English Mechanical Car Dash 1930's

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Berry Greene, Mar 22, 2020.

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  1. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    I can't find an existing category for this instrument. I will describe it as best I am able. The movement is no longer part of the (alleged) Hillman car it came from. It was put into a small brass case of copper & brass made by the owners father, probably in the 1950's or 60's. The main train wheels are small like that of a pocket watch. The movement has 7 jewel's & looks like a Swiss lever to my limited eye. It is wound & set through the base by a small square male key. It would not surprise me if originally there was a small flexible speedometer type cable (inner sheathed in an outer) with an adjacent knob on the dash. Turn to wind; push to set. The remains of this is now the winder accessed via a hole in the base of the case.
    Separately mounted under a bridge is a fairly large (for the movement) spring & barrel. Unfortunately I do not have photos that show this. It seems likely that it was added, (professionally), at manufacture to extend the endurance.
    It came in to me via a Repair Cafe so this is not a for profit job. If successful I will ask for a charity donation. It was not working. I stripped, cleaned, pegged & polished it all, adding a little (4 drops) light oil to the mainspring. Upon reassembly, as is my habit, I gave the winder 1, 2, then 4 clicks. (Not turns - CLICKS). I much prefer it if a movement is really keen to start but it would not run. I offered a little help to T2 and the balance started easily. I gave it 2 more clicks and away it went. This is still supposedly a very small initial wind but it ran for 80 hours! This is a great shock as I expected just a few hours at best. I will attach the photos I do have but they aren't what you will want I think.
    Pamela Jobling's Clock & pot-(5).JPG Pamela Jobling's Clock & pot-(1).JPG
    My first question is what is the likely design endurance?
    Is this larger mainspring a common practice to extend the endurance?
    How many turns of the spring winding gear wheel would you think of as normal or reasonable for a full wind? Remember this movement has maintained for over 3 days on 6 clicks which is no more than a part turn of the steel spring winding wheel. Maybe 120 degrees.
    As the barrel unwinds how much would you call normal rotation for each day?
    Rgds, BerryG
     
  2. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    It might be worth looking on auction sites to see if you can find an identical clock and get some details that way
     
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  3. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    Good idea Les. Thanks. I'm fascinated to know just how far the wheel & pinion train ratios can be pushed.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Berry,

    A lot of clocks for this application were 8-day duration, which was usually achieved by an extra wheel in the train, often between the barrel and the centre wheel; springs would be rather larger than those for a normal 30-hour. Counting the train will tell you the likely duration and how many turns of the winding key that will take. Perhaps some more revealing pictures of the movement?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  5. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    Hello Graham.
    I think that is absolutely correct. In due course I may take it out and get some more pictures to post here. I often do take photos if the assembly looks complex but this isn't. Just two bridges and the balance. What with this curfew, containment, quarantine, and isolation, I may well have much more time than I really wanted to do that!
    At the moment I am just testing the clock for its rate and I will probably know fairly soon its intended duration. What you say makes much more sense than what I say! Somewhere along the line I must have tricked myself. The movement stopped after running 79 hours, the last few it lost the 10m it had previously gained. I will start over again to try and establish more exactly what it seems capable of. It was mucky and gummed up. Thanks for your interest Graham. Keep away from COVID-19. Rgds, Berry
     
  6. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    Barry
    Don't forget Rootes group not only made Hillman cars, they also made Humber, Sunbeam and Singer
    The chances are your clock was used on these as well
    I would not be surprised if it was used by other makes as an off the shelf component
     
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  7. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    Wow good thinking Batman! Of course and its more of a luxury type item back then I would say. The owner, who I don't know well, did mention in passing a knowledge of other older cars. (Did she say older Morgan?), and the reset lever hanging below the dash for the odometer reset is not unlike this clock. So she probably knows her cars. I'll spend some time trying to locate a dash photo and anything for sale on ebay etc. I could be lucky. The clock itself is actually maintaining well and I have this morning given it a "fullish" wind. Thanks for interest & suggestions Les.
     
  8. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    #8 Berry Greene, Mar 27, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    Hello Graham & Les
    As promised I have at least one presentable photo. These complement my previous photos.
    The clock is running fairly well and making more sense. Full winding is not really advisable with the existing key as the hardened square is worn and its too easy to disengage it. However a light wind will still run for 3 days or more and I think the owner will gladly settle for that. I am still testing it
    . ATB and thanks for your interest. BerryG.

    Pam's clock- (3).JPG Pam's clock- (1).JPG
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Berry,

    The movement does have an 'extra' wheel, (marked with the red arrow), between the barrel and the centre wheel to give the extended running period.

    Pam's clock-(3)_edit.jpg

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  10. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    Yes thanks Graham. I see that. Although I could yet make a key with wings to help the winding, if this test goes as I expect I might just quit while ahead. The time keeping looked good up to the last. say, six hours when it slows down. If fully wound - yes I think a week is possible. Thanks. Stay safe! BerryG
     
  11. RL

    RL Registered User
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    Seems to me that many of the mechanical car clocks of the past were made to run for 8 days.
     
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  12. Berry Greene

    Berry Greene Registered User

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    Hi RL - Yes that's entirely sensible. Even in my garbled original text I was sure this is a modified watch movement with a really big mainspring. {Proper factory job). It seemed to be unwinding so slowly but I was simply mistaken. Graham Morse sorted me out with it. One last snag is that the winding square, (internal square 2mm), is worn and so is the male key. This makes tight winding up more difficult as it slips. I had intended to make a new one with wings and may still do so. Thanks for your interest. Stay safe! BerryG
     

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