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Hermoglyph

Clock trouble

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Hi

Can anyone offer advice? I have a French carriage clock, c1890, I believe a 'good' clock, but never been known to be much use as a timepiece, though very pretty, because it seems so pernickety  I had it professionally overhauled 3 or 4 years 

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On 2/3/2019 at 9:50 AM, oldhippy said:

What problems do you have? Could you post photos of the movement please.  

Hi, possibly again! I haven't quite got the hang of this website and my posts seem to disappear before finished. Anyway, thanks for your interest. A 'good' French c1890 carriage clock, which goes well, inasmuch that it ticks healthily and does its 8 days, but gains more than a minute in 24 hours. I admit, at first I thought it just needed relubricating, and I did that myself - very carefully, I promise you, following all the expert Internet advice. I didn't touch the balance. If you are kind enough to be interested, I'll send pics tomorrow when the light's better. 

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What you have is an 8 day French Strike Repeater and the case is oval which is not as common as the square cases. It doesn’t look as if it has had much attention, example you should be able to see your face in the plates, these are very dull. If you have the experience to undertake the repair yourself it needs a good polish and clean and re-oiled. The platform will also need to be polished, cleaned and oiled. You will need a mainspring winder to remove the mainsprings. If you have a lathe you can de-burr all the screws and polish them, you can do this task by hand. Any glass panels that are chipped or broken (dust could get in) will need to be replaced. Is the case in good condition and the dial? Value would start at around £600 to £800.    

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You said it gains about a minute every 24 hours, I see the beat adjustment lever (the one that is bent downward over the back plate) is pushed to one side, this lever will advance or retract the beat therefore speeding the clock up or slowing it down. Also check to see if the balance spring is free in the slot of this lever if not it may be putting too much tension on the spring. Just so you know, the closer the slot end of the lever is to the end of the spring (where the taper pin holds it) the slower the clock will run.

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If the clock has a lack of oil say the platform, you will find it will not preform, as it should do no matter what you do. It is such a delicate and vital part it has to be in tiptop condition for it to work correctly, 

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I agree with everything you say OH, however Hermiglyph presents to not know enough about clocks to work on this fine movement, I just gave him/her a few basic things to check, if these things don't help then I think it has to be done by a clock repair person.

 

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Thanks to all who have taken the trouble to reply.  The clock was professionally overhauled I think about 5 years ago. I was charged £200 for the job, and thought well, all right,  as long as this isn't going to be required too often! I'm not willing or competent to interfere with the most delicate parts (the escapement mechanism) of quite a valuable clock, but I'm not too keen to fork out another £200 — and another in 5 years' time! - to have it properly cleaned again. So I suppose I just don't deserve this beautiful timepiece!  It's a bit of an heirloom - a wedding-present to my grandparents, I think - my parents liked it enough to have the case re-gilded, but got tired of its pernicketiness, and I'm afraid so have I. (The curved glass panels, by the way, are all intact.) 

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Thanks for all good advice. The sensible thing of course would be to hand the clock over to a pro. But I know the only chap within easy reach (11 miles away) would want to do a full (£200!) overhaul, and, judging by past experience, would hang onto it for two or three months and need constant badgering. My present Plan A is to remove the platform, swill it about in alcohol, re-lubricate, and stand by for perfect operation. Plan B is just to keep the b thing as an ornament. 

On 2/23/2019 at 8:53 AM, oldhippy said:

If the clock has a lack of oil say the platform, you will find it will not preform, as it should do no matter what you do. It is such a delicate and vital part it has to be in tiptop condition for it to work correctly, 

 

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My present Plan A is to remove the platform, swill it about in alcohol, re-lubricate, and stand by for perfect operation. 

NO NO NO.

The platform needs to be completely taken apart polished and rinsed, then cleaned in a proper cleaning machine. The only part that is not to go in the cleaning machine is the hairspring. A good clock repairer should be able to do this for you. If you damage or break any part it could cost a small fortune to put right. 

 

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Plan A wasn't serious. Just annoyed at this clock's seemingly endless, frequent, need for professional attention. Are all clocks of this type so demanding? 
A clock like this, well serviced, will run 5 years pretty ok. At that point it could use a service (mostly the platform). But might hobble along a few more years. The years after 5 might be causing wear, might not. Eventually it'll stop from either dried lubrication or wear, at which point the service charge (from a good repairer) would reflect the extra wear/rust/600 vickers level dried grease and oil.

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Hi, rare occasion to see both OH and Nickelsilver on same thread, so time to ask my question.

I collect and service my own pieces( only wristwacth) . I clean, reassemble without lube, none whatsoever, since I don,t intend the use the piece to tell me time, rather to best keep it from corrosion, I keep each piece in a ziploc bag, press air out of the bag, give a little wind to run a few mins, every six months, I like your thoughts/ advice on how best to keep. Any protective solution?

Regards.  Joe

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One of the biggest problems due to modern living, which can cause trouble with any clock, is the type of heating we have in our homes. Dry heating can cause the lubrication to congeal or evaporate which will cause wear to any mechanical movement. With carriage clocks, it is most important to make sure all the glass panels are in good condition, you do not want dirt or dry heat getting in. I disagree with nickelsilver about 5 years. I used to tell my customers providing you look after it bring it back in 7 to 8 years for an oil but do not leave it as long as 10, that went for Longcase clocks as well.

What you are doing with your watches is fine. Giving them a wind now and then is very good, it keeps the oils and parts moving. 

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