Canada Clock Co. – a frustrating movement

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Original time and strike 30 hour movement
Original time and strike 30 hour movement

The movement in this Canada Clock Co. time and (hour) strike cottage clock from the late 1880s is a mess but fixable. Some past repairs are acceptable while other leave a lot to be desired.

I’ll begin with the issues. “Repaired” mainsprings, nuts on a copper wire fashioned as a gong hammer and string “helping” the helper springs are things you really don’t want to see on a movement. The time side runs reasonably well but the strike side does not function, likely the result of fiddling with levers too many times.

clever, but dangerosu way of repairing the mainspring
The second mainspring, another “iffy” repair
Home-made copper wire and two nuts serve as the gong
String used to connect a broken helper spring

In the clock business you must always expect the unexpected. While I awaited parts, I went about cleaning the parts and bushing work .

This is perhaps the most frustrating 30-hour movement I have ever worked on

The parts arrived and included a new gong hammer, two new mainsprings and brass wire for new helper springs.

New 30 hour mainspring
New hammer gong and lever with helper springs installed

I began by installing the new hammer. Using my mini lathe I drilled a new access hole in the hammer arbour. I measured the diameter of the hammer rod and used a HSS bit to drill through the centre of the arbour. It was a reasonably good fit but to ensure a permanent hold I applied a drop of thread-locker.

The levers look like a twisting mess but there is a logic to the arrangement

This is the first 30-hour shelf clock I have worked on without a discernible warning action and it made for tricky lever positioning. Perhaps there is warning but I just could not see it. Though the levers look like a twisted mess there must be some logic to the arrangement.

The above photo shows the left side lifting lever that must be precisely adjusted and curved for the centre cam to push the drop lever over the count wheel cam to actuate the strike. The count lever blade must also line up exactly with the centre of the count wheel and precisely in the middle of the deep slot. As far as I can determine the lifting lever is the only one of the two levers that require a helper spring but I will know more after further testing.

All in all, this is one of the most frustrating 30-hour movements I have ever worked on. The movement was taken apart several times for various adjustments. I worked at for a while, left it, thought about the next steps but despite my best efforts, that strike side continues to elude me. The time side, however, works perfectly.

Some day I will have it working but for now it is on display.


4 thoughts on “Canada Clock Co. – a frustrating movement

  1. The release lever (“J” shape) has been broken. It rests against the minute hand arbour and is lifted when the strike should be triggered

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