Japy Freres suspension spring

Chilgrove

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Can anyone advise please? I have a lovely Japy Freres crystal regulator clock (here in the UK we use the term "Four Glass Clock). Made in 1875 and is not running at all, just stops after a couple of minutes. The mercury pendulum suspension spring had a slight kink so I replaced it but the clock is still not working despite the movement appearing to be 100% immaculate and I have oiled it (sparingly). I had to assume the spring was correct in length so the new one does match very well but for all I know some previous owner may have fitted an incorrect spring. The numbers at the bottom the back plate show 5 2 although it could be 3 2 as the first number is "smuged". How do I convert the two numbers to either mm (ideally) or to UK and US inches? Any advic P1040099.JPG e would be appreciated. Also when I measure the length of the pendulum is it from the hook suspension point down to the very bottom of the pendulum?
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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That pendulum will be in the right place when it keeps time. :rolleyes: Just sayin.

On French clocks, a no-run problem is usually caused by a goopped up mainspring, problems in the train, or problems with the escapement, in that order. And there is always the chance of a triple combo special!!!

Willie X
 

Chilgrove

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Thanks Willie. Do you know anything about the "French inches"? I am still struggling to understand the pendulum length procedure.
 

Willie X

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That spring is a little short.

I would crank up the front (remote) adjuster to move the chocks up about 2mm and then do the rating at the pendulum adjuster.

If you can rate it, I think that spring will be fine.

Willie X
 

Mike Phelan

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The spring seems fine - maybe the movement just needs a clean, including the mainsprings of course. Be careful of the pivots - they are glass-hard!
As the movement will be visible it's worth a proper clean - I use the Brasso+IPA+chhalk method.
 

Chilgrove

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Thanks to both Willie and MIke for their advice. I did wonder if the suspension spring might be a wee bit too short and I do have the option of getting another new one that is about 4mm longer so I may try that (or I may try what Willie is saying, at least as a first option). My experience is industrial and scientific instrumentation and I am certain my horology skills are not up to stripping then reassembling a French movement ! So as a last resort it's going to someone who knows much more than I do. Regarding cleaning, it may be that I am being fooled by the unusual outward shine on the movement. Perhaps the main spring is gunged up as I cannot see that. Photo attached. By the way all the numbers match up.

P1040108.JPG
 

Nicko

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Mike, Can you point to an explanation of this method of cleaning? Brasso + IPA + chalk
 

Christopher Lloyd Owen

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How funny - I've just taken in a Four Glass for somebody too, (albeit by Marti not Japy) and last night I stripped the Brocot down to tighten the bottom spring because the top gear was riding high. I set it up as you can see.

It would appear that your spring is probably correct, especially if you replaced like for like size-wise. Don't worry about pendulum length - it'll be the right one.

Unfortunately mine is not running either, so - as Willie says - it looks like a disassembly: groan! It has to be in the springs or train as he says (probably not escapement in my case). Also, as everybody says, regulate by pendulum and leave the Brocot adjustment for fine tuning. The only tiny issue I'd take with Willie is probably don't "crank up the front (remote) adjuster to move the chocks up about 2mm" : this might result in the top brass block of the suspension being too high for fine adjustment in one direction.

I'm in the UK too: please message me if you want to exchange mobile numbers and have a chat!
IMG_9524.JPG IMG_9527.JPG
 

Mike Phelan

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Mike, Can you point to an explanation of this method of cleaning? Brasso + IPA + chalk
Earwig-oh, as the foolballers say, Nicko.
  • All repairs to be done first.
    Firstly the parts need to be reasonably clean to start with. No cloths of any sort needed. Bush holes and burnish pivots if needed.
    Brush teeth of wheels and pinion leaves with liquid Brasso on a stiff clock brush.
  • With a medium brush, and IPA or petrol (outside!) clean all traces of Brasso off. Use finger cots or gloves from now on.
  • Once completely dry, use a soft brush with a chalk block and brush everything.
  • Finally peg out holes and blow chalk dust off.

That is something I've done for years and I find that the finish lasts for ages - the brass becomes a lovely deep gold.
 

agemo

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Apr 5, 2011
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Can anyone advise please? I have a lovely Japy Freres crystal regulator clock (here in the UK we use the term "Four Glass Clock). Made in 1875 and is not running at all, just stops after a couple of minutes. The mercury pendulum suspension spring had a slight kink so I replaced it but the clock is still not working despite the movement appearing to be 100% immaculate and I have oiled it (sparingly). I had to assume the spring was correct in length so the new one does match very well but for all I know some previous owner may have fitted an incorrect spring. The numbers at the bottom the back plate show 5 2 although it could be 3 2 as the first number is "smuged". How do I convert the two numbers to either mm (ideally) or to UK and US inches? Any advic
Hi,
I have the exact same Japy movement and the two numbers at the bottom of the plate are 5 and 2.
5 French inches = 135.345 millimeters
2 French lines = 4,511 millimeters

In total = 139.856 millimeters

Amicalement GG
 

shutterbug

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Using chalk as a preservative has been around for a long time, but rarely gets mentioned any more. Thanks for that reminder, Mike! ;)
 

agemo

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Using chalk as a preservative has been around for a long time, but rarely gets mentioned any more. Thanks for that reminder, Mike! ;)
I think you are talking about the blanc de Meudon or the blanc d'Espagne that we use in France.

Amicalement GG
 

Dells

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Hi Chilgrove
It looks to me in the picture that the suspension is held by a pin that is tapered, if it is then that won’t be helping because the suspension will not be hanging straight.
Dell
 

JimmyOz

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The Photo in #8 has the verge/anchor arbour at a angle which needs to be horizontal, to me it looks like the front adjustable bushing has been turned by someone (not recommended at anytime), this needs to be fixed and I think it will fix your issue.
 

Chilgrove

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I hope you are not too fed up with seeing my posts about this lovely French mantle clock. Maybe too early to say at long last I have resolved the pendulum wobble issue but this morning perhaps I have solved it. Time will tell (excuse the pun). So, my story with this auction won clock: Driving home to Scotland from the auction in Yorkshire I had an emergency stop and despite the clock being well wrapped up I did wonder if anything adverse had happened to it.

Several new suspension springs later and wobble was still there (until this morning). Not just wobble but also stopping after a few minutes. The things I had already checked here in my house:- Pendulum rod is a perfect fit in crutch. The jaws of the Brocot adjuster appear to be perfect fit and the slot for the spring at the Brocot adjuster also looks perfect. The crutch is at 90 degrees angle to back plate and the crutch rod is perfectly vertical. So far so good.

Today I looked more closely at the top part of the lower brass part of the new suspension spring where it connects with the pendulum. mmm, is that is very slight twist I can see? To be honest I was not sure if my eyes were playing tricks but anyway I twisted it very slightly and to my great surprise - yes the wobble has gone. And it is still going. I hope this may be of interest to others who have the same problem. By the way, I was very careful when fitting the suspension spring so not sure how or why the spring had a twist.

P1040160.JPG
 

shutterbug

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I have merged two of your threads. It's best to keep everything regarding a clock in one thread. Let us know how this latest adjustment goes.
 

Chilgrove

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Looks like I have been missing much of the information and advice here. Thanks for all your help guys. To snip or not to snip, that is the question. I have taken the advice given here and ditched the taper pin so this photo shows my amateurish effort. Thickness (pin diameter) is fine but it does not look good left like this. However I am becoming nervous about touching anything again. What do you think? Incidentally, photo taken with movement running.

P1040162.JPG
 

shutterbug

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It isn't pretty, but if it works it works ;)
 

Chilgrove

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I've gone for the snip. Looks better. Clock now running well but it seems so sensiive to the slightest alteration or movement that I am nervous about my next step; taking the clock downstairs and placing it (very gingerly) onto our living room mantle piece. Sorry Monsieur Japy, that's your pendulum off again and then replaced so no doubt you will repay my kindness by ceasing to funcion.
 

Chilgrove

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This is what all the fuss has been about. I was just about in tears when I overtightened the movement locating screw at the bottom of the dial; you can see what happened. The dial had been 100% perfect but in my defence the screw was not engaged at all so the whole movement spun around violently on attempting to wind. Had to clear out the thread with a 2.5mm tap. I love the inscription but I cannot trace the Rev. A. O'Connor in Yorkshire. P1040167.JPG P1040169.JPG
 

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