Herr Quail Clock Advice.

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Brianta, Feb 7, 2017.

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  1. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    #1 Brianta, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    I came across a Hubert Herr Triberg Quail clock a few years ago. Since then I have tinkered around with various other cuckoo clocks and a grandfather clock or two. I have started to turn my attention to repairing several of the older clocks that I have laying around - such as the Quail clock.

    The Quail clock was very gummy and dirty - never had it running - or even tried to get it running. I decided to pick up several "clock repair tools" and embark on the adventure of disassembling and cleaning the clock.

    attachment.jpg

    I took copious pictures, etc of the clock before and during disassembly. I then thoroughly cleaned each part (actually bought an ultrasonic cleaner to help), drying the parts with a hair dryer, etc.

    Someone in the past had worked on the clock (as evidenced by the "punch" marks on several of the pivot holes). As such most all of the pivot holes looked pretty much OK to me. However, two of the holes in one of the plates showed a fair amount of wear (can't really see them, as they are covered by the two "snail" gears/cams that go through the plate, but there is quite a bit of play in the vertical direction (horizontal seems ok), that tells me they are fairly worn).

    Not knowing how to remove the two gears, so that I could attempt to "bush" the holes, I hoped they weren't bad enough to keep the clock from running...

    So, I cleaned everything as best I could, and then reassembled and oiled the clock. It took me a while on the clock stand to get all the gears properly lined up so that the quail and cuckoo would operate as it should. I could pull the quail release chain/lever and have it chirp the correct count, followed by the cuckoo at the appropriate times.

    While in the stand, I had a hard time getting the quail to initiate its cycle every time. Oftentimes I had to gently add an additional tug on the quail weight in order to get it started. Once started, it would seem to run ok. I had to remove the quail itself (spring loaded arm holding the quail) in order to get the operation to start and continue without any intervention. It also had difficulty starting if I attempted to do so via the minute hand on the clock.

    I ended up putting the mechanism back into the clock case to give it a whirl. Nothing much changed - the timing train of the clock seems to run just fine, but the quail train doesn't want to start without a decent nudge (and I have the spring on the quail so loose that the door doesn't want to shut when it completes). Once the quail runs, the cuckoo runs as needed and finishes just fine.

    Sorry for the long-winded description... My question is - I'd hate to have to disassemble the clock again (after finally getting the timings correct), but I am afraid I need to in order to replace the worn pivot holes. And if I do that, I still do not know how to remove the snail/cam gears so that I can attempt to do that.

    So, does anyone have any ideas what I might have missed or what else I need to look at/do in order to get the quail to function properly? I do not know what size weights should go with this clock (as there were none when I found it), but I am running it with 420s.

    Would the 2 worn pivot holes most likely be the culprit keeping the quail train from running properly? And if I do need to bush the worn pivot holes, can someone direct me as to how to remove (and reinstall) the gears without damaging them?

    Note, as you have discovered, I am not a "master horologist" - this is the first clock I have fully disassembled. So, any help/instructions/warnings/etc anyone can give me, would be very much appreciated.

    Here is a pic during my disassembly. The gears I am referring to are to the middle left and right.

    attachment.jpg


    Best regards,
    Brian
     

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  2. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    For a first clock. This would not be the one to start with. This movement is way above a beginners head.
     
  3. shutterbug

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    Well, you did it once ... so you should be able to do it again :) I'm not sure which cam gears you mean. The two shown in the first pic do not appear to be the problem. Could you clarify that part for us?
     
  4. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    #4 Brianta, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    Thanks, ShutterBug. :)

    Yeah, it may not be the "simplest" clock to start with, but I am pretty confident I can disassemble and reassemble it again (will be a lot easier the second time, as I spent a fair amount of time just simply watching each train to see how it was supposed to work (ie. warning phases, stop pins, etc)). None-the-less, I would rather only done it once and had it "work". ;-)

    I apologize, I got confused looking at all my pics, and referenced the wrong items.

    The items I need to remove contain the ratchets for the quail and cuckoo trains. The quail item contains the winding ratchet and the quail count wheel. The cuckoo item contains the cuckoo winding ratchet and a pinion that drives the cuckoo count wheel.

    So, in the pic, it is the ratchets on the far left and far right (the middle timing train ratchet simply pops out of its pivot holes).

    attachment.jpg

    Hopefully that makes more sense!

    Sorry for the confusion!

    PS. My previous post contains a thumbnail for the reverse shot of these items.
     

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  5. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    So you are trying to remove the items that are on the outside of the plate from the arbors that go through the plate for the cuckoo and the quail. Several issues you will have to deal with including the possibility of bending those arbors and then getting the pinion and the wheel back on the arbor so that they will not rotate. You should study the use of gear pullers, crows feet and how to gentle heat the pinion to remove it if it is so tight and corroded that it will not let loose without applying so much pressure that you would bend the arbor.

    Basically there is no simple answer to your problem nor a magic solution.

    Read through this thread and similar - and take your time.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?25641-How-to-remove-gear-cam-from-shaft

     
  6. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Thanks for the info.

    I presumed they were pressed on - I had just hoped there might be an "easy" mechanism/procedure to removing them - without damaging something in the process. I really do not want to remove them, but they are my highest candidates (that *I* can guess) for why the quail train is not functioning properly....
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    This is a great tool, and you'll use it again and again. It's what you need to solve your dilemma. That little gear just pulls off too, if memory serves....but it might have a pin through it too. Look under magnification. If no pin, it can be pried off using small screwdrivers, one on each side.
     
  8. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Thanks to all, I appreciate it. :)
     
  9. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    420 on the weights is what mine uses. Worn bearing surfaces could be an issue. Make sure that the main wheel pins that actuate the hammer and bellow levers are not applying force on those when at rest. You've oiled in the appropriate locations?
     
  10. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Thanks for the clarification on the 420 weights!

    I checked on the "main wheel pins that actuate the hammer and bellow levers are not applying force on those when at rest". I am not positive I know exactly what to look for here, but I checked all the bellows levers and hammers, and none of them are (at least when I looked) pressing on any pins.

    I decided to completely disassemble the clock mechanism again and "relook" for anything I might have missed - I didn't notice anything (but, then again, I might not actually know if something is awry, as I don't have other similar clock works to directly compare it to. For example, in the following photo, are the pins on the ratchet wheel on the right supposed to be slightly angled? Or are they slightly bent? I wasn't about to try and straighten them, esp since I don't think it appears to be creating any problems as a result. None-the-less, I wonder... :)

    attachment.png

    I reassembled the works again, re-oiled it, and added a very small amount of clock grease to a couple cam edges... It initially displayed the same issue - the quail train did not seem to have the umph to get going. I then wondered if I may have the spring on the quail arm wound too tightly, adding too much resistance for the operation? So, I backed off the brass spring one revolution and tried it all again. That definitely seemed to help the quail train. It now will start and stop every time as it should. I don't know how it will behave when I put it back in the "house"- will it be able to open the door? or close the door properly?

    I let the clock run all night last night - was still running in the morning and seemed to keep time ok, with the quail and cuckoo trains firing as they should. Later in the day, however, I noticed it had stopped ticking all together... When I tried to initiate the quail mechanism (by pulling the quail chain), it would do nothing. Pulling the cuckoo chain caused the cuckoo to do its thing just fine - but not the quail. The clock has since stopped quite a few times. One thing I have noticed is that when this happens, it appears that the silver "warning arm" (? - see pic below) appears to be "pinched", or stuck on one of the pins on the minute hand wheel. If I put the minute hand on the minute hand shaft and slightly turn it, the arm immediately falls and the quail train runs. If I then restart the clock, it will run until it hits this situation again.

    attachment.jpg

    So, I think if I can figure out why it appears the warning arm (?) is binding on the minute hand wheel pins, then I may be in pretty good shape. Any thoughts you might have would be appreciated.

    Many thanks!
     

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  11. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    #11 Tinker Dwight, Feb 9, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    This is an indication that the train that the lever starts did not run.
    You need to do something about the loose bushing. They always wear in
    one direction because that is the direction of the force.
    Such punched bushings are rarely properly centered. A complete
    train of such can accumulate to be excessive drag.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  12. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    I don't actually think the quail train is actually trying to start yet, as (for some reason) the lever has not fallen - it is right on the very edge ready to do so, but stops there. As soon as I turn if ever so slightly, the arm falls and the train starts.

    Just for grins, the next time it happens, I will try and just simply restart the pendulum and see what (if anything) transpires...
     
  13. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    THT mentioned a crow's foot. That's the tool I use. On your movement there is plenty of room, at the count wheel drive gear and the stop plate, to place the crow's foot under the plate. Use very light taps with a small (2 ounce) brass hammer. If the parts don't come off easily apply a little heat and try again. They usually come off easily but sometimes they don't.
    Note, a small amount of penetrating oil, allowed to soak in for a couple of days, never hurts.
    Willie X
     
  14. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    There appears to be dirty pivots in that last picture. I suggest starting over and disassemble/clean again and peg the holes with wooden toothpicks. I imagine what that you will need a few bushings
     
  15. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Check the spring wire that goes between the plates and pushes down on the lever that is on the same arbor as the "silver warning arm". You may have too much tension there, similar to what happened with the hammer spring. Too much tension there will stall the time train because it doesn't have enough power to lift/activate the quail function.
     
  16. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    #16 THTanner, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2017
    is it just the picture? - or has this whole movement been sprayed with lacquer of some sort? I see a lot of what looks like a gooey film on wheels as well as plates and other parts. Maybe just old brass and some photo issue, but if it is as gooey as it looks there is no telling what is stealing power.

     
  17. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    There is a chance that someone sprayed the clock with WD-40.
    It leaves a sticky waxy like residue that is hard to get off.A little of that
    on the pivots of a lever and they get stuck like glue.
    The only thing that I know of that loosens it is more WD-40.
    You let it soak for a few hours and
    then clean them while the WD-40 is still wet.
    Also look at the levers end where it lands on the warning pin.
    Some times there is a little dent there from years of hitting
    the warning pin. It can be filed smooth if needed.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  18. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Have been wondering the same thing. In the first post he said he bought an ultrasonic to clean. I'm hoping these are pics of the disassembly and not after it was cleaned.
     
  19. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    All the pics I have posted were ones I took either before or during the disassembly - not after I had cleaned the mechanism. They aren't great shots, but here are a couple of shots after the cleaning and reassembly.

    attachment.jpg attachment.jpg
     

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  20. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Just as an update, the clock has now been running for the last day or so in the test stand without a hitch. I think the beat was just a little off, which may have caused the timing train to stop right when it needed to trip the warning lever to sound the quail. At any rate, after adjusting the beat slightly, it has not stopped once.

    I need to replace the bellows, as one is torn and the others are probably not far behind. Once I do that, I will put the works back into the case and see how it all fares.

    attachment.jpg

    Thanks again for all the interest and advise!

    IMG_5588.jpg
     
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  21. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Well, I agree with others. You are starting with a 'not friendly to repair' clock. So, after this you should be able to tackle most anything.
    Willie X
     
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  22. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Nicely done :)

     
  23. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Thank you all for the kind words! I very much appreciate them!

    Though I think I have an OK grasp on what is going on with this particular mechanism (in order to put it back together so it runs), I am sure that if I had more experience under my belt I'd be able to put it together the first time and not have to slowly turn the ratchet wheels, watching for the right point to stop it and then align the gears/pins/cams/etc all up so it starts and stops properly. I end up having to do some of that 4 or 5 times before I get it to function as it should.

    What I most appreciate (beyond the kind "atta boys") is the helpful hints that one gains from years of experience. I'd love to "apprentice" with someone locally, since that is what you can gain by that type of interaction. However, since this is just a new "hobby" for me, I will do my best to soak up the advice, warnings, concerns, tips, etc of all who kindly are willing to send them my way.

    Here is a couple of pics of the next item I will probably be looking at disassembling and cleaning up (so, heads-up, I'll probably have a raft of questions about it as well<g>). It's from a "Railroad" cuckoo clock I found several years ago. The house was in pretty sad shape, but I tried to patch it up as best I could - so it is not all "original", but hopefully looks somewhat OK. After I worked on the house, I tried running the clock, and it wouldn't, so I tucked it away in the closet for the last 10 years. Time to give it another whirl. :)

    Before:

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

    After doing some case work:

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

    Thanks again to everyone!

    100_7649.jpg 100_7654.jpg 100_7655.jpg 100_7656.jpg 100_7658.jpg IMG_5589.jpg IMG_5590.jpg IMG_5591.jpg IMG_5592.jpg IMG_5593.jpg IMG_5594.jpg
     
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  24. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Wow! I love what you did to the case, it looks great. The movement should be much easier to set up than the quail. Have you tried to run it yet? I just noticed there are more wheels than a normal (1 day) antique cuckoo movement. Just going by number of wheels it would be like a modern 8 day. Could you have an antique 8 day?
     
  25. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Thanks! I tried to make it look as best I could, with what I had.

    I have absolutely no idea whether it is 1 day or 8 day or even how you'd tell. I have never had it running. The clock didn't have either the weights or the pendulum with it, so I had to fudge both from stuff I had lying around. I don't know what weights are supposed to go with it, but the heaviest I had wouldn't keep it running.
     
  26. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Best as I can tell it is a one day movement, a good quality cast plate movement made by Philip Haas (the rabbit bridge is his trademark). Dates to around 1900 more or less.
     
  27. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    I've never worked on that particular movement. On the antique movements I'm familiar with (1 day), there are 3 wheels on the time side and 4 on the strike side. Yours has 4 and 5. Which is the same number a modern 8D movement has. If I were to take a guess, you'd need at least 1200g of weight.
     
  28. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Neither have I Chris. I think you may be right. The only early 8 day cuckoo I've worked on is a Junghans, with a totally different movement type, spring wound wall clock.
     
  29. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    That is exactly what it reminds me of. A spring wound mantel or wall clock movement... without the springs.
     
  30. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    I may not be counting correctly here, but it looks like there are 3 on the time side (4 if you count the escapement wheel), and 4 on the strike side?

    attachment.jpg attachment.jpg attachment.jpg
     

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  31. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    A few from the 'boneyard'. All one day, 3 wheels including the escape wheel on time side and 4 on the strike side. attachment.jpg
     

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  32. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    #32 Brianta, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
    How does one count 4 wheels on the strike side?

    My non-horological counting only comes up with 3 - unless you count the "fly wheel" as one of the wheels (man, that seems like a silly comment - I was only counting the "wheels", but it *is* named a fly-wheel - so I guess it is part of the count?).

    :cuckoo:
     
  33. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    I understand the dilemma. They don't call them cuckoo's for nothing! Include the 'fly wheel' or not... your movement still has one extra wheel than mine do. Hopefully someone that knows for sure will post.:D
     
  34. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    I'm working on a 'station' style cuckoo now, c1900. It's similar to the one posted and has 2# weights. It runs 40 hours on a wind. Much easier to work on than your modern run-of-th-mill cuckoo.
    Willie X
     
  35. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    May I ask what you used to strip the old stain and varnish from the case?
     
  36. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    I don't know for sure. I stripped and repaired the case probably 10 years ago. I did a fair amount of furniture stripping and refinishing during that time, so I just used whatever I had around (picked up at the local Lowes or Home Depot stores). Most likely it was Parks Liquid Strip (which turns out to be bad news https://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id=16009009).
     
  37. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User

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    Anything that works good is no good for you. Used to use Kleen Strip, but that's probably a more environmentally & health friendly formula too by now. I remember it burned your hands if you didn't put on chemical resistant gloves.
    But it worked well, 25 years ago.
     
  38. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    Yep - used a lot of that years ago. I wasn't very smart way back then - I would use the stuff without any gloves of any kind, and have my hands get so burned and dry that the top layer or two of skin would peel off. Not that I would blame the subsequent cancer that I got on those chemicals, but I am sure it didn't help either...
     
  39. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Okay thanks for the warnings. I guess it is back to the experimenting. Home Depot and Lowes have quite a few nasty sounding solutions that I am not too sure I want to experiment with. A friend showed me a technique he uses with a low temp torch and basically burns it till it curls then scrapes. But that is not well suited to a surface like the cuckoo parts that are not flat.

     
  40. Brianta

    Brianta Registered User

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    I, personally, would never torch anything of any value - there would be too high a risk to scorch the wood and/or catch it on fire. A good heat gun can do similar, when used on the right kind of finish.

    There are definitely reasonable products out there to use - you'll just want to be sure and follow the directions for them (proper gloves, ventilation, mask, etc) - I often got lazy and sidestepped a lot of them - that's not very wise. There are also some "natural" type products out there that aren't as "caustic", but usually take a little more time to work.
     

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