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Report - Fixing the clock, Catthorpe Lodge, Warks – February 2013

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Yorrick, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Apr 23, 2012
    Likes Received:

    Saw this stopped clock the other day and thought I should have a look. Picture from gooogle


    I used my “I’m an amateur clock mender. Can I have a look?†line.

    As he was opening up and switching off the alarm, I learnt that it hasn’t run for more than 10 years.

    I was expecting electric motors again, but was obviously hoping for something more interesting.


    That’ll do. :)

    It was made by John Moore and Sons of Clerkenwell in 1857.

    He started making clocks around 1802 and the company ceased trading around 1899.

    During that period he made some 700 turret clocks and 15,000 “domestic†clocks for the English market, as well as many others that were shipped abroad.


    This is a chiming clock.

    It has 3 trains or sets of wheels that perform separate jobs.

    The centre or “going†train keeps time and provides the power to turn the hands.

    The striking train (left in the below pic) rings a bell every hour. It is triggered by the going train.

    The chiming train sounds the quarter hour. It is also triggered by the going train.

    Both "triggers" are disabled.


    Note that the setting dials show the hours and minutes backwards.


    Although quite industrial and unadorned, I think it is a work of art.


    However. It’s so dirty.


    It’s been over-oiled and then 30 years of dust have congealed in the oil to create a sticky gloop.

    The driving train is fully wound but it’s so dirty the wheels won’t turn against each other.

    The escapement looks like it has had burnt treacle poured over it.


    The line (steel rope) for the driving train is very rusted and (I’m told) hasn’t been changed within the last 30 years (every 5 years is recommended).

    The striking train (ie every hour) has it’s weight fully wound, but has no fly to control the weight’s descent.

    If it tried to strike the weights would run away and this would cause major damage to the clock and the weight shaft (the hole that the weights normally descend in to).

    The chiming train (quarter hour) is stripped, so we’ll disregard it today.


    Both of the leading off rods are held together at the universal joints with telephone wire as there are bolts missing.

    There is a massive amount of slack in them – maybe 3 hours “playâ€.


    But it looks like it should at least run and tell the time, so I vacuumed the clock room first.

    The cobwebs were like massive hiking socks hung all over the place.

    Then I cleaned all of the bearing parts with white spirit, a paint brush and rags – that is I cleaned the teeth but not the faces of the wheels or the frame.

    I rested the weight for the striking train and removed the damaged line from the drum.

    I re-hung the weight for the going train and left it resting.


    I lubricated the ends of the wheel shafts. NEVER oil the teeth of any wheel or pinion, except the escapement, which should be greased.

    I disconnected the leading off rods and then drove back to the workshop to pick up some steel rope and also made 2 new bolts, like this one.


    I fitted the new bolts – the top one is the original.


    I re-connected the leading-off rods


    I checked the pendulum top adjuster was snug – note that the pendulum is wooden with a cast iron bob-weight.


    And then clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack and push and tick…And push again and

    Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

    That was last Monday.

    I went past again on Saturday to check and took this one.

    At 10 past 2.


    Thanks for looking.​

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