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Clock Chime Hammer Positioning

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Why Chime Hammer Positioning is required

Mechanical clock chime hammer positioning is easy to do, and only involves bending the hammer head wires. Upon the initial installation, this was done by the clock maker as well. When replacing a clock movement need to bend the chime hammers to the chime rods. This is why the hammer heads are on bendable wires. They are meant to be bent into the perfect position. It is not uncommon to bend them an inch this way or that way. The clock movement will not have the hammers in the perfect spot to make the correct sound when hitting the rods. This is why chime hammer positioning is so important.

Clock Chime Hammer Positioning

A mechanical clock movement has hammers that need to be bent into their final position. The clock-chime hammer position should be so the tops of the hammer heads are about 1/4 inch down from the chime block. The hammers need to be 1/8 inch away from the rod when at rest. In other words, bend the hammer wires so the head is 1/8 away from the chime rod. This spacing between the head and the rod is so it will not thud or double strike.

Tuning the mechanical clock chime

Down the line, and one hammer at a time, repeat this process. Continue in this manner until can lift and drop the hammer to create a crisp sound. If each hammer head is done this way the clock will have a nice song in the end. Often a customer will say the sound is not correct. It is because of improper hammer positioning that this occurs. When performing the above directions correctly the sound is beautiful.

Positioning the 340 / 341 series

The 340 and 341 Hermle clock movement series went through a change in the hammer wires. The hammer heads used to be on wires now they are made on flat bars. This is dealt with in the same way as above, it is just not as easy to bend. The hammer head is on the skinny end of the bar, the bar gets wider as it goes back toward the roll pin. The point to bend this bar is at the place where it goes from skinny to wide with needle nose pliers. The overall assembly will be higher from the chime block slightly. That is if swapping out the movement with the wire hammer head rod older style. It is an option to raise the entire chimeblock with a shim underneath it to help with this. It is not an absolute requirement, bending the hammer arms are usually sufficient.

Mechanical Clock-Chime Hammer Positioning

For a clean crisp chime sound

Mechanical Clock-Chime Hammer Positioning

Adjust the hammer wires

Mechanical Clock-Chime Hammer Positioning

Should be about 1/8 away at rest

Mechanical Clock-Chime Hammer Positioning

Sometimes they are bent extreme

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2020

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Simo
Simo
1 year ago

I have a wall clock with 3 chime bars.if I adjust them so they work when it strikes they fall back and dont hit sound bars.it seems the drive cam is too close for the hammers to fall down

Simon
Simon
1 year ago

Hey Bill
I have a smiths enfield mantel clock. What’s the best thing to use when cleaning a hammer head. Should you ever clean the chime or leave that part well alone please?

Thanks.

Simon

Ann Marie Teasedale
11 months ago
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Can someone give advice on a matter of my chime hammers . It is a Franz Hermle mechanism, the hammers free play when I move the Clock. The chimed are terrible. Everything is oiled. Is there supposed to be play on the hammers or can I tightened these up or is it a new spring of a kind.
Thank you

Helen Hare
Helen Hare
9 months ago

Pendulum is hitting rid banners and keeps stopping

Helen Hare
Helen Hare
9 months ago

The pendulym is hitting rod hammers & keeps stopping

Rebecca Harmston
Rebecca Harmston
8 months ago

Hi,
I bought an Edwardian long case grandmother pendulum clock on an online auction. It was sold as not working but now I’ve put the clock in beat and adjusted the hammers for the Westminster chimes it’s working well.

I only have one problem. When the clock strikes the hour it’s very quiet. You can just about hear it. I adjusted the hammer and the tone is better and it’s slightly louder but very quiet for such a large clock. There isn’t anything on the mechanism like fabric being to muffle the hammers.

I know the mechanism isn’t complete as it looks like it has a silent feature which isn’t connected and also the moon dial mechanism is missing.
Thanks
Becky

Nico
Nico
8 months ago

Hi. I have a Becker mantel clock, Westminster chimes etc. The hammer tips are old, worn, and need replacing. The chime sound has become less ‘mellow’, more strident of late. Was thinking of replacing the tips with leather or perhaps nylon. Would there be an appreciable difference in tone with the two materials?

Teddy Brown
Teddy Brown
6 months ago

Hi I have a Seth Thomas Northbury mantel clock with Westminster chimes and the hammer closest to the door isn’t 1/8 an inch above the chime rod. Any advice on how to fix it to match the other hammers to be 1/8 inch above the chime rods?

Marina Rubidge
6 months ago

I have a lantern clock circa 1750. Still runs perfectly, but the chime hammer does not strike fully. The mechanism also squeaks. Pls advise as to how one should correct this. I live in a very dry semidesert environment. Marina

Paul Allen
Paul Allen
5 months ago

I just purchased an electric mantle clock from the 1930’s and the hammers are too far from the rods. From the shape of the hammer arms, they don’t look like they’re easily bendable in that direction. Is adjusting them different?

Dee Russell
Dee Russell
4 months ago

My Grandfather clock will only chime when I apply weight to the right weight. How do we fix this?

Jill
Jill
3 months ago

I have a warmink mantle clock. I just had it in for servicing. Just recently it quit chiming. It was wound and would keep perfect time but didn’t chime. I took it back in and the gentleman told me the chime mechanism had gotten “hung up”. Now two months later, it is doing the same thing. Keeping perfect time, but not chiming and acts again, like it’s hung up or stuck.
Can you offer any suggestions?

Thank you

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