Jacques/Elite 13 tube Hall clock

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by brian fisher, Feb 13, 2019.

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  1. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    #51 brian fisher, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    Thank you David. You should be receiving an envelope in the mail any day now. Thank you for that too.

    I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight so i thought i might post a quick update.

    as mentioned previously, i purchaseda 1 1/4" piece of bar stock. it has been a bit of a cunundrum as to how i wanted to cut it. i tried my Milwaukee portaband. it cut the material fine, but unfortunately i was having a really difficult time cutting a straight line with it.

    JH7yKy.jpg

    my next best option was to use my 12" sliding compound miter saw. i have an old worn out fine tooth carbide tip blade that i put on to make the cuts.

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    i had to get creative to cut the last couple. this was the best thing i could think of to hold the material down. it looks kind of ghetto, i know.

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    i bought a set of those insert style cutters from harbor freight. they are a godsend compared to what i was using to cut the first one.

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    as part of my learning curve, i found that the 3 jaw chuck will not automatically align my parts. this rather inexpensive dial indicator was able to get me within about a thousandth or 2 .

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    i only had time to face off a couple of parts. these 2 went so much faster and easier than the first one. another thing i learnded today was that even though you think you are only shaving a tiny bit off in a pass, it can easily turn out to be a good bit more than you think.
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    pls pm me info on the dial indicator? thx...
     
  3. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    had the opportunity to play with my lathe for a few moments today.

    I finished up 4 caps. i have 10 more roughed out but i ran out of time before i was able to run a finish cut on them.

    SNLuKr.jpg
     
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  4. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    qy3LaQ.jpg

    the caps are finished. i made one extra just in case. on my next opportunity, i plan to price laser engraving for the radial lettering that circumnavigates the original caps. i purchased a set of 5/16" number stamps in an attempt to reproduce the digits. with luck, maybe they will arrrive in a week or so.

    HbUMoL.jpg

    getting the phenolic caps out of the original tubes was a challange. my first attempt was to use the heat gun on the metal hoping to expand it enough to pull out the plastic. in lieu of that, i found that drilling a half inch hole up the center and then using a saw blade to cut into the side. it turns out these caps were actually glued in with something that seems pretty close to red locktite. did they even have that product back then?

    after doing 12 tubes this way, i worked my way back to the tube i heated up with the heat gun. apparently the heat broke the glue bond once it cooled off. i was able to twist that one out with a pair of pliers. dangit! oh well, the job is done.
     
  5. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    of course you did. :cool:







    wouldn't everyone? :cool:

    just a thought... clickspring's video where he makes the dial for his clock demonstrates chemical etching... you could make the artwork look exactly as you wanted in photoshop and then photo etch....







    i always say: by the time i'm done with this, i'll have it down! :cool:


    you are truly nuts, and i am thrilled to be able to observe your progress... brilliant stuff.
     
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  6. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    i haven't accomplished much in recent months, but i thought i would post an update.

    i stopped by chappel jordan yesterday. ralph sold to me a couple brass weight shells that are a perfect match for the larger chime weight. i will need to mold up some lead, but i feel great about the labor savings.

    as to the tubes: i am going to order a custom metal stamp soon. "patent dec 4, 1900. ELITE". looks like it will be about $150.00, but i can use it to stamp all the caps i made above. as to the plating, apparently i underestimated the cost. i've recieved a few quotes with the highest one being about $3300.00. that just about sent me through the roof! i am looking at doing it myself. i think i can use my lathe to polish the tubes. sure wish i had more time to work on this right now.

    there are a couple issues with the movement i need to address.

    one of the pinions in the chime sequencer is missing a tooth. for the longest time, i couldn't figure out why it kept getting stuck on auld lang syne. now...i know. i think i may have a spare in my parts bin that can be modified a bit to work as a replacement.

    also, i am pretty sure the strike side would have originally had a 12.5lb weight instead of the present non original 18'er.. i tried using the 12.5 pounder off my 11 tube clock. unfortunately, it didn't have enough power to run the train. looks like i need to take the movement apart to look for friction on the left side.

    a few other odds n' ends in the works. noting too revolutionary, though.
     
  7. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    glad to note resumption of forward motion... why do you think the strike side would have had 12.5 lbs and not the 18? it takes some horsepower to pull the hammer back on the tubers, yes?
     
  8. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    well, every jacques tube clock i have seen uses identical weights for time and strike. my 11 bell is an example of this. since i am borrowing its weight atm, i have the strike side of the 11 presantly running perfectly on 9 to 10 lbs of donated lead. i guess i have never seen a tubular clock with a strike weight heavier than the going weight.

    the 13 tube raises 2 more hammers, but i think its a reasonable hypothesis?
     
  9. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    I spent some time working on(polishing) my tubes over the last couple days.

    OxcOVI.jpg

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    i made my extended lathe bed out of a big box store purchased 1x10x8' board. my longest tube is a bit over 6'. i cut a foot off the board because i can lay that piece over the top of the bed and easily align it every time i switch to a different length tube. i used a router to relieve about 17mm out of the 2x4 for the tailstock. it is very sturdy. certainly good enough for the task at hand. the longest and shortest tube are depicted in the first photo. one of the biggest reasons i had for upgrading my lathe's motor was for this task. i'm pretty sure the oem version would have burned out in short order.

    Hux5AE.jpg

    this is my tailstock plug. one of the original phenolics. it had a tapered hole in the center. i filled it with a pice of 1/2" poplar dowel. the lathe was really useful for necking it down to size.

    I posted this youtube vid in dgoerner's thread, but i am going to put it here too.



    this is my plan for polishing.

    1ZOV74.jpg

    here is a pic of me running the first step of 220 grit over a barrel. these tubes have a really heavy dose of laquer that is a bit of a chore to remove. i have tried several methods of removing it. sandpaper, paint stripper, lacquer thinner, acetone, and combinations thereof. none of them were easy. so far, the best is to use a stiff bristle brush and the lacquer thinner. this seems to take off about 80% of the coating. the rest then can be abraided off with 220 sandpaper with little effort.

    uPobgE.jpg

    the contrast between the old finish and the first step of sandpaper. i am really excited to use my lathe to refinish the weights down the road a bit. i think 400 grit would be perfect for that task.

    MFfU6w.jpg

    i ran this one through the steps all the way down to 3000 grit. no polish. just sandpaper. i have to say it is pretty shiny.
     
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  10. dgoerner

    dgoerner Registered User
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    I hope you’re running a very low RPM, one wrong move and...
    I did something similar years ago, but I put in a steady rest using roller skating wheels I had laying around.
     
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  11. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    yet another use for my old skateboard... i’ve used it to move pianos, equipment at gigs, and now as a steady rest! o_O
     
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  12. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    nah....i have the lathe set on the slowest belt speed, but i am running it at about 80% rpm. hard to say what the speed is but i would guess 1600 rpm? this seems to be the most effective. all i am doing is sanding the tubes. yes there is some potential for getting a finger caught in the tool rest, but i am super careful and i dont do a lot of sanding on that end. i have my setup so i can very easily reverse the tube in about 40 seconds. all i have to do is back off the tailstock, pull the plug out and switch it end for end.
     
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  13. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    8 tubes polished. 5 to go. i haven't started shining the caps. as i mentioned above, i will be ordering the custom stamp for the caps before too long. i just bought a roll of nickel tape from china. wating for it to arrive. i have nickel sulfate on my watch list on ebay. i think i am going to make my immersion tank from a 3" piece of pvc plumming pipe laid horizontal with its side partially cut away. i have some ideas on how to heat and agitate the solution. i'll experiment with the spare tubes to see if i'm cabable of doing a good job of plating in my garage.

    this is my thought for a heater:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S95WHXB/ref:^x_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A2MBRKNDUECMTM&psc=1

    i am thinking about an aquarium pump for agitation with a separate 1/2" pvc line (input and output at opposite ends) to circulate the fluid.

    https://www.amazon.com/Homasy-Submersible-Aquarium-Fountain-Powerful/dp/B00EWENMAU/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2A324DTMHRGQR&keywords=fountain+pump&qid=1565849885&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=fountain%2Clawngarden%2C161&sr=1-3
     
  14. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    The purpose of the nickel plating was to reinforce the tubes, giving a sharper & more strident sound compared to tubes without the plating. A great example of both types of tubes would be found in later Herschede clocks which were sometimes offered with "golden washed" tubes - the usual tubes but without any nickel-cadmium plating. I do not believe modern tubular bells are plated like this, instead they are made from a hardened brass which give a rather tinny sound.

    Getting the desired level of resonance was a balance of using metal alloys which were strong enough to withstand hammer-blow but soft enough to allow for the complex non-harmonic overtones like a church bell. Gongs made from harder ferrous metals, such as steel, give a mellower sound and did not always give the desired overtones in certain scales. Steel gongs, in the appropriate size & scale, are adept at giving the sound of distant church bells.

    On smaller gong rods you simply used a triple processed bellmetal alloy incorporating tin and/or nickel as the copper's "reinforcement". Pure copper rods give a softer sound and are prone to flaking when damaged from fireplace heat exposure. Plating the small gong rods would have never given satisfactory results on a mass-production timeline.

    Sadly modern chime clocks are not designed with acoustic engineering in mind, I wouldn't be surprised if the remainder of clockmakers eventually ditch the chimes altogether. Polar opposite of what Jacques was going for.
     
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  15. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    an update or 2:

    I'll start with the plating.

    so, i was trying to think of a suitable bath for the tubes since they are of an odd size. ie: long and skinny.

    28l2EG.jpg

    a walk around my local home center and a little imagination led me to purchase these goodies.

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    some creative sawing.

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    this rather odd shape has a purpose. i need to fit a heater and a circulation pump in there somewhere hence the ends are shaped the way they are.

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    here is my plating tank(mostly) finished up. the heater is in the left end and the pump on the right. the tank holds exactly 2 gallons of fluid which i believe is fairly ideal. the circulation pump worked out well, but the heater is going to need some revisiting and contemplation. the good news is that it heats the water up really fast. unfortunately, the heating element is designed to be completely submerged. my system only has a little over half. it gets much too hot and it melted the plastic cap.
     
  16. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    next on the list;

    i think i may have mentioned above that i picked up a set of original weight shells from Chappel Jordan when they went out of business. my quandary has been what to do about appropriate lead slugs for inside the shells.

    k37NXb.jpg

    I stopped at my local craft store to pick up 10 lbs of modeling clay and a bucket of plaster of paris. the wooden(mdf) box on the left is my mold form.

    5lOK96.jpg

    i needed a pattern of my lead to make the mold. my first go of it was a disaster. for some reason, i thought i could use the modeling clay but it looked more like a turd than anything. i figured that would not do. after chucking number one in the trash, the photo above shows me using the unimat to make pattern #2 out of pine. this is the first time i have had the opportunity to do a woodturning project on my little metal lathe. as you can see, this pint-sized little lathe was nowhere near large enough to handle the task. a modification was in order. i am really happy that i purchased the hand tool rest off ebay a couple of weeks ago. it came in really handy for this project. Also pictured, i have raising block under the headstock so there is enough clearance over the tool post. the finished product is just a little bigger than 2 1/4" diameter.

    arEU50.jpg

    modeling clay in the bottom of my form with the pattern laid in up to the halfway mark.

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    this photo is the plaster poured over the top of what can be seen in the previous photo. the blue stuff is Dawn dish soap which i used for a mold release. after pouring in the plaster, i tapped the form repeatedly with a rubber mallet in order to release as many air bubbles as possible. it brought up some of the soap as well.

    y2FEnp.jpg

    the first half completed. the next step was to flip this half over, put it in the bottom of the form in place of the clay, then pour the second half of plaster over the top.

    gWr4v8.jpg

    both halves completed. the aluminum rod is to (hopefully) maintain a hole through the center of the lead without having to drill through it. i chose aluminum because i don't think the lead will stick to it. i also have 3/8" rods in brass and steel, but i figured it would probably be near impossible to get either of those materials free once the lead is cast.

    Ybg0UN.jpg

    this is the finished mold with sprue holes in the top. for some reason, i figured 2 holes are better than one.
     
  17. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Brian, I have a lot of lead and can melt enough for your weight in about 10 minutes if you want to do it here. Nice job on your pattern and mold by the way!
     
  18. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    a couple things:

    i poured my lead a couple of weeks ago.

    nlqwuh.jpg

    i didn't get pics of the actual deed, but this is my setup for cleaning the flash off my molds. they don't look as beautiful as the original products from Tattham Bros., but i ended up with 12.5 lbs which is what i needed and they fit nicely in the shells. i still need to sand the brushed finish on the brass, but the hard part is done.

    on to the plating:

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    I picked up a 2 lb bag of nickel sulfate and a roll of nickel tape for a cathode.

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    I mentioned a few weeks ago that i needed to come up with a new solution to heating my bath. i would now like to introduce the Sous Vida cooker! this thing was 30 bucks on amazon. it is 1000 watts and you can digitally control the temperature to within one degree.

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    i soldered up these anodes/ tube holders. this was the best thing i could come up with to suspend the tubes in my tank while making an electrical contact.

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    this is a better view so you can see what i am talking about.

    JThmEF.jpg

    here is everything all together. the sous vida cooking device has the temp up to about 150 degrees. i think the setup is going to work out quite well.
     
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  19. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Fascinating! Let us know how it goes.

    Uhralt
     
  20. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    you are a one man clock school road trip... can't wait for the next episode!
     
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