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Discussion Starter #1
About 5 months ago I bought this clock new. I've posted about the purchase decision in another thread. I now have some questions which I thought is best asked in a new thread.

Here are a couple of photos taken today.
IMG_20191008_000436.jpg

IMG_20191007_231954.jpg

The clock is made of Linden wood and sounds fairly pleasant when gonged.

Over the last 5 months I've been trying to figure out its behavior, and every now and then recording my findings. Last month's report is as follows:

On 3rd September I rewound it fully and set it a minute fast.
On 14th Sep (11 days later) the clock had gained 5 minutes (6 minutes faster than the real time). On this day I reset the time to match the real time.
On 2nd October (18 days later) the clock had lost 2 minutes.

So the clock gains about 3 minutes in a month, and it seems to go fast within the first two weeks (gains 5 minutes) and slows towards the end (loses 2 minutes).

I've now rewound fully and set it for 1 minute slow. If September behavior is consistent then at mid month it should be 4 minutes fast, and at end of the month it should have come down to just 2 minutes fast. Fingers crossed!

Not complaining but would this sort of changing inaccuracy be normal? I don't know anything about clock mechanisms, but I would have thought that the inaccuracy would be constant across the entire power delivery. A bit surprised it ain't so.

I've tried to keep the humidity inside the case down by placing a couple of moisture absorbing pads inside. Hopefully that will help.

I guess at some point I would need to service the mechanicals. What sort of maintenance would I need to do and how often? Can I do it myself with basic tools? Any advice is appreciated.
 

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My first guess is that 31 day movement uses a fairly strong spring and the power delivered at the beginning of the cycle will be considerably different than at the end. However lets see what your second test tells us.

The only maintenance I would recommend would be lightly oiling the pivots, escape wheel teeth and springs. Disassembly can be a challenge because of those springs.
 

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Assuming the clock is well-oiled and free of shock, my first thought was humidity and other local environmental changes, possibly related to the seasonal change, could be affecting the movement, but if you have moisture absorption pads inside the housing that's probably not much of a factor. I hadn't considered a possible differential in power output at different points in the mainspring's unwinding, but I don't know enough about clockworks to say one way or the other. I'll also be interested in the results of your next test.
 

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Count your blessings!

Paper Clock.jpg

I notice what appears to be a wooden pendulum shaft. That will absorb and lose water with weather changes. Perhaps it's just a decorative cover over a proper temperature compensated metal shaft but if not, it will vary with the weather.

Also, John MS's point about power reserve, pendulum clocks are more sensitive to amplitude than balance wheel clock/watches are, and a 31 day reserve is a bunch. Lots of force and higher amplitude at the beginning of the wind, etc.

Mine's been running for 25 years and I still can't figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The only maintenance I would recommend would be lightly oiling the pivots, escape wheel teeth and springs. Disassembly can be a challenge because of those springs.
How often would I need to do this? Would sewing machine oil do the job well enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Assuming the clock is well-oiled and free of shock, my first thought was humidity and other local environmental changes, possibly related to the seasonal change, could be affecting the movement, but if you have moisture absorption pads inside the housing that's probably not much of a factor. I hadn't considered a possible differential in power output at different points in the mainspring's unwinding, but I don't know enough about clockworks to say one way or the other. I'll also be interested in the results of your next test.
I live in the tropics where its always quite humid (70%+), and warm with temperatures ranging between 25 and 32 celcius (77 to 90F) most days of the year. I guess climate is consistent.

Having said that the moisture pads are always full at the end of the month so at some point during the month they stop being effective.

Maybe then the moisture pads force some sort of climate change within the box. I could try adding more or just removing them altogether. See what the difference is like.

Count your blessings!

I notice what appears to be a wooden pendulum shaft. That will absorb and lose water with weather changes. Perhaps it's just a decorative cover over a proper temperature compensated metal shaft but if not, it will vary with the weather.

Also, John MS's point about power reserve, pendulum clocks are more sensitive to amplitude than balance wheel clock/watches are, and a 31 day reserve is a bunch. Lots of force and higher amplitude at the beginning of the wind, etc.

Mine's been running for 25 years and I still can't figure it out.
That's a lovely skeleton style clock. What type of wood does it use?

My pendulum shaft does appear to be fully wood. I remember thinking so when installing it. So your comment could be valid.

Here is a photo of the internals from the side window.
IMG_20191008_083816_1570514931676.jpg
 

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How often would I need to do this? Would sewing machine oil do the job well enough?
If the pivots are properly lubricated, I think 5 year intervals.

You might see gummy residue on older machines. Though
not knowing the lubricant used, it may have been something
like sewing machine oil. I would be inclined to use synthetic
motor oil, which would be more stable. It has additives the
clock works doesn't need, but they won't hurt it. Apply a
small amount to the pivots with the end of a toothpick. You
can get more than enough oil from the cap of bottle or the
end of the dip stick (after a fresh oil change).


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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Assuming the clock is well-oiled and free of shock, my first thought was humidity and other local environmental changes, possibly related to the seasonal change, could be affecting the movement, but if you have moisture absorption pads inside the housing that's probably not much of a factor. I hadn't considered a possible differential in power output at different points in the mainspring's unwinding, but I don't know enough about clockworks to say one way or the other. I'll also be interested in the results of your next test.
Changes in temperature and humidity could alter timekeeping in some clocks. Older clocks with a wooden movement were much at risk. And the pendulum could be impacted. I would not expect short term cycling of accuracy in an environment with stable if high temperature and humidity.
 

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It's paper! It comes from a book "Make Your Own Working Paper Clock". It keeps surprisingly good time for what it is, but I'm often tweaking it. Here's a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEVD19ttQAE (not mine).
Very cool. Thanks for the link. I will file this one away for now. It's definitely a project I might like to have a go at at some time in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Changes in temperature and humidity could alter timekeeping in some clocks. Older clocks with a wooden movement were much at risk. And the pendulum could be impacted. I would not expect short term cycling of accuracy in an environment with stable if high temperature and humidity.
Could be that the moisture absorbing pads are causing the internal humidity to be inconsistent. After this October cycle I'll try doing without them. See if it improves anything.
 

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Very cool. Thanks for the link. I will file this one away for now. It's definitely a project I might like to have a go at at some time in the near future.
I posted more information here: https://www.watchuseek.com/f385/desk-wall-clocks-pictures-4896979-3.html, post #26 if I remember correctly. It took about a month to make and a year to get working properly. Somewhere in there I retrofitted the winding mechanism.

Could be that the moisture absorbing pads are causing the internal humidity to be inconsistent. After this October cycle I'll try doing without them. See if it improves anything.
That would be my guess, although the fact that you replace the pads AND wind it monthly couples the two causes and one may mask the other. Eliminating the pads would be my first attempt but you could wind it say maybe twice a month and see if the deviation follows the winding period or the pad-changing period.
 
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