• We are aware of the performance issues with the forum. These are due to problems with Comcast's shared lines in the Columbia, PA area. On December 15, we signed a contract to bring a dedicated fiber line to the forum servers. It should take somewhere between 30 and 90 days to install. Thank you for your patience.

Selfwinding cleaning & repair

CJo

NAWCC Member
Aug 22, 2005
480
10
18
65
southwest Kansas.
Country
Region
Are there any good videos of cleaning and repair of selfwinding clock movements?
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
2,822
338
83
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
When I Googled "U tube Self Winding Clock Company", I came up with lots of choices for videos.
Some had to do with wiring, some with maintenance.
Those are a mechanical movement that is wound frequently by either a solenoid/relay or an electric motor.
Most are 3 Volts DC but some in the Bell System ran on 24 Volts.
If I am not mistaken, most of the movements are modified Seth Thomas.
The time synchronization was done with a pulse through Western Union Telegraph lines and I think the clock time adjustment was made on the hour. The time standard was supplied by the US Naval Observatory.
All traffic on the WU lines was interrupted at the hour to clear for the time impulse.
What is it you are looking for?
Best,
Dick
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

Dave T

NAWCC Member
Dec 8, 2011
3,888
287
83
NC
Country
Region
I have recently been through the process with a Western Union Self Winding. Here's a copy of the link that includes some other helpful links, that members here provided, to help me through the process. The clock itself is fairly simple, but pay close attention to all of the electrical components and insulators. There are many electrical parts and pieces.

And here's another very good source. Western Union: Self-Winding Clock
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
48,159
2,389
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Some pics of what you are working on would help here :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

CJo

NAWCC Member
Aug 22, 2005
480
10
18
65
southwest Kansas.
Country
Region
E8DB1981-54B2-4625-A441-90087227F4B5.jpeg D48E0B54-45BF-4636-9249-00E5713B9464.jpeg The first pic is the clock I’d like to tackle. Pretty dirty but still running. Second picture is of some movements that I picked up at auction some time back. I really appreciateyour help and need to go through all the info that you pointed out to me before I proceed. Thanks again!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave T

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
48,159
2,389
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
That really looks complicated. I would check the continuity through the coils first. That's always a weak point. It looks like someone cut through the plate on the bottom of the first one. It always makes me cringe when I see something like that ;)
Those things that look like verges must be your activating switches. They might be set to engage once per minute.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

Dave T

NAWCC Member
Dec 8, 2011
3,888
287
83
NC
Country
Region
It would be worth mentioning that the coil on the top side of the movement and all of the associated mechanics, serve only to adjust the time on the hour when a signal was sent from Western Union. Which is no longer available. So, those parts won't operate and are there just for posterity. (shown here in the blue box) Self Winding Abbey clock hourly adjustment parts.jpg
The hourly winding switch operates off a notched cam on the center wheel. (shown here, next to the mainspring)
Self Winding Abbey clock 7.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

eemoore

Registered User
Apr 26, 2008
89
7
8
Columbia, S.C.
Country
Region
Just saw your post. I have recently been working on two exact same clocks. If you need some technical advise I can send you or email you a copy of an excellent article on how to adjust these clocks. Be very careful about all of the insulators on the screws and wiring if you decide to take this clock apart. Use your extra movements for reference. By the way, finding parts for these clocks is difficult so you have a real treasure trove in my option with all of those movements. Good luck.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

eemoore

Registered User
Apr 26, 2008
89
7
8
Columbia, S.C.
Country
Region
It would be worth mentioning that the coil on the top side of the movement and all of the associated mechanics, serve only to adjust the time on the hour when a signal was sent from Western Union. Which is no longer available. So, those parts won't operate and are there just for posterity. (shown here in the blue box) View attachment 651727
The hourly winding switch operates off a notched cam on the center wheel. (shown here, next to the mainspring)
View attachment 651718
I think Kensclockclinic .com sells a special battery that will send a pulse that will set the minute hand back to 12 every so often so this reset mechanism can be used just like Western Union use to do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PatH and Dave T

Fredinaz

Registered User
May 24, 2020
21
2
3
Country
I think Kensclockclinic .com sells a special battery that will send a pulse that will set the minute hand back to 12 every so often so this reset mechanism can be used just like Western Union use to do.
I have one of Ken's special synchronizers, disguised as a dry cell battery, in the SWCC clock he restored for me. At the top of the hour :)00) it sends a signal to the clock to set the hour hand at :00. It's the most accurate mechanical clock in the house.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJo

Forum statistics

Threads
170,925
Messages
1,492,209
Members
49,995
Latest member
mesh2325
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,967
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller