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Clocks, Watches/1050-020 Howard Miller


Mr. Newman,  I have this movement out of the case. The problem is it will not strike the 1/4 hours or the hour of the day. Is there something I can look for around the 1/4 cam or the snail area? I know if I lift the arm behind the snail by hand it will strike. Any help would be appreciated.  Tom

Thomas, the chime pin/cam and locking plate are in the correct positions and I would assume the chime mainspring is wound.  I cannot see the strike gathering pallet, but as you told me, if you can lift the rack hook and the rack drops and the strike runs, it should be in sync and not stop the chime.  Has the clock been serviced in the last 7 to 10 years?  It could be that the lubricants have become old and gummy and/or there are worn parts.  You might want to check the chime hammers and make sure they are all aligned around 1/16" to 1/8" from the chime rods at rest.  If one is out of alignment, it could be stalling the chime function.  Try carefully running the minute hand up to the hour and when it clicks, gently try to roatate the chime drum in the running direction (CW). If it starts but then stalls out, I would think it is old oil or wear.  If it doesn'n move at all, it could be a sync problem.  I really can't think of anything else. It might need servicing by an experienced clockmaker.  But before you take it to anyone, get back with me and tell me what you find.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, 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. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 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 in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. 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.

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

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

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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