New Haven Elbe - Creative repair

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Dave T, May 30, 2019.

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  1. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Someone in the past found necessary to cut the frame apart and repair it. Wonder why.
    Also, take a look at the fancy beat scale. A nail oughta do it.
    New Haven Elbe 2Tommy Stott.jpg New Haven Elbe 1Tommy Stott.jpg New Haven Elbe Tommy Stott.jpg Stott clock New Haven Elbe 1.jpg
     
  2. David S

    David S Registered User
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    The person had to change a broken spring and new how to do that, but didn't know how to take it all apart and get it back together and working. He made the correct call.
    David
     
  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    That one looks better than most. Maybe the best I've seen. The nail really isn't a bad idea either.

    I would probably leave both but this is always a personal decision.

    WIllie X
     
  4. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yes, I will definitely leave it the way it is. I don't intend to interfere with the frame repair at all. And the nail stays too. That's the way the customer remembers it.
     
  5. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I agree with Willie, that's also the neatest frame cut job I've ever seen. No compelling reason to change it if its working OK. Ironically, the "craftsman" probably spent more time doing this then it would have taken to "do it right". As for the nail, if it truly points dead center when the clock is level, it's either leave it or deal with a big hole. If it doesn't indicate true and it were my clock I would remove it. In this case where someone else owns the clock the owner should be given options and allowed to make the final decision.

    RC
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It always bothers me to see a plate cut like that. Putting it back together will always cause depthing issues on the main wheel, and could accelerate wear on that wheel and the mating pinion. However, it can't be put right again, so the options are 1) leave it alone or 2) find a donor movement.
     
  7. Bruce Alexander

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    I respectfully disagree with you David. The correct call would have been to send the movement to someone who knew how to do the job properly or to take the time necessary to learn how to DIY. "Neatly done" or not. A hack is a hack. That's my opinion anyway.
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Good point about possible depthing error. That's something that should be checked, but it may be OK. The last picture looks like the "craftsman" allowed space to compensate for the width of the saw cut.

    RC
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Well we can't change what should have been done and I hope that no one here would do a "hack" like this neat or otherwise. But that's apparently the way this clock arrived in the OP's shop. So if a customer brought you a clock like this for repair because it wouldn't run, what would you do about the previous "hack"?

    RC
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The irony of the word "hack" in this instance can't be overlooked. Very puny :D
     
  11. Bruce Alexander

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    I know of no good way to reverse this short of finding a donor movement to replace the plate.
    I know some have brazed plates in the past.
    If it apparently works, I would just inform the owner and see what he or she wants to pay for.
    If I bought this clock and discovered the hack I'd be very upset by it.
     
  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    This one is pretty low on the 'hackeyness' scale. Here's one that's a bit higher. Willie X
    asset.jpeg
     
  13. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I couldn't get the clock to run in the case. But the suspension spring had a severe crease in it toward the bottom. I'll replace it and put it on the stand before I tear it down to see how it runs.
    If there is a depthing issue created by the frame repair, how do I go about checking the depth? Never had to deal with that issue before and haven't seen much information on it.
     
  14. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    It would probably be informative to do some research on "gear tooth profile and pitch diameter", there is a lot on line but not much about driven lantern pinions. In a situation like this, it is going to be mostly an eyeball evaluation. Understand that the lantern pinion and the driving gear have pitch diameter that is less than the full diameter of the gear or pinion. When a tooth of the driving gear and the trundle of the pinion contact each other at the pitch diameter, the driving tooth presses against the trundle and pushes it without the trundle slicing across the tooth. That's the point of least friction. The tooth and trundle tend to "roll" together while pressure is applied with minimal sliding across the face of the tooth. It isn't too critical at the main wheel but you want to get as close as possible. An extreme problem exists if the trundle bottoms in the gullet between the gear teeth or touches the gear tooth tip. This illustration gives the general idea.

    As for the "hackeyness" of the "repair", one point that was not mentioned is that some makers including Seth Thomas and others originally made movements such that the lower part could be unscrewed to allow the springs to be removed (or replaced after everything else is in place and checked). So while I can't recommend doing this to a clock that wasn't made that way, the concept itself isn't really so perverted.

    RC

    pinion-pitch.jpg
     
  15. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Good information RC, Thanks.
    I would think on a clock this old, as many of them are, the bushing wear would also play as much a part, as the error factor created in repairing the frame.
     
  16. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Exactly. We usually don't think about it that way, but when pivot holes wear severely it isn't usually the worn hole that stops the clock, but the gross misalignment of the gears and the resulting friction. The problem is compounded by the lack of off the shelf replacement bushings that fit the main winding arbors and the preceived difficulty of installing them. Result - main bushing are often neglected when they deserve attention.

    RC
     
  17. Bruce Alexander

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    I would look very closely at the replacement mainspring as well. It may not match the original specs.
     
  18. TEACLOCKS

    TEACLOCKS Registered User
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    What is the + or - of the pitch diameter :???::???::???:
     
  19. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I've got the clock on the stand, but the suspension spring rotates from side to side creating pendulum wobble. I'll replace that spring and see, then adjust for beat and see what happens.

    And I also notice a lot of wear on the spring gear, on the front edge of the teeth. Would that tell us that meshing with the trundle is incorrect? But looks like it's been going on that way for a long time.
     
  20. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Old stamped-out spring clocks generally have a certain amount of sawtoothing on the great wheel teeth. Sometimes you can just turn the wheel around and get another century or so out of it. As for bizarre and unnatural wear patterns caused by this sin of all sins, I'd first see if the clock will run. I rather doubt that this plate modification would stop the movement unless something is way out of alignment.

    Detachable spring sections are relatively common in higher-ranking clocks. The Germans seemed to like them for quite a while, and Seth Thomas used them with their execrable bogus spring barrels for years.

    I really can't see why it's worth getting excited over a sawed-through plate when the fellow has done a job this good. Based on pure speculation my guess is that the clock's owner forbade the earlier repairman from taking the clock apart, and so this was the compromise that was reached.
     
  21. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    You made a good observation on the wear on the main wheel teeth. Not only excessive wear but several teeth look to be bent. And that seems to be the case on both main wheels. It could be a result of the hack repair but both wheels show the same problems. Could be badly worn trundles or bushings or both, wrong depthing, too strong of a spring, a bent or twisted frame. It looks to be more problems than worth the cost to fix. I would suggest to the customer that a replacement works be found.
     
  22. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Good discussion here. A lot to consider.
    Here's where I am now. Put the new suspension spring on, wobble in pendulum gone. Clock runs fine with just a turn or two of the mainspring.
    The old clock has some bushing wear in most of the bushings. Some have been peened on one side to minimize it. Some wear on teeth, etc.
    But, I'm not going to worry much about any of that now. Imagine it'll be good for a few more years just the way it is.
    This is just a job for a friend, no charge. And all he wants is to see it running again.
     
  23. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    My concern on a repair like this would be regarding what initiated the spring removal and replacement to begin with. Without taking the movement apart there is no way to assess and repair any associated damage that may have occurred when the spring failed. Depending on how violent that failure might have been, there could have been damage down the train that could not be properly considered. Any idea about how long the clock ran after the plate was cut ?
     
  24. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    The pitch diameter is a mathematical constant based on the tooth profile, no +/-. As for the intersection of pitch diameters, the closer the better. I've never seen a maximum allowed error, perhaps because it would be difficult to accurately measure.

    As for the worn main wheel teeth, old parts like to run together and can be quite happy until someone tries to "fix" something. Not uncommon to find the lantern trundles locking on the bottom of the "pocket" worn into the main wheel teeth after bushings are installed that might change depthing. Flipping the wheel will require moving the click to the other side. It's got to be pretty bad to justify replacing the movement when the only one available are used ones which are often not much better.

    RC
     
  25. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    It's rare for an open spring to cause any collateral damage. Willie X
     
  26. Bruce Alexander

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    That's almost as creative as the repair itself Mark. :chuckling:
     
  27. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Wheels and pinions are not spaced by dimension, but by Depthing.

    In this particular case, in my opinion, it is more practical to replace the movement than spend time on modifications to get it running and then put your name on such a mess.

    If for whatever reason the clock and its original movement had value such as historical as an example, Its not an issue to rebuild the movement, but rather expensive.

    jerry kieffer
     
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  28. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    A little clarification here. I should have said suspension spring. (I did mention it in an earlier post.) The spring on it had a severe bend at the bottom, and twisted side to side when in operation.
    That's all it needed. As for the other former repairs your guess is as good as mine. Obviously someone did replace the mainspring at some point as evidenced by the cut frame.
     
  29. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yep, in this case, and many more similar to it, the clock needs a lot of work to make it right, and for a common clock such as this, it's a lot of work for little value.
    The owner just wants it to run and keep it in the family.
     
  30. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    It is one of the great pleasures of this business, or whatever it is, to restore a 110-year-old movement to approximately new condition and watch it run like it did in 1910. But it's worth remembering that these clocks were not considered masterpieces by anyone. An eight-day mantel clock cost maybe five bucks from Sears, and that included an elaborate walnut case with a fair amount of hand work in it. For mass-produced merchandise they worked amazingly well, but it's probably not a good idea to try to value them on the basis of the craftsmanship applied at the Ingraham factory.

    Customers occasionally ask me if a particular clock is worth repairing. I always have to reply that clocks don't sell for very much money these days, but that their repair is quite expensive because the work is very persnickety, quite slow, and fraught with unexpected delays.

    M Kinsler
     
  31. Bruce Alexander

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    A New Haven Elbe "As Is" auctioned for about $190 (with Buyer's Premium) in 2012 41A: New Haven Walnut "Elbe" 8 Day Parlor Clock on LiveAuctioneers That's probably typical for this model.

    On the open market, I think that a newly serviced antique clock in good running order will generally be worth more than one in abused or neglected condition. Will a properly serviced antique clock magically make money for you? Probably not, but it will count minutes and hours with reasonable accuracy. Hopefully it will be able to do so for a very long time before it needs to be serviced again.
     
  32. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Its not always an easy decision what to do. A clock comes in with previous "repairs" by others, the owner of the clock wants it to run again, the clock isn't running for reasons unrelated to the previous work which doesn't meet with our approval. Is it necessary to redo all previous work to our own standards? Or is it a part of the clock's history? I believe to some extent that when we return a clock to the owner even if we don't literally put our name on it, we are likely to get credit (or blame) for all that's gone before. This points out the importance of a pre-repair conference with the owner regarding what will or will not be done and why and what it will cost. In some situations perhaps the real decision is not how the clock will be repaired but whether we should accept it for repair at all.

    RC
     
  33. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    On this particular clock, it's an old family clock that I agreed to look at for a friend.
    When I return it I'll tell him it's condition and what I've done to it. If it doesn't continue to run, but I'm sure it will, I'll tell him to bring it back and we'll get into it more extensively.
    The picture of the case above is not his clock. It's just one I found handy to post. His is not in that good a condition. The two bottom finials are missing and the round buttons on the arched top are also missing. I ask him if he wanted to address those, and he told me to leave it just like it is.
    I'm sure he'll be happy with what we have done so far.
     
  34. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I'm sure he will be delighted to have his old clock running again without having to spend a fortune.

    RC
     

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