Ithaca Grandfather Clock issues

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by THTanner, Feb 13, 2020.

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  1. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    I was asked by my county to service the Ithaca Grandfather Clock that stands in the court house. It was donated to the county many years ago, but fell into bad repair. It seems that the movement and dial were either lost, damaged beyond repair, or simply modified and then reused.

    In 2006 the clock was "restored" and had not been serviced since. It was running okay, but has been wound and started only when a meeting or case was in session. Around here that means maybe four hours three days a week.

    I have never worked on an Ithaca grandfather clock, but did some reading here on the board and I have a couple of questions.

    It appears to have a proper Gilbert, spring wound, time and strike with a passing strike for the 1/2 hour. The plate is marked 34 with no other markings, but that appears to be a common Ithaca GF movement. The dial and hands also appear proper, although the dial seems to have been rescued from a quartz conversion in 1982. The dial could very well be original, and has been hand painted and patched in many places.

    It appears that the seat board has been modified or replaced but everything fits well and there are no extra screw holes for the dial or the movement.

    The real puzzle to me is the pendulum. The rod has a hook at the top to hang it on the leader, but it also has a hook at the bottom. The bob is then hung on the hook at the bottom but it appears to be the kind of bob that should be hung directly on the pendulum leader?? In the pictures of other Ithaca GF clocks here, i see the typical wooden rod with the bob directly on the bottom of the rod, not hung on a hook at the bottom.

    I would like confirmation that the dial and movement are proper, or at least typical of an Ithaca GF that is claimed to be from 1915, that the hands are proper, that the brass finials seem at least close, and whatever help I can get with the pendulum situation.

    There is also a closeup of the time side ratchet which looks iffy to me and probably needs to be replaced. The movement also needs about 8 bushings and perhaps I will suggest that these repairs need to be done sooner rather than later. If they agree to a full service I would like to fit a proper pendulum rod and bob if the one in the clock now is not what would have been there in 1915.

    thanks
    tom

    IMG_4308.jpg IMG_4309.jpg IMG_4310.jpg IMG_4311.jpg IMG_4318.jpg IMG_4323.jpg IMG_4324.jpg IMG_4325.jpg IMG_4326.jpg IMG_4328.jpg IMG_4331.jpg IMG_4332.jpg IMG_4334.jpg IMG_4336.jpg
     
  2. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Sep 17, 2010
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    That is the correct pendulum, bob and dial for your clock.
     
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  3. John P

    John P Registered User
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    P2130111.JPG P2130110.JPG

    My original pendulum was broken and the brass covering on the bob was gone so I replaced it with this set up.
    I do remember it as exactly like you described .
    The dial on this clock is original but the brass spandrels in the corners are my update.

    johnp
     
  4. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks John - the county had asked if anything was not correct and I have no experience with these.
     
  5. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    So far as date is concerned, read the thread below and then have a look to see if the markings indicated are present on yours. What is the pendulum length, BTW? That 34 on the movement bugs me a bit. Sometime after 1900, Gilbert began putting the year of manufacture on their movements, sometimes a four-digit number, sometimes two-digit. The 34 could mean 1934. Gilbert was still in business then - barely, and ceased producing pendulum movements around 1940. Ithaca began making tall-case clock cases in the late 1890's but ceased production in 1918.

    Ithaca Cherry Grandfather Clock, dated 1899...
     
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  6. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    #6 THTanner, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    I will take a closer look for any dating info the next time I am able to get some time with the clock. I checked around inside the bonnet and saw no markings. The notes from the county indicate that in 2006 parts of the bonnet, including the back board and topper had to be recreated from oak, and the seat board had to be modified a bit, so it may be that the markings are gone. It is located in the chamber used for county board meetings as well as court sessions and they keep it locked up. I plan to go back next week to check on the regulation. This Gilbert was beating 3796 an hour which equates to about 34 inches and is probably what that mark indicates. The clerk says the clock seems to keep pretty good time, but they start it and set it for each meeting then stop it when the meeting is over, so their time check covers about 4 to 6 hours max. I have asked them to let it run now till next week so I can get a good read on it.

    The movement has some serious punchings on several bushings, which now need to be replaced. How close is this Gilbert with no other markings to say a 1906 or 1910 version? There is some quite serious damage in two locations that might be better served with a new plate.

    I went back through all the photos I took and saw these markings that I had not noticed before. This is on the inside of the bonnet on the left side facing the clock. It is clock 172 from what looks like 14 ' 10 , but it is a bit blurry. I will get a better photo of the marks next time.

    Screenshot 2020-02-14 at 08.12.59.jpg
     
  7. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Is it common for a Gilbert movement with a 34 inch pendulum in one of these GF clocks to have almost no over swing? The pallets barely clear the EW and seem to land partly on the impulse face but the bob swings about as far side to side as it can. It totally spans the glass window, with about 1/4 of the bob disappearing on each side of the swing, and comes near to hitting the door frame. I can add maybe 1/2 inch to each side - an inch total - to get a bit more over swing and try to get it to land a bit further up on the pallets, but that will swing the bob so far that about 1/2 of the bob width will disappear past the edge of the glass.

    Setting the beat is very touchy and the clock is on carpet which does not help, but it is running okay.
     
  8. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Maybe there id too much play between crutch and pendulum rod. The pendulum may swing far but the crutch not so much? Just a guess.

    Uhralt
     
  9. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    will check that again carefully - but the crutch loop is flat on the bottom and top hook on the rod is double hooks about 1/2 inch wide. The bottom hook is a single and the bob hangs pretty nicely. And I hear no double clicking that is usually heard if the rod and crutch are rocking - even with amplification. I will try to get and post a you tube next week so you can watch the EW / pallet action. I would like to nudge the verge in a bit more to adjust the landing, but that usually increases amplitude.
     

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