Jacques Clock

Time Lord

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May 17, 2022
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Hey everyone,
Great to be hear. I was just bequeathed my grandparents clock. It was just set up for the first time and it doesn't sound like I remember.
the rhythm and some of the tones seem off.

Here is a video of it playing. I noticed that the tubes are hanging at different heights thus the hammers are hitting them in various places.

Here are some photos

Also the second sweep hand is missing, does anyone know where one can get a replacement?

Thanks!
 

wow

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The chime tune is Westminster. Your video played three sets of four. If the minute hand was at the 3/4 of the hour, it is supposed to play three sets of four notes but the notes your clock is playing are off by four notes. The notes yours played were the first three sets of four notes on the hour. Please make another video and let us see where the minute hand is each time. Make the video of all four quarter hour chime sequences and we will be able to help you.
Will
 

J. A. Olson

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Your Jacques clock was made for Geo. Borgfeldt & Co. during the 1920's. The movement was made by Mathias Bäuerle GmbH in Germany, tubular bells by R. H. Mayland's company in Freeport, NY and the case was probably made by Herschede. It's a nice clock.

These Jacques clocks did not usually come with a synchronizing device unlike other clocks made by other companies. The usual way to synchronize the chimes, per older Jacques literature, was to turn the minute hand towards the quarter-after hour, stop as the chime train goes into warning, then turn the minute hand back. The clock should play one section of the chime. Do this until it's synchronized. Four descending notes on quarter-after hour.

Hammer leathers could do with replacement and it'd be a good idea to replace the tubular bells' hanging strings.
The movement looks like it would benefit from an overhaul, particularly if it hasn't been checked on lately.
Hands for these clocks are not made, you can either fabricate one from scratch or try to adapt a Kieninger KSU seconds hand to fit.

JC8.jpg
 
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JTD

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Also the second sweep hand is missing, does anyone know where one can get a replacement?
If you mean the little hand that goes to the small seconds dial, you can find a selection of these available from Timesavers.

JTD
 
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Time Lord

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Thanks for the great info everyone.
wow currently I have the clock stopped as the weights have descended and I'm waiting on the crank (the horologist that set up the clock is mailing one to me). I'll post another video when I get it.

J. A. Olson thanks for the backstory on the clock. When I had it set up the repair person said the bearings seemed to be in great shape (probably had been previously replaced). He did do some oiling. I'm a leather worker so have a bunch of scrap leather and can replace those along with rehanging. Is there a certain height the tubes should be hung at? As it stands now they are not uniform.
Also if I rehang those I'll probably need to reposition the hammers. It seems like they are attached to a common bar at the base with screws between each of the spring steal "posts". I'm guessing I could loosen those and slide the hammer up or down?

JTD ya that's the hand I was referencing. Thanks for the Timesavers info. I did run across that site but couldn't tell if the hands would fit my clock. They have the dimensions listed of the hand itself, but not the inside diameter of the mounting post. Not sure which will fit my clock.

Appreciate the feedback.
 

J. A. Olson

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The ideal hanging height for tubes on a Jacques clock is shown in this catalog photo, they should strike on or just below the tube caps. This is for best tonal quality and so the tubes don't clatter around when struck. Hammers should be arranged in uniform alignment.

Monastery Movement.jpg
 

JTD

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Thanks for the Timesavers info. I did run across that site but couldn't tell if the hands would fit my clock. They have the dimensions listed of the hand itself, but not the inside diameter of the mounting post. Not sure which will fit my clock
Get whatever fits the seconds dial, you can usually adjust the pipe that fits on the arbor.

JTD
 

Time Lord

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I finally got the winding key. rehung 3 of the tubes, set all the hammers to the appropriate height, added new leather to the hammers and installed a seconds sweep hand.

Here is a video of the chime

Oddly the hour chime was working before I stopped the clock (because the weights were getting low while waiting for the new key). After I wound the clock the hour chime worked but then stopped. I noticed that the hammer was in the primed position. If I switch to silent hour chime, the hammer will strike. Then if I move it back to strike the hour chime it will work for a few hours, but the hammer will end up stuck in the primed position again.

Not sure what this means and I can't think logically of anything that would have caused this change in behavior.

Any ideas?
 

Jeff Salmon

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Apr 11, 2002
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Just my observation: The clock has not been cleaned in many years, judging by the tarnish on the plates. In my experience, clocks like these almost always have bearing issues or wear. If the clock is running ok, then I would leave it. You might get several months of satisfactory service out of it. If you begin to have problems, like slower and slower time keeping, or sluggish sounding chimes on the quarters or the hour, then the wear on the bearing surfaces is getting worse and the gears are not meshing properly. This will be most noticeable on the chime train (right side). That weight is very heavy and the wear on the first wheel is often considerable. The time train in the center operates very slowly and the time keeping change will be gradual. As it slows down, it will be harder to regulate the time as the friction will increase. It is obvious that the cords for the hammers and the cords that hold the tubes have been replaced. The movement will have to be completely disassembled, cleaned, and bushed eventually. The attached picture shows what a similar movement can look like when restored.

7d1a2a65_571672 (1).jpg
 

bruce linde

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not an expert by any means, but i think the cords holding the tubes are way too thick.... i use the same as weight cords.... maybe 1.2mm braided nylon. that allows the tubes to vibrate more freely.
 

Time Lord

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Jeff Salmon Thanks for the assessment of the movement. The movement does look very tarnished, but when we had the clock set up the horologist checked on the bushings and he said they were in good condition. No doubt we will need to get it completely serviced at some point.

Any thoughts on why the hour chime hammer is getting stuck all of a sudden? There was no event that I am aware of that would have caused this.

bruce linde thanks for the suggestion on the cords I had this parachute cord around so used it. I could get some 1.2 mm braided nylon though. By vibrating more freely do you mean that the tubes will be more resonant? The volume of the chimes is just perfect (not sure if the chords have any bearing on that).
 

Jeff Salmon

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Apr 11, 2002
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Jeff Salmon Thanks for the assessment of the movement. The movement does look very tarnished, but when we had the clock set up the horologist checked on the bushings and he said they were in good condition. No doubt we will need to get it completely serviced at some point.

Any thoughts on why the hour chime hammer is getting stuck all of a sudden? There was no event that I am aware of that would have caused this.

bruce linde thanks for the suggestion on the cords I had this parachute cord around so used it. I could get some 1.2 mm braided nylon though. By vibrating more freely do you mean that the tubes will be more resonant? The volume of the chimes is just perfect (not sure if the chords have any bearing on that).


Your description of the problem makes me think that the switch or lever to silence the hour chime is set up wrong. If the hour works consistently when the switch is set to silent, then I'd leave it. When the clock eventually gets serviced this can be further investigated and easily repaired. I would need to see the front of the movement with the dial removed. If the clock service that set up the clock, was the dial removed for some reason?
 

Time Lord

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Your description of the problem makes me think that the switch or lever to silence the hour chime is set up wrong. If the hour works consistently when the switch is set to silent, then I'd leave it. When the clock eventually gets serviced this can be further investigated and easily repaired. I would need to see the front of the movement with the dial removed. If the clock service that set up the clock, was the dial removed for some reason?
Hi Jeff,
I need to clarify. The hour chime does not work when the lever is switched to silent mode. When the lever is in chime mode, the hours don't strike and the hammer is in the "primed" position. If I move the lever to silent mode, the hammer will drop. Now if I move the lever back to chime mode, the hour will chime for a day or so, then get stuck in this "primed" position again.

The dial was removed when the clock was set up, and the technician gave it a once over. The hour chime worked after set up. It was only after started the clock again (I stopped the pendulum for a few days waiting on the winding key) did the issue present itself.

Also not sure if this is related, but when I wind the middle weight, after a few rotations I hear a "clunk" and the movement goes backwards slightly and ceases to move forward. If I stop winding it will begin going forward again. So when winding I need to stop every few revolutions to avoid this "clunk". Not sure if it's related.

Keith Doster Thanks for the resource!
 

Jeff Salmon

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Apr 11, 2002
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Hi Jeff,
I need to clarify. The hour chime does not work when the lever is switched to silent mode. When the lever is in chime mode, the hours don't strike and the hammer is in the "primed" position. If I move the lever to silent mode, the hammer will drop. Now if I move the lever back to chime mode, the hour will chime for a day or so, then get stuck in this "primed" position again.

The dial was removed when the clock was set up, and the technician gave it a once over. The hour chime worked after set up. It was only after started the clock again (I stopped the pendulum for a few days waiting on the winding key) did the issue present itself.

Also not sure if this is related, but when I wind the middle weight, after a few rotations I hear a "clunk" and the movement goes backwards slightly and ceases to move forward. If I stop winding it will begin going forward again. So when winding I need to stop every few revolutions to avoid this "clunk". Not sure if it's related.

Keith Doster Thanks for the resource!
 

Jeff Salmon

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Apr 11, 2002
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These kinds of little problems can get very frustrating to diagnose, especially when not actually able to see the clock in operation. (Send it to me in a padded envelope:)). If the bearings are in fine shape as was told to you, the clock would have to have been completely dis-assembled to fit new bearings. The clock movement would not be so tarnished as it is now. I wonder if the bearings are still good. Not in my experience with that level of tarnish. For the sake of argument, however, let's say that some of the bearings were replaced and the movement was assembled somewhat incorrectly. The technician for the set up might say that the bearings look ok, but he/she does not have the time to watch the clock operate for several hours/days to see if there are other potential problems. All of us who have repaired clocks know that these situations can happen. You can PM me if you care to.

Your description of the hammer being 'in the primed position' needs to be clarified. If the hammer gets into the 'primed' position after it has clearly counted out the hours, then the cylinder with the pins is not set up correctly. The hammer tail, that is lifted by the pin on the cylinder is not clearing (or the pin is bent). If the hammer gets slightly lifted by the pin just before the strike then the 'warning' (a clock term) is too long. These clocks need to have a very short warning so the cylinder does not travel too far just before the melody plays. Sometimes, there are some bent pins on the cylinder.
 

Time Lord

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May 17, 2022
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These kinds of little problems can get very frustrating to diagnose, especially when not actually able to see the clock in operation. (Send it to me in a padded envelope:)). If the bearings are in fine shape as was told to you, the clock would have to have been completely dis-assembled to fit new bearings. The clock movement would not be so tarnished as it is now. I wonder if the bearings are still good. Not in my experience with that level of tarnish. For the sake of argument, however, let's say that some of the bearings were replaced and the movement was assembled somewhat incorrectly. The technician for the set up might say that the bearings look ok, but he/she does not have the time to watch the clock operate for several hours/days to see if there are other potential problems. All of us who have repaired clocks know that these situations can happen. You can PM me if you care to.

Your description of the hammer being 'in the primed position' needs to be clarified. If the hammer gets into the 'primed' position after it has clearly counted out the hours, then the cylinder with the pins is not set up correctly. The hammer tail, that is lifted by the pin on the cylinder is not clearing (or the pin is bent). If the hammer gets slightly lifted by the pin just before the strike then the 'warning' (a clock term) is too long. These clocks need to have a very short warning so the cylinder does not travel too far just before the melody plays. Sometimes, there are some bent pins on the cylinder.
Hi Jeff,
I appreciate the thoughtful response. I will wrap it up and send it C.O.D. :). I will take a look at the cylinder to see if any of the pin is bend or just not clearing. It is strange that it would clear sometimes, but to your point maybe the cylinder itself is not set up correctly.

I take your point about the tarnish and bearing replacement. Though looking from the side and back, the movement is tarnished, I did note that the brass face plate surface immediately surrounding the 3 winding posts (when the dial was off) was shiny. Kind of like it was sanded an inch or two around the posts. Would that be an indication of bearing replacement?

I think I may have a different company come take a look for a second opinion. I've been having trouble keeping the correct time and that "clunk" sound as I wind the middle weight is disconcerting. I enjoy repairing things on my own but sometimes I need to admit when I'm out of my depth.
 

Jeff Salmon

Registered User
Apr 11, 2002
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Hi Jeff,
I appreciate the thoughtful response. I will wrap it up and send it C.O.D. :). I will take a look at the cylinder to see if any of the pin is bend or just not clearing. It is strange that it would clear sometimes, but to your point maybe the cylinder itself is not set up correctly.

I take your point about the tarnish and bearing replacement. Though looking from the side and back, the movement is tarnished, I did note that the brass face plate surface immediately surrounding the 3 winding posts (when the dial was off) was shiny. Kind of like it was sanded an inch or two around the posts. Would that be an indication of bearing replacement?

I think I may have a different company come take a look for a second opinion. I've been having trouble keeping the correct time and that "clunk" sound as I wind the middle weight is disconcerting. I enjoy repairing things on my own but sometimes I need to admit when I'm out of my depth.
You can save me a lot of those COD fees by just faxing me the movement. :D
The bright areas around the winding arbors may indicate some 'sanding' so perhaps the arbors were re-bushed. I wonder about the other bearings. The 'warning' or set up of the chime train before the actual chiming cannot be too great. This can be corrected when the clock gets an overhaul. The strike hammer hanging up on a pin on the cylinder can be tricky to resolve. If one of the pins is slightly bent, it can cause another of your problems. The hammer won't get caught every time, but just some times. The strike train should be stopped by the gathering pallet, just after the hammer strikes and clears the pins on the cylinder. The warning pin on the strike side should be at about 3 o'clock as should the warning pin on the chime side.
 

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