Hipp toggle restore

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by kosmos, Jul 16, 2017.

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  1. kosmos

    kosmos Registered User

    Feb 11, 2017
    Country Flag:
    Hello Everyone,
    I have a question that I hope can get answered.

    I acquired this Hipp toggle regulator in pieces and through some research was able to get it running. However there were some parts missing.
    I made up a suspension spring and this is the part in question. I didn't have much to go on so the size of the spring (0.15mm) was a guess.
    The reason I ask about the spring is because the clock has demonstrated a couple of issues while running. First, eventually the indexing arm mounted to the pendulum gets kicked out of the yoke on the clock movement, which stops the indexing.
    And two, periodically the toggle jumps up onto the point of the "V" instead of the crotch.
    I think this may be related to the peculiar twisting swing of pendulum. And this peculiar swing may be related to the size of the suspension spring.
    Can anyone advise me on the size of this spring?

    You may notice another defect, all of the components are mounted on the wooden clock case back. Originally this was marble which sadly was destroyed in a shipping accident. This could contribute to the twisting pendulum,, what do you think?

    I have no idea of the age of this timepiece. I acquired it in Switzerland in the early '90's. I was looking to get a tall case for a regulator I wanted to create myself and was given a box of "parts" along with it that turned out to be the Hipp toggle itself.

    The steel pendulum, which weighs about 30 lbs. is temperature compensated with a brass insert.
    The pendulum rod is of Invar or some similar alloy.
    The "V" block appears to be agate
    I am running it on 18 volts.
    The movement is a well made yet simple and uses a set of pawls and index wheel to be driven by the pendulum

    As a whole the clock looks like a project, maybe from a horology school, it is clearly an attempt to produce a decent rendition of Hipp's toggle.
    Thanks for your consideration!
    310649.png 310651.jpg 310652.png 310654.png 310653.jpg 310655.png
  2. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    Calif. USA
    #2 Tinker Dwight, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    The twisting may be related to the way it pulls at the coils.
    Usually there is a bar that spans the two coils at the bottom of the
    It looks to be just pulling on a round end. That may be causing the twist.
    It could also be that there is excessive tension on the switch, causing the
    wobble to build up. It should lightly close the switch.
    Tinker Dwight
  3. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
    NAWCC Business

    Feb 12, 2011
    Arizona, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi kosmos,

    Hipp toggle clocks are one of my favorite mechanisms and your clock looks quite interesting, especially since it was a basket case that you had to figure out and assemble!

    Hats off to you :clap:

    When it comes to the subject of pendulum wobble the first details I would look closely at concern the suspension spring assembly. I took the liberty of working with your photos to illustrate my concerns:


    In the view on the left, the distance shown at 'A' does not look to be in the center of the steel spring. This would mean the pendulum is hanging off center. I cannot be sure but it also looks like the brass plates added to the steel may not be quite parallel at 'B'. These brass plates should grip the spring as tightly as possible and it looks as if the rivets are on the outside of the steel spring. If this is the case, riveting the brass tightly would likely bow the brass away from the spring in the center.

    In the right view, the red arrow points to a dark spot that might be clearance. If so, this could be a location of unwanted clearance. Also in this view it looks like the pendulum hangar is only screwed to the back of the case along its vertical center-line. Mounting this way would have very little resistance to any wobble and could become worse depending on the hardness of the wood back. What might have been workable with a marble back could become a problem with wood.

    This shot is of the mounting of the pendulum in my regulator:

    Pendulum mount3.jpg

    You can see that by mounting the suspension hangar with screws on the sides it will resist any side flex. Also the rivets go through the suspension spring steel. I discussed this mount in post #23 here:


    What may seem like small details can have a large effect with a thirty pound seconds pendulum. Any point in the suspension where you can feel the slightest clearance in twist can be a factor in creating the wobble.

    As a side note, I would also recommend an extended pin that the pendulum hooks to, with some method of catching it should the suspension spring break. Thirty pounds falling can do a lot of damage. :mysad:

    I hope that these suggestions are of some help.
  4. kosmos

    kosmos Registered User

    Feb 11, 2017
    Country Flag:
    Hello and thanks for the responses!
    Tinker, I will definitely check out the points you raise. In fact the toggle spring is tensioned higher than it needs to do the job and as Jim points out, a thirty pound seconds pendulum can amplify the smallest imperfections.

    You are right about the suspension spring assembly. It is not as well made as it should be. I will make another. In fact I am a little embarrassed to see the mistakes I made thinking that it would work!

    And thanks for sharing the picture of yours, I can see where I can make improvements.
    Beside remaking an assembly that is parallel, and geometrically correct as logic dictates, please let me ask a few questions.

    Is the length of free hanging spring correct? Between the two sets of brass plates? This one spans about 4mm.
    Is the thickness of the spring correct? This one is about .15mm
    You noticed and pointed out a possible clearance problem, what the picture shows is a shadow but there is some space there, about .16mm. It is easy to slip the suspension spring assembly into that slot, but I could make it tighter, what do you think?

    Again thanks for your help!
  5. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    Calif. USA
    My comment about the bottom for the armature of the
    magnet. It is really hard to balance the round end between
    the two magnetic poles. It is almost surely pulling the pendulum
    side ways instead of along the normal swing of the pendulum.
    Even a 1/64 inch off center would be a significant contributor
    to a wobbly swing.
    Jim's note about the brass plates no being parallel is also a
    significant problem. It doesn't hurt to make the spring
    a little longer, as long as you have adjustment range.
    Tinker Dwight
  6. kosmos

    kosmos Registered User

    Feb 11, 2017
    Country Flag:
    Yes that suspension spring assembly is not up to the standards. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I made it up that, but now I can clearly see how it can effect the pendulum swing.

    I started looking at other examples of electric pendulum clocks,,, lots of work in that area years ago, and there are versions with the bar you mentioned.
    In fact that very piece may have been in the box of parts I got with the clock case and I never recognized it.


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