newb needs help with seth thomas pillar and scroll with wood movement

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by bruce linde, Nov 22, 2015.

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  1. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    as a relative newbie i can take apart, clean (ultrasonic), reassemble and otherwise deal with seth thomas #61/61A, 77 and #68 movements. i have an 8mm lathe w/ collets and 3-jaw chuck, a buffing wheel set up and a bunch of tools, parts, etc... but i've only been doing this for the last year or so.

    a friend just gave (!) me a seth thomas pillar and scroll clock with wood movement. here are my questions:

    - how does one clean/restore/lubricate such a movement?

    - how old do you think this one is? it seems very clean to me... the only visible issue seems to be the repaired top wood piece to the left of the center/top finial

    looking forward to your experience and feedback... thx!

    smike








    front.jpg inside_paint_!.jpg inside_paint_2.jpg inside_paint_3.jpg inside_paint_4.jpg movement_1.jpg right_column_weight.jpg left_column_weight.jpg dial_off.jpg
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    First, yoand u have a very nice clock there. Its pre 1835, others will be more specific.
    The first thing I do is check for broken teeth on wheels and pinions. These can go unnoticed and eventually cause much more damage. The staining around the pivot holes is caused by someone oiling something that is not supposed to be oiled. If the buildup is serious it can be carefully scraped away with a flat knife blade or small furniture scraper. In general all flat surfaces can be carefully scraped and the curved radiused areas of the wheels can be cleaned by lightly worked 00 or 0000 steel wool. Keep wiping all along wih a soft cotton cloth. All cleaning will require disassembly.
    The staining is usually permanent but most of the acumulation can be removed.
    You will get lots of comments on this one. So, just sit back and soak in all the info and don't do anything for a few weeks. :)
    Do you have the finials?
    Willie X
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    willie -

    yes... i have the finials... see first photo.

    it's dawning on me that this is a total score, in amazing condition. my clock mentor has suggested that we just leave it be and enjoy it more as a piece of art. either way, i've lowered the weights on both sides and have put it where i can see it from my desk while working.

    IMG_2734.jpg
     
  4. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    #4 R. Croswell, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
    What a nice gift! I agree with Willie, you will probably want to remove and disassemble the movement to check for broken teeth. It is not uncommon to find failed or about to fail previous repairs. Once apart you can clean everything and really assess the over all condition and if any pivot and bushing work is needed. It looks like the end of the crutch may have been broken off and a new end formed causing the loop to be higher up than normal and almost onto the suspension spring. May I ask if the clock is now running? The black stains look like someone has applied graphite as a lubricant. That should not be required but aside from making it look awful has probably done no harm.

    As for cleaning, yes, you will likely get several opposing opinions about how to do this. Personally I would never use water, detergent, or soap, or any water based cleaner on wood parts. The first step is usually to use a brush to brush away dust and dirt. I do not like submerging wood parts in any solvent but I have found that wiping the parts with a rag or paper towel wet with acetone will remove all or most of the "black stuff". Just do a small area at a time. Brushing with acetone also works. Acetone is very flammable so use caution. It also evaporates almost immediately. Mineral spirits has also been used but tends to soak in and takes longer to evaporate. The goal is of course to remove the crap from the surface of the plates and wheels. I also would NOT coat the plates with turpentine, linseed oil, bees wax, or anything else. Just leave it wood.

    The brass escape wheel pivot hole, the verge saddle, the pallets, and the crutch loop are the only parts to oil. While checking for excessively worn pivot holes don't overlook the axles in the wooden weight pulleys. Your first wooden movement may be a bit intimidating, but the parts are large and easy to see and reassembly is easy if you follow one important suggestion: Assemble all the parts on the front plate and then place the back plate. Timing the strike mechanism can be tricky (as with any clock) but if you can mark the S2 wheel and S3 pinion before disassembly and mesh them the same at the same point during reassembly it can make the task easier. Sometimes there is already a trimmed corner on the pinion for a timing mark. These two wheels have to be timed right so the strike hammer does not stop partly raised. Otherwise the mechanical operation is not unlike a brass clock.

    Have fun.

    RC

    It's always nice to just sit back and enjoy a score like this, but I believe that clocks were intended to run and be useful. There is no reason that this clock can't become a daily runner and be the clock you look at when you need to know the time of day. I have five clocks with similar movements and except for one that's upstairs in a room where no one lives, the other four are kept running all the time. So someday I hope you will let this beauty do the thing it was designed to do.
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    What RC said. Even if you only run it for special ocasions. These clocks have a lot of character and make very interesting noises. They don't call them groaners for nothing.
    Yep, first picture, glad you have the finials.
    Willie X
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I think you may be thinking about a somewhat older style wooden movement that's often called a "groaner". These "Terry style" movements usually don't make many groaning sounds unless the pulleys and/or pulley axles are our of round or badly worn. Some say they can tell the difference between the sound of a wooden works clock running from a brass clock running. I'm afraid I can't pin point the difference but they do sound nice.

    A few years ago I had a wooden work movement running on the test rack in my shop, and another clock with essentially the same movement running in the hallway just outside the shop door. I came in and just felt that something was wrong. I could only hear one clock running. I stood there for a moment thinking I must have overlooked something when repairing the clock on the bench but it was running but I couldn't hear it, Then I checked the clock in the hall and it was also running. I finally realized that these two wooden works movements were running in perfect sync. so I could not hear them individually. They both ran so smoothly that by the end of the day they were still in perfect syn. It wasn't until a day or two later that I could hear two distinct "heart beats". That's just an unusual happening, but the point is that these really are great running clocks and with reasonable care will run another hundred years easily.

    RC
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Back in the day, the pivot holes were often ivory bushings. Some of yours look like they might be brass, which I assume would be a more modern repair attempt. Since ivory is no longer legal to use, bone makes a reasonable replacement.
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Some wooden movements were originally brass bushed and that was often indicated on the label. I agree that this one was more likely bushed with Ivory. Brass tends to turn green in these Oak plates and requires oil. The oil soaks into the wood and makes a general mess. I know that a few here do use brass to bush wooden movements but I would not recommend doing so. I use Delrin-AF for bushings in old wooden clocks and it seems to work quite well. Bone is often recommended as a substitute for ivory and will look more original. I've never seen Delrin-AF in anything but brown but regular Delrin (without the AF - Teflon fill) is available in white and would look a lot like ivory and may be easier to work with. Hard to tell what we have here until its cleaned up. The bushing may be just fine but if they are brass, and the label does not say brass bushed, I would consider replacing them with something more appropriate.

    RC
     
  9. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    never heard of delrin or delrin-af until now.. cool sounding stuff.

    where do you get your stock?

    and, when you're re-bushing with it, i assume you slice up rods and then drill as necessary? tell me more, please.

    thx,
    smike
     
  10. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    btw... is this clock a known model?

    i did a bunch of google searching but only find one other with moon hands and none with this particular tablet.

    thx.
     
  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I buy Delrin-AF from www.mcmaster.com I get 1/4" rods and turn them down to the size I need and drill the pivot hole in the lathe then use the parting tool to cut off to the desired length. I use the same material to bush worn pulleys

    RC
     
  12. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Here are a few examples of Delrin-AF bushings. There is no "book" on the subject regarding how thick to make the bushings. In the photo a rather thin wall bushing was made for a very worn center shaft and for the count wheel bridge where there was very little wood. Another example was made with a flange to cover up where the original wood was messed up on the inside of the plate by a previous repair, and finally an example of bushing a wooden pulley. I like to file a notch in the outside of the bushings and set them with some epoxy glue in a hole reamed to an easy press fit. The glue will stick to the wood and fill the notch and keep bushing lock in place. It would probably stay with just a press fit alone but don't want to take a chance. I ream the pivot holes with my regular Burgeon bushing machine and turn the Delrin-AF stock to the size needed.

    I won't say that this is the only way to bush wooden movements, or even the best way, but its what I have used in all my own clocks as well as a number of clocks belonging to others and have never had a bushing fail. I believe a couple members have used this or similar material in this application but don't recall any follow up reports after a few years of use. I installed the first ones almost nine years ago in one of my own clocks that I run everyday and it's still going strong.

    RC
     

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  13. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    wow... those are great examples... i think the af looks great and appropriate.

    any thoughts as to the age of this one? or would i need to clean it and see what lies beneath (i.e., ivory bushings, etc.)?

    smike
     
  14. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    There are other members more qualified than I who may be able to specifically identify your clock and date it. This general style movement I believe was typical from around 1825 until wooden movements were phased out around 1840. I would suggest that this case style with an ivory bushed movement, if it is ivory bushed, is probably from the earlier part of this period. There is a section on this board specifically devoted to wooden works clocks, but it gets confusing when one posts questions in this section on clock repair and the other section on wooden works clocks about the same clock. Unfortunately, not too many follow the wooden works section but there are a few very knowledgeable members there, including the moderator. You might want to take a look there and send the moderator a request (private message) to take a look at your post here, or you could ask Shutterbug or Bangster to move this thread to the wooden works section but, but it won't get as much exposure there.

    As for the second question, as previously stated, if it were mine I would clean it and give it a good evaluation. It would be nice to know if the bushings are ivory, bone, brass, or wood, the condition of the pivots, the condition of the wheels and pinions, what previous repairs may be present and whether they were properly done, how badly worn the pivot holes are, etc. One you know exactly what you have, then you can determine what, if anything, it may need other than a good cleaning. There is a nice Excel spreadsheet program that should help you identify exactly what movement you have and if you search for wooden movement identification you should be able to locate a link to it.

    Over the years there have been a number of articles published in the journal, and a few books about wooden works clocks but not much that I know of specifically about wooden movement repair. Tom Temple has a wonderful publication Extreme Restoration that covers most aspects of wooden movement repair along with case repair and just about every aspect of the restoration of all kinds of clocks, wooden and brass. It is on DVD and I believe now in print as well from http://www.xrestore.com/index.htm it is a bit "pricy" for the beginner but well worth cost, and very well illustrated and easy to understand. One thing you will discover when it comes to wooden movement repair and restoration, there are a lot of different opinions - often conflicting opinions - of just what should or should not be done and how to do it. These are interesting animals and while the principal of operation is the same as for brass movements, the wood often presents its own set of challenges. One such example is that old wooden wheels have usually shrunken a bit more in one direction than the other are may be a little out of round which can be challenging. But the good thing is that when something busts, it can usually be glued back together.

    RC
     
  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I'll move it over there. The link will appear here for 30 days too.
     
  16. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    #16 Peter A. Nunes, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
    I'd like to chime in here with a few observations. The movement appears to be correct for the clock- a Seth Thomas type 1.511 per Snowden Taylor's numbering system. A distinctive feature of S.T. wooden movements is the rounded end on the escape wheel bridge- this example seems to have its original bridge, but it is incorrectly attached (screw vs. original rivets). Other features , such as small pin access holes, lifting arbor pivots centered on the upper left pin hole, etc., conform to the Seth Thomas design.

    Seth Thomas produced pillar and scroll clocks for many years- from the very first models ever made, along with Eli Terry, circa 1815, right up until maybe 1828-39, when case styles were changing dramatically. None of his movements from this early period, as far as I know, ever had bushings of any sort. Brass and ivory bushings in wooden movements came along a bit later.

    If you look through the message board using the search function, you will find several well thought out and well elucidated descriptions of various methods of cleaning (and repairing) wooden movements. Despite many objections getting wooden parts anywhere near water or water based cleaners, I have been doing just that for 30 or more years, using Murphy Oil Soap and a stiff toothbrush for cleaning (along with locally sourced, gluten free, GMO free elbow grease), followed by a quick rinse in very hot water- I immediately wipe the cleaned part down with paper towels, let them air dry, then proceed. The wood is old, fine grained, and very stable, and doesn't seem to mind at all. I certainly don't leave soaked parts sitting around for any length of time, as that would surely cause problems.

    To further blaspheme, I must confess that I treat the resulting cleaned and dried parts with a mix of turpentine and boiled linseed oil, mixed 50/50 or so. Again, I coat the pieces one by one, and immediately wipe them dry with paper towels. This serves to at least slightly rejuvenate the wood, and it smells good to boot. I first learned of this method many years ago, in conversation with George Bruno, although he used something different (and with more water) for the cleaning step.
     
  17. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    peter -

    thx for the comments. i have indeed been voraciously devouring all of the threads about cleaning (and rebushing) wood movements. :cool:

    can you post (or send me privately) any pictures of the 1.511 from taylor? i'd like to see what it is/was supposed to look like.

    and, just so i'm clear... the 'bridge' is the brass piece holding the front side of the escape wheel?

    thx,
    smike
     
  18. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    A couple of other things to note about this clock- the weights, at least the strike side weight, don't appear to be original. The tablet has unfortunately been replaced or at least re-painted. Hard to tell, but the lower glass may well be original, although some of the putty looks to have been replaced. The finials are likely replacements, as they are different that Seth Thomas p. & s. finials.
     
  19. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    The movement is supposed to look like yours! Here is a link to our Cog Counter's web site-

    http://cogcounters.org/

    Go to the "links" page to find a digitized version of the above referenced movement guide, with pictures.

    Yes, the bridge is the brass piece that holds the outer escape wheel pivot.
     
  20. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    peter, et al -

    this site and its members continues to blow me away!!!! thanks for your comments.

    btw, the clocknuts link no longer works... just an fyi.

    thx,
    smike
     
  21. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    #21 bruce linde, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2015
    ok, you guys have created a monster. i've been reading up and have the following questions:

    - peter says the finials may not be original... but there is a p&s for sale that has the same finials and says 'original'... do we believe them? :cool:
    - rc points out that the crutch is way short... coming in just under the suspension spring. would one extend that original crutch by soldering on an extension? or replace it?

    - i've considered both sides of the 'clean with water'/'don't clean with water' debate and would probably follow rc's recommendation to brush (lightly) and use acetone (judiciously) to clean... but how do we feel about using a modern plastic such as rc's recommended delfin-af instead of something more authentic (i.e., bone or (gasp!) ivory)?

    i also have to say that while i simply love holding and polishing brass gears, pivots, etc., just cleaning off this one's wood escape wheel arbor has triggered whatever gene controls the desire to further clean wood movement parts! :cool:
     
  22. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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  23. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    yes... got the excel spreadsheet. i'm talking about the link under it, to the clocknuts.com site... which appears to not be there any more.
     
  24. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Yes, the Clocknuts web site disappeared a few months ago, but the spreadsheet is still available, which is a blessing.
     
  25. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    gang -

    i have two open questions...

    the first is related to the crutch, which as has been pointed out is too short and comes into the pendulum rod just below the suspension spring. does one extend the existing rod, or replace?

    the second is: are they any wood movement specialists in the san francisco bay area? i would love to observe at least parts of the restoration/repair process. i know my limitations and would not want to risk mucking up anything.

    lmk,
    thx,
    smile
     
  26. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Generally there are not a lot of folks that do proper work on wood works clocks. I doubt that you can find a shop in your area that is qualified and will do the work. There are 2 people I recommend, one is in Connecticut and has more than a year backlog and the other is in Rhode Island and may have less of a backlog. And the names are Don Bruno and Peter Nunes (moderator on this thread, comments above). You could ship just the movement to Peter and he could do appropriate and proper repairs....but you need to check with him first as I am not qualified to speak for him, or anybody else for that matter......
     
  27. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    There's nothing wrong with the crutch. The pendulum rod needs to be reattached to the split brass stud that is just below the hour shaft.

    You might try contacting one of the officers of one of the NAWCC chapters in the San Francisco area. They may be able to put you in contact with someone. For contact info for California chapters, click on the State of California on the following website: http://www.nawcc.org/index.php/chapter-information/find-a-chapter-near-you

    Mike
     
  28. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    jerome - i can not believe that the rest of us didn't notice that... good catch!

    i'm listening to the clock tick away as i write this.

    many thanks.

    b
     
  29. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    If it is ticking and you don't mind the graphite stains, and you are sure there are no broken teeth, then it may be OK for a while. You might consider picking up just a movement on eBay and practice working on one that's not so important. Try to get one that's not too beat up and that is all there.

    RC
     
  30. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    it runs for a bit, but then stops. one issue is that the escape wheel bridge screw (sigh) does not tighten down enough to secure its position, and the escape wheel might be shifting slightly.

    either way, i don't really want to run it until i've made sure there are no broken teeth or cracks or warped plates or whatever that might cause or exacerbate problems. my clock mentor and i are going to disassemble the movement in the next week or so and do a simple clean and inspect, making note of any issues... just to see what's there. i will report back here. and, yes, i do kind of mind the stains and gunky sludge on the escape wheel pinions, etc. :cool:

    your suggestion of finding another movement on the site-that-shall-not-be-mentioned for practice is an excellent one.

    i am in awe and respect for the knowledge and experience found on this board, as well as tips (extreme restoration by temple... wow!), observations (re-hang the suspension spring, dummy!), and overall encouragement.

    i wish we were all decades younger... this beats the hell out of building websites. :cool:

    smike
     
  31. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    #31 R. Croswell, Nov 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    That's sounds like a good plan. Don't know how we all missed that suspension dangling from the crutch. Guess one sees what one expects to see. But if it has ben bouncing around from place to place with that thing hanging like that there is a possibility that the clock is simply out of beat - that is, the pendulum has to swing further to one side than the other before the escapement "ticks".
    I don't believe you said whether your mentor has experience with wooden movements. I suggest that when you disassemble, begin by making sure the strike train is in the locked position - that is, the count lever blade is in one of the slots, (OK to use some blue masking tape to tape one of the strike wheels to the front plate to keep things from moving), then remove the count wheel, suspension spring, and verge from the front. Then remove the pegs from the pillars but do not separate the plates yet. While holding the plates together, place the movement face down on something like the empty cardboard spool from a roll of masking tape. Then carefully lift the back plate from the movement. The bell hammer comes with the plate. Try not to jiggle any of the wheels and levers. Next step is to take a picture before anything moves. Locate the S2 wheel (the large wheel with a bunch of little pins sticking up), and the S3 pinion (the small gear driven by S2). You will need to get these back so they mesh the same, so if they have not slipped, mark one tooth on the pinion and the two teeth on the wheel that it goes between so you can get it back again. During reassembly, I place a rubber band around the ring of pegs and the S3 pinion to keep these in place. You should also make a note where the small stop pin on the S4 wheel is. If all the parts remained in place it should be against the stop lever. (Note that if one tries to remove the front plate instead of the back, the strike control levers will want to come with the plate and will scatter all the wheels then you would have to figure out where everything goes back.)

    In deed to b decades younger! Seems the more interested we get in "time" the less we have of it! I enjoy building websites but don't want to do it for a living. I have built and maintain three commercial, one municipal www.trappemd.net one church, and one museum. I'm afraid technology is moving ahead faster than I am. I code all my sites by hand and don't much fool with all the ah-gee-wiz look what I can do stuff. That's the nice thing about wooden clock. Time stood still around 1840 and left all this old technology unchanged. And look what happened- Almost two hundred years later these things are still running and keeping time and are often more reliable than the junk being made today.
    RC
     
  32. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    willie -

    was just re-reading this thread and your and rc's comments reminded me of my dad.

    he was a world-famous pediatric cardiologist, intellectual, left-wing liberal with artistic sensibilities... he loved folk songs and i inherited a couple of vintage martin guitars from him.

    anyway, he could play one or two classical pieces on the piano and always just happened to be playing them as dinner guests would arrive... the great doctor/renaissance man pulling out the stops for those 'special occasions'! :cool:

    so, yes... going to try to get the clock running 'cause it should, and no reason it can't!
     
  33. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc - thanks for the tips and info... really appreciated.


    i've now read:


    - the clockmaker's notebook, 'wooden clock movements', nawcc bulletin vol XII, no. 5, august 1966
    - relevant chapters in temple's 'extreme restoration
    - snowden's wood movement writings from the nawcc library


    i've also perused many of the threads in the 'wood movements' forum.


    my clock mentor is very experienced, but maybe not so much with wood movements. i will make extra note of all the potential 'gotchas' and workarounds that have been offered before we open her up.


    also, re: the tablet. i showed the pics to a san francisco clock guy who has been very encouraging and has worked on many wooden movements. he said:


     
  34. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    There was a two-part article in the Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. in 1962 in the section on "How To Do It!" titled Refurbishing a Pillar and Scroll Clock, submitted by Joseph R. Balt, and written by E. R. Haan, originally published in Popular Mechanics magazine. Part-2 was in the February 1962 edition of the NAWCC Bulletin Vol. X, No. 2 and I believe Part-1 was in January but I can't seem to find my copy this morning. I believe the full article is also available on-line from Google. Although titled "Refurbishing...", from the detailed drawings and tables of data one could just about build the movement from scratch. The Bulletins may also be in the NAWCC library. Keep in mind that some of these older articles were published before some of the modern materials and adhesives were available.


    It is unfortunate that the original tablet is gone. That is so often the case and the chances of finding an original period tablet that will fit are slim to none. Cost not withstanding, you could perhaps commission someone to paint a replacement if the one you have does not please.

    RC
     
  35. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    as usual, you are a source of great info... that article is pretty amazing in how much detail is presented. i've printed it out, loaded it on my iPad, and am otherwise preparing for the clean-and-assess session.

    as for the tablet... it is what it is, and i'm not going to look a gift table (or clock!) in the... in the... :cool: either way, there's a certain primitive american art look to the re-paint that makes it look older and i (with my relatively inexperienced eye) think it looks great.

    i will take many photos and notes during the clean-and-assess and create an online-photo gallery to share the results.

    hope you had a great thanksgiving,
    more to come,
    thx,
    smile
     
  36. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    gang -

    i am thrilled to report that the clock has been cleaned and is ticking away, perfectly in beat.

    i'm sure you guys have all seen similar many times before, but this was a real eye-opener for me. i've put a photo journal of the cleanup process up at http://5happy.com/misc/pillar_scroll_clean/ ... click on the thumbnails to see details of many totally filthy parts! :cool:

    we found a number of repaired teeth, with repairs ranging from excellent to not-exactly-elegant, and some very minor chips. there were two brass bushings, what looked like chopped down 16 penny nails used to hold the movement in the case, staked-down nails under the escape wheel bridge (because why?!?), some questionable previous assembly choices, etc. the amount of crud that came off the parts was truly astounding.

    i learned a TON... especially when we were trying to get the strike side working correctly during reassembly (i would call that one 'learning to swim in the deep end of the pool'.)

    pls remember that i have been a clock nut only since the beginning of this year (!). i've gone from one seth thomas regulator 2 to a fleet of them (5), clocks in every room, a workbench in the garage with lathe, ultrasonic cleaner, polishing tools and multiple movements in various states of clean and rebuild... and now a happily ticking (mostly) original pillar and scroll with a wood movement.

    this makes me very happy.

    thank you all for your support and guidance.

    not 'the end'! :cool:
     
  37. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    That was as filthy a wooden clock as I have ever seen. I'm curious what did you do about the two brass bushings and the "not-exactly-elegant" repairs that were found? The only thing that's a bit unusual with the strike train operation is that it has a rather short warning run. I've found the biggest problems to be levers that have worked loose in the wooden arbors and things bent out of shape by others. Once you have it right it should run very well, and in my opinion there is no reason not to run it. Now, while the experience if fresh on the mine, would be a good time to find another wooden works clock.

    Five clocks, one in each room is a good start buy every room deserves more than just one clock! They do tend to get lonesome you know and they run better when around a few friends. About a dozen in a room starts to make a very interesting sound.

    RC
     
  38. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    thanks for the tip on the short warning run. the strike side does need revisiting. the clock sometimes seems a little reluctant to strike. for example, i started it up at about 5:30pm. it struck 6, but at 6:04. it struck 7 dead on at 7pm, but did not strike at all at 8pm. i let the weight down all the way on the strike side until we can revisit the strike side.

    question: are the measurements and angles detailed in the popular mechanics article for the various lift and lock levers a good model for checking the warning run, etc.?

    question: does the friction tape (or whatever it is) on the fly fan bother you? we decided to leave it in place... not sure why.



    as for the 'less than elegant' repairs, the goal of the exercise was to clean and assess to see if we could get the clock running, and as my deep-end-of-the-pool introduction to wood movements. by the time we were done with eight solid hours of cleaning, the clock was ticking away... and we were done with this phase! :cool:

    we left the brass bushings... for now. i have not done bushings work yet, but have the photo record to remind me, a bookmark to the ww.mcmaster.com website for the delrin-af, and look forward to replacing them down the road. there were no glaring issues with the other pivot holes and/or bushings...if i find that i do want to run it all the time, i will certainly revisit... in the meantime, i keep re-reading temple's 'extreme restoration' wooden movements chapter! :cool:

    the repaired teeth were all solid, even if the repairs were not so 'elegant'... not having the experience you do, i opted for the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' plan. i did see a couple of teeth that will want attention sooner than later (see previous reference to 'extreme restoration'!).

    in the meantime, it is running as well as any of my clocks... i just love when they're clean, in beat, and happily ticking away.


    IMPORTANT QUESTION: the cords for the weights are very old gut. they look ok, but there is some wear and fraying. as a tennis player and professional musician, the one constant is that strings break. should i replace them to be safe (and just keep the original cords)?





    that's five clocks in my office and THEN at least one in every room of the house! :cool:

    the office clock choir currently consists of:

    1909 seth thomas regulator 2 (great condition)
    1880s seth thomas regulator 2 (my oldest one)
    1887 seth thomas parlor 3 (pristine condition)
    1820's seth thomas pillar & scroll
    modern interpretation of a hybrid regulator 2 and regulator 18, built with an original movement and the rest repro parts... 41 3/4" pendulum, large bob, lovely swing

    not bad for my first year, eh? :cool:
     
  39. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    One has to assume that the dimensions given in the article are correct for that particular movement, however there may be small variations from maker to maker and perhaps even between different movements by different makers. These drawings would be helpful if on needed to replace a missing part, but you would need to make small adjustments in the shape and position of each lever during final assembly and adjustment.

    The operation of this strike train is fairly simple and the principal is the same as many other clocks. Over-striking (not stopping after striking and going on to the next hour), and under-striking (failing to strike sometimes), is usually a matter of slightly shaping one of more of the control levers. The first thing to do is to check that all the control wires are tight in the wooden arbors where they anchor. If they are not, there are various ways to correct the problem. Many of these have a flattened end that is driven into the wood. I know that some would cringe at the thought, but a drop of thin CA glue (super glue) will often soak in and lock things in place. There are more traditional ways depending on just what is loose. Let us know just what you find. In setting up the strike here are a few things to check:

    1. With just the center wheel, hour pipe, and the arbor with the long lifting wire in place, and the minute hand attached, turn the minute hand clockwise slowly until the lifting wire just drops off of the wire on the center wheel. You want that to happen exactly at 12:00 and it is easier to adjust before assembling the movement completely. It should be close unless the wire on the center wheel has been bent.

    2. With the strike locked (stopped) locate the so called "maintenance cam" on the third wheel. The lever that drops into the notch on the cam should be more or less in the center of the notch. If it is up against the edge of the notch then the next wheel is not timed correctly. The count lever blade should be centered in one of the count wheel slots. And the stop pin on the 4th. wheel should be arrested by the small blade on the end of the stop lever.

    3. With the strike running, the count lever blade should lift slightly above the smooth part of the count wheel when the lever following the maintenance cam is "on the cam", and it should drop briefly onto the smooth surface as the cam follower passes over the notch in the cam. It is important that the cam follower not drop into the notch in the maintenance cam as it passes by when the count lever blade is between the notches on the count wheel.

    4. As you turn the minute hand clockwise toward 12:00 (with the movement assembled) the count lever will begin to raise and the warning lever (usually a more or less straight wire) should also move into the path of the stop pin on the 4th wheel. At some point the stop pin is released from the stop lever that had it arrested all during the hour. That warning lever must "catch" and stop the pin to stop the warning run, which is very short. When the minute hand passes 12:00 the lifting wire drops, the warning lever drops, and the count lever blade drops, the cam follower comes up "on the cam", and striking begins until the count is complete.

    5. Striking stops when the count lever blade drops over one of the count wheel slots and the maintenance cam notch is under the cam follower, and the stop lever blade is in position to arrest the stop pin on the 4th wheel. All of these must happen or the strike train will not securely lock.

    6. It is especially important that the warning lever, and the blade of the stop lever, solidly arrest the stop pin at the respective times and not just barely snag it such that it may slip past.

    7. At the moment the count lever drops into a deep slot and the cam follower drops into the notch, the stop pin on the 4th. wheel should be perhaps 3/8" away from the stop lever blade and it must be arrested before the cam follower reached the edge of the notch in the maintenance cam. One tooth off in the timing between the 3rd and 4th wheel/pinion can make the difference between reliable and unreliable.

    8. Note especially the action at the #4 wheel stop pin and the small blade of the stop lever. If the blade has a negative drawl, that is if it has been bent such that the angle tends to push the pin away, then striking may not always stop reliably. The symptom becomes worse if the fly is slipping (over speeding) or if the strike side weight is excessive. A slight twist of the blade to get a neutral or slightly positive drawl will often take care of an elusive over-strike problem.

    One word of caution, from what I've seen, these movements often arrive where just about everything that could be bent has been bent, but one should not just start bending things until one has really diagnosed the problem and determined if an adjustment is actually required. One cannot force a clock like this into proper operation if the timing between the 2nd., 3rd., and 4th. wheels is not correct.

    As for the friction tape, it needs to go. the fly needs to slip a bit during start and stop, but not during the run. There is usually a detent wire that holds it in place and provides the required friction.

    Replace the old cords. Don't take a chance. That usually requires disassembly to do properly, so do it when you take the movement apart.

    RC
     
  40. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc

    you. are. the. best.

    thank u (again) for your time and expertise.

    I will report back when I've had a chance to go back in and follow your punch list for strike side adjustments.

    s
     
  41. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    quick question... were there multiple models of ST pillar and scroll clocks back in the 1820s? is mine a particular model, i.e., with the solid top piece rather than the 'split' version?
    thx,
    smike

    p.s.: keeping perfect time... a real joy to have ticking within earshot while i'm working :cool:



    front.jpg
     
  42. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    I've never seen an original scroll that wasn't made with left and right halves, with a plinth in the middle. Can you post a clear picture of the back of the splat?
     
  43. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    looks like there's been some work done...


    IMG_2896.JPG IMG_2897.jpg IMG_2898.JPG IMG_2899.JPG
     
  44. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    I have seen this particular restoration mistake before, though. Looks like someone has re-veneered the splats with one piece of mahogany, instead of two- so they went right over the center plinth. Glue blocks are gone, too.
     
  45. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    never liked the replaced tablet that came with this clock... just got and installed a replacement from tom moberg... note addition of trusted sidekick in mockup photo...


    stps.jpg tablet_w_max.jpg
     
    Jim DuBois, ballistarius and gleber like this.
  46. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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  47. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    thx... it looks so much better... couldn't be more pleased.

    and... tom moberg is both an excellent craftsman and a gentleman.
     
  48. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

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    Thanks for sharing another coup of yours in Baghdad by the bay. You have done quite well for yourself in a short time. The dog is great. I always wanted to have a glass of the period with a mid teens touring auto parked near the house.
     
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  49. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    will a 1929 pierce-arrow do?

    tablet_w_max.jpg
     
  50. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Bruce, nice work on saving this and the thread is interesting and informative. I don't think I have seen it mentioned in the thread but your clock would have originally had a bell, not a gong. Gongs came into the American market circa 1835-1836 and your clock is at least 10 years before that period. I have a New Hampshire mirror clock that dates to about 1815 with a gong. I almost didn't buy the clock based on thinking it had been messed about too much. But, after I got it home I found under the gong base was a screw hole and traces of its original bell. But the gong had been there so long that the backboard was aged around it so it looked wrong if I removed the gong and put in a proper bell. So, I left it with a gong, wrong as it might be.

    2016-12-14 13.43.48.jpg
     

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