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July 12, 2015 at 10:45 am #49626
This Seth Thomas clock movement had come into the shop recently. It wasnt functioning properly and upon further inspection notice the fast slow regulator mechanism was broken. With lead split shot sinkers on the pendulum bob and the regulating mechanism turned all the way down in an attempt to slow the clock down the threaded adjusting rod was broken and a leaf was missing on one of the pinions (to mention a couple of issues). My goal in the shop is to be as self sufficient as possible so I have come up with my own way of rebuilding these. I do not know if there is a source for reproduction parts for this style or not.
As always, your response and input is welcome. If you have found any other processes of fabrication or variations of these types of mechanisms please post them so that it may benefit everyone. Thank you and enjoy the video about my process. William
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BACK TO FORUM INDEX PAGE: http://clockrepairtips.com/forum/index.phpJuly 12, 2015 at 3:56 pm #62970namonllor1953Participant
Excellent video William,
I saved it to my computer.
Thanks for the lesson,
RenJuly 13, 2015 at 6:25 am #62971
Hey Ren, your too kind . This was my first video like this and a experiment for me, I had decided to keep it real, everything is a take one and done. Hopefully I will improve as I make more of these on different subjects. I will get into more depth on some of the setting up and processes as we get more involved. WilliamJuly 13, 2015 at 7:42 am #62972stevefitzwaterParticipant
Nice Will, subscribed and likedJuly 13, 2015 at 3:26 pm #62973
Hey Steve, thank you, stay tunedJuly 13, 2015 at 4:01 pm #62974bernie weishaplParticipant
Great video William. Gave me a couple of new idea’s when I have to do another one of those.July 13, 2015 at 4:13 pm #62975
hey, hey HEY….Thank you Bernie, thats what I like to hear Please post it up if you ever do one, you may have some more good ideas for everyone….WilliamJuly 19, 2015 at 8:53 pm #62976Anonymous
Thank you William!
I learned a lot from this video and from your other posts as well. Very good!
PhilJuly 20, 2015 at 7:52 am #62977
Phil, thank you very much, working on some new subjects and trying to refine my video skills 🙄 I guess as long as the message gets across…WilliamMarch 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm #62978
Nicely done, Will. I recently did a similar repair to a Seth Thomas “Prince” – (gee – I wonder if this was a common problem with these movements?). When I lost my house to foreclosure back in 2012, I lost my AA109 lathe, and my Unimat 3, but was able to keep my 8mm watchmakers lathe. So I made my pinons using a flycutter mounted in a 1/2″ drill press, fitted with an x-y tale and a rotary table bolted to it. I made the center hole the hard way, using a triangular file to actually file a square from the round hole. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to use a square file as a broach. Some days, it certainly does feel stupid out.March 15, 2016 at 7:04 am #62979
Hey Dave, some days……I know what you mean 🙄 . Sorry to hear about the house issue…it has been difficult lately for many people. Thanks for explaining how you improvised, goes to show how some imagination can produce. I have seen alot of the fast slow regulator mechanisms like this one broken, usually appears that the owner is trying to get the clock to run faster and cranks it a bit too much, which makes sense if the movement is dirty and worn. WilliamMarch 25, 2016 at 9:59 pm #62980
On this same subject, perhaps a little discussion of French regulator parts is in order. Here is one from a Marti, labeled Pigeon, in which I made a new suspensions spring. The French suspension springs sold by the various supply houses are okay for many applications, but occasionally, you will hit one as I did with this Marti, where the springs are too long, or too wide, or the blocks are not the proper size to fit in the regulator mechanism you happen to have before you. This is going to take several posts, because I can only load one photo into each. Tis first photo shows the clock laid out on the bench, with the barrels and a few wheels set on one plate, preparatory to checking end shake and depthing. The regulator mechanism assembly is in the upper right corner, between my screwdrivers and oil stand, just above the pendulum rod and hook. The assembly also comprises the cock for the rear pivot of the anchor. The regulator mechanism is mounted on the inside of the cock, with a single screw and an alignment pin. In order to access the regulator, the cock is unscrewed from the back plate, and the screw holding the regulator is accessible from the reverse (or front) side. This screw is the same thread as the screw holding the cock onto the rear plate, but is slightly shorter, because it is “blind”; one must take care not to mix the two screws up.March 25, 2016 at 10:04 pm #62981
Here is another view of the regulator assembly, held in a machinist’s clamp, to give a better view. It is obvious from this photo that the counter bored screw holds the two halves of the regulator mechanism together. At this point, it is still mounted on the cock held by the previously mentioned blind counter sunk screw, and the cock is held in the parallel clamp.March 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm #62982
I did not take a photo of the suspension spring that needed to be replaced, because it was not available. The owner of the clock told me her father took it apart sometime around 1950 or so, to “fix” it. So here is at he suspension regulator mechanism with the halves separated, a new suspension spring ready to be riveted between two of the blocks, and cut to length to be riveted between the other pair of blocks. (Fortunately, when her father took the clock apart, he saved the blocks.) Occasionally, you may encounter a clock with the blocks gone, but it is an easy matter to make up pieces of brass between which the spring can be sandwiched. The only caveat is they must be able to slide freely in the milled slot, but not be free to wobble. Similarly, the suspension spring strength (both thickness and width) will be established by the dimensions of the slot through which it must slide when the regulator is assembled.March 25, 2016 at 10:34 pm #62983
After the spring is riveted to the upper block, the assembly can be put together, with the spring left long. It should then be moved so that the spring is in the uppermost position, and marked for mounting the lower block, through which the pendulum mounting pin will be installed. Disassemble everything, unpin the upper block from the regulator screw mechanism, cut off the spring, and punch it and rivet the lower blocks on. Everything can then be reassembled. Laurie Penman says the length of the spring is immaterial, provided there is sufficient length to allow for full adjustment. I was a little concerned that I might cut the spring too short, so made my rivet marks so that there would be about 1/16″ (1.5mm) spring extending below the mechanism and above the lower blocks. The pendulum rod is threaded for rough adjustment of the bob, so there should be little need for the regulator mechanism to move over a wide range of lengths. (This is not the case with most American regulator mechanisms, which are the sole means of adjusting pendulum length.) The first photo shows the blocks and spring laid in the regulator mechanism, where I was checking freedom of movement, and is=n the second, the spring is pinned to the bottom of the regulator screw, preparatory to reassembling the mechanism. (The bands on the photograph are what you get when you use a phone camera under fluorescent lamps.)
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