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Clocks, Watches/1161-853 BSK 94cm Ridgeway Clock


QUESTION: I just bought this clock from the owner whom bought it brand new about 12 years ago.  The owner never set up or even remove the starfoam from the cables and cardboard from the chime rod.

Once i brought home and set up, the clock runs too fast; more than 10 minutes a day.  I adjust to the max but it still run very fast.  After no more adjustable, what i did was removed the nut and then extend the inner bolt (or rod which has thread both end; one to wood stick and other for the adjustable nut) by turn it counter clockwise to get longer in length.  It ended up about 3/4 inch longer.  After that, I adjusted the nut to max again and now it only run about 2 minutes per day....i can't adjust anymore.

I double check the mark on the wood stick and it mark 94.  Also, there is no sign of alter.  The clock has been run for almost a week now. I also re-oil the clock but it still does not help.

Any suggestion?  Thanks.


ANSWER: Trung, I will be out on service calls this morning and hopefully will get bac to you this afternoon.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

Trung, as the clock had not had any attention for 12 years, it probably did need oiling.  However, this did not cause it to run faster.  I am not sure what the problem is.  The movement is marked 94cm and the stick is marked 94cm.  That match up means that it should run at the proper speed.  If you can send me some measurements, I can check it out on a test stand with a setup similar to yours.  I would need the measurement from the tip of the top hook on the pendulum to the bottom of the pendulum bob where it rests on the rating nut.  Since you have made the modification by extending the rating screw, let me have that measurement.  Also, please give me the diameter of the bob.

If all the parts are correct, about the only other cause for a clock to run fast is if the escapement is skipping.  That is when the escapement pawls rock back and forth (to give the tick-tock sound) they could be skipping.  However, this would be very unlikely in a clock that has never been run.  I did think of one thing that maybe you already checked, but there is an arm called the hanger or leader that is attached to the suspension spring at the top back of the movement.  The top hook on the pendulum stick pendulum hangs on the hanger.  There is another arm coming out of the top back of the movement called the crutch.   I believe the model you have has a pin at the bottom of the crutch.  The pin should come through a slot that looks like a keyhole in The middle of the hanger.  If it is not in the slot, the clock might run but you can get some double escape pulses that would cause it to run faster.

You did the right thing in your diagnosis and testing.  Sometimes clock owners do too much and start making adjustments that cause more problems.  Get the measurements for me and we'll go from there.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama


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


First, thank you very much for your response and much appreciate your help.


- 31  7/8 Inches - top of the hook to the bottom groove of the bob (where the bottom of the dish rested on).

- 6  1/2 Inches - dish diameter

- 6 Inches - Hanger with suspension spring (This measurement is from the top of the metal stick coming backward from movement where the suspension spring attach with the screw, to the bottom of the Hanger where it hook of the Hanger align with the keyhole on the pendulum stick)  -  Yes, I align them (pendulum and Hanger) correctly with the keyhole and the hook.

-  Correction:  the extension i mentioned above; it is about 3/8 of an Inch instead of 3/4.  so the pendulum is about 3/8 Inches longer then original.

NOTE - since you mentioned "....the escapement is skipping", i am not sure if it is the case or not but one think i notice about the tic-toc sound does not sound right; it sounds like STRETCH, not solid tic-toc.  It could be skipping.   How do i check this skipping?

Trung, while I am setting this up I have a couple of more comments.  On the  escapement, normally you should hear an even beat, like "tick....tock....tick....tock." The "STRETCH" to which you refer could be that it is out of beat.  If it goes, "tick..tock......tick..tock," it is out of beat and should be adjusted, as if it is too bad the clock will stop.  But that would not be causing it to run fast. It's a little difficult to describe the sound, but it would sound something other than a solid beat on the tick or tock.  You can observe it by using a good light and watching the escape wheel.  It should have a good, what we call, exit and entry of the pawls (the ends of the verge that contact the teeth.) Each entry and exit should allow one tooth to escape at a time.  If it is skipping, in could be intermittent and you would hear a slight difference between the good and failing action.

Just as a clarification, you mentioned that the extention is about 3/8" longer, but this doesn't affect the measurement of the overall length of the pendulum after you measured it, which was 31-7/8" long.  Is that correct?

Also, as we are getting into some technical discussion, would you answer to my shop email address below and we can make better contact.  It will also fre up my Allexperts question queue, of which I have a limited number per day.  Thanks.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

(Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis
other than Allexperts follow ups.)

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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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