Help Seth Thomas - ST 61 A414-00 Movement

Pattman68

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Dec 14, 2021
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I recently started purchasing wall, mantle and grandfather clocks at used furniture store and antique store in my area that did not run. I get them home and have been successfully getting them running by cleaning (disassembling if bad) and oiling the clock. I recently told a friend I would try to get a Seth Thomas 1970's reproduction wall clock back operating. This is a simple single weight, time only movement and I am surprised by the trouble I am having. The gear train does not seem to be binding, there are no worn pivots or bushings in the plates but the pendulum stops after 3-5 minutes. I disassembled the movement and put the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner prior to reassembling and oiling. I believe I have gotten it in beat by moving it on the wall to the left but it stops anyway. The older #61 movements seem to of been driven by a string through a pulley at the weight based on my research. This movement has a wire cable instead that looks original. Any ideas why the pendulum stops? I have tried adjusting the verge engagement with the escapement wheel with the screw but this does not fix the pendulum from stopping. Thanks for any help you can provide this rookie.

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Keith Doster

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Does it have the original weight? How much does it weigh? Sounds like a lack of power, but could be any number of things, especially a verge out of adjustment.
 
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Willie X

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I've seen several repos that have deformed (or misshapen) pallets. Most had palet tips that were two thick. You would need a good photo, of a known good pallet, to help see your problem area/s. There are also drawings and formula for dead beat escapements available. Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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If you are going to continue to repair clocks, it might be time to take the next step.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clock movements but there is more to clock repair than those functions. The problem with non-working clocks is usually low power, which clean oil and adjust generally cannot not solve. If those actions do make a clock run, the results will likely be short lived. The recommended goal is, of course, to have a reliable, long lasting repair.
An inexpensive book/publication on the basics of clock repair is: This Old Clock, by David S. Goodman. It can be found on Amazon, eBay and probably for loan at your local library. I would caution you on basing your knowledge base on U Tube videos. Many of those promote poor quality repairs and are put out by novices lacking knowledge and experience.
Many of those late ST movements and reproduction movements had inherent flaws which are tough or impossible to diagnose by a novice and may need special tooling/skills to solve properly.
JMHO
Dick
 
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Pattman68

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Dec 14, 2021
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Does it have the original weight? How much does it weigh? Sounds like a lack of power, but could be any number of things, especially a verge out of adjustment.
Any Idea whtat th
If you are going to continue to repair clocks, it might be time to take the next step.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clock movements but there is more to clock repair than those functions. The problem with non-working clocks is usually low power, which clean oil and adjust generally cannot not solve. If those actions do make a clock run, the results will likely be short lived. The recommended goal is, of course, to have a reliable, long lasting repair.
An inexpensive book/publication on the basics of clock repair is: This Old Clock, by David S. Goodman. It can be found on Amazon, eBay and probably for loan at your local library. I would caution you on basing your knowledge base on U Tube videos. Many of those promote poor quality repairs and are put out by novices lacking knowledge and experience.
Many of those late ST movements and reproduction movements had inherent flaws which are tough or impossible to diagnose by a novice and may need special tooling/skills to solve properly.
JMHO
Dick
Thanks for the advice. I ordered This Old Clock on Amazon.
 

Willie X

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That's probably the best book for learning troubleshooting techniques and that's what you will need, to locate the exact problem. Willie X
 

Simon Holt

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One thing I'm seeing is that the cable crosses over itself, instead being a nice spiral on the barrel. That can cause a clock to stop.

Simon
 
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shutterbug

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My gut reaction is that you may not know what wear looks like. Assuming the clock used to run and that it ran most of it's 50 years of life, it is going to have wear that will need to be addressed. Try rocking the main wheels and look for pivots jumping back and forth. If they move much at all, it's a problem. Compound a little movement over several pivots and you have a non-running clock.
 
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Dick Feldman

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Whatever the situation, I believe you are into this clock well beyond your capabilities.
There is no sin in asking for help from a more experienced repair person.
Have you ever thought about joining the NAWCC and/or possibly finding a mentor?
Your profile does not show where you live.
There may be someone close on this board that may be a valuable asset to you.
Best,
Dick
 

ChimeTime

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• First of all you've got to realize that the specific movement in question was probably produced for Seth Thomas by Hermle, and as such contains all the foibles of that brand... including the average 25-30 year life span.
• The weight requirement for a No2 is almost 6lbs. My re-issue weighs in at 5lb 8oz. This because the pulley is halving the effective weight so that the clock is really operating on less than 3lbs.
• The setting of the "drops & locks" on this dead beat escapement is no "walk in the park". It usually calls for adjustments made by changing the movable escape wheel pivot in very, very small units. This is because that one adjustment is changing both drops and both locks (4 distinctly discrete adjustments) concurrently. Furthermore, that adjustment is complicated by the fact that the No.61 movement does not allow line-of-sight access to the anchor-escape wheel interface.
 

Pattman68

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Dec 14, 2021
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One thing I'm seeing is that the cable crosses over itself, instead being a nice spiral on the barrel. That can cause a clock to stop.

Simon
When on the test stand, with the pulley and weight, the cable is wound correctly and does not cross over itself.
 

Pattman68

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Dec 14, 2021
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Whatever the situation, I believe you are into this clock well beyond your capabilities.
There is no sin in asking for help from a more experienced repair person.
Have you ever thought about joining the NAWCC and/or possibly finding a mentor?
Your profile does not show where you live.
There may be someone close on this board that may be a valuable asset to you.
Best,
Dick
I joined as a member the day I made this post ($94). I will update my profile. I definitely am not shy about asking for help and realize I am a novice. I am a do-it-myself kind of guy but learn most of what I know by reading, watching and learning from others. I enjoy fixing my appliances and working on my Model A with my fellow club members. I do my own plumbing and electrical work for the most part. I live in Columbus, IN.
 
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Dick Feldman

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• First of all you've got to realize that the specific movement in question was probably produced for Seth Thomas by Hermle, and as such contains all the foibles of that brand... including the average 25-30 year life span.
I do not think so. That movement was made to go in a reproduction ST wall clock, maybe/probably a ST #2. The ST #2 had the longest production run of any clock in history. Some of the later reproductions (even by ST) were not as high quality as the earlier ones. Some were made over seas.

Whatever the situation, I believe you are into this clock well beyond your capabilities.
I certainly did not mean to be offensive. One must crawl before one can walk.
With a mentor, you should do well with that clock movement.
Best of luck with the NAWCC,

Dick
 

ChimeTime

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I do not think so. That movement was made to go in a reproduction ST wall clock, maybe/probably a ST #2. The ST #2 had the longest production run of any clock in history. Some of the later reproductions (even by ST) were not as high quality as the earlier ones. Some were made over seas.

Dick
Dick -
I follow your posts and have learned a lot from them. I acknowledge your greater expertise in "all thing clock", but allow me to change your thinking on this one point.

• I am aware that the ST No.2 had the longest production of any clock, but the "real" versions ended in the 1950's. In this conversation we are only talking about the ST "re-issues" made in the 1970's. This was well after the Connecticut factory closed, and the ST name and production rights sold.
• The OP is talking only about the Seth Thomas movement marked A414-000, which to me looks suspiciously like a Hermle movement part number.
• These movements (which I own) display the exact same corrosion and poor plating issues common to Hermle movements of the period.
• These movements are assembled with Metric fasteners. The screws are black cheese heads, and look exactly like the screws on Thomasville movements, but they actually measure up as M3 screws.
• The owners of ST during the same time period as this clock were using huge numbers of Hermle movements.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's most probably a duck. That's all I'm saying.


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Pattman68

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Does anyone have a name of an individual, hopefully in Indiana that I could seek out assistance on getting this ST 61 running?
 

shutterbug

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Click on the "Local Chapters" at the top of the page by your avatar. You can locate a local NAWCC chapter and they'll be able to help you out. You might consider joining them too. You'll learn a lot, and will enjoy the camaraderie with others who enjoy clocks too. There is usually very minimal cost to join. For mine, it's like $5.00 per year.
 

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