Gilbert Tambour Mantel Clock with Bim-Bam Hour Strike

The major American clock companies made tambour mantel clocks starting early in the 20th century. This example by Gilbert (Wm. L. Gilbert Clock Corp., Winsted, Conn.) is from the 1920s, and has an aluminum dial with embossed and painted numerals, and printed time track. The case is 20 1/16 inches wide and 9 3/4 inches tall. The dial’s minute track is 5 3/8 inch outside diameter. It is an 8-day clock (made to be wound once per week), and it does bim-bam striking every hour on two chime rods, and a single strike on one chime rod on the half hour.

Many Gilbert clocks from the early 20th century have the year of manufacture stamped on the movement (the last two digits of the year), but this one doesn’t.

See more pictures.

Repair job 6866. The pinion on the center arbor (often called the cannon pinion) was loose because it was split. I drilled a hole though the pinion and arbor and inserted a pin to secure the pinion. I made a new warning lever return spring, polished the pivots and installed 16 bushings.

This clock has unusually thin mainsprings, yet the clock has plenty of power to run. American antique clocks like this often have mainspring that are 0.017 inch thickĀ or thicker. This one has the following thickness mainsprings:

  • Time mainspring 0.0155 inch thick
  • Strike mainspring 0.0150 inch thick

I can’t tell if these mainspring are original or not, but they run the clock well.

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  1. This piece is push fit and can be easily pulled off, and pushed back on, then rotated to make the hammer drop right at the half hour.

  2. It appears I have the same clock based on the pictures and description. I had this clock cleaned recently and the mainspring broke shortly thereafter. I have started amateur repair on my own clocks. I was able to successfully replace the broken mainspring and get everything back to working condition. The question I hope you can assist with is on the passing half-hour strike. I am unsure how the lever that operates the strike is attached to the shaft. I did not want to cause damage to the clock or shaft this time so I worked around it. It did not look like it was keyed or had a flat. It looked like the brass had been cinched with a tool for a friction fit. I was not sure if it could be pressed off without damaging the shaft or lever. I was hoping you could provide insight as to how removal is accomplished. Thanks.

  3. Can I order the chime rod for the gilbert clock? It is an old clock with two bottom chime rods. One of the rods broke and needs to be replaced. I cannot remove the broken rods so need the whole base and rods.

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