Schatz Triple Chime Shutoff

MLSchlot

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I recently finished overhauling a sweet little 80's vintage Schatz Bracket clock with triple chimes. Eleven bushings across all three trains and a lot of tweaking on the chime cylinder later, the clock is running like a North Dakota nose in February, chiming and striking properly. Here's the rub. The movement is equipped with a chime shutoff on the selector lever (SLNT, SM, WHT, WEST), which works properly for all three chimes, but you can't shut the chime off.

The Silent setting is designed to allow the chime train to run, so the clock will still strike at the top of the hour. There is no mechanical lever to lift the hammers out of the way, so the Silent position would have to slide the chime cylinder out of the way so no pins can lift a hammer. Note, the hammer assembly is equipped with an adjustment screw so you can fine-tune the alignment of the hammers to the cylinder pins. That alignment has been tweaked, and is perfect now, but there is still no way (or room) to slide the cylinder far enough, in any direction, to to allow for shutoff. What's more, close examination of the cylinder does not reveal any pin gaps between the extreme outer edges that would let hammer lifts slip by.

I attached a photo of the clock and rear plate of the movement. I'm 99% sure I haven't missed anything, and there are no missing parts that I could see while disassembling the movement. I'm inclined to say this is a design defect, but don't want to throw in the towel unless someone else has encountered this problem with this movement. Any assistance is most appreciated.

Regards - Mike
IMG_7787.JPG IMG_7874.JPG
 
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tracerjack

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All I can say with my limited knowledge on chime shutoff switches is that the chime shut off on my Hermle and Kienzle lifts a lever in the front of the movement to prevent the chimes. Also, you say, "The Silent setting is designed to allow the chime train to run, so the clock will still strike at the top of the hour." Did you mean it allows the strike train to run?
 

MLSchlot

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I presume you're referring to the "through-dial" chime selector we commonly see on many other movements. That selector typically attaches to a sliding lever attached to the front plate with a "stairstep" cam behind it. That cam, operated by the selector lever, slides the chime cylinder to select the melody, or slides it far enough out of the way that no pins touch the hammer lifts. From what I recall, cylinders in that style movement have a gap between each three pin (or 2 pin and a blank) hammer grouping to allow for a chime silent setting.

This movement's cylinder has no such gap between hammer pin groups. Everything to control the chime selection happens on the selector lever attached to the rear plate between the time and strike trains. A plate at the other end of the selector lever, with an angle bent into it, slides across the end of the cylinder pivot pushing the cylinder from tune to tune as the selector is moved. When you reach the "Silent" setting, you've pushed the cylinder as far as it is physically capable of moving. An adjustment is provided on the hammer rail below the angled plate to ensure as you move from tune-to-tune on the selector, you're only moving 1 pin horizontally along the length of the chime cylinder. Nothing else controls the chimes. There are no dial mounted selectors for chime or strike, and nothing that connects to the front plate end of the chime selector other than the C-clip. I am perplexed.
 

tracerjack

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I have an Angelus clock with triple chimes that has such a setup for three different tunes with a lever moving the chime barrel horizontally to change the pin alignment. It doesn't indicate which tune is in which slot, and it doesn't have a silence. What is indicating that your movement has a silence?
 

MLSchlot

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If you zoom-in on the photo of the rear plate, you'll see a lever roughly between the time train and strike train at about 8 o'clock relative to the strike hammer lift lever. It's currently positioned for Westminster. If you push the brass lever up you move to Whittington, then St. Michaels, and finally Silent. A screw below the WEST setting, and a screw collar above SLNT prevent overshoot of the movement range. You'll see where the brass portion of the arm attaches to the plated steel extension of the lever, which runs down and slides along the chime cylinder pivot.
 

MLSchlot

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Oh, and I might also add, there's another spring plate covering the chime cylinder pivot on the front of the movement, which pushes the cylinder in the opposite direction, depending on how the selector lever is positioned. Using the photo as the example, as you move the lever from WEST to SLNT, the chime cylinder is moving towards the rear plate. When you reach the SLNT setting, the front spring has pushed the pivot completely into the front bushing and can move no further. When you move the lever back to the WEST setting, the cylinder is now pushed forward until the selector arm has pushed the rear pivot of the cylinder completely into its bushing.
 

tracerjack

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I was hoping someone with actual experience with this movement would have commented by now, but sometimes it takes a while for the right person to see the post. I see the selector lever now, and the top hole for silence. While waiting for an expert, I hope you don’t mind my trying out detective skills. I checked out two YouTube schatz triple chimers like yours. The bottom curved portion of the silver lever on both seemed to have a lot more angulation than yours.
 

MLSchlot

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II checked out two YouTube schatz triple chimers like yours. The bottom curved portion of the silver lever on both seemed to have a lot more angulation than yours.
That angle is hard to visualize unless you're looking down at the selector arm from above. The end of the lever has an angular "Z" bend. Think of the middle of the "Z" as the hypotenuse of a right triangle pointing upwards. The angle controls how far the chime cylinder will slide as you move between selection notches on the rear plate, which equals 1 pin width along the chime cylinder. The degree of inclination is not important as long as the cylinder only moves 1 pin width. When selecting which melody to play, each notch in the rear plate will slide the chime cylinder horizontally 1 pin width, either up or down the hypotenuse to reach the desired melody. You can have different angles of inclination controlling the "move" distance to accommodate different cylinder lengths and sizes. The hammer rail on this movement also contains a fine adjustment to ensure cylinder pins for all the melodies hit the dead-center of the hammer lifts. Kudos to the Schatz designer for this feature!

At the quarter hour, the clock plays a simple scale (also finishes with the scale at the 3/4 hour), lifting each hammer in sequence. On the chime cylinder at this position you'll observe an angled line of 24 consecutive pins (on my cylinder), which includes spaces for missing pins when Westminster (4 note chimes) are selected. Usually, when you have a silent switch that allows the train to run, there is a gap between each 3 pin group where the cylinder can park in silent mode, and not lift any hammers. I don't have that, I'm guessing due to space constraints on the chime cylinder.
 
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tracerjack

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So, have you looked at any other Schatz triple chime movements to compare the angulation on your shifter lever with those? Yours looks different to me, not in the vertical, but horizontally at the foot. You say your chime barrel has no gaps, but if original, it worked somehow to achieve a silent mode.
 

MLSchlot

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I don't have access to any other movements remotely close to this one. This is the first time I've seen this specific movement. Changing the angle will change the horizontal distance the cylinder moves, but I'm restricted by the chime cylinder to moving no more than 1 pin per lever selection. Each pin position in the groups of three represent a specific melody. If I had groups of 4 pins, where 1 pin position is always empty for the silent selection, things would be golden, but that's not how the cylinder is laid out. Also when you reach WEST and SM on the lever, you're at the left or right movement limit of the chime cylinder. When you move the lever to Silent, the lever angle drops to Zero (you're at the top or bottom of the "Z"), so you just continue to play the SM chime. Changing the angle only increases or decreases the number of pins moved on the cylinder. However, you can never move < or > than 1 pin, or you're not playing the correct melody.
 

tracerjack

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A closeup photo of the chime barrel might reveal something to the forum. The movements I saw on YouTube were like yours, but the persons hand kept covering most of the z section so it was difficult to see it in action. Any evidence that someone has worked on it before you and perhaps assembled the chime drum unit incorrectly? I’ve come across many a washer or spacer that was in the wrong place.
 
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MLSchlot

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Sorry Tracerjack. I've been out of town for over a week, and just got back; I'm still playing catch-up.

I too have had many a missing washer and spacer, or someone who worked on a movement who shouldn't have. This clock has never been mistreated that I can tell; it had simply been continuously run until it quit, and then packed away. I thought about spacers and such. I rechecked my disassembly photos to be sure I didn't miss anything; no issues there. I even thought about hammer order in the hammer bank sub-assembly, thinking that it might had been taken apart in the past and assembled incorrectly. No joy there either.

As you move left to right across the chime cylinder, there are no gaps between pins, with the exception of extracted pins for the hammers that never get lifted for notes not struck when Westminster Chimes are selected. Moving the selection lever from detent to detent slides the chime cylinder exactly 1 pin width left or right (depending on direction). You will also see in the rear plate photo, that moving the lever from St. Michael Chimes to Silent moves less distance, not 1 pin width (a) because the cylinder is already at the rear plate stop and can't move any further, (b) the lever is already positioned at 0 degrees inclination for St. Michael Chimes so the cylinder won't move even if there was room to move it, and (c) even if it could continue to move, the cylinder would have to slide its complete length to get the hammer bank completely out from under any chime pins.

Like I said, if there was a gap between each group of melody pins at each hammer, you could slide 1 pin width to reach that "note gap" when Silent is selected. I can't supply a photo of the cylinder, but it's pin arrangement is illustrated (poorly) below.

Left->SWXSWXSWXSWXSWXSWXSWXSWX<-Right - S=St. Michael, W=Whittington, X=Westminster, -> <- = edge of the cylinder

If the cylinder was laid out in the following fashion, the Silent lever would position the cylinder in an area where no hammers would lift (E means empty of a hammer pin).

Left->ESWXESWXESWXESWXESWXESWXESWXESWX<-Right - E=Silent, S=St. Michael, W=Whittington, X=Westminster, -> <- = edge of the cylinder

The chime cylinder would be longer, but the Silent selection would actually be able to park the cylinder where no hammers lift. If Silent does actually work, I'm not seeing how it's possible in this movement design. Someone out there must have run across this exact movement before.
 

tracerjack

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I see that movement up for auction semi regularly, so it surprises me that someone with that movement has not seen your post and responded. All I can say is that there seems to be only two conclusions. Either the cylinder is not original, or something, somewhere, is not assembled correctly. Perhaps, the problem is not located within the chime barrel unit, but lies elsewhere, someplace where you wouldn’t think to look.
 

tracerjack

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Check out the post called Schatz W3. Describes exactly what you are experiencing, and the solution, which is not in the chime barrel unit, as I was suspecting.
 

MLSchlot

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That's it!!! I flipped the collar to let the lever hit the locking screw on the collar, which pushes the arm forward to disengage the chime lever. However, this revealed another problem. When you move the lever back to enable chimes, the chime lever cam follower doesn't re-engage the center shaft reliably.

When I looked back at my disassembly photos (thank G_d for digital cameras), I remembered a small spring that was installed under the lift arm for the hour hammers.
IMG_3471.JPG
I thought it odd at the time, since the only thing needed on that hour hammer arm was to adjust the collar lock screw to set the correct amount of end-shake so the arm wouldn't bind. Of course, I put the spring back from where I removed it; the junk-drawer lock screw should have been a dead giveaway (Duh). I took that spring off and placed it under the lock collar above the Silent notch and voila, the chime lever rebounds correctly to re-enable chiming. Proof positive I wasn't the first person to open up this movement.

Thanks very much for sending me the link to LABounty's old post.

Regards -- Mike
 
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MLSchlot

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I appreciate you hanging with me on this thread and keeping me honest. I had developed tunnel vision on this bug, and was zeroed in on only the chime cylinder. I've never run across a movement design that would push/pull the center shaft cam follower to disable the chime/strike. Hitting a setscrew with a selector lever to push an arbor? Who'd a thunk it? Thanks again.
 

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