Fashionable Watches

Assembling and Adjusting an Antique Ansonia Kitchen Clock

Assembling and Adjusting an Antique Ansonia Kitchen Clock


Today I’m going to be assembling this Ansonia
clock. It’s a kitchen clock… an Ansonia Derby. And I’m going to be paying particular attention
to the alignment of the warning wheel, those little pins, relative to the cam, which is
this guy here. And one that escaped me for a while was the
alignment of the 2nd wheel, which really controls the alignment of the count wheel. The count wheel relative to the levers, here,
the drop lever in particular. So, let’s get to it! I’ve already wound the springs onto the great
wheels, and put clamps on to keep them from getting away. And so that will be the first thing. Also, you might notice that the tops of these
posts look like brass instead of steel, and that’s because I had to add a little brass
washer to each post to give enough space for all the wheels to have their clearance; their
end-shake. Which was kind of odd to find out. It looks like it was manufactured that way
and it’s been that way for 100 years. So, put the springs out to the sides so they
won’t get in the way, and then, off we go. Let’s put the strike in first. So the fan, first here. Then the warning wheel. And I won’t worry about where that is right
now. I’m just going to put it in place and I’ll
adjust it later. Then comes the entertaining one. The cam wheel and the levers. So what I do is put this lever in place first. This is the drop lever, that falls into the
slot in the cam. And this is the lift lever that that thing
down there lifts. And this is the lock lever. And the count lever that falls into the count
wheel. First of all, I need to make sure that this
lift lever here is over this way, so that – on this side of the hole, here – so that
when the minute hand post comes around it will lift it. I’ll do that later. I just need it generally in that area. Let me put that in there. I always find this a little tricky. I’ve put this clock together quite a few times,
both as practice and to fix various things and try out the wheels and such. Did I get it? Yup! So, one thing, just to make things a little
easier to put together is I’m going to make sure the drop lever is not in the slot. Most people tell you to put them in with it
in the slot. I find that kind of harder because the count
lever then falls into the count wheel too early, and it gets jammed when you are trying
to put the plates together and stuff. So I just leave it like that. Then comes the 2nd wheel. The 2nd because it’s the second wheel away
from the great wheel. And finally, the great wheel, which is kind
of a pain. If I weren’t making a video I would hold this
up and look underneath to find where this thing needs to land. As it is I am going to have to kind of hunt
around. Let’s see…. Maybe I will pick it up. Did I get it? I got – nope. Yeah, I’m going to pick it up, look underneath
here to see where it actually goes. See if that helps. It’s going to press against the 2nd wheel
here, so that makes it a little trickier to place. Well, that didn’t help either, so let me put
this back. I’ll just hunt around again. See the hole is right there. Shoot! This is what happens. Then back in. I think I got it! Except… nope, I didn’t. Maybe I should have put the wheel in first. There! Yes? No? Let me look. Yes. So I’ve got that in. Do I really have it in the hole? Yes, yes it’s in the hole. So that isn’t being pressed. Before I forget I need to take the spring
from the lever here and wrap that around this post. Like so. That pushes the lever down just enough to
make everything work. And before I forget, the hammer. The hammer here hits the gong, and you can
see there is a slot in the top plate, the front plate that this little lever here fits
into. So that’s how I know that the hammer is right
side up. And then the other thing is that the end of
the hammer points toward the center of the cam wheel, because that wheel has the spokes
on it that drive the hammer. Moving right along…. Next we have got the minute post, that goes
here so it’s going to lift the lift lever, there. Then we have got the intermediate gear; the
thing that turns the hour hand based on the minute. And now…. I find the verge there, and the crutch to
be a real pain to get in, but we’ll get to that. The escape wheel, with nice, pointy teeth,
it goes right side up, and then in this particular clock there are these two wheels that look
almost identical, but they’re not. You can see that one is a little higher that
the other, or lower in this case… well, the… shoot, I’ve mixed them up… Yeah, the lower one is the one that goes in
first, because the lower one drives the escape wheel. The upper one, here, drives the lower one,
like so. Now the 2nd wheel on the time side here, points
down a little bit. It’s the thing that actually runs the minute
hand. And now let’s go through this mess again of
getting the… mainspring arbor in its place. It’s somewhere around here…. I’m going to look again underneath. After a little wrestling, I have got the time
mainspring in. And now it’s time to put the front plate on. The tallest thing is the post, then the winding
arbors, and then we get into the fun. This is the long process here, that can be
frustrating, but it doesn’t need to be. I can be just slow. The idea is to just keep popping pivots in. We’ll start with the time side, here. We’ll see how well this goes with me looking
through the camera… no, that’s not going to work at all. This may not be very helpful. I’ve got one thing there so the first post
is down a little bit, so I’ll tie that down a little bit, but still keep it loose so that
I can tamp in a few things. By the way, I believe this is where pivots
get bent, because if you push, like, down here, you are going to be putting a lot of
force on the pivot. …ok, that isn’t ready to go in yet. Very little is, in fact. I have got to look, here. In the process I managed to lose the spring
here, so I have to hook it back, which is a good trick when the plate is on. Got that. One thing that is part of the trick, I find,
is to keep the pressure on the same spot on the plate. Otherwise everything shifts around and the
pivots you’ve put in fall out, and it’s just a mess. …but it is kind of a mess anyway. It’s a messy process. Oh, dear, that’s come out. This is why I said not to tighten that nut
too much, because I need to loosen this plate… Ha! Ok, I’m going to start over, there. I don’t know how usable this video is going
to be… Ok, I have to look again. Got that in. Now I’m going to put that nut back on. Most people don’t record this because it’s
just tedious, but I think it’s instructive… I’ve found it instructive to see how other
people do this process. That isn’t ready to go yet…. I can tighten this down a little more. Maybe, maybe not. How are these guys doing? Before I get too far I have to remember to
put the verge in. This is going in place, good…. Always pull the pivot, not the arbor. not ready yet…. Is this in? That’s in. It’s probably time to put this third nut on
a little bit of the way. Just enough to not lose the progress I’ve
made so far. Has the lever popped out here? Yes. The lever has popped out of the bottom. Ok, so the lever’s in. Now is a really good time to put the verge
in, because soon these plates are going to close too much for the verge to get in. I wonder if it works better if I go in that
way? Hey, good! The verge is in, more or less in place. You may have noticed I put this gear in already. This is kind of how it goes. You do it over and over until it decides to
stay. I think I’m getting close to the end, here. You would never know it, would you? Oh, that’s not in. I see the spring has come loose again. Let me put that in place once we’re all done,
because it’s close enough. It’s on the other side of the verge, so I
can put that in later. That’s in too far, so I need to open it a
little. Just enough to get that in. Now I can move it in to place. Let me check that the lever’s out. …and
the verge is not in place, so I’m going to have to open this up a bit, to get the verge
in place. The verge
is in place. Good! Now let’s double-check that everything is
where it ought to be. …nope, this is jammed. Heck. I wonder if I can… yeah, that’s good. The hammer is free. You might have noticed that the spring is
broken on the hammer. I’m going to be replacing that later on, and
when I do I’ll have to do all this all over again. But that’s no big deal, really. Now the interesting part! I have got this more or less together. The time train runs, the strike train runs. But, is it running right? If you don’t get the 2nd wheel and the warning
wheel – on this clock – set in the right positions relative to the cam, which you can see through
there, the clock may not stop striking. What I want to do is first find where this
guy lands. Let’s zoom in, because this is much more detailed
work. Hopefully you can see the count lever, which
is the thing that drops into the teeth of the… count wheel. The first thing we’re going to do is make
sure that that drops in the right place. Ok, so there it went… and let’s take a look. It’s dropping kind of close to the edge. What I get to do is move this wheel, the 2nd
wheel, one tooth over relative to the cam, which is this guy in here. I apologize for the shaking hands. I’ll loosen this nut a little bit so I can
open that up, and I didn’t put this nut on yet because I knew I was going to be doing
this. What I want to do is open the plates until
that wheel comes loose. …not that much. Something else came loose at the same time. I was trying to avoid that. There we go. Now that it’s free I want to move it, like,
one tooth over, and then put it back. To put it back I’m going to use this of course. And I’m going to have to look closer. That’s back in. And then of course I have to do the other
guys here. Is the fan in? Ok, there it goes. I need to check that the lever is free. Ah, yeah, the verge came loose. Great. Ok, I have got the verge back in place. The plates aren’t snapping together for some
reason. There is probably something else that is out. So what I’m doing is checking the wheels,
that they have end shake which means they’re free. Huh. Everything seems to be in place and yet…. Ah, the verge wasn’t quite in the right place. …and now the…ugh. On this clock, the warning wheel, the fan,
and the verge tend to all fall out at once. Oh, this guy fell out again… oh, dear. I’m going to kind of… The camera decided that it had had enough. The battery looks good, though. Oops, the verge again. The trouble with the verge is that this little
tool I have is not quite large enough to cover the verge, so that when I put the verge in
place like that, I pinned my tool. This is the Pivot Locator. It is really handy for doing this kind of
work. Is everybody in? Let’s try once again, and see where that
count lever falls. That’s where it fell. Oh, nice! It is right in the middle of the deep gap
in the teeth, which is really good. Now I can go forward to the next test. And it drops…. This is good too, it’s centered pretty well. If it isn’t centered, it winds up dragging
up the right side of the gap in the teeth, and it just makes a mess. So we’re done with that. We have got one more adjustment to do, and
that is, position… you can see this warning pin here. There is another one on the other side, there. Warning Pins is what they’re called, and what
they do is when the count lever drops into a deep hole, this lever which you can’t see
very well, here, drops down, and then the warning pin comes along and locks against
it. Right now, the warning wheel is way out of
sync, so what happens is… let’s get around to a deep hole…. the count lever falls into
a deep hole in the count wheel, but the warning pin is way over here. By the time the warning pin gets up here,
the lock lever has already lifted enough to let it pass. We want to fix that. I’m going to back up until the movement locks
in that position because the drop lever is pushing against the back of the cam hole. Then I’m going to look at where the warning
pin is… oh, wow… the warning pin is way down here and it should be about up here. I need to move the wheel about 1/3 of the
way around. To do that, I’m going to open this up just
enough for this wheel to get out, no more, hopefully. Uh, oh… I heard something go. …there. Now that it’s disengaged from the cam I can
move it to move the warning pin up here where it belongs. Then I can move this guy back in place. Like I said, this is where a lot of pivots
get bent, I imagine. This is another reason you want a certain
amount of side-to-side play in at least this arbor, so that you can move it around like
that. Now, of course, the verge fell out again,
so I’ll move that back in place. Needle nose pliers would probably be a better
tool at this point. Now, let’s try it again. Make sure the lever is free. It has locked nicely this time. You can see that pin run up against the lever. Let’s move the lever out of the way and move
forward. And when it hits the next one, it locks. And we also see it is locking in a pretty
good place. I’m going to call it good! That’s it! We’ve adjusted the whole thing. Here is the oiled and wound movement. It’s all set to run with a pendulum. Now I can demonstrate the strike by using
a key as the minute hand. Watch as I turn it here… There, it went into Warning… And there it goes… And it will lock when it hits a deep slot
in the count wheel. Then a half hour later, it goes into warning
again… and off it goes. It strikes once on the half hour. When we get up toward the hour, it goes into
warning… And off it goes.


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