Problems with my ships clock

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by huskercarol, Jan 13, 2019.

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  1. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
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    I just recently purchased a Seth Thomas ships bell clock. The clock is running fine and is chiming on the hour and half hour however, it will only chime up to 4 bells. I thought the clock would chime 8 bells. What's going on?
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    #2 Willie X, Jan 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    Yes, 6 sets of 1 through 8 bells per day would be expected. So what happens after 2:00. Good photos are always good.
    Willie X
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Does it use two hammers or one? Yes, pictures please.
     
  4. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    If it has two hammers, maybe one of them doesn't hit the bell.

    Uhralt
     
  5. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    At 8:00 it should sound four pairs of bells like; ding.ding............ding.ding..........ding.ding...........ding.ding. (total of 8 dings). On the half hours a single "ding" is added following number of "double dings" for that hour of the watch. Both hammers need to hit the bell for the proper count. You will need to first confirm whether both hammers are moving when the clock strikes on the hour, and then if they are both hitting the bell. That's easy if yours is the outside bell model. If yours is the inside bell model there may (or may not) be a removable cover on the back that will allow you to observe the hammers. We really need pictures of your clock. Your clock could have experienced damage during shipping, or it may have been messed with and messed up in this regard, or a hammer return spring may have broken, or the actuating lever blade broken, or one of the hammers may have come unattached and fallen off, and the list goes on. Unless you have the outside bell and a slight adjustment of the hammer wire solves the problem, you will need to remove the clockworks from the case and we will need some good pictures of the movement and perhaps a video of it striking on the hour.

    RC
     
  6. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
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    Thank you all for your input. The clock has an internal bell so we will take the movement out tomorrow and send pictures then.
     
  7. Armando Alcaraz

    Armando Alcaraz Registered User

    Sep 4, 2018
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    If you look for A Pocket Full Of Time on Facebook, the gentleman has a quick guide on how a traditional Ships Clock strikes and keeps time. I recently aquired one and was dumbfounded that it did not strike on the hour. It turns out its a watchmans shift chime. Made Alot of sense after that. Hope that helps.
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    After some searching I found the video on YouTube, not Facebook. Unfortunately the clock he is using to demonstrate is not striking correctly! Except at 12:30, 4:30, and 8:30, when just one bell is struck, the striking always begins with the double bell for the hour and the single bell for the added half hour is always last. There are a number of different ship's bells movement designs that produce the correct sequence but in very different ways. In most, the striking (the video incorrectly referred to it as chiming) is always two strikes close together but on the half-hour that last strike of the last pair is "arrested" or prevented from being released by one of several interesting techniques. That's why we need to see the insides of the OP's clock. Unfortunately there is almost as much incorrect information on YouTube and Facebook as there is helpful information. I'm afraid the main stream media has no monopoly on fake news.

    RC
     
  9. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I saw the same thing, and looked through the comments to see if it were pointed out. It was, and in a reply to the comment the author admitted to his mistake and said he had reset the clock to strike right, and had uploaded the wrong video after editing. You'd think he'd take it down and reload the correct video!
     
  10. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
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    Here are pictures. after taking the movement out of the case we find that only one striker was hitting the bell. So now we are striking correctly. I do have a couple more questions. First, the clock is running a little fast but moving the lever to slow the clock down doesn’t seem to slow it.
    Secondly, is there a serial number on the movement? And is there any way to find out the age of the clock and the ship it came from?

    View attachment 512620
     
  11. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Your pictures are not loading. Please review the FAQ area for a primer:
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    I'm not sure how the clock might be dated except by features comparison or if it really was a Navy clock.
    MANY more Seth Thomas Ships Bell clocks were sold to current/ex Navy sailors and for pleasure craft than were used in warships.
     
  12. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

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    1-15-19 042.JPG 1-15-19 045.JPG 1-15-19 046.JPG 1-15-19 047.JPG
    Finally, here are the pictures.
     
  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Glad that you now have it striking correctly. I believe these were early 20th century and probably not accurate enough to be the "the ship's official clock" on any large ship. This clock has a balance wheel and hair spring lever escapement. Use a magic marker to place a mark on the rim of the balance wheel and note how many degrees total rotation you see from one extreme to the other. Goal is about 360 degrees. When one of these runs fast even with the regulator set to extreme slow position, one usually finds that the balance wheel has a weak rotation. The cause is most often lack of power due to wear throughout the movement, lack of lubrication, accumulation of dirt, dry springs, etc. One common problem area is the points on the ends of the balance staff get worn down and the balance screws in which the points rest accumulate dirt and develop divots or worn places. If you have 270 to 360 degrees total balance rotation we can look at other possibilities.

    RC
     
  14. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

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  15. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

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    Update, the clock is running great and is chiming as it should now however, it will not run for eight days. The clock needs to be wound about every three days. What now?
     
  16. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    I don’t think that is an 8-day clock. The mainsprings would be wider and longer on an 8-day. Yours look like they are maybe 3/8 inch wide? Peter
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's likely a 30 hour clock that runs for 3 days. That's pretty good! You can verify by looking at the springs after 3 days. If fully expanded, that's all she can do.
     
  18. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I believe these were 2-day clocks. It it runs for three it is probably healthy.

    RC
     
  19. huskercarol

    huskercarol Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
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    That is entirely possible because the clock is running really good and when you wind it it takes around 16 full turns of the key to wind. The clock was advertised as an eight day clock when I bought it and I just assumed there must be a problem with it. I guess it's true what they say about the word 'assume'. ha ha Thanks for all the help. I love clocks but, truthfully don't know much about the works. It must be the woman in me!
     

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