Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dugena mantel clock tear-down

Dugena mantel clock
 This is a Dugena mantel clock made around the early 1950s. It's style suggests an Art Deco influence.

Dugena is a German retail company that likely contracted out the cases and also contracted with various German movement manufacturers and then stamped their name on the product. Some have Junghans movements, some have Hermle and Mauthe perhaps and so on.

This particular one is a Hermle 2-train floating balance movement known popularly as a "Bim-Bam" clock. Three hammer Bim-Bam clocks make a distinctive 1-2 sound on the hour and 1/2 hour. Floating balance movements were popular from the 1950s onward.  FHS (or Hermle) is stamped on the front plate and Hermle makes mechanical movements to this day.

Spring barrels - partially torn down
I got the clock for $30 and it never really ran well. The person I bought it from said that it was not "perfect"; he was right, it was difficult regulating the time no matter how much I played with it. With pendulum clocks it is relatively easy to adjust the pendulum length but on a floating balance there is one adjustment on the balance wheel itself. No matter how much I adjusted it in the "-" direction it still ran too fast. It can even run "out of beat", something I learned only recently. That takes yet another adjustment. A balance wheel movement in good condition should have 360 degrees of rotation, this one does not and I would say 180 degrees at best. The bottom line, they are not the easiest clocks to adjust or to work on and this one is losing power somewhere.

second wheel needs to stay on the plate
 I gave it a dunk and swish to do a quick clean but following that process it refused to run for any length of time. It sat for a while while I considered what to do. Repair the movement of buy a new one? The case is still in very good shape so a new movement might still be an option.  But, a tear-down of this movement was deemed to be necessary.

second wheel
Dis-assembly requires that the clock be taken apart completely, inspected and cleaned with particular attention paid to the pivots, pivot holes, pallet, escarpment, escape wheel and so on. In the process I discovered that the pivots, wheels and pinions were actually in pretty good shape. Cleaning and polishing is the task at hand at this time. Nothing appears to be damaged or broken.

time and strike spring barrels
However,  I am not going to clean the springs. I do not have the equipment and the fact that the springs are in barrels leads me to think that they have stayed relatively free of dirt and grime over the years.
Hermle movement - front view with snail taken off
 This will take some time to complete. If it works after I put it all together - great. If it does not, well it is a learning experience.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A great start to the summer

Cottage front facing the lake
Another great cottage weekend. It was perfect. Well, not quite! We did not exactly run out of water but we had to prime the pump a number of times to keep a constant flow of water for the cottage. The pump is 15 years old and probably near the end of its life.

Spring clean-up
Getting the property in shape means picking up branches, cleaning pine needles away and checking for winter damage. Thankfully there was very little to clean up.

Enjoying a meal in the porch
We enjoy relaxing in the sun porch during the bug season. Where we are, a screened-in porch is absolutely essential to enjoy the "outdoors" while still being protected from the elements. Our screened-in porch is large enough that we can have company over, have a great meal and relax without those little pesky things bugging us. Besides who wants to wear Deet (bug spray). I hate wearing that stuff although it does work.

Our little motor boat
 We had the boat out. While I had the chance I changed the lower end and put fresh gas into our little 5 hp motor. She ran like a charm throughout the entire weekend.

There are always many opportunities to take walks in the woods and we did so several times during the holiday weekend. As you can see the leaves are just starting to come out. The air was fresh and  the walk was enjoyable and we had a great time.
Walk in the woods
Back to water troubles. My amateur troubleshooting skills revealed that it is at the pump end. Either the seals are gone, the pump is gone or perhaps even the sand point is clogged. I am suspecting the latter. Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed and fixed soon! Our trusty handyman, who opens and closes our cottage every year, knows a thing or two about installing water pumps / plumbing and hopefully he will have everything back to normal once we get back up there in the beginning of summer.

Water troubles
Otherwise the weekend was perfect. The weather was in the high teens (18-19C) when we arrived and as the weekend progressed we reached the high twenties. Not quite sunbathing weather but very nice. Swimming was out of the question since the water was still quite cool.
Traditional cottage meal of BBQ chicken
But for a freakish wild thunderstorm on Monday the weather held on. However, it was enough to summon the blackflies and mosquitoes so staying outdoors for any length of time was a bit of a challenge unless a brisk wind was up. With any luck those pesky little things will be gone by the time we arrive in early July.

We are anxiously awaiting the start ot the summer season.