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New Haven movement; Questions from a beginner

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Temporary Nickname Guy23/09/2020 22:48:02
8 forum posts
3 photos

Greetings, all.

I'm new to the forum, this is my first post, (aside from an introduction, in the appropriate thread).

I have been active in model engineering for many years now, (on and off) but mostly miniature I/C engines; While instrument repair has long been an interest, this is my first real world clock experience, forgive me if questions seem foolish (I do try to search past threads, glean answers from there, before posting.)

I have an ordinary New Haven movement, in a modest case, of unknown origin, photos in an album (if I have done that correctly!)

Briefly: Grandma had the works replaced with quartz, 20 years ago, but all parts saved, I would like to reunite the movement with the case, but am mindful that they were removed for a reason. I made a crude stand, leveled the movement out, and was able to make it "run" in fits and starts (after a few tweaks). Accuracy entirely unknown at this point, (and of secondary importance), but 48 hours of continuous operation encouraged me to pursue things... Even as an overnight mainspring failure ended that two day run. surprise

I purchased two similar movements from E-bay, advertised as "scrap / parts only", for my education, and have since disassembled and inspected the movement I care enough to restore. Springs on order.

The first obvious problem is significant wear on the first motion gears of the mainspring axles. (Proper terms ?) It occurs to me that it would be no big trick to remove the gears from their axles, swap and remount them in new drive / coast orientation, the click springs etc relocated to suit... And have fresh gear faces pressed into service.

The wisdom of spending one's time to do so, aside... Am I missing something obvious? If done in a workmanlike manner, would it still strike some as a bodge job?

Thanks, more to come.

Michael Gilligan23/09/2020 22:55:59
16397 forum posts
715 photos

Learning to bush the plates is an excellent start to clock-repair.

There is lots of information around, but this is a pretty good place to start: **LINK**



P.S. just found a long video that you might like :

... and also this :

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 23/09/2020 23:05:16

Temporary Nickname Guy25/09/2020 23:05:40
8 forum posts
3 photos


Thank you for the links, interesting information. I spent many years rebuilding automotive engines, re-metaling and align boring main bearings. As a result, I'm very comfortable locating shaft centers, repositioning them with precision, should geometry need to be altered to suit gear mesh, etc... But all of this was on a far larger scale, with equipment and components I could "walk around". Please don't hear that as boastful: I'll confess, working at clock scale is intimidating to me, despite my experience elsewhere, those who do it well have my respect. I'm certain more questions about re bushing technique will arise.

For the moment, I have a question regarding the pendulum, having noticed odd behavior during the two days this clock ran on the bench. Beyond the normal Oscillation about the suspension point, the bob weight would also always tend to rotate or "yaw" slightly, back and forth about the suspension axis. At first I thought I had merely been clumsy with my effort to set it into motion, but no matter how careful I was, this behavior would be seen, and not tend to damp out over time.

Aside from being unsightly, doesn't this indicate (unintended) forces being placed on the pendulum rod when in operation, despite design features intended to prevent same? I could see no obvious geometry or interference problems, but am confident someone smarter than myself may know what is going on here. laugh A common problem, with common causes?

Michael Gilligan26/09/2020 07:43:17
16397 forum posts
715 photos

Posted by Temporary Nickname Guy on 25/09/2020 23:05:40:


For the moment, I have a question regarding the pendulum, having noticed odd behavior during the two days this clock ran on the bench. Beyond the normal Oscillation about the suspension point, the bob weight would also always tend to rotate or "yaw" slightly, back and forth about the suspension axis. At first I thought I had merely been clumsy with my effort to set it into motion, but no matter how careful I was, this behavior would be seen, and not tend to damp out over time.



I am not familiar with the New Haven movement, but I suspect that you need to look at the suspension of that pendulum.


roy entwistle26/09/2020 10:58:59
1257 forum posts

Sounds like a typical case of clock being moved with pendulum in place damaging suspension spring


martin perman26/09/2020 11:16:04
1877 forum posts
78 photos

I have a wall clock, a recent purchase, which I know is American but without removing the mechanism I'm unable to say who made it, when I hung it on the wall it also had a minor wobble but once I got the "beat" sorted it settled down and the wobble has gone.

Martin P

Speedy Builder526/09/2020 13:57:11
2109 forum posts
146 photos

T N Guy, I set my pendulum clocks up with an app on my phone that listens to the 'tick tock' and indicates out of balance, period etc. It just needs a quiet room. search Cucko clock Calibration or similar.

Michael Gilligan26/09/2020 15:14:35
16397 forum posts
715 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 26/09/2020 13:57:11:

[…] search Cucko clock Calibration or similar.


For 99p that had to be worth a bash : **LINK**

... even if the developer does claim/admit :

Turn your iPhone into a precise train count sensor with an unbelievable 0.01 milliseconds accuracy!!

on his website ... and 0.001 milliseconds on the AppStore dont know


Temporary Nickname Guy28/09/2020 02:13:20
8 forum posts
3 photos

Perhaps it was a bit premature of me to ask about the pendulum behavior at this stage of repairs, but thanks to all for their thoughts up to this point ! The app(s) mentioned will undoubtedly come in handy in the future, and a more careful inspection of the pendulum components will be in order, after reassembly; Roy Entwistle: I suspect you are correct, it almost seems UN -likely that this clock wasn't carelessly moved (many times) over the years... cheeky Giving me something to do now! I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this design as my first effort, as all of the components of the pendulum and escapement live outside of the main plates, will be readily accessible with minimum effort.


As I heard no objections, I have (nearly) completed work swapping the main gears on their winding axles, in the hope of using the unworn flanks of each gear; Of the three sets of gears from which I could choose, I selected the ones which were original to my movement, for two reasons:

1) They were made from noticeably thicker stock; The other sets incorporate numerous design "improvements" (read: cheaper ?), suggesting later production.

2) The original gears are the only ones with ratchet pawls (clicks ?) of a symmetrical design, resembling a "fishtail", instead of a "comma". I thought I was being clever, imagining I could simply "flop" that design of pawl over to the opposite orientation, without needing to remove and re-rivet them. What I neglected to notice, however, is that while the profile is symmetrical, only one side of the "fishtail" has the tiny milled feature which engages the click return spring, so removal and re-riveting will be in order after all.

Next up for inspection: The gears on the next axle(s) in each train (is "second motion" pinion and gear the correct term ? please correct me, if not)...

Expect questions about pinion design, how they tend to wear, possible remedies; Thanks in advance, to all those with patience for amateur enthusiasm ! cool

SillyOldDuffer28/09/2020 10:33:56
6331 forum posts
1389 photos

Just for info, digging around the web, on the National Clock Repair website:

In England, Jerome & Co. Ltd. sold Jerome clocks for New Haven until 1904, when New Haven purchased the English firm outright.

The English firm Jerome & Co. Ltd. was a back reference to the Jerome Manufacturing Co, whose products they imported. In the US Jerome were a very successful maker of mass-production clocks, 444,000 in 1853, until a bad investment bankrupted the company in 1855. New Haven bought the wreck, and the new combine was great success, not finally biting the dust until 1960.

I'm intrigued by my granny's clock; in theory a British bought New Haven clock should have been branded 'Jerome', not New Haven. Did my great granny, who lived in a sea-port, buy a grey import? We'll never know...

Another curiosity; 'Jerome had made a historic contribution to his industry when he substituted brass works for wooden works, said to be "the greatest and most far-reaching contribution to the clock industry."' Strange because brass clock movements were made in England long before Jerome's time. I think it means Jerome was the first to use brass in cheap clock movements, replacing wood, resulting in much more reliable clocks. Back then British brass clocks were expensively made by traditional methods so they were an easy target for affordable mass-produced alternatives. It's a tough old world.


Mick B128/09/2020 11:17:04
1733 forum posts
91 photos

Don't wanna hijack the thread and know little of clocks, but...

That painting or print behind the clock photo - looks like a W. L. Wyllie or similar style?

martin perman28/09/2020 17:56:29
1877 forum posts
78 photos

I've got an Ogee style New Haven clock, weight driven, similar to the picture, when I bought it the seller packed it very well putting stiff padding either side of the bottom glass plate to protect it which had a farm scene in black and gold, sadly the courier still managed to turn the glass into a jigsaw puzzle, I've printed a similar reverse image to go onto a new piece of glass when I restore the clock.

The American clock companies flooded the European market in the late 1900's with mass produced clocks at prices that European manufacturers couldn't compete with, HAC was a German company, Hamburg American Clocks who used American production methods to try and compete,

Martin P

Temporary Nickname Guy29/09/2020 18:47:44
8 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 28/09/2020 11:17:04:

Don't wanna hijack the thread and know little of clocks, but...

That painting or print behind the clock photo - looks like a W. L. Wyllie or similar style?

MickB1; No concern of hijacking thread; My only other experience with forums was a computer related site, years ago, and I was the guy trying to start occasional conversations about fine art, there. Unfamiliar with W.L. Wyllie, will investigate.

It was not my intention to brag on other furnishings, but the clock normally lives in the darkest room of the house, was moved to the location seen for a quick "mug shot", wound up with that backdrop entirely by accident. Thank you for noticing and diverting us; It's a 28" X 48" canvas, so quite a bit wider field of view, a Copenhagen harbor scene; Inscribed 1900, H. Lubbers. (Lubbens ?) It came from the same house as the clock, my paternal grandmother, likely in her family from new. Father was in museum environment his whole career, did some research on the artist years ago, details elude me for the moment. Around the same time as the NH movement was removed from its case, and replaced with plastic, Grandma had the painting removed from its original, period correct frame, in favor of a modern one, which could only be described as "ghastly", frustrating Father no end. Painting has since been professionally cleaned, and 20 years have significantly toned down the "gilding" on the replacement frame, all to good effect.

Old Duffer: I believe I stumbled on some of the same info you linked to, was amused to hear the details of the factory at various points in time... Including the number of children employed ! As you suggest, it sounds like the author noted the significance of the change from wood to brass components, inadvertently giving the impression Jerome were the very first, rather than just early in mass production. Sounds like its hard to know the exact origin of your Grandmothers clock, but fun to ponder.

Martin Perman: Sad about the shipping damage, but gave you the opportunity to "personalize" your clock, well done. My only experience with similar work was reproducing a nameplate for a Myford grinder which had seen better days; While I was quite proud of the .jpg file I created for the job, and the finished product was satisfying...Time will have revealed it was nothing to brag about. As it was merely Ink-Jet printed onto clear decal paper, applied to polished aluminium plate, then given a "rattle can" coat of clear ...It is unlikely to have held up very well under the coolant / oil ! (Left that shop, before the machine returned to service.)

Nothing to say about my own clock project today, but thanks to one and all for their thoughts, great

Temporary Nickname Guy05/10/2020 06:50:03
8 forum posts
3 photos

Greetings, all.

As promised / threatened, some questions about pinion construction / design have come up; if I would do well to start a new thread, someone should feel free to let me know... But It made no sense to clutter up the site with such mundane questions, for the time being.

Obviously, the pinions (I call them lanterns, but perhaps this is just an Americanism...) are constructed by inserting short lengths of music wire, into suitably located, blind drilled holes within two hub flanges, the entry holes then being staked over to retain the wire stock.

Under magnification, my first pinion to engage the clock gear-train is a truly sad sight, and the ways in which it is worn, ultimately lead to my question. Each pinion wire, when held in tweezers has considerable end float, and is adrift in holes significantly larger than the nominal wire diameter; The holes being quite noticeably larger in one flank of the hub than the other, suggesting the wires were no longer parallel to the shaft axis, when under load.

Can anyone tell me: When NEW, would the wires have been a slight interference fit in the holes of the hub flanks, and fixed in place when staked, or would they have been allowed a small bit of clearance, (both axially and radially) permitting them to "roll" in their holes, (as bearing surfaces) when each wire cycled through the teeth of the corresponding driving gear?

Some of the wires show definite wear (a prominent flat spot) in a single region, suggesting they spent much of their working lives in a single, fixed orientation... While an adjacent wire may show no such wear, suggesting perhaps it had the freedom to "roll" as it engaged the gear teeth, a new region of the wire being engaged randomly each turn of the pinion.

In any case, they all positively clatter around, like marbles in a cigar box, at the moment!secret

The question arises, because while I can conceive of a variety of repair options, any advice might help winnow out the least advisable ones. (I'll be the first to acknowledge that several of the options being considered, are... Perhaps functional, but less than glamorous!)frownThanks in advance!



Edited By Temporary Nickname Guy on 05/10/2020 07:01:28

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