New Haven Clock Disappointment

Joe Gargery

Registered User
Feb 2, 2022
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Hello again fellows,
I have had this New Haven (ceramic) clock for decades. It's an heirloom (a little garish) but a real favorite of mine.

20220730_112151.jpg


The works have no makers stamp anywhere that I've been able to find. Is this just the way New Haven did things back then or would this have been a works sourced from a different supplier perhaps?

20220922_135359.jpg


Anyway, the clock worked fine for years, but a few years ago it became a little erratic and I new it was time for some service work.
There is a clock repair shop here in the desert that seemed to have decent reviews so I brought the clock in to the man who runs the place. I knew it had had a previous repair to the center shaft that holds the minute hand as it was soldered onto the shaft. It appears the loop end that holds a horizontal pin to keep the minute hand in place had broken at some some time prior to my ownership. The fellow assured me it was not that big of a deal and he could fix that as well.

20220922_135534.jpg


He gave me an approximate "to and from" figure to go through the clock, which I agreed to, and left the clock with him. I checked in after 3 or 4 months of no contact and he curtly assured me the clock was "in the pipeline". I checked in a couple more times over the next several months with the same reply. Once it passed the full year mark, I was becoming a little concerned. I called again and was told the clock would be ready the following week. I showed up, was presented with a bill for approximately $300 but gladly paid it to get my clock back. The first thing I noticed was that the minute hand fastener had not been repaired as we'd discussed. He said he simply could not do it. Needless to say I was disappointed but as long as the clock had been serviced and was working fine now, I'd live with it.
I brought the clock home set it back on it's (very level) shelf and struggled for a couple days to get it running properly but finally had success. It ran for several days and then quit again, just like it had done before being "repaired". I noticed now when I rotated the minute hand to set the time, that the hour hand moved part way and then fell to point at the "6" on the dial. The hour hand was tight on it's shaft. It appeared the shaft was loose inside the works. I called the shop owner and explained the situation. It was clear to me by his gruff response that he had no interest in either my clock nor in standing behind his work. In short he just blew me off. I'm not the vindictive sort. I don't leap to social media with complaints or slur his website with negative reviews. I just want to move on to a more positive result and chalk this bad chapter up to experience.

I think I've made it clear before on this forum that, while I have the enthusiasm of a real clock lover, I'm sadly lacking in much beyond the most basic of repair abilities.
However, lack of knowledge coupled with a good positive attitude has never stopped me before. So today I decided to pull the works and take a look in case there was something obvious I could correct.

I found the shaft/gear that the hour hand fits on to was loose and could lift up and down like it was missing some type of keeper (Blue arrow in my picture). Also the next shaft over which holds an angled lever moved in and out on it's shaft as well like it was missing some type of keeper too (Red circle in my picture).

20220922_135412.jpg


But there was something in that shaft's hole. And when I touched it, it fell out onto my table. I picked it up and found it was a small piece of wood that had been whittled down and stuck in the end of the shaft. But it had no ability to keep the mechanism in place.

20220922_135512.jpg


I may be wrong, but I think if I can find whatever is supposed to hold these two pieces onto their shafts and reinstall them properly, the clock will probably work again. As far as the broken minute hand attachment pin goes, I will probably have to live with a bit of solder on the tip again.

I think it's clear the clock repair person I took this to did absolutely nothing to it in the end, but I'm over it. I'd still very much like to get this one working again.

I would appreciate hearing your opinions on what you feel is the best direction I should take.
Cheers, Joe
 
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Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
17,443
3,171
113
First, make a written demand that you're money be refunded within 10 days and list the reasons as you just did here.

Second, wait about 15 working days and file your case in the proper small claims court, simple as that ...

Your lucky you got your clock back!

Willie X
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
354
235
43
Country
First, make a written demand that you're money be refunded within 10 days and list the reasons as you just did here.

Second, wait about 15 working days and file your case in the proper small claims court, simple as that ...

Your lucky you got your clock back!

Willie X
I cannot tell from the photo, but if the hole in the post on which the hammer assembly is situated is threaded , a screw with a suitably wide head will hold the assembly on. Circled in orange in our photo.
Hello again fellows,
I have had this New Haven (ceramic) clock for decades. It's an heirloom (a little garish) but a real favorite of mine.

View attachment 727886

The works have no makers stamp anywhere that I've been able to find. Is this just the way New Haven did things back then or would this have been a works sourced from a different supplier perhaps?

View attachment 727905

Anyway, the clock worked fine for years, but a few years ago it became a little erratic and I new it was time for some service work.
There is a clock repair shop here in the desert that seemed to have decent reviews so I brought the clock in to the man who runs the place. I knew it had had a previous repair to the center shaft that holds the minute hand as it was soldered onto the shaft. It appears the loop end that holds a horizontal pin to keep the minute hand in place had broken at some some time prior to my ownership. The fellow assured me it was not that big of a deal and he could fix that as well.

View attachment 727890

He gave me an approximate "to and from" figure to go through the clock, which I agreed to, and left the clock with him. I checked in after 3 or 4 months of no contact and he curtly assured me the clock was "in the pipeline". I checked in a couple more times over the next several months with the same reply. Once it passed the full year mark, I was becoming a little concerned. I called again and was told the clock would be ready the following week. I showed up, was presented with a bill for approximately $300 but gladly paid it to get my clock back. The first thing I noticed was that the minute hand fastener had not been repaired as we'd discussed. He said he simply could not do it. Needless to say I was disappointed but as long as the clock had been serviced and was working fine now, I'd live with it.
I brought the clock home set it back on it's (very level) shelf and struggled for a couple days to get it running properly but finally had success. It ran for several days and then quit again, just like it had done before being "repaired". I noticed now when I rotated the minute hand to set the time, that the hour hand moved part way and then fell to point at the "6" on the dial. The hour hand was tight on it's shaft. It appeared the shaft was loose inside the works. I called the shop owner and explained the situation. It was clear to me by his gruff response that he had no interest in either my clock nor in standing behind his work. In short he just blew me off. I'm not the vindictive sort. I don't leap to social media with complaints or slur his website with negative reviews. I just want to move on to a more positive result and chalk this bad chapter up to experience.

I think I've made it clear before on this forum that, while I have the enthusiasm of a real clock lover, I'm sadly lacking in much beyond the most basic of repair abilities.
However, lack of knowledge coupled with a good positive attitude has never stopped me before. So today I decided to pull the works and take a look in case there was something obvious I could correct.

I found the shaft/gear that the hour hand fits on to was loose and could lift up and down like it was missing some type of keeper (Blue arrow in my picture). Also the next shaft over which holds an angled lever moved in and out on it's shaft as well like it was missing some type of keeper too (Red circle in my picture).

View attachment 727896

But there was something in that shaft's hole. And when I touched it, it fell out onto my table. I picked it up and found it was a small piece of wood that had been whittled down and stuck in the end of the shaft. But it had no ability to keep the mechanism in place.

View attachment 727898

I may be wrong, but I think if I can find whatever is supposed to hold these two pieces onto their shafts and reinstall them properly, the clock will probably work again. As far as the broken minute hand attachment pin goes, I will probably have to live with a bit of solder on the tip again.

I think it's clear the clock repair person I took this to did absolutely nothing to it in the end, but I'm over it. I'd still very much like to get this one working again.

I would appreciate hearing your opinions on what you feel is the best direction I should take.
Cheers, Joe
I cannot tell from the photo, but if the hole in the post on which the hammer assembly is situated is threaded , a screw with a suitably wide head will hold the assembly on. Circled in orange in our photo.

Rather than spend time trying to be made whole, I would suggest forgetting about the repairman. At least you got your clock back.
BB
 
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Joe Gargery

Registered User
Feb 2, 2022
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Apologies guys! I just re-read my post and it does look like I was wanting opinions on what to do about the repair service. My mistake. That was not my intention. I will not bother to pursue that issue.
Rather, I was looking for your input on what to do about repairing the clock.

bwclock, I could not tell easily if the hole is threaded. I have a higher power magnifier I will use to check and then report back here.
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
354
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43
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That's the reason there are so many shysters around. No one wants to hold them to account. And the beat goes on.
Willie X
Hi Joe,

Re: I noticed now when I rotated the minute hand to set the time, that the hour hand moved part way and then fell to point at the "6" on the dial. The hour hand was tight on it's shaft. It appeared the shaft was loose inside the works . It looks as if the hour wheel is bent out of flat and may be slipping past the minute wheel pinion (towards the front). Attached is an annotated photo. If so, bending the hour wheel flat again is an easy solution and easy to do. There also appear to be a gap on the minute wheel wheel post that a couple of washers may take care of.
Bruce

20220922_135534.jpg
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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I think you have identified the reason the hour hand drops. Keep in mind that when the minute hand is properly in place it will also keep the hour pipe from moving forward. That minute hand arbor should be repaired so the hand can be properly attached with a tapered pin. There are a few options but a good repair will take time and skill. The bent gear needs to be flattened, and any missing washers etc. need to be replaced. The clock is "an heirloom (a little garish) but a real favorite" of yours, and you got ripped for $300 bucks and are willing to just walk away and leave it on the table, so cost to fix this properly does not appear to be the issue. I would not settle for a soldered-on minute hand. I would look a little further for good clock repair shop. Take the clock there and have it evaluated and get an estimate and list of what will be done and how long it will take.

As for the shop that ripped you off, if you are sure (as in can you prove in court) that he really did do nothing at all and just took your $300 bucks and returned the clock just as it was, then I would not just walk away. On the other hand, if he actually did do work to the clock and the clock did initially run when you got it back but now it doesn't, it may be that what he did was ok but that there are additional repairs needed that he overlooked. It becomes a can of worms to argue such a case. If you took it back and insisted that he make it right, there could be additional charges and another year-long wait. I can understand how just washing your hands of this place can seem to be the thing to do - cut your losses and move on.

Fixing that minute arbor is not something you should try on your own unless you have some experience doing this sort of thing.
 

Joe Gargery

Registered User
Feb 2, 2022
73
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Bruce,
Thank you for that detailed input. The hour wheel is not bent. I think that's just an illusion from the angle of my photo. I installed one small washer on the minute wheel post and it did seem to reduce the movement somewhat. I think I will try a little bit thicker washer and see the results.
Also, I checked that hole and it looks like it is threaded so I will find a screw with a larger head or, perhaps a screw and washer to correct that point as well.

R. Croswell & Willie X, I can appreciate your positions regarding the repair fellow. I would not want to return my clock to him for a second time if he offered to repair it again. I'm certain I could get some satisfaction on some level if I aggressively pursued things but, at this point, I just don't want to be involved in a protracted, negative battle of words and legalities. It's not that I'm afraid to hold him accountable, I just believe karma always catches up with people like this. I think he's already lost life's lottery.

The upside to this is I have now found another shop over in Riverside (45 min. away), run by a friendly German fellow with a very nice positive attitude who, I'm confident, can help me get this clock back to operating condition. I will have him do the correct repair on the minute arbor as well.
Thanks again to all for the direction, Joe
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
17,443
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There are two good ways to repair that pulled out hand shaft pin hole.

The first is machine work. The shaft is pared off and a shallow shoulder machined on. Then a cap is made to a press fit onto the prepared shaft. When done, the shaft is restored to it's old shape. Drill the hole for the pin and you're done. This is similar to how a dentist crowns a tooth.

The second is mainly metal work. Push the expanded metal back together as best you can, then braze/build the end back to a solid shaft, a little bigger than it was. Dress it down to the original shape and size and drill a new hole, that's it.

I nearly always use the latter method, mainly because I can do it in way less time. Both require disassembly and there are variations.

I'm describing this so you can ask the new repairer how he plans to fix it and see if he has a good answer to your question.

Probably the best way to repair this is to find a replacement part but that's usually an iffy direction to go.

Good luck, Willie X
 
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Joe Gargery

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Thank you for that Willie. I like to go armed with as much information as possible and it helps to be able to ask an intelligent question of the person doing the repair.
 

demoman3955

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If the shop gets away with that kind of work, then hes going to rip off other people as well. Id have no problem giving him bad ratings anywhere i could. Sure saves others from getting shafted.
 

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