NOTES FROM THE BENCH
Clock Repair Archive - - 7 melody floor clock by Charles Jacques:
This clock is listed mainly for the order of the tubular bells, because if those are ever
out of proper sequence it can be a nightmare getting them right.This particular model
has seven melodies ; one for each day of the week. It automatically changes each day. The
melodies played are: Notre Dame, St. Paul, Carillon, Wesminster, Trinity, St. James,
Auld L. Syne. Six of the hammers on the left side of the mechanism ( the 9 o'clock side )
are operated to make the chord on the hour strike. On the 9 o'clock side there is a lever that
silences the hour strike. On the 3 o'clock side there is a lever that is spring loaded and will
trip the chime if the trip mechanism is not in the middle of the warning postion.
This is a very large grandfather clock with the name Jacques stamped on the back plate;
named after the designer Charles Jacque.The mechanism was made in Europe has the word Baden
( most likely indicating Baden-Württemberg ), a U.S. patent date of Mar. 27 1917 and the
number 319645 stamped on the back plate. The case of the clock was made in America.
The weights are very heavy.The chime weight being approximatelly 27kg.(60lbs)
The mechanism is very heavy and well built; the steel being of very high quality and
quite hard. The melody change is accomplished by an idler gear attached to the centerpost
that turns another gear which moves a lever that releases the spring loaded hammer lift drum.
There is a cam similar to a hour snail that correctly positions the hammer lift drum for
each day's different melody. The problem occurs when the hammer lift drum snaps back on the
7th day. There is a strong coil spring that holds this in place on each day so there is
quite an impact once a week when it changes back to the start of the melodies. The point
of the most wear is the cam that moves against the pin on the lever that pushes the hammer
lift drum each day. This cam absolutely must stay lubricated or the clock will fail to
operate correctly because there is an enormous amount of pressure where the surface of this
lift cam rides on the lift pin. If the coil springs that maintain the tensiom on the chime
hammer lift drum are damaged or have been replaced or altered, be prepared to have many
problems with this mechanism.
If the chime changing portion of this mechanism is kept well lubricated there will likely be
few problems with the clock. If you clean this mechanism in an ultrasonic cleaner be certain
this cam maintains a good coating of oil before you re-assemble the clock mechanism or you will
likely end up doing several free service calls and you will have hours of extra work. There
were not many of these clocks made and they are likely quite collectable. The chime for each
day of the week and the high quality craftmanship are what set this clock apart from
others. There are 13 tubular bells in this clock. the wall thickness of the tubes is .040
inches and the outside diameter of the tubes is 1.1275 inches. The order of hanging of the
tubes is as follows: looking at the front of the clock take note of the dial ; and the position
of the 12 , 3 , 6 , and 9 : the shortest tube is located ( hangs on ) on the left side of the
clock (or the side of the number 9 on the dial face). The tubes will be given numbers here for
reference purposes the shortest being #13 and the longest being #1.
The order of position from left to right is :
13 ; 10 ; 7 ; 5 ; 2 ; 1 ; 3 ; 4 ; 6 ; 8 ; 9 ; 11 ; 12.
The top part of the pendulum is held to the rest of the pendulum assembly by a thumbscrew:
be sure the indents are in the top and bottom holes and the thumbscrew is in the middle
hole or the clock may run either very fast or very slow.
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