How Do I Adjust This Thing??

Keith Doster

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Mar 31, 2011
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Good evening to (most of) you all. I have had a Matthew Bauerle 6-tube clock in my shop since March. It has intimidated me for that long. So now, primarily motivated by guilt, I must get this thing going. The clock runs fine. The chimes do not. I have never seen a movement with what would normally be called a chime locking plate, like this one. I have no idea how to adjust it. The four pins that protrude out of the plate hit a finger on the flirt that activates a lever that intercepts a stop pin on one of the chime wheels. The chimes are very erratic, and do not stop at three of the four pins, and start at the wrong times (except at the hour). Suggestions? Where to start??
photo 1.jpg photo 3_2.jpg
 

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shutterbug

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Keith, could you give us an idea of what it's doing (or not doing) when trying to chime?
 

Keith Doster

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Three of the four pins on the "locking plate" do not raise the flirt high enough to stop the chimes. It just continues to chime through all three quarters except at one point when, for some inexplicable reason, the chimes stop between two of the pins, at about 20 minutes after the hour. And also stops after chiming the hour. So I think I have it set correctly to chime the entire, correct sequence of 16 notes at the hour. The other three quarters do not chime correctly.

I'd like to somehow adjust the flirt/stop lever assembly to lift higher. I have noticed that the stop lever raises, but drops out just prior to engaging the stop pin. I have not separated the plates on this movement, so all adjustments have been set by someone else. It has definitely been serviced by someone else. I suspect they got the adjustments out of sequence and then walked away from it. I can understand why. :confused:
 

Randy Beckett

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Maybe it is possible that the three short pins are actually lifting the flirt high enough to stop it, but the pin is just out of position at the critical time due to the locking plate being out of time with it. If that's true, you should be able to loosen the locking plate and rotate it a little at a time until the stop pin is caught, then deal with putting the chimes back in sync with the back adjustment. You should be able to tell where the stop pin is located at the moment of highest flirt lift by slowly turning the train by hand, with the mainspring let down.

Also possible the stop pin is bent just enough to make it miss on the lower lift three pins but not the higher lift fourth one.

The odd 20 after the hour stop sounds like it may be an out of position auto-sync that is stopping the train as it goes into warn at the half hour. Which makes me wonder, is the highest lift lobe on the center shaft at the proper position to be lifting on the hour, or out of position, lifting on the half?
 

Bruce Alexander

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I may be completely wrong but it sounds like a chime correction timing/adjustment problem to me (as Randy has previously suggested). My guess is that the top of the hour has the greatest amount of lift so that only it can bring the chime train out of correction warning/lock. If the mechanism is adjusted properly, the other quarter lifts should function except when the train is in correction.

I'm just guessing here based on other experiences. I don't know what is between the visible control levers and the plate but there looks to be a correction arbor/lever hidden. Can you explain and/or show us what's going on there and between the plates in the upper chime gear train? Also, what did the owner tell you about the history of the issue? Did it suddenly stop working or did it get some help from someone before you came innocently along?
Possible Chime Correction.jpg
 

shutterbug

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My gut reaction is that maybe the lift lever has been shortened. Any evidence of a break or filing on the end? I'm also assuming that that pin wheel is turning clockwise, correct? It almost seems it would be working against the other end of the lever that way.
 

Keith Doster

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Shutterbug, Randy, and Bruce, thanks for the hints and your willingness to help. I get paid to talk (I'm a minister) and I could not figure out how to describe what was happening with this clock. That's why I have not responded to your inquiries before now. But basically, the top of the hour was the only time in which the chime and strike were working correctly. The other three quarter-hour positions were activating about 7 or 8 minutes early, which caused other erratic behavior at the quarter hour. Weird.

SO! I decided to try to return everything to "factory settings" beginning with the flirt/lever assembly which activates and stops the chimes. I removed the entire assembly and flattened every unnatural-looking bend (there were several), assuming it was originally perfectly flat. And voila!! Everything started working correctly! I did bend one tab to lift the locking lever slightly higher in order to better engage the stop pin.

The various edges that ride on the pins and levers were, in my estimation, nearly microscopically out of adjustment. But so far (and by that I mean for the past 45 minutes), everything is in order and the chimes are working correctly at the quarter hours. I hope it continues. I wish I had pictures to better show you the workings of this clock. But except for flattening an abused flirt/lever, I've really done nothing else except observe and manipulate and pace around the shop trying to understand this mechanism.

So to make a long story short, I think it's working now! Thanks for your interest. It is greatly encouraging to have people like yourselves share your ideas and provoke me to think about how these things presumably work. I really appreciate it!
 

Keith Doster

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Hey Shutterbug, to answer your question, yes, the pin wheel does turn clockwise. The bends in the flirt apparently had the effect of shortening the finger that rides on the four pins. But I am amazed at how huge a difference such a small bend made in the operation of the chimes.
 

shutterbug

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Glad you got it sorted out :)
 

harold bain

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The best way to understand why a clock doesn't work is to understand how it does work. Seems you've figured this out yourself. Good work Keith.
 

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