Westclox Sphinx tip needed, please

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Andyjon100, Dec 1, 2018.

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  1. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2014
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    Hello, everyone!
    I have this nice little Westclox Sphinx I picked up a while ago. It keeps good time, but has recently become noisy. I decided to give it a cleaning /oiling, but I can't get the knob off of the alarm set shaft. I have tried gentle twisting in both directions, thinking it may be threaded, and failing that, I have tried gentle pulling, thinking it may be pressed on...to no avail.Can anyone tell me how to remove this knob? I can't access the gearing without removing the inner cup.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!
    Andy

    View attachment 504798

    a.jpg
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    In the picture it looks like the lower part is split. If so, that suggests to me that it may be pressed on. If that is a hole in the end you may be able to use a hand puller or similar. Hit it for 2 or 3 seconds with a butane torch flame may expand and loosen it enough to pull off. I suspect the noise is from the main shaft in the motor. Most other gears turn too slow to make much noise. You may be able to work a little clock oil down around the shaft without removing the knob. Can w see a picture of the rest of the clock. Never seen one of these.

    RC
     
  3. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2014
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    Hello, RC. Thank you for the tip. I didn't see the split (still getting used to wearing bifocals LOL!) I'll give the heat a try. I thought the noise would be motor bearings, but there isn't much you can do from the backside of it - It would have been nice if the motor was removable by itself. I figured if I have to pull it apart, I may as well do it all.... Here are some pics of the clock overall.
    Thank you again!
    Andy

    1.jpg 2.jpg
     
  4. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    Just an update, a big thank you, and one more question. First -Thank you for the tip. The heat worked, and everything is now clean, lubricated, and running quiet as a church mouse. Now for the question, which i forgot to add in my first post - You can see there is a hole in the face below 12:00. There is a fan shaped plate behind it painted half red and half brown (the color of the face) attached to a shaft that runs through to the back plate. I thought it might be an AM/PM indicator, but it never changed. I then thought it might be an indicator showing if the alarm was on - I tested that theory - still no change. Once I got it apart, I noticed there is no mechanical connection to it at all. Can anyone tell me what this "indicator" is supposed to indicate? Here is a photo of the "back end" of the shaft. Is the longer tab supposed to somehow be magnetically attracted to the tab on the motor when there is power to it ? If so, it's not working...

    mech.jpg
     
  5. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Yes, the indicator is held magnetically as long as the motor is running. If there is a power failure it drops and goes red tI indicate that power has been off and that the time needs to be reset.

    RC
     
  6. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    That's kind of a cool feature - (if it worked). Thank you for your help.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Power interruption indicators were quite common in the day and they did usually work well. There was usually some manual operation - something to turn turn, push, or pull - to reset it to "white" after the time was reset.

    RC
     
  8. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    RC,
    Thanks to you, I figured out how this one works. You need to turn the clock 45 degrees clockwise ( 9:00 up to the 12:00 position) for the brown segment to appear in the window, where it stays until power is cut. I thought it was supposed to be automatic. It's a nice little early '50s clock (especially for the $3 I paid for it!). Thank you again!
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    If it were "automatic" that would defeat the purpose. For example, if the power went off for 10 minutes and came back on, and the indicator automatically reset the clock would be 10 minutes slow and no indication that any power interruption ever happened. That's why the indicator continues to warn that a power failure occurred until you reset the indicator and the time. When I was little we had a clock with a somewhat different kind of indicator. The indicator has a black segment and a white segment on a disk that rotated continuously as the clock motor ran causing a "flashing" b/w in the small round view hole. Those early electric clocks were not self starters so when the power went off the flashing stopped. There was a little knob in back that one would spin to restart the clock. So much nicer than the digital display display that arrogantly flashes until it gets my attention.

    RC
     
  10. Andyjon100

    Andyjon100 Registered User
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    WOW! I apologize for the absolute no brainer! I have GOT to start being asleep by 1am, instead of posting to forums! LOL! I used to have a clock that had that spinning indicator and had to be spin started many moons ago.
     

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