Look what I found...

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Organist, Aug 30, 2019.

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  1. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    The next project are two identical New Haven, 30 hour movements. One is from an old junk clock I got for about 5 bucks at an antique place, and this one is from an "Octagon Prize." Look what I found when I took it out of the case and turned it over! It's a piece of spring soldered on, with a hole punched in for the pivot. I'll bet underneath is a hole that needs a bushing, and this was the improvised alternative.

    Mike

    newhaven1.JPG
     
  2. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    That seems to be the logical explanation. I would not bother trying to remove the solder. You said you had another works exactly like it. I presume it is in a lot better shape than the one with the solder. I would merge the two and get rid of the soldered plate. Post a photo of the case and the good works. We would like to see what you have.
     
  3. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    I've wondered about that. Are plates made with such identical precision that they can be easily swapped?

    I'll post case pics tomorrow.

    Mike
     
  4. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    If they are the same model and make most of the time the parts can be swapped from one to the other. Its common for clock repairman to keep "parts" works on hand just for that purpose. I just recently did just that with the main wheels on a Seth Thomas works. Found a junk works on line with the parts I needed.
     
  5. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    #5 Bruce Alexander, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    Personally I would remove the kludge repair to see what's underneath it. Probably a very easy fix although the pivot may need some TLC before placing a press-in bushing...would be my guess. The toughest part might be removal of all of that solder. :rolleyes:
     
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I wonder which wheel would have required a bushing right there, and whether there was a pivot showing in the hole in the spring. The steel spring would not have benefited the pivot, which probably needs work, but the position of that soldered spring makes me wonder if it is perhaps serving another purpose.

    M Kinsler
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Looks like it must be the rear pivot for the center arbor. On lot of these old clocks the center shaft on the front with the hands seems wobbly, which is annoying but usually doesn't affect the clock. I'm guessing that someone found a little slop in the center rear pivot hole and tried to affect a tighter fit to eliminate/reduce the sloppiness at the hands. They were probably not very successful as eliminating that problem usually requires also bushing the front plate and the inside of the hour pipe.

    I agree, if both movements are complete I see no reason to relegate this one to the bone pile just because of this mess on the back plate. It should be an easy repair.

    RC
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    As mentioned, the pivot will probably have a deep groove from the spring that will need to be polished out.
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Or there might be something more interesting hiding under that spring. I hope we get to see.
     
  10. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Here's the rest of the clock. Interesting! Check out the pendulum. But it does work.

    prize1.JPG prize2.JPG penfront.JPG penback.JPG
     
  11. Bruce Alexander

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    You may find all sorts of little surprises hidden away in this beauty. You've already found two and you're just getting started! :Party:
     
  12. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Here's the story. It's a family clock from an odd branch of tree family tree-- my grandmother's brother, whose claim to fame was having an affair with an Amish lady in his later years. He and his wife lived in a house that never had electricity. He didn't like to spend money, and he wasn't going to start by bringing electric into the house. They had this clock and a cuckoo clock (which I also have). This particular clock has newer glass in the door, and the painted design looks like it was done by someone who went too long without a smoke. The pendulum is obviously a homemade job, but between the gold paint on the bob and the gold lines on the glass, it actually looks really good. It surprises me what these old timers came up with.

    When I got this clock and three others, I took them to a clock shop to see if it would be worth it to fix up. He said I might not want to put much in this one, but he did do the other three (a Seth Thomas "Utica," a Seth Thomas round top shelf clock (model "Doric," I think) and the cuckoo clock). I ran it for a few years, then moved it out with the other "practice clocks" when I got the shop.
     
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  13. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Were it mine I'd clean up the clock movement, repair the mounting moldings that hold the glass in, clean the case, and let it run as close to its present condition as you can--including the amazing bushing. There are lots of old kitchen clocks, but none that are just like this one.

    M Kinsler
     
  14. Bruce Alexander

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    I'd have to see it Mark. It probably would be delegated to forgotten history in my shop.
     
  15. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    If a customer brought such a clock in without any story to accompany it--say, they found it in a basement somewhere--I'd replace the odd bushing and the odd pendulum without question. But this one has a story, and tells it rather eloquently.
     
  16. Bruce Alexander

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    #16 Bruce Alexander, Sep 1, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    If the bushing is destructive or damaging to the pivot, it's out of there. Wouldn't you agree? :?|
     
  17. shutterbug

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    I would restore the movement properly. The pendulum is interesting and now part of the clock's history, so I might leave that as a reminder of the efforts, though misguided, of the previous owner's attempts to keep the clock running.
     
  18. Joseph Bautsch

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    If you need the experience repairing this boched up job then by all means go for it. Otherwise why would you waist your time on something like this. There is a replacement movement at hand. Toss the boched up one in the ben for parts and put the replacement in the case. Or if you need the practice disassembling and reassembling works you can replace the the botched up plate and the gear with the worn pivot and put it in the case.
     
  19. Vernon

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    I too would restore the movement. Heat up the solder to melting then use compressed air to blow it off. Buff the area with a mild abrasive then bush the hole.
     
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  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    The story it tells is of someone not knowing how to repair a clock, there is nothing elegant about it. I would write one more chapter to "the story" by cleaning up this mess and fixing it properly. Glamorizing or otherwise justifying sloppy work for whatever reason only serves to encourage beginners and others to do the same thing, is what I think.

    RC
     
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  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Suppose, however, you were running a clock museum. Which clock would be more interesting?

    The world and the nation have changed rather drastically since these clocks were built. Metal in any form was rare in isolated farm villages: iron scrap was always sent to the local blacksmith, and you'd always save nails and pins. Clock parts were likely as tough to obtain then as now, though for different reasons. And the family clock up on the mantel was very much the heartbeat of the home. It would have comprised the sole bit of decoration in the house outside of the usual devotional pictures. Clocks containing mirrors were very popular, for that would often be the only mirror in the household, or even the village.

    And so what do we do when the clock stops? There were blacksmiths, and most farmers repaired their own equipment, which was principally made of wood joined with carriage bolts and square nuts, which is what we see on that pendulum. And they could solder stuff, typically with a big soldering copper heated in the fire.

    Is clock repair as presently practiced incompatible with an interest in history?

    M Kinsler
     
  22. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    If I were running a clock museum, I would be most interested in clocks that were as close to the way they were when new, clocks that had not been bastardized by amateur repairs or alterations.

    The clock we see here is a long way past the colonial period when clocks were made from wood because of the high cost of brass. While it may conjure a romantic image of the self sufficient farmer in a remote area jerry rigging his only clock with "unusual" repairs, in reality wherever clocks have been available there have been skilled people in the business of repairing them. In the early days that would likely be an itinerate tradesman making rounds servicing and fixing (and perhaps selling) clocks and perhaps other household items as well. Clocks were frequently repaired by clockmakers and jewelers in jewelry stores that also repaired watches. Everyone doesn't live on a farm, even in the day of this clock large populations lived in towns and cities where services were available.

    Clock repair as presently practiced has nothing to do with history. Obviously, generally accepted clock repair methods today are different from those accepted in days of old, but I 'm pretty sure there were also some practices that were considered improper even at that time. Now if you want to create a museum dedicated to clock repairs over the years and memorialize all types of repairs good, bad, and otherwise, then I don't have a problem with that. I just don't see much point beyond curiosity in preserving examples of improper repair work.

    RC
     
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  23. shutterbug

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    Hmmm. A museum of bad clock repairs! Might catch on! Several items from the Hall of Shame could line the shelves! :D
     
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  24. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Well, regardless of what happened to it in the past, now, I hope, the opportunity exists to put it right. I cleaned it up yesterday and took off that piece. I didn't do the best at getting the solder off, but I didn't want to heat it too much. Have a look. The Xs are not mine. They were already there. Sorry for the shaky video. It's surprisingly hard to hold things like you want looking through an iPad.



    earl1.JPG earl2.JPG earl3.JPG earl4.JPG earl5.JPG earl6.JPG
     
  25. shutterbug

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    That second wheel really needs to be bushed. I wouldn't worry too much about the motion works in the center part.
     
  26. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Now that it is apart is a good time to do bushing work wherever it is needed. If you heat the brass with a small butane torch to melt the solder you won't hurt the brass. When the solder melts just wipe it off with a cotton cloth. Be sure to use cotton as some synthetic stuff will melt. 0000 steel wool will clean up what is left.

    In addition to possible bushing work, take a close look at the pivots first. If the pivot needs to be filed or turned it will require a smaller bushing.

    RC
     
  27. shutterbug

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    Keep that steel wool away from the flame!
     
  28. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Absolutely! Same for the cotton cloth. I suspect there will be someone that will have to try to see if steel wool will burn, don't try it inside unless the fire insurance is paid up.

    RC
     
  29. shutterbug

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    It's a useful fire starter though. All you need is a battery, and Poof! Fire!
     
  30. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I nearly burned down our garage with steel wool plus sparks from a grinding wheel. That stuff is ferocious. I wonder what aluminum wool is like.
     
  31. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    My dad used to use a propane torch to light his piles when we burned leaves. Don't know why he thought that was better-- I always used a match. One night he forgot about the torch and raked leaves over it. When the fire got to it, there was an explosion that lit up the whole side of the hill. He's lucky all he got out of it was a yelling from mom. I found the torch the next day. The canister was flat as a sheet of paper.
     
  32. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    How did he light the pile when the torch was hidden under it?

    Uhralt
     
  33. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    The pile was already burning. He set the torch nearby, and started raking more leaves onto the pile. That's when it got covered up.
     
  34. Bruce Alexander

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  35. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Well, starting a new adventure. Here is the movement of this thread with some bushings installed. It isn't perfect, but it's my first time. I did the second and third wheels. They seem to work OK, but I think I broached too much on the third wheel. On the back, you can see the center shaft where that piece of spring was. I didn't bush that yet because I'm waiting for the right size bushing to arrive. It could use a couple more, but it's a start.

     
  36. Bruce Alexander

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    There's a little more movement in your 3rd Wheel but all-in-all, I think it looks pretty good for your first effort. :thumb:
    Check your Tilt Angles again when you have the movement apart and be sure that your pivots are as smooth as you can make them.. As far as the longevity of your bushings are concerned, pivot finish and proper lubrication are the most important factors. A little extra clearance isn't critical just so long as you're on center with your placement and the pivot/bushing clearance is still close enough to retain lubrication through capillary action.
     
  37. Organist

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    #37 Organist, Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    Thanks! I think the biggest flub was using the wrong height bushing. I should have used an L 18. I bought the assortment II from Timesavers (it said this one for most American clocks!), and I should have gotten assortment I also. Lesson learned: Do my own measuring to decide for myself what I need. You can see the file mark where I tried to smooth it down. But they are all lined up. I checked each wheel by spinning, and they spun freely for a long time. Then, I put them both in together. I'm anxious to get it back together to see if it works.
     

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