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  1. #1

    Default Escape Wheel Howard #2

    I am looking for counts of the number of teeth on the escapement wheel of a Howard #2. I would sincerely appreciate the help of others that have access to a #2 Howard and could count the teeth and post the results. I am particularly interested to hear from anyone who may have a number #2 with a 42 tooth escape wheel.

    While restoring our clock, the escape wheel was long gone. We were able to locate and purchase an escape wheel with 38 teeth, which is what appears to be the common number. Our pendulum is original with the clock and is approximatly 92 inches long. The other time train gears are also original and based on them, the escape wheel calculates to need 42 teeth! Other than running fast, the clock runs very reliably with the currently installed 38 tooth escapement. It doesn't appear that a 42 tooth escape wheel would "fit" very well, but I would really appreciate hearing from others.

    Thank you very much,

  2. #2

    Default Re: Escape Wheel Howard #2 (By: SamS)

    I need to ask the question another way! After more review of the gear ratios, pendulum length, etc., it appears that our problem may have to do with the length of the pendulum. Although it appears to be original, complete and marked with the s/n of the clock, it is marked 9', however it measures more like 7' 6" ! By calculation, a full 9' pendulum would be about right with a 38 tooth escape wheel.

    Although the escape tooth count will still help me resolve our issue, if any one can measure the pendulum length of a Howard #2 with a 38 tooth escape wheel, that would be exceptionally helpful and much appreciated. Any "measurement" would be good as long as I have some idea of where the measrurement was taken. The best would be from the pin at the bottom of hte suspension spring to the approximate center of the large diameter of the Bob.

    Thank you very much,
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  3. #3
    Registered User FDelGreco's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Novelty, OH

    Default Re: Escape Wheel Howard #2 (By: SamS)


    I checked with Chuck Roeser who repairs tower clocks for a living. He said that the early Howards used a 38 tooth escape wheel and the later ones used a 40 tooth. Either wheel will work with the same pendulum, that should be about 9 feet long.

    Why is your pendulum so short? Someone probably cut it off. The pear-shaped bob is supposed to be installed upside down, with the large diameter part on top. But since the norm for English lantern and bracket clocks that have pear-shaped pendulums are installed right-side up (large part on the bottom), many people think that the Howard bobs are supposed to be installed that way, too. Of course, they run slow that way so people shorten the pendulum rod to make the clock run at the right speed. Chuck has run across so many that have been altered that way.

    Is the bob on your pendulum rod installed large end up or down? It might run correctly if installed the wrong way -- large end down.

    Best regards,
    Frank Del Greco

  4. #4

    Default Re: Escape Wheel Howard #2 (By: FDelGreco)

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you very much for that info, that may be exactly what happened. We have the bob installed correctly (big end up). I could not understand why the pendulum rod may have been shortened, but you may have discovered why. Our clock is dated 1874, so I would consider that to be and "earlier" time frame and therefore using the 38 tooth escapement. I tried laying in a 42 tooth wheel (in Solidworks design software), and it would not fit (hits the 3rd arbor). A 40 tooth wheel wouldn't actually correct the problem, still would run too fast.

    Interesting situation, I could either turn the Bob "upside down" and have that "wrong", but historically factual, or make a longer rod which would mean not using the authentic and original (although altered) rod. Both are a "bummer" in my opinion, but at least this helps me get to the bottom of the problem.

    Thank you very much! Anyone else with comments / knowledge of this situation?


  5. #5

    Default Re: Escape Wheel Howard #2 (By: SamS)

    The reason the bob is supposed to be installed large end up is so that its center of gravity will be well above where the threaded steel rod is attached to the the cherry rod, for proper temperature compensation.

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