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Antique Clocks/Synchron Westminster clock not chiming


QUESTION: I was given a working synchron driven electric westminster clock, with a gear train that strikes multimple chimes. The clock runs, but the chimes do not sound. I found that if I lift a visible lever on the works, the hammers strike the chimes. How can I fix this chiming clock?

ANSWER: This lever that you refer to is supposed to be there.  Some people do not like the chime to operate and this lever stops it from striking.  Just move the lever away from the chime rods and it should operate.  If you have more problems, let me know.

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QUESTION: It's not the bar that blocks the hammers. The "lever" I refer to is more of a cam that is active in the striking mechanism. This might help: if I manually advance the time, it will strike, if I let the clock run normally, it will not. I have the works out and the only thing I can identify is a synchron motor, and the works has Patent 2176870. The clockface says Sessions. The clocks runs fine. I rinsed the gears with lighter fluid and applied gun oil to the shafts, not the gears. All the parts seem to be there, no missing springs. It's just such a complicated mechanism I have no idea where to look. Again, when I advance the time with the setting knob, it strikes, not when the clock advances the time. I really appreciate your help. What should I be looking for?

ANSWER: You are correct in saying that it is a complicated mechanism.  Most electric chiming movements are.  In some movements the motor runs both the chime and the time and others use a small spring to activate the chime.  The motor automatically winds the chime spring as the clock runs.  It sounds like you may have the spring type.  If you can find a small round spring in the movement, that may be your problem.  It may not be winding properly.  There is usually a small square shaft that protrudes on the outside of one end plate.  Sometimes there is a small key attached to the door.  This key will wind the chime spring manually.  These keys are lost in a lot of clocks.
If you have the type of movement that uses the motor to power both, I am at a loss to say what may be causing the problem without seeing the movement.

If you can not solve the problem and would like me to look at the movement, I will be glad to do so.  Please ship the movement only to me at:  Kiefer Appliance, 4511 Monona Dr. Monona, Wi. 53716
Please send a $20 estimate fee with the clock and I will call you with the exact cost.  If I repair the unit the estimate fee will be deducted.  Be sure to package well.

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Westminster Chime movement
Westminster Chime move  
QUESTION: Thank you for your time. I fixed the problem. There is a cam/lever with a felt pad that rides along the top of the top edge of the front part of the frame. This felt pad had worn down, with a resulting notch about 1/16" deep. By eliminating this notch, (wrapped a small bit of adhesive tape around it), the pad was brought back to it's full size, the lever rode at it's correct height, and the chime hammers are happily chiming away on my test bench. I may, in the future, replace the adhesive tape bit with a small piece of soft velcro, cemented to the felt. This will allow the lever to ride back and forth on the top of the frame as well as the original felt. For now, the adhesive tape seems durable enough.
Thank you.

It is really good to see that there are still some people out there that actually have problem solving skills. Congratulations on solving the problem.  I usually just sit and watch a movement run. It is the best way to locate where the movement is hanging up.  If you trace the gear train from the motor you can usually figure it out.  Good luck.  

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I will answer any clock repair questions to the best of my ability but not appraisal questions.


I have been repairing mechanical and electric clocks for over 25 years.

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