Jump to content

First attempt at Westminster Chime clock. (Hints and tips?)


Recommended Posts

I have got the hang of Enfield hour strike clocks now and am fairly confident with setting the strikes, bushing and pivot polishing. So I thought it was time to have a look at Westminster Chime, given that the “powers that be” have completely scuppered any chances of my meeting all of our family this Xmas, so I need to fill my free time.

I obtained this from a seller as a project clock, and to learn on. If I can get it going then fine, if I can’t, I hope to learn from the experience. First thoughts are - it is in a mahoosive case, far bigger and the movement warrants, and almost certainly designed for a larger clock movement. Maybe someone can take a look at where the old movement would have gone (slid in?), and take a guess? I think, it may be a German case, so this could provide a clue, but it has had an Enfield (I think) movement retrofitted at some point.

The photo shows the movement, which I am pretty sure is one of the Enfield versions and is four gong.

it runs OK for time ( as in, it goes and keeps going anyway) but I can’t get it to chime as yet. The chime stop lever seems not to work, but I have not even uncased it yet, so don’t know if there is an issue there.

Before I go mad and start unscrewing things, I wanted to get some advice about what I should learn by visual inspection of the movement first.

I’m sure that I should be watching how the Westminster chime progresses through its cycles and get to know the order of the gong strikes and figure out what is actuated by what movement. But is there anything else I should concentrate on?

the only book I have covering chimes is the De Carle ‘Practical Clock Repairing’, which does cover this type of movement and I am hoping it will be enough to get me most of the way.

so, I am here to learn, and pleased to have a new opportunity to do so. Any helpful hints or tips would be most welcome.

679A3BF0-83AA-4DAB-898C-8D4B34679C66.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Moose  two good books for the shelf, Clock Repaiers Handbook  by Laurie Pennman  and Clock Repairers Manual  by  Mike Watters, bothe good and practical books.  I got them both and are always a source of reference.

Hows the spring winder doing .

Link to post
Share on other sites

Book suggestions noted, thanks!

The winder is providing good service. The only change I made to the Mk 2 version, was to add a clamping device, so I can clamp it to a workbench when using it.

I have added a small engineering lathe to my tool “arsenal” now, so I have been thinking that I might beef up the main shaft (currently just a hex bar), and turn something more custom made. But otherwise nothing planned.

hope all is well with you.

George

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

First obstacle to overcome...

There is no spring barrel for the Westminster chime train... Well, I did say it was a project clock!

Am I correct in thinking that this barrel is not the same as the other two barrels, in that its effectively back-to front (with regards to where the teeth are)?

I am also guessing that it is not possible to re-purpose a spare main-spring or chime-spring barrel, because you require a different barrel/winding arbor?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Moose    I  have a few westminsters  But not running as it would be divorece material   The gaffer hates ticking clocks so they are banished, working but silent.    Yes the barrel arbour is in reverse so wouldn't try using any of the others. I may be able to find a barrel in the bits box, What make of clock is it. From the back it looks foreign  with just a number and no markings.  If you size up the barrel I will have a rake through the drawer. PM me if you wish

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct that isn’t the original movement for that case as it would have been seated on a seat board where the groves are in that case. Always check the winding to see how the springs are. Take note of any pivot holes that have vast amount of old black dirt in them that is normally a sign that the holes are worn and will need re-bushing. Check the condition of the suspension spring ( I always fitted a new one) If it comes with a key make sure it is a good fit if not replace it with new one. Don’t go buying second hand keys from ebay they are sure to be worn only buy new. As it is not the original movement check for room on the winding holes making sure a key can fit the arbors correctly also check the centre hole making sure it is free and isn’t rubbing the hour wheel pipe. It is possible the silent/chime lever might not be protruding enough so as to use it. When the movement is out check for any rubbing of parts as the distance between movement, case and dial need to be enough in order for everything to work. You are taking clock repairs in the right order by stepping up from strikes to chimes. Any other help needed just ask.

Here is the hammer sequence for a Westminster chime. 

4-0.jpg

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Moose    I  have a few westminsters  But not running as it would be divorece material   The gaffer hates ticking clocks so they are banished, working but silent.    Yes the barrel arbour is in reverse so wouldn't try using any of the others. I may be able to find a barrel in the bits box, What make of clock is it. From the back it looks foreign  with just a number and no markings.  If you size up the barrel I will have a rake through the drawer. PM me if you wish

Thanks for the offer WW. I missed your kind offer and started looking on eBay and managed to find one with the correct dimensions for about £7.50, which was reasonable as long as it is useable... more on that when it arrives. I may yet take up your offer 😉

There is a serial number on the back plate and a made in England stamp, but no makers mark. Looking at it, it shouts Enfield at me, as many of the wheels on the time and strike trains look exactly the same to their counterparts on a marked Enfield movement I have.

I have the movement out and mounted on a block to facilitate fault finding. More on that in a later post and in response to OH’s post previously.

TTFN

Edited by Moose
context
Link to post
Share on other sites

In Reply to OH's post above...

Thanks for the tips, always appreciated. Here are my observations do far...

Time Train. I wound the clock whilst still assembled and found it would not keep running. I did my (now usual) trick of listening to the sound of the beat and, finding it was well off, tilted up one side of the case to see if I could get a good beat. I could, with a tilt of about 1/4 inch, so well out! But after that determined that the clock was happy to keep running over at least a 24 hour period. So - it seems that once properly cleaned, re-aligned and re-bushed (where and if necessary) it should be a runner.

Strike Train. I took the movement out of the case and mounted it on a block so as to facilitate testing on the remaining two trains under hand power. The spring barrels are easily removed on this movement, so out they came. This is a four hammer movement, with two of the hammers being lifted for the strike. At the moment, I am only getting single strikes on the half and full hours.

Fault. From what I can see, the rack hook is not clearing the rack correctly, so not allowing the rack to drop onto the snail, so only allowing single strikes. I have not got any further with this just yet, except to say that if I drop the rack manually, it strikes correctly. More in the next post, in order to keep posts from getting too long.

G.

Edited by Moose
for clarity
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Chime Train. As already mentioned, the barrel was not present. A replacement should be on its way to me.

It's a four note chime. Powering the train by hand shows encouraging results.  It does chime on the quarters with the correct number of notes per quarter. But it's a little bit like that Morecambe and Wise Sketch with Andre 'Preview' in that: "It is playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." 🙂

For clarity, I have numbered the notes in descending order of note (i.e. highest note first) 1,2,3,4. The strike sounds 3 and 4 together.  I understand that the usual working sequence is as follows:

I = 1 2 3 4
II = 3 1 2 4
III = 3 2 1 3
IV = 1 3 2 4
V = 4 2 1 3

Quarter Sequences should be:

1st Qtr: I
Half: II, III
3rd Qtr: IV, V, I
Hour: II, III, IV, V

Fault. Mine is out of sync. It is actually playing:

1st Qtr: II
Half: III, IV
3rd Qtr: V, I, II
Hour: III, IV, V, I

To me, I would say say that the chime pin barrel has got itself out of position, or has been reassembled incorrectly at some point in its past. 

I'm guessing that it just needs putting back into the correct alignment in order to fix? I'm hoping so anyway.

I don't understand enough yet about how to set the "warning's" yet, to make sure it all functions as it should, but I have some reading material to get through, so Im sure I'll get there in the end.

Also, there is a spring device on the back of the chime locking plate (I think its called that), that I don't know the function of. So I hope this will be described in the texts I have.

SO - in summary, it looks like it is repairable and just needs the usual minor fettling to get it back to working order. It is not the right movement for the case, But I am hoping that everything can be made to align so that it will not compromise the movement working. But that will be for later, once the defects in the movement are resolved.

It looks like a nice project for me over the Christmas period.

Some movement shots, on its "Test Stand". Unassembled for hand powering, so barrels removed.

IMG_0266.jpeg

IMG_0265.jpeg

Edited by Moose
clarifications
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Moose! 

I'm fairly certain your clock was made by Perivale. It looks like one of their earlier movements with the rear mounted hammers and pendulum. The later ones tended to have underslung gongs and platform escapements. The chime barrel is indeed a large barrel with the teeth on the front plate side rather than to the rear as on the striking and going barrels. The chime mainsprings are very large and stout, so wear heavy gloves and eye protection when taking out and reinstalling! 

eBay is probably the best place to pick up parts for these- sometimes complete clocks in cases go for very little money. Looking for "Perivale clock" will narrow down your search. 

John Glanville's "Clockmaking in England and Wales in the Twentieth Century" is a good resource for these movements- I think excerpts of the book are available to view online for free. 

Best of luck! 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Moose  here are a couple of articles for you to browse some good info.  Also look up one  Barrie Smith on Smiths clocks his site is also useful.  I would agree with Ryan53  It loos like a perivale unit.  Barrie Smith  is about the only site I have found on smiths clocks  very good.   This site has the full set of the chime sequence https://www.davewestclocks.co.uk/basicnotes.htm    along with a lot more data.   It will keep you reading for a while.      By the way where did you source the hex bar for the winder   I have the urge to build another (Contraption Mklll)

Hermle Chime Mvt front.sm.jpg

Clockworks E-book - Providing clock parts and tools for repair.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ryan53 said:

Hi Moose! 

I'm fairly certain your clock was made by Perivale. It looks like one of their earlier movements with the rear mounted hammers and pendulum. The later ones tended to have underslung gongs and platform escapements. The chime barrel is indeed a large barrel with the teeth on the front plate side rather than to the rear as on the striking and going barrels. The chime mainsprings are very large and stout, so wear heavy gloves and eye protection when taking out and reinstalling! 

eBay is probably the best place to pick up parts for these- sometimes complete clocks in cases go for very little money. Looking for "Perivale clock" will narrow down your search. 

John Glanville's "Clockmaking in England and Wales in the Twentieth Century" is a good resource for these movements- I think excerpts of the book are available to view online for free. 

Best of luck! 

Ahh... I think you are right, looking at some google pics and they do look the same.

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Moose  here are a couple of articles for you to browse some good info.  Also look up one  Barrie Smith on Smiths clocks his site is also useful.  I would agree with Ryan53  It loos like a perivale unit.  Barrie Smith  is about the only site I have found on smiths clocks  very good.   This site has the full set of the chime sequence https://www.davewestclocks.co.uk/basicnotes.htm    along with a lot more data.   It will keep you reading for a while.      By the way where did you source the hex bar for the winder   I have the urge to build another (Contraption Mklll)

Hermle Chime Mvt front.sm.jpg

Clockworks E-book - Providing clock parts and tools for repair.html 306.94 kB · 0 downloads

Thanks for the info, all useful.

the hex bar I got from eBay. Nothing special, just did a search. Just looked now and the dealer is still selling a variety of hex Bar in free  machining mild steel, 300mm Long and variety of AF sizes. I used 10mm just because it was robust enough and would fit the ratchet I was using.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/300mm-Hex-Bright-Steel-Bar-10mm-AF-hexagonal-stock-sale-free-machining/283840015153?hash=item42162eeb31:g:QZwAAOSwTAZdD2rC

Edited by Moose
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...