Has this happened to you?

Those of you who work on mechanical clocks regularly must have run into this situation at least once. Everything went perfectly until the very end.

Sessions time and strike movements are very common and I have worked on quite a few over the years. They are reasonably well constructed with the exception of a well-documented poorly designed click.

Worn click on a Sessions movement

The other day I was working on a movement that I had originally serviced 5 1/2 years ago. Back in 2016, I installed 10 bushings, quite a number for any clock but it was very worn. It has run exceptionally well since then but now it was time for an inspection, cleaning, oiling, and correcting any possible issues.

Sessions movement in a wall clock

I took the movement apart, cleaned the plates, wheels, and levers in my ultrasonic cleaner (which I did not have back in 2016), and reassembled the movement. As expected the movement is much shinier than before and looks like it came off the factory floor.

During my inspection, I found minor wear but the only location where a bushing was required was the second wheel backplate. I could have left it but it was worn enough to need a new bushing.

Backward count wheel

It’s back together and being tested. Okay, I had to open up the strike side to reposition the stop wheel to correct warning but that’s about it.

It now runs perfectly and a nice pat on the back for me but oh! oh! wait…..it is not quite perfect, because I don’t think three o’clock follows four.

Dang, the count wheel is on backward. Why didn’t I see that?

You probably expected me to express a few choice words but I looked at it and said, ha, that’s too funny!

5 minutes was all it required to put it right and now it sounds great. Four o’clock now follows three o’clock. Yes!


4 thoughts on “Has this happened to you?

  1. I have only recently tried to do some work on a clock mechanism that was not running well. A simple clock, without a chime just the clock mechanism, so relatively simple for trying out. I am struggling a bit with getting all the gears back in the frame without one wiggling out again before I get another in. I am sure there is a technique I need to put into place that I have not figured out myself just yet.

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    1. When working on any movement start from the bottom. After the mainsprings and strike hammer are installed put the pins in the posts or alternatively screw the bottom nuts, not all the way, though. This will allow you to continue guiding the wheels in place as you work up the train while keeping the bottom part of the movement stable. Once you have done a number of movements it will become “old hat”.
      Ron

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  2. Yes I have done that about 3 times on an american clock movement. the outside of the count wheel is usually slightl rounded, that will give another clue as to the side that faces the outside of the mecanism.

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    1. Yes, on an older American movement it is rounded which aids in orienting the wheels. The later ones did not. I usually take a photo of the movement beforehand and check the photo for correct orientation but, of course, this was one time I didn’t.

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