Clock and Timer Maintenance

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My 1953 O’Keefe & Merritt 500 has a clock with an oven timer and an independent timer. When I purchased the stove in 2013, my expectations were low that they worked, so I put task of exploring their function on the back, back burner.  Once I had the stove’s functional and cosmetic tasks well underway or completed, I figured why not see if the clocks worked, kept time, etc..

Once I figured out how to remove the faceplate, it was easy to see how to detach the clock and timer.

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As you can see, the numbered bezels looked just as bad as the faceplate. Ech.

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Clock & Timer Works

Curiosity pushed me to explore the clockworks. Many owners and resellers said the timepieces were often non-functional after running for so many years. Since the units were not air-tight, it seemed possible they had succumbed to dirt, gummy grease, etc. just like many other things on the stove. I was lucky that my stove’s clock and timer seemed to work. However, I figured they still might be in need of a thoughtful cleaning. Even if it didn’t help, it wouldn’t be a huge loss since the stove’s clocks were not the only way to track time in my kitchen. Question: what to clean in a clock and how to clean it? And how can I make sure that even if it runs, the timepieces keep accurate time. This stove adventure became cosmetic and functional restoration.

First things first – disassemble to my heart’s content. 🙂 This one with the silver cap is the timer unit.

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It seemed pretty obvious the silver (unpainted aluminum) case with the black and white wires housed the clock’s motor. Although there did not appear to be any screws or pins holding it in place, it wouldn’t budge. The cap extended beyond whatever it was covering, so there was a small lip available. I used my jewelry tools to carefully stretch the aluminum lip all the way around and the cap eventually came off.

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The circular cross just under the cap is supposed to spin freely.  Using a thin stiff wire as a guide, I let a couple drops of lubricant slide down the wire and underneath the circular cross piece. I decided to stop there, since clock motor repair is so beyond my skills.

The only obvious difference between the clock motor and timer motor was the cap color. The clock motor cap was black painted aluminum. A less obvious difference was how the caps were seated. But the difference changed how the clock motor cap could be removed.  I carefully squeeze the clock motor cap in a table vise and it popped off. An OKM friend mentioned using an air compressor blast to make the cap pop off when fixing his stove’s clock.

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In spite of squeezing the clock motor cap, it didn’t distort. It was easy to put the cap back on the clock motor. The timer cap was a different story since its lip had been stretched. Good ole aluminum, however, is easy to reshape. I simply slightly crimped the lip all the way around til it was as good as new and push it back onto the timer motor.

One major step I’ll delay for a while are the compartments that contain lots of little gears. I’ll save that adventure for a future time when I’m feeling really masochistic.

Next step was simply to put everything back together, hook up the clock and timer to see if they still run. The bonus will be if they are close to accurate in timekeeping.

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A few months have gone by since I reinstalled the timepieces. They do run. I’d say they’re each about 80% there.

According to the OKM Cook Book and User Manual, the clock on the right is an “Automatic Clock” that can start and stop the oven automatically and can control the “Timed” electrical outlet.  The clock’s left hand little white dial with the letters C S M represent the terms ‘Cook’   ‘Set’   ‘Manual’.  The middle knob allows one to set the hands in the correct position. The right white knob is for setting the start and stop cooking time for the oven. Once the clock is set, it’s safe to set the oven temperature dial to the desired temp.

However, the dial only clicks twice, indicating it can go into two of the three settings, so I’m hoping there’s something that needs to be adjusted inside the clock.

The timepiece on the left side is some kind of timer. I haven’t found any information about it yet. However, when powered, this one constantly clicks loud like it’s counting down. Problem is it doesn’t stop.

At some point, I’ll need to pull them both out and finish that final 20%.

Jason Van Slyke Remove the two screws holding the motor to the clock. Remove the aluminum cover and then put several drops of oil or penetrating fluid in the center of the spinning wheel. Elevate it so the gear doesn’t touch the ground, then directly plug it into electricity. Try helping it spin clockwise with your fingers. Usually “slightly” lifting the wheel up and bending it a TINY amount up helps. If it doesn’t work, unplug, turn upside down, and then take a razor or other to remove all the caulk holding the back on. To then get the cover off blow in compressed air into the hole. Ping me if you get this far and need more.

 

 

 

 

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