Help HM Clock Chimes, but only until the 3/4 hour...

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by rah1420, Nov 11, 2019.

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  1. rah1420

    rah1420 New Member

    Nov 11, 2019
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    I have found a bunch of good information here and plan on consuming it avidly, but I am also lazy and wonder if anyone else has seen this.

    I have a 20 year old Howard Miller 3-weight grandfather clock. I recently had it cleaned (no guarantees, no callbacks by the horologist) and after that, the chimes failed to -- well, you know -- chime. After a week or so we realized how much we missed them. Not wanting to throw good money after bad, granddad went silent.

    When the silence got oppressive, I removed the side panel and when I heard the "Click" at the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or top of the hour, I'd reach in and "flick" the little flywheel thing (yes, I promise I'll learn the nomenclature) and the chime would start, and do its thing. Sometimes it would even do it again. If I caught it at the top of the hour and had ignored it for an hour, it would obviously chime the wrong time and then fall silent while the autocorrection valiantly tried to auto correct.

    About a week ago, I vowed to get a handle on the woes with this clock. I downloaded an app on my iphone so I knew that when I was home and the app chimed, I should wander over to Granddad and figure out what's going on. I discovered that the culprit was the 3/4 hour chime. If I reached in at the 3/4 hour and flicked this flywheel thing, it chime reliably at the top, at 1/4, at 1/2 -- and then it would fail at the next 3/4 hour.

    As you can tell from my horrible command of this vocabulary, I'm ill suited to effect a repair, but I sure want to try. Is there something I might be able to do to make my clock chime again? Any ideas or suggestions? I promise I'm going to educate myself and hopefully make edits to make myself sound less like an idiot. :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Do you have the heaviest weight on the chime side? Otherwise I suspect a problem with the chime correction function. Even with no guarantee, I would go back to the person who serviced the clock and give him/her a chance to get it right. Some pictures would be nice as well as what specific movement we are looking at.

    RC
     
  3. rah1420

    rah1420 New Member

    Nov 11, 2019
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    He was pretty adamant that he wouldn't be showing up again without a suitable outlay of funds, and that his work was not guaranteed. Regarding the weights, I will look into that and I will also endeavor to get pictures. Thanks.
     
  4. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    I'm wondering if he advised at the time of repair that this clock needed additional work that you did not authorize do to the cost? The symptom you describe is not uncommon if the movement has excessive wear and is due for a complete rebuild. What did the repair person actually do when he serviced the clock?

    RC
     
  5. rah1420

    rah1420 New Member

    Nov 11, 2019
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    I was a little distracted at work. Chalk it up to the excitement of finding a resource that might help. :)

    Yes, it’s been about 20 years without PM on this clock. He offered a home cleaning and said that the results may not be optimal. If anyone got the impression he was jerking me around, I apologize. He said the full-on rehab would be a new movement.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Obviously your clock movement is at the end of its life expectancy. Anything less than a complete tear down and overhaul will be sending good money after bad. A new movement is often the best option.

    RC
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    There is no such thing as a home cleaning, so I think you need a different clock guy. A complete service on your clock would cost a bit, but that's what needs to be done. I'm afraid that whatever you paid for the home cleaning was money wasted. If you had applied that to the cost of repair you would be a happier person.
    Look at the back of the movement and see if you can see any identifiers and/or numbers. We might be able to source a new movement for you.

    FYI, your movement is designed to chime until AFTER the 3/4 hour, and then stay in place until the hour. If it gets off, it will self correct that way. I'm curious if your clock will stay silent when it stops and then suddenly chime again? Let us know if it acts like that. We can give you some pointers at that point. Also note at what time it chimes.
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Well, the tallest lobe on the 4 lobe cam has to lift the self correction hook high enough to release the chime train on the hour. My guess would be that this is not happening. The usual problems would be: severe wear at the hand shaft, severe wear at the bushing behind the chime stop disc, or a bent chime flirt. The chime flirt is shaped like a wishbone and rides on the 4 lobe cam. It transfers motion up to the chime release hooks. The rear hook is the correction hook and only releases the train on the hour at the highest lift of 4 lobe cam, on the hand shaft.

    If the minute handshaft, or the chime disk (on the 3rd and 4th arbor) wiggle around, your movement is toast. No wiggle, it can probably be adjusted or repaired.

    WIllie X
     
  9. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Yep. But my questions were trying to narrow it down to a potential hand placement problem ;)
     

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