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Seth Thomas #2 Center wheel loose

Dave T

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Not sure my title is accurate, but here's my problem. The clock runs great most of the time, but occasionally stops. And I think the issue is that the center wheel is too loose on the pinion. It tends to ride outward / forward until the edge of the wheel catches the retainer on the adjacent wheel. (Getting too old to remember the proper names of these wheels/parts.)
Anyway, I think I need to tighten the center wheel. But not sure this is possible. Maybe it's too worn to correct?
Here's some pictures. The third pictures shows it in the proper position, and the fourth picture shows it riding forward until it rubs the retainer on the next wheel. (The first two pictures are before I cleaned it.)
ST no 2 Center wheel arbor.jpg ST no 2 Center wheel arbor1.jpg ST no 2 center wheel arbor2.jpg ST no 2 center wheel arbor3.jpg
 
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Willie X

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Is your minute hand to loose when you move it? Or, is your clock stopping due to the minute cannon moving forward into the washer? Willie X
 

bruce linde

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I have just dealt with that very same issue on a couple of banjo clock movements.

One thing I have done is to polish the back of the washer on the smaller post on the right so that if the gear teeth hit it they don’t rub… And I will also spin the wheel itself and smooth down the front edges of the gear teeth.

i also now either use two thinner washers so the washer setup doesn’t flop around as much (still needs to not impede any rotations) and in one case found a slightly thicker washer with a smaller hole in it that fit perfectly.

i had one that was also sliding forward and put a small level on the movement back to front… and the movement was indeed leaning forward.

i had another where what was stopping the clock was one of two screws sticking out slightly on the back of the keystone… filed that smooth and bob’s your uncle

its always something! :)
 
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bikerclockguy

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I’m tearing my hair out with one of these myself. I don’t know if this is “factory” or not, but mine has 2 of the dish-shaped washers stacked together. That brings the alignment of the hole for the retaining pin on the arbor to just the right level, so it is a good, snug fit. If yours only has one washer, that might be part of it.
 

Dave T

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Is your minute hand to loose when you move it? Or, is your clock stopping due to the minute cannon moving forward into the washer? Willie X
The minute hand is not loose, and the cannon is not moving. The hour wheel is sliding forward on the pinion and riding against the retaining washer, (as Bruce mentioned).
 

Willie X

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So, that's stopping the clock? It's perfectly normal for that wheel to touch the retainer washer but there should be no binding.
Willie X
 

JeffG

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Is there still a problem if the minute hand is installed?
It looks like the minute hand would keep the hour tube from advancing to the point of binding (if that's what is happening).
 

bruce linde

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'should'... but sometimes the hour hand is slightly off kilter and will rub against the back of the minute hand, sometimes the tooth edges are rough and bind against the washer, etc.

observation, and moving gears by hand and feeling how smoothly things work can lead to the right fix.

for example... i had a tension washer on a banjo clock. it had no real strength left and adding the minute hand and tapered pin would make the tension washer bend to the point of hitting the front plate... stopping the clock. i swapped in a new tension washer... clock ran great then started stopping. kept taking the thing apart and reassembling, couldn't find the problem .... finally checked the bottom of the minute hand cannon and there was a 'new' (small v-shaped) fissure in the (very old) brass where the tension washer would hit, running from just near the teeth (widest part, but not that wide) toward the center (disappeared to nothing 1/8" before the center). the tension washer... whose edge was going across the fissure... would hang up... hard-stopping the movement. i polished the heck out of the bottom of the cannon so the fissure is more visual than physical, and gave a light polishing to the edges of the tension washer that hit the bottom of the cannon, problem gone. weird.

it's always something... :)
 

Dave T

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Is there still a problem if the minute hand is installed?
It looks like the minute hand would keep the hour tube from advancing to the point of binding (if that's what is happening).
It should. Willie X
Well, now that I think about it, you are most likely correct.

Here's what happened. It stopped running, and I didn't know why. So, I took the dial and hands off and oiled what pivots I could get to easily, and a small drop or two on the escape. Thinking maybe I had some dry bushings. Hung it on the wall with no hands and no dial. Then, it ran for a while and stopped. And I saw the hour wheel riding against that bushing. Moved it back and it ran as it should. But at the time didn't consider that the minute hand should keep it in place.

About an hour or so ago, I put it all back together and it's running fine again.
So, I really don't know why it stopped or how long it will run.
 

bruce linde

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when mine start stopping i find it easiest/bestest to pull the movements, disassemble, wipe off the pivots with alcohol, clean the pivot holes with nylon bristle brushes and then peg them out, reassemble, add fresh oil, and run... unless it's coming up on a 3-5 service. these movements are easy to work with...

i also put just the slightest smear of oil on the escape wheel teeth as too much can bog you down and be a dust magnet....
 

bruce linde

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my quick method can work on these as well, if you live in a relatively dust-free environment and there hasn't been that much wear... you can do a visual check when wiping pivots and cleaning pivot holes....
 

Dave T

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Time to revisit this thread. I just re-read it to refresh my memory.
This old clock has stopped again, after running well since this thread was posted evidently. It will run for a couple of hours or so and then stops. And I think the problem is still in the center wheel area.

Guess I'll take it all down and pay close attention to the motion works as discussed. We'll see what happens.
 

Dave T

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Grant, Last time I dealt with this was in May last year. And I'm pretty sure I did try it with the dial off, but I'll revisit it, and see what it's doing now.
I just started it again after the last time it stopped after a couple of hours, and it started okay, but when I barely touched the hand shaft the minute and hour hand snapped back in about a couple of millimeters and was audible.
 

shutterbug

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If you tightened the minute hand tube too much, it will stop the clock. It's just friction keeping the motion works under tension, and you don't need too much. If it's too snug, you'll have to force something through the center to spread it out just a smidge.
 

Dave T

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I've tried loosening the minute hand nut, but doesn't seem to make any difference.

I'm approaching this in stages this time. So far, I've removed the hands and it still stops. (after running for 20 - 30 minutes or so.)
I think it is motion works related, but haven't nailed it down yet.
 

bruce linde

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could we see a video of the escape wheel and verge interacting? Perhaps 60 seconds worth posted on YouTube? Two things I have seen consistently mess with ST twos running our block and drop adjustment and having the minute hand clutch be too tight.

if you’re saying the front edges of the hour hand cannon teeth are hitting that little retaining washer and stopping the clock, try smoothing/polishing the front face edges of the cannon gear teeth, and the back of the little washer… and make sure the little washer isn’t pressing down too hard.
 

Dave T

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Bruce, I'm trying to recall exactly what happened last time it quit running. And I'm now thinking it has nothing to do with the hour hand cannon area.
I do think I adjusted the verge, but not sure.
Yesterday as I tried to restart, it wouldn't run. I barely nudged the second hand and it began to run... for a few minutes.
I don't have the dial off yet, but that's next. And maybe I can get a video for you.
 

Dave T

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Okay boys, here's the video of the day. Family rated, no bad language!
 

Dave T

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2nd video after a couple of hours now. Clock running great with dial and second hand removed.
Getting close to finding the issue.
 

Dave T

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Put second hand back on, clock stopped!
Pulled second hand outward on the shaft slightly, clock has been running all night!

I think this is the issue, but not sure this is a permanent solution.
 

shutterbug

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It must be. If the arbor is bent slightly, the hand will rub on the dial. Otherwise it could be rubbing from being pushed on too far.
 

Dave T

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I don't have the dial back on yet. So, the issue is strictly within the movement.

Just trying to understand why the second hand causes the issue. Plenty of endplay in both plates.
 
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Uhralt

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Maybe the escape wheel binds in the back bushing when pushed all the way back by putting the second hand on.

Uhralt
 

Dave T

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I've made a short video with the second hand fully seated, (which causes it to stop). Right now it's running fine?! We'll see how long it lasts. Still plenty of endplay - hand sits proud of frame.
 

shutterbug

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I'm not too concerned about the end play in the wheel. I suspect that the dial is being touched by the hand. If the video were longer, we might be able to see any movement caused by the arbor being warped.
 

Dave T

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I've been watching it and experimenting a little. It ran overnight and today when I came home it had stopped again. Dial still not back on.
Maybe I can get you a better, longer video. I hadn't considered a bent arbor, but I know this clock has had these issues as long as I've owned it. Five years or more now.
I still don't know exactly what the problem is.

One thing I did try was moving the hour tube clear forward, and riding against the retaining washer, farther than it would be with the minute hand on, and that appears to be causing no trouble.
 

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