westminster chimes out of sync

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by macquin, Nov 18, 2013.

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  1. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    First, let me say that I am a newbie that knows little about clocks.
    I was recently given a westminster chime mantle clock which keeps time perfectly.
    It chimes on the 1/4, 1/2 3/4 and hour ok but the problem is that
    the number of strikes on the hour is erratic. For eg. at 3 o'clock it may strike four or five times.
    At 11 o'clock one or 5 times. there is no set pattern it just seems to strike at random.
    I have tried to move the hour hand to correspond to the number of strikes but with no success.
    I would be most grateful if someone could help me to solve this problem.
    I do not know the clocker makers name.

     
  2. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Welcome, Macquin.

    It would help if we knew what kind of clock it is. It may have a rack and snail set-up for the hour strike, or it may have a count wheel if it is an older clock. Photos of the clock and the movement would help us determine what is wrong.

    Will
     
  3. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Will, I've never seen a chiming clock with a count wheel strike.

    Macquin, welcome to the message board. Good chance your rack isn't dropping reliably. How far do you want to get into learning clock repair? Your first task will be removing the movement from the case.
     
  4. Tony10Clocks

    Tony10Clocks Registered User

    Aug 10, 2010
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    Could be that the rack hook is bouncing, sending the rack back down to keep on striking. If you want to get into tinkering with clocks, it might be a good idea to take the movement out the case, take a photo of the front and back, and post them on here.
     
  5. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I guess you are right, Harold. I was thinking of something like a Seth Thomas 124.

    Will
     
  6. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    Thank you all very much for your quick response. I will take the movement out of the case asap and let you guys have photos

    Cheers
    George
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Could also be trying to lift hammers during the warn and bogging down.
     
  8. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    Hi all,
    Here are the pics of my clock as requested.
    Picture 004.jpg Picture.jpg Picture 002.jpg
    Cheers
    John
     
  9. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    #9 harold bain, Nov 19, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    Good work John. Now, put the hands back on, and move them forward, 15 minutes at a time. Watch what happens at each quarter. Then at the forth quarter, watch how the strike is activated.
    The part that looks like a snail under the hour hand determines how many hours it strikes (and is called the snail). The sawtooth looking part is called the rack, and it drops onto the snail. Each tooth is one strike, and is advanced by the gathering pallet. Your description of the problem make me think the rack is not free to fall, perhaps sticking on it's shaft. If so, you will have to remove the pin holding the rack, then remove it and clean the post and the hole in the rack.
     
  10. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    Yes Harold your correct. The rack was not freely falling unto the snail . It was sticking at times.
    Have now cleaned both the post and the hole and everything seems ok.
    Will be putting everything back in place within the next couple of hours hopefully and will let you know how it's going.
    Many thanks indeed
    John
     
  11. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    If you have any, a drop of clock oil on each bushing would be beneficial, while the movement is out of the case.
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    You should also put in the back of your mind a good cleaning and service on the movement. It's pretty dirty, and that will cause problems.
     
  13. wow

    wow Registered User
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  14. Tony10Clocks

    Tony10Clocks Registered User

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    A nice clock you have there. Any suggestions as to who the movement is by. It does look a bit dirty, maybe you might have a go at cleaning it in the future. But if you want to learn about how the clock works it might be a good idea to start with a time only or a strike and time. Also you might replace the needle that's holding the suspension spring
     
  15. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Hey Mac...
    For future reference, check this: Rack Strike Elements. It gives details.
     
  17. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    Thank you all so much. I have oiled the bushings and replaced the suspension spring needle as Tony suggested
    and all is now back in place. Seems to be running smoothly. Some of these days when I can find the time I will consider giving the whole thing a good cleaning.
    This is the first time I have worked on any type of clock so maybe I have found a new hobby!!!
    Again many thanks to all of you.
    Cheers John:)
     
  18. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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  19. macquin

    macquin Registered User

    Nov 18, 2013
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    Thanks very much to all of you.Your advice and suggestions have been much appreciated.
    I have now the movement safely back in it's case. Cleaned and oiled the bearings, replaced the suspension spring needle and am pleased to say that it has been running overnight without any problems - keeping good time, chiming and striking the hours perfectly.
    I feel that with my first sortie in looking inside clocks I may have found a new interest. My next job will be to give the clock a good clean. I have already ordered a starter kit and have been reading up on how to do this.
    By the way I don't know what make of clock this is as I can find no makers name or trademark either on the case or on the movement except for a number stamped on the bottom of the case - however it is so faint I can't decipher it.
    Thank you all again.
    Cheers
    John
     
  20. Gordon Andersen

    Gordon Andersen Registered User
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    Good morning ,
    The "Rack Strike Elements" article I found to be very informative and helpful. I have one problem with the description of the gathering pallet. The movement that I am working on at this time does not have the "bean" shape to it. Mine is nothing more than a round disc with two lifting pins on it. I have been having a heck of a time to get it oriented properly on its arbor. What would be the correct procedure to put the pallet on in its proper orientation? Thanks for any and all tips regarding this quandary.
    Gordon A.
    West Bend, WI
     
  21. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    With the train locked and the rack sitting on the rack hook, both pins should be OUTSIDE the rack. Neither one should be between the teeth.
    At least, that's how it is with 3-pin GP's.

    As I recall.
     
  22. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Nor should a pin be between any teeth during the warn run. Hold on to the fly while you make adjustments so the train won't move.
     
  23. Gordon Andersen

    Gordon Andersen Registered User
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    Good morning,
    Thanks again for your response to my problem. What you suggest is something I have been doing without any success. This movement has been giving me more problems than any movement I have worked. I have always understood that the rack & snail feature allows one to do all adjustments from the outside. Therefore, that is what I've been attempting to do. Nothing seems to work.
    As I said, I have been having nothing but problems with this one. It is a New Haven Number 700 as pictured in Tran du Luy's New Haven book on page 392.
    When I received the clock, the fly would not turn. I had first thought that I would have to re-plant the bush. But after checking the mesh using my depth gauge, I found that this was not the problem. The lantern pinion had one two many pins. I found a correct one in my "parts" collection. But, I found that the arbor didn't allow any end shake. I took care of that on the lathe. Next, I found that the gathering pallet had one pin when there were two holes.
    I installed a pin and thought that I had it licked. Wrong! It still would lock with a hammer on the rise. I then noticed that the 4th wheel ( the locking wheel) also had two holes for pins. But, there was only on pin. I have looked thru my books and am unable to find any in formation on this. Is it possible that the fourth wheel should have two locking pins? I must apologize for the lengthy tirade. But, I have been pulling my hair out with this movement.
    Thank you all,
    Gordon Andersen
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    2fatcat@charter.net
     
  24. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    A second pin would make the run on warn half as long, perhaps preventing one of the pins moving into the rack teeth and interrupting the drop. You sure wouldn't lose much by putting one in the open hole and trying it out :)
     

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