Repairing a door catch on a Gilbert Model 2038 mantel clock

This is the model 2038 with a bim-bam strike or what Gilbert called a Normandy Chime in its sales catalog. The model number along with the words “Normandy Chime” are stamped on the bottom of the case. The “Normandy Chime” was reminiscent of the old bells of Normandy (Corneville) in France.

Gilbert tambour clock

In terms of nomenclature within clock circles, calling it a “Chime” certainly adds to the confusion as this would be considered a striking clock rather than a chiming one.

The movement has been serviced

Clocks such as this that have not seen servicing in many years fail because of a combination of bushing wear and old oil buildup.

The movement was cleaned, the mainsprings serviced, pivots polished, 5 bushings installed to address wear issues and tested prior to returning it to its case.

Gilbert movement
Gilbert movement with a date stamp of 1925

The door catch

Although serviced well over a year ago I never got around to repairing the door catch. I could not figure out a way to make an effective catch and I don’t think the solution I came up with is the best possible one.

Now, you might think, why is this such a big deal? It’s not, but without the catch the door pops open a little and will not stay closed, enough to annoy the heck out of me.

Brass tab fashioned into a catch

The solution, for now, is a brass tab with a hole drilled through it to accommodate one of the bezel screws. It is not perfect but allows the door to close securely.

Front glass and bezel of Gilbert clock

I have no idea what the original catch looked like but evidently it was a poor enough design that it broke at some point in the clock’s history.

The clock is promised as a gift and now I am now assured that everything works properly.


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