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  1. #1
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment

    Dr. Craig,

    To be running out that much in a day means that it is NOT running properly! Running at best, but not properly! There is not enough scope on the regulator to allow for up to one hour in a day. At best, the regulator might span from - 10 minutes on the slow side to + 10 minutes on the fast side, provided the clock is running properly. Your clock needs more that regulation. Repair first, THEN regulation. At least that's how I see it.

  2. #2
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Reads like your balance assembly ( plus probably the clock entirely ) is dirty and your balance is not full - cycling. What DOUG said.

  3. #3
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Or magnetised, oil on hairspring, or the second turn of the hairspring is caught in the regulator. What is its history?
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  4. #4
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Hi Doc.

    Your Elliot and Son carriage clock was made in China. Even if it says "Made in France" on the face and/or the back plate, it's still made in China. The movements are not well made, to say the least. There have been many complaints on this Board re. clocks that have been made in China, and you will find it quite dificult, if not impossible, to get the movement to work accurately, but I wish you luck.

    Sorry about that.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Moderator leeinv66's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Or it needs a new mainspring. Low power will cause the balance not to rotate fully.

    Cheers
    Peter
    Cheers
    Peter R Lee: AKA (Pee-Tah) from Australia

  6. #6

    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Two months ago, I saw another small "Elliott & Son, London" carriage clock being offered by an evening street hawker off Nathan Road in Hong Kong. He wanted HKD 800 for it - USD 100. I was only curious. The other stuff he had on his table were various small brass ornaments and tourist souvenirs.

    You can tell they are made in China by the type of brass they use and by the machining characteristics. There are other cues. I mentioned my bad experiences with Chinese clocks in another post. Well, at least your clock runs.

    If the clock is "new", I suspect the platform escapement was not calibrated before it left the factory. I believe the balance should be set to vibrate at the standard 18,000 beats per hour. Proper adjustments can be attempted by a watchmaker or an experienced watch repair person but this is not a great clock and I have to wonder if the costs are justifiable. You can read up on "springing and timing" in de Carle's book "Practical Watch Repair".

    My impression of these clocks is that the people who made them did not put much attention into actually having them work. They just want your money.


    Michael

  7. #7
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Michael,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">the balance should be set to vibrate at the standard 18,000 beats per minute </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


  8. #8

    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doug sinclair:
    Michael,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">the balance should be set to vibrate at the standard 18,000 beats per minute </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Thanks for catching that mistake Doug - I meant to say 18,000 beats per HOUR...I imagine it's pretty impossible to visually discern 18,000 beats per minute!

    The method described by de Carle used a device often represented by a "Luthy Vibrator"; essentially a metal platform that allows an technician to suspend the balance being calibrated directly over a reference balance that is encased in a glass-covered enclosure. The device has a lever mechanism that simultaneously sets both balances vibrating and the test balance is calibrated when it is in step with the reference balance.

    I imagine this sort of work requires a certain amount of skill mixed in with natural ability. I found the following job description for a "hairspring vibrator" on the Internet (could not find a picture of the Luthy Vibrator though).

    Hairspring vibrator job description

    If you read through the job description it will give you an idea of how balance wheels are calibrated. In the job description, a cathode-ray tube device appears to be used in lieu of the mechanical Luthy-type vibrator.


    Michael

  9. #9
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Michael,

    The way I see it, Dr. Craig's clock suffers either from poor operating condition, or, as Steve has mentioned, poor quality. If poor operating condition is the reason the clock doesn't keep time, that would have to be attended to first. If poor quality is the problem, that might be a whole lot tougher to deal with! We don't know enough about the clock to really predict what the solution will be. Is it possible that someone before Dr. Craig tampered with the hairspring in an attempt to solve an erratic rate? If so, further messing around with the hairspring is not the answer. If the clock is of sufficient quality that one might expect decent timekeeping, and if the clock hasn't been compromised by inept handling, then thorough conditioning and minor adjusting is likely all that is necessary. If it is of poor quality and has been handled badly, I don't like its chances! A hairspring vibrator would be a last resort, after all other factors were dealt with.

  10. #10

    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doug sinclair:
    Michael,

    The way I see it, Dr. Craig's clock suffers either from poor operating condition, or, as Steve has mentioned, poor quality.

    ...
    A hairspring vibrator would be a last resort, after all other factors were dealt with. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Doug, I wasn't suggesting anyone to go get a hairspring vibrator. Please have a look at my messages again.

    I said if the clock were NEW then I suspect the platform was not calibrated. You have to have seen first-hand and owned these clocks to know what I mean regarding lack of quality in manufacture.

    A good Luthy vibrator will set you back between $700 and $1000 - if you can manage to locate one. IMO, the clock is not worth more than $100 even in proper working condition.

    I was merely describing the calibrating process stated in de Carle's book. It would be fair to presume NAWCC readers might want to consider the calibration of balances as a technical point of interest. It is of critical importance for anyone who wants to fix carriage clocks.

    In fact, if a person wants to seriously work on platform escapements today, you might want to use something like a MicroSet timer instead. With such a modern timer, it's much more affordable and easier to achieve the accuracy you want and you get to use it to work on other clock timing problems as well. IMO, the Luthy vibrator is really more for the collector or for an experienced repair person who wants to enjoy the experience of using period technique and equipment.


    Michael

  11. #11
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Michael,

    I didn't say that a hairspring vibrator had no place in trying to solve the problem of the erratic clock. I said it would be a last resort, after everything else that might interfere with a good rate was out of the way.

    Here is a picture of a hairspring vibrator, for those who've heard of them but never seen one. This one shows a balance wheel suspended above the table in a position to permit vibrating it. If you look closely, you can see a black arm beneath the glass of the table. That is an index which oscillates as the balance wheel oscillates, allowing easier reference. This tool is not mine, unfortunately!

  12. #12

    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doug sinclair:
    Michael,

    I didn't say that a hairspring vibrator had no place in trying to solve the problem of the erratic clock. I said it would be a last resort, after everything else that might interfere with a good rate was out of the way. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Doug, I agree with you that with well-made carriage timepieces that were known to have worked properly, the platform is usually not the first place to look for a problem unless you spot evidence of a mishap on the platform (i.e. someone mangled it).

    However, if the clock is NEW and has never worked properly and is Chinese then I would disagree with you based on my past experience.

    I think it is fair to say that with Chinese imitation antique timepieces, all the components and any aspect of their assembly may be suspect.

    With Western timepieces, they at least use expensive Swiss or German platforms which are likely of higher quality than the rest of the clock. But with the Chinese clocks I speak of, the platforms are not necessarily in any better condition than the rest of the clock. It may not even be due to shoddy manufacture but due to the way they are acquired and assembled. I know this because I have lived many years in that part of the world and I know the way and the conditions under which many businesses work. I am very familiar with the mentality and the practices.


    Michael

  13. #13
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Michael,

    Well then! From what you have said, perhaps the vibrator WOULD be a good place to start. I am not familiar with these Chinese clocks.

  14. #14

    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doug sinclair:
    Michael,

    Well then! From what you have said, perhaps the vibrator WOULD be a good place to start. I am not familiar with these Chinese clocks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Actually, as I suggested earlier, IMO the clock isn't worth the hassles of professional services for the platform and neither is it worth the price of a hairspring vibrator.

    I was trying to inform readers that such a clock may require the facilities and knowledge that a watchmaker or watchrepair person would have. If you are this person then great. If you are not, then you may not be able to fix the clock or indeed you may not want to.

    These Chinese clocks are for the uninformed, the impulse buyer or the curious buyer. They are not serious timepieces. For me, who owns 2 of them, identical non-working ones - one actually sent to me as a replacement, they are purely educational and items that if I mangle, would not be of any consequence to me.

    Back to Dr. Craig's clock - Doug, I would like your expert opinion here.

    Is it reasonable to determine if the index has any bearing on the problem by swinging it to the F or FAST side to see if it has an effect on the speed? If it does make the clock run even faster then perhaps an index adjustment can correct the speed problem. If the index position has minimal impact then the balance. in its current state, is not likely to correct the clock's problem. The hairspring may be way too short or completely of the wrong type for the balance.

    OTOH, if the index position does significantly alter the speed of the clock and there is an extra length of hairspring sticking out from the end of the stud, is it possible or a good idea to position that forward, in essence slightly lengthening the coil at the end of the hairspring? I believe this is what hairspring vibrator technicians do when calibrating balances to vibrate slower.


    Michael

  15. #15
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Carriage clock speed adjustment (RE: doug sinclair)

    Michael,

    You stated your opinion. I stated my opinion. You took exception to my position. I withdrew my assertion. I prefer not to comment any further on this!

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