Home Forums General Discussion Forum Seth Thomas #2

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    bernie weishapl

      Had a Seth Thomas #2 come into the shop for repairs. He said he had it to another shop and he said it just hasn’t run right for almost a year. He said it keeps stopping at different times. Anyway took the movement out of the case and was I shocked. It had 4 screw in bushings. I was just PO’d. I hate screw in bushing and those add a pivot with a passion. These even stuck out of the plates by 1/8″ or so. Of course each one had 3 to 5 punch marks where whomever punched the plates to keep them in. He said the guy told him he had professionally cleaned, bushed, and oiled. He didn’t take the dang thing apart. There was green gunk all over the inside the plates and you couldn’t hardly turn the minute arbor. When I took the wheel off of it, it was just filled with green gunk so no he didn’t take it apart.

      Anyway to make a long story short I turned 4 bushings and installed them flush inside and out. Used my depthing tool to make sure the holes were in the right places. It looks good now but it has those hideous punch marks inside and outside the plates. I asked a couple of my buddies that do museum clocks and they told me to leave the marks as it would make it looks worse trying to get rid of them. Got it all cleaned, bushed properly and oiled but momma hollered supper before I could get it hung. I am never late for supper. 😆 So will get it hung tomorrow and see how she runs. I did spin the cable wheel without the verge and it spun for quite some time before slowing to a stop so I feel good that it should run well. The first picture is the front plate and the second is the back plate. I didn’t take one of the inside of the plates but had been filed so had file marks along with the punch marks.


        Hi Bernie,
        These are the before pictures??
        I ask as I’ve never done a bushing job nor have I ever seen plates with the dimpling to hold in the bushings.
        I’ve got a couple of dumb questions but if I don’t ask, I will remain dumb. That said, when you bush a plate using one of those bushing machines, do the bushes end up with the indentations for oil or do you have to “stake” those in afterwards. How would you make that oil resevoir without the bushing machine. I’m assuming you do it with the punches that have the holes in them. Like these:

        bernie weishapl

          Yes these are the before pic’s. I was told by a couple of friends that take care of museum quality clocks to just leave the dimples because you would do more harm than good and besides it is now the history of the clock.

          Ren the bushing I use are KWM bushings. They have a oil sink already in them. For a long time I bushed all the clocks I repaired by hand. This is the bushing tool I use now and it has a wooden base with more than 1000 bushings in the base. http://www.merritts.com/clock_parts/public/product.aspx?ProductID=81958&SearchText=bushing%20tool

          When I bushed by hand this is what I used. http://www.merritts.com/clock_parts/public/product.aspx?ProductID=82132&SearchText=bushing%20tool
          This is the handle. http://www.merritts.com/clock_parts/public/product.aspx?ProductID=82143&SearchText=bushing%20tool

          Not a very good picture. I just took a quick one with my phone. It has the sizing gage for pivots behind and you can see the two boxes in the base with all the bushing by size. If I turn my own bushings I cut a oil sink with a counter sink tool. Hope this helps.


            About the countersink, they are concave ball shape, not just a standard countersink, I believe that is so the oil wont run out as it would with a standard countersink with a straight cut, or at the least have a more difficult time running out. makes me think of why you do not overfill a oil sink but I am not sure of the math with depth of oil sink and percentage of oil in it before the oil will start to want to drain out….or if those ideas are even a factor in the construction. William

            bernie weishapl

              William I use a ball counter sink actually with my dremel tool. Works pretty well

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