• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron machinery, register and join us. When you register on Smokstak, please give complete answers and fill in the blanks. - IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, ENTER YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

Old Hammond Synchronous Clock

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
i have this old 40's-50's art deco Hammond clock that won't keep running. It's been in the basement for years and I figured I'd have a go at it. The prime mover is a coil that inductively couples to a framework and then to a clamped on motor. Inside the sealed motor can there is a star wheel and reduction gears. The motor then drives another gear train that operates the hands.

The problem is that it'll run for a minute or few then stop.

As it's 70 odd years old I assumed the oil in the motor had congealed. I melted the solder blob off the side figuring it covers an oil fill port. Yup I was right. I drained what I could by shaking it. Then shots of carb cleaner into the hole to flush out gunk. I did this numerous times giving it time to soak in. I put very light oil back in and soldered the hole up to seal it. *No idea as to how much should be in it..

If I spin the gear with the motor out it turns freely and through the reduction train will continue for ~5 seconds. Put it back together, give the starter a spin and it'll run for a short while.

Ok clocksmiths, plz chime in.
 

Attachments

Radiomike

Registered
Re: Old Hammond synchronous clock

I have some old Telechron clock motors that responded well to lubrication; I use special clock or watch oil. It is possible one of the gears has worn to the extent it no longer meshes. A possible alternative is a heat induced fault in the coil, that is easy to check. There is a man offering a rebuild at around $150.
http://www.telechron.us/hammond.html
Perhaps this book on Amazon may be a bit cheaper, check your local library.
https://www.amazon.ca/Hammond-Synchronous-Clocks-Maintenance-Repair/dp/0984671803

Interesting that Hammond started with clocks and motors but became best known for the "Hammond Organ". This uses a synchronous motor, gear wheels and inductive pick-ups to create the unique tone.
Mike
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: Old Hammond synchronous clock

I love old synchronous clocks. I also have a Hammond, one of the ones in the Art Deco tombstone shaped Bakelite cases. Mine gave the same symptoms as yours.

Unfortunately, as I have learned from a friend who is heavily into antique clock repair, these motors were not designed to be serviced like a conventional clock, but rather to merely be replaced. Of course that isn't an option now, not that we would want to loose the originality or suffer the low quality of something new.

As with conventional clocks, the bushings and pivots are most likely worn out and need to be renewed. This can surely be done, but requires the necessary surgery of taking the case apart. I have a few of them that need this service as well.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Re: Old Hammond synchronous clock

The motor assembly has been running on my desk for a few hours. but if I stop it it takes a lot of spins to get it going. I wonder if there's an electrical equivalent to a shot of ether. Hmm,,, a short pop of 220?
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: Old Hammond synchronous clock

That's how mine was difficult to start and would not reliably stay running long term. Overvoltage might make it start and run just fine but will no doubt burn out the exceedingly fine windings quickly! So not a viable solution. :brows:
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Since it's all apart, why put it aside and lose parts.
I unsoldered the fill port again, drained the oil and did a few more fill and drains with contact cleaner. Then I squirted 1.5 ml of very light oil similar to 3 in 1 oil into it and soldered the port closed. It now stars with a minimum turn of the starter. I didn't go full Jc resto on it as it could use some veneer work to mint it out. With my woodworking skills it'd look like crap when I got done with it.

As it only uses 2W, I'll put it in some usable location.
 

Attachments

Power

Registered
Furniture touch up stick can make those marks almost invisible.
I use the ones by Minwax with excellent results.
Do not use the ones that look like crayons.

Glad you did not unsolder cover. I tried it years ago, when my eyesight and control were excellent. It is extremely difficult to keep all the gear shafts in their bearings and align the cover.
Alignment needs to be very precise, probably more precise than can be done by hand.
Not only rotation, but centering of cover in pot, and depth must be to thousandths.
Even with multiple fine scribe marks, I could not get the alignment perfect, and there was binding.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
^ It's missing a couple small pieces of veneer and the long strip that goes over the hump is cracked. It's really not worth putting money into it but maybe some day someone will.
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/16/2019
My main clock is old and noisy but still keeps time. I may have to look for a solider spot and try to oil mine. You definitely have a nice clock there!
 

Snsmithhart

Registered
Re: Old Hammond synchronous clock

I have some old Telechron clock motors that responded well to lubrication; I use special clock or watch oil. It is possible one of the gears has worn to the extent it no longer meshes. A possible alternative is a heat induced fault in the coil, that is easy to check. There is a man offering a rebuild at around $150.
http://www.telechron.us/hammond.html
Perhaps this book on Amazon may be a bit cheaper, check your local library.
https://www.amazon.ca/Hammond-Synchronous-Clocks-Maintenance-Repair/dp/0984671803

Interesting that Hammond started with clocks and motors but became best known for the "Hammond Organ". This uses a synchronous motor, gear wheels and inductive pick-ups to create the unique tone.
Mike
 

Snsmithhart

Registered
Hey I'm new here as far as posting but if you or anyone else need a in great shape telechron synchronous motor let me know, I have probably 40 0r 50 of them. For that matter I could send it with the clock mech still attached if wanted. I was in a position to let them all go to the dump or take all of these 1970 school clocks, simplex system, I had to take them. Now they are in the way.
 

Power

Registered
Sounds good, have any pictures?

Keith
I have a GE clock with telechron. Many years ago, unsoldered, flushed, filled with new oil, but over 20 years later it got noisey and was put in storage.
Could use correct motor.

Watch those school clocks. In the 1960's, the company I worked for maintained them. The classroom clock mechanisms had 2 motors. A regular one and a synchronizing motor that synched clocks to master clock in the office. The sync motor spins clock very fast. It was fun to watch after a power outage. You reset master and all the classroom clocks whizzed around to match it. The sync motor gear unit looks the same as the run unit, but is geared different inside.
 

Snsmithhart

Registered
I have a GE clock with telechron. Many years ago, unsoldered, flushed, filled with new oil, but over 20 years later it got noisey and was put in storage.
Could use correct motor.

Watch those school clocks. In the 1960's, the company I worked for maintained them. The classroom clock mechanisms had 2 motors. A regular one and a synchronizing motor that synched clocks to master clock in the office. The sync motor spins clock very fast. It was fun to watch after a power outage. You reset master and all the classroom clocks whizzed around to match it. The sync motor gear unit looks the same as the run unit, but is geared different inside.
Yes, these do that and that part is simply a type of coil with a lever that gets energized twice a day to synchronize. If I remember how these work the lever operates a type of escapement that takes care of the moving of the gears. That part can be removed with no effect on the normal time keeping operation. If I get a chance tomorrow I will hook one up and video the whole process in action and post it. It's pretty slick idea.
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Hey I'm new here as far as posting but if you or anyone else need a in great shape telechron synchronous motor let me know, I have probably 40 0r 50 of them. For that matter I could send it with the clock mech still attached if wanted. I was in a position to let them all go to the dump or take all of these 1970 school clocks, simplex system, I had to take them. Now they are in the way.
I worked for Simplex back then and I would be surprised if the motors are Telechron. All that I saw were Synchron.
 

Snsmithhart

Registered
I worked for Simplex back then and I would be surprised if the motors are Telechron. All that I saw were Synchron.
Hahaha, yeah, been a bit out of it and your right. I have a very odd, meaning I cant find in the 4 years I've searched, telechron synchronous motor and in my fever induced daze I apparently mis spoke. Give me a second and I will post some pictures of a couple examples of what I do have. Frank did you get the photos of wiring diagrams I sent you sir?20200314_202714.jpg20200314_202934.jpg20200314_205242.jpg20200315_144752.jpg
 

Snsmithhart

Registered
The one picture is of just the clock after you remove it from the rest of the frame. Even then its heavier than you would think due to the gauge and type of backing plate they used. If anyone needs or wants any of these or just the synchronous motor and clock mech or just motor let me know. I think I have 24 total units.
 
Top