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Another clock needing some help please.

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I have another slate clock that I have taken the mechansim out of to make things easier when tinkering about with. The clock came without a pendulum but I have two spare ones I can experiment with just to see if I can get it working. The clock winds up ok and the pendulum rod sways away quite fast without a bob fitted.

I have placed a pendulum bob on the rod and it ticks away contently for between 15 and around 50 seconds before stopping. I tried the other pendulum bob and the same thing happens. I have watched the clock ticking from the top and counted the number of times the clock ticks by counting the action of the rocker clicking each tooth on the right hand cog, it varies, the minimum was 15 the maximum was 51 to date. There is no definitive number before it stops.

Hope I have explained myself correctly and what I have said makes sense, any advice or suggestions would be gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance.



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Dear @Mr.Linnet I think the problem here is that, in a sense, all you have told us is that the clock isn't working, full stop. To diagnose a problem from your description is almost impossible and it really needs an expert to actually delve inside the movement. Of course, it may be that if you managed to obtain a pendulum specific to that movement then the clock might work properly. Interestingly, your clock movement seems to bear the crossed arrows mark of the Hamburg American Clock Company (HAC) formed in Germany in 1873, which used that mark from 1892, at which time the firm was aiming to increase exports to Great Britain and North America. The company was a major producer in Germany of various types of clock and in 1926 it went in as a co-operative with Junghans, finally merging with Junghans in 1930 :)

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Thank you very much for taking the time to reply and for the information you enclose :)

Just as a little background information. Up until recently I had no interest in clocks or their workings but I was given about 6 clocks together with miscellaneous spares and parts. None of the clocks were complete or indeed in working order. Most of the clocks were damaged in one form or another. I offered to take them from a neighbour who was going to throw them away. Being mechanically minded and through the lock-down we all found ourselves in I elected to sort through the clocks as a project to keep myself occupied. I kind of sorted them out by way of condition and whether they appeared to have many parts missing. The two slate clocks in my opinion were ideal candidates for experimenting with and learning from. As the clocks had no form of value or sentimental attachment I decided to see if it was possible to tinker about with them in an effort to get them operating again.

I understand and appreciate that an expert would be able to help me diagnose the problem with my clock but unfortunately I do not have access to an expert who would probably want to charge me a fee. This being the case I elected to make a start on the clocks. The slate clock in my other thread titled "Suspension spring and rod" is now working and ticking away contently although it is gaining time but I am hoping that the adjustment I have carried out will help, the speeding up and slowing down of the pendulum method that has been advised by another forum contributor that kindly responded to my post.

The clock in this thread looks very similar but the pendulum was the only part missing from apparently getting the clock working in my very inexperienced eye. Having given the clock a quick wind I found that the suspension rod swayed of its own accord and the internal workings all appeared to be turning and functioning. It was only when I fitted a pendulum bob that the clock stopped operating after between 15 and 50 something seconds. Sitting and listening to the clock ticking you can hear when it is content and when it is not, if that makes sense.

I can remove the pendulum bob and the clock will tick away merrily with the suspension rod swaying away fast.

Since placing my original post I have spent the afternoon observing and tinkering with the clock trying simple things like counting the ticks before it stops, altering the length on the bob increment by increment, observing the internal workings. I may have stumbled across the possible cause of the clock stopping. There appears to be excess play in the shaft that the cog underneath the rocker is attached to. I tried the move the shaft with a small screwdriver and found some excess play in the back cover where the shaft sits. I placed a length of cotton from one side of the clock to the other thus helping to support the shaft but not too taut to stop it from turning. This has helped and the clock will now run for up-to three minutes before stopping.

I would be grateful if someone could please advise whether I am on the right track or whether this is total good fortune and totally unrelated.

Many thanks in anticipation :wink:



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The picture you show immediately above reveals a considerable amount of corrosion, and I also wonder just how much gunk has built up in the internal workings of the movement. Excessive play in a shaft presumably requires re-bushing, and it may be that other elements in the movement also might require similar treatment. Please note that I am no expert on clock repairing although I have set up quite a few old clocks in my time. I do wonder if a proper clean and re-lubrication of the movement might work wonders although to do this would probably involve disassembly of the movement. I do wish you all the best with this project, and hopefully you will win the battle to get this clock to work.:)

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Mr Linnet, hi again!

There are so many things to say, so this is real trial for my English…

First of all – if a clock goes with no stopping without pendulum, and it stops with the pendulum placed, the reason is usually in the pendulum – suspension – rocker regulation and adjustment.

The second – You clock is rusty and is oiled like it has been deep  in oil… This is totally wrong! The rust particles are very abrasive and when they go in the oil, it becomes abrasive too. So, You clock will work with the right pendulum adjustment, but very soon, may be after few months working, it will wear so mush that bushing and pivot repairs will be needed to restore it…

The right thing to do is to disassemble all the movement, to clean  it well ant inspect and replace all damaged pins of the pinions and burnish/ repair/ replace wheel pivots  and plate holes if needed. Also, the main spring must be taken out of the barrel, cleaned and lubricated…

Now, for the pendulum adjustment:

It’s length is important for the correct frequency, but not important for the uninterrupted work.

The important thing here is to ensure that there is no friction and looses, especially where the rocker touches the pendulum rod. The rod must not touch the ends of the notch in direction ‘to the plate’ and ‘off the plate’. If it touches, then the rocker must be bent towards the plate or off the plate… Also, if the rod is with no round section, but with square or rectangular one, the rod must stay parallel to the notch or slot of the rocker. If not, this means that suspension spring is twisted and must be repaired. The rod must go in the slot freely, but with no big free play.

Then, the most important condition for continuous working is the regular, even beat.  If the beat is uneven and limping, then the clock may stop soon. I am not sure how to explain this technically, so I will try like to a child…  If the beat sounds like    ..tick.tock………tick.tock………tick.tock…… , then it is wrong. It must sound like ..tick…...tock…...tick…...tock….. The time between ‘tick’ and ‘tock’ must be equal to the time between ‘tock’ and ‘tick’.  The regular beat can be obtained by different leveling of the movement itself or by slightly turning or bending the rocker on the anchor shaft when the movement and the clock is correctly leveled.

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Thank you Always "watching" and nevenbekriev for your replies. :).

I really appreciate your detailed explanation nevenbekriev, you have explained everything well and I completely understand, although I must say it all sounds rather daunting and completely out of my skill set. I have seen some photos and videos of rebushing being carried out and this is most definitley way beyond me at present.

Just as a matter of clarity I used the pendulum from my other clock which I managed to get working with a new suspension spring and rod. My thinking being that the mechanisms and movements looked very similar, so if it worked on the other clock perhaps it might work on this clock.

I understand and appreciate that this clock desparately needs a strip down and clean but that will have to wait for the time being until I have a bit more confidence and understanding.

Once again many thanks for taking the time to reply to my posts but I think I may move onto one of the other four clocks I have acquired just to assess their working status :wink:



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