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Seth Thomas 89 and me learning

TimS

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Jan 12, 2021
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I'm kind of a newb. I've taken movements out and cleaned out gunky pivot holes and such and gently oiled several clocks in the family back to life, but that's about it.

I'm trying to step up a level, so I bought a nice "overwound" clock with a Seth Thomas 89 movement (and a nice cabinet) to use as a learning platform. Before even starting, I see that the adjusting rod is snapped. Is this a part that can be purchased? I poked around Merritts and Timesavers, but didn't find a path to it. Maybe I'm not good at searching though. My temptation is to just find a "for parts" 89 movement and scavenge from that. Is there a better path to procuring a replacement for a part like this?
[ATTACHREUSE]

movement.jpg broken89Closeup.jpg
 

shutterbug

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Timesavers sometimes has odd names for things. Here's what you need.
You might have to modify it, or just use the threaded rod.
 
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tracerjack

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That’s the part I thought he was referring too as well, but when I looked closer at the photos, I think it is the rod threaded at the top going up to the chops that is broken. This movement looks like it has the fast/slow adjuster in the center of the dial and not at 12.
 

R. Croswell

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Great idea to get a "for parts" movement if you can find one. Make sure it is the 2-hammer version. It can very helpful for one starting out to have an identical movement as a guide - not necessarily to take parts from. Look at the lower left corner of the movement where it should be stamped with "89" plus one or two letters. Try to find one with the same letters.

You can make this movement operate just fine by using an adjustable pendulum in place of the broken adjuster.

RC
 

Kevin W.

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Yes that movement needs some tlc. Its a myth, a over wound clock.
 

TimS

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Thanks for the responses! Yes, the adjuster is below center face and the broken rod is the one going up from there to the suspension spring adjuster thingy (hey, I said I'm still learning :) I can't imagine how that would have gotten snapped unless it had a bubble or crack in it from the get go.

Encouraged by shutterbug's pointer to a similar part, I rescanned Timesavers, but still came up empty for this one. I have another working ST 89 that has the same arrangement, but that one actually has family value, so I obviously can't scavenge from that. Both are stamped only 89 (no letters) but have differences. The good one is not a 2-hammer strike for instance, but for this part they appear to be an exact match. I have Conover's Seth Thomas book on order to learn more, but I'm guessing it's not going to tell me where to find or how to fix this part :)

Ongoing suggestions from experience are appreciated!
 
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tracerjack

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Since that part is not critical to the movement, as RC pointed out, you can still make the movement usable leaving that part as is. Also, many here have "bone piles" and may have what you need. But, it may take some time for them to see this post and respond. Once you have the knowledge to know how to take this movement apart, you can examine more closely how that fast/slow adjuster part is put together, and whether it is repairable.
 
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shutterbug

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It's a long shot, but taking the pinion gear off that Timesavers part might make the threaded rod usable. It would be worth a try. Or if you could get a similar sized steel rod and thread it to fit, that would work too.
 
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TimS

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Thanks for the idea. I actually found the exact movement being sold without a case on ebay, so I decided to go that route and it's on the way. From the pictures on the listing, it looks like the previous owner thought about a half quart of 10w30 was just what pivot holes need J. I paid too much for it to get just the part I want, but I'm rationalizing it by knowing I'll have spares if I run into something else, having a reference (as RC pointed out) and just chalking it up as a cost of learning at this point. I'd like to learn to properly rebush as well, so some extra practice ground will likely be useful. I haven't ruined anything yet, so I'm just counting it as slow success :)
 
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TimS

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I forgot to mention that I was thinking along the same lines of drilling out the broken rod and putting a new one on the pinion gear. Even started looking at materials. If the "parts" movement I bought is otherwise salvageable, I may still try to do that to give it the adjustment back. So to sneak in another question, how would people fasten the steel rod to the brass gear in a situation like that? There should be very little torque, so a very good pressure fit might be enough. I was also thinking maybe silver solder. Would admitting to thinking of JB weld get me kicked off the forum?
 
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shutterbug

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A good tight friction fit would be enough. A little LocTight red (605 seems right in the back of my mind) for insurance wouldn't hurt anything if you wanted.
 

TimS

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It's kind of a late follow-up, but I got Conover's book on Seth Thomas and the problem of this regulator mechanism being damaged by an owner trying to extremely adjust an 89 was common enough to warrant it's own section in the book. He doesn't show a broken arbor like the one in mine. It sounds like more commonly it was one of the arbors being forced to slip inside the gears that rendered the regulator key useless.

They changed the lower arbor bracket to be screwed instead of pivoted in 1914 which makes the problem more repairable.