How to split this Gilbert

kinsler33

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One way to sort them out is to note that any wheel with a pin belongs in the strike train, as do all other funny-looking wheels. The remainder look quite plain, and those are for the time train. The only exception might be the first and second strike wheels, which don't have pins and resemble their time-train counterparts.

At times I have felt less than confident and have thus endeavored to mark the wheels prior to disassembling the clock. Many wheels stick far enough out that you can do this without much trouble, though I wouldn't use an electric engraving pencil, for these whack the brass rather hard and can stretch and bend things. Reach in with a small screwdriver and write S and T on each wheel you can get at, making sure that you're making your mark on the side of the wheel that would be visible when the removable plate is removed. (In some clocks both plates can be pulled off the posts, so you'll want to know which.) If you can't get at all the wheels it's generally no big deal because if even some are marked you can figure out which is which by guile and imagination.

In my earliest days I'd draw a rough outline of the plate on the side of a cardboard box and poke each wheel through the cardboard as I pulled it out. And take lots of digital photographs, always: a minimum of six good-quality views of the movement from top and bottom and all four sides, no matter how obvious it may seem at the time.

Mark Kinsler
 

shutterbug

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I don't mark anything. As I pull the wheels out, I thread them onto a chain. One chain for each train. The key chain can be purchased at any hardware store, along with the clasps to close it. I use about a foot of it for each train. Then the whole thing can go into the ultrasonic, and I never have to worry about wheels getting mixed up. All pivot work and bushings are done one train at a time too.
 
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Lynsey

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Thank you, Mark and Shutterbug for your advice. I am ashamed to admit I have been fighting with this blasted Gilbert for days. I have done this successfully a few times with much, much less trouble and fanfare. I can get it sooooo close, all with work fine and then one will be off. Split the plate a little, remove the fly, adjust the wheel to make sure that the pin stops against the stop when the other lever is in the cutout and the third lever is solidly in a deep count, put the fly back without maladjusting the stop pin, tighten up a little bit, lift the count wheel lever, spin it by hand or give the strike spring 8-10 winds and see what happens. I have been doing this for days. I had to put it down and walk away and tend to other misbehaving clocks. Thanks again and I will conquer this mess. :mad:
 

kinsler33

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Thank you, Mark and Shutterbug for your advice. I am ashamed to admit I have been fighting with this blasted Gilbert for days. I have done this successfully a few times with much, much less trouble and fanfare. I can get it sooooo close, all with work fine and then one will be off. Split the plate a little, remove the fly, adjust the wheel to make sure that the pin stops against the stop when the other lever is in the cutout and the third lever is solidly in a deep count, put the fly back without maladjusting the stop pin, tighten up a little bit, lift the count wheel lever, spin it by hand or give the strike spring 8-10 winds and see what happens. I have been doing this for days. I had to put it down and walk away and tend to other misbehaving clocks. Thanks again and I will conquer this mess. :mad:
It sounds very much like something is worn out that usually doesn't wear out. For example, the pivots of the levers are everlasting, but sometimes they aren't and they'll let a lever fall where it shouldn't. And the slots in the 'maintenance wheel' (usually the third strike wheel, the one with the slots.) the corners of these can get worn. The levers themselves can get grooves in them.

You might want to make sure that there are helper springs on both the warning lever and the count lever so that they snap into their slots, etc without ceremony.
 

shutterbug

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Be sure that you are disconnecting the stop wheel at the pinion end. You'll be chasing your tail otherwise. It also helps to use your third hand to hold the count lever in the notch of the cam while adjusting. Some people tie the wheels in position while setting the stop.
 

kinsler33

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Be sure that you are disconnecting the stop wheel at the pinion end. You'll be chasing your tail otherwise. It also helps to use your third hand to hold the count lever in the notch of the cam while adjusting. Some people tie the wheels in position while setting the stop.
Yup. He's right. It's easy to keep the gears meshed just where they were previously. I've also discovered that no matter how you scheme the fool pin always comes where you want it least, from which follows my current strategy, which is to just disengage wheel and pinion, turn the wheel a perfectly random number of teeth, and try that. It usually works better.
 

Lynsey

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I just dusted off this movement that has been sitting on the kitchen counter for 6 full months. I am eternally grateful for this message board because I was able to read every post ever written regarding why this thing was still sitting on my counter for the past 6 months. In between tiddling with Grandfather Hermle, I will get this bugger done! Of course, with your continued help I hope!! And a thank you to Timesavers for kindly retaining all of my order information for the past year. Now I am certain I bought and installed the gear!! Now if I could only find that movement stand post I lost last night.....gotta stop celebrating my small victories.....
 

kinsler33

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It generally requires several iterations to get the strike train wheels aligned correctly, so patience is required. I assume that by now your horological education has progressed to the point where you understand that every clock you work on will have to be disassembled/reassembled several times before you're done with the godawful thing. Again, be patient.

M Kinsler
 

Lynsey

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Truer words have never been spoken. I believe my record to date is somewhere around 8 times on one movement in the course of a day. I can see these days coming again after a 6 monthi hiatus. Thank you for the reminder that patience must prevail. :eek:
 

shutterbug

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Eventually you'll get to the point that only one disassembly is required. I rarely have to split plates twice any more ... but there's always that one ;)
 

Kevin W.

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Sometimes i find when i dont work on clocks often it just takes longer since i am out of practice.
 

Lynsey

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That's what keeps me going, Shutt...the dream of getting to that level of expertise :nutjob:. Kevin, That is exactly where I am now. I have learned my lesson and won't do that again.

Currently I am in the weeds with this unfinished Gilbert, an Ansonia that simply talks to me, randomly, all all odd hours, for no reason, a Haas that wants to fall out her enclosure and the Hermle that won't chime. Bring it on, going to be a long winter!!!!
 

shutterbug

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Think of the poor souls who are trying to recondition automatons! There are some that can write sentences with a pen, things like that! VERY complicated contraptions. Clocks, by comparison, are simple things. It just takes time to learn how to tame them ;)
Just for fun, check this out!
 
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kinsler33

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And for additional entertainment there's the Mechanical Music Digest, where they restore music boxes--big ones. And player pianos, and player organs, and those giant things called band organs that had piano, bells, percussion, and tuned whistles, all programmed off a paper roll. And don't forget the automatic violins.


Mark Kinsler
 

Lynsey

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Shutterbug, that was a great special on Automaton history. I found out about them from a TV series, Oddities; a great program for history buffs. The hosts brought an Automaton dancer to a fellow to be repaired. I think the repair bill alone was 25K and the owner was more than thrilled to have it working again.

Mark, as a child we had a "music box" in the dining room. It was over 4 feet long and just as high and probably two feet wide. The lid opened and there was a sub-lid of glass. You opened that up to access the works. There were a dozen or so brass cylinders from which to choose, that you inserted and then wound up the music box. It is a magnificent piece of history. Thanks for the trip!!
 

Lynsey

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Good Happy Friday everyone, before I kill two movements with one stone. I would like your opinions on this Gilbert that I have been arguing with for 3 hours. Now, I have done several of these count wheel movments and have been very successful in the past. This one is giving me fits. Here is a picture of the lever properly in the slot. Then you have a side shot showing the pin 180 degrees from the stop lever. I have read and re-read the set up instructions until the ink wore off the pages.

I have adjusted this bugger no less than 30 times. Something is making the lever bounce out of the slot. I can hold that lever down with quite a bit of force and when the lever hits the count wheel slot, she bounces right the devil out. To give you some idea of the weight. picture a pair of needlenose pliers balanced on the top most lever - it can spit the lever right out of the count wheel slot. That is some angry power going on there.

I am sufficiently befuddled. I am sure I will not get out of newbie land, but by golly, I will be the best newbie here; if not the oldest. Any clues to what this Gilbert is angry about?? Much appreciation sent your way. Lynsey the perpetual Doozie King.

Gilbert in slot.jpg Gilbert Pin side.jpg
 

Dick C

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Good Happy Friday everyone, before I kill two movements with one stone. I would like your opinions on this Gilbert that I have been arguing with for 3 hours. Now, I have done several of these count wheel movments and have been very successful in the past. This one is giving me fits. Here is a picture of the lever properly in the slot. Then you have a side shot showing the pin 180 degrees from the stop lever. I have read and re-read the set up instructions until the ink wore off the pages.

I have adjusted this bugger no less than 30 times. Something is making the lever bounce out of the slot. I can hold that lever down with quite a bit of force and when the lever hits the count wheel slot, she bounces right the devil out. To give you some idea of the weight. picture a pair of needlenose pliers balanced on the top most lever - it can spit the lever right out of the count wheel slot. That is some angry power going on there.

I am sufficiently befuddled. I am sure I will not get out of newbie land, but by golly, I will be the best newbie here; if not the oldest. Any clues to what this Gilbert is angry about?? Much appreciation sent your way. Lynsey the perpetual Doozie King.

View attachment 626678 View attachment 626679
Are you sure that the slot is configured so it will catch the lever when it goes down and is the lever deep in the slot? I am just a rookie when it comes to these movements; however, I had a similar problem with a movement which required me to slightly reconfigure the slot to eliminate some of the rounded area.

This article was extremely helpful: https://abouttime-clockmaking.com/pdfs/american_strike_movement_levers_labounty.pdf
 

Lynsey

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:nutjob::nutjob::nutjob: Good Morning, Everyone. If you could not tell by my unbridled glee, I figured it out.

This is what got me on the right track. A HUGE thank you to Dave LaBounty and his article on The Levers of American Striking Movements.

Stop Lever (A) to Stop Pin
Make sure the strike train is not in, or about to go into, warning by rotating the strike release pin (L) away from the “J” lever (F). Check the location of the stop pin. It should be fairly close to the stop lever (A). Rotate the stop wheel (H) until the stop pin comes to rest against the stop lever (A). You may have to pull the count lever (C) to the side of the count wheel (K), in order to simulate a stop notch and get the stop lever (A) to engage the stop pin.

I was making the mistake of arranging the stop pin 180 degrees from the stop lever, again and again and again...for months I did this. Lawdy, I will never forget this one. Thanks to all of you who stuck by me on this predicament. I am going to reinstall and see what happens!! :excited:
 
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Kevin W.

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Lynsey, i have done similar, and i am glad for your sucess, it feels great.
 
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Lynsey

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Thank you, Kevin. I am most grateful for this message board and the contributors. This is wonderful to be able to post the daily grinds and the eventual successes. Having a timeline is most helpful when there are gaps in your attention!
 

Lynsey

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Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story. I installed it into the case. Just put the hands on at any old time, I chose 900.
Lo and behold she bonged 9 times. I almost fell over. This does not happen to me.

So now, Mr. Gilbert is exhibiting a desire to stop randomly. I have re-read Beat Setting 101 to refresh my memory. It left me wishing for a Beat Setting 102. Any takers?

I managed to get the most time running ( 45 minutes) with it tilted up on the right side (addressing the backside). But no more. The time running got less and less. Now it won't even run for a few minutes.

The next logical step is to rewind the tape in my brain of the last 3 hours...installation, removal of spring restraints, attaching leader and pendulum. All of the boxes, were dutifully ticked.

Except winding it.
 

kinsler33

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I regret to mention that failure to wind a clock is a common difficulty encountered by (a) customers who never had to wind anything in their lives and aren't familiar with the concept and (b) clock repairers.

I spent quite a while looking for increasingly exotic strike-train maladies before finding myself staring dully at the C-clip that was adorning the strike mainspring. It's happened before and will happen again.

M Kinsler

I have also discovered that the typical American time/strike mantel clock movement won't work very well if you assemble it without the mainsprings.
 

Lynsey

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Good Morning, Mark and thank you for your most sadly amusing cases. I appreciate your empathy.

As a student of human nature, I have discovered that the professionals are just as likely to commit these faux pas as anyone. We forget to rack a round or remember to tighten the girth one more time before falling off of the saddle. Tasks that are virtually part and parcel of our very being, seem to evaporate from our consciousness.

I have also discovered that I am hostage to the rule of threes. I can put the soap in, I can close the door and then, for some reason, I just walk away. It is a crap shoot when you find this happenstance later, sometimes days later. Is there already soap in the machine? Do I put more in? YAAAAA. If the chore requires three steps...only two are accomplished. I cannot tell you how many times I have found two day old self dried laundry in the dryer. Sometimes, it even smells like whatever died or was killed just outside of the dryer vent outdoors. That, my friends is a real joy. Mystified as to why the dishes are still dirty? Check to see if the detergent is in the holder? If yes, you are a victim of the rule of threes.

Think about some things you do routinely and if it requires three steps. My all time favorite aggravation is leaving the farm to go shopping. I make the list, I fix my water bottle and close the door tightly behind me. Three things I have to be sure I do. Off to town I go. No sooner than 45 minutes later I find my self frantically searching for the shopping list I have put two full weeks into carefully and thoughtfully compiling. I have not lost it, I know exactly where it is. Back home on the table. 1, 2, 3.

Oh, I want to add that I learned a very neat trick on making helper springs. Wind the wire onto a "form" of similar shaft thickness that has a little hole in it to catch the end of the wire. Can't make a hole in the shaft, then just hold the end of the wire with pliers as you begin your wrap. Wrap five or six twists or whatever you think will do. Leave yourself a good tail. Then disengage the spring from your form by snipping it or sliding it. You can now take this newly made spring to your lever and just thread it onto the arm of the unit. Done and so neatly!!! You can experiment with leaving a little bit of a leader as well as a tail in case you need to flip it over an arm of the lever. This is soo much easier than the way I was doing it. I was trying to thread the wire onto the lever after the whole mess was reassembled. Don't do this unless you are a veritable masochist. Now if I can only get the spring on the lever the correct way, the first time.
 

shutterbug

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Take a look inside the movement to be sure one of the helper springs is not rubbing on the arbor of a wheel. That will stop the clock.
 

tahan

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How difficult for me pressing the cannon back in the pinion, my humble tools wouldnt help me. In the end i tried hammering the cannon to make the brass pinion go in, ... in the end i broke the cannon. , heh, i failed. now anywhere to get a gilbert cannon please?? Can i use two jaw small puller to get the pinion in? please advice with the right tool to use without breaking anything? thank you.
 
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