

JDixon

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Well I have check the clock today an lo and behold both pins are at the top as in that picture. I am sure they werent yesterday?! But maybe with my tinkering around has moved them. So I have probably just been lucky that they are like that.

I am sure yesterday when the locking pin was caught by the hook, the warning pin was only at the '9pm' position.. and all seemed to be ok.
 

shutterbug

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Pretty much all of the adjustments on a chiming clock can be made after it's assembled.
 

JDixon

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I have had this clock running on its stand a few days and all seemed good. However, yesterday I noticed that on the hour, the strike hammers started their 'movement' before the chimes had finished. By this I dont mean in the warning phase of the strike, its just that they seemed to start the strike a little early in relation to the chime.

This is a triple chime (Westminster, St Michael and Whitt) clock and I had the barrel set to Westminster which I thought was the easiest for me to set by eye.

I assumed that this mis-timing was due to me fitting the chime barrel incorrectly so I did a bit of an adjustment and fingers crossed all seems to be OK now.

But my question is, could this mis-timing be down to anything else that I may have done wrong in assembling the clock?

As I dont know the St Michael and Whitt chimes it is difficult for me to tell if these chimes have finished before the strike starts while the clock is on the stand. I won't really know until I have put the movement back in the case and I can hear it chiming.

If it is/was just down to the setting of the chime barrel, I can easily adjust this once back in the case if need be. But if there are other possibilities, I would rather check them out before re-fitting it.
 

JDixon

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Well I thought I would take a punt and put the mechanism back in the case this morning, and it looks like maybe I have not fitted the chime hammer mechanism properly. The hammers look like they are sitting too high and are not hitting the chimes. Neither during the chimes nor the strike

I have fitted the clock in the original fixing holes so I know things should be OK.

I have attached a pic of how high the hammers sit when 'in rest'.. do these look too high? if so, I just cant see how to make them any lower.

The only other thing I can think of is that I have fitted the 'spring plate' (wrong terminology I know!!) in the chime mechanism. I have attached a pic of what I am taking about.

Can anyone tell if I have fitted this incorrectly? As this does seem to 'restrict' the movement of the hammers considerably.

IMG_0675.JPG IMG_0674.JPG
 

JDixon

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Just in case it might help identify if I have fitted the chime incorrectly.... I have attached another pic of the position of the hammers when I remove the mechanism.

The spring plate I mentioned before is holding these hammers up about 1cm above the cross bar when at rest. In my mind maybe they should be lower down to enable them to hit the chimes

IMG_0676.JPG
 

Simon Holt

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I have attached a pic of how high the hammers sit when 'in rest'.. do these look too high? if so, I just cant see how to make them any lower.
I'll address this specific question - but it may not be the answer to your problem..

It is often the case that a clock repairer will need to adjust the hammer rods so that the hammers *just* hit the gong rods. The normal rule of thumb is that the hammers are 3mm away from the gong rods at rest. This results in a pleasing tone instead of a dull thud (or no sound at all, as in your case).

You can bend the hammer rods using two pliers, one set of pliers and your hands, or you can cut a slot in the end of (e.g.) a broad-bladed screwdriver and use that tool to twist the hammer rod.

But to get back to your specific problem - it seems that your assembly may be in some way different from the original assembly (including how the gong rod block is attached to the case)

Simon
 

shutterbug

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Your strike issue is likely an issue with the warning pin. The long lever coming from the chime side should rise and release the strike as the chime on the hour nears completion. It should then encounter a stop pin to hold the strike train in warning mode. When the chimes finish, the lever should drop and allow the strike to start. Check your warning pin. It might be broken off.
It's not uncommon to have to adjust hammer wires after working on clocks. You just have to bend the wires downward until they function correctly. Of course, be sure they rise and fall correctly first.
 

JDixon

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Thanks both. I do think I must have assembled the chime barrel and hammer mechanism incorrectly, although it does look the same as the pics I took prior to disassembly.

I would have to bend all of these rods nearly 1cm for them to hit the rods which sounds a bit excessive to me (but I might be wrong).

I didnt remove the rods from the case so I know these are in their original position.

Regarding the strike/chime sync.. the warning pins is all there and seems to be working fine. So potentially my original problem was just the positioning of the chime barrel.
 

shutterbug

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If you could make a video of it chiming and striking, we might be able to spot something. We would need to see the front of the movement and the back. Post to Youtube and link here.
 

tracerjack

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The time lapse between the chime and strike is controlled as shutterbug states by the long lever. You can shorten or lengthen the timing a tiny bit by doing as you have, adjusting the chime barrel so that it stops immediately when the long lever falls. A tiny bit of time can also be squeezed out by adjusting the hammer tab that interacts with the star wheel, so that the strike ends immediately after the tab falls off a star point and no later. Adjusting that has to be done when the plates are still apart. Can’t be done afterwards. But when done correctly, when the strike begins, it takes a tiny bit longer for the hammer tab to begin lifting with the next star point and in turn delaying the strike hammer fall. But as I say, the adjustment is very small.

As for the hammers, while is is consistent to have to bend them a bit after reinstalling the movement, yours does seem excessive. I think my hammer arrangement is different since it is only West. I did just adjust hammer tails in order to get the hammers to raise the same amount. I think I unknowingly bent some of the tails while handling the hammers so some were raising higher than others. You might take the combs off and check if the hammers can be adjusted by the tails rather than bending the arms. I agree with you that something in the assembly might be wrong. I’d check things over carefully before bending them that much.
 
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tracerjack

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Sometimes the holes in the combs are slightly larger than the screw so that there is some adjustment. However, the screws should be tight. No overly so, but not loose.
 

tracerjack

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I use the term; hammer spring comb, but it's not official. I fact, someone just asked for the name of it on the forum, and no one could say. I did check the five hammer assembly on my Haller, and the comb is positioned the same as you have on yours.
 

shutterbug

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:thumb: