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Clock movment
Clock movment  
QUESTION: I have a Hamilton, Lancester County Wall clock. When I set the lever so it chimes on the 15 minute and hour when the strikers strike each bar they sound dull. I do not know how to adjust all the.strikers so I can move them 1/16 - 1/8" so they are lined up. Please help. Clock was a gift.

ANSWER: Thomas, I do not have the chime hammer alignment procedure on my laptop which I am using now.  When I get to my shop tomorrow I will send it to you. I usually cannot identify clock movements from manufacturer's case models, but your photo helped me identify it.  After I send you the instructions, we might have to discuss this on the phone.  The reason is that this particular model has the side hammers which use flat "rods" rather than round wires.  I believe this was done by the manufacturer to make it more difficult for them to get out of alignment.  But when the do, it is a pain to put them back for quality sound.  And they are in a position in the case that allows very little access to work with them.  I have had some difficult moments aligning these hammers, having to take the movement out, forming the rods, and reinstalling the movement over and over to get each one right.  One possibility is that the movement has shifted a little and they all are not hitting the rods correctly.  This means they could be aligned properly and the problem is caused by the misalignment of the movement.  I will contact you tomorrow.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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

QUESTION: John after your e-mail I looked and the striker rods are round and not flat. There are two screws/nuts that I loosened up and the whole face moved along with the hammers but won't move enough to give a nice sound so I have gained nothing by doing that.... have you discovered anything?
Thanks
Tom

Answer
I checked your picture again.  Just for clarity, I was referring to the flat brass arms and hammers and not the round black chime rods themselves.  I was basing my answer on the 8 brass chime hammers just above the dial on the right.  It looks like a Hermle 1051-030 movement.  This movement has 8 hammers on the side and they are made of flat brass arms.  It could be that you have a movement made by another manufacturer.  I do know that Hamilton used a lot of Hermle movements.  It looks like it would be a rather difficult job to make these adjustments because of the close proximity of space in which the hammers are located.  It looks like a hands-on project for an experienced clockmaker. Sorry I cannot help you more.  Do you know of a clockmaker near you?  If not, let me know the area in which you live and I'll check to see if there might be one of our Internet Clocksmiths members near you.  Reply to my shop email address below and I will get back with you.  This also helps free up the Allexperts question queue of which I have a limited number per day.  Thanks.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama


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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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