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Miller 120

wingtips515

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Dec 9, 2020
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I picked up this Grandmother clock yesterday. It would run for about an hour without chiming. After looking it over it seemed like the nailed back had to be removed to get at the movement. Further inspection indicated the complete top would slide forward revealing the internals.
Many other fingers have been in this movement since there are four different types of screws holding the wood pieces in place.
After cleaning an oiling it is running very well. I will have to replace the minute hand since a previous 'craftsman' has soldered the square hole busing to the hand and it is not located correctly.
Now to the question, as stated this is a Miller 120 movement. Is this an 8 day or 30 day movement?
On the back are markings DRGM No followed by four sets of numbers. I suspect these are German patent numbers. Also the number 001210, which I would think is this units serial number.
Regards,
wings515
 

shutterbug

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I've never seen a 30 hour chimer, so I'm going to say 8 day.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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I've seen only one and it was a French square plate. Certainly nothing to write home about! :( Willie
 

wingtips515

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Dec 9, 2020
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I suspect you are correct Willie. After getting it to run for an extended time, ( about 3 days) all of a sudden it stopped and the chime was at the wrong location. I wound the three springs and it started right up. So this confirms the 8 day movement. Looking at the chiming being at the wrong location I was about to change the hands until I thought about it for a minute and activated the chiming lever. This advanced the control until it was set at the correct location. Very clever of the original designers to provide a means of synchronizing the minute hand to the chime. Just waiting for the new hands to arrive and adjusting the position of the hand to the chime. The minute hand has been soldered in place with it off by about 3 minutes. The new hands should have the attachment bushing moveable to accommodate rotational correction.

Regards,
wings515
 

wingtips515

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Dec 9, 2020
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After completing the new hands and installing missing screws to hold the movement to the frame, I have one final question. How much should I charge after pickup, clean, oil, replace hands and deliver this 6 foot tall clock?

wings
 

shutterbug

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You need to decide what your time is worth per hour (be modest until your skills improve) and do some calculations. How confident are you that the movement will keep running for another 10 years or more? If not confident, only charge what you think is reasonable for a temporary fix. It sounds like you did a minimal repair, so your charges should reflect that ;)
 

wingtips515

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Dec 9, 2020
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Thanks for the reply. I will probably spend 3 hours total including the investigation of the replacement hands. This has been running with great accuracy for 5 days now and I would guess it will run for more time than the owner has in her life.
I also do Microsoft updates and reinstalls and I charge $30 per hour for that. Is that reasonable for this clock repair also?
wings515
 

wingtips515

Registered User
Dec 9, 2020
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After installing the new hands I attempted to set the minute hand to the correct location for chiming. After about two hours of trying, the best I could obtain was at the following locations:
1:30, 14, 29:30, 46: 30. So it is late at the hour, early at the quarter-hour by 1 minute, 30 seconds early at the half, and 1:30 at the 3/4 hour.
Any ideas as to the cause of this irregularity?

I did find two dates written on the back of the face. One is April 1911 and the second is June 1955. I can not tell if the 1911 date is the first repair or the original build date. I also found some letters scribed on the chime fan in the same "font" as the date on the face. If it is the first repair date it is still 110 years old.
In any case, the movement is very accurate and appears to have a spring wind up that will last more than 8 days. I ran it for 5 days and it only took 1 1/2 turns to rewind to full. I will ask the owner if she can let it run until it stops to see the full duration.
Thanks to all for the help during this learning period.

wings515
 

shutterbug

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Clocks fluctuate with temperature changes, and levers drop off at different times depending on the same fluctuations. They can't be expected to be totally accurate. Yours are close enough that no one will notice ;)
 

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