Howard Miller Thomas Tompian - need advice

digitalblsphemy

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Dec 15, 2020
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I bought this Howard Miller triple chime. It's a 1999 model, no escape platform.
This clock was in like new condition, newer than I usually buy.
They stuffed the interior all around the movement.(Ugh). They broke 3 chime rods in the process. No it can't be returned.
Here's the question
I think I found a chime rod assembly, not too much $$$ that would fit this movement.
The chime bar itself is a side mount, (to the face of the clock)
It measures 3" X 3", longest rod is 7 3/8"
I found a replacement that the longest rod is only 6 3/4". Hopefully the sound quality would equal to or better than the original??
Here's the glitch;
I'm trying figure out how to get to the old chime rod base to unscrew it and replace it.

There are No entry points on the front face of the clock.
There are 4 small screws surrounding the movements mounting plate of the movement. (See Photo)
It doesn't look to be enough clearance to pull that board backwards out of the clock.What's the best way to approach this?
(I wish the face plate, (Dial), had 4 screws in it to remove it, but it does not)

20230322_164101.jpg
 

wow

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There has to be screw heads on those bolts that secure the chime block. I would remove the movement and see what holds the board in. There has to be a way to remove the board.
 

JayKosta

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It looks to me like the movement can be removed by loosening the nuts (3 visible) that hold the movement to the board AND to loosen the clamp-screw for the lever on the left side of the photo. Probably have to wiggle the movement a bit so the lever is free. With movement out, the screws for the chime block should be accessible.
 

digitalblsphemy

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Thank you gentlemen
The movement is not the problem. Typical 4 screw removal.
The chime block itself is screwed in from the front side. That's the issue
 

Dick Feldman

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I bought this Howard Miller triple chime. It's a 1999 model, no escape platform.
This clock was in like new condition, newer than I usually buy.
Your photo is very fuzzy but it seems to be a Hermle movement. That is good news in itself because Kieninger (then owned by Howard Miller) made a movement with a platform escapement that had plastic parts. Those had a normal useful lifespan of only about 5-6 years.
The dial for the clock is probably attached with double sided tape, glue or some other means. It probably can be carefully pried loose from the case without leaving any marks. Emphasis on carefully. That should give you access to the mounting screws for the chime block.
The movement and clock are some 24 years old and with normal use, reaching the end of useful life. The case being in pristine condition does not give any assurance that the movement is healthy. Before spending a pile of money on that clock, it would be a good idea to address the condition of the movement.
The clock may be a candidate for a quartz movement which will make your new chime rods redundant.
Reliable, working clocks are seldom offered for sale. The chime rods may have been broken before the sale.
That is how I feel.
Good luck with your clock,
Dick
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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What DF just said.

Use a long knife with a very thin and narrow blade. Go slow, the double sided tape will let go under a small amount of twisting pressure, over some amount of time. Get in a hurry and you will bend the dial.

Willie X
 

digitalblsphemy

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Thank you Mr Feldman
I was shocked at the condition of the movement when it arrived. It just wants to run, and it runs fine.
That does not exclude pulling the movement. It absolutely has to be pulled and tested, cleaned and oiled.
I was asking for advice before I start disassembly in case someone has taken apart one of these before.
I was thinking the dial might be glued myself. Prying it off 24 year old glue can not usually have a happy ending
 

digitalblsphemy

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Followup
I was able to acquire a chime rod assembly, reasonably priced for this clock.
The movement has been pulled, cleaned and oiled. The movement doesn't look it's age at all.
I'm still stuck with the same dilemma however , as far as removing this dial face. I was hoping removing the 4 screws visible in the photo, would allow me to pull the mounting wood plate for the dial out of the clock, but it's glued. I guess the screws were to hold it in place till the glue dried.
So this dial has to be pried off while it's still in the case, ugh.
I've tried to remove it but because it's recessed in this case, there's no way to get a knife in there to pry.
I have better access from the rear but that's working blind and still no access for a thin knife really. I believe only the four corners of the dial are glued/taped.
This clock is too nice to ruin the dial.
Any thoughts? 20230516_130848.jpg 20230516_130915.jpg 20230516_130921.jpg
 

shutterbug

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You can try a hair dryer to soften the tape so you can remove the dial. Use some caution though, because the ornaments and numbers may be glued on as well. They're not hard to put back on, but avoid the hassle if you can ;)
 

digitalblsphemy

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That's a thought shutterbug.
I'm tempted to just put this back together and run it on silent, (wife's idea)...
 

JayKosta

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Maybe an offset cake spatula & hair dryer from the back - spatula such as this -
 

digitalblsphemy

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Decided to test around the dial with a thin wire, possibly using it to cut through the tape/glue. There doesn't appear to be any glue or tape. I entered one end at 9:00 and the other at 6:00 and was able to pull both ends to a corner where I finally met resistance. Seems to be a nail, post, peg, something I can't get past.
It seems to be dead center of the applique :???:?
Now I'm at a lost. Pull, pry, or try to get past post?

20230516_160125.jpg
 

Willie X

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Could you 'splain' that a little better? The thing with the wire? I'm sure it's not held at one corner. Willie X
 

digitalblsphemy

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Problem Solved!
I've never seen this before. No glue, doubled face tape. I used an angled putty knife I had lying around. It popped right off when I applied pressure from the inside out.
The dial has punched holes, and there are 4 pins lining up with the dial face.
I guess these are pressed in at the factory? I might have to use doubled faced tape to put it back together...Idk yet.
I wanted to finish this post to help others that might run in to this situation.
Thanks as always for all the advice.
See photos below..
20230516_163406.jpg 20230516_163452.jpg
 

digitalblsphemy

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Well great, I solved one issue. The chime set Merrits sold me are the wrong size screw and they are not even threaded. I'll have to call them. I doubled checked to make sure they were 1 5/8" apart which they are but seriously, non-threaded??
 

Willie X

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This is a common and ongoing problem. The old tape will usually work 'one more time'.

If not, 4 pea size dabs of E-6000 craft adhesive near the end of each piece of tape will do it. Weight the dial overnight.

Many rods are simply pressed in, over the last 20 years or so, and also long ago.

You may have to buy the block/rods as an assembly, or buy a rod that fits your block and have it tuned. If the new rod looks like your old rod (beryllium-copper) and the same diameter, the sound will be good when properly tuned.

Willie X
 
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digitalblsphemy

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Willie X
I have a new set which I assumed was complete. The mounting screw and holes are a different diameter. To make matters worse the mounting holes are non-threaded.
Do they expect me to tap&die my own to fit? Makes no sense to me.
Notice the difference between the two.
See Photos
20230516_200609.jpg 20230516_200706.jpg 20230516_200726.jpg 20230516_200836.jpg
 

Willie X

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Do you think these pins were shot through the dial with a gun. Or, maybe fuse welded to the back of the dial and the dial then pressed into the wood?? This is a new one on me. It must be cheaper and/or faster than the tape ... Willie X
 

digitalblsphemy

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Being that the cabinet is walnut, doubtful. The pins did not break away from the dial pan as I pried it off. There are holes in the rear of the dial that match the pin locations. I believe it could be pressed back on, but that remains to be seen. My guess , the way it looks is the pins were pressed in first, then the dial pressed on them. There are no dimples in the dial pan and they cleverly placed the corner ornaments over the holes.
I've never seen this before either Willie X
 

Willie X

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If there are holes left in the dial, they probably used a pin/sprig gun and shot the pins through the aluminum dial.

It's aways good to know stuff like this. Thanks,

Willie X
 

digitalblsphemy

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Willie X
Question, Look at the photos for the chime sets. The photo that shows the two ends together. The one on the left (silver looking), is the original.
Is it possible to remove the 3 broken rod ends? I believe they are threaded, but obviously no conformation till they are out.
 

Willie X

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You can knock them out with a punch. They are pressed in.

But ... I think your only course of action is to replace the complete assembly. You will have to drill and tap a hole or two in the mounting base.

Willie X
 

digitalblsphemy

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For information only, FYI

If anyone should work on one of these in the future these are non dealer prices from Howard Miller.
Triple chime set, 8 rod Part #357014 = $108.28
Face/dial new Part# 271443 = $109.48
This pertains only to Thomas Tompian model.

Luckily I dodged the bullet and don't need them.....:)
 
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