Seth Thomas 89 quarter hour chime bim bam

czach

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Jul 28, 2009
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Thought this would be interesting, this clock came into the shop needing the normal cleaning, a bushing, and the gong staff had been snapped off at the base. New threads and a washer fixed that but the interesting part was the mechanism.

It's a normal Seth Thomas 89 counting strike but with a bim bam striking wheel and a strike every 15 minutes. On the first quarter there is one bimbam, then two on the second, and three on the third.

The hour is interesting. There's a cam on the minute wheel shaft that lifts one of the hammers out of action on the hour, so it chimes with only one chime on the hour. The trick to setting it up (aside from going nuts to set the two hammers) is to set the cam to the 15 minute mark, set that as the hour, then trip the chime lever so the counting clock strikes hours (and not the one-two-three quarters). Then set the hour hand to the chimed hour, then go to town.

Anyone ever seen this particular model or know the approximate date they built it? Serious counting wheel with all the extra slots, but it seems to work well.
 

scottmiami

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I had a Cymbal #5 with an 89 that would count the hours, quarters, half & 3/4 appropriately, but not with a single strike on the hour, and have seen similar, but none that only strike once on the hour. Any idea what model it is? Got pics?
 

czach

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Jul 28, 2009
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It has the 89 stamped on it, but that extra cam and lifting arm for the second hammer is kind of cool. I'll take some pictures, also of the sad sad attempt to punch a hole closed that I properly bushed...
 

czach

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Jul 28, 2009
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Correct. It's an 89 with an l (or maybe an i) stamped into the frame. Some pictures:

20150921_083206[1].jpg 20150921_083225[1].jpg 20150921_083235[1].jpg
That is a shot of the number, cam, and the other side of the cam. Let me get a shot of the overall movement.

20150921_085209[1].jpg

There you go. The root clock stopper were the bushings around the escape wheel, nothing unusual. The funny part was how some previous clock-fixer pounded away on the plate to "close up the hole". Oh and horribly out of beat.

I reamed it out and put in nice happy bushings. Happy clock, runs with a single turn of the key.

C
 

harold bain

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Any of these I have seen were rack and snail, with a strange looking snail cut out to allow the 3/4 strike between 12 and 2 O'clock.
 

czach

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Jul 28, 2009
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So it is an unusual movement. Glad I was able to provide a bit of documentation, there wasn't a lot about quarter striking bim bams out there. If anyone else runs into one remember:

1) The hour chime is a single bong, controlled by the cam at 3 o'clock on hour

I wonder what the history was, maybe they just made this for a short time before going to rack/snail.

Will put it all together and take a final picture this evening. Nice little unusual clock.
 

PaPa_Clock

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I have the same movement. Clock is a cymbal #2 and movement is a 89 K. This was my first movement to work on and completely disassemble when I started working on clocks. Not a good one to start with but I learned a lot. Especially not to let down the main springs with a key. It was so early in my clock hobby that I had not ordered a let down tool yet. Needless to say that after loosing a large chunk of finger meat I ordered it the next day. After getting it running I went to show it to my neighbor who had gotten me into clocks. I told him it was a quarter striking bim bam movement and he said no way because it only had 2 winding arbors. After explaining the cam to him he still didn't believe me. I had to show him and even then he looked puzzled. This from a man who had been collecting and repairing clocks for 40+ years. Enjoy it and thi great hobby.

Don

ST1.jpg ST2.jpg
 

czach

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That case is almost identical to this clock, but the gongs are doubled mounted on a post. That's probably the diff between the K and L.

Just to verify, does it do a single bong on the hours?
 

Willie X

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Yes, 89L, I've seen quite a few so they certainly aren't rare.
Willie X
 

lpbp

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I too have seen and worked on many.
 

czach

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We need to post on these things a bit more. When I did a google search on Seth Thomas 89 bim bam I found a number of instances where there was a bim bam on the half hour, but not many that struck all four quarters with a counting wheel (most seem to be rack/snail).

It's kind of a clever little system, but I can see where it would confuse a person/repairer used to working on the type that had a pick up for the half hour and only ran chime on the hour.

Fun stuff :)
 

shutterbug

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I recently posted about one I found (also ST) that had three trains, and a count wheel design. Appears it is quite rare.
 

Randy Beckett

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I recently posted about one I found (also ST) that had three trains, and a count wheel design. Appears it is quite rare.
Do you remember the thread, as I missed it and never remember seeing a 3 train count wheel.
 

ClipClock

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I've got a W&H quarterly bim bam that counts the hour (it counts using just one gong) to work on at some stage. Now I'm getting interested to see how it does it! The striking/chiming part works so Iuckily I''ll be able to watch how it functions before I take it apart :) (OK it doesn't tick but you cant have everything lol :D )
 

PaPa_Clock

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That case is almost identical to this clock, but the gongs are doubled mounted on a post. That's probably the diff between the K and L.

Just to verify, does it do a single bong on the hours?
Yes it does. The cam on the wheel is higher for the hour strike. It lifts and holds one hammer so that only the other one strikes. It also is a count wheel movement.
 

Randy Beckett

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I found it in Clocks General, Randy. Here's a link to it.
Thanks SB. Yep, that's pretty cool. I have a 89L like the subject of this thread that I ran some endurance tests with, and the strike would always stall several days before the time. I suppose it is because they used the basic 89 design and the added quarterly strikes ran the strike train down faster than the other 89's. I like the looks of your 3 train, but imagine it could be a booger to work on.
 

Patch

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Shutt, I hope, that your 89L, wasn't like mine. The stamped steel warning lever, would slip, on the arbor. It was a bear, to find. Otherwise, it's a fairly basic 89.
The only other downfall: The four brass pins that are on the cam, can get heavily grooved. Periodically, they can get that bad, that they'll provide enough friction, to stall the clock.
 

MuensterMann

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I have a Seth Thomas 89 (L?) quarter chime as described. After reassembly and initial testing, it seems to bim-bam for every strike, including the hour. It could be that the original design was for the hour strike to be different (only a bim) to count the hour and I must adjust to get that. It seems that one would want a different sound for the hour - otherwise how would you distinguish between the quarters and the hours 1, 2 and 3. What is the most likely design intention?
 

Willie X

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Quarters are always {1, 2 or 3) bing-bongs. Hours are always counted single notes, as if it's a regular striker. Willie X
 

MuensterMann

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That is what I would imagine it to be. Thus, I must figure out how to adjust on this movement how to get a single note on the hour.
 

shutterbug

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Some of them did a four strike bim bam before the hour strike.
 

MuensterMann

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It is the Cymbal 5. Yep, bim-bams on the three quarters and single bim at the hour counting the hour. Would be interesting to find one with the 4 bim-bams on the hour following by the bims counting the hour!!!

It says that the strike count is self correcting.
 

John P

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Just so happens i am rebuilding one of those now. The set up is simple, turn minute hand until cam seen through the rear plate is lifting the lever and centered. Then adjust front snail to drop into the hour slot(long slot of any hour) i used 12 oclock) tighten small screw lightly and check operation.

johnp
 

Mike Phelan

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i used 12 oclock)

johnp
The problem can be if you use 12 o'clock on the snail, sometimes the end of the rack tail isn't centered. I use it at about 11 or 10 for more accuracy. That's especially if it's a ting-tang clock with only two trains, as the gaps on the 1 and 2 o'clock gaps on the snail have to be precise.
Just my two-pennyworth ;)
 

John P

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The deeper 12 oclock slot will show any scrubbing on the sides of the slot . The rack must fall without touching the sides of the slot.
As in any countwheel set up.
Which ever way you do it, this rule must be followed . The deep slot is the one that will need tweaking before final tightning of the screw. All other slots will now work fine.
 
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MuensterMann

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My clock movement does not have a snail. It is all count wheel.

count wheel.jpg
 

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