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Antique Clocks/japy frere mantle clock


Hi Tom.   I have a Japy Frere clock, my photo shows the movement. It will not go and I have noticed that the two wheels on the centre arbour do not mesh correctly with a pinion and wheel positioned between the two winding shafts (the pinion is not visible in the photo). The two wheels are both too high, could this be why the clock does not go? And if so how can I adjust them?
         Many thanks  Rob

Improper mesh could cause a clock to not function properly. It is generally caused by someone rebushing a clock improperly in that they locate the pivot hole in the wrong location. I do not see any evidence this clock has been rebushed, so doubt this is the cause of the problem.

I would try removing the cantilevered bridge supporting the little gear cluster which drives the hour hand gear. Be certain to mark the gear meshes, otherwise the movement can be damaged if the snail is not properly timed with the hour hand staff. Marking the pinion and hour hand wheel can be don after the bridge is removed, provided you hold the gear and mesh as you remove the bridge. After the cluster is removed simply see if the clock will run. If the gear mesh is incorrect, you may be able to correct it by elongating the screw hole and pin hole in the bridge slightly. This may present problems, though, as the gear will tend to tilt. It looks like there may be an imperfection in the positioning of the cluster in that the large wheel of the cluster is not parallel with the movement plate. At any rate, I would try running the clock without the hour hand wheel being driven before I spend a lot of time trying to correct any gear mesh situations.

I assume the clock has been oiled and that high friction is not a problem. Get back to me for instructions regarding correcting the mesh problem if the clock runs after removing the hour hand drive cluster gear.  

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Tom Williams


I can not think of any questions I cannot answer in regard to repairing antique clocks or radios. However, I am sure there are a few I have not heard and may not be able to answer. If I cannot, I will say so. I have been repairing them since I was a young child.


My experience includes repairing CooKoo clocks, Westminsters, BimBam, almost all antique clocks. I do a bit of repair on battery clocks where the value is sufficient to warrant working on them. I also repair antique (tube type) radios - all makes.

Indiana Historical Radio Society, Illinois Valley Antique Car Club, Military Vehicle Preservation Association

BEE from Cleveland State University

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Four patents.

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