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Solved Seth Thomas No 2 Pendulum Swing

wbranko

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I bought a Seth Thomas No 2 regulator at the Regional NAWCC Convention in York back in November. I have refurbished the case, cleaned and oiled the movement, and put the clock into operation as of this week. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed as to the swing of the pendulum. Most of what I see on Youtube shows the pendulum swinging between the roman number "II"s on the beat indicator. Mine swings between the "I"s. I have checked the bushings...there is one that could possibly be bushed, but the wheels flow very freely when not engaged with the crutch. I have changed out pendulum rods (I have an extra)...no help there. I did notice that the former owner of the clock was fond of rube goldberg fixes and using nails instead of steel pins. So I noticed that the suspension spring looked "funny" with a nail as the lower suspension support to the pendulum rod. Then I began to wonder about the spring. I looked in Timesavers and Merritts for a replacement, but the spring for the No 2 looks...well, different. In the catalog it appears to have two pin supports...one at the bottom and one at the top. My suspension block is a brass cylinder with a drilled hole for a pin which goes through a hole in the suspension spring.

So, my questions for the Seth Thomas No 2 repair folks out there. Is my suspension block proper, or someones idea of an "improvement"? If not original, what does the proper suspension block look like and where can I get a replacement? An lastly, is this what is causing my problem with the pendulum, or is this a distraction from the real problem...or is there a problem at all? Maybe my pendulum just swings a little less?

I appreciate any help here. I have fixed a lot of clocks, but this is my first No 2, and it is really frustrating me to figure this out!

Hopefully the photos of the suspension block and spring load up.

20200503_134258.jpg 20200501_163100.jpg
 

bruce linde

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the suspension spring looks reasonable, but it's been jacked with... just get a new one from timesavers. theirs will have a pin through both top and bottom, with rounded tips at each end. you can (carefully) knock one of the pins out so you can insert the suspension spring into the brass cylinder coming off the mounting block... which is correct. you can use a tapered pin or anything to hold it in place... as long as it doesn't slop back and forth. it wants to be snug, not tight, and definitely not loose, in the slot.

also... the suspension hook at the top of the pendulum rod has been jacked with, as well... doesn't really matter but you MUST make sure the hooks are even, parallel, not torqued, etc. to insure perfect left/right swing of pendulum.

make sure you have enough slop in the bushing... these are not super precision machines.

the most important determining factor in pendulum swing on these movements is the relationship between the verge and escape wheel... you need to adust the height of the front piece (assuming a 61 movement?) to make sure lock and drop are even on both sides... if you take a video you can upload to youtube and then copy and paste the url into a message here so we can see what you're seeing.
 

wbranko

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the suspension spring looks reasonable, but it's been jacked with... just get a new one from timesavers. theirs will have a pin through both top and bottom, with rounded tips at each end. you can (carefully) knock one of the pins out so you can insert the suspension spring into the brass cylinder coming off the mounting block... which is correct. you can use a tapered pin or anything to hold it in place... as long as it doesn't slop back and forth. it wants to be snug, not tight, and definitely not loose, in the slot.

also... the suspension hook at the top of the pendulum rod has been jacked with, as well... doesn't really matter but you MUST make sure the hooks are even, parallel, not torqued, etc. to insure perfect left/right swing of pendulum.

make sure you have enough slop in the bushing... these are not super precision machines.

the most important determining factor in pendulum swing on these movements is the relationship between the verge and escape wheel... you need to adust the height of the front piece (assuming a 61 movement?) to make sure lock and drop are even on both sides... if you take a video you can upload to youtube and then copy and paste the url into a message here so we can see what you're seeing.
Bruce,

This is a great response. I'll go downstairs and see what I can do about a video this afternoon. I really appreciate this info!

WB
 

Willie X

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Look for rounded corners where the dead faces meet the impulse faces on the pallets. The pallets are often monkeyed with. If your lucky, maybe the pallets are just running a bit too shallow. What bruce said.

Willie X
 

wbranko

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the suspension spring looks reasonable, but it's been jacked with... just get a new one from timesavers. theirs will have a pin through both top and bottom, with rounded tips at each end. you can (carefully) knock one of the pins out so you can insert the suspension spring into the brass cylinder coming off the mounting block... which is correct. you can use a tapered pin or anything to hold it in place... as long as it doesn't slop back and forth. it wants to be snug, not tight, and definitely not loose, in the slot.

also... the suspension hook at the top of the pendulum rod has been jacked with, as well... doesn't really matter but you MUST make sure the hooks are even, parallel, not torqued, etc. to insure perfect left/right swing of pendulum.

make sure you have enough slop in the bushing... these are not super precision machines.

the most important determining factor in pendulum swing on these movements is the relationship between the verge and escape wheel... you need to adust the height of the front piece (assuming a 61 movement?) to make sure lock and drop are even on both sides... if you take a video you can upload to youtube and then copy and paste the url into a message here so we can see what you're seeing.
Bruce,

I think I have posted my first youtube video (hopefully)! You should be able to see the pallet action at
. Let me know if this works...and if it does, what you think you see?

WB
 

wbranko

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Bruce,

I think I have posted my first youtube video (hopefully)! You should be able to see the pallet action at
. Let me know if this works...and if it does, what you think you see?

WB
Bruce,

I think I messed up the link. Let me try again. It should be
. Let's see if that works!

WB
 

wbranko

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Look for rounded corners where the dead faces meet the impulse faces on the pallets. The pallets are often monkeyed with. If your lucky, maybe the pallets are just running a bit too shallow. What bruce said.

Willie X

Willie,

Bruce had me make a video. It is at
. Let me know what you think?...and thanks!

WB
 

Uhralt

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Willie,

Bruce had me make a video. It is at
. Let me know what you think?...and thanks!

WB
There seem to be quite deep ruts on the anchor pallets. Either re-facing of the pallets or moving the escape wheel a bit over on its arbor would help. The idea of the latter is to use an unworn location of the pallets.

Uhralt
 

Willie X

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Unfortunately, on these clocks the pallets are thin and the E-wheel is often dead center. IOWs most have to be refaced. Willie X
 

R. Croswell

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Yes, the ruts in the pallets are a concern, but you have a fair amount of overswing so the clock should run and be fairly stable. It is your own clock and you know that the ruts will need to be dealt with someday, but I would be tempted to leave it alone unless it gets worse.

RC
 

wbranko

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Yes, the ruts in the pallets are a concern, but you have a fair amount of overswing so the clock should run and be fairly stable. It is your own clock and you know that the ruts will need to be dealt with someday, but I would be tempted to leave it alone unless it gets worse.

RC
RC,

How about depth? Do I look OK there, or should I try to adjust by tinkering with the anchor adjustment block? Or, maybe I should just leave well enough alone?

Opinion?

WB
 

bruce linde

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I’m out and about and will look more carefully later… But it’s also slightly out of beat
 

wbranko

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I’m out and about and will look more carefully later… But it’s also slightly out of beat
Bruce,

I'll attack adjusting the beat again tomorrow. I've been getting oscillating beat indications on my beat machine...anything from -17 to +22. I'm sure I can do better as you suggest. I'll wait for you to inspect the video in detail and any further suggestions are appreciated.

WB
 

bruce linde

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just watched the video again and don't see the escape wheel teeth hitting the ruts... but you should look carefully, with magnification.

i've had multiple of these where the escape wheel teeth needed attention to make consistent.... slightly slightly bent tips from people moving them around with pendulums attached (i guess)... another thing to look at very closely with lots of magnification.

where is that bushing you said was maybe in need of attention? rather than go visuallly, i use the '(while disassembled) tilt the gear (carefully) to see if it tilts more in one direction' trick... if it does, then i measure, file and bush. if the escape wheel and verge bushings are good and nothing is moving around and you STILL get inconsistent ticking, that would point toward the escape wheel teeth (but also those pallets).

more... and longer... videos, pls. youtube doesn't care, and it will help.
 

TooManyClocks

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What is the thickness of your suspension spring?

I have two Seth Thomas #2’s, and had about given up on one of them trying to get enough pendulum amplitude for it to stay running consistently. Like yours, the pendulum swing on the beat plate was about where the “I” is...but it wouldn’t stay running.

It might run overnight, or for a week, or just quit within a half hour. One day, i had the movement out trying to figure things out yet again, and glanced at the suspension spring. It was one i’d ordered from Timesavers as a direct replacement, but the thickness looked funny, so i took it out and measured it. Instead of measuring .004 thickness, it was .055....hmm...I measured the suspension spring that came with the clock when i got it, and it was .004, but it’s only about 1/4 inch wide, but the length is right. I put the old one back in, and it runs like it should. The pendulum swings to the “II” on the beat plate. Only bad thing is, with the narrow suspension spring, the pendulum wants to really wobble on startup (generally after i forget to wind it), but it settles down.

i just reordered a similar suspension spring from timesavers that is identical to the correct one but 1/16 inch shorter, their part number 10421. I measured it when it arrived, it’s .0045 thick. If half a thousand thickness bothers the clock when i get around to installing it, i’ll swipe that half thousands off with a file.

Funny thing is, my other Seth Thomas #2 also has a replacement suspension spring from Timesavers that i got curious about afterward, so I took the movement out and measured the suspension spring on it. That one measured .055 as well, but the clock couldn’t care less. Runs like a champ, great pendulum swing. Go figure...

So based on my experience, if your suspension spring is too thick, that can cause a weak amplitude...depending on the individual clock.

John
 

wbranko

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What is the thickness of your suspension spring?

I have two Seth Thomas #2’s, and had about given up on one of them trying to get enough pendulum amplitude for it to stay running consistently. Like yours, the pendulum swing on the beat plate was about where the “I” is...but it wouldn’t stay running.

It might run overnight, or for a week, or just quit within a half hour. One day, i had the movement out trying to figure things out yet again, and glanced at the suspension spring. It was one i’d ordered from Timesavers as a direct replacement, but the thickness looked funny, so i took it out and measured it. Instead of measuring .004 thickness, it was .055....hmm...I measured the suspension spring that came with the clock when i got it, and it was .004, but it’s only about 1/4 inch wide, but the length is right. I put the old one back in, and it runs like it should. The pendulum swings to the “II” on the beat plate. Only bad thing is, with the narrow suspension spring, the pendulum wants to really wobble on startup (generally after i forget to wind it), but it settles down.

i just reordered a similar suspension spring from timesavers that is identical to the correct one but 1/16 inch shorter, their part number 10421. I measured it when it arrived, it’s .0045 thick. If half a thousand thickness bothers the clock when i get around to installing it, i’ll swipe that half thousands off with a file.

Funny thing is, my other Seth Thomas #2 also has a replacement suspension spring from Timesavers that i got curious about afterward, so I took the movement out and measured the suspension spring on it. That one measured .055 as well, but the clock couldn’t care less. Runs like a champ, great pendulum swing. Go figure...

So based on my experience, if your suspension spring is too thick, that can cause a weak amplitude...depending on the individual clock.

John
John,

Thanks for responding, but my Seth Thomas No 2 is a regulator, so it is a weight driven clock. I appreciate you trying to help though!!

WB
 

TJ Cornish

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John,

Thanks for responding, but my Seth Thomas No 2 is a regulator, so it is a weight driven clock. I appreciate you trying to help though!!

WB
Your weight-driven Seth Thomas No 2 (all ST 2s are weight-driven) has a suspension spring. It's how the pendulum attaches to the movement and/or case, depending on the clock. The vast majority of clocks have a suspension spring; exceptions being cuckoos and a few other random ones.
 

TooManyClocks

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John,

Thanks for responding, but my Seth Thomas No 2 is a regulator, so it is a weight driven clock. I appreciate you trying to help though!!

WB
As stated above, our clocks are the same weight driven design. To help eliminate any confusion, here's a photo of the suspension spring your pendulum will hang on, as it does on mine, as well as a photo of one of my clocks

John

DA4DAF48-4EE3-4A9D-BBDD-29FBA5396260.jpeg 72EBC58D-1A0E-4259-B224-996868BC0B97.jpeg
 

wbranko

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As stated above, our clocks are the same weight driven design. To help eliminate any confusion, here's a photo of the suspension spring your pendulum will hang on, as it does on mine, as well as a photo of one of my clocks

John

View attachment 588304 View attachment 588305
John,

My mistake...I should have read SUSPENSION spring, but I did not figure out what you were trying to tell me at first. I get it now...and I just ordered the new suspension spring from Timesavers. So, we will see when it arrives. This is something I will watch for. Thanks again, and thanks for being patient with me!

:)

WB
 

wbranko

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just watched the video again and don't see the escape wheel teeth hitting the ruts... but you should look carefully, with magnification.

i've had multiple of these where the escape wheel teeth needed attention to make consistent.... slightly slightly bent tips from people moving them around with pendulums attached (i guess)... another thing to look at very closely with lots of magnification.

where is that bushing you said was maybe in need of attention? rather than go visuallly, i use the '(while disassembled) tilt the gear (carefully) to see if it tilts more in one direction' trick... if it does, then i measure, file and bush. if the escape wheel and verge bushings are good and nothing is moving around and you STILL get inconsistent ticking, that would point toward the escape wheel teeth (but also those pallets).

more... and longer... videos, pls. youtube doesn't care, and it will help.
Bruce,

I will never be a movie maker that's for sure...but here I go again. This is longer and I tried to cover more ground with the clock overall as well. Let me know if you see anything reportable. I did notice that the anchor is contacting the escape wheel right where the ruts are. No surprise there I guess. Hopefully you may notice something!

The video should be at
or so I hope!

WB
 

Uhralt

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Bruce,

I will never be a movie maker that's for sure...but here I go again. This is longer and I tried to cover more ground with the clock overall as well. Let me know if you see anything reportable. I did notice that the anchor is contacting the escape wheel right where the ruts are. No surprise there I guess. Hopefully you may notice something!

The video should be at
or so I hope!

WB
it seems you've got very little lock at least on the right side of the verge. The escape wheel teeth may even fall on the impulse face of the pallet. It is hard to see. Is it possible to lower the anchor a bit so that it comes closer to the escape wheel? This should be a fraction of a mm only, very small changes can make a big difference here.

Uhralt
 

Willie X

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IMOE, these clocks will never run right with grooves in the pallets. Same story with Vienna regulators and many other older weight powered clocks.

The adjustment Urhalt mentions could make a marked difference though.

Willie X
 

TooManyClocks

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John,

My mistake...I should have read SUSPENSION spring, but I did not figure out what you were trying to tell me at first. I get it now...and I just ordered the new suspension spring from Timesavers. So, we will see when it arrives. This is something I will watch for. Thanks again, and thanks for being patient with me!

:)

WB
No problem! :)
If i had 3 cents for every time I made a mistake i think I’d be a millionaire several times over by now...just ask my wife:rolleyes:

John
 

wbranko

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it seems you've got very little lock at least on the right side of the verge. The escape wheel teeth may even fall on the impulse face of the pallet. It is hard to see. Is it possible to lower the anchor a bit so that it comes closer to the escape wheel? This should be a fraction of a mm only, very small changes can make a big difference here.

Uhralt
Uhralt,

I've been thinking about trying that to see what happens. I think I will wait for the new suspension spring, and then try the adjustment you suggest. It should be easy enough as long as I am careful. It will be a few days before the suspension spring makes it from Arizona to Pennsylvania. I'll post something up here when I see what the results of the changes produce!

Thanks to you and Willie X!

WB
 

Uhralt

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Uhralt,

I've been thinking about trying that to see what happens. I think I will wait for the new suspension spring, and then try the adjustment you suggest. It should be easy enough as long as I am careful. It will be a few days before the suspension spring makes it from Arizona to Pennsylvania. I'll post something up here when I see what the results of the changes produce!

Thanks to you and Willie X!

WB
You're welcome! Let us know what you find.

Uhralt
 

shutterbug

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I notice the same thing that Uhralt saw - the exit pallet is being struck on the impulse face, and then drifting upward onto the spot it should be landing on. That is taking a lot of power away from the impulse.
 

wbranko

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You're welcome! Let us know what you find.

Uhralt
Uhralt, JC, Willie X, Bruce Linde, John, Shutterbug, and all who contributed to this string,

You have solved the problem!

First I checked the suspension spring as suggested by John. To my surprise it measured .003 inches, so it was not too thick...plus there seemed to be plenty of swing when not attached to the movement. I then took Uhralt, Shutterbug, and Willie X's suggestion and looked closely at the anchor. Checking out the anchor adjusting block, I noticed that the screw had been boogered by someone in the past. Now, I never mess with these because I feel this kind of adjustment is usually beyond my pay grade/expertise...and because it's usually not necessary. This time was different. I carefully loosened the screw and dropped the anchor adjusting block by a very small amount. Willie X was right! That small amount made a huge difference. The pendulum immediately "took off" and now swings energetically between the "II"s!! So, in the end, it was a depthing problem that needed the anchor adjustment. I can only guess how long the clock had been out of service due to this problem, and it is probably why I got a good deal on the clock. Well, that and the 10 pounds of coal and kerosene goo that came off the case when I cleaned it!

:)

Much thanks again to all of you for putting up with my poor videos and dumb questions. In the end, you helped me get it done, and I appreciate it greatly!

THANKS!!!!

WB

By the way...anyone know how to add the "Solved" button on this string?
 
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shutterbug

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Always happy to help, WB. I hope you have caught the bug enough to grab yourself another clock and bring it back to life too! :)
 

Uhralt

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Glad we could help! You will find that the clock will not only have a more energetic swing but will also keep much better time once you fine-regulated the pendulum.

Uhralt
 

Al Dodson

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I notice the same thing that Uhralt saw - the exit pallet is being struck on the impulse face, and then drifting upward onto the spot it should be landing on. That is taking a lot of power away from the impulse.
This is not taking power away from the impulse, the impulse remains unchanged as long as the pallet faces are unchanged. It is causing the pendulum to loose momentum as it recoils the train. This will require the train to supply more impulse than it is capable of delivering.
 

shutterbug

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I agree, Al. I said it incorrectly ;)
 

MartinM

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Question for the group... Is the pendulum adjustment assembled correctly on this one? I can have my clock go through two or three windings and be within a few seconds a week and then, all of a sudden I find I need to adjust it after winding. I mean 15 seconds or so after a day. I wind slowly, leaving the clock running and don't let the pulley touch the guard on the movement. When I built the pendulum from parts, I installed the brass square part so it cradles the bottom of the pendulum bob and is visible from the front when the clock is running. If that's not correct, could someone post a pic showing the proper assembly?
 

shutterbug

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That sounds right. Temperature, humidity, air resistance - many things can affect the ability of a clock to keep time accurately, and it can change daily.
 

Uhralt

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Question for the group... Is the pendulum adjustment assembled correctly on this one? I can have my clock go through two or three windings and be within a few seconds a week and then, all of a sudden I find I need to adjust it after winding. I mean 15 seconds or so after a day. I wind slowly, leaving the clock running and don't let the pulley touch the guard on the movement. When I built the pendulum from parts, I installed the brass square part so it cradles the bottom of the pendulum bob and is visible from the front when the clock is running. If that's not correct, could someone post a pic showing the proper assembly?
I find that the main factor in timekeeping is humidity due to the wooden pendulum rod. When the weather changes from low humidity in winter (I live in Michigan) to high humidity in summer, I have to turn the adjusting screw up about a quarter turn to compensate.

Uhralt
 
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