Seth Thomas round top in for servicing-Part II

8-day Lyre movement in its case
8-day Lyre movement in its case

In this, Part II of my Seth Thomas time and strike shelf clock servicing I discuss bushing work, cleaning, final assembly and testing.

Seth Thomas round top shelf clock, days after it was purchased

In Part I, my observations (and preliminary repairs) concerning my Seth Thomas round top shelf clock were as follows.

  • Two bent teeth on the count wheel. Straightened with smooth nose pliers.
  • The fan on the flywheel was disconnected from the arbour. Tightened and adjusted to achieve correct slippage on the arbour; some slippage is required when the strike comes to an abrupt stop.
  • Tool marks on the lifting lever; marks made to synchronize the hour hand with the strike.¬† Aside from two other levers that look like they were slightly bent, there are no other tool marks anywhere on the movement. (This adjustment can be made without dismantling the movement).
  • 4 bushings are required; S3F, T3R, T4R (escape wheel), hour wheel, front. Fewer than expected.
The front plate removed. All gears except escape wheel

There is surprisingly little wear. Evidently, this movement has not had a lot of running over the years and aside from adjustments made without dis-assembly (levers, for example) it was never worked on as far as I can determine.

Pivots polishing and bushing work was the next step.

Using a steady rest to secure the arbour before polishing the pivots

The pivots were polished and four bushings were installed, and that went well.

Re-assembly was relatively trouble-free. I did not use the original wires to secure the plates. Instead, I used taper pins. They look good and do the job. The hammer lever has the only helper spring on the movement but it must be hooked in an odd position while at the same time positioning the hammer arbour. You almost need three hands. The rest of the re-assembly was straightforward.

Quite often there is an adjustment or two after the movement is together. None this time, first time lucky.

On a lyre movement such as this, the count wheel is advanced by a gathering pallet which is essentially one protruding wire from the second wheel lantern pinion.

The protruding lantern wire functions as a gathering pallet and advances the count wheel

The count lever falls to the bottom of one of the deep slots and locks on the edge of the notch to stop the train. On worn movements, the locking edge of the cam notch becomes rounded causing the lever to bounce out of the notch but the cam in this movement is in great shape.

There is no stop pin. The small wire on the fan arbour arrests the train during warning. The movement does not have helper springs and they are not required but adding one to a worn movement might overcome any problems. In this case, there was no need.

A few days of testing and back into the case it goes.

The movement has been serviced and re-installed in its case

The clock strikes on a bell, loud at first but certainly distinctive. I do not use the alarm; the best I can describe it is simply this; it is brain shattering and it doesn’t stop till the spring winds down. However, if I need to be awakened to a zombie apocalypse, it is perfect!

I love the look of this clock with its bold and striking Rosewood veneer grain and classic round top case. It is a real attention-getter and definitely a keeper.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.