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Thread: Bott Clock

  1. #1
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    Default Bott Clock

    Interesting old clock. The only thing missing is the two box weights on the yoke and part of the hand.

    The clock works if I move the flywheel by hand, but does not with the rope and weights installed. The rope tends to slide on the pulley rather than actually grip the pulley and turn it.

    All the gears and gear shafts seem appropriately free, easy to turn and not out of alignment.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    Welcome to the MB, ristomailer
    You seem to be describing a repro of a 'mediaeval' clock with vertical crown wheel and foliot escapement. Real clocks where constructed in rural areas as late as 17th-18th century and first 'modern' repros started to be made as early as late 19th.
    Some pics of your movement would help. Perhaps you need to tie a counterweight at the other side of the rope, or perhaps you should use a diffferent kind of rope... We need to see.

    Regards,

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ballistarius)

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    Many thanks for the pics.
    I am not a clock repairer and there are dozens of people at this MB more qualified than I am. This said...
    What do you call the flywheel? The escapewheel or crownwheel seems to be misaligned, out of vertical. Both pallets of the vertical verge should be at the same distance from the crownwheel pins.

    If the rope slides on the pulley, given that you have a seemingly correct counterweight and rope, could be caused by a slightly jammed movement. Even if you can move it by hand, if the force you must exert is bigger than the friction of rope against pulley, the rope will slide, rather than move the cogwheels.
    A Spanish 18th century clockmaker wrote that, ideally, the friction of rope against the pulley on the great wheel should be such as to keep the counterweight in place, if you removed the main weight.
    You could increase the friction by 'refreshing' the carvings on the pulley, but I'd rather try to get the movement going more freely first.
    My two cents

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ballistarius)

    For lack of a better description the flywheel is the wheel with the ratcheted pulley wheel that distributes the energy from the cord to the other gears in the clock.

    It's misalignment is how it appeared to me as well. Without the cord the entire mechanism moves freely. However with the cord and weights in place part of the gear set appears to move into a bind from the weight.

    The clock appears easy to take apart, however it's construction makes me think any attempt at disassembly may destroy part or all the structure.

    I doubt these clocks have much monetary value and in it's current condition it has more value as an unusual conversation piece than anything else working or not. Although it would nice to have it working as intended. But, then I'd have to fix the hand and know how to set it.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    C'mon, don't give up so easily!
    You've got the perfect clock for 'playing' a little: Unexpensive and simple.
    All that you've got to do is to remove the verge and three wooden pins.
    The verge shouldn't be hanging from a coiled spring, you should use a piece of thread knoted to form a loop, instead. Remove the spring and then the verge bar, upwards, inclining it carefully.

    Put the clock on its back. Then, remove the pin nr 1 retaining the damaged hand. Once hand and pin are out, then remove pins 2 and 3 and the front platine with the dial. all the wheels will be free to inspect and clean pivots and bushings. if pivots and bushings are metal, you should oil them after reassembling.

    Aitor
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    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Here is a thread with a lot of these, in different forms.

    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?4..._-)-Clock-Here

    I believe those, like yours, were sold as a kit.
    The gears and such were cut but it required some assembly.
    Tinker Dwight

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Disassembly of wood pieces that have been in the desert for a long time can turn them into kindling without much effort. Did get it disassembled in one piece. Cleaned and lubed the pivots and bushings. Reassembled, adjusted the alignment of the top gear so it was square with the gears underneath and the back of the face. Seems to work easier as you might imagine after be cleaned and lubricated a little. As before with the weights in place it will run for a short time then stop. I suspect the missing weights on the ends of the yoke may have something to do with that.

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    That's good!
    Have you already put a cord/thread suspension at the verge? You can find how they look like on the thread that Tinker has posted.
    As to the little weights, yes, the clock needs them for regulating velocity, but without them the foliot should be just oscilating wildly, like a 'modern' clock with the pendulum removed...
    Anyway, you can use a pair of small lead fishing weights, attach each of them to a wire loop and hang them on the foliot. Both must be hanging at the same distance from the verge axis, otherwise, the clock will stop. The closer to the centre, the faster will the clock go.
    You've almost done it!

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Replaced the spring with a short string as pictured. Runs for 30 seconds slowly, then stops.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    Make sure the verge pallets are smooth and polished where the pins
    hit them. There can't be any rust there.
    Tinker Dwight

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Nice and shiny with no rust.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    Have you already put the little weights on the foliot?

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ballistarius)

    I tried some temporary weights out at the ends and no weights at all. Not tried moving them toward the center yet. Need to make a small hanger to do that. As you stated, without any weights I'd expect it to run run very fast, but instead it only runs slowly for about 15 seconds, then stops.

    Assembled all the gears seem to be aligned correctly, move back and forth slightly in the frame and the gears on each axle mesh nicely. Think I'm going to have to take it apart again and reassemble it one gear at a time and try the mechanism until I figure what causing the problem.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bott Clock (By: ristomailer)

    Maybe the verge pallets engage too much with the escapeweheel pins and you should place verge and wheel a little more apart? Waht do you think Tinker?

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

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