Helper springs on an E N Welch time and strike

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Rockin Ronnie, May 10, 2019.

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  1. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I am working on an E N Welch Whittier parlour clock. When I bought it the seller said that the strike does not work.

    Despite fiddling with it I cannot get the strike side to work. I remember reading somewhere on the forum that most American time and strike clocks have helper springs. There are no helper springs on the locking lever or the count lever assembly though the hammer lever has one and am wondering if there should be helper springs on the other two lever assemblies as well.

    I have cleaned up the movement installed a number of bushings and this is the last thing I need to know before I put it back together.

    Ron

    RS Assessing the movement (14) -1.jpg RS Welsh clock_9.jpg
     
  2. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Most all of these "kitchen" style works use helper springs to move the strike release arm back down, (some had a couple of them, one on each arbor). You can use #18 ga brass spring wire to make a spring. Put about 5 or 6 turns on the arbor and use a light pull on the spring to engage it. On this works you should have two arbors that have strike release and locking arms, one will have a count wheel arm and the other will have the warning wheel lock arm. You probably only need to put a return spring on the arbor with the warning wheel locking arm. That should be enough to return the arms back into place for the next strike release.
     
  3. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    It would really help to know just what you mean by the strike not working. Does it not strike at all? Does it keep on striking when it should stop (over striking)? The helper springs are just a bit of insurance to keep the levers from bouncing. Most clocks like this will work without the helper springs, but if they were there originally I would put them back. 18 ga brass spring wire is way too heavy, perhaps Joseph ment 28 ga. These can be brass or fine steel spring wire. You can test if your helper spring(s) are strong enough by inverting the movement. If the levers stay in place you are good. If you use too heavy helper springs you may experience difficulty unlocking the strike causing the time side to stall.

    RC
     
  4. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I agree it needs the helper springs. David T provided me with the guage I need (thanks to David). I did as you suggested but helper wires on both for now, perhaps lighter wire than you suggested I can always take one off. I put the movement back together and am testing it now. I rotated the minute hand through the half hour and hour and so far it is going into warning and striking. I'll leave it on the test stand and see if it works correctly for the next several hours and may have to make more adjustments but so far so good. Thanks

    Ron
     
  5. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    It was locking on every notch of the count wheel. I am crossing my fingers right now as I seem to having some success.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Locking on every notch suggests that the maintenance cam isn't lifting the stop lever quite far enough to cleat the stop pin. If you have worn pivot holes for the control levers, adding a helper spring may shift things a little giving the appearance that all is well. I would check the stop lever for adequate clearance with the stop pin when the strike is running. In case there is any confusion, 18ga is heavier than 28ga wire size.

    RC
     
  7. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    #7 Joseph Bautsch, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    Yep my bad. It is 28 ga wire. With the spring in place the lift, lock and release wires may need adjusting to acomadate the pressure being applied by the spring.
     
  8. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    When you get that adjusted I would flip those main wheels. They look pretty worn. Especially on the time side.
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I hope that your photograph is the "before" picture. That solder bushing on Strike 4 rear won't enhance the performance of that train.

    Be very careful about bending levers on one of these. Mostly they need no bending, and you can get into lots of trouble fast if you overdo it. Try to get a good sense of how the strike train does its job before installing helper springs and/or bending levers. Some clocks didn't use helper springs at all.

    M Kinsler
     
  10. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    The trouble with bending levers is that they were really bent when I got the clock which is why it sold with the strike side not working. Using what sources I had, Conover's book, i oriented them as best I could. Here is the movement cleaned up. The helper wires are not secured in this shot. Whether they are helping or not, the movement is running well and running 24 hours and striking as it should.

    Rom

    RS Welch movement_4_1.jpg
     
  11. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Ronnie, have you considered removing all that solder and the washer off the front? The washer is probably not necessary any way. These hour tubes are supposed to be loose and there is so little friction there that they almost never wear enough to require bushing. Looks like you have done a good job of restoring the old movement. Why not go ahead and clean that up too?
     
  12. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Yes, all the solder is gone on both sides except for that centre column and bushings installed in their place. I thought about removing that washer. Aesthetically it is ugly but if I take it off and if the hole is oblong I am left with a big repair. Right now it is loose enough and doing its job. I am going to consider it part of the clock's history.

    I have not attached the Geneva stops in this shot but will before I get it into the case.
    Ron
     
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  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    You won't know for sure what's behind that center washer unless you remove it. It's pretty safe to assume that someone determined that the hour pipe was too sloppy, so if you do remove it be prepared make and install a bushing. While this part does wear it usually doesn't affect the operation of the clock but it can be annoying to have the hands so sloppy. I've installed bushings at this point in quite a few clocks, especially my own, but to really clean up a sloppy center shaft you will likely have to bush the inside of the back end of the hour pipe as well. If the appearance doesn't bother you and there are no operational issues, correcting this is certainly an optional repair.

    When you connect the tails of the helper springs don't pull them tight. Surprisingly little tension (if any) is actually required. I have a clock with the same movement and mine does have two helper springs.

    RC
     
  14. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I plan to leave the washer alone. It does not bother me. Thanks, RC and I will gently secure the wire tails. Nice to have confirmation that there were originally two helper springs.
    Ron
     
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  15. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I can't be positive that this model originally had two helper springs, only that mine has two. A lot can happen to a clock in a hundred years.

    RC
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I've added a helper spring to particularly stubborn kitchen clocks which may or may not have been manufactured with them. I'd thought of simply adding a helper _weight_ to ensure that the count or warning lever returned reliably, but these aren't as effective as a spring, which can accelerate a light lever several times faster than gravity can. Took me quite a while to figure that out.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    The addition of two helper springs is not hurting anything. For the past day or more, the strike side has worked flawlessly.

    Ron
     

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