Mechanical Clock Strike Setting

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Mechanical Clock Strike Setting

Mechanical clock strike setting is not hard. Some simple fixes can correct any problems. This information is for a new unit straight out of the box. Subsequently, for installation into an existing clock case. However it is also practical for other situations where there are strike issues German clocks. The strike issues can be from not striking at all to not striking the correct hour or striking forever. All of these strike issues reside in the same location mainly. This location is on the front side of the German mechanical clock movement.

No strike cause

When the new movement is not striking out the hour the dial and hands come off of the clock. With the dial and hands out of the way we can see the front of the movement where the problem is. German units have a rack and snail count system. This only means there is a rack that looks like a saw on the front side of the movement. This saw looking rack falls on the portion of the hour hand tube that looks like a snail. This is why we call it a rack and snail count system. The rack is supposed to be in the up position by default and drops down onto the snail when its ready to strike.

Making the mechanical clock strike

During shipping the rack can fall behind the snail instead of on top of it. With the rack stuck behind the snail when the minute hand is installed it can squash the snail into the rack. This will cause the rack to not be able to be lifted because there is too much resistance and so the clock will not strike. The solution is to have the dial off and just lift the rack back up with the fingers. If none of this makes sense there is a simple solution and that is just to take the minute hand off for an hour and let it run for an hour with the chimes on.

The rack and snail count system explanation

The top most hump on the snail exposes only one tooth on the rack and allows the gear train to run only enough to strike one time. The deepest hump on the snail is 12 teeth on the rack and therefore 12 strikes on the top of the hour. The rest of course are all the other hours but that sort of takes care of itself. As long as one and 12 are good the rest is good.

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

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