Seth Thomas Plymouth 1938

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Dave T, Mar 25, 2020.

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  1. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Dec 8, 2011
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    Got this one in today. I agreed to work on it for a friend. It's stamped 38 - 05 on the bottom left leg, but nothing indicating it's an 89 variation. But I'm not sure what it is. The back door is labelled 4300, 4500, 4600 series.
    My first impression is that it's a cheap version of the former 89. Right now I'm not looking forward to it.

    Any opinions out there on these? Problems to look for?
    Seth Thomas Plymouth Barry 1.jpg Seth Thomas Plymouth Barry.jpg
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    This is a general time movement. They were made up to about 1955 when they started using Hermle movements.

    These are pretty good clocks but harder to work on than the 87. The springs are strong and take up a lot of room in the movement, and the clicks are difficult to repair.

    The main problem I see is wear in the lower part of the trains. They will run with a good bit of wear.

    Good luck,. Willie X
     
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  3. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Thanks Willie, This is my first encounter with a General Time. Never even heard of it.

    I assume you meant 89, not 87.

    Probably tear it down tomorrow and see how she looks.
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    #4 Willie X, Mar 25, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    Oops, yes #89, 'General Time' owned the S-T brand for around 36 years. Then Tandy Industries bought the brand around 1977. No more mechanical clocks carried the S-T brand after 1988.

    Many earlier S-T 'Plymouth' branded clocks were fitted with the #89 movement. Others may be able to tell you the cut off date where the #89 movements stopped and the movement you have started?

    Willie X
     
  5. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    #5 dad1891, Mar 26, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    I have one of those that is a year younger than yours. Nothing particularly difficult about rebuilding them. As I recall, mine had 0.018" springs and I replaced them with 0.016" springs that are probably still too strong. The thing that I don't like about it is that it ticks very loud. The cheap case probably contributes to the problem.

    Have you got a pic of the case? Sometime in the last 80 years, somebody decided to paint a ceiling over mine and couldn't take the time to move the clock.:(
     
  6. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Thanks guys, The case is very clean, complete with fake burl! And the movement is too, except for the usual black grunge on the pivots and pinions.
    Seth Thomas Plymouth Barry 2.png

    Seth Thomas Plymouth Barry 3.jpg
     
  7. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    What do I do with the two top mounting bushings? They are (were) rubber on both sides of a brass grommet, and the rubber is shot. Were there 4 at one time and the bottom two are missing? Can I get rid of the top ones altogether? And if necessary, I can put a washer under the movement for clearance.
     
  8. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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  9. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    The rubber on mine is about as soft as you would expect from 80 year old rubber. Would fiber washers be an option?
     
  10. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    Fiber would work, but would not deaden ticking sounds like rubber.
     
  11. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Got this clock finished and back in the case. Looks like it will be a good runner.
    BUT: Here's the pendulum I got with it. It hits the bottom of the case, and I'm almost sure it's older than the movement. I'm also showing the key that is not correct and it appears too old too.
    Seth pendulum.png
     
  12. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    From the ones i have seen in Canada. Yes not original pendulum, it would be heavier.My father in law has one, i will inherit it one day.
     
  13. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    You reckon He would loan me the pendulum in the meantime? ;)
     
  14. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I think the shipping would be a bit much Dave.:)
     
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  15. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I hope this will not be the only inheritance....

    Uhralt
     
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  16. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Well, I finally figured it out. The suspension spring has to be attached from the very top timing adjuster.
    I had it hanging from the top of the split post!
    That's my last dumb move for the day. I'm taking the rest of the day off!
     
  17. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    That 'bellcrank' style regulator is both simple and effective.

    Any key that fits snuggly will be fine.

    Most of the pendulum bobs on these movements had flat parallel faces with a hole in the center. I can post a photo if you like. The pendulum you have should work fine and the adjustable feature can be a plus sometimes.

    Willie X
     
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  18. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Me too, lol. :p
     
  19. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Willie,
    Never saw a regulator like this one. But it does work freely, not like most others I've seen.
    Post a picture of the correct one when you get around to it.
    I asked the owner about it, and he said it's always been on there. I still think the bob he has is older than the rest of the clock.
    But we're not going to change it.
     
  20. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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  21. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Clock is running well, but the strike tends to hang up most of the time.

    Would this most likely be an indication of the star wheel in need of adjustment?
     
  22. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Did you do any bushing work on the strike side?

    When the clock warns, look closely at the star wheel. The hammer tail should be about 1/2 to 1mm away from contacting the star wheel.

    Another test ... watch the hammer closely while controling the rotation of the fly. The fly should go round about 8 turns before the hammer starts to lift.

    Hope this helps, Willie X
     
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  23. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    #23 NEW65, Apr 4, 2020 at 3:23 PM
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020 at 3:30 PM
    Any loss in power in the strike train will cause this - and, if the hammer tail is too near or contacting the star wheel, failure of strike is probably inevitable. Momentum is essential. You could adjust the Star wheel to allow more travel or remove GP and adjust position that way.
     
  24. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Good info Willie,
    I'll get it out of the case and on a stand. Then I can look at this.
     

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