Need help setting strike on French Round Movement

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Probox, Mar 7, 2020.

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  1. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Hi, I have a French round movement by Samuel Marti, actually made for Tiffany & Co which was a nice surprise when I removed it from the case. I dissassembled, cleaned in ultrasonic and put back together and oiled. This is where I wished I had made note of where the warning wheel, gathering pallet and pin wheel were "before" I took it apart. I didn't, lesson learned. Anyway, I've been two full days trying to line up these suckers to get it to work right. I always get to the same place. The rack drops at the top of the hour and does the correct number of strikes, then I move the hand towards the half hour and when the warning starts, it just keeps going...the little stop lever doesn't rise high enough to engage the pin on the warning wheel and so it keeps going. If I advance the hand it then goes higher and engages and stops the wheel, then when I get to the half hour it strikes once, then warning works again at about 10 to the hour and the rack drops correctly and works ok. It's that first warning at about 20 after the hour that is messing me up. To me, it seems the stop lever won't go high enough...and you cannot adjust the lifting piece (spread them) on these clocks like you can on American clocks. What am I doing wrong? I did have a lot of trouble getting the hammer to NOT rest on a pin on the pin wheel, that took 400 tries. Maybe there is a resource on here that can tell me the setup procedure from start to finish? Normally, this isn't this terrible. Frustrated in Nova Scotia! 20200307_112230.jpg 20200307_112157.jpg 20200307_112140.jpg

    20200307_112230.jpg
     
  2. Royce

    Royce Registered User

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    Don't know if this will help you but this is some info I found on assembling the French Clock movements.
    "The strike mechanism is adjusted during assembly. The third wheel has just released the hammer when the detent lever gets in the path of the pin on the fourth wheel. The pin on the fifth wheel should be half a turn away from the warning lever when the pin on the fourth wheel rests against the detent lever."
     
  3. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Thanks Royce, yes, that definately helps me confirm what things I need in place. That there are three things I need, the hammer resting free, the pin resting on the detent and the pin on the fifth wheel at the 12:00 position.
     
  4. Simon Holt

    Simon Holt Registered User

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    I've worked on three French movements and they all had a removable cock on the rear plate for the third wheel pivot. If yours does too then you probably already know that removing this allows you to leave the third wheel out altogether. Then, when you've got the strike starting and stopping correctly, you can insert that third wheel so the hammer is at rest.

    Simon
     
  5. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Hi Simon, thanks for that, I never thought of that idea....I'll try that. See that's what I love about this forum. It never occurred to me to try to fix one thing first then introduce the hammer wheel
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Many of these French clocks have timing marks on the strike side wheels and pinions. A marked pinion will have the corner of one leaf of the pinion trimmed off, and a marked wheel (gear) will have a small divot between two teeth where the marked pinion leaf lines up.

    Caution, always let down the main spring before removing the back cock to realign the wheels and pinions.

    RC
     
  7. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Yes, RC, mine does have the little marks on the wheel but nothing tells you "how" they should line up. Just that they do. I've order the book "repairing French pendulum clocks so that may give me some infor on how they line up. I think I I know but I've had to remove the top plate again and then place the wheels using tape to keep them from spinning and reassemble. Now I have to remove that third wheel to get the hammers lined up and see how it works. I still don't think this being lined up will solve my initial problem though. We'll see. For now any way, taking a break as too frustrated again tonight.
     
  8. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Don't get frustrated! The French movement are actually quite repairer friendly. Now that you detected the marks on the wheels you need to take a very close look at the tops of the pinions that mesh with the wheels. Magnification helps. You will find that one of the pinion leaves is a bit chamfered at the top, while the others are not. This chamfered pinion should line up with the mark on the wheel.

    Uhralt
     
  9. Probox

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    Thanks Uhralt for that bit of info.....very important to get that hammer wheel lined up. I did examine it and found it and lined it up solving problem 1. I still have the original problem in this series of posts whereby I cannot get the lifting arm/piece to go high enough into warning for it's detente to interrupt the stop pin wheel. So the wheel keeps spinning in warning. With these French clocks you cannot widen the lifting arms as you can in American clocks. I have another French movement in another clock. I'll have to remove it and examine it to see what's different. Maybe I can find some reason. (I tried to post a video but it was too large, I posted it to youtube here: so maybe you'll be able to see what I mean.
     
  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Probox, you may be barking up the wrong tree. At first blush the problem might seem to be that the lifting piece is not lifting enough to position the warning stop, but in fact the real problem is that the strike train is releasing for warning before the warning stop is in place. So is the warning stop failing or is the main stop lever releasing prematurely? Either condition might cause the same symptom.

    Take a look at these marked up pictures and locate "this pin" - looks like a steel pin, I would expect a brass pin but perhaps some Marti's had steel I don't know. Anyways if that pin has been replaced (the brass ones I have seen broken) or is bent it could cause that lower lever (the main stop control lever) to lift too soon. That brass lever has a brass hub with a square hole. If the arbor is twisted, or that brass curved arm has been bent it could cause the stop lever to release the movement into warning prematurely.

    As so check that the tension spring shown is providing just a little tension to the stop lever.

    The solution to the problem, I believe, is preventing the movement from trying to go into warning before the warning stop is in place, not trying to get more lift for the warning lever as this will also raise the stop lever earlier as well just continuing the same problem. It would be best to determine just which of the above possibilities is the culprit, but correcting / relocating "this pin" and/or adjusting the stop lever (not the warning stop) so the train unlocking is delayed until the warning stop lever is in position.

    RC

    marti.jpg marti-2.jpg
     
  11. shutterbug

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    It appears to be going into warn prematurely to me. It's close to 15 minutes before and after the hour.
     
  12. Probox

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    Thank you RC for your great input, I think you are on to something there. Nothing looks bent but I did suspect that pin might have been replaced. I'll have to inspect that part of the operation more closely. Yes, I am arriving at the conclusion we are going into warning too early. I was thinking (dreaming in bed actually) that If I adjust the motionworks I could delay the warning.
     
  13. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Yes Shutterbug, I agree with your findings. Am examining why it's way too early. Warning should only be about 5 mins not 15. I thought this was odd. I may have to examine my other french clock that is working well and compare.
     
  14. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    And the fact it is going into warning so early tells me that the pin is to low on the stop wheel, or the stop lever has been bent upward by someone, therefore disengaging the pin early and before the warning lever is high enough to engage the warning pin, have a look at the stop wheel to see if this pin has been replaced at some stage.
     
  15. Probox

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    Yeah, here are some pics of the rack hook and it's pin....looks original to me. The stop lever seems to sit very low on the pin on the stop pin wheel. The only way I could adjust that is to bend things and that should never be necessary. So, still a little confused. Might keep trying different motion works settings. 20200310_201900.jpg 20200310_201914.jpg 20200310_201926.jpg 20200310_202345.jpg
     
  16. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Problem with adjusting the motion works is that it will advance the warning lever AND the stop release, so you will still have the same problem just earlier or later. What needs to happen is the warning stop needs tI be in place before that pin starts to move the stop lever releasing the train.

    I'm thinking that pin broke off and someone replaced it with a larger diameter. You may be able to get the delay you need by filing down that pin on the side where it contacts the lifting piece. Don't know what the punch marks on the back of the rack hook are, maybe someone messed with the shape of the rack hook?

    Check what Jimmy said first. I've seen cases where that stop lever was bent and or the stop pin bent.

    RC
     
  17. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    Thanks RC. Before I do any grinding or bending (which I may resort to) I decided to remove the movement from another french clock I had recently purchased and never got around to working on yet. I know it runs and strikes properly.....so, I'm going to analyze that in detail and compare it to my problem movement. BTW, the "other" french clock had a surprise waiting for me when I separated the movement from the porcelain dial. I posted pics over in the "Recent acquisitions" forum.
     
  18. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    On the last photo you see the pin on the wheel is at the bottom of the lever, as the lever is lifted the pin is released early and before the warning lever is high enough to catch the warning lever pin. Remidy is to look at the wheel in the last photo as it seems to be to low, maybe it has been repaired before and put back to low, if you redrill this pin a bit higher it will fix the issue, just a bit of a guess to how high but just go for a little above center of the stop lever butt end and that should be close.
     
  19. Probox

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    Hmm, I'll take a look at that....but yes, that what you describe is the problem I have to somehow repair.o_O
     
  20. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    If the pin on the wheel has not been moved by someone, here is another way you can do it. In photo 2 you can see someone has filed the pin for some reason, however they were on the right track. This pin lifts the stop lever up (photo 4), therefore if you move this pin or file it (however does not leave much and might break with use) so that it lowers the stop lever (photo4) about 3mm this should give you enough drop on the butt end (photo 4) to get the stop pin in the center, therefore enough delay to catch the warning pin. Now the only thing you need to watch is that it still lifts the lever (photo 2) far enough to clear the rack. At least this way you will not have to take the movement apart.
    I hope this is clear enough it is hard to word it right and I am doing this from memory as I don't have a Freanch movement in front of me. Anyway others will pick up if I got something wrong.
     
  21. Probox

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    Hi Jimmyoz, thanks for that. I tried filing that down just a bit, didn't want it to get too small to function, that in combination with trying to bend the stop lever a little. I got about 1/2mm in movement so I need more bend. Is it recommended to heat the lever to assist bending or not?
     
  22. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    #22 JimmyOz, Mar 13, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
    I am not a fan of bending levers, I have too many that come into the shop that others have messed around with and have to backtrack to undo them. However if the stop pin has not been moved (Photo4) then someone must have altered the lever at some stage as this is the only way the warning pin and stop pin can be off, unless the warning pin has been move? Yes you can use heat to bend the lever, however due to others and yourself bending it it may have small fractures and it may break. If I was fixing it I would move the pin on the lever (Photo2) as this is easy to undo.
    First cut off the pin (photo2) put the lever back on the clock, lift it till the butt end is just clear of the stop pin (photo4) (use a bit blutac or something to hold it there) then lift the V shaped lever till it engages the warning pin, mark where it is in relation to the lever (photo2) that will be the bottom of the new pin you put in, this should fix it, not sure on how it will go clearing the rack, however should be okay.
     
  23. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    That makes a lot of sense, thanks Jimmy. Would you drill a hole completely through the lever with the pin you removed and insert a new pin and secure with ?? Locktite? How would I make the pin secure in the lever? Haven't done that before.
     
  24. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    The new pin may cut a bit into the old pin I suppose just depends on where you put it. The pin is not carring much weight so if it is a tight fit no need for locktite, drill through the lever as it gives more streangth, leave the old pin where it is just make sure when you put the new pin in that the lever is on a anvil or something flat and the old pin should stay where it is.
     
  25. Probox

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    I have decided to do the drilling operation. I have to locate a suitable piece of pin stock first, then I'll do it and let you know how I make out.
     
  26. Probox

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    Here is the new pin. I will unfortunately have to amputate the old one in order to have it not interfere with the new one. 20200314_203952.jpg
     
  27. Probox

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    Here is the finished product, ready to test.....tomorrow.... 20200315_212906.jpg 20200315_212918.jpg
     
  28. Probox

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    FAIL! My estimate on how far up the shaft to move the pin was wrong. Now it's too far up and pushing the lifting piece too high and it's affecting how the stop lever interacts with the stop pin wheel, making the whole thing way more complex. Not sure if I have the ability to drill between the two holes without making one big hole. I may need a donor part now. I tried bending the new pin down to give it more room but so far that is not working either. So, now what I'm getting is good stop on the warning but only one revolution of the stop pin wheel before it stops on the stop lever. I'll set it aside for the day now and think about Coronovirus instead.
     
  29. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    It seems you have now the opposit of what you started with, working with clocks is not a hit a miss thing, you have to measure to small fraction. Anyway you have enough room to put in another pin, just use a thinner pin.
    Cut off the pin.
    Lift the V shaped lever to where the warning pin is engaged by about 2mm, mark that on the clock face plate by drawing a line along the underside of that lever.
    Lift the stop lever till the pin on the stop wheel just clears the stop lever butt end on the bottom of the butt lever..
    Where the top of the V shaped lever and the S shaped lever cross mark a line on the S shaped lever.
    This line is the bottom of the pin that you are going to put in.
    The pin should be able to be placed somewhere between the 2 pins you already have cut off.
    If you don't understand any of this just ask me before you start again.
     
  30. Probox

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    Thanks Jimmy, I'll review your notes several times before attempting it again.
     
  31. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    You might consider removing both steel pins and driving in two brass pins and dressing smooth on both sides. That should make the repair almost invisible when you install the correctly located new pin.

    RC
     
  32. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Probox,Take a photo of the front of the movement after you draw the lines, therefore we can see if you have understood what is writen.
    As R. Croswell said you can clean it up once it is working.
     
  33. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    You could also have your part brazed to fill the holes, then start over.
     
  34. Probox

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    Yes, as you may be able to tell, I'm not really setup machine shop wise to do this stuff. I basically did the drilling by hand as the drill press I used had a wobble with it. I don't have a lathe, or good drill press...trying to get one this weekend. So am putting it off. As for the drawings that is problematic because I don't have something with a fine enough point to accurately make the line.....both a sharpie and pen were too big to fit. Maybe I'm missing something though. Should I completely remove the motion works first before making the line? And while I understand the first mark, it's the second one that's got me baffled.
     
  35. Probox

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    Question 1 "Lift the V shaped lever to where the warning pin is engaged by about 2mm, mark that on the clock face plate by drawing a line along the underside of that lever." Let's say the lever has an "upper" arm and a "lower" arm. Do I draw the line underneath the upper or lower arm of the lever? Question 2: "Lift the stop lever till the pin on the stop wheel just clears the stop lever butt end on the bottom of the butt lever.." Do I remove the lifting piece (to reveal my line) and then draw the line on the rack hook where they intersect?
     
  36. Probox

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    Hi Jimmy, here are my pics. I took the lowest common denominator, I set the motion works to the 1/2 hour strike to get the first line of the top of the lower arm of the lifting piece because that's the line that raises the pin that moves the stop lever. After I got that line drawn, then I removed the lifting piece and put the rack hook on and raised it just enough to clear the stop lever. Where the two intersected I drew my line. So, see the pics and tell me am I on the right track. It did fall between the two previous pins on the rack hook. I don't care much about esthetics, it's my clock not a client's so I just want it to work. 20200319_205108.jpg 20200319_205159.jpg 20200319_205219.jpg
     
  37. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Do what you did again, however using the hour pin, not the 1/2 hour pin, if you set it with the 1/2 hour pin it will strike the hours on the 1/2 hour and most likely jam trying to lift the lever to do the hour.
    The rack does not clear the lever for the half hour strike only the hour strike.
     
  38. Probox

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    Okay, wasn't sure on that one....I'll take your advice and try that. If it fails, I have purchased another rack hook off the Bay.
     
  39. Probox

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    20200325_190433.jpg 20200325_190448.jpg
    Hi Jimmy...ok, I repositioned the pin on the rack hook (again) and I ran it. See the pics. What's happening now is the clock goes into warning, then one strike. Then when I move the hand towards the hour, goes into warning then I move hand to the hour and it strikes only once. That's all I get. My analysis of that leads me to believe that the lever is not lifting the rack hook high enough to release and drop the rack and thus rack tail. IF that is the problem, I think I could bend my pin downward toward the lever (lifting piece) thus raising the rack hook a little higher.

    Is that your analysis Jimmyoz? What do you think? I won't do anything until I hear from you. Also, as I stated earlier, I do have another rack hook coming that I purchased in case this one becomes swiss cheese. lol. View attachment 578456 View attachment 578457
     
  40. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Probox,, "You were that Close" but....
    Don't worry to much if you think it is close enough that a bend will fix it, since you said you have another comming you can always use the swiss cheese as a template for the new one. I hope that you are learning from this, you may look back in a few years of clock repair and have a laugh.
    The 1st photo above, I hope this is after it has done the strike? Maybe do a photo with it right before the lever drops on the hour, this will tell you how much is needed to bend the pin so it clears the rack or if it is to much to bend.:?|
     
  41. Probox

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    Hi Jimmy, it didn't work. I bent the pin, it dropped the rack nicely, it did it's climb and then the stop lever of the rack hook would not reach the pin on the stop pin wheel to stop it Ugghhh. Seems to be no middle ground. There has to have been some type of accident with this movement like a mainspring break or something that caused some type of trauma to the lifting lever and/or rack hook because they should never have to be adjusted. I'll wait now for the new part to arrive and hopefully install it and see it work with no adjustments! Wouldn't that be nice.
    I really want to thank you for your support and advice. I won't give up on this wonderful French movement even if I have to buy a parts movement and exchange the lifting lever.
     

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