How to repair drop lever on 30 hour New Haven

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Rockin Ronnie, May 29, 2019.

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  1. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Nov 18, 2012
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    I am working on a 30-hour New Haven time and strike, circa late 1860s and need advice on how to address a strange drop lever issue. It has a run-on strike and it appears this is because the drop lever is dragging on the outside of the cam wheel. Someone soldered the lever but did not bend it to fit in the cam or it may have somehow worked at one time but doesn't anymore. Not sure why they would do this.

    I would like to bend it without breaking it and am looking for a way to do so without causing more issues and if I break it what are my options?

    Ron

    RS New Haven movement (7).jpg RS New Haven movement (9).jpg RS New Haven movement (11).jpg
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    New Haven uses this unusual strike system that locks on the maintenance cam. It is normal for the end of that lever to "drag" on the cam and when the blade of the count lever drops into one of the deep slots the end of the lever in question drops into the notch in the maintenance cam and locks the strike train. The end of the drop lever should be 90 degrees to the cam. You may also need to adjust the angle of the blade on the count lever so it drops centered into the slots of the count wheel when the drop lever locks the maintenance cam.

    As for repair, I would not trust soft solder for this repair. The preferred way, in my opinion, would be to completely remove the damaged lever from the arbor and make a new one.

    RC
     
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  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    RR,
    I would probably make a new one. The right angle part of the stop wire needs to be placed a little furthur to the right, so that the 'draw' is neutral, or slightly positive. The locking edge of the cam should be close to vertical at the stop point. Small coat hanger wire, or pendulum rod wire, of exactly the right size, will make a good replacement.

    Alternately, you can break off the old right angle end of the stop lever. File the end flat and make a long flat taper along the top edge. Make a replacement 'L' shaped piece with a matching taper. The taper will need to be about 5/8" long and a little past half way the thickness of the wire. Get all the placements right, clamp with a hemostat and soft solder. If you have means to braze it, the angle/taper can be much less.

    With brazing you can actually file and butt join the old piece back in place but you will have to remove all traces of the old solder first. This can be done by
    scraping the solder off with a knife and then using a stiff steel wire wheel on a bench grinder, file the broken faces flat. Braze with a small build and leave it. This will be stronger than it was origanally.

    Good luck, Willie X
     
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  4. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I tried bending the end of the wire but could feel the solder giving way so I will have to make a new lever. I have pendulum rod wire that would be an exact fit and soft enough to be bent to the shape I want. Thanks RC and Willie X.
     
  5. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Willie X, your idea about using a pendulum rod worked perfectly. All that is left is to take measurements and cut it to fit.
    Ron

    RS P5295132.jpg
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Looks good!
    WIllie
     
  7. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Anyone know if this 30-hour time and strike New haven movement had helper springs. There is a hammer spring but no others.

    Ron
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    I would say not. And I would recommend the addition of a 26 or 28 gauge brass helper, not very tight, on the leaver you are working on. Willie X
     
  9. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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  10. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Reassembled the movement without additional helper springs and it strikes correctly. Here is a shot of the new drop lever.
    Ron

    RS drop lever.jpg
     
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  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Looks good, although I would probably cut the tip off about 2 mm and bend the lever over so it's closer to the locking cam. Willie X
     
  12. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Yes, I agree and thanks for your help Willie X.
    Ron
     

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