Repairing a French Swinging Mystery Clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Lincolnhill, Sep 10, 2002.

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  1. Lincolnhill

    Lincolnhill Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 5, 2002
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    I am finally getting around to working on my "To Do" list.

    I have a nice old French Swinging Mystery clock. I just finished cleaning and lubricating the movement and was wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions as this is my first time working on one of these:

    1) How do you set them in beat? Do you adjust the crutch like a normal mantle clock? Mine seems to be very finicky.

    2) How far back and forth are they supposed to swing? I imagine this varies by clock and maker, but thought I would ask.

    3) The rear half of my upper ball has a small indentation about the diameter of a nickle. Is there supposed to be a counter weight mounted there? If so, how much should it weigh. I think a counter weight would legnthen the distance the clock swings back and forth.

    4) Is there anything I should do to adjust the suspension springs? Mine needed to be replaced and I think I did it properly however any tips would be appreciated. Length, thickness, etc.

    Thank you for your help.

    Michael
     
  2. Lincolnhill

    Lincolnhill Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    265
    2
    18
    I am finally getting around to working on my "To Do" list.

    I have a nice old French Swinging Mystery clock. I just finished cleaning and lubricating the movement and was wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions as this is my first time working on one of these:

    1) How do you set them in beat? Do you adjust the crutch like a normal mantle clock? Mine seems to be very finicky.

    2) How far back and forth are they supposed to swing? I imagine this varies by clock and maker, but thought I would ask.

    3) The rear half of my upper ball has a small indentation about the diameter of a nickle. Is there supposed to be a counter weight mounted there? If so, how much should it weigh. I think a counter weight would legnthen the distance the clock swings back and forth.

    4) Is there anything I should do to adjust the suspension springs? Mine needed to be replaced and I think I did it properly however any tips would be appreciated. Length, thickness, etc.

    Thank you for your help.

    Michael
     
  3. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

    Aug 26, 2000
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    Hello Michael

    I hope I can help you. If everything looks original and not missing anything, then it is probably the suspension block adjustment.

    1. First of all does there look like anything was missing when you opened the back of the large ball, weight, might have been soldered onto it?
    2. Is there space in back of the lower part of the pendulum for additional weight, or is there a weight in back? If so take it out and start from scratch, I use a wire resting on the bottom so that I can add weight like a washer or small nuts, once I get the penulum to swing, I weight that amount including the wire and make a weight that will fit in back of the lower bob.

    3. Your problem might be with the suspension spring. When you installed the new strips of metal did you measure the old ones? If so you might have just what you need if you have some of the suspension rods-one piece. These have been flattened at one end and are different thickness, just find the right thickness and cut it into strips. Or Time Savers has a new block that might fit. When you put the strips in the old block, make sure that the edges of the two blocks are square, lay on a flat surface and adjust the length to make the edge of the blocks lay flat on the table. These strips can not be to long or they will let the top part of the suspension block to hit the bottom part of the large ball. This block when complete should look square and equal lengths to start with. But if the arm of the statue is sloping down or not parallel with the table, you will have to adjust the length of the block to make the pendulum arm, or clock, as straight as possible to look right. The last strips I put in were .004 x.? wide and 1" long. Time Savers has these also, and they list them as .015 wide, but I cut mine and did not measure the width.

    4. The swing does vary.

    5. To set in beat yes it must be equal distance from center of the swing. I use a scale attached to a block of wood to set them. Just adjust the scale at the bottom so you can check the movement.

    6. I think the indentation is a dent, an not put there to attach a weight. The ball should be round with no dents. My large 6" ball swinger has a screw holding the weight on. I am not sure if that was original or not, I just got that clock and will be working on it soon. I say that a lot it seams.

    This should help you get started, or confuse you.

    One thing to think about the upper half has to equal the weight of the lower half so that the counter weight will make it swing. Will the movement run on it own, with out the arm swinging, if so the movement may not be the problem.

    If everything looks original and not missing anything, then it is probably the suspension block adjustment.

    Look up in the search section and there are several books on how to do this also.

    Good luck with it.

    demarcusdrainage@attbi.com

    Don DeMarcus
     
  4. Lincolnhill

    Lincolnhill Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 5, 2002
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    Thank you for your ideas Don.

    As for the indentation on the rear half of the upper ball, I think I poorly described it.

    It is not a dent. The indentation if cast into the center of the rear half ball and is only visible from inside. Looks like the perfect spot to attach a weight of some sort.

    Thoughts?

    Michael
     

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