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Troubles with Urgos Mantel Clock

wsscott

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I'm a Newbie, and am retired so have time for projects, and am helping a friend trying to get their Urgos 6/36A mantle clock running. I've taken the movement out of the cabinet, and it all looks good. Nothing apparently broken. It will chime properly when you turn the dial at each quarter hour, half hour and hour and chime the correct hour. But it doesn't run. The area at the top that is silver colored and is where the "ticker" is, looks fine, the spring is intact, but only ticks for a few times before stopping. I was able to properly release all the tension on all 3 of the springs. I then wound them back up. Two of them wound up find, but the 3rd one which controls the strike mechanism for the chime won't lock into position and hold the spring. It appears that the flat piece of metal that applies tension to keep the lock on the gears isn't providing any tension/pressure to keep it "locked" into place. I'm attaching a photo.

So 2 questions: (1) would this affect the clock's ability to run at all, and (2) where can I get a replacement part. It looks rusty and maybe that's affecting its tension. Thanks.
 

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JTD

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I'm a Newbie, and am retired so have time for projects, and am helping a friend trying to get their Urgos 6/36A mantle clock running. I've taken the movement out of the cabinet, and it all looks good. Nothing apparently broken. It will chime properly when you turn the dial at each quarter hour, half hour and hour and chime the correct hour. But it doesn't run. The area at the top that is silver colored and is where the "ticker" is, looks fine, the spring is intact, but only ticks for a few times before stopping. I was able to properly release all the tension on all 3 of the springs. I then wound them back up. Two of them wound up find, but the 3rd one which controls the strike mechanism for the chime won't lock into position and hold the spring. It appears that the flat piece of metal that applies tension to keep the lock on the gears isn't providing any tension/pressure to keep it "locked" into place. I'm attaching a photo.

So 2 questions: (1) would this affect the clock's ability to run at all, and (2) where can I get a replacement part. It looks rusty and maybe that's affecting its tension. Thanks.

Welcome to the board.

I think it would have been better if you had started a new thread for this enquiry. What you are asking is really nothing to do with the subject of the thread ('errors that newbies often make), rather it is a direct repair question.

A moderator can move this for you if he agrees.

Meanwhile, please prepare some more photos, showing the whole movement. Some idea of the 'area at the top which is silver color' would also be helpful.

I am sure that help will be forthcoming soon.

JTD
 

wsscott

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Thanks. I'll try that. I was going to start a new thread but didn't have enough credit at the time. I'll try to do that tomorrow. Maybe something will happen over night and it'll start working! HaHa!
 

JTD

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Thanks. I'll try that. I was going to start a new thread but didn't have enough credit at the time. I'll try to do that tomorrow. Maybe something will happen over night and it'll start working! HaHa!
No, please don't start another thread. A moderator can move this one for you (you can't do it yourself). Having two threads on the same clock leads to confusion.

JTD
 

Walesey

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I'm a Newbie, and am retired so have time for projects, and am helping a friend trying to get their Urgos 6/36A mantle clock running. I've taken the movement out of the cabinet, and it all looks good. Nothing apparently broken. It will chime properly when you turn the dial at each quarter hour, half hour and hour and chime the correct hour. But it doesn't run. The area at the top that is silver colored and is where the "ticker" is, looks fine, the spring is intact, but only ticks for a few times before stopping. I was able to properly release all the tension on all 3 of the springs. I then wound them back up. Two of them wound up find, but the 3rd one which controls the strike mechanism for the chime won't lock into position and hold the spring. It appears that the flat piece of metal that applies tension to keep the lock on the gears isn't providing any tension/pressure to keep it "locked" into place. I'm attaching a photo.

So 2 questions: (1) would this affect the clock's ability to run at all, and (2) where can I get a replacement part. It looks rusty and maybe that's affecting its tension. Thanks.
Hi there wsscott,

Firstly, I am not an experienced clockmaker, just a tinkerer, much like yourself. I have been tinkering for a few years and managed to get a few clocks working, so, I am not a total newbie. There will be others much more qualified than I who will be able to give you much more comprehensive advice. But until they come along (possibly after the moderator moves this thread to the correct area??), I will tell you what I know, just so that you do not get the feeling that you are being ignored.

The "flat piece of metal" is called a "Click Spring" and it is definitely bent out of position. It may be able to be bent back so. that it applies the right pressure to the "Click pawl" to keep it engaged and stop the main spring unwinding. It should be pressing against the click pawl with a similar pressure as the corresponding click springs on the other two main springs (time and chime)

The most usual reason for a clock to stop is because of wear between the pivots (that is, the axles of the cogs, or "wheels" as clockmakers call them) and the bearing surfaces (that is, the holes drilled in the plates that the pivots revolve in. Clockmakers tend to call these bearing holes "Bushes", although, I guess it is not really a bush until the original worn hole has been drilled out and replaced with a "bushing" of the correct size). What happens is that, because of the high lateral force on the turning pivot, the bearing holes wear and become elongated, rather than perfectly round. This changes the distance between adjacent wheels so that instead of simple meshing together with nearly zero friction, the wheels actually push hard against each other creating a lot of friction which eventually stops the clock.

The photo that you provided shows a pivot in a bearing which appears to have a little bit of black grease in it. I don't think that is a place where I would expect to see grease! Check all the pivot holes and see if you can see signs of black grease or crud. This can be a sign of wear. What happens is that as the bearing wears, tiny flakes of brass, oxidise (black) and combine with the oil (which is used rather than grease) to form a grinding paste, which accelerates the wear of the bearing.

Be very careful releasing the tension on the mainsprings!! If they go off quickly (with a bang!) they can ruin the clock. (bending pivots, stripping teeth from wheels, etc). I have a 6 inch length of broom handle, which I have drilled and slotted so that it neatly accepts the clock key in the end of it. Using that, I can very slowly release the tension on the click and then, holding the click out slightly clear of the ratchet, I can VERY SLOWLY allow the springs to unwind, while holding the broom stick/key firmly with my hand.

Once the main springs are fully unwound, then move the wheel NEXT to the main spring barrel back and forth, looking for movement of the pivots within their bearing holes. There should be very little to no sideways movement of the pivots within the bearing holes. If you can see noticeable movement, that indicates significant wear and that bearing will need to be drilled out and re-bushed, to return the wheel to its original position.

If you do all that, at least you will know for sure why the clock has stopped!

The next step is to completely dismantle and clean the clock, polish all the pivots to a mirror finish re-bush all the worn bearing holes, reassemble and oil the movement with proper clock oil and it should then work.

There are many threads that deal comprehensively with all these topics elsewhere on this forum.

For more good information, go to the FORUMS section (at the top of your screen) and find the forum called "Clock Repair", then "How to do it Articles", then look for "Chime Clock Basics", "Bushing Using Hand Tools", "Reassembling a Clock Movement", and "Clock Repair Tools". Also go to "Hints and How-To's". Look for threads like ""Clock Parts Terminology". I hope this helps. There is plenty of reading that you can do while you ar waiting for the experts to turn up.

Remember, you are retired. You have plenty of time. Don't rush into it and break the clock by not doing it the right way!

Best of luck
Walesey
 

shutterbug

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This thread was created from a different one, so some of the posts may seem out of place now. Sorry :)
 

wsscott

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Thanks. Okay, some good news and some bad news. I was able to fix the spring so that the wind mechanism for the chime locks and doesn't slip. And, more Good news, I was able to get the clock running!! The "silver" thing I've learned is the escapement, and it is the ticker. I basically used a plastic spudger to push on the mainspring gear and got it to move, and then with a little pressure consistently applied for a minute or so, it ran on its own for at least 6-7 hours before I went to bed. Now the Bad news is when I got up this morning and checked it, it had stopped running. So I checked to see if it needed winding just by chance, and it did! So I wound the mainspring, and it would accept a couple winds fine and then it would make a loud Click sound and release the wind. It wasn't slipping like the chime spring was that I fixed. It seems internal to the mainspring housing. Any ideas?
 

Vernon

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The spring may have slipped off of the arbor or barrel pin/anchor point or the spring hole on the end tore out perhaps. Either way, you will have to remove the barrel from the clock.
 

wsscott

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Based on my Googling, I was reaching the same conclusion as Vernon. So on this Urgos UW-6/36 movement can you remove the barrel without having to disassemble the whole movement? If not, then this is probably a job that's way above my pay grade! Thanks.
 

wsscott

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Wow, I just did it! Easy-peazy! Now maybe all I need to do is buy a new mainspring barrel with spring, rather than just a spring.
 

Vernon

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Some clear photos please of the whole movement front and back like JTD had asked for; include any printed info on the back.
 

wsscott

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Well I took the cover off the barrel and I can see 2 places where the spring appears broken. So I'll be looking for a new spring.
 

Vernon

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I assume that you have no spring winder so be careful. You can pull it out gripping the spring center with heavy needle nose plyers once you remove the arbor by turning it opposite the wind direction and push out. Wear heavy gloves, eye protection and use a towel around the barrel such that it entangles the spring as it's removed.

Understand that it seems that this clock may be in need of a full tearing down and cleaning/repairing wear. There may be a replacement movement available if you don't want to get involved with a full overhaul.
 
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wsscott

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Thanks for the tips. The replacement springs I've seen come "tied" up, so I assume you just push them into the barrel without a hassle? I have looked at replacement movements but haven't been able to find the same model. I know Urgos is no more, but haven't been able to find something to match. My friend may not want to spend the money on it anyway. I work for "wine", so I'm a pretty cheap repairman when it works, and if it doesn't work then its no worse off than before I started working on it.
 

Vernon

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If the spring broke near the end, some people have success re-holing the spring. Otherwise, the old spring needs to be measured L.W.& thickness to match new. The new spring comes with an anti-rusting agent that needs to be cleaned off. Oil the new spring and coil it into the barrel.
 

wsscott

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Some of the videos I've seen comment that the new mainsprings are already greased so there's nothing to do, and they're coiled up with a wire holding everything in place and you just put them in the barrel, etc. Is that correct? My impression was that they should be lubricated with something. I don't have a coil winder, so I thought this would be a relatively easy install. Thoughts?
 

shutterbug

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The springs are not greased. They are coated with an anti-rust agent. When you get them, they need to be let down, cleaned, lubricated and then placed into the barrel. People who assume that the goop on new springs is grease will have unpleasant surprises a few months down the road.
 

wsscott

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I got a new mainspring and installed it by manually winding it into the barrel, and put it back together, and its been running now for 2 days and keeping perfect time and striking and chiming as it should. It seems that the other 2 springs are also slipping for some reason. l can't get them fully wound before each slips and slackens, but they still retain enough of the wind to run. So I plan to take out those barrels and open them up and see what's going on.
 
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shutterbug

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Probably broken at the end. They can't grab the barrel hook, but the barrel will hold them for a little while. If that's what you find, they can be annealed and re-holed.
 

wsscott

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Yep, the Chime mainspring was broken in 4 places, and the Strike mainspring was broken in 2 places.
 

wsscott

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So I've got new mainsprings for the barrel, and they are the hole end types. I don't have a spring winder. I had this problem with the Time mainspring and manually put it in the barrel. I'm trying to see if I can do it this time with this barrel just by putting the spring in the barrel and releasing the keeper wire. But I still have the same problem as before. The coiled up spring fits in the barrel fine with some slack, but the "keeper lug" to which the hole end of the mainspring attaches, sticks out into the barrel's cavity so that the coiled up spring won't slide down to the bottom of the barrel. So how do I resolve this issue?
 

Vernon

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wsscott,
You may damage the barrel or hurt yourself with this technic. You will have to go about it the same as the first or take to someone that has a winder.
 

murphyfields

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It sounds like you have some mechanical experience, so maybe look up on YouTube for a home made spring winder, or there are plans on this board for a "Collins" winder. A much safer way to go.

I am amazed at how quickly you have gone. I have spent weeks reading this board and watching YouTube video, just so I don't get surprised, or worse, injured, working on a clock.
 

shutterbug

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New springs do not have lubrication. Just a rust inhibitor. You need to let the spring down, clean it and lube it.
 

wsscott

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I was able to manually let the springs out, and manually install them in their barrels. The smaller spring was much easier since it doesn't have the mass of the larger spring, but you do have to use some muscle. I'm sure a younger person than I wouldn't have much of a problem. Just had to be persistent and not let go of anything! Got the barrels installed yesterday, and its running and chiming to the minute! Just struck 4:00!
 

Kevin W.

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If you put the springs in with out cleaning or lubing them. There may be problems later.
 

wsscott

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Its been running great since last Thursday, so 6 days. I didn't wind the chime or strike mainsprings fully, and the chime is getting pretty slow. I guess this is normal as it unwinds. Its gained about 4-5 minutes of time since Thursday. So I have 2 questions: (1) Should I leave the time alone and figure its normal to gain this much time in about a week, and (2) can I turn the minute hand backwards to adjust the time or should I never turn the dial back?
 

wsscott

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I'm now working on another clock for my friend to get it running, and I've cleaned and oiled it and wound it and its running. My question relates to the manufacturer. There are no markings whatsoever on the cabinet, or the movement, its case or the pendulum. Is this unusual?
 

wsscott

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Ok, so now here's the problem. The clock is ticking fine with the pendulum moving back and forth until the pendulum weight is attached, and then it stops after about 15 seconds. I adjusted the pendulum wire where it connects to the verge, but didn't solve the problem. Any suggestions?
 

wsscott

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With the bob attached to the pendulum, it seems to have an even tick-tock sound for about 20 beats, then it starts changing the sound as its getting out of beat for about 5 secs. or so, and then does a "gallop" for about 3 secs. and stops.
 

murphyfields

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Do you pull or push the pendulum hard at the start, so it has a pretty full swing, then when the swing gets smaller it sounds farther off? If you start with a smaller swing, does it sound wrong right from the beginning? If so, I would definitely guess a beat problem. Do you know how to set it?
 

wsscott

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It sounds the same regardless of whether I give it a hard or a soft push to start it. It just "runs" for a longer time period. They sound correct both ways from the beginning, and exhibit the same symptoms as it dies out and stops.
 

Vernon

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It could be lack of power to the escapement or something wrong at the escapement like a bent tooth on the wheel or ruts on the pallets for example. So when you disassembled this new clock, what kind of wear did you find and what repairs were made?
You really should start a new thread in the future when you want to talk about a different clock. Each clock is unique and has a unique set of problems. We have no idea if it is spring driven, has green paint or maybe it's a cuckoo clock so good clear photos always help.
 

shutterbug

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When we get the additional information, I'll move all of the posts about the second clock to their own thread.
 

wsscott

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I just cleaned it. It was pretty gummed up. Someone had oiled the gears. I didn't do any repairs. I notice that the pendulum suspension spring doesn't hang perfectly straight down to where it attaches to the pendulum. It seems to have a slight bend in it to the left side of the movement. I would assume it would hang perpendicular. Is that an issue? The pallet on the clock mounts on a shaft that then connects to the pendulum shaft. Since I don't know the make of the clock, I don't know where I might get parts if I decided to pursue it. I noticed that most of the "bearing holes" for the shafts have movement when probed. So maybe its just worn out. I'm attaching a photo.

IMG_1962.JPG
 

wsscott

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Attached is a close-up photo of the verge. You'll notice that it looks like the shaft has a cut out with flanges and the verge slides in that slot with presumably a very tight fit. Does this help identify the age or make of this clock?

IMG_1968.JPG
 

Vernon

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I noticed that most of the "bearing holes" for the shafts have movement when probed. So maybe its just worn out.
Ok, so with all of the power released from the springs; if you rock each wheel back and forth and there is motion within the adjacent bearing (pivot), you will need to have a bushing put in those locations. This will cause the power coming from the spring to be minimal by the time it reaches the escapement.
 

murphyfields

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Another thing...I don't think you specified if this second clock is a mantel or wall clock or something else. You might try intentionally setting if off-level. I have a mantel clock right now with one side sitting on a stack of index cards, and it works beautifully. I just kept adding cards until it sounded good to me, and has been working ever since. This will tell me where to look once I take it apart.

If it is really worn, there may be nothing for it but putting in bushings. But index cards (or even pages in an open book) are a cheap first check.
 

wsscott

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Thanks. This is a mantel clock. I'll give it a try. Do you have any idea on how I could find out the make or age?
 

shutterbug

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Another thing...I don't think you specified if this second clock is a mantel or wall clock or something else. You might try intentionally setting if off-level. I have a mantel clock right now with one side sitting on a stack of index cards, and it works beautifully. I just kept adding cards until it sounded good to me, and has been working ever since. This will tell me where to look once I take it apart.

If it is really worn, there may be nothing for it but putting in bushings. But index cards (or even pages in an open book) are a cheap first check.
Move the crutch toward that high side. Push it until it resists, then push a little more and it will move. Then you can set the clock down without the cards under it. If it has a thin wire as the crutch, just bend it toward the high side ;)
 

wsscott

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Things are looking up! I was checking out the crutch and noticed that it had an "outward" bend in the wire. Not right or left, but outward toward the back of the cabinet rather than perpendicular up and down. So I straightened that out, and attached the bob, and got it started. Its been running now for about 20 hours. It lost about 10 minutes, so I've adjusted the bob to speed it up a bit. The cabinet is also level left to right. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Its gonging on time, but its a dull thud sound, so I"ve got to figure out what to do with the hammer and the coiled gong coil to make it sound properly. Any insight would be appreciated, as always.
 

Vernon

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At rest, the hammer should be roughly 1/8 inch away from the coil gong. Small adjustments will improve sound (although they don't sound very good anyway).
 
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