Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by John Hubby, May 7, 2002.

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  1. fixoclox

    fixoclox Registered User
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    Re: Bulle clock sometimes stops, advice

    Hello Weight Driven I do not recommend running this clock at 9 vollts. I have a few of these running but no matter what I do only one works as it should @ 1.5 volts. The others are running on 3 volts. Through my experience with these Ihave found that the fork and it's pin contact are critical. Moving the contact pin up and down slightly will also change the pendulums arc. Also how the pendulum coil passes through the magnet is also very critical especially running at 1.5 volts. This can be adjusted on U shaped magnet clocks. also check your magnets polarity with a compass. This is a thee pole magnet, North is in the middle and South at both ends. I have seen them reversed also. If the magnet is reversed polarity just reverse the battery. This magnet can become weak they can be re magnitized on my web site fixoclox.net there is a link of a gentleman in England. He can re magnitize these magnets. Good luck hope this helped. Bill @ fixoclox
     
  2. Weight Driven

    Weight Driven Registered User
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    Re: Bulle clock sometimes stops, advice

    thanks to all who replied. The clock is happily running on a 3 volt electric transformer/plug, the kind you get at Radio Shack. This is more of an experiment than anything else, just to see if it runs good on 3 volts. It has a good swing and timekeeping is excellent. It sounds as if this clock needs cleaning, which I have never done so how would I go about it? I clean regular clocks all the time but never one like this. Again thanks for any guidance with this.
     
  3. fixoclox

    fixoclox Registered User
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    Re: Bulle clock sometimes stops, advice

    Hello weight driven just be aware that the a/c adaptor most likely putting out more than 3 volts. Good Luck Bill:cool:
     
  4. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Bulle metal base tag needed...

    I've just aquired a nice standard type A Bulle timepiece, replete with original dome, in running condition, though it need to be cleaned. The only thing missing is the little metal tag that was pinned to the front of the wooden base. Anyone here have or know of one from a junker that might be for sale? I would buy a whole parts clock to get the tag if it is the correct one. Serial number of the clock is 68032, which according to John Hubby's wonderful dating chart dates it to around 1927. Thanks very much.
     
  5. Hans Vrolijk

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    Re: Bulle metal base tag needed...

    see:
    http://www.horologix.com/bu016_1.html
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Re: Bulle metal base tag needed...

    Hans, thanks for your kind reply. I am aware of the reproduction tags, but would of course prefer to get an original. With luck I will find one, if not I will settle for the reproduction... they look to be very nicely made.
     
  7. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    I've just aquired a nice standard type A Bulle timepiece, replete with original dome, in running condition, though it needs to be cleaned. The only thing missing is the little metal tag that was pinned to the front of the wooden base. Anyone here have or know of one from a junker that might be for sale? I would buy a whole parts clock to get the tag if it is the correct one. Serial number of the clock is 68032, which according to John Hubby's wonderful dating chart dates it to around 1927. Thanks very much.
     
  8. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Here is a picture... you can see the little holes down on the base where the tag was. I presume it was held on by small nails or escutcheon pins. These tags are available new, and they are superior reproductions, but I would prefer to dig up an old one rather than go that route. Thanks.
     

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  9. John Hubby

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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Peter, thanks for the photo, very nice example. I have found these tags missing on about 1 in 20 Bulle clocks, and so far haven't found any unrecoverable junkers from which to retrieve an original. I think the best thing is for you to get one of the repros and keep hunting. They were held in place with round head brass brads.

    I've recently updated my Bulle dating info and it has shifted most of the clocks to be made earlier than is shown on my table on the BHI website. Specifically your clock was made in 1st quarter 1926 based on the latest information. I need to get that posted on the website soon.

    John Hubby
    >>>>
     
  10. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Hi John, thanks for the succinct reply. Good advice too, as I hope life is long and I will stumble upon a junker eventually. From my reading it appears that I would need the English version of the tag, not the French. Would you agree?

    There was a parts clock on eBay recently, but I can't tell from the pictures if the tag was present... because of eBay's new rules I am of course unable to contact the buyer to ask.

    See you at Syracuse?
     
  11. MUN CHOR-WENG

    MUN CHOR-WENG Registered User

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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Hi Peter,

    I have a Bulle clock ( s/n 94834 ) that is identical to yours.

    I attach a picture below to show the brass tag being held in place by two round head brass brads just as John Hubby has described in his post above . Incidentally my Bulle clock was restored to fully good working condition by John when he was here in Singapore about two decades ago.

    Mun C.W

     

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  12. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Thanks for the great picture. I've been in touch with Peter Smith of Horologix in England, and while he doesn't manufacture reproductions of these oval labels (yet) he has offered me an original one, even better! Thanks to everyone who has had suggestions and comments. I'll post a picture once I have the tag on the clock.
     
  13. John Hubby

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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    Peter, your good fortune that Peter Smith had a spare old tag! You asked about English or French versions of this tag, the one that Mun posted in both English and French is the only one I've seen. There are somewhat different finishes for them but I've just checked a half dozen of the ones in my collection and all have the same wording.

    I don't understand your point about not being able to ask the sellers on eBay any questions? I've asked at least six or seven in the past two days. The "Ask Seller a Question" link is still there on all the items I've looked at in the past few days.

    Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to be in Syracuse this year. Hate to miss a great show but have othe commitments.

    John Hubby
    >>>>
     
  14. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Re: Bulle electric timepiece base I.D. tag needed...

    John,

    Unless the auction is active, or you have a transaction going on with the seller, you cannot contact them through ebay anymore.

    Missed you at the Midwest Regional. ;)

    Cheers, Ralph
     
  15. Burkhard Rasch

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    Re: Bulle metal base tag needed...

    Hi Friends
    I didn`t know that replacements of so "unimportant" spareparts are avalible.I`m glad having the original thing on my BULLE but I find it great that someone takes time and engagement to reproduce these plates.:clap:

    Burkhard
     
  16. Lincolnhill

    Lincolnhill Registered User
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    Bulle Clock Running Way Too Fast

    Hello,

    I am in the process of restoring a neat, large Bulle gallery clock. I have finally got the movement running again and it is now running reliably. My problem is that it is gathering two teeth on the crown wheel nearly every swing and is therefore screaming along at nearly twice the correct rate.

    Can someone please give me some guidance on how to adjust the movement so it is only gathering one tooth at a time on the horizontal crown wheel?

    Thank you,

    Michael
     
  17. Hans Vrolijk

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    Re: Bulle Clock Running Way Too Fast

    First of all: try to move the contact pin a little bit upwards. If the result is not o.k. align the clicks .The adjustment is correct when a clearance of half a tooth separates the tip of the two clicks with the fork over the right and when a clearance of 2- 2/3 teeth separates the tip of the clicks with the fork to right over to the left.
    See the translation by Robert Miles of the Bulle Manual, available at the Antiquarian Horological Society in London
     
  18. Lincolnhill

    Lincolnhill Registered User
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    Re: Bulle Clock Running Way Too Fast

    Good Morning Hans-

    Thank you for the advice! I moved the pin up last night, and as of this morning the clock was running perfectly.

    Thanks again,

    Michael
     
  19. time2keep

    time2keep Registered User

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    Bulle clock suspension

    I have searched through all of the old discussions on the Bulle clock but I have not found any info on how long the pieces of silk ribbon should be or how big the gap is between the brass plates that clamp the silk between them. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  20. eskmill

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    Re: Bulle clock suspension

    A quote from the late Martin Swetsky's "Guide to Electrical Horology."

    "The suspension was orignally made of two length of silk ribbon, approximately 1/4" to 3/8 each in width, with a space between the upper and ower blocks of 3/32. A single piece of silk ribbon 1/2-to 5/8 " width may be used with the requirement that it be thin enough to be sufficiently supple."

    Some have suggested pieces from a silk necktie. I tried but ended up with pieces of ragged threads and a finished piece that wasn't square. I then substituted a piece of mylar cut from a floppy diskette. That Bulle clock has been running fine for the past six years with the mylar suspension. Finally, I was able to locate some silk tape at a dress shop that worked very well.

    I have encountered at least three types of assemblies. Ones that were rivetted together, another type with miserable screws, and a third type that seemed to have been glued together. I even went so far as to construct a jig to hold the pieces square while assembling and that worked out well for the one kind that was screwed together.

    One word of caution: don't make assembly too thick or it won't fit in the slots.

    I believe very strongly, that the space between the "chops" should be exactly the same as the old part because the length of the pendulum is affected by the effective length of the cloth.

    Les
     
  21. time2keep

    time2keep Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock suspension

    Les thank you for the information. When I tried to unscrew mine the heads of the screws snapped off. What did you do with the ones that were riveted together?
     
  22. fixoclox

    fixoclox Registered User
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    Re: Bulle clock suspension

    Time to keep
    Timesavers carries this suspension spring. I also have used silk ribbon from a sewing store in the past with satisfactory results. Let me know how you fair I may have some in my inventory. I just have to find them. presently I am out of town bill@fixoclox
     
  23. Hans Vrolijk

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    Re: Bulle clock suspension

    An other adress for a Bulle suspension:
    http://www.horologix.com/bu005_1.html

    A non silk lingerie ribbon (polyamide?) is very suitable for repairing Bulle suspensions. It does'nt raflle like silk. A surplus of material can be melted away by a cigarette lighter.
     
  24. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock suspension

    FWIW, my observations regarding the silk suspensions:

    1) Use TWO pieces of ribbon each about 1/4 inch wide. Using a single, wider piece can cause pendulum wobble. The originals had two pieces of ribbon, as do the replacements offered by TimeSavers or Horolovar. The recommendations for ribbon material are fine, I use dressmakers' silk ribbon with bound edges that prevent fraying.

    2) The gap between the upper and lower chops needs to be only 1 mm. If you have a wider gap the pendulum hangs too low and you may not be able to regulate it. This spec is from a Bulle patent drawing, use a short length of 1 mm diameter wire to provide the spacing.

    3) Glue the ribbon on one side to an upper and lower chop with the proper 1 mm spacing between the chops. Use fabric glue available from hobby shops. That holds the parts in place while you are placing the other chops.

    4) The riveted suspensions can easily be rebuilt again using rivets. First clean the chops and make sure the outer sides have a very small chamfer at each hole. I make the rivets from soft copper wire about 1.3 mm diameter. Assemble the parts using tacky glue as above, use an awl to punch out fabric in the holes. Insert the small piece of wire (length roughly twice the thickness of the assembled pieces) and round off the exposed end with a small peen. Turn the piece over and rivet the wire into place with a peen. Do this slowly and at the end you will have a good rivet joint. File flush with the sides of the chops.

    John Hubby
    >>>>
     
  25. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Bulle silver contact repair

    I have a small Bulle clock. The silver contact has worn down so that the pin contacts the stainless steel part rather than the contact.

    How can I repair this part? It appears to be held on with two rivets. I am not sure whether it is also held on by any other means.

    If I could remove it by punching out the rivets, I can go to a jeweler and get some silver brazed on. I am afraid of ruining the insulators though.

    Any comments that might help? They sure would be appreciated.

    Thanks,, Frank
     

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  26. John Hubby

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    Re: Bulle silver contact repair

    Frank, you can rotate the "S" shaped part by punching out the rivets, then use a vice and large parallel jaw pliers to turn the part. It won't be an easy job since the parts are pressed together, need to rotate back and forth until you can get it to turn 180 degrees. Reinstall the rivets and that puts a "new" contact in place.
     
  27. Frank Manning

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    Re: Bulle silver contact repair

    Thanks John,

    I will have to give it a try. Hopefully I won't damage it. I thought about getting it turned, but it looked to me like the rivets weren't in the same place on both sides.

    Frank
     
  28. jkfabulos

    jkfabulos Registered User
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    Different Bulle contact set up

    I am restoring this Bulle movement and found it to have a slightly different contact arragement than I am used to seeing. There is only one side of the fork utilized rather than more common set up using a riveted piece on each side. The silver contact is isolated from the fork and is grounded to the frame. It has the same function but has less parts.
    The magnet is also different in that only one end is mounted and it is only half a long as seen on other models. Is it possible that it has a different magnetic pole arrangement rather than the typical south north south arrangement?
    Does anyone know if this was a later design trying to cut costs or possibly be more reliable?
     

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  29. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Different Bulle contact set up

    Jim, this design and several variants was patented in the U.K. by the Bulle subsidiary British Horo-Electric Co in 1930. My database shows examples starting in early 1931 and continuing into the 1950's until a couple of years before Bulle stopped production in 1954. Most of these were manufactured in the U.K. but still used motion works provided by Bulle France, apparently to keep the sequential serial numbers under management by the parent company. Will appreciate if you could advise the serial number on your movement and also post a photo of the front of the clock, from that I can give you the manufacturing date and probably a model name or number.

    The key features include:
    • A cobalt steel high gauss magnet. Some like yours had a "half magnet" with only two poles, N-S with N at the center, and others the typical three pole S-N-S configuration. All of these magnets were small diameter like yours.
    • Three types of suspension design: (1) First being the earlier silk suspension, (2) second a fixed pin pivot arrangement, and (3) third a knife-edge suspension. Which one does your clock have?
    • Simplified contact yoke with the contact being "S" shaped as is yours and the "Y" part of the yoke being insulated from the arbor so that no separate insulating contact piece was needed as per the earlier design. Note that this simplified contact yoke first appeared in late 1929 starting at serial numbers 209,000 and higher, and has been found on all clocks I have documented made after 1930.
    • Many had wood pendulum rods that allowed further simplification of the electrical circuitry by only using wire connection to the pendulum coil and the contact pin.
    In addition to these features, the small magnet enabled the production of very small clocks but still using a standard size motion works. Travel clocks with locking pendulums were introduced in 1931, these were only 4-1/2 inches tall and about 4 inches wide by two inches deep, metal cases with a hinged back door to allow stopping and starting the pendulum. The lock device was set up so that when it locked the pendulum it also disconnected the battery. I've attached a couple of photos for info, this one was made in early 1931.
     

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  30. jkfabulos

    jkfabulos Registered User
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    Re: Different Bulle contact set up

    S/N 320803
    Knife edge suspension.
    I found a bad insulator where the pendulum hanger attaches to the frame which caused a unwanted ground. Old hard rubber is very fragile and it was cracked due to over tightening.
    It runs now and I will get it timed out this coming week.
    Case is wood which has been painted with a real hard black enamel finish.
    I think this case style is just fabulous even though I am not a Deco person.
     

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  31. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #181 John Hubby, May 11, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
    Re: Different Bulle contact set up

    Jim, thanks for the additional photos and serial number info. This clock was made about 2nd quarter 1936, and was called the "Olympic" model. I've documented two others identical to this one, both made in 1937. Those two had a paper label pasted underneath with operating instructions, the model name and also the Bulle battery number. You can also see the exact clock if you have access to Shenton's "Collectable Clocks 1840-1940", page 381.

    I agree with you about the design, it is one of the nicest Bulle clocks of the late Art Deco period.
     
  32. jkfabulos

    jkfabulos Registered User
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    Re: Different Bulle contact set up

    The label mounting tacks are still present with tiny scraps of the label. Some time in its history a much modified battery mount for a 9 volt was installed and I suspect at that time the label became history. Thanks for the info on dating and model name.
     
  33. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Bulle wall clock date please

    Just bought this today at Kempton antiques market here in the UK for £25.
    I think it's quite unusual being a wall clock with levelling adjusters similar to a Vienna reg. Case is brass and hinged at the top for access. Tried a 1.5v battery at first and no go. Then tried a 3v and voila! However, on reading through past posts I realised it should really run on 1.5v so, thanks to John Hubby's posts (to whom I usually turn for advice on 400 day clocks!)and also www.aussieclocks.com/articles/bulle I cleaned the pin and fork contacts and now test runs on 1.5v. Haven't set it up properly yet as needs a clean and a battery box, but looking hopeful.........Any idea of date? Couldn't see an obvious s/n. Appreciate any info. Thanks, Chris
     

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  34. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock date please

    Have now found s/n: 1495, visible through front aperture.
     
  35. John Hubby

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    Re: Bulle wall clock date please

    Chris, please take a closer look. That serial number is too low for a Bulle Clockette movement like the one in your clock. I believe you will find a digit hidden behind the mounting post washer to the left of the number you can see. To see the hidden number will require removal of the movement from the clock. It will be a "3" or higher, more likely higher for this model clock. Also, if you remove the movement from the case you may also find the full serial number stamped to the left of the back plate of the movement on the back side. NOTE: There is a possibility that two digits may be to the right of the number you can see, giving it a serial number of 1495xx.

    The reason I say this number is too low is that the Bulle clockette patents were granted in late 1923, corresponding to a serial number above 25,000. The lowest number found to date for a Clockette is 25627. Once you have confirmed the actual serial number I can date the clock accurately.
     
  36. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock date please

    Ok, John, thanks. Still in the process of confirming that it will run continuously before dismantling any further. I'll confirm the number with you when I remove the hands and dial: the hands retaining pin is putting up a fight! Chris
     
  37. Wynen

    Wynen Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock date please

    Please have a look on this article ("Dating Bulle Clocks" by John Hubby), published on the BHI website: http://www.bhi.co.uk/aHints/bulle1.html
    Best Regards
    Hartmut
     
  38. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock date please

    Thanks for that, Hartmut.
     
  39. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Bulle wall clock help please!

    Ok, the Bulle is up and running with a healthy swing on 1.5v so nothing radically wrong. Problem is that the small eccentric wheel, visible through the dial aperture, to which the drive pawl and anti-reverse pawl are attached has a tendency to hit the hour hand cog making it jig with each swing. Runs ok, but obviously not right! Something needs to be adjusted but what? Don't want to tamper too much so would appreciate an expert diagnosis please. Thanks.
     
  40. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #190 jeules0, Aug 26, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    I may have answered my own question! I noticed the tiny spring attached to the fork was so slack it had come off, allowing the pendulum to swing without tension. I managed to tighten the spring and reattach it, which in turn allows tensioning of the pendulum. The clock has a very healthy swing on 1.5v and at the moment the problem has not reoccurred. I have attached a picture of a battery holder I made up from a 35mm film pot. I cut small slots in the lid and base for brass strips, to which I soldered the wires. The lid is a tight push fit allowing easy battery access. The pot is screwed to the back plate, via a hole in the side, using one of the original holes and nut and bolt. Battery is an LR14. Some pots are better than others for this purpose: the one I used has a flat lid.
    The other thing I found useful for cleaning purposes is Servisol Aero Klene 50 electronic cleaner. I've used it in the past for switches and even oily clock movements. This Bulle was reluctant to run on 1.5v until I sprayed this stuff on, and away it went.
     

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  41. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    Spoke too soon! The fault returns intermittently and as I said, the small almost semi-circular wheel connecting to the drive pawl appears to hit the hour hand cog wheel causing the hour hand to jig up and down in time with the pendulum swing. Any suggestions to why this is happening and a cure would be most welcome. Thanks.
     
  42. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    It may need a proper strip down and clean. Spray cleaning while assembled isn't long-term effective.
     
  43. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    Thanks, Harold, and I take your point about taking shortcuts. However, when I reassemble I still won't know what to adjust to stop the problem reoccurring. Something is obviously out of alignment or wrongly tensioned. It is the first time I've worked on one of these and I'm not sure what does what. Am I right in thinking some springs are tensioners, while others seem to be for electrical continuity?
     
  44. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    I don't have any repair experience on a Bulle, so I can't say for sure about the contacts. They probably need better claening than a spray can will give, maybe a good burnishing to remove carbon deposits.
     
  45. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    I think we are at cross purposes here, Harold. I feel it's not an electrical problem, the electrics are working really well on a 1.5v battery, more a question of adjustment of the pawl or maybe the isochronous spring tension. in other words a mechanical problem. It is as if the pawl wheel is being pushed down too much or is to far forward on its arbor. At the moment it is behaving itself, and has been for a few hours. Time will tell!
     
  46. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    Chris, I believe your problem is that the drive and retaining pawl collet is askew on the yoke arbor shaft. I am attaching a photo of a typical double pawl Bulle movement, with an arrow pointing to the collet. This one is in the correct position.

    Note that the pawl collet has one side flat, making it sort of the shape of a half moon. Also, this collet is mounted directly over the hour pipe gear, such that if it is out of position it will bump that gear as you say yours is doing.

    When properly installed, the flat part of the collet should be parallel with the ground when the contact yoke is in the vertical position. What I think is happening with your clock is that this collet is not set properly, such that when it is at the full swing position in one direction or the other it is bumping the hour pipe gear.

    Note that on some models, the arbor this collet sits on has a flat ground side, with the collet having a matching flat in the mounting hole. These tend to get twisted by someone not familiar with Bulles and the arbor shaft can be broken if care is not taken when removing the collet. On other models the arbor is round and the collet has a round hole, thus it is important to check the position before tightening the holding nut at the front end of the arbor.

    This is an easy fix if the second type: Remove the hands and dial, set the contact yoke in the vertical position, and see if the collet flat is horizontal. If not, loosen the retaining nut and rotate the collet until the flat is horizontal. Re-tighten the retaining nut and the clock should run OK without any bumping of the hour pipe gear.

    With regard to the two springs on the clock.

    The one that fits over the back end of the contact yoke arbor and is then attached to a tab mounted on the back of the movement, is called the "Contact Spring". The purpose of this spring is to maintain electrical continuity of the working circuit. If it is not in place the current has to travel through the arbor bearings to complete the circuit, which can introduce extra resistance and cause the clock to run poorly. This spring should have a large loop at the end that attaches to the contact yoke arbor, then tensioned just enough so that when the clock is running the loop kind of rolls back and forth on the arbor.

    The one that fits between the pendulum rods and the back plate of the movement is called the "Isochronous Spring". This spring plays a major role in proper regulating of the timekeeping. The proper procedure for regulation is as follows:

    1) With the clock stopped and pendulum at rest, loosen the spring mount on the pendulum and slide up such that the spring is "just" slack.

    2) Turn the rating nut at the bottom of the pendulum so it is exactly halfway between max fast and max slow.

    3) Start the clock, it should be running slow in this adjustment position. Check how much per hour with a timer.

    4) Now increase the tension on the Isochronous spring by moving the pendulum mount downward by a known amount (say 2 mm).

    5) Check the time, and either increase or decrease the tension until the clock is running within 15 seconds or less per hour fast or slow. That's an error of 6 minutes per day.

    6) Now adjust the time using the rating nut. NOTE that one full turn of the nut will only give you a two minute PER DAY change in rate. With that you can fine tune the time easily within a minute per day.

    This should get your clock running without bumping in the night. :D

    Having said that, Harold's advice to do a good strip and clean is really essential for longer term operation of your clock. Oil is a major enemy of Bulles and they should be squeaky clean with the only oil being used to be a tiny drop on the contact yoke arbor before installing, and on the bearing point (bottom) of the contrate wheel.
     

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  47. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #197 jeules0, Aug 28, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
    Re: Bulle wall clock help please!

    John, than you so much for taking the time to give such a detailed answer: exactly the information I was after. I'm sure that is exactly what is happening regarding the 'bumping in the night'. I will investigate further and make the adjustments you suggest. Watch this space.........
     
  48. malcolm36

    malcolm36 New Member

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    Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    My clock works well on 3 volts. I thought I understood how it works but on closer inspection I don't. For instance:- 1) Should the voltage be 1.5?
    2) how is there a zero ohms connection between one side of the coil and the brass mounting?
    3) what is the purpose of the weight resting on the main shaft containing the fork?
    Can anyone help and/or provide a good reference which might help?
     

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  49. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #199 eskmill, Sep 18, 2009
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    That's a nice photo of your Bulle mantel clock Malcolm36.

    You are correct, the clock should operate well for several years on a single 1-1/2 volt flashlight dry cell if the movement parts are free of rancid, gummy lubricant. Only the central arbor needs a smear of light oil on the arbor and a touch on the end thrust surface of the face ratchet/worm shaft.

    What is the serial number of your Bulle clock? The serial number is located on the largest piece of the movement plate. It may be partly visible through the hole in the center of your clock's face.

    Electrical connection between the common side of the solenoid coil and the movement mount is via a spiral copper "hairspring" that bypasses the insulative cloth suspension.

    I never noticed that the shape of the motion fork does have a counterpoise. I can only suggest that Favre Bulle's first designs were so free of friction that the balance weight was necessary. They all, even the imitations have it.

    An excellent reference in English language is "The Bulle-Clock of Favre-Bulle" translated by Robt. Miles. It's available in French by Henry Belmont with catalog pages reproduced.
     

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  50. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #200 John Hubby, Sep 20, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Malcolm, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board, and thanks for posting your inquiry and photos! As Eckmill has said the Bulle clocks should operate quite happily on 1.5 volts. Higher voltage can cause arcing at the contact and stop the clock in due course.

    You will need to explain more about the zero ohms reading. The coil in the pendulum is connected to one of the pendulum rods and insulated from the other, so it's possible to get a direct short if you read improperly. To get a correct coil resistance reading, connect your ohmmeter between the battery lead connected at the top of the pendulum and the silver contact pin that is mounted on the front pendulum rod. Be sure the contact pin is not touching the contact yoke (the "Y" shaped contact mounted on the movement). You should get about 1200 ohms.

    The weight resting on the contact fork arbor shaft is found only on clocks made before 1923, and is there as a "damper" to prevent backward movement of the yoke after it is pushed by the pendulum and while the impulse pawl is pushing the contrate wheel that drives the motion works. From your photo I can see that your clock is also fitted with a kind of stop pawl or weight that rests on the contrate wheel. This is to stop the contrate wheel from turning backward after the impulse pawl has pushed it forward. Looking from the front, this stop pawl or weight is mounted parallel with and to the right of the impulse pawl. In some clocks this pawl or weight is mounted at right angles to the impulse pawl, and in a very few early models it is mounted at the back of the contrate wheel, parallel with the movement backplate.

    Please do let us know the serial number stamped on the movement. Use a strong light to be sure you see all the numbers. In some instances the first digit of this number may be partially or fully covered by the insulator washer where the movement is mounted on the support post. More than likely you will find a four-digit number indicating your clock was made between 1920 and 1923.

    Finally, it will be appreciated if you could post a closeup photo of the movement with the dial removed so it can be well seen from an upper view. That will help determine any adjustments that you should look for if the clock isn't performing correctly.
     

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