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Seth Thomas Soldered Fly Help!

Don1965

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I have a Seth Thomas OGEE clock that just came back from the shop. I noticed that the strike train kicked back after the clock struck. I removed the movement to notice that the fly has been soldered. I am waiting from the clock shop to see if they did this. I am going to try to loosen this myself but if I cannot, now what? Does someone else a replacement part? How easy is this movement to take apart to install a new fly? What is the name of this movement in case I have to get another? The case on this OGEE is excellent so I want to try to save it. Thanks for your help!

move1.jpg move2.jpg ogee.jpg
 

wow

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The shop should have removed that immediately. What did they do to the clock?
Removing the solder is possible but the fly and arbor will need to be removed. On an ogee it is not bad because there are no springs to deal with. If you do it yourself, take lots of photos first. You should be able to get the fly and arbor out easily. I usually start removing the solder with a weller soldering gun to get the chunks off. A small wire brush helps. Once you get most of it off, a mini torch is best to get the fly off the arbor. Then a wire brush wheel in a Dremel helps. Just heat and brush till you get it all off. Do not over heat. Never get it red. Let us know what you do.
Will
 

Willie X

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Let down BOTH springs, remove the nut closest to the fly and loosen the others about one turn. This should make it easy to spread the plates enough to remove the fly. Note, be very careful when working anywhere near the escape wheel.

Lightly clamp one wing of the fly in a vise and heat the solder till it melts. Wiggle the arbor and it should slide right out.
Once apart, melt the solder again and wipe the solder off the parts, using a cotton cloth or steel wool.

Note, use a minimum amount of heat and if you are not a 'solder person' it's probably best to use a soldering iron.

When the solder is all gone the pieces will still be tinned with a trace of solder. I find it best just to leave this alone.

Yes replacements are available in assortments and it's not to hard to make a good replacement yourself.

Just saw wow's post. If no springs, you don't have to let them down. Ha

Willie X
 
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Don1965

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The movement has mainsprings. There are no nuts on the movement. Just pins to hold it together.
 

Willie X

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Pins?

Take out the pin nearest the fly, replace the other 3 with loose fitting wire, paper clips will do. Bend both ends of the wire around to form a "Z" or "S" so the wires can't fall out. Same warning about the escape wheel.

Willie X
 

shutterbug

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I'm a bit surprised that a repair shop would let that go out of their shop whether they did it or not. It's just not good for their reputation.
 

R. Croswell

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I have a Seth Thomas OGEE clock that just came back from the shop. I noticed that the strike train kicked back after the clock struck. I removed the movement to notice that the fly has been soldered. I am waiting from the clock shop to see if they did this. I am going to try to loosen this myself but if I cannot, now what? Does someone else a replacement part? How easy is this movement to take apart to install a new fly? What is the name of this movement in case I have to get another? The case on this OGEE is excellent so I want to try to save it. Thanks for your help!

View attachment 691858 View attachment 691859 View attachment 691860
I have one of these clocks that's very similar to yours, I am told that the case is a "round band" as it does not have the OG shape molding. The movement would be called a lyre movement referencing its shape. ST made several lyre movements. If yours is like mine, the striking will stop abruptly and "kick back" regardless of whether the fly is soldered or not, it's just the nature of the beast.

I would remove the solder and that should reduce the stress somewhat, but it will likely continue to kick back or rebound when the striking ends. It looks like a poor solder job so you may be able to separate the fly from the arbor quite easily. You should be able to reuse the fly. Most likely it was soldered in place because it was slipping excessively. Once you have it apart and the retainer wire straightened out it should be fine. It should slip just a bit when it comes to a sudden halt, but it should not slip while running.

RC
 
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Don1965

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So...these Ogee's are known to kick back? Before it went into the shop I didn't hear that after striking. I questioned the shop and they state it was probably put there for a reason and they left it alone. So, If I let down both mainsprings, if I remove the pins like Willie states and replace with thin wire the fly should come out without any issues?
 

Don1965

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After the clock stops striking, the strike train will move backwards and then right itself for the next strike. Something like a recoil. I do not think it did this before I sent it out for repair.
 

R. Croswell

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So...these Ogee's are known to kick back? Before it went into the shop I didn't hear that after striking. I questioned the shop and they state it was probably put there for a reason and they left it alone. So, If I let down both mainsprings, if I remove the pins like Willie states and replace with thin wire the fly should come out without any issues?
Don’t remove all the pins unless you plan to disassemble the entire movement. Just pull the pin closest to the fan. You should be able to separate the plates enough to slip the fan out if not, pull the other pins one at a time replacing them with a thin wire. You don’t need it to fall apart on you.

The clocks we generally call OG clocks, are powered by two iron weights and have no springs.

All I can say is that mine winds up pretty fast and stops “ hard” and recoils or kicks back And always has. The only explanation I can think of to explain your observation that it didn’t kick back before service is that perhaps it was a little sluggish and after the shop cleaned it it became more lively so the kick back that went unnoticed before is now more obvious. I doubt that the shop caused this although someone who would leave that solder mess might do anything.

if the strike is fast like a machine gun, and the fan is not slipping, you may have incorrect springs. I think this one likely had the thick, rough, wrought iron springs. Replacement steel springs should be thinner.

RC
 

captainclock

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Your clock may not actually be a true OG clock but rather a later reproduction of an OG Style Clock from the early 20th Century (1920s or 1930s) because in the 1920 and 1930s a lot of the American clock manufacturers like Seth Thomas, and New Haven for example made quite a few spring driven clocks that were in the style of earlier American clocks such as the Steeple Clocks or the old OG clocks, so with that in mind I kind of doubt your clock is a true OG because as was stated previously true OGs were weight driven and were made that way up until about the 1870s or thereafter.
 

Don1965

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Mine has the original paper label inside. Would they have had that in the 20' and 30's?
 

R. Croswell

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Mine has the original paper label inside. Would they have had that in the 20' and 30's?
Clocks in the 20s & 30s were typically smaller and many had labels on the outside. Paper making changed after the civil war resulting in some of the older paper surviving longer because of lower acid content. Obviously makers opted to put labels inside clocks that front doors that open. I believe the lyre style movement places your clock before this period.

RC
 
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Don1965

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I received a reply from my clock repair guy about the soldered fly. I will post it tomorrow morning. Stay tuned. It might be an interesting read!
 

captainclock

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Clocks in the 20s & 30s were typically smaller and many had labels on the outside. Paper making changed after the civil war resulting in some of the older paper surviving longer because of lower acid content. Obviously makers opted to put labels inside clocks that front doors that open. I believe the lyre style movement places your clock before this period.

RC
The reason why I questioned the time period the OP thought his clock was from was because of the fact that as you said most true OG clocks were weight driven and the OP's clock is spring driven, and I do know that Seth Thomas did make reproduction clocks in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries that were spring driven that were stylized after earlier clock styles (I have seen several before online for sale and they were falsely listed as original antique time pieces.) So then possibly the OP's clock may have actually been a reproduction from the late 19th century (1880s or 1890s) rather than a 1920s or 1930s reproduction like I originally thought.

Either that, or someone had converted this clock from a weight driven clock to a spring driven clock at some point in time...
 

Don1965

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After doing some research, I think my clock may be called the "round moulding".
 

Willie X

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The time period seems good to me. I've seen spring driven small OGs from time to time and they were legit.

The case mouldings are a bit unusual. This brings up a good question. If the mouldings are not OG, can the clock still be an OG :???:

There should be records of most S-T clocks but I'm pretty sure not for all.

Willie X
 

Don1965

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Okay, this is what the clock repair man states:

"I think with the fly what you might be experiencing is "bounce", not kicking back. It will not be easy to slip the fly off without dismantling the entire movement but certainly easier with 30 hour clocks. If you don't do it near perfectly and have the mainsprings retained, they could expand/explode causing damage to teeth on numerous gears. I would not try this method. I am not sure if I would remove the solder entirely as too little weight and the fly will go much faster making the clock strike furiously fast. Also, too much removed would make the fly spin and it should not spin at all, should be static. If the governor spins there will be other issues. I think if you make these alterations you could be heard for further damage and repairs to be honest. I'll be happy to look at it again for you but these issues I've outlined could do more harm than good."
 

shutterbug

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One thing is sure: It did not have a soldered fly when leaving the factory. You say it is sluggish. Removing the solder might help that.
 
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wow

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The fly is supposed to “spin” on it's arbor. It only spins slightly when the arbor stops turning.That solder should be removed completely and the fly adjusted so it is tight on the arbor but can still slip.
The method of loosening nuts or pins on the corner posts and opening the plate at the corner where the fly is works fine if you let the springs down and be careful not to bend pivots. I use it often to adjust the S-4 wheel cut off position if it is wrong after assembly.
Is what I think!
Will
 

R. Croswell

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Okay, this is what the clock repair man states:

"I think with the fly what you might be experiencing is "bounce", not kicking back. It will not be easy to slip the fly off without dismantling the entire movement but certainly easier with 30 hour clocks. If you don't do it near perfectly and have the mainsprings retained, they could expand/explode causing damage to teeth on numerous gears. I would not try this method. I am not sure if I would remove the solder entirely as too little weight and the fly will go much faster making the clock strike furiously fast. Also, too much removed would make the fly spin and it should not spin at all, should be static. If the governor spins there will be other issues. I think if you make these alterations you could be heard for further damage and repairs to be honest. I'll be happy to look at it again for you but these issues I've outlined could do more harm than good."
I'm afraid that your clock man doesn't understand everything he knows. You absolutely must restrain both main springs - that is tie them with #18 or thicker steel wire, or use mainspring retainer clamps and let down the springs and release the clicks so there is zero stored energy in the springs before removing any pins. On these lyre movements the fan arbor is way out on the end of that upper "horn" and you should have no trouble slipping the arbor out without spilling the other parts if the springs are restrained and the power removed. I agree with others, the fan was not soldered at the factory and does not need to be weighted. Some clocks do strike faster than others and that's OK. The solder and added weight will definitely stress the rest of the strike train - will it actually cause serious damage? Maybe, maybe not, but will likely shorten its useful life.

Here is a link to the clock I have that appears to have the same movement: Seth Thomas "Round Band" Miniature Shelf Clock, circa 1867 (greenfieldclockshop.com)

RC
 

Don1965

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My clock is built exactly like that!

I have not started work on it but it appears that there is a crack in the fly running the haft length of the shaft. Does anyone have a fly exactly like the one I have or possibly the whole assembly? I would pay for it of course. Might be better to remove and replace?
 

R. Croswell

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My clock is built exactly like that!

I have not started work on it but it appears that there is a crack in the fly running the haft length of the shaft. Does anyone have a fly exactly like the one I have or possibly the whole assembly? I would pay for it of course. Might be better to remove and replace?
Simply go down to your local hobby shop or hardware store and purchase a piece of sheet brass and cut out a new fly using your old one as a pattern. Not likely to find an exact match unless you find an identical movement. I looked for several years to find my movement. An interesting movement in that the winding arbors are in an unusual location not the same distance from the center shaft. It also has a wheel with variously spaced pegs that serves as a count wheel. Mine will run a little over two days.

RC
 

Don1965

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Thank you for the idea! I also see that Timesavers has a fan/fly assortment. Will that work?

Thanks for all the help Guy's!
 

R. Croswell

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Thank you for the idea! I also see that Timesavers has a fan/fly assortment. Will that work?

Thanks for all the help Guy's!
On this clock that tends to have a fast strike you want as large a fan blade as you can get so long as it doesn't hit anything. If you post a link or the part number of the Timesavers fan we may have some advice. You may need to trim the blade. Also consider how the blade mounts. This one should have a simple wire that crosses the fan blade and slips into a groove in the arbor to keep it in place.

Here's the one that came in my movement, and yes, the whole movement was in rough shape.


RC

DSC02384.JPG
 

Willie X

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That one has been cut up. The readily available assortments for American clicks will usually have a nice replacement. The original fly usually uses up all the space available. Willie X
 

Don1965

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It will be some time before I get to this clock and I will let you know how it works out. Thanks again!
 

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