Hopkins & Lewis 8 Day Tall Case Clock

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Dave Fuller, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Dave Fuller

    Dave Fuller New Member

    Jan 13, 2018
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    I inherited a tall case clock recently and am hoping for some information on it as well as some suggestions as to how to get it running reliably. I'm new to clocks so forgive me if my use of the terminology is off.

    What I know:
    • The clock originally belonged to my 4th great-grandfather Joesph Fuller (1780 - 1859).
    • It was made in the mid 1820's 1825 by Orange or Asa Hopkins, and Luke Lewis.
    • It has an 8 day wood works movement.
    • I've leveled the movement and checked the beat which appears to be even.
    • The strike chain works properly; striking on the hour.
    • The day of the month also works. The day hand(?) needs to be fixed but I have the pieces.
    • The time train will run for about 2 hours but then will stop. If move the great anti-clockwise slightly it will run for another 2 hours.
    What I'd like to know:
    • Who made the movement? It doesn't look like any of the Terry movements I've seen.
    • What could be causing the time train to hang? I don't see any broken, cracked or chipped gears.
    Any help or information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Dave
    DSCF8420.JPG DSCF8429.JPG DSCF8427.JPG DSCF8425.JPG DSCF8424.JPG DSCF8423.JPG DSCF8421.JPG
     
  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    "Asa Hopkins was a resident of the Northfield section of Litchfield and probably started to
    make thirty-hour tall clock wood movements about 1809 or 1810. In 1815 he started a new factory
    on the Naugatuck River, and one year later, his nephew Orange Hopkins and Lorin Bates became
    Asa's partners. The three partners sold this shop in 1825, and probably ceased clockmaking. Later,
    Asa was in the musical instrument business with Luke Lewis. 9 Clocks are known with the names
    of Asa Hopkins, Orange Hopkins and Hopkins & Lewis, all Litchfield. On August
    22, 1814, Asa had obtained a U.S. Patent, "Wheels for Wooden Clocks." This was actually for a
    three spindle wheel cutting engine." From Ken Roberts Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock

    "Asa Hopkins, a man residing in the Parish of Northfield, town of Litchfield, had
    erected a factory on the Naugatuck River.-This Mr. Hopkins was a man of considerable
    mechanical skill, and a successful manufacturer of clocks. He obtained a patent about the year
    1813 or 1814, on a machine for cutting the cogs or teeth of the wheels. This invention or
    improvement was for the use and introduction of three arbors or mandrels, by means of which
    one row of teeth on a number of wheels were finished by one operation; a machine still in use,
    although superseded at the time, by the construction of an engine by Mr. Terry, with only one
    mandrel, which was used for many years afterwards, and has not been abandoned to this day.
    Messrs. Thomas and Hoadley prosecuted the business as partners, for three years or more,
    when they dissolved, Mr. Hoadley retaining the factory and other property. Heman Clark, who
    had been an apprentice to Mr. Terry, built a factory about the year 1811, in the place now
    known as Plymouth Hollow, where he pursued the business two or more years. Mr. Thomas
    purchased this factory Dec., 1813, where he again embarked in this calling, and where he has
    been eminently successful in making clocks, and is at this time at an advanced age in life,
    extensively engaged in this and other business. From Ken Roberts Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock
     
  3. Dave Fuller

    Dave Fuller New Member

    Jan 13, 2018
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    Thanks for the info Jim.

    After some more investigation of the issue appears to be the meshing of the great wheel and the pinion on the 2nd arbor. There is no torque on the 3rd wheel's pinion. There is some vertical play in the front bushing of the great wheel. Perhaps a .5mm tops. Not sure that would be enough to cause it. I've attached a pic of the mesh point. Unfortunately I can't get get a backside of the pinion easily. However the great wheel teeth would indicate there is an adequate mesh.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    mesh.jpg
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    Well, as you have discovered woodworks can be a bit contrary, even when all is in good condition. The wheels will warp and shrink across their grain over time and more often in central heat that we all enjoy these days. They can be difficult to troubleshoot even in the hands of a well-experienced woodworks repairman. Troubleshooting via email or online is not, in my opinion, a good choice. We can see from your photos that a great wheel has been replaced as well as at least one pinion, both on the time side. If that was done properly there may be some other issues in the train or if the replacement parts were a little bit oversized/undersized they could cause your problem. I don't think .5mm play in the great wheel shaft is the problem, but a first-hand inspection is needed, by someone who repairs ww clocks and does it well. Many may claim "they can repair it" but the list of good ww repairmen is very short. You have a quite rare clock, there are only a very few of these in 8-day versions, certainly less than 10 or so. And they made the clock movements themselves, as you may gather from the details in my first response.
     
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  5. Dave Fuller

    Dave Fuller New Member

    Jan 13, 2018
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    Do you have any recommendations for someone in the Cleveland area?
     
  6. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Perhaps someone in Cleveland area will respond. Though not in Cle. Don Bruno in Connecticut may be of great help. Torringtonclockco.com is his web site, but I am unable to connect to the site now. You can find a phone number with a Google search. Beautiful clock !
     
  7. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    In your fourth picture it seems like the pendulum rod may be rubbing on the crutch. If it is real, it might be enough to stop the clock. Has the clock recently been moved? You could try to put something that is about 1//4" thick under the front feet of the case and see if it solves the problem. You could also try to bend the crutch wire a bit closer to the back plate of the movement.

    Uhralt
     
  8. Dave Fuller

    Dave Fuller New Member

    Jan 13, 2018
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    Thanks for the suggestion, I double checked it and it isn't touching the crutch other than in the crutch loop. The issue appears to be the meshing of the pinion to the great wheel. When the clock stops the stored energy isn't making it past the 2nd wheel.
     
  9. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    The picture wasn't very clear. To troubleshoot your problem you can remove all the gears and test the meshing by putting them back between the plates in in pairs only, starting with the first wheel and 2nd. Move the first wheel manually with very little pressure. You will be able to feel if and where binding occurs. You can also give the wheels a little push and let them coast to a stop. Note the position of the wheels relative to each other. It they always stop in the same position, there is the problem. If everything tests fine, remove the first wheel and test 2nd and 3rd against each other. Continue, if necessary, until to reach the escape wheel.

    Uhralt
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    You might try Jonathan Lester j.lester@roadrunner.com He is in your general area and I have seen some fair amount of his work. It is better than first-rate.
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    A comment that is really tangential.

    Some of this discussion reminds me of the current efforts by some very major hospitals to institute "telemedicine". These efforts seem to have been greeted enthusiastically by many.

    The care provider sits in front of a computer screen while the patient sits in front of theirs. They try to show the provider the rash, their sore throat, ask questions etc. Providers are even prescribing based upon these visits!

    I think it's fine for things like reviewing recent testing results, Q&A, etc. Also, it may be permit folks in rural and underserved areas to access care, especially specialty care.

    But I guess I'm a dinosaur. IMCO, NOTHING replaces face to face contact taking a decent history and doing an exam. Unfortunately, the emphasis is now on the "numbers" so often there is inadequate time for that.

    It seems that the limits of telehorology have been reached. I concur with Dr. Jim. Have someone look at the clock. Leave it be until that happens. Something else we nowadays seem to struggle with: delayed gratification.

    Sorry for the hijack and for sounding like an old expulsion of flatulence.

    RM
     
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  12. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Well, take a look at the "Clock Repair" forum. We do a lot of "telemedicine" there, sometimes quite successful. As long as we follow the old principle "Primum non nocere" it should be fine.

    Uhralt
     
  13. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nov 26, 2009
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    Agreed. I'm sure many common straight forward problems can be solved that way. Probably some of greater complexity can too.

    Hopefully, when advice is given in that forum and others, there are those times when it is understand and acknowledged, especially with a better clock or watch, the advice that is required is to seek hands on professional competent help.

    With all honesty, sometimes I get the feeling that though there are the best of intentions, this doesn't always occur as timely as it should or the advice may not reflect the best practices.

    As I've indicated in the past, I'm not a repair guy so I may be completely off base.

    RM
     

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