As you know from reading my last post concerning this fine timepiece I am appealing to anyone who knows anything about these particular clocks to assist me in finding a critical part for the strike side. The part is called the “star wheel / snail”. Without it the strike side will not function. The time side will happily run without it.
The photo that follows is a movement with the star wheel intact (my apologies, it is a grab from EBay). Look closely towards the bottom just off centre you will see a wheel shaped like a star with a snail type assembly on top, hence the name. That is the one I am missing. Why it was taken off my clock movement is a mystery to me but it is what it is. A couple of guesses; someone did not want the clock to strike for whatever reason or two, it was a donor clock for another.
If you look closely in the next photo towards the bottom centre it shows my clock without the star wheel. Both of these are Braunau movements.
Gustav Becker clocks of that era were essentially made in two factories, the Frieberg Works and the later Braunau Works. My clock is from the Braunau factory. The star wheel must be from a Braunau clock as the design of that wheel was slightly different than ones from Silesia clocks.
If you know of a source or you happen to have one lying around (LOL) please email me.
Oh, and one more thing. If you happen to know the size suspension spring I need that would be great. I am missing that too.
There is no prize for assisting me but if you do I will give you digital hug!
Thanks for reading my blog.
2 thoughts on “Request for assistance – attention Gustav Becker afficionados”
It looks like you may be stuck having to make one. You can easily find a spare snail wheel off a donor clock, but you would need to hand cut the star wheel, and mount the snail wheel to it on a raised brass disc. It certainly would be easier to find a spare, but that could take years. The star wheel doesn’t have to be super accurate, but you can easily judge the size from the photo (distance between the star tips and the left most winding square).
This would give you great practice and new skills. All you need is brass sheet (exact thickness isn’t too critical, but the star wheel shouldn’t be too thin), a jeweler’s saw (and blades), and some files. You’ll also need other common items like a drill, some sort of marking tools (calipers, dividers etc). The star wheel has 12 teeth, equally spaced, and you would just need to be careful about the positioning of the snail in relation to it.
The only problem you might encounter if you attempt to make your own is having the exact correct sized snail wheel. The rack doesn’t appear to be easily adjustable to compensate.
As for the suspension spring, They generally only come in a few standard sizes. I’d start with a normal one that’s roughly (I dunno) 3/4″ long? The easiest way to guess the length is probably by eye using the crutch pin location within the pendulum wear plate (lay the clock down flat for this). It’s not always dead centre, but it’s usually near the centre of the wear plate.
Thanks JC. I think you are correct, it would take some time to find one. Putting the word out there doesn’t do any harm though. Making one would be an interesting project but my skill sets are really not in that area. Thanks again. The odd one does come up on EBay.
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