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miss_marple

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Hello all!

How are you? Hope everyone is doing well

I recently found a mantle clock on the side of the road (a Schatz model) and decided to try and fix it. I had no previous knowledge about these kinds of clocks and how they work/parts etc but thanks to the internet and largely YouTube I was able to get it going! (the mainspring had become unattached and therefore it could not be wound).

However, I started with one problem and ended with another. During my trying to fix it up - I accidentally broke the part where the pendulum attaches (excuse my lack of knowledge on the specific part names - I only started learning yesterday!) please see attached photos. I thought I could get away without the pendulum bob but the clock goes too fast now and needs that weight to slow it down - This may be a bit unorthodox but I tried adding safety pins as a weight or even tying up the pendulum with a string as I am trying to use what I have as I'm in the middle of a lockdown. However, from this I gathered that the pendulum has to be exactly centered for this to work - is this correct? My thoughts are that this is a particularly sensitive and fragile part of the clock and everything has to be done very properly. Especially because even with safety pins it was incredibly sensitive.

Would anyone have any idea what I should do next? Am I on the right track or have I completely gone off on the wrong path? Even if you could help me with the terminology too that would be great!

20210726_144652.jpg 20210726_144730.jpg 20210726_144831.jpg 20210726_144842.jpg 20210726_145246.jpg
 

Salsagev

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Ok, you are right, pendulum is a very sensitive part of the clock and vital too. A makeshift hanger will not do and will hinder timekeeping and will stop. The part broken is called a suspension spring - it has to be the correct thickness and length to assist the pendulum correctly. By what they mean by centered can definitely mean the case leveled AFTER the clock has been put in BEAT. The beat is like a factory setting of the clock for the pendulum to swing equally left or right. Then, the case or surface it’s on needs to be level to allow the clock to run.

It is best to consult a clock shop regarding putting the clock in beat. Remember to remove the pendulum before transportation. The clock shop can assist with locating a REPLACEMENT for the suspension spring. They should still make a size like this. If the clock shop think this warrants a ridiculously high price, pridefully move right on to the next shop.

Enjoy the clock once it’s fixed.
 

miss_marple

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Jul 26, 2021
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Ok, you are right, pendulum is a very sensitive part of the clock and vital too. A makeshift hanger will not do and will hinder timekeeping and will stop. The part broken is called a suspension spring - it has to be the correct thickness and length to assist the pendulum correctly. By what they mean by centered can definitely mean the case leveled AFTER the clock has been put in BEAT. The beat is like a factory setting of the clock for the pendulum to swing equally left or right. Then, the case or surface it’s on needs to be level to allow the clock to run.

It is best to consult a clock shop regarding putting the clock in beat. Remember to remove the pendulum before transportation. The clock shop can assist with locating a REPLACEMENT for the suspension spring. They should still make a size like this. If the clock shop think this warrants a ridiculously high price, pridefully move right on to the next shop.

Enjoy the clock once it’s fixed.

Thank you so much for your help and explaining it all to me so clearly!! Just so I'm not taken advantage off per say - what would be a reasonable price for the replacement of the suspension spring as well as putting the clock into beat?
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Thank you so much for your help and explaining it all to me so clearly!! Just so I'm not taken advantage off per say - what would be a reasonable price for the replacement of the suspension spring as well as putting the clock into beat?
It is very difficult to say, there is no set price for these things, repairers can charge whatever they wish. Many repairers are reluctant to just do a partial job like this, because most clocks of this age will be in need of a complete overhaul. If just a partial job is done there is always the possibility that the customer returns later and says 'the clock doesn't work' and blame the repairer.

You could buy a new suspension spring for a couple of dollars and fit it. Then you can put the clock in beat by following the detailed instructions given on this site ('Beat Setting 101'). Both of these things are easily done.

Your clock may still need a service but at least you could fit the suspension spring and put it in beat, thereby adding to the knowledge you have started to acquire.

JTD
 

shutterbug

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You can find suspension springs of every kind here. Measure what you have and buy the closest to it that you can find. After you get that installed, we can help you set the beat.
Look through that site for other things you might want/need because they'll charge a couple extra $ for orders under $20.
 

Salsagev

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IMO A good clock shop should tell all costs before work and what exactly is being done. So they should only charge exactly for replacing the suspension spring and putting it in beat, not a “complementary package” that includes a massage kit for the clock.

You say that you have already done some repairs? Are you comfortable handling the parts? If so, this should be easy as they say to replace it yourself. Be sure of the correct thickness of the suspension spring.
 

ChimeTime

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1) It's called a Suspension Spring. The top of the "spring" is captured in the round post by a "wedge pin" that can be withdrawn by its larger end. You'll want to pull that pin out and replace it after the remains of the old spring fall out.

ss2.jpg

The pendulum hangs on the through-pin on the spring's bottom end. Several examples are shown above.

2) You've got an excellent idea with the string. Some French clocks actually use thread. But the loop of thread must lay front-to-back, NOT left-to-right as you have it shown in your fifth photo. That will allow you to see if the clock runs, which will be a tremendous step forward.

Let us know how the experiments go !!
 
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miss_marple

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Jul 26, 2021
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It is very difficult to say, there is no set price for these things, repairers can charge whatever they wish. Many repairers are reluctant to just do a partial job like this, because most clocks of this age will be in need of a complete overhaul. If just a partial job is done there is always the possibility that the customer returns later and says 'the clock doesn't work' and blame the repairer.

You could buy a new suspension spring for a couple of dollars and fit it. Then you can put the clock in beat by following the detailed instructions given on this site ('Beat Setting 101'). Both of these things are easily done.

Your clock may still need a service but at least you could fit the suspension spring and put it in beat, thereby adding to the knowledge you have started to acquire.

JTD

Okay, I see what you mean - I did some more research on it too and it doesn't look hard at all to change so I think I will go with that option - next step is to figure out what size suspension spring I need!

So I'm guessing then the way for me to fully service the clock would be to dismantle the whole thing and clean it?

Thank you for taking the time to reply!
 

miss_marple

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Jul 26, 2021
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You can find suspension springs of every kind here. Measure what you have and buy the closest to it that you can find. After you get that installed, we can help you set the beat.
Look through that site for other things you might want/need because they'll charge a couple extra $ for orders under $20.

Is it enough to measure the two square metal pieces? The part between them broke and I am unsure how long it was :/ Thank you for taking the time to reply and showing me to the site!
 

miss_marple

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Jul 26, 2021
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IMO A good clock shop should tell all costs before work and what exactly is being done. So they should only charge exactly for replacing the suspension spring and putting it in beat, not a “complementary package” that includes a massage kit for the clock.

You say that you have already done some repairs? Are you comfortable handling the parts? If so, this should be easy as they say to replace it yourself. Be sure of the correct thickness of the suspension spring.

Ah okay, I see!

I don't mind handling the parts at all - When that suspension spring broke it was while I was handling something else - I didn't realize it was so fragile and so it just kind off broke. I did find another Youtube video showing how to replace it and it doesn't look hard at all - I just have to figure out which size to go for...

Before doing even that though I have come across another problem that needs fixing - the minute hand sometimes gets stuck so I'll tackle that one first!
 

miss_marple

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1) It's called a Suspension Spring. The top of the "spring" is captured in the round post by a "wedge pin" that can be withdrawn by its larger end. You'll want to pull that pin out and replace it after the remains of the old spring fall out.

View attachment 664801

The pendulum hangs on the through-pin on the spring's bottom end. Several examples are shown above.

2) You've got an excellent idea with the string. Some French clocks actually use thread. But the loop of thread must lay front-to-back, NOT left-to-right as you have it shown in your fifth photo. That will allow you to see if the clock runs, which will be a tremendous step forward.

Let us know how the experiments go !!
Thank you so much for the photos and the explanation! I do think I will try do it myself first :D

As for the string! Amazing!! I'll see if I can find a way to make it go front-to-back instead!
 

Bill Stuntz

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It seems odd that the actual spring is missing. How do both sides of the (probably 2) springs break off the hanger plates? I'd expect to find the broken springs attatched to either the top or bottom hanger plate. If you can find either of the springs, that will give you the length.
 

Micam100

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Nov 11, 2019
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Hello miss marple,

There is a way to work out how long the suspension spring should be.

In the first photo below, I have arrowed the crutch pin. This will ride in the slot in the second photo below.

The hole at the top of the slot is to allow you to insert the pin into the slot. Typically, the pin would ride about halfway down the slot although this may vary. If you look closely at the sides of the slot, you may be able to see where the pin has been touching the slot.

With the crutch pin in its usual position in the slot you will be able to see the length of suspension spring assembly you need.

If you can split the remnants of your broken spring assembly you may find a piece of the spring to measure the thickness with calipers or micrometer.



Michael

Crutch Pin.jpg Slot for Crutch Pin.jpg
 

miss_marple

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Jul 26, 2021
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It seems odd that the actual spring is missing. How do both sides of the (probably 2) springs break off the hanger plates? I'd expect to find the broken springs attatched to either the top or bottom hanger plate. If you can find either of the springs, that will give you the length.
It was my fault... I initially thought that it wasn't broken and that what I now know to be the springs were just jammed in between what looked like two metal plates so I tried to pull what was remaining from the spring up so I could slide it back into the top piece but it just ripped off instead D: That's when I learnt my lesson as to what it actually was! And before I posted to this thread I may or may not have thrown it away... :/ Lessons learnt that will not be forgotten!
 

miss_marple

Registered User
Jul 26, 2021
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Hello miss marple,

There is a way to work out how long the suspension spring should be.

In the first photo below, I have arrowed the crutch pin. This will ride in the slot in the second photo below.

The hole at the top of the slot is to allow you to insert the pin into the slot. Typically, the pin would ride about halfway down the slot although this may vary. If you look closely at the sides of the slot, you may be able to see where the pin has been touching the slot.

With the crutch pin in its usual position in the slot you will be able to see the length of suspension spring assembly you need.

If you can split the remnants of your broken spring assembly you may find a piece of the spring to measure the thickness with calipers or micrometer.



Michael

View attachment 664854 View attachment 664855

Hi Michael,

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this all to me and give me hope again! And most especially thank you for the detail you have included with the pictures!

I'll set about to do just that and then hopefully when it all gets going I'll share a post!

Once again thank you so much for your help!
 

miss_marple

Registered User
Jul 26, 2021
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1) It's called a Suspension Spring. The top of the "spring" is captured in the round post by a "wedge pin" that can be withdrawn by its larger end. You'll want to pull that pin out and replace it after the remains of the old spring fall out.

View attachment 664801

The pendulum hangs on the through-pin on the spring's bottom end. Several examples are shown above.

2) You've got an excellent idea with the string. Some French clocks actually use thread. But the loop of thread must lay front-to-back, NOT left-to-right as you have it shown in your fifth photo. That will allow you to see if the clock runs, which will be a tremendous step forward.

Let us know how the experiments go !!
Hello miss marple,

There is a way to work out how long the suspension spring should be.

In the first photo below, I have arrowed the crutch pin. This will ride in the slot in the second photo below.

The hole at the top of the slot is to allow you to insert the pin into the slot. Typically, the pin would ride about halfway down the slot although this may vary. If you look closely at the sides of the slot, you may be able to see where the pin has been touching the slot.

With the crutch pin in its usual position in the slot you will be able to see the length of suspension spring assembly you need.

If you can split the remnants of your broken spring assembly you may find a piece of the spring to measure the thickness with calipers or micrometer.



Michael

View attachment 664854 View attachment 664855


Okay so I tried to do it with string originally but it kept going off balance so next I tried was with a sewing needle and some wire all based on what ChimeTime told me with the string being front-to-back not side-to-side. And I made I used Michael's help to position it where it needs to be and it works!! See attached video! It's been going well and it seems to be keeping time correctly too..... The only issue left to fix seems to be that the minute hand gets stuck and I have to use some force to push it forward and then after that it gets to a smooth spot and keeps going fine. I think this will be fixed by opening it up and cleaning it....

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to reply and help me!

20210728_183931[1].jpg
 

shutterbug

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That's a very inventive "fix" you devised there. It underscores the fact that a suspension spring is not a necessity, but a convenience :)
 

Micam100

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Nov 11, 2019
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Nice “Heath Robinson” there miss_m but you will eventually need to get the correct suspension spring.

The important dimension of the pendulum assembly is the “effective length” which is the distance from where the suspension spring flexes to the centre of mass of the whole spring, rod, and bob assembly. Your pendulum will now be too short because its flex point is on the sewing needle instead of up near the top suspension spring mount.

The effective length of the pendulum controls the time keeping. Too short and the clock will run fast, too long and the clock will run slow. Small adjustments are made with the nut below the bob.

The thickness of the suspension spring also affects the time keeping slightly. It might be a good idea to buy two or three springs of the correct length, with different thicknesses…they shouldn’t be too expensive.

Do you have the movement out of the case? You may be able to see why the minute hand is sticking. Is it catching on the hour hand….or stopping in the same place every time? Don’t apply too much force.

The best way to search on this forum is with Google, for example: “minute hand sticks Site: nawcc.org”


Michael
 

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