Seth Thomas Adamantine help

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by David Dikun, Jul 6, 2017.

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  1. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    May 21, 2014
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    Hi all,
    I have this clock which I brought rather cheaply and it seem s to be complete. I'm not sure of the movement although I think it is a ST #44. Anyways the clock is not working. the "Chimes" work meaning the gears are free to bang away. The other SPRING seems fully winded but does not move the gear train. the pendulum swings freely and the one or two gears that are directly behind that move. I don't know anything really about working on clocks although I would love to learn. Any ideas on what may be wrong or any ideas on how to get this beauty working again. I believe from the stamp on the underside it is dated 1901.

    thanks!
    David[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Your clock's movement needs to be taken apart and serviced. They usually need a few bushings and the springs need to be hand cleaned and inspected. This is an excellent movement but it needs some TLC.
    Willie X
     
  3. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #3 Time After Time, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    Willie is right, the movement would benefit from some attention. It also looks to me as though the retention arm over the verge may be resting against the verge/saddle itself. I can't be sure, but it kind of looks that way in your 2nd photo. The black arm needs to rest on the pin which goes through the verge saddle. If it doesn't, the verge can't swing freely as it needs to and the movement definitely will not run.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a video of a similar set up (different manufacturer) which shows the recoil escapement properly set up and in action: [video=youtube;Q6hC31fEN2I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6hC31fEN2I[/video]
     
  4. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    Thank you, could it be something as simple as that black pin out of place to make a clock stop? What is the pin called? and what does it do?
     
  5. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #5 Time After Time, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    I call it a retention wire. Not certain what the "formal" name for it is. It keeps the bent-strip verge in place without causing too much friction or interference with its movement. Did you look at the video I posted? It's all shown right there.

    P.S. I'm not certain that is the problem. From your photo that looks like it might be an issue. As Willie mentioned to you, your movement probably needs some attention in the form of a proper servicing. Good luck with it.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Looks like you have a very nice clock in probably better than average condition. I believe your first decision is are you ready to make a commitment (lots of time and some dollars) to learn how to repair clocks like this one, or are you going to send it out to be repaired? If you're going to send it out please do the repair person a favor and send it just like it is now without monkeying with it. It will save the shop time and save you money in the long run.


    As for what may be wrong, 100+ years of wear, an accumulation of dirt, and probably lack of oil. The fact that you see several gears (wheels) turning is a good sign. In order for the clock to run the spring must deliver enough power to the escapement to keep the pendulum swinging. When that doesn't happen the problem can be a single broken part, or excessive friction due to a number of worn parts or parts without lubrication. The problem is almost never just an adjustment and monkeying around with the adjustments often serves no purpose other than to add additional problems. So let us know what you plan to do. There are a few unusual things about this movement but it isn't especially difficult to service, and a lot of people here are able to guide you IF you want to make the commitment to fix it right.

    RC
     
  7. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    What you have is a Seth Thomas Mantel Clock called their Larkin No. 722 Model. It was manufactured by Seth Thomas for the Larkin Soap Company, which offered it to the public as a "Free" incentive reward campaign to sell more of their soap. The Adamantine finish usually ages well and can clean up very nicely (with care!).
    Here's a view of a Seth Thomas No. 44 "Hip" movement with the retention wire properly placed over the Verge Pin. The photo is a little blurry but if you look closely, and then compare it to yours, you'll see what I mean.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another view of the movement on a test stand after I overhauled it. Again, looks closely at the verge set up:

    [​IMG]
    Here's the case before clean up:
    [​IMG]

    And After clean up:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here's a copy of the Larkin Soap Catalog Ad:

    [​IMG]

    There are a LOT of these clocks still around so the Larkin Incentive campaign must have been very successful. They are nice looking, nicely proportioned clocks with good, reliable movements. Their strike is very pleasant and sounds much "bigger" than the clock's size. Even though they are somewhat common antiques, I think they are still a valued model to antique clock collections...especially new collectors since they are generally not very expensive. If you want to restore the clock yourself, you can find a lot of help on this message board. As RC states, it will require resources in terms of time and expense, but there are a lot of experienced folks here who can point you in the right direction. If this is the only antique clock you intend to acquire, you might be better off sending it to someone who is experience and equipped to do a good job for you. Good luck and enjoy your antique Seth Thomas.
     
  8. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    thanks for the info.
    Should I clean the bronze fixtures?
     
  9. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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  10. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    If TAT's suggestion doesn't work, it might be that the main
    spring is stuck.
    I'm a little worried about the main spring for the time side. It looks
    to be wound tight as you've noted.
    It may have been wound so long that the layers are glued
    together ( old dry grease and maybe some light rust ).
    This condition is dangerous for both you and the clock.
    The movement otherwise looks fine.
    If it is a glues spring, you should be able to easily wiggle a
    the wheels in the time train a little as there would be no
    power on them.
    Get a gallon of karosene. Use a bucket and place the entire
    movement in it, such that the karosene is covering the spring.
    Put it in a safe place, away from things like water heater
    pilot lights with something to cover it ( not in the house ).
    Let it soak for few days to a week and then see if the rocking the
    crutch doesn't cause it to escape.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  11. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    Thankyou Tinker, yes I'm afraid to mess around with the main spring as it could be dangerous. I will take your advice and soak the movement. I can wiggle some of the gears (wheels) close to the top, but the bigger wheels at the bottom don't move and have no play. I made the mistake of winding it a bit more, but it was already wound tight so I did not do much.
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Nice clock, TAT!
     
  13. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Thank you bangster. :) We gave it as a gift to our daughter and son-in-law.
     
  14. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    If you can't wiggle the second wheel, it most likely has power.
    Soaking it will do no serious harm but I'm thinking that TAT may
    be right. The spring piece should be on top of the arbor and
    not to the side.
    If you do soak it, it will require re-oiling the springs and movement
    as a minimum.
    It will strip any oil from the movement.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  15. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    I removed the movement from the case, and noticed as I turned it upside down it started to work. Then right side up it was working.. when I say working I mean at least there was movement. When I hang the pendulum on the weight of it stops it completely. Any ideas?
     
  16. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    It may well be out of beat. Do you know how to put a clock in beat? If not, go to the beginning of the forum, click on Clock Repair, then choose the 'How to do it' section near the top, then scroll down to the topic 'Beat Setting 101' as you will find easy instructions.

    Hope this will help you.

    JTD

    PS I see that a link to the site has automatically appeared in my message, so you can click on that and go straight to the beat setting instructions.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Also a video of the movement running would help us diagnose it better. Post to Youtube and link to it here.
     
  18. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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  19. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Your video can't be accessed - it says it's private.

    JTD
     
  20. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Once you're sure that your video can be accessed by the public, try using the "Insert Video" link. It's the icon that looks like film at the top of your reply form.
     
  21. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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  22. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #22 Time After Time, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    Well, it's definitely out of beat. It's easy to hear that much in the 2-3 beats you recorded with the pendulum bob in place. Did you look over the Beat Setting Link? If not see this link and let us know if you have any questions: https://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Beat_Setting_101
     
  23. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Here's another video link that you might find helpful too:
    [video=youtube;XgnvYfPVedY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgnvYfPVedY[/video]
     
  24. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    It is often that a new person will take the pendulum off
    a recoil clock and then show how it runs fine without the pendulum.
    I can only say that doing this only tells you that all the wheels
    are there and mostly aligned close to the desired location.
    It is usually useless as an indication as to whether the
    clock will run with the pendulum bob attached.
    As was noted, It sounds like you need to get the beat set.
    A clock this far out of beat doesn't stand a chance.
    It may still have other issues but fix the obvious first.
    I do wish you'd shown it swinging a couple times more
    with the bob on. The running without the bob is wasted
    video time.
    Also, the beat should be adjusted in the clock case. The
    mounting is not always perfectly straight. The beat setting
    has to match how it will be in the case.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  25. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #25 Time After Time, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    Tinker brings up a very good point about transferring the movement from a stand (in your case, the bench) to the clock case. My thoughts were that if you can get it in beat on your bench, you should be able to repeat the process (or fine tune your adjustments) once you reassemble the clock. Putting a clock completely back together can sometimes be more challenging than putting a movement back together. It's often the small things that trip you up.

    I suggest that you just try to elevate one side of the movement, then the other as the Video details. Use some coins (or similar) as shims. Be sure that nothing interferes with the free swing of the pendulum. If you can get the movement running by just doing that, don't bend the crutch. Reassemble the clock and make your adjustments (as per the video) with the clock case leveled. You might have to put shims under the feet of the clock to do so. I've sometimes shimmed between the case and one or more of the feet for a more permanent "fix". It's important to get things level so that you adjust the center of the beat with the center of the pendulum swing. The Crutch loop has to be appropriately adjusted too. The pendulum rod should pass freely through the middle of a loop formed by the crutch wire. The rod should fit closely to the sides of the loop, but it must not bind in any part of the loop.
    [​IMG]
    (Image "borrowed" from Bill Stoddard's website ClockInfo.com about 7 years ago)
     
  26. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    thank you all,
    my apologies, I am new person to clocks
     
  27. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Welcome to the MB David. No apologies needed. We've all been where you are. We can help but only by pointing you in the right direction. Let us know if you have any questions about setting the beat.
     
  28. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Beat setting is very sensitive. Recoil escapements like you have are
    a little more forgiving than deadbeats.
    I use playing cards as shims.
    One can often hear the difference of one or two card thickneses
    when determining the amount off beat it is.
    Follow the instructions.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  29. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Don't be afraid. We try to not beat around the bush so
    we are often blunt. The important part is that
    you make progress.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  30. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    There is one more thing that perhaps should be mentioned. For a "new person to clocks" setting the beat 'by ear' can sometimes be challenging if the drops off of each pallet are not the same. When the clock is "in beat" the pendulum moves the same distance left and right of the resting center before the escapement releases a tooth on the escape wheel. When the drops are equal and the clock is in beat the escape wheel advances the same amount on the "tick" and the "tock". However if the drops are not equal the resulting sound - either the tick or the tock being louder and the escape wheel advancing a greater amount - the clock can sound like it is out of beat. Step one should be to adjust the escapement so the drops are more or less equal and then put it in beat. Recoil escapements often come to us with incorrect angles and unequal drops.

    It has often been said to move the verge as close to the escape wheel as possible and have it not bind. This frequently will result in uneven drops. Changing the verge to escape wheel distance will affect the drop off of one pallet more than the other. Rather than as close as possible, the verge should be positioned where the drops are close to equal. If more over-swing is desired (less drop and more lock) then the pallet spacing and angles should be adjusted and the verge repositioned for equal drops. This can be challenging for anyone and is seldom ever perfect in a recoil escapement, nor does it need to be for the clock to run, but the sound will be more pleasant and even and setting the beat 'by ear' will be easier.

    RC
     
  31. David Dikun

    David Dikun Registered User
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    thanks all,
    How do I handle the fact that when I place the pendulum on it stops all together? It may swing a bit but just dies.
     
  32. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    It just means it's so far out of beat that it can't run. Do the lifting trick from the video and see where it starts to run. You might have to lift a long way. It's not clear in the video, but you will be lifting the sides, not front to back.
     
  33. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    At this point David I think that I would just take it to a good clock shop and ask them to take a look at it.
     
  34. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    If the clock free runs without the pendulum but dies with the pendulum you most likely one or a combination of two things - the clock is out of beat as already suggested, or there is simply a lack of sufficient power being transferred to the pendulum. It the problem is just being out of beat it should run when one side or the other is raised enough. It may need to be raised an inch or more if the clock has been messed with, but it should be raised in small increments or you could miss the inbeat point.

    For a clock that won't run, I would first do a static test of the beat. With the clock stopped and the pendulum at rest, place a ruler or paper scale under the center of the pendulum and mark that place on the scale. SLOWLY move the pendulum left and right of center until the escarpment releases an escape wheel tooth and mark the points on the scale. The clock will be very close to being in beat when the release points are the same distance from center rest position. If it won't run under that condition you are loosing too much power, usually from worn or dirty pivots or pivot holes, or thickened or dried up oil.

    RC
     
  35. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Thanks for the Larkin model information. Do you know if there is a Seth Thomas list/catalog of the Larkin models that they made? I have several Larkin catalogs, and will have to pull them out to read the verbiage. Their later catalog are pretty robust as this marketing model was quite successful for them.

    Pat
     
  36. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    No, I don't. I have run across a Catalog Page reprint of their No. 25 and No. 35 models though. They must have given quite a few Seth Thomas clocks away during their marketing campaigns.

    [​IMG]
     
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