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  1. #16
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    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    Quote Originally Posted by jhe.1973 View Post
    Pulling it apart once again, I found that the cable had a fairly fine steel (perhaps music wire) core and it was acting the same as winding a spring and robbing the drum of torque.

    Perhaps.

    I also considered that if it acts as a spring, it could be creating a side thrust on the winding arbor creating more friction that way. This was before I had installed the endstones, by the way.
    I doubt this is the reason. I used steel cable (0.7mm) on few clocks which is very elastic, and didn't noticed anything unusual. Clocks always run the same, regardless of number of cable turns on drum. Elastic force is too small (compare to weight) to make any disturbances, at least in my case.

  2. #17

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: kdf)

    Quote Originally Posted by kdf View Post
    I doubt this is the reason. I used steel cable (0.7mm) on few clocks which is very elastic, and didn't noticed anything unusual. Clocks always run the same, regardless of number of cable turns on drum. Elastic force is too small (compare to weight) to make any disturbances, at least in my case.
    Hi Everyone,

    kdf:

    You may be right to doubt my suggestions for the reason I could not keep the clock running w/brass cable.

    My prior experience is the same as yours, where the weight cables in the various clocks I have worked on through the years wasn't an issue.

    However, once I was trying to keep a heavy (30+) pound seconds pendulum swinging with as small a weight as possible, there were many cases that my past experience didn't seem to apply.

    After four tries to get the movement running with the brass (each time between it would run with the nylon) I accepted the results and moved on.

    I will probably never know the exact reason for the brass not working out. It remains one of life's great mysteries.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    How heavy is weight? (Sorry, my English is not very good.)

  4. #19

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: kdf)

    Quote Originally Posted by kdf View Post
    How heavy is weight? (Sorry, my English is not very good.)
    When I first got the movement to run it required 10 pounds w/pulley & double line. It is now down to 7.9 on the double line and it looks like I will be reducing it some more to bring the pendulum travel back down to where I prefer it to run.

    Your English is fine for me. I don't feel you need to apologize.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    Strange. On clocks where I used steel cables, weights are 1,5 kg (cca. 3.3 pounds) and I did noticed anything unusual. What was diametar of these brass cables?

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: kdf)

    Hi
    I can't think of anything that would act like that. I'd
    more likely suspect the cable getting caught in the
    grooves of the drum. Nothing that had to do with
    the number of turns on the drum.
    Maybe internal friction of the inner cable sliding
    inside the external housing might change as
    it wound and unwound.
    Tinker Dwight

  7. #22

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Hi Everyone,

    kdf:

    I thought I might still have the cable I used but haven't been able to find it. I remember using some brass cable to raise & lower the electrode of an EDM machine I built over 12 years ago. I had to replace it for a rack & pinion & that might be when I lost track of it.

    It seems to me that it was in the .040 - .060 inch range.

    Tinker:

    Just to supply a detail, this prototype has a smooth drum. This could mean that the coils were binding sideways of course.

    I did remember something else though.

    Whenever I would lift the weight on a clock with brass cable, the cable would unwind slightly from the drum showing that it at at least some tendency to act as a spring. Perhaps that is where I got the idea that this was an explanation.

    I was never able to come up w/anything that completely satisfied me for an explanation & didn't have the time to deeply investigate it. It always seemed that if the cable was acting as a spring, it would supply more force as it was wound not less. However w/a wound spring, the anchor stays a fixed distance from the arbor (as in a barrel) and in this case the anchor (pulley) is always moving down.

    Thanks guys for helping to brainstorm this detail and to everyone for your interest.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  8. #23

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    I mentioned a few posts back that I had the chance to get some photos of details I want discuss.

    This is a general view of how the movement & pendulum is secured to the case and wall:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The backplate and arms are 1/2 inch thick aluminum jig plate that I had on hand. The 5 flathead screws (1 is hidden by the pendulum) secure the mount to the case. The 2 nuts on studs at the top go through to an adapter that is fastened to 2 wall studs.

    Originally, these studs were 3/8 lag screws that went right into one stud and the lath & plaster right next to it.

    It may sound strange that I picked up the lath for one of these mounting points, but when I built this clock we were living in a rather large Victorian house that was rather sturdy. All outside walls & interior load walls were 2X6s when they still used full size lumber. Every load wall rested on 8 inch square wood beams, on top of 2 foot thick fieldstone foundation walls. The lath I mentioned was a full 1/2 inch thick and the plaster was at least that. Being in Wisconsin the stone walls went at least 4 feet into the earth which was dense clay at that depth.

    When the clock case was bolted to one of these walls, in the evening I could start the pendulum swinging w/o the movement and the next morning it would still have a very slight but noticeable swing.

    Besides the backplate being bolted through the wall close to the pendulum anchor, there is another detail shown here that I feel helped achieve this kind of rigidity:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The suspension spring is mounted in a piece of 1 inch thick steel cut from a piece of hex bar I also had laying around. The two round disks on each side at the top of the suspension spring are captive in the slot for about 60 to 70% of their side surface. There is also no side shake at all at the top or bottom of the suspension spring. The spring will not fall into place by itself, it has to be pushed into place.

    You can also see the safety hook assembly I made in case of spring failure. Because there is not much more than two degrees distance for the pendulum to swing, I have to reduce the weight each time I gain more pendulum travel due to successful experiments.

    This house had a brick veneer and it heated and cooled slowly. I never built temperature compensation into the pendulum but during one particularly consistent temperature period in early fall, using the WWV signal as my reference, this clock kept time to 1 1/2 seconds over a three week period. I hadn't expected this because of the trouble I mentioned with the gear meshing. It taught me how much more important the pendulum mounting is and if rigid enough, a heavy pendulum can hide gearing sins.

    One other thing. In the first photo above, to the left of the pulley mount there are two holes. These are earlier anchor trial points when the pulley simply hung from a hook. It is now on a ball & socket swivel joint.

    I found that the mounting location for this pulley to be a contributor to end thrust of the great wheel arbor so it's location is somewhat critical.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    Quote Originally Posted by jhe.1973 View Post
    ---snip---
    I found that the mounting location for this pulley to be a contributor to end thrust of the great wheel arbor so it's location is somewhat critical.
    Hi
    This is more likely an explanation for the change with the hard wire. The friction between
    turns on the drum would increase as it wound more.
    With the softer line, the line can easily twist to kind of unroll from the adjacent turn.
    Tinker Dwight

  10. #25

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Hi Everyone,

    Tinker: Sounds good! You might be right. I just wish there were more hours in the day to investigate all the possibilities.

    Years ago when we moved from the Victorian house I mentioned earlier, I made an adapter to pick up wall studs and bolt the clock between them.

    We recently brought a new (to us) piece of furniture & I needed to move this clock up about 6 inches. The rust pattern on the wall from an old roof leak shows where it was. I also had a couple of shims at the top corners of the case to prevent sway.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Because the clock was partially covering a small exhaust fan & now would be right over the top of it, I welded a length of 3/4 inch square tube to stiffen the assembly and figured the shims would provide enough rigidity.

    New surprise! It wasn't good enough, the clock wouldn't run.

    Even with the top shims, there was too much flex along the bottom where the aluminum spacer is. So I made a new spacer that is about 1/2 inch taller & goes all the way across the steel sheet. There are two holes in the new spacer that line up with the lowest flat head screws in the above photo. These holes are now opened up for lag screws that go through the case and into the studs.

    This spacer & lag screws also eliminates the need for shims at the case top.

    See what fun swinging a thirty pound seconds pendulum can be?
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  11. #26

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    Have you thought about using small stainless steel ball bearings rather than jewels? I know that jewels are fine and traditional, but I have noticed many European clockmakers using ball bearings now instead of jewels for the advantage of less friction. I did some experiments on one clock movement wherein I substituted these bearings for the usual bronze bushings, and believe me, there was quit a difference! Mark Butterworth sells them. I tried for a few years to locate some affordably, but he did a better job of it than I. I'm currently designing a movement now utilizing these all the way up the train. Here is a link for some idea of what they do with these:

    http://erwinsattler.de/en/products/p...1735/index.php

    Really appreciate your clock and what you have done with it........................doc
    Exodus 31:6 "...and I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you."

  12. #27

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: doc_fields)

    Hello Doc,

    Thanks for the kind words about this clock and for thoughtfully including a link to the Sattler web site. Iím glad you appreciate my efforts.

    I find it interesting that you mention the ball bearings now because I recently added three, but I donít think they are stainless steel.

    When I first built the clock I just grabbed a repo #2 ST weight pulley that was lying around for the one at the top of the case:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    FINALLY this last spring I got tired of looking at the X shaped yoke I had started 29 years ago for a clock that I have long since sold. I finished it for this one and put a ball bearing in the hub of the pulley:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    While I was at it I made another pulley w/ball bearing for the top of the case and used the original yoke from the weight up at the top. Thatís when I made the ball swivel anchor I mentioned earlier.

    I had a noticeable improvement in power but didnít measure it because right after that I mounted a ball bearing on the second arbor (which is the minute hand). I thought I had a better photo of the rear plate showing the aluminum bearing holder (red arrows) but this will have to do for now:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All told, these three bearings and a lubricant change allowed me to shorten the weight by 1.375 inches for a 1.75 pound reduction.

    Before the ball bearings, I tested Valvoline Moly grease instead of oil. This was VERY promising on itís own. But after about 6 weeks, there was a sudden reduction. It was then, as I was searching for a reason, that I found out that Molybdenum isnít recommended for lubricating brass because it attacks it.

    Oh well, it was great while it lasted.

    I will probably try ball bearings on the great wheel arbor fairly soon, but am running a test w/Nano oil at the moment. W/Nano it is showing a similar power increase to the grease so I finally made a different weight shell for testing purposes. It is open on top so I can easily change the amount of lead shot and calculate the actual percentage of improvement.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  13. #28

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    You know, I may be mistaken about those bearings being stainless steel. I'll have to check with Mark on that. Will try to let everyone know on Monday or so...........................doc
    Exodus 31:6 "...and I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you."

  14. #29

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: doc_fields)

    Hi Everyone,

    Last month when I brought this thread back from the dead, I mentioned the article I had started. There is one more point I want to mention so I can clear my old notes from my desk (at least I still hope there's a desk under all this junk).

    The only technical clock book I had when I started was Donald de Carle's, "Practical Clock Repairing". I focused on the chapters dealing with gearing, the pendulum & a few pages where he mentions the regulator and it's movement. I read these pages over and over dreaming about my own clock. This where I first encountered the mention of engaging & disengaging friction. He also diagrams why the 120 tooth wheels & 12 tooth pinions is the smallest combination to reduce or eliminate engaging friction.

    So, the wheels in my prototype are all 120 teeth. Two of the pinions are 15 teeth and the pinion on the escape arbor is 16 teeth.

    When discussing the regulator, de Carle mentions that they generally had 25 - 30 pound pendulums and driving weights of 2 - 4 pounds on a double line. This is why my pendulum weighs 30 pounds.

    I was disappointed at first that it took 10 pounds to get my movement running and I attributed that to my gearing not being good enough.

    Oh well, I thought, maybe it will still be good enough for a lot of the tests/ideas I wanted to play with anyhow. So once I was able to monitor the WWV time signals, I was thrilled that my clock was as accurate as it was.

    What I feel I learned here was that even though my gearing wasn't up to the lowest possible friction standards, it was uniform enough that with enough driving weight the clock will keep very good time.

    What I had read up to this point talked about low friction at the same time it talked about precision timekeeping. But what I found seemed to show that these two things don't necessarily go hand in hand.

    When I started to design my next movement (pictured at the end of my first post) I purchased' "Gears for Small Mechanisms" by W.O. Davis, M.B. E. which is a pretty exhaustive study of gearing. I was pleased to find this statement:

    "The longer term variations, arising from the teeth of the primary gears will produce detectable cyclic errors in timing. It is a good plan for this reason to ensure a smooth output at the first stage, by using a driven pinion having more teeth than one employs on the later stages. If any of the gears in the train run eccentrically there will be a further worsening of the output curve."

    Although he is specifically talking about the value of a large pinion meshed with the great wheel, he is emphasizing the importance of a smooth transition of force from the great wheel to the train. By my mounting the great wheel as I have it ensures concentricity at this critical stage and perhaps has helped with the results I have found with my clock's rate.

    Through the years I have come across some fine regulators that have some pretty large weights and have learned that I don't have anything to be ashamed of for what I have done with my first effort.

    I wanted to go into all this detail to show how I didn't think I got the results I was shooting for, but instead picked up valuable lessons anyway. By offering as much background as I can it will be easier to show why I incorporated the changes I have in my next attempt at clock building.
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  15. #30

    Default Re: Owner built precision regulator - the beat goes on - pun intended! (By: jhe.1973)

    The bearings I've mentioned are not stainless, but very good quality steel.....................doc
    Exodus 31:6 "...and I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you."

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