Herschede Tubular Bell intermittently stops at 7 minutes to hour

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by danielgk, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:22 AM.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. danielgk

    danielgk New Member

    Monday
    2
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I've been battling this for about 2 years now...any thoughts would be welcome.

    Herschede Tubular Bell movement has an intermediate wheel with 4 lifting pins. The lifting pin contacts the lifting lever on the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full hour. The point where the pin meets the lifting lever changes making the lifting lever move more (and be a more difficult load) as the hourly progression proceeds...hence the 1/4 hour lift is the shortest and the easiest while the hour lift is the longest and most difficult.

    When the clock hangs up, the hour lifting pin is trying to lift the lifting lever but can't. This prevents the intermediate wheel from turning and stops the time train. Once "hung" most any movement or vibration (stomp your feet hard) will get the movement out of its bind and the clock will run if the pendulum is started.

    Typically, it will run for a month or so then hang. If freed up and restarted it will only run for a day or two before hanging again. At this point I've been removing the lifting lever, cleaning it, buffing it where it contacts the lifting pin, and putting things back together. After this, the clock will run for another month. The lifting lever is now so smooth I can't imaging any more buffing does anything, but it still seems to make the clock run for another month, and then hang. The time train weight is also some how involved as it never hangs when the weights are lower than 1/2 and most always fails within a day or two of winding.

    The long lever that the lifting lever lifts seems to be working right and not presenting a too heavy load.
     
  2. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    37,915
    280
    83
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Is it chain or cable for the weights? A couple of pictures of the front of the movement might help too.
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Nov 13, 2011
    3,937
    223
    63
    web developer
    oakland, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    you say that you have polished the lifting lever… but have you polished the pin? and looked closely at the interaction between the lifting pin and the lifting lever with magnification?

    also... isn’t power the biggest issue at the escapement? (i’ve been polishing pallets w 4000 grit paper... seems to never be a bad thing to do.) i’m not saying that’s the prob... just suggesting that it sounds like it’s close to the edge power-wise... it could be one specific thing, or a too tight tolerance somewhere else that manifests where you’re currently looking.

    the only thing that’s different when fully wound vs. unwound is where the cord is on the great wheel... making sure everything is smooth and has the right slop there might also be something to look at. a rough arbor shoulder could be pulling closer to the inside of one of the plates when fully wound and binding just enough to stop things.
     
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    37,915
    280
    83
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Also chords and cables can double wrap if they are too long, and bind things up.
     
  5. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
    831
    126
    43
    houston, tx
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    so....these clocks are notorious for losing power once the bushings start to wear out. my thought is that you are low on power to begin with because of some friction issue higher in your time train. I think the canon pin at the top of the hour is probably more along the line of "the straw that broke the camel's back".

    most likely, polishing the trip lever is akin to constantly rebuilding your carburetor every time your car quits when the real problem is that you have sediment in your gas tank that keeps clogging up your jets.

    a good fuel filter would fix the issue in my example above, but a good cleaning and perhaps a few bushing replacements are most likely what it will take to fix what ails your clock.


    welcome to the forum btw....
     
  6. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,747
    169
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Welcome Daniel!

    I tend to agree with Brian. When was the last time the movement was overhauled and lubricated? A little judicious application of oil/grease on the chime activation points might help as could a little lubricant on the pulley axles. Any improvement seen after application of lubricant is likely to be temporary though.

    Also, I agree with Bruce and Shutterbug that it sounds as though your cables (assuming that is what we're looking at) may be too long. It sounds like you know your way around these movements. Have you worked on this one?
    Some photos are always very helpful.

    Again, welcome.


    Bruce


    Edit: Have you noted any pattern? A specific hour perhaps? If you have a Moon Dial, that can add a slight amount of additional load once every 12 hours.
     
  7. danielgk

    danielgk New Member

    Monday
    2
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    1) its cables not chains and they are not too long
    2) It was serviced about 3 years ago and developed this problem about 1 year after. I have no idea whether the guy did a good job or not, he seemed to know what he was doing.
    3) If it was low on power in the time train, wouldn't adding a little extra weight, like 10%, to the time train weight make the problem go away? This was one of the things I tried first and it didn't seem to make any difference.
    4) I have not noticed if it fails at a specific hour. I'll start recording failures.
    5) in the picture, the lifting lever is the 3" vertical piece in the center of the pic

    IMG_2857 resized.jpg
     
  8. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,747
    169
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #8 Time After Time, Feb 11, 2019 at 5:26 PM
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 5:38 PM
    Unless the movement is considered to be disposable/recyclable, do not increase weight (or spring power) to overcome an issue with stalling. As you've noted, it may not work and if it does, the issue is still there, you're just increasing the power (and wear to the movement) to overcome it.

    These movements do require periodic lubrication. It may just need to be oiled?

    Oil a clock, How To (5 pages) •

    How to Oil an Antique Clock Movement

    http://www.kensclockclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Clock-Oils.pdf
     
  9. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
    39
    5
    8
    Male
    Horologist
    BC Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I would also check the "flag"? on the far left of the strike warning lever in the top of the picture in post #7. Occasionally if the fly is too tight on its arbor the warning pin wears a notch in that flag and stops the clock in warning before the hour.
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    37,915
    280
    83
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I think I'd run it past the guy who serviced it. I have a one year guarantee, but have been known to extend that for several years if I feel I overlooked something. At any rate, I would give a generous discount for rework after only three years.
     
    Time After Time likes this.
  11. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
    1,930
    34
    48
    Colorado, usa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Your problem is common with Herschede movements. Like a few of the others, I feel you have a power problem.
    And---a power problem caused by wear. A clock repair person's biggest and most common enemy is wear.
    Those clocks run rather heavy weights which translates to lots of stress on the wheel train. The wear occurs in the front and rear plates of the movement where the axle ends (called pivots) run in holes in the plates. With time, the holes in the plates become oval shaped, allowing the arbors (axles) to wander. This causes the wheels (gears in clocks) to clash. Eventually the wear will overcome the power supplied to the movement. (the weights)
    The normal solution for the wear is to disassemble the movement, bore each oval shaped hole (in both plates) and install a proper sized bushing at each wear point. This brings everything back into proper alignment, and reduces friction to a tolerable level.
    It is common practice for (some) clock repair people to bush one or only a few wear points in a clock movement. Many times this will make the thing go again. This is bad practice. That repair will become short lived when a wear point ignored the first time around becomes critical.
    The ankle bone is connected to the knee bone, etc.,etc. If you have a bad ankle bone and a new knee bone, you probably still cannot walk. With only a partial repair, your clock will not be reliable in the long term.
    As someone else suggested, it might be a good idea to quiz the last repair person to see what he/she did to the clock movement. With what you know now, you can determine what type of repair you paid for the last time. If his/her suggestion is to clean, oil and or adjust, it might be time to seek another repair person. Cleaning, oiling and adjusting are preventative measures and cannot cure wear in clock movements.
    Your clock is of high quality and you should not trust it to the care of an amateur.
    Best of luck,
    Dick Feldman
     
  12. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,747
    169
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Daniel, we had our 5-tube Herschede 217 overhauled professionally by my Mentor about 9 years ago. I know for a fact that he knows clock repair. Still, it began to stall after a couple of years of constant use. Having learned a few things about clock repair and maintenance in the intervening years, I simply oiled it. Lo and Behold, it ran reliably again without another overhaul. Every couple of years since then I've re-oiled it and it has been running just fine. I don't know what was done by your repair person. I don't know what has been done by you. You've mentioned doing some polishing/resurfacing of Chime Activating Lever Lift Points. I assume you had to at least partially disassemble the front of the movement to get proper access to these parts.

    You have an entire spectrum of repair approaches. Some folks fear taking a movement apart and try to clean a movement while it's still assembled. On the other end of the spectrum you have folks who will bush every pivot to replace contaminated brass in the bushing/bearing area with newly machined brass. Most of us come down somewhere in-between those two extremes.

    I do agree with Mr. Feldman. These are not good movements for amateurs to learn on. An experienced professional shop will usually get it right the first time and they will stand behind their work. You should expect to pay a premium for their service. Even so, you probably won't get more than a one-warranty. Some shops will give you two. In either case, you didn't start to have problems until you were already beyond that time frame. There are things which are beyond a shop's control.

    You'll probably need to have your repair person come to your home to inspect the clock. After seeing it for themselves, he or she may opt to try a simple oiling and adjustment with no guarantees. If they see something definitely wrong, they may ask to take the movement back to the shop. You can educate yourself as much as possible and see if what you're hearing and seeing makes sense. Ultimately though, as with most Services, it will come down to a matter of trust. You can't look over someone's shoulder the entire time they are working on your clock. If you don't trust someone to provide good service, you should find someone else and start all over again.

    In the meantime, let us know if you note any patterns. Also, properly oiling a movement such as this isn't that hard if you have good access. If you don't have good access when the movement's installed, you can always remove it from the case to lubricate it. That's something that a mechanically inclined amateur can do for these movements.

    Best regards,

    Bruce
     
  13. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
    1,930
    34
    48
    Colorado, usa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Your clock is showing the classic symptoms of a worn movement.
    Someone worked on it three years ago.
    You have been having the same problem intermittently for two years.
    Oil the movement if you want, but the problem most likely will persist till the wear is taken care of.
    If the movement were in proper order, it should function without oil.
    Dick
     
  14. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,747
    169
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #14 Time After Time, Feb 13, 2019 at 6:59 AM
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 7:10 AM
    Dick may very well be right Daniel.
    I don't know that wear alone can explain this:
    but power problems are usually not one-dimensional.
    I've already said...
    If you haven't tried it, I don't think it will hurt anything, you'll learn more about your movement and it will buy some time to decide what you want to do and who will be doing it for you. Also, periodic oiling (every few years on a movement such as this) is something you should do even when the movement is running trouble free. You can pay someone to come to your home and do it for you, but you might enjoy doing it yourself.

    We'll be around if you have any questions. Keep in mind though, while some here can work miracles off of a description and some photos...perhaps a video, there is no good substitute for actually being able to lay eyes and hands on a movement.

    Good luck,

    Bruce
     
  15. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
    1,930
    34
    48
    Colorado, usa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If the position of the weights makes a difference with the performance of your clock, I would suggest Googling or searching on this board for Sympathetic Vibration. Even if the clock is not being affected by it, that should still be an interesting read.
    Herschede movements are very robust and have a lot of power. Your chime weight is probably 35 pounds. That, in nice round figures, is three plus times the weight for a “normal” clock movement. Herschede has been out of business long enough to expect any of their movements to be quite worn, even the last ones that passed out of the factory door. The age of a movement is a good indication of its general health.
    I do not believe there is any anomaly about your story. There are no gremlins, spirits or black forces contained in your clock. In order for clocks to work and be dependable, there are a number of things that must happen. Commonly, the reason clocks cannot be dependable is friction due to wear due to use. I do, however, find bad juju left over from previous repair people. If there is not wear in a clock movement when I inspect it and if the clock will not run, I look for another contributor, like sympathetic vibration. Many times the root problem is a combination of two problems. A worn clock movement may run if the case is not rocking.
    Again, I bring up the knee bone connected to the ankle bone. If you have a bad ankle that keeps you from walking, you may be able to wear a brace as a partial fix. That will get you walking but it may not solve the problem. If your ankle needs surgery, that may be the final solution.
    Think in terms of long term reliability.
    A competent repair person is a strong asset.
    There are many that will sacrifice their competency by taking the knee jerk reaction with oil, etc.
    Best,
    Dick
     
  16. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    4,747
    169
    63
    Male
    Retired DDS
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Daniel,
    I would also like to point out that not every shop is equipped to place bushings with extremely high machine precision. That may have some affect on which pivot holes the shop owner chooses to bush using their current methods. An extreme example would be someone bushing by hand versus someone bushing with a $1,000 Bushing Machine. Trying to get extremely tight tolerances by hand will more than likely lead to frustration as the repair person has to split the plates again to introduce a little slop. Power issues are usually cumulative and the more slop in a gear's bearings, the more energy that will be lost there. We know nothing about your chosen shop's practices, but there is a reason for Warranties. Try as we might, none of us get things right the first time, every time.

    Mr. Feldman obviously works to high standards in his shop and I'll be the first to recognize his accomplishments in exorcising demons residing in some very problematic clocks which have haunted this message board. Smart money wouldn't bet against him.

    Sometimes I think we tend to judge folks by our own standards while forgetting that we all have to start somewhere. Those of us who continue to learn and strive to improve weren't as good last year as we are today.

    Finally I'll say that my recommendation you start by simply oiling your clock was based upon personal experience with this type of movement. It had nothing to do with the integrity of my spinal cord, peripheral nerves in my patellar tendon, or the health of my quadriceps muscle but they're all fine thank you very much. :chuckling:

    Again, welcome to the NAWCC's Message Board. Discussions can be lively around here. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future in general and on this issue in particular.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     

Share This Page