Longcase Restoration Project

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Hi Guys, I thought I would begin a new project thread for my longcase.

3A9E67BA-5CFF-4576-8151-7F10AB467F28.jpeg

Today I made the first steps towards investigating the issue with the movement. I have the face removed and have had a look at the movement. I have made a couple of short videos to hopefully let you see what the escapement wheel is doing. The first video shows the clock with my temporary weight attached. The anchor doesn’t appear to be engaging at all here but perhaps my weight isn’t quite heavy enough?


The second video was taken with the original weight in place. It tries to run fast at first but if you hold the weight off it slightly, it does settle a bit. After a short while it runs fast again.


As a newb, I’m not 100% but I’m thinking it doesn’t sound quite right either?

I notice there is very little gut on the strike side too but plenty on the time side....bit odd. That is less of a problem though as I’ll definitely be replacing it.

All thoughts, observations & help greatly appreciated! :)
 

SuffolkM

NAWCC Member
Jun 15, 2020
155
45
28
Country
There is quite a it going on here! A few simple tips to get you to the next step (likely to be cleaning related).

The suspension spring (from which the pendulum hangs) passes through the pendulum leader. This part is connected to the escape wheel etc. Your suspension spring is too long. At the lower end there is a small brass block, and this should be in the middle of the eye hole of the pendulum leader. In your setup, the pendulum leader is driving directly onto the suspension spring itself, which means you have a lot of play left and right. This in turn means the escapement is barely activating on each beat.

You can get replacement suspensions readily, so don't worry, it's not a hard fix. That part is not original to your clock, so you are not doing any further harm in terms of preservation by replacing it with one of the right length.

Let us know if you need more help!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
The crutch, thewire hanging down with the slot in the bottom the pendulum goes through, is not supposed to have the suspension spring in it but that brass block at the bottom. Looks like you have the wrong length of suspension feather, perhaps the auction house muddled up the pendulums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,175
1,774
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
It's badly out of beat (see beat setting 101 at top of forum), and it's very dirty. I think what you really need to do as a starting point is remove the movement, take it apart, clean it and correct any worn out pivot holes, rough pivots, and other wear issues you might find on the escape wheel and/or verge. We can help you through that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,358
1,173
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
Not only does it need to be cleaned before you start messing with it, but those weight cables need to be replaced immediately… Nice clock!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Thanks for all the help so far folks...You have been of great assistance! I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to have a site like this with so much knowledge to call on.
So....the story so far today. I had a closer look at the pendulum spring and noticed a bend about an inch from the top. I was able to lift it further up and voila...the brass block sat perfectly in the crutch and my main issue was immediately solved. The clock now runs!
I spent a bit of time trying to set the best....I’ve got it as close as I can. Short video follows so let me know if you think it sounds ok please.


Next pointers that would be great would be how to go about the dismantling & cleaning.....and the gut replacement too! I will of course, have a search through the rest of the help sections to make sure things like that aren’t already covered in there.
Cheers guys!
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,358
1,173
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
Sounds in beat, but that weight shouldn’t be moving around… I wonder if the seat board is loose or the movement is not fully secured. Either way you’re asking for trouble leaving those 12 lb-ish weights hanging on that ratty old cord.
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Sounds in beat, but that weight shouldn’t be moving around… I wonder if the seat board is loose or the movement is not fully secured. Either way you’re asking for trouble leaving those 12 lb-ish weights hanging on that ratty old cord.
I agree with Bruce on replacing the gut, but is the case fixed to the wall? That might be why it is all swaying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce linde

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Well spotted. I think you are right....the seat board looks like it has had an attempt to level it at some stage as it has a small wooden insert on the left. On the right side however, a little pin has been hammered in and has since worked its way loose so the board does have the ability to rock slightly.
I’ve not fixed it to the wall yet in case I needed to move it a bit. I’m definitely going to though.
I dare say both of those factors could be causing the sway.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Cheers guys!! :)
I’ve ordered some perlon gut just now so will get on to that as soon as it appears....I’ll sort the seat board then too!
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
One last question tonight if I could folks! I’ve noticed that the clock struck around 7 times at about 7:38. What would be the best method to correct this?
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
It’s ok.....think I’ve rectified it! ......I hope :chuckling:
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Scratch that...the strike is still a mile off :( Any thoughts on how to correct it folks?

I’d also welcome any ideas on why it is so hard to turn the minute hand. It both feels and sounds terrible. Is it supposed to be as noisy? It feels like to shouldn’t be like this....Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it wants to turn by hand at all although the movement runs with the pendulum without issue now.
 
Last edited:

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Has somebody taken the hands off? They can be put back incorrectly, wrong quarter position and back to front
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
I had the hands removed earlier but I’m fairly certain they were replaced in the same time way. There’s no guarantee the strike was in sync before I took the face off tbh.
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
I always mark the flat where the finger of the minute hand goes with a felt tip, and again for the hour.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
That’s a good shout....I shall bear it in mind. What are the options for getting the strike synced? It has just struck 12 so 16 minutes early.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Cheers.....I’ve adjusted the hands. Hopefully that’s it!
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Morning guys, after shifting the minute hand forward a quarter, the clock is striking at around 2 minutes to the hour. If I remove the face today, is there a way to sync that again?
I’d also be interested to know (as this is my first!) if all longcase clock hands are hard to turn. As I mentioned previously, these really do not like being turned by hand!!! If they are supposed to turn freely, I wonder what could be causing that?

This video illustrates what happens....it takes quite a bit of force to turn them and the anchor never sounds too happy!

 
Last edited:

Micam100

NAWCC Member
Nov 11, 2019
121
23
18
71
Country
Region
....it takes quite a bit of force to turn them and the anchor never sounds too happy!
Hello Snorty, there is a problem. The minute hand should not be hard to turn. The sound you hear may be pinion and wheel teeth slipping against each other (and doing damage)

Your next step should be: Dismantle the movement, clean it and make any necessary repairs with the help of the knowledgeable people here. These same people will be able to guide you in solving why the hand is hard to turn.

Michael
 
  • Like
Reactions: novicetimekeeper

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Thanks Michael, it’s good to know that it shouldn’t sound like that!
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,175
1,774
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
No, the second hand is turning while you move the hand, and it shouldn't. It means the anchor is not holding the escape wheel, and you might be doing damage to the escape wheel. I also notice on the suspension spring, that thicker area should be riding in the crutch loop. The way it is now, you have way too much play there.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
No, the second hand is turning while you move the hand, and it shouldn't. It means the anchor is not holding the escape wheel, and you might be doing damage to the escape wheel. I also notice on the suspension spring, that thicker area should be riding in the crutch loop. The way it is now, you have way too much play there.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that video was shot a few days ago. I have since rectified the issue with the suspension spring. The clock now runs and keeps time now.
So, I understand that when turning the hands, the escapement wheel should remain stationary? It definitely isn’t! The way it feels, the hands wouldn’t turn manually at all if the escapement wheel wasn’t turning too.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,175
1,774
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
No the escape wheel should not turn when turning the hand. There's a clutch inside or possibly on the front that should slip when the hand is forced. That might be gummed up. But with the pendulum in place, the escape wheel should not turn, even under hard pressure on the hand. The anchor is either misadjusted (beat is off), or two far from the wheel.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Ok, many thanks for that. Gives me something to start looking for!
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,358
1,173
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
I’m thinking with this only because I have to do the floors today, but you typically vacuum and sweep before mopping.

I know you’re having fun figuring things out, but the first step is to disassemble the movement, remove the rust and polish the steel pieces, check for worn pivots and pivot holes, make sure everything is clean and obvious issues have been dealt with... and THEN move on to final tweaks and adjustments.

running the movement in its current condition is not something i would do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
I’m thinking with this only because I have to do the floors today, but you typically vacuum and sweep before mopping.

I know you’re having fun figuring things out, but the first step is to disassemble the movement, remove the rust and polish the steel pieces, check for worn pivots and pivot holes, make sure everything is clean and obvious issues have been dealt with... and THEN move on to final tweaks and adjustments.

running the movement in its current condition is not something i would do.
Thanks Bruce, I am perhaps getting things a little back to front!
I know I will have to, but I suppose the thought of disassembling the movement is a little daunting if I’m honest. As much as I have searched, ‘how to’s’ aren’t in abundance and I’m worried I may do something that I can’t put back together. I suppose I’m just trying to learn and gather as much info as I can to begin with.
What sort of cleaning items / products should I be picking up for that job?
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
8,358
1,173
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
so the 'right' way to clean is with an ultrasonic cleaner, but that isn't really necessary.

here are the very basic tools and supplies you'll want... note that the 'real' guys would use the 'right' tools and deal with subtleties you won't even be aware of until down the road a bit. in the meantime, this will cover what i consider absolute basics.

tools and supplies:
-- needle nose pliers... one regular set, one brass-lined
-- small and medium flat blade screwdrivers
-- 90% alcohol
-- toothpicks
-- some clean old t-shirts for drying parts after you wash them
-- some kind of degreaser (i use super clean... don't breathe it!!!)
-- dawn dish detergent and sos pads
-- toothbrush
-- paper towels
-- compressed air (like used to clean camera lenses)
-- 2000 and 4000 grit wet/dry sandpaper (amazon)
-- some kind of magnification... i like these but also have clip-on monocles for my glasses: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T4KPYN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
-- one of these: 8" Double Ended Spring Hook (Pack of: 2) - S1-20241-Z02 | eBay

1. take it apart (don't worry... this part is the easy part!!!)... start by removing the pieces in front of the front plate. remove the pins and place them on a piece of paper where they won't get disturbed, in roughly the places you found them... for example, upper left pin holding rack arm would go upper left of your piece of paper. in addition, TAKE PHOTOS AS YOU GO... LOTS OF PHOTOS SO YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW THINGS GO BACK TOGETHER!!!

2. note that you will have strike pieces (the arms that trigger the hourly strike) and motion works pieces (the brass gears in the middle that move the hands. lay them on the piece of paper, as well

3.start degreasing and then washing all pieces. be very careful... you do NOT want to snap one of those small pivots off or drop a gear and bend (or break) a tooth. GO SLOWLY. repairing any of these parts is above your pay grade and you would have to send t to someone to repair. use the toothbrush dipped in soapy (the dawn) water and gently clean each piece. as soon as you're done with each one, dry it off... first by t-shirt, and then by blow dryer, and then by wiping it down with paper towel and alcohol... and then blow off any remaining dust or lint with the compressed air. you can try the sos pads on the plates if there are areas that won't clean up... but always be gently and go slowly. clean is the goal... bright, shiny and even is not.

4. clean out every pivot hole you can find (don't really need to do screw holes) using clean toothpick ends and alcohol... twist and remove, check for schmootz, repeat until clean. note that the 'real' guys will tell you that toothpicks aren't hard enough to do the right job... but we're working under the 90:10 rule. :)

5. gently gently gently clean the pallets of the verge with toothbrush and then polish using the 4000 sandpaper.

6. see if you can reassemble the cleaned between-the-plates pieces... but NOT the verge/crutch assembly or strike hammer. some people reassemble to the front plate (lying upside down), but i prefer to load the back plate and then (CAREFULLY) add the front plate. the procedure is to put the pieces in the back plate and then GENTLY lay the front plate on top. line up the winding arbors, minute hand arbor and second hand arbor (BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE!!!) so they go through their front plate holes... and then gently (without pressing hard) slide the remaining pivots into their respective holes. this is where you DO NOT want to apply any sideways pressure to the pivots as they can break. this is where you DO NOT want to apply any sideways pressure to the pivots as they can break. this is where you DO NOT want to apply any sideways pressure to the pivots as they can break. this is where you would use the double-ended spring hook CAREFULLY to help get the pivots into their holes.

7. once you have the front plate added back, turn the great wheels by hand and watch things spin... you will have earned the good feeling.

take photos of where you are and the remaining pieces and return here for more assistance.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Thank you so much for taking the time to put that together for me Bruce. I know it will be a great deal of help!!
It is a lot to take in but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I will start gathering some of the bits and pieces this week.
I shall report back once I get started!
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Quick question, now I have the movement on the bench, can anyone give me the correct term for the pins or dowels that secure the face to the movement? This clock has had small nails used and I’d like to try and replace them with the correct part.
A2B883DC-0D5E-478D-839B-56DF4D5C1281.jpeg

Additionally, the existing gut lines are just secured by tying around a slot headed brass wood screw! Is there a correct part I should be seeking out for this?
427E2056-2298-4971-9BF5-295325EF3DC2.jpeg

Thanks folks!
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
I call them clock pins you can buy them in various sizes. You want steel ones for the dial feet as they go in brass posts.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
That’s ideal cheers....any thoughts on what the gut should be secured to?
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
The gut has a figure of eight knot inside the barrel and I make a hank and put a couple of half hitches round it to secure above the seatboard. Some people tie around a dowel. Most of the clocks I have bough that had not been touched for decades have the hank approach so that's my preference.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,175
1,774
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Push pins ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Fantastic.....thanks guys!
I’ll have a good read through that thread when I’m home from work :)
 

SuffolkM

NAWCC Member
Jun 15, 2020
155
45
28
Country
You can get taper pins from HS Walsh, Cousins UK, and there are dozens of sources on ebay (e.g. Andrew Firth). You want a variety of sizes and tapers, so that you get the right amount of contact area in holes that have only slight tapers, steep tapers etc. As was mentioned above, brass taper pins are for steel parts, and steel taper pins are for brass parts (you will tend to find steel grabs better for retaining hands, despite the more attractive look of brass).
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
9,974
40
48
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
Plenty here - try Cousins or A G Thomas for a start.

Suffolk has just beat me to it while I was posting!
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Andrew Firth is a great guy, can supply laser cut blanks of hands too. (awf restorations)
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Brilliant! Cheers guys.....All noted. Good to know there’s a few options!
 

JimmyOz

Registered User
Feb 21, 2008
783
164
43
65
Gold Coast Qld
Country
Region
The hands being hard to turn, when you take the taper pin out that holds the minute hand on, try turning the minute hand again with that pin out, if it moves easy then it maybe that someone has put the tension spring in upside down and it is digging into the plate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snorty

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
The hands being hard to turn, when you take the taper pin out that holds the minute hand on, try turning the minute hand again with that pin out, if it moves easy then it maybe that someone has put the tension spring in upside down and it is digging into the plate.
Cheers....I’ll give that a shot. It’s not really a proper pin either....more a small bent piece of metal. Part of a recurring theme with this clock really! It even has a small washer behind it presumably in an attempt to place some pressure on the minute hand.
 

JimmyOz

Registered User
Feb 21, 2008
783
164
43
65
Gold Coast Qld
Country
Region
The small washer would normaly be there.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
Ah ok....good to know that wasn’t an afterthought! I’m going to get the face off in preparation for disassembly later so I’ll give that a try with the minute hand and see how I get on.
 

Snorty

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
125
1
18
46
Country
Region
I have given that a shot with the taper pin removed from the hands. Same result sadly. I did notice that the snail has about 3-3.5mm play forward & backwards. Not sure if that should be the case or not
426F44BF-EF68-4D8A-9736-89B72F79880C.jpeg

I don’t suppose anyone knows a good site or somewhere to learn the names of the parts? I’m going to bag them separately and it would be handy to know what’s what. I have picked up a couple but there’s still a load that I don’t know!!
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,869
860
113
Dorset
Country
Region
I've never seen that little spring on the arm that lifts the rack hook before, is that in case somebody turns the clock backwards? The pin on the wheel to lift the arm looks like a roller.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
164,888
Messages
1,434,797
Members
85,856
Latest member
nottmrd
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,872
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff