Info on Flying Pendulum Clocks

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by KurtinSA, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Can someone direct me to threads that have discussed these clocks? They're the ones with external weights that fly around, wrap on uprights, then unwind.

    Thanks...Kurt
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    if you put ignatz into the search box a few come up.
     
  3. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I think they are fascinating.
     
  5. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    They are a novelty clock. They are not particularly good time
    keepers.
    Wind once a day and set once a day.
    I'd love to have one, myself.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    There is a wooden kit wall clock that I have seen with this escapement, it is much more open and I would really like one of those.
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    As already mentioned, what you are referring to are typically called "Ignatz" clocks.

    Charles Terwilliger, Jr. founded a company called Horolovar. They had reproductions of the Ignatz and the Briggs rotary pendulum clock made in Germany about 40 years ago I believe. Mr. Terwilliger passed away in the late 1980's, but the company was sold and I believe it is still in business. Please oh please correct me if I have any of this wrong.

    Virtually all of the Ignatz or "flying pendulum" clocks offered today are these later Horolovar reproductions made in Germany. Often they can be found with the original boxes. Their prices have really dropped, too. So, only buy a near pristine example and if possible with the original box. They're out there.

    The "real" flying pendulum clocks were produced by New Haven in the 1880's and they were offered in nickel plated metal cased versions as well as wood cased one. In my experience, the most common was the "No. 5107". The one you're interested in I suspect is a reproduction of this model.

    Every so often, the "real McCoy" pops up at auction. For example, R.O. Schmitt has had a few over the years. Search their archives for examples.

    Interestingly the French made flying pendulum novelty clocks (as well as rotary pendulum ones similar to those produced by Welch).

    For a very nice discussion of the Ignatz and other forms of the flying pendulum clock, see this Bulletin article written by none other than Mr. Terwilliger himself: http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/1950/articles/1959/82/82_650.pdf

    Also see Tran's New Haven book, page 408, figures 1657 to 1660.

    If you search the MB, you will find more information about Horolovar Company as well as about these rather ubiquitous repros.

    RM
     
  8. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    They may have been referred to as "Flying Ball" clocks, as well.
     
  9. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I had my first one about 40 years ago when I managed an optical lab. I lost it in a fire. Now I have two of them, and enjoy the novelty method of time keeping. They are a pain to adjust for timing!
     
  10. Burkhard Rasch

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  11. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I got a look at the clock. It appears to be one of the Horolovar Co. models based upon the stamp on the back. It's a little rich for my blood...if prices go down on the last day of the estate sale and it's still there, I might give it another look. It does say "as-is" so no telling if it works.

    Kurt
    FlyPendFrt.jpg FlyPendBck.jpg FlyPendStamp.jpg
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    They come up on Ebay from time to time.
     
  13. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I bought some items from a clock repairman going out of business and managed to get a Horolovar Flying Ignatz clock, however it's all in parts. The box says "incomplete" but not sure what that applies to...at a minimum, the side handles are missing.

    I see the PDF file reference above which has some parts breakdown of the clock. Does anyone remember seeing some posts which show the movement and how things go together? This will challenge me to try and get this together.

    Thanks...Kurt
     
  14. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Come on Kurt. How long have you been here. Where are the pictures.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  15. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    #15 KurtinSA, Apr 12, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  16. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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  17. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Thanks for that, Tinker. Not sure what a contrite wheel is, but from one of the pictures in that thread, there's what I would call a crown wheel that I clearly don't have. Plus I think I'm missing some screws, etc.

    Kurt
     
  18. JTD

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    I think Tinker meant to write contrate, not contrite, wheel.

    JTD
     
  19. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Thanks...still not sure what that is, but I can see there's nothing that transfers the motion works to the pinion on the tube that swings around, throwing the small ball at the end of the string.

    Kurt
     
  20. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Spell checkers!
    Bah
    Yes, the crown wheel is missing.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  21. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    #21 KurtinSA, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    Just checked with the Horolovar Store. Learned a few things. The design of this clock is the earlier one. He says he has a contrate wheel, so hopefully I can move this further down the road. Nutjob I even popped for the side rings and rosettes!

    Kurt
     
  22. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Expensiver and Expensiver! In the cleaning process, I found that center arbor/wheel has about 1/3 of the teeth laid over on each other...some catastrophic issue way back when. Got that part being shipped as well. Whew!!

    Question...what can I use to touch up the small scratches on the case? I tried some walnut restor-a-finish, but it didn't even seem to touch them at all. You can get a sense of the scratches and issues in the picture I posted earlier.

    Kurt
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Not wishing to divert your thread, btw I hope you manage to fix your clock I think they are fascinating, I wonder if we could fo back to definitions?

    I always thought the contrate wheel was a wheel cut with the teeth parallel with the arbour as opposed to perpendicular as usual. I thought they are used on verge and platform escapements.

    However earlier tinker said it was missing a crown wheel and I assumed he meant as well as a contrate wheel, but I think now he was using crown wheel as an alternative term.

    Now I think of the crown wheel as the saw toothed wheel that goes with a verge escapement. However if you google you get an American dictionary which says contrate means crown wheel.

    What I call a crown wheel is cut so the teeth are parallel to the arbour, so does that mean there are two contrate wheels, ot do we have a difference in terminology on either side of the pond?
     
  24. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I don't really know the correct term, but Chris at The Horolovar Store also called it a contrate wheel. Look at the pictures of the movement in this post:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?113353-How-does-one-service-a-Horolover-Flying-Ball-clock&p=865424&viewfull=1#post865424

    In the third picture from the left, notice the large wheel on the left side. I'm sure that's what we're talking about. It transfers the movement between the motion works and the rod that runs up to move the string/ball from side to side.

    So, whatever it's called, that's what the item is.

    Kurt
     
  25. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Yes, that's what I would call a contrate wheel.
     
  26. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I've gotten all the parts that were missing or damaged. Began to put this together. Interesting issue getting the winding arbor into it's bushings. I had to take a popsicle stick and carve out a rounded end so I could push on end of the arbor...the spring pushed the arbor out of position.

    Got it all together and realized I was going to need to wind the spring before inserting into the case. That's when I found that the spring doesn't wind. I can turn the winding handle in the proper direction and all that happens is that the movement begins to turn, but there's no ratcheting or clicking like one gets on spring-wound clocks.

    I'm reluctant to take things apart, although I see no options. Any ideas why the winding arbor doesn't ratchet up?

    Kurt
    View attachment 340849 View attachment 340850 View attachment 340851
     
  27. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    All that damage to the teeth etc. would likely have been caused by a sudden, uncontrolled unwinding of the spring, either due to the spring breaking and/or the click spring failing. You'll have to look for either or both of those causes (can't think of any other reasons).

    I've had a couple of these over the years, last one about 25 years ago, fascinating for a bit......until you realise they are just rotten timekeepers and a real pain to keep going!

    Good luck!

    JTD
     
  28. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    There is no escapement to hold the movement from
    turning. You have to hold the out shaft until you install it.
    There should be a ratchet on the main wheel.
    Also, are you sure you installed the spring right.
    When winding and it is turning free, is the hand shaft running
    right?
    Also, it is a good time to check the tooth count so you have an
    idea of the rate.
    It might be easier if you prewound the spring.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  29. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Tinker -

    There is a ratchet on the winding arbor...I didn't try and check that it worked. I'm sure the spring is in correct. Chris at The Horolovar Store gave me some directions...the loop end is over the bottom right post as you look from the back of the clock to the front.

    When I'm winding the key (turning CCW), the center wheel is turning CW. As for prewinding the spring, Chris mentioned that if you buy a new spring, it comes in a can with the loop end sticking out. But in this case, I don't see how to prewind the spring, say, as the case with 400-day new springs that come with a wire bale around the outside.

    I put my finger on the center wheel teeth and tried turning the winding key. The arbor moves in the CCW direction but doesn't seem to catch. I'm wondering if that's a problem...the "hook" on the arbor isn't finding/catching the hole end of the spring.

    Kurt
     
  30. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Do you have a spring winder?
    Tinker Dwight
     
  31. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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  32. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Then what is the problem with winding the spring
    smaller?
    You are likely right that the center of the spring is not
    catching the arbor center.
    You should have a ratchet click if winding and holding the
    movement from turning.
    Both this and the spring not attached would require taking
    it apart again.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  33. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I see no way of transferring the wound spring from my winder into the clock...no real way of holding it wound since the spring doesn't fit into a barrel.

    Guess I'll just have to remove the winding arbor and see what's wrong with it.

    Kurt
     
  34. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    You use a piece of tie wire, like on any open spring.
    It sounds like you have been living in a barreled world.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  35. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    #35 KurtinSA, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Yes, Tinker, I've only dealt with springs in barrels. But given the loop end that sticks way out to the side, I don't see how putting a wire around it would work.

    I have managed to reform the eye end of the spring to catch on arbor center. The spring will wind but after letting it go, it just unwinds. Which speaks to the lack of an escapement. Actually, the turning rod with ball on the end is the escapement. So, if I could get the movement into the case, I'd be fine...I think.

    However, I can't get the entire assembly into the hole in the front. This particular version has a rod that is hard mounted to a standoff on the front plate...it doesn't unscrew as does other versions. So, I have to feed the long rod in a canted fashion into the front opening, through the hole in the top of the case. Then the dial needs to go through, but the spring sticks out well below the dial. I guess I could somehow manually deform this spring such that it will slip past the opening, then letting it expand back inside the case. Hmmm...

    --- update --- Heard back from Chris. He said to go ahead and wind the spring and using something like a paper clip to stick through the back plate and through one of the other wheels to "lock" the movement from unwinding. Then after maneuvering the movement back into the case, remove the paper clip and let the spring unwind. Finally, go about assembly the close out plate, the brass tube with ball, and the rest of the clock. This isn't something that I'm used to doing on 400-day clocks...usually a movement doesn't need to be locked like that...maybe it does but I've not encountered it to date.

    Kurt
     
  36. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    :rolleyes:
    Tinker Dwight
     
  37. KurtinSA

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    I managed to get the clock together. Doesn't want to run...the upper tube with the arm/string/ball turns freely about 180 degrees then comes to a stop. I'm suspecting there's some friction on the tube as it fits over the rod...I guess I didn't check things out fully. Now the main spring is fully wound. How do I let the spring down? I can hold the winding key with one hand and remove the rotating tube, but there's not much else I can do. I need to find out how straight the tube and/or the rod are.

    Kurt
     
  38. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I was able to hold the case between my knees, remove the rotating tube, and then carefully walk the winding key down. I don't see anything obviously bent. The hollow rating tube looks true when viewed down the hole through it. The pinion on the one end is fine with no obvious issues. The rod that sticks up from the movement is also straight...hard to tell if it is bent, but if it is, it is not visible. I've looked down to the movement from the top and watched the contrate wheel as it rotates...it seems to run true on the pivots. Plus, the teeth on the contrate wheel are quite a lot as compared to the pinion.

    The issue is that along one part of the arc of the rotating tube, it doesn't want to spin freely...something is binding it. This arc is a little before and after one of the smaller rods on the side, the rods that the string/ball wrap up on. With a little nudging past this point, the rotating tube and arm swing around easily, past the opposite rod, and then end up back on the same side where it comes to a stop. That action pointed me to looking at the pinion of the rotating tube.

    I'm not seeing anything obvious that jumps out. Since it is at this one spot, that seems to rule out a lot of the movement as I would think that the parts that are rotating are not doing that in one revolution like the rotating rod is doing. Is there something else I should be considering?

    Kurt
     
  39. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    It still could be a bur on the crown wheel. The additional load
    might be an issue.
    Also make sure the rod rotates true when pushed a little to one side
    or the other.
    Use a straight edge to judge the rod and tube.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  40. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Tinker -

    I tried slipping the rotating tube down over the vertical rod. I didn't engage the contrate wheel and the pinion at the end of the tube. I then picked up the clock and began to tilt it around in a circle, and when doing this, the rotating tube can fall due to gravity and ends up swinging around the vertical rod. If there was any binding or issues with the straightness of the vertical rod or tube, it should have shown up. But it doesn't...the tube rotates quite freely around and around. So something else must be going on.

    Kurt
     
  41. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    It might be easier. Look closely at the intersection of the swinging bar and the wrapping bar. If they touch at all, it will stop the clock.
     
  42. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I did some alignment checks and some other adjustments. Seems to be running now. Started it this morning...had been running for about 6 hours. Probably won't use it on a daily basis, but wind it up when/if I want to show it to someone.

    Interesting to hear that "clacking" in the other room as the ball winds up and hits the vertical rods. :)

    Kurt
     
  43. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    #43 MartinM, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
    Other places to look for issues with this one are where the outer tube goes through the grommet on the top of the clock and to be sure the top finial isn't too close to the top of the tube. It should have a bit of play (But not enough to disengage the drive pinion from the contrate wheel.).
    Oh... And check that the clock is level the pipe is dead vertical.
    It can be bent right at the bushing in the movement
     
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