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QUESTION: I didn't wind my clock and it stopped.  I've always been diligent about keeping the chains pulled.  But now I can't get it to start.  The pendulum quits when I swing it. I've pulled the chains to the top and they don't come down when I manually turn the hand to make it chime.  Is there anything I can do to fix this?  Our local clock repairman moved away.  Thanks.

ANSWER: JoAnn, there are a couple of things that can cause a clock to not run after stopping.  I mistakenly reversed the two paragraphs below, and my cut and paste function is not working.  Try the second paragraph first.  

The other cause is that the weight for the chime reached the bottom of the case as it was chiming and it jammed.  Look in the back of the clock at the chime hammers on the right side (as you face the clock).  Are any of the hammers that strike the rods out of alignment?  If so, move the minute hand forward until it is about 10 minutes before any hour (4:50, 5:50. etc). Gently pull the chime hammers all back about 1/2 inch.

The first cause is that one of the weights might have touched the bottom of the case and tilted over, hitting the pendulum and knocking it out of beat.  If this is a later model clock, it probably has an auto-set beat adjustment.  To get it back in beat, hold the pendulum all the way over to one side and release it.  It will set its own beat and run.  Being in beat means that the tick tock is even.  It should go, tick....tock....tick....tock.  If it goes, tick..tock......tick..tock, it is out  of beat and will stop.  If the clock does not have the auto-set beat you will have to manually set the beat.  

Let me know if the above works and if not we will try something else.  It will help if you can give me the name of the manufacturer of the clock and the information found on the back plate of the movement.  Any information on the back of the case or on a label will probably not help.


John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Located in Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

     

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again.  I did what you said and the beat isn't set.  It goes tick, tock....tick, tock, so it must be out of beat.  Here are the #'s I found on the back.  On top 77, next line Franz Hermle, next line No(# but couldn't really see for sure)Jewels, next line unadjusted, next line 451-053 and then 85 cm/70.77   On the front it says Piper.  I hope this will help you.  I couldn't see anything wrong with the hammers.   Thanks.

JoAnn Jacobson

ANSWER: Your Hermle movement is not the auto-beat type.  Here is what you have.  The pendulum attaches to the hanger, a brass or steel strip about 6" long.  The hanger connects to a strip coming out of the top back of the clock movement. This is the crutch.  It moves from left to right as the clock runs.  It is best to remove the pendulum when first making this adjustment.  After you get the feel for it, the next time you can perform the adjustment with the pendulum attached.  When comfortable with this you can even make the adjustment from the front of the clock.  Gently move the crutch and hanger to the left and right until you feel it stop.  When in beat, the crutch and hanger should move equally left and right from a vertical line.  If it travels too far in one direction, move it in the other direction a little further when you feel it stop.  This will slip the mechanism to make it equal in both directions.  If you go to far, slip it the other way.  Reattach the pendulum, making sure you do not slip the crutch past the point in which you adjusted it.  Start the pendulum and listen for the beat.  If it is still not even as I described in the previous post, you can slip it with the pendulum on.  Substituting left, right for the tick, tock, listen and if it is going left..right......left..right, Slip it a little right (the shortest time).  If you go too far, it will go, right..left......right..left.  Slip it back a little to the left.  Continue this until you get an even beat.  Let it run for a while until you are satisfied it will continue running.  Now, when you move the clock back to the wall, it could be that the level of the clock will be a little from where you were testing it.  The clock does not have to be exactly level, because what you have done is adust the beat to the position of the clock.  Just make sure the clock is stable and doesn't rock.  That will stop a clock.  I set the beat from the front of the clock by reaching in between the weights and moving the pendulum top to slip the adjustment.  It's all a matter of feel, and when you get it, you will always be able to do it.  I work on different clocks every day so I have to compensate for every clock a little differently.  If you get the even beat and it still doesnt run, it could be something else with the movement.  If you will reply to my shop email address, I can send you a photo of the back of the movement and further adjustment instructions.  This will also help free up the Allexperts question queue of which I have a limited number of questions per day.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

Note concerning questions not related to Allexperts:  Because of my commitment to answering Allexperts questions within a prescribed time limit and the large backlog of clock work at my shop, I regret that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis, other than Allexperts follow up questions.  I will try to answer these emails as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.  
  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm finding that the crutch only moves in one direction and I can't move it to the left.  It acts as if it's stuck and I don't want to force it.  I don't know if there's anything I can do now. If I could I would take the mechnism out and send it to you. Is that possible?

Answer
It could be that you are not pushing the crutch past the slip point.  But I don't want to advise you to push it too hard, causing it to bend or break something.  If you can, please send me a clear photo of the back of the movement and I'll take a look.  And, again, please send it to my shop email address, as my question queue has probably reached its limit for the day and your question might not get through.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

Note concerning questions not related to Allexperts:  Because of my commitment to answering Allexperts questions within a prescribed time limit and the large backlog of clock work at my shop, I regret that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis, other than Allexperts follow up questions.  I will try to answer these emails as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.  

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

Organizations
NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Publications
Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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