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Newest clock project

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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I've just finished up this clock - a fairly pedestrian mid-1980's Herman Miller Westminster Chime wall clock. Now before you start laughing or scoffing, let me explain.

This is about practice, practice, practice - I'm still a pretty green amateur at this clock repair stuff, and I've got a nice Juba mantel clock that runs pretty well but I want to overhaul it. But I've never worked on a T/S/C movement before, and I wouldn't want to mess it up as a first project. So I bought this wall clock for next to nothing, figuring I would practice on it first, and if I completely destroyed it, I could just chuck it in the dumpster. Well, the case is in absolutely pristine shape, so maybe I couldn't just chuck it... As you can see, the pivots on the mainspring arbors are completely shot. Great! More practice - I've recently built my own bushing machine and I'd get a lot of good experience rebushing it. But first, I bought another similar movement to practice on... This is getting pretty obsessive, right?

So I got the "practice movement" for less than next to nothing and found that it had already been overhauled, in addition to which they'd installed six new bushings at key wear points. Turns out the previous owner threw in the towel when the gear on the time train first wheel detached itself from the arbor - wind the mainspring and the gear would just spin on the arbor. The pendulum lengths and BPM were different between the two movements, so I harvested the time train out of the trashed movement, cleaned and polished everything and transplanted it into the "practice movement." Then I spent a few happy hours learning and adjusting the relationships between the various gears, cams, pins and levers until I got it all working correctly. I knew I had a winner when I wound the time mainspring a couple of clicks and it spontaneously started ticking away.

So now it's on my bench breaking in. It's making a lot of power and the chimes are very nice to listen to. I've got it in beat and regulated within a few seconds a day. And despite its humble provenance, it's a nice-looking clock.

I've won so many things in this job it's not even funny:
1. I MADE IT ALL WORK RIGHT! WAA-HOOO! I gained the experience and confidence to allow me to approach the mantel clock overhaul.
2. I have a nice-looking and -running wall clock.
3. I have a totally shot movement on which to develop my bushing skills without the stress of knowing that if I fail, I'll end up trashing an otherwise nice wall clock.

The other night my wife asked me if she could make me some dinner. I replied, "Thanks, but not right now - I'm having too much fun!" IMG-3132.JPG IMG-3133.JPG IMG-3158.JPG
 
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TooManyClocks

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Feb 6, 2019
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I've just finished up this clock - a fairly pedestrian mid-1980's Herman Miller Westminster Chime wall clock. Now before you start laughing or scoffing, let me explain.

This is about practice, practice, practice - I'm still a pretty green amateur at this clock repair stuff, and I've got a nice Juba mantel clock that runs pretty well but I want to overhaul it. But I've never worked on a T/S/C movement before, and I wouldn't want to mess it up as a first project. So I bought this wall clock for next to nothing, figuring I would practice on it first, and if I completely destroyed it, I could just chuck it in the dumpster. Well, the case is in absolutely pristine shape, so maybe I couldn't just chuck it... As you can see, the pivots on the mainspring arbors are completely shot. Great! More practice - I've recently built my own bushing machine and I'd get a lot of good experience rebushing it. But first, I bought another similar movement to practice on... This is getting pretty obsessive, right?

So I got the "practice movement" for less than next to nothing and found that it had already been overhauled, in addition to which they'd installed six new bushings at key wear points. Turns out the previous owner threw in the towel when the gear on the time train first wheel detached itself from the arbor - wind the mainspring and the gear would just spin on the arbor. The pendulum lengths and BPM were different between the two movements, so I harvested the time train out of the trashed movement, cleaned and polished everything and transplanted it into the "practice movement." Then I spent a few happy hours learning and adjusting the relationships between the various gears, cams, pins and levers until I got it all working correctly. I knew I had a winner when I wound the time mainspring a couple of clicks and it spontaneously started ticking away.

So now it's on my bench breaking in. It's making a lot of power and the chimes are very nice to listen to. I've got it in beat and regulated within a few seconds a day. And despite its humble provenance, it's a nice-looking clock.

I've won so many things in this job it's not even funny:
1. I MADE IT ALL WORK RIGHT! WAA-HOOO! I gained the experience and confidence to allow me to approach the mantel clock overhaul.
2. I have a nice-looking and -running wall clock.
3. I have a totally shot movement on which to develop my bushing skills without the stress of knowing that if I fail, I'll end up trashing an otherwise nice wall clock.

The other night my wife asked me if she could make me some dinner. I replied, "Thanks, but not right now - I'm having too much fun!" View attachment 651766 View attachment 651767 View attachment 651768
uh-oh , you’ve caught the clock repair bug—there is no cure :)

John
 

shutterbug

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It appears you are well on your way to an enjoyable pastime! Now figure out what specific type of clock appeals to you, and start the search for pristine examples of it that you can add to your collection. My personal taste is for unusual novelty clocks. But I enjoy fixing the regular stuff for other folks to enjoy too :)
 

steamer471

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Good work. I too cut my teeth on Hermle movements (against the advice of many on here) they were cheaper than antique movements and I could do "less harm". I was not as successful as you though. Little advice about the wife, stop and spend some time with her, you'll need to be on her good side when you get that great deal on a Germen tall clock cheap at an auction.;) Mine finally put her foot down on a 1800's gallery clock I put up on the wall. Sounds like some one pounding on a pie pan with a wooden mallet when it strikes. It's has been fun where this hobby has taken us. Enjoy!
 

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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Good work. I too cut my teeth on Hermle movements (against the advice of many on here) they were cheaper than antique movements and I could do "less harm". I was not as successful as you though. Little advice about the wife, stop and spend some time with her, you'll need to be on her good side when you get that great deal on a Germen tall clock cheap at an auction.;) Mine finally put her foot down on a 1800's gallery clock I put up on the wall. Sounds like some one pounding on a pie pan with a wooden mallet when it strikes. It's has been fun where this hobby has taken us. Enjoy!
That's sage advice regarding my wife, Steamer, thank you! I've got a small Schatz 59 in process she took a shine to - it's a basket case that will cost me far more than it is worth in $$$ to repair. And she's got a cute little art deco Slava that I need to give a quick cleaning. So yes, she's getting benefit from all the fun I'm having. I feel a tall clock in my future too, so I'm trying to build up a few "honey credits."
 
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Schatznut

NAWCC Member
Sep 26, 2020
604
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It appears you are well on your way to an enjoyable pastime! Now figure out what specific type of clock appeals to you, and start the search for pristine examples of it that you can add to your collection. My personal taste is for unusual novelty clocks. But I enjoy fixing the regular stuff for other folks to enjoy too :)
For me the enjoyment is in resurrecting a worn-out, neglected clock and bringing it back to life. Making them functional again is my objective; many of them I leave in their original cosmetic state and a few I restore to pristine condition. Once I'm done with that part of it, I kind of lose interest. For example, that little Kundo oval clock on my bench next to the wall clock in the photo is going to a new home with some friends of mine. It was a basket case when I got it, but I completely rebuilt it and polished and lacquered the brass. Now that it's done I need to make room on the bench for my next project clock.

My wife and I hung the wall clock tonight, and it's happily ticking away.

Oh, and to Steamer's point, I don't put a striking or chiming clock back into service until I've made a night shutoff for it. My wife is a very light sleeper, and even a quiet chime or occasional muffled cuckoo would bring her wide awake...
 

steamer471

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Nov 2, 2013
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For example, that little Kundo oval clock on my bench next to the wall clock in the photo is going to a new home with some friends of mine.
be careful, you'll eventually run out of friends.


Oh, and to Steamer's point, I don't put a striking or chiming clock back into service until I've made a night shutoff for it. My wife is a very light sleeper, and even a quiet chime or occasional muffled cuckoo would bring her wide awake...
My wife at first thought they would bother her. Eventually though she got so used to them that when one stopped or I got rid of one it broke her routine and actually kept her awake. I agreed with her on the pie pan clock. It was teeth chattering.
 

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