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Pendulum adjustment. Figure this out...

jacobsthlm

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Hi

As you can see on the picture the pendulum itself is just a thin metal bar, but the maker made it 1720-1740 so it’s almost 300 years old. The pendulum feather is screwed on and the pendulum weight can be talking off but the brass, as it’s probably been there 300 years, would not come of. So when the pendulum moves it’s closer to the back wall on the right then on the left. Just make it easy and change the part is one option but if I can, the original part should be used. The tilting makes the clock stop after 15 - 50 minutes. I tried oiling it but that didn’t make it work then just a little better. It still stops.

I try to figure out how the metal bar has been tilted and what I need to do to fix it, but I can’t. Can you? Or is this a lost battle from start and replacing it is what I need to do?

Jacob Boman

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howtorepairpendulumclocks

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You shouldn't need to replace anything... yet. Leave that to a last resort. My first question would be is the pendulum swinging in the same plane as the movement? don't worry about the case back-board. Often the slot on the crutch is not parallel with the back-cock (pendulum support) slot. If yo u can, look down along the length of the pendulum. Back-cock slot (where the pendulum hangs), crutch (loop of wire that connects the pendulum to the pallet arbor should be in line and importantly, there should be a tiny amount of shake (free-play) between the crutch loop (or pin) and the pendulum top block. Also, is the clock in beat? i.e. equal duration between ticks?
 

shutterbug

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You can also just twist the pendulum bob if it's not running parallel. If it won't turn, the wire will twist, which is just as good. Just clamp it or something, to hold it while you twist it.
 

bruce linde

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agree... work your way down.

make sure movement is parallel to back of case.

then make sure crutch slot (in crutch bridge) is perpendicular to case back.

make sure suspension spring/feather is true.

make sure lower crutch slot is true, and perpendicular to case back.

make sure small block that goes through lower crutch slot is parallel to slot and doesn’t rotate at all during swing

adjust lower pendulum rod block as necessary so bob swings parallel to case back

if the blocks in the last two tips don’t rotate, try hitting them with a little heat. flat-bladed brass lined pliers can be used to protect the blocks, but you can also protect the w business card stock (or whatever) while holding the with pliers, vise grips, etc.

you can add a mini-drop of loctite when done to prevent random movement of those blocks.
 

jacobsthlm

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Also try a little bit of oil on the crutch where it touches the pendulum (tiny bit on both sides).
You shouldn't need to replace anything... yet. Leave that to a last resort. My first question would be is the pendulum swinging in the same plane as the movement? don't worry about the case back-board. Often the slot on the crutch is not parallel with the back-cock (pendulum support) slot. If yo u can, look down along the length of the pendulum. Back-cock slot (where the pendulum hangs), crutch (loop of wire that connects the pendulum to the pallet arbor should be in line and importantly, there should be a tiny amount of shake (free-play) between the crutch loop (or pin) and the pendulum top block. Also, is the clock in beat? i.e. equal duration between ticks?
I’m not 100% sure what part fixed it but I solved the problem, as in the clock is running now. When I removed the pendulum feather I noticed it hade a slight bend so I made in as straight as I could. I then also oiled the crunch, as “howtorepairpendulumclocks” wrote. I have one thing I don’t know if I should think of any more or not. As in why fix someone that is not broken thinking. The thing is that is not in beat. As it doesn’t have the same type of fix as my Becker clocks, so I don’t know what to do it....if needed. I then have one thing I want to fix, the bell strikes 6 minutes before 12. I asked about this in another thread, but not sure when, as I didn’t understand the answer and felt stupid asking again.
 

shutterbug

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On that one, you just bend the crutch wire to get it in beat. Make a gradual bend so it's not too ugly :)
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Yes, above, the crutch is soft iron or steel so bends quite easily. Bending the crutch (leader I think some people call it) changes the relative positions of the pendulum and pallets and can put the clock in beat. Its you watch and listen to the esapement, you may be able to figure out which way it wants bending, otherwise, try it one way on a trail and improvement basis. If you don't feel confident doing this and the beat isn't too bad, you can put pieces of cardboard or popsicle sticks under one side of the seaboard where it sits on the case cheeks. Not ideal, but ok to keep things moving forward.

As for the hand striking too early/late, you probably need to take the dial off for this. Dos this happen at all hours or just 12:???: If all hours, Given that the minute hand is straight (not wildly bent), what I guess has happened is the wheels that sit between th back of the dial and th front of th main clock movement frame (motion work) are out of sync. The who that the minute hand fits on is called the cannon wheel. This does not release the striking on most European long case clocks. The wheel that releases the striking is called th minute wheel (I know, confusing,,, sorry). The minute when and cannon wheel normally has the same number of teeth and they engage 1:1 ratio. When the cannon wheel rotates once clockwise (viewed from front of movement), the minute wheel rotates once in the opposite direction. This when has a pin driven into its rim which does the work of releasing the striking. Lets say these wheels have 30 teeth each. Each tooth relates to two minutes of rotation of the minute hand. Your cannon wheel and minute wheel are three teeth out of step. One way or another, you need to disengage them, put them in the correct phase relationship and put the thing back together. Sometimes this can be done with the dial on but will likely be miles easier with it removed. Hope this helps. If you need more explanation just shout, I'll do a drawing.
 

jacobsthlm

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Yes, above, the crutch is soft iron or steel so bends quite easily. Bending the crutch (leader I think some people call it) changes the relative positions of the pendulum and pallets and can put the clock in beat. Its you watch and listen to the esapement, you may be able to figure out which way it wants bending, otherwise, try it one way on a trail and improvement basis. If you don't feel confident doing this and the beat isn't too bad, you can put pieces of cardboard or popsicle sticks under one side of the seaboard where it sits on the case cheeks. Not ideal, but ok to keep things moving forward.

As for the hand striking too early/late, you probably need to take the dial off for this. Dos this happen at all hours or just 12:???: If all hours, Given that the minute hand is straight (not wildly bent), what I guess has happened is the wheels that sit between th back of the dial and th front of th main clock movement frame (motion work) are out of sync. The who that the minute hand fits on is called the cannon wheel. This does not release the striking on most European long case clocks. The wheel that releases the striking is called th minute wheel (I know, confusing,,, sorry). The minute when and cannon wheel normally has the same number of teeth and they engage 1:1 ratio. When the cannon wheel rotates once clockwise (viewed from front of movement), the minute wheel rotates once in the opposite direction. This when has a pin driven into its rim which does the work of releasing the striking. Lets say these wheels have 30 teeth each. Each tooth relates to two minutes of rotation of the minute hand. Your cannon wheel and minute wheel are three teeth out of step. One way or another, you need to disengage them, put them in the correct phase relationship and put the thing back together. Sometimes this can be done with the dial on but will likely be miles easier with it removed. Hope this helps. If you need more explanation just shout, I'll do a drawing.
Its all hours. Yes please do a drawing. The crutch looks as cheaply done as the pendulum, so bending it will be easy, as you can see on the picture. The picture is when the pendulum feather was broken but you see the crutch. In what way will fixing the beat help or fix, as the clock now is running even with a bad beat? As in except for the sound of it will improve...
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howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Ah yes I see re the crutch. It isn't cheaply done by the way, that's how they all are!!! You see where it is already bent? Do that but a bit more or less depending which way the pallets need to go relative to the pendulum. You shouldn't have to bend it much. If you find you are having to bend it loads, stop because something else is amiss. I'll ping over a drawing later.
 

DeWe

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if the pendulum does not run the same way in one direction :
The clock has an unsync tick, tack.
* ensure that the clock is correct mounted at the wall, stay in place (in German we call "in Wasser") and not in an unacceptable angel.
* put the pendulum away from the clock mechanism
* try safety with your fingers to move the pendulum holder to left and to the right
* You will feel, that one way is shorter as the other one.
* put the pedelum holder to the shorter way, till you feel the residence
* press the holder a little bit over the residence
* check if the way is the same in both directions
* if yes add the pedelum back on his place and start the clock
* if not press saftly the holder in the direction of the the shorter way against the resistance
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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... it gotten bit more complicated than I imagined...:=))) anyway. In the sketch I have removed the hour wheel for clarity. There is a potential issue in replacing the hour wheel in relation to the minute pinion but will put that to one side for now.

First thing is you will see in the photograph that although the minute hand could fit on the cannon pipe in one of four positions (it is a square), there is a filed mark make by the clock maker. Not to be confused (yup its already quite confusing), with any old random scratched marks made by repairers. Start with the minute hand on the square aligned with this mark if there is one (sometimes it is on the body of the pipe and not the end). Put the minute hand pointing towards "12" o'clock or 60 minutes and arrange the minute wheel so the lifting piece has just dropped off the lifting pin on the minute wheel. You will see in he picture, although the mark is pointing straight up (ish), the lifting pin has a long way to go before even touching the lifting piece. This clock would strike very late (or very very too early depending how you look at it). In the sketch, I moved the pin to the position where the lifting piece has just dropped off the lifting pin and the hand is slightly passed the hour i.e. the clock has just struck. With the dial off, getting this set up is quite easy but getting the dial back on again can be a faff as the wheels may come out of engagement as the friction spring behind the cannon wheel will tend to push it forwards. It may be easiest to get the wheels in the correct phase relationship and move the minute hand to the 6 o'clock position. This way at least the hand doesn't want to flop down until you compress the spring and get the taper pin in. last thing, there I never any need to scratch the wheels to show where they should mesh or put sharpie pen on etc. as always. Hope this helps. Shout if you get stuck.

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howtorepairpendulumclocks

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...sorry, forgot to say. On my clock, you can se both cannon wheels and minute wheels have 36 teeth. each tooth therefore retakes to 1 minute 40 seconds on the dial...
 

jacobsthlm

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Ah yes I see re the crutch. It isn't cheaply done by the way, that's how they all are!!! You see where it is already bent? Do that but a bit more or less depending which way the pallets need to go relative to the pendulum. You shouldn't have to bend it much. If you find you are having to bend it loads, stop because something else is amiss. I'll ping over a drawing later.
I still don’t understand why I should bother with the beat when the clock already is running well?
 

jacobsthlm

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Apr 30, 2013
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if the pendulum does not run the same way in one direction :
The clock has an unsync tick, tack.
* ensure that the clock is correct mounted at the wall, stay in place (in German we call "in Wasser") and not in an unacceptable angel.
* put the pendulum away from the clock mechanism
* try safety with your fingers to move the pendulum holder to left and to the right
* You will feel, that one way is shorter as the other one.
* put the pedelum holder to the shorter way, till you feel the residence
* press the holder a little bit over the residence
* check if the way is the same in both directions
* if yes add the pedelum back on his place and start the clock
* if not press saftly the holder in the direction of the the shorter way against the resistance
I think mount it at the wall is a bad idea...lol. This is a grandfather clock. :) Second, this clock was made between 1720-1740 in London and the pendulum holder can not be moved, the same way my Becker wall clocks from 1900-ich.
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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If the clock is 'mildly' out of beat or runs in and out of beat then you don't need to do anything. Some people would find this irritating but there you go. The clock being out of beat will reduce the amount of supplementary action on one side of the escapement (and increase it on the other). This is pretty much a go-no-go situation. If the out-of-beatness is that bad, the clock will not function. If you repair a lot of clocks or repair clocks for customers, learning how to quickly set them in beat is really useful/essential and well worth the investment in sussing it out. If it appears a mystery, begin with a drawing... Hope this helps.
 

shutterbug

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Think of it as balance. If you are on a tight rope, you hold a rod it the center to give you balance. If the rod is not balanced, you will have a hard time staying on the rope. The pendulum is like that. It's just more comfortable if it's swinging in balance - equal on each side. It takes less power to run that way too. Beat and balance mean pretty much the same thing.
 

jacobsthlm

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Think of it as balance. If you are on a tight rope, you hold a rod it the center to give you balance. If the rod is not balanced, you will have a hard time staying on the rope. The pendulum is like that. It's just more comfortable if it's swinging in balance - equal on each side. It takes less power to run that way too. Beat and balance mean pretty much the same thing.
The clock has been running for 5 days now, so I think it will be okey. The interesting thing is the date dial that now is on 31. I wonder if every month will be the same or what...
 

jacobsthlm

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Yes, every month the date will count to 31, on short months, advance the disc with the rubbery end (eraser) of a pencil.
This will be a little out of topic but I got this when buying a grandfather clock. It’s plastic in the ends and metal. What is it for? The seller didn’t know but said he got it when he bought the clock... I will make a new post tomorrow about the clock. Another English clock and from 1740.... :)
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