Longcase clock striking late

barbuduccle

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Jan 13, 2016
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I have recently acquired a British 8 day longcase clock said to be from around 1840. It was striking at about 4 minutes past the hour. From some internet searches I have seen, the recommendation is to adjust the bushing on the minute hand. There is no bushing however, just a square whole which is somewhat bigger than the square nut it sits on. I have managed to pack the hole on one side which has shifted the minute hand left somewhat so it now strikes at about one and a half minutes past the hour.

Can anyone tell me how to adjust the minute hand further please?

Thank you.
 

harold bain

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You have to take the dial off and adjust the motion works gears behind the dial so that the lift lever drops right at the hour. Spend some time studying it to understand how it works, then you should see which gears need to be adjusted relative to the minute cannon.
 

shimmystep

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Occasionally when adjusting these, in the way Harold describes, moving the engagement of the minute wheel by a tooth, one can find that the minute hand goes to far the opposite way. This might mean that the lifting pin on the minute wheel is bent, and may need a little adjustment.
However, with that said, these can have a fair amount of play on the minute hand anyway. If you get it with a minute on the dial I'd be satisfied with that. It's old! And these are quite 'agricultural'.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Occasionally when adjusting these, in the way Harold describes, moving the engagement of the minute wheel by a tooth, one can find that the minute hand goes to far the opposite way. This might mean that the lifting pin on the minute wheel is bent, and may need a little adjustment.
However, with that said, these can have a fair amount of play on the minute hand anyway. If you get it with a minute on the dial I'd be satisfied with that. It's old! And these are quite 'agricultural'.
That's a bit disappointing to hear, I have a couple of clocks that are ten or twenty minutes or so out. Both thirty hour clocks, a single hander and a double hander. About 60 years older so presumably more agricultural, though I have others another 50 years older than that which run perfectly.
 

harold bain

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That's a bit disappointing to hear, I have a couple of clocks that are ten or twenty minutes or so out. Both thirty hour clocks, a single hander and a double hander. About 60 years older so presumably more agricultural, though I have others another 50 years older than that which run perfectly.
Well, at worst you should be able to get it to within a minute or so by adjusting the motion works.
 

novicetimekeeper

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yes, fair point and they are usually a minute or so out by the end of the week anyway. The two in question are silenced at the moment so it doesn't matter but it is on the list of jobs.

I was watching the oldest one last night and it starts striking exactly as the minute hand points to 12 so I'll consider myself fortunate.
 

Dick Feldman

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So far, has everyone assumed the problem is not with the minute hand?

Have you tried to flip the hand? Sometimes the hand can be turned 180 degrees on the arbor to solve a problem with orientation.

Sometimes the hand is bent. Sometimes this is done intentionally to gain/loose a minute or two. I do not necessarily advocate bending the hand, but it seems to be a common solution. Many times the minute hands have been bent enough times to break the hand off at the hub. Has this one been repaired?

Over a couple of hundred years, it does not seem unlikely that someone has forced the clock hand forward and bent the hand.

Can you send pictures?

Best Regards,

Dick
 

novicetimekeeper

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Are the hands really reversible? I don't know about 1840 but in the 18th century they were hand cut and hand detailed, didn't they end up being detailed on only one side?

I quite agree about them getting broken though, it is why dating a clock from the hands is unreliable, though the hour hand often survives on a two hander,
 

shimmystep

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Are the hands really reversible? I don't know about 1840 but in the 18th century they were hand cut and hand detailed, didn't they end up being detailed on only one side?
I've not seen reversible English longcase hands. Through out their manufacture they have had one decorated side, steel or brass.

Though as you say Dick, they can get bent, from previous attempts to align, or trying to move the hand backwards when the lifting lever is backed up onto the lifting pin. Some longcase lifting levers have the edge of the lifting lever with a bend in it, to allow the pin to move under the lever avoiding this damage when hands are moved backwards.
 

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