Noob Urgos 32/1A questions

Blueman2

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Aug 18, 2011
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I am looking at a Herman Miller G'father clock that won't run. Movement is a Urgos UW32/1A. I leveled the case, hung the time weight and swung the pendulum. It is clearly out of beat and stops after a few minutes (< 5).

I checked all the weights and put the lightest on the time chain (center chain), left the others off for now.

Do I need all weights hung to work on it?

What should I look for?

I have the hands and face off at the moment

The front plate of the movement has a lot of drip marks as though someone tried to clean or lube it at some time. Looking at the front plate of the movement, there is a brass lever to the left of center with a steel piece riveted to it, the steel is slightly rusted

I have no idea the age, the case S/N is C42499. I think it may have had some rough treatment, there is a hole in the floor where a weight punched through. One of my kids bought the clock from craigslist, I said I would take a look to see what it would take to get it running.

The case and face plate are in good shape and we're not in a position to spring for a replacement movement just now.

Thanks for any info
 

shutterbug

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Try pulling the pendulum clear over to where it touches the side of the case and let it go. The clock has an auto-beat feature, and it should adjust itself close enough to run. Heavy weight on the right, lightest on the left, other in the middle. Give that a whirl and let us know what happens.
 

Willie X

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Blue,

The movement you have will have a manually adjusted beat. Just force the crutch left or right until you get an even beat.

The old movement will probably need to be replaced, check it for wear by applying pressure quickly back and forth on the lower wheels of the movement while watching the upper pivots with a magnifier.

The replacement UW32 movement will have almost nothing in common with the old movement. However, it will fit with only a few modifications.

The new movement will have the automatic beat feature that Bug mentioned.

Good luck, Willie X
 
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Blueman2

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Aug 18, 2011
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Try pulling the pendulum clear over to where it touches the side of the case and let it go.
That is exactly what I tried.

Do I need all weights installed for testing? There was only an ounce or so difference between the lightest and the next-to-lightest weight. The heavy one was significantly heavier.

The movement you have will have a manually adjusted beat. Just force the crutch left or right until you get an even beat.
Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by the crutch.

As I look at the back of the unit, I see a shaft sticking out to the rear. It looks like there is a thin two band leaf spring hanging from the pivot. A screw holds the twin leaf spring gizmo (sorry) to the shaft. The pendulum hanger hangs from the double leaf spring and the pendulum hooks onto the hanger. Looking down from the top front, I can see the escape mechanism, it looks like it is clicking along until eventually, the hook on the left (from the front) fails to clear a tooth, then it sort of bounces a couple of times and the movement stops.
 

Scottie-TX

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The part that comes down from the anchor behind the pendulum hanger and has a slot in it is the crutch. The pendulum rides in that slot and the crutch pushes the pendulum. The part you call a hook is the anchor - sometimes called a verge. The wheel it engages is called the escape wheel. So now: Putting it in beat. Move that crutch from left to right. You'll find it stops both left and right at it's limit. To put the clock in beat you'll gently push against the stop and find the crutch will yield and go further in that direction. It is this adjustment that puts it in beat. If the beat gets worse - you pushed the wrong direction. Push the other way and re-test. It may take several adjustments until you're satisfied with beat.
 
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shutterbug

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Push it toward the longest side of the beat.
 

Willie X

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what do you mean by the crutch.
Blue,

OK, lets take it from the top. The horizontal slotted post, at the top of the movement, is what the pendulum assembly hangs on. The "twin leaf spring gizmo" is normally the 'suspension spring'. Its top is attached to the horizontal post at the top and to the 'pendulum leader' at its bottom. The pendulum leader extends downward about 4 inches where it attaches to the pendulum's hook. OKzzz, this entire 'pendulum assembly' is driven by the crutch. The crutch is a thin brass stamping that is attached directly to the escapement at the top of the clock. The clock's escapement provides power directly to the crutch. The crutch will have a loose fitting slot or pin at the bottom to transfers this power to the pendulum leader. These little packets of power (impulses) alternate from left to right and keep the pendulum swinging.

To adjust the beat, the crutch must be forced left or right to make the beat even. The crutch is attached to the pallet arbor (at the top) with a tiny clutch. The clutch usually consists of one or more pressed on collar/s and a cupped tension washer. It is designed to be moved but not easily moved.

When the clock is 'in beat' the tick will be exactly the same distance from center, left and right. Center being the 'at rest' position of he pendulum.

All of this, and much more, is covered in the archives of this MB.

Hope this helps, Willie X
 

bangster

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1 pic = 1k words

This is an Urgos movement similar to yours. (Click pics to make bigger)

urgos back.jpg urgos detail.jpg

The rod (arbor) that the crutch attaches to goes to the "verge" inside the plates —the thing that rocks back & forth. The wheel the verge works with is the escape wheel.

Look at the escape wheel. If it has regular saw-teeth, it requires manual beat correction. If it has teeth that look like those on the center wheel

autobeat escape wheel.jpg

it's autobeat, and should settle into beat when to move the pendulum all the way to one side and let it go.

Hope that helps.

bangster


 

Willie X

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Blue,

Bang's nice picture should clear up the nomenclature thing.

However, your movement is an earlier version and the beat will have to be adjusted manually. This is covered profusely on this site.

AFAIK your /1 version of the UW32 was produced from about the mid 1950s until the late 1970s. It was then updated with an auto-beat feature. The obvious feature on the newer model is a molded suspension spring that has a big plastic hook at the bottom. The molded plastic spring was dropped a few years back and the current production of the UW32 has a 'high bridge' post at the top, regular suspension spring, and 'improved' auto-beat function. BTW, although still sold as Urgos replacements they are now produced by Hermle.

I don't intend to confuse you, but nearly all clock movements are made in many configurations that change over the years. You have to know what you are dealing with.

This is all moot until you check to see if your movement is worn out ...

Willie X
 

Blueman2

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Aug 18, 2011
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Folks, thanks very much for the wealth of info. I apologize for not searching the archives, I normally do try to maintain board etiquette. To be honest I am not sure I knew enough to know what to search for. Now that I am armed with the proper terminology, I am sure the archives willl yield a treasure trove of info.

The pics were outstanding, thanks. Now that I know what I am looking at I will take a closer look and see if I can adjust it.

If the clock continues to stop after a couple of minutes, is it likely to be a gear train issue?

How best to check for "worn out"? I tried wiggling a couple of the shafts to see if there was play in the pivots but they seemed to be tight. Anything else I can check to make a definitive determination?

As far as bushing the pivots, I presume the process is ream the existing hole, maintaining center, press in bushing? How does one assure maintaining the correct center location while reaming the hole?

Thanks again for all the info.
 

bangster

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If the clock continues to stop after a couple of minutes, is it likely to be a gear train issue?
If you're sure it's in beat, and it still won't keep running, most likely something is robbing power somewhere in the train. Could be due to any number of things, including worn bushings.

How best to check for "worn out"? I tried wiggling a couple of the shafts to see if there was play in the pivots but they seemed to be tight. Anything else I can check to make a definitive determination?
Willie is ever the pessimist about these older German movements, and always suspects the worst. :D But he's sometimes right. :( To check for worn bushings, rock each wheel back and forth, and watch its pivot for ANY significant sideways movement or any ovalness (lack of roundness) in the pivot hole. Check both front and back pivots. If you find significant wear, you need to replace bushings (or, depending on how bad it is, replace movement).

As far as bushing the pivots, I presume the process is ream the existing hole, maintaining center, press in bushing? How does one assure maintaining the correct center location while reaming the hole?
If you're thinking of getting that far into fixing your clock, you need to get yourself a book or two. One I always recommend is David Goodman's This Old Clock, available here. Another is Steven Conover's Clock Repair Basics. Bone up on the subject before trying anything fancy.

Good luck; and remember, we're always here to help.

bangster
 

R&A

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Folks, thanks very much for the wealth of info. I apologize for not searching the archives, I normally do try to maintain board etiquette. To be honest I am not sure I knew enough to know what to search for. Now that I am armed with the proper terminology, I am sure the archives willl yield a treasure trove of info.

The pics were outstanding, thanks. Now that I know what I am looking at I will take a closer look and see if I can adjust it.

If the clock continues to stop after a couple of minutes, is it likely to be a gear train issue?

How best to check for "worn out"? I tried wiggling a couple of the shafts to see if there was play in the pivots but they seemed to be tight. Anything else I can check to make a definitive determination?

As far as bushing the pivots, I presume the process is ream the existing hole, maintaining center, press in bushing? How does one assure maintaining the correct center location while reaming the hole?

Thanks again for all the info.
You need a centering device, and secure the plates so they don't move , while you ream. To check for bushing wear you need to let the power down, to check slop on the pivots properly.
H/C
 

Blueman2

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Aug 18, 2011
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A quick update, I was able to adjust the crutch. I took two tries to figure out the right direction to move it.

At this point the clock has been running since about 6:00 PM Friday. It is running slow, about 3-4 minutes per day. I need to adjust the hands as the chimes are about 8 hours off.

Once I get everything adjusted pretty closely and chiming the correct time, I will remove the weights and examine the pivots and bushings more closely. With the clock in beat, I hear some extra clicks and sounds in between the tick and the tock.

Thanks for your info and the book suggestions, I'll be looking into those.

Blueman2
 

Ingo Werner

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Could someone let me know the correct pendulum length for this movement? I currently have a "Ethan Allen" branded grandfather clock with this movement, but I am not sure that it has the correct length pendulum.
 

harold bain

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Ingo, according to my information, it should have an 80 cm. pendulum, 4320 beats per hour. It's new equivalent would be a UW32319.
 

Dick Feldman

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Hello Blue.

Modern clock movements (made within the last 50 or so years) will run for about 20-30 years before failing due to WEAR. The chances of finding one that has been on a closet shelf unused for that long are slim to none.
From the Urgos number given, your clock movement is at least that old. Urgos went out of business more than 20 years ago and maybe closer to 30 years ago. The assets of Urgos were bought up by Hermle and Hermle makes a movement that will fit the hole where the Urgos was. That is good news.
If you are dealing with an Urgos movement with an old part number, you can bet yours is either: worn out or in the last stage of its useful life.
The proper solutions for the wear are to either replace the movement with a new movement or to properly rebuild the old movement. Rebuilding the old movement is not in the realm of a beginner because your movement is too complicated for the first step. It is not practical to become proficient in building clock movements for one clock.
If you want to patch the thing and just make it run, you are in for headaches and frustration. If you cobble it back to life, the repair will be short lived and you will continually fight it till you do it correctly. That is the nature of clock movements.
You asked about the weights. There are three gear trains in most chiming clocks. One runs the time portion (Center). One runs the chime portion (Right) and one runs the strike on the hour (Left). The time train has a cam set up on the hour shaft that actuates the chime. When the chime train is done with its job, the strike train is actuated. The answer to your question is that you do not need all three weights, but if you only have a weight on the center train, only the time train will run.
If you get the time train to run, your problems may be just beginning. As you know, the heaviest weight belongs on the chime train. That is because the chime train requires the most power. The chime train is often the first to fail. Heaviest weight and most power requirement translates to most wear and earliest failure. Because the chime train triggers the strike, when the chimes quit, so will the strike.
The symptoms you explained with the time train are indicative of lack of power to the escape mechanism and probably that is due to friction from WEAR. The pendulum is pushed by the escape mechanism and not visa versa.
In these times, it is usually less expensive to replace than repair and that is my recommendation. There are many clock repair people who advocate doing a less than complete job in rebuilding a movement. To do the job properly, every wear point should be addressed, and not just the worst worn ones. A new movement comes with a warranty. Improperly rebuilt clock movements carry only excuses when they fail. Most times the rebuild job costs more.
Cleaning and oiling clock movements are not bad practice. Cleaning and oiling are preventative measures, though. Once the clock movement is worn and friction has overcome the power supplied to the train, the time for oiling and cleaning has passed. No amount of cleaning and/or oiling can cure wear. The other great myth with clock repair is that adjusting (Adjusting something, I do not know what) a movement will make it run when the clock movement is worn out.
Without seeing your clock movement, I am convinced it is likely worn out and is no longer capable of giving good service.

Best Regards,



Dick Feldman
 

shutterbug

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The heavy weight belongs with the chime on the right side looking at it from the front.
Yep. People often switch them to keep the time side running when it needs to be bushed. The chimes usually are sacrificed in the process (they won't run on the lighter weight) and often the stop pin will interfere with the lever trying to raise and also stop the clock.
 

Irish Gary

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Hi does anyone know where I can get a set of weights and a pendulum for an Urgos 33/1 A
 

MikeFields

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Hello, I searched Butterworth's for a pendulum for my Urgos 32/1A and they don't have any. I'm looking on Timesavers and believe I can take a 12371 pendulum top and swap it out for the stock top that comes on their 3/4" wide wood stick pendulum rod assemblies. So with a 4.5" leader I'm calculating a 27.5" pendulum rod assembly. But timesavers has more than one 27.5" long assembly, one has a 4.5" bob, the other is 3.125" bob. Could one of you that owns a Urgos 32/1A please measure your pendulum diameter for me? Thanks so much!
 

shutterbug

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The larger diameter will look better, but might hit the sides of the case when running. That's the main reason for the smaller bob. The size doesn't make a great deal of difference in the way the clock runs or keeps time. If the throat of your case is narrow (a foot or less wide), get the smaller bob.
 

MikeFields

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Thanks. It's 10" inner width so I'll be getting the smaller. I appreciate it!
 

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