The following is the transcript of a lecture offering details
Helpful House Call Repairs
My name is Tom Scalzo, NAWCC #45941. I’ve been a New York Chapter member almost 40 years. I did warranty house calls for the major clock companies. At present I am associated only with London Clocks Ltd. I got involved with house calls when the Clock companies had asked if any collectors would be interested in doing house call repairs. I took up the challenge and have been at it ever since.
To get started, when someone calls for a repair, I ask them what the problem is. Usually the response is "clock runs and stops," strikes the wrong hour, doesn't keep good time, "chimes either run slow or don't run at all." At times they'll say "clock keeps chiming and won't stop." Frequently they'll say "we moved the clock to a new location and it won't run. The center weight and chain fell off. Pendulum fell down and the "little thing' broke. These are some of the problems they'll come up with.
Determining the problem:
OK; now down to business. Some or all of the questions I ask are:
Diagnosing and observation:
Before doing anything, look at glass on door for tiny scratch where the minute hand tip may have been rubbing. Is clock hooked to wall? Children have pulled clock down.
Open the door, does the door close by itself? If it does or if it stays open, it's an indication that the clock is not level and will have to be corrected later in the service call as the cabinet may have to be lain down to adjust feet if levelers are frozen, they usually are.
Finding the problem or problems:
Check for audible click when rotating minute hand backwards.
Does the pendulum wobble? If so, one reason is the foot of the crutch is not truly perpendicular to the movement and the suspension spring too soft or too long.
To further your examination of the movement, remove the weights and check the arbors for end shake. While the pivots are free, put a drop of the finest machine oil available in each pivot, shake the gear back and forth and using a small stiff brush, remove any sludge that may come loose; now is the time to check for worn bushings. If you don't foresee any problems, give each bushing a light coat of oil to replace the center weight chain, assuming clock has side doors, if not, go thru the roof if possible and make use of 2 wires to pull chain up and through. Examine chain for linkage spread (banging weights up into the saddle).
To replace the center weight chain, assuming clock has side doors, if not, go thru the roof if possible and make use of 2 wires to pull chain up and through. Examine chain for linkage spread *banging weights up into the saddle).
Replace the center weight (with the pendulum off) and if the suspension rod flutters, then for all intents and purposes, the clock should be free to go. Replace the left and right weights. Advance the minute hand to chime and listen for a clean sound with 'after tone.' The hammers should have at least 1/16 of clearance. If not, bend the wire and listen. If during the chiming, one or two notes don't make a sound, it may be the music drum activating points are worn and not pushing the hammer rocker arm. Using needle nose pliers, bend the point slightly to come in contact with the rocker arm. If after testing chime sequence, the quarter hours are out of synch, move the minute hand to the first quarter to chime 4 notes then rotate the music drum by loosening the large drive gear to the drum until you hear the first proper quarter. If for any reason you think the music should be running a little faster, using you needle nose pliers, give a slight bend to the end of the fly fan as to make it fan the air a little less.
Finally, if everything seems to be working ok, test the clock by placing the minute hand a few minutes before the hour and if the clock chimes, try it once more, the reason for doing this is to see if the movement has enough power to move through the chiming levers.
On cable driven movements, pay close attention to the center cable spool for tangles. If the cable appears to be tangled, then other than removing the movement to the customer's table or to your work shop, consider another choice. If the back panel of the cabinet is removable, and if possible, remove the verge plate and verge but before doing so remove the center weight. Pull on the cable strongly and most times the cable will start to run free. If not, then the job has to be done on the bench. Unfortunately this makes for a big job especially if it is a 5 ore 9 tube clock.
Old German 'round top' clocks that are hour & half hour, Bim Bam, and Westminster are usually made so that the movement just slides out for examination and service.
Tool Kit Contents:
Usual screw drivers, pliers, tweezers,
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