Introducing myself

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  • #49831
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Hi, my name is Richard Taylor, I’m originally from the UK but currently living in the Czech Republic in the City of Brno (close to Austrian border and Vienna). I’m retired and rekindling my interest in old clocks. I dabbled many years ago but ‘life’ got in the way. There are a few antique shops in Brno and when browsing in one of them a few weeks ago I stumbled across a couple of old wall clocks. They were together just leaning against a wall gathering dust. I realised that they were both 2 weight ‘vienna regulator’ style and the shop owner was not able to tell me much about them. I took some photo’s and after some research I discovered that one of them was definitely a Gustav Becker. Anyway, I went back and offered significantly less than he was asking and did a deal on both clocks on the basis that I was buying them ‘as seen’. Having got them home, it became clear they were both Gustav Becker and from the markings on the movements, one dated from 1880 and the other 1890. I was mainly keen on the attractive case of what turned out to be the 1890 clock, but the face is quite worn. The other case is dull in comparison but I fell in love with the clock face and the decorative wights and pendulum. You can see from the photo’s I have posted here. I have now mounted both clocks to see if they are working. The 1890 clock seems to work fine, but a little off beat…the movement is complete and quite clean compared with the older clock. I couldn’t try the older clock because the top ‘hinge’ (not sure of the correct name) is broken…it looks like someone tried to remove the movement from the clock case without disconnecting the pendulum and not realising that the top ‘hinge’ is actually part of the mounting plate and not part of the movement. I intend to restore both clocks to their original glory. I would be interested if anyone here is familiar with these movements and how best to approach the job…I will post more detail photo’s of the movements in another post…




    #63913
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi and welcome to the forum :)
    The “top hinge” is the suspension spring. They are fairly easy to find and replace.
    Lovely pair of Viennas!
    Paul.

    #63914
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Welcome to the forum. Nice clocks for sure.

    #63915
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hello, welcome, they will be a fun project. William

    #63916
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Thanks guys :) I have a question, I’m trying to fathom out how to adjust the beat..In his video, Bob talks about bending the crutch, but that does not appear to be an option on the GB movements in my clocks…the whole mechanism seems quite complex with what appears to be a number of adjustment knobs…see photo’s. Does anyone have any experience in setting the beat with this type of movement? Comments greatly appreciated…


    #63917
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    It looks like you would loosen the larger knob a bit then grab the 2 similar smaller knobs and twist to make the adjustment, the post in the slot should move back and forth then for beat adjustment, retighten the larger knob to keep it in place. similar concept as bending the crutch, though not bending anything. Hope that makes sense. William

    #63918
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    looking again at the photos the larger knob may not have to be loosened.

    #63919
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Thanks William, yes I see what you are saying, in fact there is no need to loosen anything, on closer inspection, I see that there is a belleville spring washer under the head of the central ‘black’ screw which creates a friction device and as you say, the post moves within the slot by twisting the outer small knobs which are fixed to the arm. Richard

    #63920
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Excellent…yes these type of beat adjusters (not sure of exact name for them) are a nice feature, William

    #63921
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Finally I have restored one of the movements. Thankfully it was not necessary to insert any new bushes, but I stripped the movement down and gave it a thorough cleaning. I’m very happy that it now works ‘like clockwork’ :D The only task remaining before I put it back in its case is to synchronise the rack and snail striking mechanism with the hands. Does anyone have any experience on how to do this with this Gustav Becker movement? I’m sure I can play around to get it set up right, but I’m sure there must be an simple process for this, which I’m yet to fathom… pics attached…


    #63922
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    If you look at the end of the rack you will see a pin sticking through it, this lands on the “snail”which is on the hour pipe. The main thing is to check on the 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock that the pin is landing in the correct position and it is striking the correct amount of times. If it needs adjusting you will need to take the hands back off and turn the hour wheel round a tooth or two to get the rack tail landing in the correct place.
    Hope that makes sense?
    Paul.

    #63923
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Thanks Paul, yes that makes sense, but I have already followed the advice from another forum suggesting the simplest solution is to remove the minute hand and rotate the brass mounting bush a little to bring the hand to the correct position (I used a screwdriver with the blade across the corners of the square hole to do this, while gripping the hand with a pair of pliers), it’s a little bit trial and error requiring 3 attempts to get it just right…seems like cheating, but it works :D

    Now I have another problem. The clock is running slow by about 5 mins per day. I tried to adjust for this by raising the pendulum bob up a bit, but after few swings of the pendulum, the movement stopped. Does anyone know why this happens? I can’t imagine that this would effect the beat or am I missing something here?

    Richard

    #63924
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Can anyone comment on this please:

    “Now I have another problem. The clock is running slow by about 5 mins per day. I tried to adjust for this by raising the pendulum bob up a bit, but after few swings of the pendulum, the movement stopped. Does anyone know why this happens? I can’t imagine that this would effect the beat or am I missing something here?”

    I just tried raising the bob by just half a turn on the adjusting screw and it stopped again after a few minutes…I don’t understand the logic of what is happening here…

    #63925
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    @rgmt79 wrote:

    Thanks Paul, yes that makes sense, but I have already followed the advice from another forum suggesting the simplest solution is to remove the minute hand and rotate the brass mounting bush a little to bring the hand to the correct position (I used a screwdriver with the blade across the corners of the square hole to do this, while gripping the hand with a pair of pliers), it’s a little bit trial and error requiring 3 attempts to get it just right…seems like cheating, but it works :D
    Richard

    Sorry Richard, didnt quite read your question correctly, my fix is if the clock is not striking corectly on the 12 and one or mis-striking on any other hour because of the snail not being in the correct position.
    You didnt cheat, that is how you line the hands up to mark the hour striking.

    In answer to your next question, no, raising the bob should not put the clock out of beat unless you handle the pendulum roughly while making the adjustment. If you twisted the pendulum rod while adjusting this could possibly be enough to knock it out of beat. If the pallet cock screws were not quite tight enough you may have moved the pallet cock while handling the pendulum.
    It could just be out of beat so check that first.
    Also make sure the bob is not rubbing anywhere.
    Paul.

    #63926
    rgmt79
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 11
    • Total Posts: 56

    Thanks Paul, I’m assuming that because the clock is running ok, albeit around 5 mins/ day slow, the beat must be ok too…perhaps that’s a false illusion? Maybe I should move the pendulum bob up by 5 complete turns (It has been suggested that one complete turn is equivalent to 1 min/day) and then try to adjust the beat again. The brass fitting at the top of the rod is attached ok and the bob is not flopping…the swing is nice and smooth.

    I have already serviced the movement (see start of this thread) by stripping it down and giving it a thorough cleaning and re-oiling as appropriate on re-assembly. I checked the pivot holes and could not see any obvious signs of wear. The gear chains were spinning freely without any signs of binding or obstruction.

    One other thing did ocurr to me: I did not dissassemble the escapement pallet assembly (each pallet is held in place by 2 scews) before cleaning…maybe they need some adjustment, but I don’t know how to check this…I am assuming that if the movement is running ok at the current settings, then that is ok too?

    Richard

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rgmt79Introducing myself