New Haven Strike Problem

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Cuckoojohnboy, Aug 19, 2013.

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  1. Cuckoojohnboy

    Cuckoojohnboy Registered User

    Feb 28, 2011
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    Hi

    I have a New Haven mantel 8 day two train movement (strike and time) that I have completely disassembled cleaned and reassembled It now runs great and strikes perfect. I've cleaned the springs, checked all the arbors and pivots and it runs and keeps great time. Even restored the leather hammer heads. But about once a week it will jump ahead 1/2 hour on the strike. No particular pattern - have had it running for several months now. What should I look for in terms of repair? Is this a common fault with this type of clock? This is a hour and half hour strike only - no chime with one wheel strike set-up.

    Thanks for your help.

    John
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    I suspect the helper springs on the strike might be weak, assuming all the adjustments are perfect. This might allow an occasional bounce when the countwheel lever enters the deep slot. Once a week problems with the strike are difficult to find, as you are unlikely to see it happen, so all you can do is recheck all the levers for optimum performance.
     
  3. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    New Havens typically lock on the control cam. Make sure the control lever drops far enough to get a good lock but not too far. Make sure the count lever blade does not hit the sides of the slots in the count wheel. Be sure you have a proper warning run. And as stated, check the helper springs.

    RC
     
  4. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    A book title "Extreme Restorations" covers American movements in more detail than I have found elsewhere. Tutorial includes pictures. Book was published by a forum member.

    IMHO lever pivot hole wear is one of the most neglected areas in clock repair. Leads to many strike problems.. The tendency is to use strong helper springs to mask the root cause. Helper springs can't ensure proper engagement due to worn pivot holes, they simply apply force to the lever.
     
  5. hookster

    hookster Registered User
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    #5 hookster, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
    I second the part of Moe's response that I have highlighted below. I ran into this a while back and when I bushed the lever pivot holes, everything was hunky dory. Something to always keep in mind and look out for.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Somewhere I read that the test of whether a helper spring is strong enough is to turn the movement up side down and if the lever stays in place then that is all the force that is required. Seems to make sense to me. I also highly recommend Temple's Extreme restoration.

    RC
     
  7. hookster

    hookster Registered User
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    I do this test all the time.
     
  8. moe1942

    moe1942 Registered User

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    Unless helper spring was obviously factory installed I won't use them.. Over many years fitment of levers in plate and proper timing has proven to work well.. Plus it gives me a better feeling of craftsmanship.
     
  9. Cuckoojohnboy

    Cuckoojohnboy Registered User

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    After letting it sit for a while I slightly adjusted the chime count wheel lever - making sure it was not touching the side and in the middle of each slot -it has been running without a problem for over a week and a half now. Thanks all for the help!
     
  10. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Searching for an answer, I think this is the answer I was looking for. Count Wheel basics explains the operation of countwheel strike, but this New haven doesn't have a locking lever. So, then I'm wondering, what stops the train. And I think this is what I was looking for.
    Right now my clock won't stop striking after re-assembly. And what I see is that the count wheel is about half a tooth out of sync.
    Guess I'll still have to separate the plates to fix it.
     
  11. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Adjust the paddle if I understand what you are saying. (being out about half a tooth out of sync) If the paddle doesn't drop into the center of the notch. Then adjust the paddle.
     
  12. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    That's what I ultimately did. I was hesitant to adjust those arms, because the clock was striking properly before the teardown. And I was certain I didn't bend anything during cleaning.
    But, It's fine now and I did have to adjust the paddle, and subsequently had to adjust the locking lever downward slightly in the maintenance cam too.
     
  13. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    #13 Dave T, Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Well, I thought everything was good on this clock. But, I've discovered that at 6 o'clock the strike continues through the half hour and on through 7 o'clock. All other hours work perfectly.
    How do I figure this one out?

    Think I've finally got it! RC's post explains the procedure. I had to tweak the count wheel lever slightly.. For some reason the 6 o'clock hour tends to rub the side of the tooth ever so slightly. Move the tip of the count lever more toward center has cured it. I think, time will tell.
    Thanks RC.
     
  14. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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  15. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Thanks Dick, I've got that, printed it, and nearly memorized it! Good stuff.
    I adjusted the count lever one more time and it's now striking every hour including 6 o'clock as it should.
     
  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    #16 bangster, Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Looks like I'll have to upgradeCount Wheel Basics. Thanks for the reminder. --bangster
    =============
    I've added a paragraph at the end, covering absence of a locking lever. Take a look, if you're of a mind to.
     
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  17. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    PART II of Dave's excellent article (begins on page 31) pertains to the New Haven with cam locking.

    As you discovered, the count lever blade must not hit either side of the slot. If this continues to be a problem make sure the center hole in the count wheel is not excessively worn. Anything that makes the count wheel eccentric or gives it an elliptical movement can cause some of the slots to line up poorly with the count lever blade. If the blade isn't straight in the slot it will be more difficult to keep it from hitting on the side of the slot. These sometimes end up bent and enter one tooth early or late. Generally, the count lever blade should trace an arc that would pass through the center of the wheel. As you say, time will tell.

    RC
     
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  18. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Thanks RC, the tip of my countwheel is still not exactly centered, but it's now adjusted enough to miss both sides of the teeth. I'm sure my method for adjustment is quite crude.
    I think my countwheel is fairly tight in the center hole, but I haven't really investigated that point. Would make sense that it might be a little eccentric, if the 6 o'clock position is the only place creating the problem.

    So far it's working fine, so I'm going to let it run a week or so. If I incur any more problems, I know what to look for.

    What still baffles me is why the problems cropped up after cleaning.
     
  19. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I checked it out. Good job! Wonder how many movements like the New Haven fit that pattern?
     
  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I can think of several reasons this problem turned up after cleaning;

    1) might not be so obvious, but after cleaning and lubricating the pivots and springs you likely have more power in the strike train. That means the train would be a little harder to lock.
    2) if there was a helper spring on the count lever, it may have gotten stretch out a bit during disassembly. Turn the movement bottom side up and see if the count lever stays in place with no power applied. It the spring was drawn tighter before disassembly it may have been able to force the blade into the slot even if one edge was touching a little.
    3) The count wheel is gear driven and if it is off a tooth in relation to the cam wheel the slot may not be exactly lined up when you put it all back together,
    4) during the cleaning is is easy for things to get a little bent'

    The important thing is that it is working now.

    RC
     
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  21. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    All good information! I learned a lot working on this clock about count wheel strike. There is a helper spring on the count lever arbor, but it only has about 3 winds. I might have lost one wind when I reassembled it. Don't know. Haven't tried the upside down test yet.
     
  22. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Nice addition to Count Wheel Basics. There is one part that is a bit problematic about the depth of the lever in the cam slot. Generally the count lever is a lot longer than the cam lever. If the count lever blade bottoms in the count wheel and the cam lever bottoms, or is deep in the cam slot, the clock will probably not strike at all. The reason being that a "normal" lift height of the count lever blade will cause a much smaller lift of the cam lever which would be insufficient to allow the train to unlock. The specification that I have read for New Haven clocks (I believe in one of Connover's books but I could be mistaken) is that when the count lever drops, the cam lever, being round, should be just a bit more than 1/2 the diameter of the cam follower below the top edge of the slot to ensure positive lock. Too deep and it won't release. New Haven isn't the only maker to use this system. A generic instruction would be that the cam lever should rest deep enough to ensure a positive lock. Some of these can be quite cranky and somewhat critical between being deep enough to lock and shallow enough to unlock. Any rounding off of the edge of the slot where the cam follower locks makes it even more difficult.

    RC
     
  23. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I shall add details. Thanks. Maybe I'll even quote you and make you famous.:)
     
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  24. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Bangs,

    I looked up the reference I mentioned. On Page 10, Striking Clock Repair Guide by Steven G. Conover, 1995 (available here; Your source for clock repair books ) Steve says;

    "It is important to adjust the drop lever carefully. It must go deeply enough into the cam slot to lock on the edge of the slot. But the locking action must also be shallow enough so that the lever will stay out of the cam slots each time it passes under the lever during the strike cycle. In the locked position shown in Figure 17, front view, the locking action is safe, yet just over half of the diameter of the lever is within the cam notch. If the locking is made deeper, the lever may lock each time the cam revolves a half turn, no matter what the count wheel indicates."

    RC
     
  25. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks for source.
     
  26. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Makes you wonder why the notch in the cam is made so deep.
     
  27. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    The only reason I can think of is that perhaps they wanted to use the same came cam in other designs as well. But then the cam slot in these New Havens that I have seen isn't really that deep. Probably isn't the best system anyway because it produces a rather "hard" stop. There is a good bit of driving torque at that point in the train.

    RC
     
  28. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Here's a picture of the cam stop at rest on the clock I'm currently working on, and has been working perfectly. You can see quite a bit of space between the lever and the bottom of the notch.
    New Haven Grandfather maint cam.jpg
     
  29. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Yes, your picture in post #28 shows a good lock. Now let it strike and when the count lever blade drops between two of the regular teeth (not one of the slots) stop the fan when the cam lever is directly over the cam slot and turn the fan one revolution at a time until the cam lever is directly over the edge of the slot and make sure it doesn't hit the edge. These will often seem to work OK with excessive lock but each time the cam lever will glance off of the edge of the slot. That will cause the count lever to "jump" or jerk just before it raises for the next count. Over time this will round off the edge of the cam slot which will eventually cause unreliable locking.

    This picture is a different New Haven movement that I have out of the case. It is also operating correctly. Note that there is a slight clearance between the edge of the cam slot and the cam lever as it passes by while running and striking, and when it locks there is perhaps 90% of the lever diameter into the slot. Because the cam lever and count lever are on the same arbor they move together but because the count lever is longer its tip moves up and down a greater distance than the tip of the cam lever. Therefore the cam lever does not move up and down a great distance so the adjustment has to be done with care. As can be seen in this photo, if the locking depth is increased more than a tiny amount there will be zero clearance as the cam lever passes over the notch while the train is running and striking which would lead to the problem described above.

    If you have positive locking and running clearance you are good to go.

    RC

    New-Haven-setup.jpg
     
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  30. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    As stated, some count-wheel clocks stop the strike due to the notch in the control cam and some stop because the count lever blocks a pin farther up in the strike train. I just learned (having not read any of the recommended references) that it's possible for the latter type to turn into the former type due to wear and/or incorrect assembly. That is, the control cam notches are deep enough to stop the train--but often enough not exactly in the proper place. Took me a rather long time to figure out what was happening, because the clock seemed happy enough except when it wasn't.

    I have not encountered worn lever pivots thus far, presumably because I've blissfully assumed that they wouldn't wear and thus didn't look for them. Thanks for this, and all the rest.

    M Kinsler
     
  31. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Good information! This is the kind of data inexperienced guys need when they're trying to figure out why it isn't right and don't know what to look for.
    I'm thinking it could be added to the "how to's"?
     
  32. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I've read what you are saying several times and think I understand, at least partly, what you are saying, correct me if I'm mistaken. Obviously a "cam lock" movement can't be converted to a "stop lever and stop pin" movement without modifications because there is no stop lever. But I believe you are suggesting that the a "stop lever and stop pin" movement might, if incorrectly assembled and/or incorrectly adjusted, try to operate as a "cam lock" movement. You said, and I believe correctly, "the clock seemed happy enough except when it wasn't", and for good reason. Perhaps the main reason being that the cam slots in a "stop lever and stop pin" movement have a different shape. This photo shows 4 different cams from 4 different movements (they don't all turn the same direction). The one thing they have in common is the corner of the slot that would lock the train is rounded. This is intended precisely to prevent locking on this type of cam. This is a bit off topic as it doesn't pertain to the New Haven movement being discussed it is however important our readers understand that a "stop lever and stop pin" movement cannot be reliably converted into "cam lock" movement by simply making "adjustments", and a "cam lock" movement cannot be easily converted to a "stop lever and stop pin" movement.

    I'm afraid these are overlooked by many because they don't turn 360 degrees we tend to forget about them, which can be a mistake. When the control arms are short, or holding position is critical as in this New Haven, then slop in these pivot holes can be the cause of intermittent problems that can be a bear to locate.

    RC

    cams.jpg
     
  33. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I've never seen a bushed lever pivot hole. Something new to look for.:(
     
  34. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I've bushed a few, very few. For most ordinary clocks the lever pivot holes have to be really bad before they become a problem as compared to to going train pivot holes. Some clocks are more demanding than others, but it is a good idea to check them.

    RC
     
  35. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Got the movement back in her home. In an earlier post I thought this might be a home made case, but I think it's been concluded that it is an original piece for New Haven. Here's a few more pictures. Sorry I couldn't get any of the interior. It does measure 95" as previously mentioned. (without the finial)
    Think I've convinced the owner to install the missing finial.
    I didn't realize that this clock has winding arbors until I installed the dial. And they don't have a key for it.
    Does anyone know what size key it would take?
    New Haven Fields 3.jpg New Haven Fields 2.jpg New Haven Fields 1.jpg New Haven Fields.jpg
     
  36. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I didn't think this inadvertent conversion could happen until it did. The number of strikes seemed to vary, though most of the time there would only be one. Normally a cam-lock arrangement is a blessing, because there aren't any gear-timing problems, so I was pleased until I saw the extra stuff you need for a pin-stop mechanism. Great merriment ensued until I figured out what was going on; apparently some clocks used the same cam wheel for both arrangements or else someone lost the original in this one.

    Sheesh.

    M Kinsler

    (reading about leaded steel right now. Not good for industrial bearings.)
     
  37. David S

    David S Registered User
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    How come the interest in leaded steel? 1144 is also a free machining steel but has no lead.

    David
     
  38. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    This was an inadvisable reference to another thread. The discussion there was about plated pivots in modern grandfather clock movements in which I'd contended that the plating could be ground off and the substrate steel polished to make an adequate bearing for a center wheel. Others disagree because the steel has lead in its mix, and this makes a bearing that won't last very long. There are a number of opinions, in fact.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  39. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I guess I missed that reference. Generally, for a good bearing metal combination, one would desire that one material be significantly harder than the other. Brass being softer than steel is pretty good regardless of the steel's exact alloy. I've turned down a number of plated Hermle pivots (mostly 2nd. wheels) and polished the substrate steel and have never had a failure, some more than ten years ago. I believe the real issue l issue isn't whether the steel has lead or not, but whether a movement like this should just be replaced, but the technique does work and will undoubtedly last as long as the rest of the movement. Not sure what that has to do with this New Haven movement?

    RC
     
  40. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Nothing. I was under the influence of questionable narcotics I'd consumed to ease the pain of a finger injured by a grinding wheel.

    M Kinsler

    which is probably why the cuckoo clocks were singing Andrews Sisters hits in harmony.
     
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  41. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    LOL! I need some of those drugs, Mark! :D
     
  42. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I've met with some limitations with my bum index finger, which sometimes hurts and sometimes doesn't. I managed to install Mr Butterworth's platform escapement in the wretched Kienenger clock, and thus effected a miracle cure. The speed is vastly more stable, though it's not quite clear why this would be.

    Now I have to do some case work, which Natalie will have to help with.

    M Kinsler
     
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