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Antique Clocks/empress 31 day clock


i rescued a empress 31 day clock from garbage.keeps time great,
chimes half hour right on,problem with the hour chime.chimes the correct number but chimes at eleven minutes after the hour!
how could i correct that?

I checked the strike operation on my 31 day clock and it uses the strike gear train only when striking the hour. The half hour has a seperate cam follower which lifts the strike hammer as the hour hand staff rotates and drops it on the half hour. You have some kind of a problem with the strike gear train trip lever. Hopefully, it is gum formation at the pivot point. I would recommend first cleaning the pivot points of the strike mechanism with particular attention to the counting rack and the trip lever. I have found carbeurator cleaner works well for this. My 31 day clock uses plactic parts in the strike gear train governor which may not be compatible with carb cleaner so be careful. Also be certain to lubricate the entire clock if you spray any carb cleaner on parts which have not been removed prior to cleaning. Actually, since you do not know the maintenance history of this clock, it should be lubricated anyway. I have found most household oils such as sewing machine oils work quite well for this.

If cleaning and/or oiling does not fix the problem, install the hour hand on the bare movement and watch the action of the chime trip lever. As you approach an hour, it should cock at 3 to 10 minutes before the hour, then drop at the hour. The chime gear train should start moving immediately. Sometimes the lever gets bent and does not chime on the hour. Check for this. If the lever drops and the chime does not start immediately clean the pivots for the governor again being careful not to get cleaner on the plastic parts and relubricate it. Also lubricate the two springs. Please let me know how you make out and let me know what you find if this does not cure the problem.  

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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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