Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

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

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  1. kcarlso1_9e1846

    kcarlso1_9e1846 Registered User

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    John,

    Thank you for your informative response regarding my Dimep clock. The Bulle connection is very interesting.

    In NAWCC bulletin#120 on page 194, is a review of a 14 page booklet published by Dimep on the service and maintenace of their clock. Do you have any idea where I might borrow a copy of this booklet. I have sent a similar request to the Dimep museum in Brazil but they have not responded.

    Ken Carlson in Ohio
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Ken, have you tried the NAWCC library? They may have a copy you could borrow.
     
  3. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    Thanks everyone for their replies. I have attached two more pictures; one from the side and one from the back. The S/N is 175107.

    Frank
     

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  4. kcarlso1_9e1846

    kcarlso1_9e1846 Registered User

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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Yes I did. That was my first attempt. They do not have the booklet and while they have a few other documents, those are not available for loan. Not sure why the library would not loan out resource materials but that was their answer.

    Ken Carlson in Ohio
     
  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Ken, the Library policy is that they will only loan out items for which they have duplicate copies in inventory. I suspect the other documents they have are the only copies available. What you might ask is for them to photocopy those for you. You will need to pay for the copies but that could be the best way to get the material. Also, if the material is still under copyright you may be asked to sign a disclaimer that the copies are for your personal use only and you will not make other copies.
     
  6. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    Frank, thanks for the additional photos and serial number info. Based on the serial number your clock was made very early 1929.

    Looking at the dial bezel and cast aluminum movement mount, I think this movement was originally in one of the closed case designs such as attached below. However, the work on the brass posts and strap movement supports is done very professionally so it's still possible this was a factory job, I will have to see more just like it to come to that conclusion however. One last question, is there any evidence that at one time there was a hinge mounted to the left side of the dial bezel as viewed from the front?

    Whatever the final diagnosis, it's a nice clock as is.
     

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  7. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    John,

    No evidence there was a hinge mounted on the bezel. However, on each side, at the horizontal, there is one hole in the side of the bezel. You can see it in the side view picture.

    Frank
     
  8. Ray Fanchamps

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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    A lot of subtle things can be seen in the "stare and compare" based on the item being in one's sticky little fingers, and that is not available in these images.

    With that in mind I would respectfully disagree with the John's assessment of the straps.
    I do so because if the "two piece design" for each strap and what looks like a countersunk screw head sticking out of one strap.
    I believe the manufacturer of the clock could make a better fitting and cleaner looking mount. jmo
    I suspect John and I have been chasing these clocks long enough that we know the standard form these take. This was a clock company that found a successful product design/format and very much stayed with it.(With few but important exceptions)
    The two mounting formats were (imo) for two distinct purposes.
    The open frame version was to display the works and pendulum, a visual function if you would.
    The cast plate versions were what we would today call "fit-ups" whereby a simple mount would allow you to box the movement into any case you wanted with no regard to a visual presentation of operation. That would be a production function. I am of course offering an opinion and expect there to be some exceptions that I bet I can rationalize if needed. :D

    And that is what I see as the contradiction of the clock. It is a visual presentation case with the boxed in movement. Again jmo.

    I think this is a great example of the difficulty, the enjoyment and possible frustration of collecting today. It's a nice looking clock, but................

    It goes right to the heart of the matter. Once we find we have the "horological bug" and start to notice we have more clocks or watches than a sane person rightfully needs we start refining our acquisitions. Then the question must come up "How can I tell if this is original" ?

    It's really fundamental to what we do. Might be worth considering a forum or ?
     
  9. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Bulle clock s/n

    Just bought this Bulle on Ebay for a Buy It Now pice of GB£25: details and more photos under 'Newest clock acquisition/Best Clock Buy of 2009'. Just thought John Hubby might like the s/n for his database: s/n 262887, so 1937(?). Chris
     

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  10. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock s/n

    Actually much earlier, made about 4th quarter 1930. Thanks for posting, always looking for more to add to the database. You got yourself a very nice Christmas present!!
     
  11. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock s/n

    Thanks John, and thanks for all your help & advice since I registered earlier this year. Merry Christmas!
     
  12. sweede

    sweede New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Bulle spiral connection spring

    Is there a source for the spiral connection spring used at the top of most Bulle clocks? Is there a suggested method of reproducing this spiral wire if it is not commercially available?

    Ken Carlson Ohio
     
  13. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle spiral connection spring

    Ken, go to Horologix in the UK. Peter Smith, owner, makes and sells the contact springs (what you are looking for) as well as the isochronous springs and suspension units for Bulle clocks. He has a GREAT website including documented restoration projects that show you how to do any number of repairs to Bulles and Eurekas.
     
  14. kcarlso1_9e1846

    kcarlso1_9e1846 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle spiral connection spring

    John,

    Thank you for the site listing, but he does not carry the spiral connection wire that I need for the top of the pendulum on my Bulle clock. Do you have any other sources or links?

    Ken Carlson, Ohio
     
  15. jkfabulos

    jkfabulos Registered User
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    Re: Bulle spiral connection spring

    Try Timesavers.com I recall they have had these in the past.
     
  16. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #266 jeules0, Dec 22, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
    Bulle magnet question

    The U magnet on my recently purchased Bulle dome clock is very weak and needs remagnetizing, which I hope to do over the Christmas period. That aside, can I still expect some sort of reaction from the pendulum to putting 9v through the circuit? I have tried and nothing. Is this to be expected from a weak magnet, or have I got poor conductivity as well? Thanks for any advice, and yes please, John, I wouls welcome your advice on remagnetizing!
     
  17. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Re: Bulle spiral connection spring

    That spiral spring at the top is just a copper balance spring. It is there to transfer the electric current only and as long as it is not a very stiff one any one will do as long as it fits over the shaft area.

    Frank
     
  18. Ray Fanchamps

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  19. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Jeules0:
    1. How did you determine that the U magnet is weak? I know of no simple method to measure the flux strength except to compare with a working example.

    2. Restoring the permanent magnetism in the Bulle clock field magnet should not be attempted using the Bulle clock's solenoid. A much stronger and correctly oriented magnetic field is required.

    There are two schemes I am aware of for properly restoring the Bulle field magnet so as to have the ends "South" poles and the "Norths" in the middle of the bar.

    One method involves winding as much 18 AWG or larger insulated copper wire around the entire length of the bar as possible but with a center tap connection made in the middle of the winding. A heavy direct current is connected to the center tap and the ends.

    A similar scheme using the same 18 gauge or larger insulated copper wire wound around the bar from one end to the middle overhand. At the mid-point, the copper wire is twisted and the winding continues to the opposite end of the bar but underhand so that there are two opposing magnetic fields generated when current is passed through the length of the winding.

    In either method, the DC current will and must be very high and necessarily brief. The usual source is an automotive or car 6 or 12 volt battery using long heavy "jumper" cables. Shield the face from the arc of the connection and make the connection for less than a second as the winding will heat and burn the insulation if the connection is not almost instantaineous.

    If alternating current is used, the bar will be demagnetized.

    In any Bulle clock I've encountered, restoring the field magnet had no observable effect on the performance of the clock. In every instance, more close attention and maintenance was needed to the movement to make the clock servicable and reliable. In other words, fiddling with the field magnet didn't fix the clock. :D
     
  20. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle spiral connection spring

    Ken, I misinterpreted which spring you were looking for. The other responses here point to ordinary alarm clock balance springs, which is what I use for mine. Some Bulles are set up to use the coil spring arrangement, but some aren't as Ray has pointed out. Need to use what fits. I bought one of the assortments about 15 years ago and still have a number of them left.
     
  21. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Les, many thanks for your detailed response: it's given me plenty to think about. I compared the magnet with my other Bulle and it is definitely weak in comparison. It would only just hold a small piece of wire on one half of the U, and not at all on the other. I wanted to eliminate any problem with the magnet before tackling conductivity issues. So, even with a very weak magnet, should the clock work to some degree? Thanks, Chris.
     
  22. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #272 eskmill, Dec 22, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
    Re: Bulle magnet question

    You may make a comparative evaluation of the current generated in the solenoid when moved through the permanent magnet field using a milliammeter.

    Disconnect the dry cell. Connect a milliammeter directly to the solenoid winding in a manner that will not interfere with the motion of the pendulum/solenoid.

    Connect one lead of the milliammeter to the battery connection located at the top of the suspension where the spiral interconnecting link is terminated.

    In a practical manner, connect the other lead of the milliammeter to the silver contact pin that moves with the pendulum/solenoid.

    Observe and compare the action of the milliammeter as the pendulum/solenoid is allowed to swing through it's normal or regular path. Intermittent current of alternating polarity will be generated in the solenoid winding in an amount dependent on the strength of the permanent bar field magnet and the velocity of the solenoid. (note that the milliammeter will indicate a positive value in one direction of the pendulum/solenoid and a less than zero indication as the pendulum/solenoid moves in the opposite direction.

    This is not a quantative evaluation and meaningful only to compare a known functional Bulle clock with one suspected of having a weak field magnet.
     
  23. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Once again, many thanks. Something for me to investigate over the Christmas break when boredom will inevitably set in! I'd still like to know if I should get some movement from the pendulum, even with a duff magnet, and assuming the circuit is ok.
     
  24. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #274 eskmill, Dec 23, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Jeules0 asks:
    "I'd still like to know if I should get some movement from the pendulum, even with a duff magnet, and assuming the circuit is ok?"

    It all depends on the existance and relative strength of the flux field retained by the Bulle bar permanent magnet and the opposing flux field generated by the battery circuit in the solenoid.

    You may experiment with a dry cell as shown in the sketch taken from "La Bulle-Clock" "Horologie Electrique" par Henry Belmont. An excerpted English language translation by Robert Miles is/was available.

    Electrical connections between the dry cell and the solenoid may interfere with any observed motion of the pendulum solenoid. None-the-less the experiment eliminates the fork and pin contact.
     

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  25. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Once again, many thanks. Before reading your response, I cleaned the silver pin and Y-contact, connected a 9v battery and am now getting some movement from the pendulum, but not enough swing to keep going for long, but certainly an improvement.
     
  26. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Chris, you've already done what I was going to suggest to obtain a magnet test. Just to be clear,
    • First make sure the coil resistance is 1000-1200 ohms and all connections are good. A quick test for this is to check the resistance from the silver contact pin back to the battery lead.
    • Now start ramping up the voltage applied. I use a transformer with variable voltage.
    Nominally, if the magnet is bad you won't get enough motion to cause the clock to run with the normal 1-1/2 volts. At 3 volts you might get just enough for the clock to run if the magnet has about half-strength. If you have to go to 9 volts to get adequate motion then the magnet is essentially dead . . less than 1/4 normal strength. That being the case you will need to remagnetize for the clock to run properly.
     
  27. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Many thanks, John. Have checked coil resistance which reads 1200 ohms and can confirm that 9V is needed to maintain motion. With a fine piece of wire, one half of the magnet will attract it weakly, the other half not at all, so I reckon remagnetizing is definitely required! Peter at Horologix will do it for £5, so I think I'll post it off to him after Christmas.
     
  28. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #278 eskmill, Dec 24, 2009
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    You may wonder why the Bulle magnet lost it's strength. Operation of the clock using the proper (1.5 volts DC) source cannot affect the permanence of the Bulle magnet.

    There's a possiblity that mechanical shock disturbed the alignment of the magnetic domains within the steel bar at some point, perhaps during disassembly.

    It is important to handle the Bulle magnet with reasonable care. Any sharp blow will disturb the magnetic domains weakening the magnet's strength.
     
  29. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Thanks for your observations. I have read that the Bulle magnet is especially susceptible to demagnetization because of the opposing North poles at the centre of the magnet. This places the poles in permanent maximum opposition, and, with the relatively poor magnetic materials available at the time, demagnetization is a case of when not if. (Source www.aussieclocks.com )
     
  30. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #280 jeules0, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Update. Well, I was going to send the magnet off to Horologix to get it remagnetized, but I was bored today so I thought, 'What the heck, I'll have a go myself'. Following a diagram on Aussieclocks.com, I wound the electric cable as shown, and using gloves and jump-leads connected it briefly a few times to my car's battery. Bit of an anti-climax really: I expected bangs and melted insulation, but all I got was a spark at the positive terminal each time I touched the jump-lead! Anyway, the outcome was a remagnetized magnet. I replaced it in the clock, made up a battery holder from a 35mm film pot, and set it going. Off it went, swinging strongly on a 1.5v battery, which confirms that the magnet was very weak. (It really struggled to run on 9v prior to remagnetizing) That was 2 hours ago and it's still running, so hopefully, apart from regulating it won't need much else doing to it. Apart from cleaning the electrical contacts, I've not touched the brass framework as everything is so original and in good condition, it seems a shame to 'tart' it up. I believe the dome is also original as it seems to taper slightly towards the top. Can anyone confirm this for me? Thanks to all who made suggestions and gave advice. Chris
     

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  31. dietrich

    dietrich Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Hello,
    I would like to make a contribution concerning the remagnetising of Bulle-Clock magnets. I have remagnetised a magnet using a car battery with good results, but I found that the magnetism seemed to disappear over the years. Anyway I was looking for a simpler solution. I am now using two very strong neodym magnets (powermagnets) of 10 mm in diameter and 5 mm in hight which I simply put at the end of the Bulle magnet. This way I can achieve a good swing of the pendulum in a clock which came to a standstill even with a new 1,5V battery. The only way to make the pendulum swing was to increase the current to 3 V. I found out that only one magnet at the right side would be enough to make the pendulum swing , but for good looks there should be a magnet on both sides.
    Dietrich
     
  32. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Funny you should have come up with that solution as I contemplated something similar using button magnets. Be interesting to know what others think of this.
     
  33. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    A bit of cable and a car battery is how I did mine, a few years ago now.

    Its previous owner had managed to make it S-N instead of N-S-N and wondered why it didn't work.:eek:

    It works perfectly, and if you stop it. the tiniest push on the pendulum will have it reaching a healthy swing in about a minute.

    The whole reason for having this arrangement is so the lines of force are radial and cut through the coil more rapidly, hence least current and greater field.
     
  34. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Mike, like your Bulle, mine is now swinging very strongly on 1.5v after remagnetizing with a car battery. However, the circuit I used, based on a diagram from aussieclocks.com, gives S-N-S not N-S-N. As this allows the clock's + & - wires to connect correctly to the battery's + & -, I assume this is the correct configuration:confused:. Obviously, the battery connections can be reversed if the magnet is configured N-S-N. I'm no expert on these clocks, just followed the instructions of those more knowledgeable, so would be interested to know which configuration is correct.
     
  35. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    FWIW, the official Bulle Clock Co. maintenance manual circa 1929 shows the magnets to be set up as S-N-S, as shown on the aussieclocks.com site.
     
  36. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Quite possible mine is like that as well S-N-S, as it's a long time since I did it.
    Thinking about it, it should not work with the poles reversed unless you reversed the battery - am I right there, John?
     
  37. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Yep. I've found a few Bulles with the polarity reversed so to operate them the battery leads just need to be reversed. I suspect the magnets in those clocks had been remagnetized backwards.

    The question about why these magnets lose their magnetism can be attributed to basically three things:
    • Relatively soft iron material, variable quality. Later magnets include cobalt which imparts much stronger permanent qualities. The Bulle clocks that have very small half-magnets use cobalt steel magnets.
    • Operation of the clock in the presence of a moderate to strong electrical field.
    • Dropping or sharply hitting the magnet.
    The opposing polarity in a single magnet has no effect on longevity of its magnetic properties. There are some battery operated clocks that have individual opposing magnets to operate such as the Frank Holden patent clocks, and they have no apparent loss of magnetic properties with time and are older than Bulle clocks by 20 years or so.
     
  38. sweede

    sweede New Member

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    Trouble Regulating a Bulle Clock

    I am having trouble regulating a recent Bulle clock restoration. In spite of adjusting the rate nut all the way to the bottom of the threaded stem, it continues to run too fast. I have verified that the crown gear is only being advanced one tooth on each forward swing of the pendulum. The isochron spring is new and looks correct compared to various references. The swing of the pendulum is very strong, but only one tooth is being advanced on each swing. I have tried some trial and error with the tension on the isochron but that does not seem to help either. I am running with a 1.5v battery. I am looking for some instruction on the proper setting of the isochron spring and possible solutions to my problem. It is gaining as much as 5 minutes in two hours of operation.

    Ken in ohio
     
  39. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #289 jeules0, Jan 10, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
    Re: Trouble Regulating a Bulle Clock

    Ken, I have just restored two Bulle clocks and found these two sites absolutely invaluable: www.horologix.com and www.aussieclocks.com . There are loads of diagrams and pictures explaining every aspect of Bulle clocks. Here at the NAWCC, I'm sure John Hubby will advise you on exactly what to do-he certainly helped me get mine running. Meanwhile, try raising the silver contact pin slightly where it fits in the Y arbor: this solved the problem with mine running too fast. Good luck, Chris.
     
  40. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    #290 Maarten, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
    Bulle,the lion and the serpent.

    Hereby a picture of my Bulle's the lion and serpent clock,its in almost perfect condition and I also have the sidepieces.It bears the number 254740.I would very much like to know how many examples are known to exsist sofar.
     

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  41. Ray Fanchamps

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    Re: Bulle,the lion and the serpent.

    Here's one that was shipped and turned into rubble.:eek::eek:
    This is after extensive restoration. I will see if I can dig up the rubble pics.
     

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  42. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle,the lion and the serpent.

    Thank you for your respons Ray. How awfull to receive this clock in pieces.But it looks really sharp and I particularly like the overall gilding.I must say it would be interesting to see some pictures of the restauration.Looks very well done.
     
  43. antiekeradio

    antiekeradio Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Contact Question

    the isolator is made of Pertinax, which is made from layers of fabric drenched in resin. It has an excellent electric isolation, but when subjected to heat it will form carbon deposits which are of course conductive.

    One should be very careful to change anything in the setup of this contact fork. The only reason to move the pertinax isolator would be that it is worn out so far that the contact pin touches the silver fork first, instead of the pertinax.

    The angle at which the fork is positioned when the pendulum is in free swing can be affected greatly by changing the height of the contact pin on the pendulum shaft. It is very important for the angle to be large enough to progress the movement, but not too large so that it might give unwanted friction.

    I once repaired a earlier version of the Bulle Clock, which had a slightly different ratchet mechanism, different from the curved lever that is used on most documented examples. On that clock it was even more precise to have the contact fork make the right amount of swing.

    I filmed the final setup from close up, will put it on youtube for you later.
     
  44. Ray Fanchamps

    Ray Fanchamps Deceased
    Deceased

    Aug 24, 2000
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    N'er do well......
    LLareggub
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    Re: Bulle,the lion and the serpent.

    I did the restoration a couple of years and a couple of computers back and the "before" pictures seem to be filed under "lost somewhere".
    The flash highlights the worst crack, it's actually not that bad.
    The base and top were in multiple pieces and 2 columns were broken. All the glass was shattered. It truly was a sad sight to see.
    No-one would touch the marble restoration but I could not see this heading for the dumpster .
    This really highlights the unspoken ebay shipping problem that is destroying irreplaceable items. Too many items arrive on my doorstep damaged due to poor packing and poor shipping practices.
    I will continue to see if I can find the rubble pics. I know UPS has a set, though to be fair it was abysmal packing by the seller .:mad::mad:
     
  45. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

    Sep 21, 2009
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    Re: Bulle,the lion and the serpent.

    Sadly I have similar experiences with received damaged goods from Ebay. That this happened to you with this clock is really very bad luck.Your heart must have sunk in your shoes. But you did a marvellous restauration and it looks stunning.
    Maarten.
     
  46. antiekeradio

    antiekeradio Registered User

    Mar 1, 2010
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  47. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Nov 22, 2005
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    Re: Bulle Contact Question

    Thanks Antiekradio for your information. I ended up having to make a new silver contact for the clock. I tried rotating the one that was therre and found the other end too short. It is running fine now.

    Thanks again,

    Frank
     
  48. Weight Driven

    Weight Driven Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 24, 2004
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    Bulle clock suspension silk thread?

    I have a Bulle clock movement that appears complete but the pendulum has become unattached from the movement because the silk thread, or whatever is used, has ripped apart. The clock is missing its' case but this is just an experiment to see if I can get this thing going. Does anyone know where you can obtain these suspension spring silk threads, or whatever they are called? Thanks for any guidance with this.
     
  49. Ray Fanchamps

    Ray Fanchamps Deceased
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    LLareggub
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  50. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 24, 2000
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    Re: Bulle clock suspension silk thread?

    If you're just not fussy about using genuine silk, you might consider using a piece of Mylar film cut from a discarded floppy-disk. It is equally flexible as woven cloth and has strength enough to easily suspend the bob/solenoid assembly. Of course it doesn't have the same visual appearance of silk cloth.

    Some may be offended by substituting a "piece of floppy disc" but if it is only for testing, why not try?

    Some suspension units are riveted together, others are assembled with tiny threaded screws. I have found it's best to mark the four pieces to ease reassembly. Still not easy if you have trembling hands.
     

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