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Hermle 340 020 A repair

JDixon

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Ok so I am a bit of a novice with clock repair having only fixed 3 mantel clocks. 2 Perivale and 1 Haller movement.

however my mum’s mantel clock has just stopped working which is a hermle 340-020A movement. I did say I would try take a look at it, but couldn’t promise anything!

the first thing I notice is this movement does not have a traditional pendulum, and to be honest I am not sure what the terminology is for this type of ‘pendulum alternative’… so I am not sure what to research.

could anyone help in telling me what this kind of movement is called, and whether or not this would be a show stopper for me trying to fix given my very 0A57956D-F32A-4E81-AF4E-61BF81127C05.jpeg limited experience in clock repair.

thanks in advance

ok after a bit of digging….. is this what’s called a ‘floating balance’:???:
 
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wow

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This is a complicated movement for a beginner. You should put it aside for later. Get a time only or time/strike movement and let us help you with it first. Then later we can help with that one. What did you do to the ones you already worked on?
Will
 

JDixon

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Thx .. I did think this would be a bit beyond me but thought I’d ask. I was only looking into this as a favour for a relative. Tbh she said she never liked the clock so was glad when it stopped running and was going to throw it away!1
 

Simon Holt

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You may get lucky with this one. That is a floating balance you have circled. If you remove be that and rinse it in naphthalene you might find it will run better. But a clock of this type and vintage usually requires several bushings to restore it to full working order.

Simon
 

Dick Feldman

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You may get lucky with this one. That is a floating balance you have circled. If you remove be that and rinse it in naphthalene you might find it will run better. But a clock of this type and vintage usually requires several bushings to restore it to full working order.

Simon
That is not a FLOATING BALANCE.
That is a conventional balance.
Dick
 

JDixon

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That is not a FLOATING BALANCE.
That is a conventional balance.
Dick
thanks both. I will do a bit of research into this ‘balance’ mechanism and see what I can find. As the clock is probably going to be thrown away, I am thinking I may well just try and give it a go.

The other clocks I have done were all 3 train clocks, so hopefully these won’t be too much of an issue for me, it was just that this whole ‘balance’ mechanism is something totally new.
 

Willie X

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It also has one piece arbor/clicks, probably around 15 years old. It may have a date code there somewhere. Anyway it's rather newish.

She doesn't like clocks ... don't offer to fix it ... offer to buy it, for not to many $$ of course.

Willie X
 

Simon Holt

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Apologies for my error. I may need new glasses...:cool:

Simon
 

JDixon

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It also has one piece arbor/clicks, probably around 15 years old. It may have a date code there somewhere. Anyway it's rather newish.

She doesn't like clocks ... don't offer to fix it ... offer to buy it, for not to many $$ of course.

Willie X
Well I have read somewhere that the ‘A’ in the code 340 020A is a date code representing 1988…… not sure if that is true?
 

shutterbug

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No, there should be a date or letter above that. But to answer your question, the balance mechanism is just another type of escapement, and the balance itself is very likely not the problem. It can be removed, cleaned as noted above, and set aside as you work on the rest of the clock. Everything inside the plates will be very similar to what you've worked on before.
If Mum is going to toss it anyway, ask her to toss it your way :)
 
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JDixon

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No, there should be a date or letter above that. But to answer your question, the balance mechanism is just another type of escapement, and the balance itself is very likely not the problem. It can be removed, cleaned as noted above, and set aside as you work on the rest of the clock. Everything inside the plates will be very similar to what you've worked on before.
If Mum is going to toss it anyway, ask her to toss it your way :)
Thanks shutterbug, I am now the proud owner of a non working Hermle clock will be taking it back home at the weekend and hopefully make a start on it. Fingers crossed I will be able to get it to run again
 

JDixon

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No, there should be a date or letter above that. But to answer your question, the balance mechanism is just another type of escapement, and the balance itself is very likely not the problem. It can be removed, cleaned as noted above, and set aside as you work on the rest of the clock. Everything inside the plates will be very similar to what you've worked on before.
If Mum is going to toss it anyway, ask her to toss it your way :)
I have just noticed the letter O above the text which I assume is the date indicator?

3FE93DB7-317B-400B-A002-ACCECAB2360E.jpeg
 

Dave T

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O = 2002
Somewhere in the files at this site is a good article on repairing and servicing the 340 series Hermle. I stumbled across it yesterday, but can't find it now. It was posted by a knowledgeable member, and I think it's in the How to area somewhere.
Maybe someone here can help find it.
 

JDixon

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O = 2002
Somewhere in the files at this site is a good article on repairing and servicing the 340 series Hermle. I stumbled across it yesterday, but can't find it now. It was posted by a knowledgeable member, and I think it's in the How to area somewhere.
Maybe someone here can help find it.
Cheers Dave, that would be a great help if I could find it. I’ll do some digging.
 

JDixon

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wow

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tracerjack

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Tracer, I don’t know why Timesavers calls them floating balances. The old ones actually floated with a tube that had jewels inside and floated on a spring. The new replacements are like traditional hairspring balances with a balance staff and coiled spring. :???:?
I see your point and agree with you that there is nothing “floating” in this new version. I assumed they had only changed the shape of the spring, but that it still floated. Thanks for the explanation.
 

Dick Feldman

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It is really a sad note that the floating balances are not used anymore.
Those were a trouble free unit and lasted forever if someone did not mess with them.
I understand Hermle, Smiths and others stopped using floating balances because of a patent dispute.
Best,
Dick
 
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matthiasi

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Dick- that is correct. All sorts of companies were using the floating balance. Hermle actually had several styles and sizes. The poor inventor didn't get any royalties from all of these infringements. IIRC, he sued them all, took a long time and when he won, everyone stopped using the floating balance and switched to something else. If only I could remember who the poor guy was...
 

MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

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Dick- that is correct. All sorts of companies were using the floating balance. Hermle actually had several styles and sizes. The poor inventor didn't get any royalties from all of these infringements. IIRC, he sued them all, took a long time and when he won, everyone stopped using the floating balance and switched to something else. If only I could remember who the poor guy was...
The sad part, in my view is that they were used at all. The new unit is called the hairspring balance to distinguish it from the old helical coil balance. This is an example of a pin pallet escapement, which is about 80% less effective in the use of power than the pendulum unit. They came about prior to a good autobeat escapement. We replace all of the balance units with a pendulum version. In addition, I would guess that 90% of the repair people do not know how to properly adjust them.
 

Willie X

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JD,
When I run acrose a 'known and not to old' clock like that. I let the springs down. Do the arbor drop test, to make sure all is free, oil it, and wind er back up. There's a good chance it will run. Willie X
 
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matthiasi

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Thanks you from me as well. Now I can remember my dads words about Hettich...
and to think I just repaired a Hettich W51 earlier this year for someone...

I personally like working on these "Schwebegang" Floating balance units. Did an early Hermle 340 with the very small one and another with the exposed balance wheel / fork not too long ago...

Putting in a new wire when the old was was abused isn't too difficult - I use 'cheap and readily available' guitar string of the correct size. Get it for around a buck. :)

If everyone were to get rid of anything old, then we wouldn't have any history left. Good or bad. No collector cars / airplanes / boats, no electric cord movements...
 

JDixon

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JD,
When I run arose a 'known and not to old' clock like that. I let the springs down. Do the arbor drop test, to make sure all is free, oil it, and wind er back up. There's a good chance it will run. Willie X
Thanks Willie, well I am back home today and have brought the clock back with me and I Have just finished dismantling it. All I can say is that it looks like it is in desperate need of a clean. All arbor and pivot holes are full of gunk. So I am hoping this will solve the problem!

if I do get the movement to run, I am expecting a few questions will arise in trying to suncle the chimes and strikes but I will think about that when I get there!
 

JDixon

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Ok so I have probably make a rookie error here which shows my inexperience. I have only just got to working on this clock, cleaned and reassembled, thankfully the clock is keeping time so there was nothing wrong with the balance.

I have just attached the strike/chime hammers and noticed that when the strike is finished, the hammers are raised. I can see that the star wheel is ‘just’ holding onto the strike lifting lever and not letting it fully drop.

Have I made a basic mistake here when fitting the star wheel that means I am going to have to separate the plates again to refit… of is there any remedial action I can take to try and correct this.

Any advice is much appreciated.
 

JDixon

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Ok so I have probably make a rookie error here which shows my inexperience. I have only just got to working on this clock, cleaned and reassembled, thankfully the clock is keeping time so there was nothing wrong with the balance.

I have just attached the strike/chime hammers and noticed that when the strike is finished, the hammers are raised. I can see that the star wheel is ‘just’ holding onto the strike lifting lever and not letting it fully drop.

Have I made a basic mistake here when fitting the star wheel that means I am going to have to separate the plates again to refit… of is there any remedial action I can take to try and correct this.

Any advice is much appreciated.
I have just read that when fitting the mechanism I should have ensured that the star wheel was free of the lifting leaver while holding the strike warning wheel in its ‘arrested’ pisition. So I guess there is no alternative other than (hopefully) partially separate the plates. Well I suppose I am learning by my mistakes!!!
 

Willie X

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On most, the star wheel can be turned a bit but some are tighter than others. This is well covered in the archives of this MB.
Willie X
 

JDixon

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I see on these message boards there is mention (and a video) of using a screwdriver to try alter the position on the star wheel on its arbor, I might give this a go tomorrow.. but I don’t want to risk breaking something!
 

tracerjack

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Truthfully, while I usually groan, I always take a movement apart again if it needs it. I've never regretted it. Just one more experience to help me to get better and better at it. Had to take a small, round Ansonia movement apart 10 times because it was so poorly designed, trying to get the star to end in the correct position. It was small, so there was not a lot of play room. Had the very same movement a month later on a second clock. Took only 2 times to get it right.
 
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JDixon

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Truthfully, while I usually groan, I always take a movement apart again if it needs it. I've never regretted it. Just one more experience to help me to get better and better at it. Had to take a small, round Ansonia movement apart 10 times because it was so poorly designed, trying to get the star to end in the correct position. It was small, so there was not a lot of play room. Had the very same movement a month later on a second clock. Took only 2 times to get it right.
Thx Tracerjack. To be honest I think that is what I am going to do, as you say it will give me more experience at reassembly to.. and this time I know what I did wrong first time!1
 

Willie X

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There is only a few ways to go with it and you need the experience. What Tracer said. Willie X
 

wow

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I see on these message boards there is mention (and a video) of using a screwdriver to try alter the position on the star wheel on its arbor, I might give this a go tomorrow.. but I don’t want to risk breaking something!
Here’s a tool I made that holds the wheel while turning the star with a screwdriver.
 

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JDixon

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Thx all. I did manage to slightly separate the plates and disengage the star wheel allowing me to turn it to the correct position and all seems fine.

something for me now to be aware of when assembling my next clock
 

shutterbug

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I almost always adjust that kind of problem with the gathering pallet. Much easier than splitting the plates. Also, as mentioned above, the star wheel will almost always move a little without hurting anything, so that's also an option.
 
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JDixon

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I almost always adjust that kind of problem with the gathering pallet. Much easier than splitting the plates. Also, as mentioned above, the star wheel will almost always move a little without hurting anything, so that's also an option.
Well I had read somewhere about adjusting the gathering pallet to solve this, but to be honest no matter what I did.. it had no effect at all.
 

shutterbug

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Just note where the GP is when it locks. Then stop the strike train with the fly when the hammer(s) drop, hold it there while you turn the GP to the position it was in initially. That will force the lock at the proper time.
If the stop occurs with a pin though, the other approach might be better (turning the star wheel). That can be done with a screwdriver using one of the posts as a brace.
 

JDixon

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Just note where the GP is when it locks. Then stop the strike train with the fly when the hammer(s) drop, hold it there while you turn the GP to the position it was in initially. That will force the lock at the proper time.
Thank you!!!. I will make a note of this for my next clock. I just couldn’t see how positioning the GP altered how it locked. The strike train locks when the pin on the warning wheel hits the drop lever that protrudes through the front plate…. And no matter what I did with the GP this always happened on the same place in relation to the star wheel
 
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wow

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Thank you!!!. I will make a note of this for my next clock. I just couldn’t see how positioning the GP altered how it locked. The strike train locks when the pin on the warning wheel hits the drop lever that protrudes through the front plate…. And no matter what I did with the GP this always happened on the same place in relation to the star wheel
When it happens like that, you will (as Shutt suggests) need to turn the star wheel slightly. Just a note of warning: When you pry against a post to turn it, a lot of pressure is exerted on the wheels in the train. Sometimes the star wheel is so tight it will not turn easily. That is why you need a holding tool like I made to hold against the spokes of the wheel. Then no pressure is on the teeth of the wheels when prying. If you don’t use the tool, teeth may bend or break.
 

JDixon

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When it happens like that, you will (as Shutt suggests) need to turn the star wheel slightly. Just a note of warning: When you pry against a post to turn it, a lot of pressure is exerted on the wheels in the train. Sometimes the star wheel is so tight it will not turn easily. That is why you need a holding tool like I made to hold against the spokes of the wheel. Then no pressure is on the teeth of the wheels when prying. If you don’t use the tool, teeth may bend or break.
:thumb:
 

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