• We are aware of the performance issues with the forum. These are due to problems with Comcast's lines in the Columbia, PA area. We are working on the immediate issue with Comcast and are also working on a long term plan that will eliminate our reliance on Comcast. Thank you for your patience.

strike timing advice needed

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Sessions Grand Assortment Kitchen Clock with Alarm feature.

The half hour gong - right on time. The hour strike - about 9-10 minutes after the hour.

The minute hand has rectangular hole, as opposed to square, thus only 2 hand positions instead of 4.

Okay, the problem is the hour strike. My guidebook says to adjust the lifting level. However, the level is the typical ribbon-shaped black steel - as opposed to wires.

Question: What is the best thing to do when you have 9-10 minutes to adjust?
 

The Tick Doc

Registered User
Dec 30, 2007
204
0
0
70
South east USA
Country
Region
Hello MM, try turning the hand over, someone may have bent it in the past as an adjustment, Otherwise you may have a J hook on the center arbor of the movement which may need some adjustment. The J hook determins when lifting lever drops to begin the strike. good luck and talk to us......................................TTD
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
The same lift controls both strikes, so you don't want to mess with that. I think TTD is on the right track. Whatever the lever is (J hook or other), that's where the adjustment needs to be made.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
TTD: Already tried the hand turn-over trick with no luck. If it did work, then I would have a problem at the 1/2 hour. When you say "center arbor", so you mean the out to the hands? If so, that arbor has a cam. The cam hits the lifting lever to lift it and the j-hook is part of that lever. I guess the j-bottom catches the stop pin during the warning.

So, it seems something needs to be bent of that lifting and j-lever combo. Do I want to adjust the j-bottom to release the stop pin faster? Is that the goal?
 

lpbp

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
NAWCC Member
Aug 25, 2000
2,988
65
48
Country
Region
Obviously if the half hour was correct, turning over the hand wouldn't work. The half hour strike is a passing strike controlled by a separate lever.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
20,023
553
113
utah
Country
Region
The strike begins when the j-wire falls off the center cam. To advance the strike, bend the j-wire so it falls off the cam sooner...bend it away from the cam or close the J. To retard the striker, bend the j-wire so it falls off the cam later...bend it toward the cam or open the J. Make the adjustments in little bitty bits.

Is what I think.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I know it sounds counter intuitive, but OPENING the hook will cause it to fall earlier, while closing it will make it fall later.
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
Well the best bet would be to have some pictures. It would take guessing out of the equation. This would serve better to understand your situation.

H/C
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
I will have to take new photos - as the ones I have don't show the situation well. Later I will post them.

In the meantime, I have been looking at it and watching it closely - and wondering why it is so much off. That flat steel doesn't really distort easily!

BTW, on this movement the countwheel is only engaged on the hour. The center arbor has two cams, one for twanging the gong on the half hour and the other for counting the gongs on the hour.

Another question: the gong assembly has a piece of foam between it and the wooden case. Is this normal on these clocks? I ask because it doesn't seem like material used back in the early 20th century.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
BTW, on this movement the countwheel is only engaged on the hour. The center arbor has two cams, one for twanging the gong on the half hour and the other for counting the gongs on the hour.

Another question: the gong assembly has a piece of foam between it and the wooden case. Is this normal on these clocks? I ask because it doesn't seem like material used back in the early 20th century.
In that case, the adjustment MIGHT be made on the center lift wire. The foam is probably an add on to cushion the strike lever so it doesn't clunk. It might be a replacement for some other material that was originally there. We'll wait for the pics before offering a solution :)
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
Without pictures were just shooting from the hip trying to help your situation..

H/C
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Okay, por fin, fotos! I have been fooling with the j-hook, but not noticing much difference except to mess up the strike from happening. The cam on the center arbor seems quite fixed, but does that move at all? Cam & Lever.jpg Cam & Lever 2.jpg Cam & Lever 3.jpg gong coil.jpg

Most photos show the j-hook and cam lever, but from different angles. Then I have one of the gong.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
More info: at 10 til the hour the lifting arm starts to rise. So at :50 it lifts. AT :02 it hits the counting lever. At :04 it hits warning. At the moment (after fiddling) it is striking at :17, but before it was at :10.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
20,023
553
113
utah
Country
Region
I know it sounds counter intuitive, but OPENING the hook will cause it to fall earlier, while closing it will make it fall later.
Shutt's right. Opening the hook has the same effect as bending the wire away from the cam. My blunder.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Yep, that thread is useful. I should read it everytime I attempt to describe a problem with the correct terminology!

I am still stuck on determining how to resolve this problem. It seems it is all in the j-hook. However, I am wondering about the other timings.

Any more suggestions on the timing?

How bout that foam under the gong - does that look normal? The gong does not have a good sound to it and I am trying to adjust that. Does anyone know what the piece of material at the base of the spiral is for? Is that part of the sound system?
 

Uhralt

NAWCC Member
Sep 4, 2008
5,299
710
113
Country
Region
The plastic foam under the gong base definitely doesn't belong there. I guess someone tried to make the clock strike less loud. Also, there is some more plastic material attached to the straight part of the gong wire, where the hammer touches the gong, probably for the same reason. This needs also to be removed. I bet the gong will sound better without the plastic. Just make sure the gong base is solidly attached to the back board of the clock case.

Uhralt
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Thanks Uhralt for the information! Once I get this strike timing settled, then I will proceed to the gong attachment and sound! Hopefully I can get a good sound out of it. It does bolt in tightly
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
Well the gong has been fixed by somebody. Looks like it has broken and somebody made a brass tube to reattach it. That might be the reason why somebody tried to put foam under it. TimeSavers has these. Or you can reattach the broken piece the proper way. Some are just a ring at the end . Or attached to a washer, most are brazed or welded. And the hook. You can adjust it so it falls off sooner. Those can be adjusted. Somebody may have messed with the hook itself, and that's where the problem lays. These pictures even though we asked for them. Well they don't do you justice, hard to identity to make a good call for me anyways.

H/C
 

Rob P.

Registered User
Dec 19, 2011
1,916
138
63
California
Country
Region
The strike problem is caused by the J-hook having too much bend in it.

Photo #2 shows the J-hook. In that pic the tip of the hook is pointing upward at about 45*. CAREFULLY bend the tip down so that the "foot" of the hook is level or at 90* to the arm. This will allow the arm to slip off the cam earlier.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Well, I have been bending the j-hook and observing. I did move the foot to 90 degrees as suggested by Rob P and I believe that I at least have the release off the cam at 12 high. However, my problem now is that I am not getting enough lift of the lift lever to move the count lever.

Now, the foot of the J is a little bit 3-dimensional. That is, I have the J foot at 90 degrees and there is a piece 90 degrees at the toes pointing in the direction of the cam. I have this at same level of the foot. What is the best way to get more lift of the lift lever assembly?
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I think we need an updated pic :)
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
H/C About the gong - what you see in the photo is actually a piece of some material wrapped with tape. Thus, it is not a repair. I have removed it and I will not re-install the foam. I hope to get a better sound - at least the intended sound!

All: Does the shape of the j-hook end determine how high the lifting lever lifts? I am sketching out the scenario to see what would be the optimum shape to lift the lever high and at the same time have it drop on the hour. My books do not give any theory on j-hook and cam shapes. BTW, my count lever, although a wire as opposed to that ribbon steel, is already bent a little lower - so I don't have much play there.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
20,023
553
113
utah
Country
Region
The J-hook is a cam-follower. Its job is to GRADUALLY raise the other two levers of its assembly, as the center-cam rides up the curve of the J, then SUDDENLY drop them when the tip of the J falls off the cam. Things need to be adjusted so that the sudden drop happens just when the minute hand is pointing straight up.

If you can't make that adjustment by fiddling with the hand, you have to do it by fiddling with the J-hook.

Think about the relationship between the tip of the J and the cam lobe. The wider the curve, the sooner the cam lobe will arrive at the tip and the sooner the sudden drop will happen. If the strike is happening late (with respect to the minute hand), widen the J a little bit to make it happen sooner. If it's happening early, close the J a little bit to make it happen later.

The J-hook has to be curved. It can't be an "L-hook" as someone has suggested. And adjustments to it have to be gradual.

At one time in the clock's life, the strike started when the minute hand pointed straight up. If it did that before, with all the same parts, it can be made to do it again.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Going along with Bang's counsel, the problem might be higher in the process. If the lift from the J hook is not enough, it might be the lifting lever instead of the J. If someone has been mucking with it before you got it it may be a challenge .... but you'll get it. :) First get the release on the hour, then look higher to fix things.
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
I just did one of these today. The one I have here the J hook is made out of brass and if you move it you will have to take the movement apart. And the flat black piece I will call the flirt need to be adjusted. It may have been bent with a curve, It needs to be flat all the way to the end where there is the pointed end with a small curve just at the end. This small curve is where it drops off and causes the strike to activate. You can move the flirt lever toward the back of the movement to get it to drop off sooner or toward the front to get it to drop off later.

H/C
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Bangster: Yes, I understand your description! I think the "J" is a little confusing in this thread, since on this clock it is 3-dimensional hook end. There is a part of the lever that runs in parallel to the center arbor and this could be confused as part of the J. However, the real J is at the end of this lever. It is a small J and it is actually just the bottom curve of the J. The position of this J in space (in relation to the cam) is key. Thus, the shape of the J, the lever portion in parallel, and the entire "flirt" in general all needs to be tweaked.

My problem has been to both get proper lift and timely drop off all in one particular setting. Painful! As of this morning, I have liftm but I am off (late) by 5 minutes. One main problem was that the cam was not hitting the J soon enough - and so many attempts to bend that flat black steel across its flat width!

H/C: Thanks! Not sure why you need to take the movement apart. However, I don't need to that for this one. The hook is part of the black steel.
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
Bangster: Yes, I understand your description! I think the "J" is a little confusing in this thread, since on this clock it is 3-dimensional hook end. There is a part of the lever that runs in parallel to the center arbor and this could be confused as part of the J. However, the real J is at the end of this lever. It is a small J and it is actually just the bottom curve of the J. The position of this J in space (in relation to the cam) is key. Thus, the shape of the J, the lever portion in parallel, and the entire "flirt" in general all needs to be tweaked.

My problem has been to both get proper lift and timely drop off all in one particular setting. Painful! As of this morning, I have liftm but I am off (late) by 5 minutes. One main problem was that the cam was not hitting the J soon enough - and so many attempts to bend that flat black steel across its flat width!

H/C: Thanks! Not sure why you need to take the movement apart. However, I don't need to that for this one. The hook is part of the black steel.
Well nomenclature has allot to do with how we give instructions. The J hook is located on the center shaft. The pick up flirt is what drops off of the J hook. The pick up flirt also catches the warning pin. When the flirt drops it releases the pin thus starting the strike to activate. The J hook can be a wirer hook to look like a J. Or it could be a brass piece shaped like a J or a hook. The brass piece to my knowledge and experience has to be adjusted while the movement is apart. Never had to move one. So the adjustment must be made form the pick up flirt.< Flat piece of steel with a curved point at the end (not a hook) that drops off the J hook.

H/C
 

Rob P.

Registered User
Dec 19, 2011
1,916
138
63
California
Country
Region
If you set the J Hook to drop at the hour, but aren't getting enough lift, then you need to look higher in the actuating system.

The J Hook rotates an arbor. From that arbor is a wire lever that lifts the warning lever/chime mechanism arms. These arms are usually on another arbor other than the J Hook arbor. To get more lift, you need to bend the arm that controls that second arbor.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Hmmm. What we refer to as the "J" hook is the rounded piece that is encountered by the center shaft's lift cam. It is connected to the arbor which also has the lift lever that lifts the count hook and locking lever.
It gets it's name from it's shape. Apparently though, Muenster's clock is not quite like that. His appears to be the newer style lever with a 90° bend. Those are harder to get right :)
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
H/C: Ah, I understand now what you were saying. I was using the other terminology - as Shutterbug mentions. What you call the "J-hook", we have been calling the "cam" on the center arbor. We have been calling the "j-hook" the part encountered by the cam.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
20,023
553
113
utah
Country
Region
Well nomenclature has allot to do with how we give instructions. The J hook is located on the center shaft. The pick up flirt is what drops off of the J hook. The pick up flirt also catches the warning pin. When the flirt drops it releases the pin thus starting the strike to activate. The J hook can be a wirer hook to look like a J. Or it could be a brass piece shaped like a J or a hook. The brass piece to my knowledge and experience has to be adjusted while the movement is apart. Never had to move one. So the adjustment must be made form the pick up flirt.< Flat piece of steel with a curved point at the end (not a hook) that drops off the J hook.

H/C
Indeed, there is a nomenclature problem. Here's what I've been meaning by "J-hook" and "center cam".
J-wire.jpg The J-hook is so-called because of its shape. More technically, it could be called the "activating lever". It's one of three levers on the same arbor. The other two are the lifting lever and the warning lever. The "center cam" is on the center shaft: the minute-hand shaft.

But there's a further problem of communication. Not every count-wheel clock has a J-shaped wire for an activating lever. Another form is a flat strip of metal, with a triangular projection bent over at a right angle. I think this is what H/C is calling the "pickup flirt", and what I call the cam lobe he calls the "J-hook". Instead of riding along the curve of a "J" shaped wire, the center cam rides along the slope of the triangle, then drops off. That MAY be what we have here (I couldn't understand the photos). Whatever its shape, the activating lever serves to get two jobs done: it unlocks the strike train by lifting the other set of levers, and it temporarily blocks the warning wheel from turning. When it drops off the cam, the train runs.

The dropoff with respect to the minute hand is determined by, and adjusted with, the activating lever.
To make the drop happen later, bend the lever sideways so the cam first contacts an earlier part of the slope, and stays in contact longer. To make the drop happen sooner.
,bend the lever so the cam first contacts a further-up part of the slope, and stays in contact shorter.

As others have said, that's a separate issue, independent of how much lift is transferred to the other levers. Solve one problem at a time.
 

Attachments

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
13,666
80
0
Calif. USA
Hi
I'm looking at his clock picture. It does not have a wire J-hook.
It has a brass cam and a flat piece coming from an arbor above.
It looks like the cam it self is in the wrong position. If the picture
shows the clock stopped at the hour, it looks like the cam is
about 90 degrees out. The lever's foot should be closer to the cam
after it drops.
I also think the the foot should be higher, along the side of the
cam. This also goes with the cam being positioned wrong.
I believe the lobe of the cam should be sticking out towards the
side at the hour, not down or up.
That is my thinking
Tinker Dwight
 

Rob P.

Registered User
Dec 19, 2011
1,916
138
63
California
Country
Region
The OP's pic shows a flat actuating lever similar to the ones in Session's Mantle clocks. This is what we've been calling the "J Hook" as it serves the exact same function regardless of shape.

That lever is fitted to an arbor which has a wire lever arm that (usually) lifts the countwheel count-arm. The count-arm is (usually) attached to a second arbor that also has the chime stop pin wire arm on it.

There is a second wire arm to the chime stop pin to catch the pin when the clock goes into warning. This is (usually) fixed to the first arbor (the actuating lever arbor).

IF the count-arm has too much space between it and the actuating lever arm from the J-hook arbor there won't be enough lift to start the chime sequence. If the release arm doesn't get out of the way when the actuating lever drops off the cam, the chimes won't run.

So, to get the chime to start on the hour, the "J HOOK" needs to slip off the cam lobe when the hands are on the hour mark. THEN the actuating lever needs to be adjusted to lift the count-arm sufficiently to release the chime stop tab/pin just BEFORE the "J Hook" slips off the cam lobe (usually at around 58-59 minutes) so that the movement "goes into warning." THEN the OTHER wire lever needs to be adjusted so that the chime stop tab/pin is held/stopped in warning until the "J HOOK" drops off the cam - at which point the stop pin is released and the chime sequence starts.

So:
Set the J Hook to drop off the cam at the hour mark;
Spin the hands until set at 58-59 minutes;
Adjust the wire lever that pushes up on the count arm a little at a time until the chime train goes into warning;
Spin the hands until the hour mark and the J Hook drops off the cam lobe;
Adjust the wire lever that releases the chime train so that it can run.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
5......4......3.....2.....1......0.....got it! I was able to get it little by little from the 5 minute after the hour strike to the 0 minute after the hour strike mark. The activating lever on this clock was not quite a J, but rather a had triangle tip that interfaced with the cam. I know it sounds simple to adjust the activating lever until it falls off on the hour, but I had the problem of not getting adequate lift height of the lifter lever. No, the lift lever nor the count lever were not the problems. It was actually how the activating lever was positioned to get pushed up by the cam. The solution was more of adjusting the position of the entire lever assembly to get the right position in space - and then fooling around with the triangular lifting lever.

Thank you all for your hints! Very helpful!! Sorry I could not get a good angle for a photo that tells all.

I am now in the testing mode for the movement to make sure all is stable.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,841
2,295
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Good sleuthing! :thumb: Glad you got the patient fixed up!
 

R&A

Registered User
Oct 21, 2008
4,208
108
63
Country
Waita go on the J hook. I guess if the clock he was referring to had one of these. But I guess we can call it that too. It's a pick up flirt from my learning's. And the center cam lopes. Well I didn't see this mentioned until the diagram came out. Well were all on the same page. I looked in the Watch & Clock Encyclopedia and the definition for Center cam Lobes was not in there. I looked in Improving Your Clock repair Skills By Harold C Kelly and it is revered to as the Lifting Lever. In Modern Clocks by Goodrich this J hook is called a Lever and the Lobe is called a Cam. Repairing Antique Clocks by Eric P Smith calls the Lever a flirt in a German clock. < All depends on who your talking to or learning from. Most German clocks and french clocks and grandfather clocks this lever is revered to as the lifting lever or flirt. I call it a flirt. Were all right I guess. All and all he got it to work regardless of a fluewk in nomenclature. And that a good thing.

H/C
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Yep, the time/strike is working well now! Gong sound is not the greatest. I did notice a single hole on the base and it made me wonder if this gong is not original. Anyone know? [I am answering my own question here - yes, it is original!) Photos of the clock are below. On the back there is a carved number. It looks more like a social security number! Did Sessions place such serial numbers on their clocks? I saw one website call a similar clock "Butterfly" or "Butterfly Collection" - perhaps due to the front glass picture. What is the proper name of the clock and from what year? I also noticed other similar clocks have a gold colored face rim, but this one is silver. Perhaps they had various types.

Anyhoo, the clock is in beautiful shape - although not with the most pleasant of gongs - and the alarm, if wound, and goes off when you least expect it, will stop your heart for several seconds!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
186
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
No Sessions did not number their clocks like that. Probably a previous owner did this. Your clock is the "Grand #2" as shown from a 1915 catalog picture in Tran Duy Ly's Sessions book. Same butterfly glass in the book.
 

MuensterMann

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
1,571
23
38
Thanks Harold! It just may be a SS number!!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
169,868
Messages
1,482,534
Members
49,211
Latest member
RenaissanceLawyer
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,965
Last update
-