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#5 Regulator progress

John MacArthur

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Next jewel installment: The Levin compound has a receiver for several attachments. The hole grinding and polishing jig I made myself, the little grinding head came from somewhere, and I adapted it to the receiver.
48.6 hole apparatus.jpg

You will notice that the jewel is already polished flat on top and round on the sides; it is the same process as the rough grinding in the last post but using 1200 paste on different lap. First I bring the hole out to nearly the pivot diameter, checking with gauge pins. This goes pretty quickly, and I have changed to 1200 paste in the second photo. It will still increase the hole size as it smooths out the inner surface. I clean and check the hole, and add paste many, many times in this process. The polishing head is swung around so that the acting surface of the tapered lap is parallel with the hole. The working surface should rotate against the direction that the inside of the hole is turning. The small laps are made from copper wire, and are threaded into the end of the shaft. I have assorted sizes, ranging from #8 copper ground wire through #14 copper house wire. These are used for polishing lots of things.
48.6 hole grinding.jpg 48.7 hole polishing.jpg

Next I grind the oil sink and smooth it with 325 paste on one of the larger copper laps. Later I'll polish it with a shaped piece of pegwood charged with 1200 and then 14000
48.9 grinding oil  sink.jpg 49 smoothing oil sink.jpg

After the process of smoothing the sides and face, I'll chamfer the end I'm working on. This actually occurred prior to hole grinding and polishing, just after the second polishing of the sides and face of the jewel (not documented), and while the polishing head was still in the compound.
49.5 chamfering.jpg

At this point I'm ready to make jewel chucks for holding the jewel to polish the other end, and to final size and polish the hole.
That will come next.
Johnny
 
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John MacArthur

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This concludes the jewel-making process. I have to polish the other face of the jewels, as well as the other ends of the holes. Each chuck is made to fit both a 5C and a WW collet, for purposes of sawing the slots, and the final polishes on the jewel. Two of them are within a couple of thou of being the same diameter, allowing me to use one chuck for both, which is why there are only three.
49.4 jewel chuck.jpg

48.8 jewel chuck.jpg 49.2 Jewel chucks.jpg 49.3 polishing in jewel chuck.jpg

Making these and these and the pallets is a huge job. If anyone would think this is an arcane and insane endeavor, they would be right. When all is done, they are pretty satisfying, though. Next I'll make the bezels and mount them in the plates.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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It's been a while. Too much skiing, traveling, and recently whitewater rafting. I finished the bezels some time ago, however. The bodies are fit to each jewel, which is set into place, and the lip of the tiny flange is burnished into place. The large O.D. is made to fit the #80 collet, and the small O.D. is made to fit #65, for convenience in shaping and burnishing. The bores are made in the plates, and the tiny tap holes are drilled. I don't have pics of the countersink process, but they are made with a small screw-head countersink burr with a pilot, before tapping #0-80

50.1 jewel in bezel.jpg 50.0 burnishing bezel.jpg 50.2 jewel in bezel.jpg 50.3 jewels.jpg 50.4 boring bezel hole.jpg After making a bunch more tiny screws, and several larger ones, the bezels are mounted, and the plates begin to look ready for motion work on the front, and the movement and pendulum support brackets, along with a back plate.

More soon,
Johnny
50.4 mounted in back cock.jpg 50.5 screws and bezels done.jpg
 

John MacArthur

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Now the motion work. This little train is 15t-45t, and 12t-48t, for a reduction of 1-12. The 15t cannon pinion is turned, drilled, and then the teeth cut. The cock is roughed out, the wheels cut, and the pinion repurposed from some old mistake. Crossing out and polishing is as before. This completes a huge part of the work; it runs quite well on the maintaining power. I'll leave final polishing of everything until I get brackets, mount plate, and pendulum made.
Johnny
51.0 cannon pinion.jpg 51.1 rough m.w..jpg 51.2 motion work.jpg 51.3 front.jpg
 

Phil Burman

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Coming along really nicely and looking like a great piece of work. I'm curious as to what friction arrangement you have used to allow for hand setting.

Phil
 

John MacArthur

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Thank you Phil. The cannon pinion will have a small "canoe" spring under it, pressing on the outer shoulder of the pivot. This will be held in compression by the hand collet and pin. A more robust arrangement is for this spring to be mounted on a square at the outer edge of the pivot, but I don't have the room for one as the pivot and shaft are fairly small, and will make do with seating it on the edge of the pivot.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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Phil - after considering your question, I measured the length of my center wheel front pivot, and realize that I may have enough length and diameter difference (between pivot and minute shaft) to form a partial square on the end of the pivot. In my previous clocks I think I had made the pivot too short, but in this one it's long enough. If I can make it fit, it's a much better arrangement. Thank you for reminding me of that.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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I'm getting to the nitty-gritty of mounting the frame brackets and pendulum suspension block to a back-plate. This relationship is pretty important, as the pallet arbor axis must be as near as possible co-axial with the a"center of rotation" of the suspension spring. We all know that this changes somewhat with the arc (contributing to more or less circular error), and changes the timekeeping. What I can't find anywhere is a reasonable approximation of the distance below the suspension spring clamp for the center of the pallet arbor. Frodsham, Goodrich, and Rawlings all say something like "Make it the distance that works best for you". I have always used something on the order of .050" below the clamp for a fairly heavy pendulum (say ~12 lbs) with a .006 x 1/2" spring about 3/4" long. Has anyone ever seen a good source of information about this?

More pics coming soon
Johnny
 

Kilgore Pike

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I'm getting to the nitty-gritty of mounting the frame brackets and pendulum suspension block to a back-plate. This relationship is pretty important, as the pallet arbor axis must be as near as possible co-axial with the a"center of rotation" of the suspension spring. We all know that this changes somewhat with the arc (contributing to more or less circular error), and changes the timekeeping. What I can't find anywhere is a reasonable approximation of the distance below the suspension spring clamp for the center of the pallet arbor. Frodsham, Goodrich, and Rawlings all say something like "Make it the distance that works best for you". I have always used something on the order of .050" below the clamp for a fairly heavy pendulum (say ~12 lbs) with a .006 x 1/2" spring about 3/4" long. Has anyone ever seen a good source of information about this?

More pics coming soon
Johnny
I think you'd be able to measure it empirically with a bit of math. Get a point at the end of the pendulum, measure distance from the ground, pull the pendulum off to the side, then measure the lateral distance and how much it pulled away from the ground. I'm not sure you can do so in one measurement, but taking two different distances should be able to get a radius of swing out of the two angles given.

I'm trying to figure out a way to do so in one measurement, but I think it requires being able to pull the pendulum out at a specific angle, not just the distance.
 

John MacArthur

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Kilgore - This would work IF the pendulum suspended on a spring swung in a circular arc. However, as the pendulum arc increases, the "virtual point of suspension" changes. As the spring deflects more, the curvature at the top end increases, and the thus lowers the point of "virtual suspension", and decreases the radius of arc. This much is just due to the increasing resistance of the spring to deflection. Additionally, centrifugal force on the mass of the pendulum bob tends toward sideways as the arc increases. This is what causes tall cases to sway and absorb energy. This force effectively increases the weight pulling on the spring, and gives it a sideways vector near the ends of the arc, confusing the visualization of all this. Others have spent time and words on the problem, but I don't know of any definitive analysis. This effect has also at times been seen as an incidental correction for circular error of the pendulum.

Any of our resident engineers are welcome to chime in.

I have used a distance from the point of the spring clamp of .040" as my best guess. This is for a fairly small pendulum arc, and may be off somewhat.

Thank for your thoughts,
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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It occurs to me that the "sideways" force on the pendulum suspension near the ends of the arc may be more the effect of that component of the gravitational return force on the pendulum as it nears the end of its swing. Maybe I'm crazy, thinking about this.
Johnny
 
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John MacArthur

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Some progress in spite of summer stuff: Backplate and movement brackets, to mount it all in a case.
52.1.jpg 52.3.jpg
The plate notches and bracket stops to keep the movement exactly in the same place after removal. The brackets are dowel-pinned to the plate, so that they can't ever be moved.
52.2.jpg

The pendulum hanging block, also dowel-pinned to the plate. In my other clocks there has been some adjustment for the pendulum height and location of the movement, which could eventually lead to running problems. This was why the head-scratching about the location of the pendulum center of rotation.
52.4.jpg 52.5.jpg
The pendulum is in process, and I will have pics soon.
Johnny
 
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Hessel Oosten

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John,

Showing your beautiful work so often to us, is VERY educational !
It's stimulates, to make your own small buildings, also to a higher level.

Thank you so much !!!

Hessel
 

John MacArthur

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More minor progress: drilling and slitting for the suspension spring in the rod end of the suspension assembly. This gets mashed down a tiny bit to tightly fit the suspension spring.
52.6.jpg 52.7.jpg 53.2.jpg

The steel components of the pendulum stirrup, with a dummy rod (no adjustment threads) in it.
52.8.jpg

The new rod end and threads, being milled to fit into the stirrup top.
53.1.jpg
 

Phil Burman

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Kilgore - This would work IF the pendulum suspended on a spring swung in a circular arc. However, as the pendulum arc increases, the "virtual point of suspension" changes. As the spring deflects more, the curvature at the top end increases, and the thus lowers the point of "virtual suspension", and decreases the radius of arc. This much is just due to the increasing resistance of the spring to deflection. Additionally, centrifugal force on the mass of the pendulum bob tends toward sideways as the arc increases. This is what causes tall cases to sway and absorb energy. This force effectively increases the weight pulling on the spring, and gives it a sideways vector near the ends of the arc, confusing the visualization of all this. Others have spent time and words on the problem, but I don't know of any definitive analysis. This effect has also at times been seen as an incidental correction for circular error of the pendulum.

Johnny
Philip Woodward discusses the issues related to suspension springs at some length in "Woodward on Time - Group 5 Pendulums and their suspensions - sections 2 and 5"

Phil
 

Phil Burman

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With regard to positioning the movement relative to the pendulum I found it difficult to achieve all the necessary tolerances in order to accurately position the pallet arbor in relation to the suspension spring. I ended up including slots in the support bracket movement clamping holes, for left/right adjustment and also added 4 vertical adjusting grub screws in the support brackets for up/down adjustment of the movement. I put a steel rod with pointed end through the pallet bushings in order to visualise the arbor position relative to the suspension spring. It all worked out very well.

Phil
 

John MacArthur

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Thank you for the reference Phil. That book is currently unavailable, but I'll keep an eye out for it. In my other clocks I also used slotted adjustments for the positioning. I decided in this one to make it correct and fixed, so that down the decades and centuries it couldn't be changed for the worse. The pointed rod seems like a good technique. I looked through the front jewel bezel opening with a binocular microscope to align the rear jewel pivot hole with the bottom of the top spring chop, and then lowered the movement about .040", as that seem "about right".
Johnny
 

tok-tokkie

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I got a copy directly from The British Horological Institute in 2011. It is a fully bound hardcover book but it was laser printed on demand. When I now go to the site https://bhi.co.uk & do a search it brings up no results. Possible contact them & ask. Expensive but fabulous book
 

John MacArthur

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A bit more progress:
53.4.jpg 53.5.jpg 53.7.jpg 53.8.jpg

These are things that are not trivial, taking a bit of fiddling around to get right toward the end, but have to be completed. The clock is actually now running, though without dial, hands, or the mercury jar. I just have a slug of metal in the pendulum stirrup for test purposes. I'll get some pics up of it soon, but am concentrating on the dial at this point.
Johnny
 
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Paul Madden

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A bit more progress:
View attachment 551079 View attachment 551080 View attachment 551081 View attachment 551082

These are things that are not trivial, taking a bit of fiddling around to get right toward the end, but have to be completed. The clock is actually now running, though without dial, hands, or the mercury jar. I just have a slug of metal in the pendulum stirrup for test purposes. I'll get some pics up of it soon, but am concentrating on the dial at this point.
Johnny
Looking great John. I love the photos. As always, thanks for sharing.
Keep up the great work and keep posting!

Paul
 

MartinM

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What method do you use for bluing your screws. They're very consistent.
 

John MacArthur

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They are heat blued in various trays filled with brass filings which conduct the heat evenly. That's a traditional method used for hands, as well. Another part of the trick is getting a high polish and making sure the surfaces to be blued are scrupulously clean. The rest is long practice including do-overs.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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Some recent work: Indexing the rating nut. With 36 TPI (#8-36, in this case) and 30 index marks, each mark will change the rate by close to one sec. per day.
54.1.jpg

Dial work on the little Dyna mill. This is where it really shines. Others do this by photo-etching or somehow else, but this is really clean. The programming is not trivial, and being limited to 10k rpm, I have to move pretty slowly with the .020" end mill. This took 7 hours, and had to be done in 8 segments, due to the limited size. However, it's done, and a heck of a lot more easily than the several I've done on rotary tables. I'm working up a mount for an air spindle (50k to 80k rpm), for future engraving and such. Cutting the disc out of the octagon was done on the rotary table on the big mill.

54.2.jpg 54.3.jpg 54.4.jpg

Hands, bezel, silvering, and finishing details next.
Johnny
 

Paul Madden

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Some recent work: Indexing the rating nut. With 36 TPI (#8-36, in this case) and 30 index marks, each mark will change the rate by close to one sec. per day.
View attachment 554270

Dial work on the little Dyna mill. This is where it really shines. Others do this by photo-etching or somehow else, but this is really clean. The programming is not trivial, and being limited to 10k rpm, I have to move pretty slowly with the .020" end mill. This took 7 hours, and had to be done in 8 segments, due to the limited size. However, it's done, and a heck of a lot more easily than the several I've done on rotary tables. I'm working up a mount for an air spindle (50k to 80k rpm), for future engraving and such. Cutting the disc out of the octagon was done on the rotary table on the big mill.

View attachment 554271 View attachment 554272 View attachment 554273

Hands, bezel, silvering, and finishing details next.
Johnny
Hi John,
That method you used produced a really great result. Extremely crisp engraving!
I can't wait to see how the dial looks when its finished.

Paul
 

John MacArthur

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Thank you Paul - I have to engrave a "Name and Number" on the dial with a pantograph, and then wax and silver it. I'm kind of anxious to be done with this one. We have a cabinetmaker making a case right now, so it shouldn't be long.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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The bezel starts out as rough work:
54.6.jpg 54.7.jpg
After silver soldering it, I mount it on a piece of MDF on the rotary table, and proceed to mill the inside true, and form the outer and inner flanges.

54.8.jpg 54.9.jpg
Finally I drill and tap the holes that will both hold it on the lathe faceplate and mount the dial.

55.0.jpg

More to come, I'm getting close.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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After the bezel is screwed to a hub on a board on the faceplate, I turn the outside and front face true. Then, with the top slide turned around to about 70 degrees, I make the inner bevel, moving the carriage .005" at a time, using the adjustable carriage stop. The dial is now engraved with name and number, and the hands are ready to mount on their hubs and blue.
Johnny

55.1.jpg 55.2.jpg 55.3.jpg 55.4.jpg 54.5.jpg
 
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Allan Wolff

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Johnny,
You make it look so easy!!!
Is that 1/2" wide brass stock? Must have been a good workout bending it into a circle!
Beautiful work as usual.
Allan
 

John MacArthur

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Thank you Allan - that's 1/2" x 3/4", bent the "hard" way. The Hosfeld style bender actually makes it not *too* difficult. I call it my Bendito..... The setup on the rotary table was the time-consuming one - I had to "hopscotch" the clamps around the table so that the piece never actually came loose, and made quite a few passes.
Johnny
 

John MacArthur

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At last: No. 5 is in its permanent home. It has been running on a test stand for roughly three months; the cabinetmaker was busy. However, here it is.

56.1.jpg 56.2.jpg

A point of interest from a number of posts back: Regarding the point of flexure of a pendulum suspension spring - I got my hands on the Mathys book Accurate Clock Pendulums, and in it he has shown the results of quite a bit of experimentation on this subject, including a tricky way of measuring it. The upshot is that for pendulums in the normal weight range and springs of normal thickness the point of flexure doesn't vary a whole lot from .020" -.022" down from the top chops. My pallet arbor center is a tad low of that, but the clock had been running for a couple of months by the time I got this info, and I chose to leave well enough alone.

WHEW!
Johnny
 

Allan Wolff

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That is a beautiful clock John! What kind of wood did you use on the cabinet? It has some awesome grain patterns.
You should be proud and I am impressed!
 

jhe.1973

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At last: No. 5 is in its permanent home. It has been running on a test stand for roughly three months; the cabinetmaker was busy. However, here it is.
............................................................
WHEW!
Johnny
Hi Johnny,

I am reminded of something someone once said to me, "Great art is deceiving in its simplicity"

Your workmanship all the way through is a terrific example of the term 'World Class'.

Sharing your steps is most generous and appreciated.

I understand the well deserved - WHEW.

Congratulations!
 

John MacArthur

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Thank you very much Jim - The new owner really likes it and it is in a place of prominence in his hew house. He also has a fleet of hot-rods, and I'm having a great time helping him "play" with them. I'll be starting another clock soon, probably another wall hanging one. I've noticed you over on Home Shop Machinist in the motorcycle thread. No surprise there. If I get over that way, I'll give you a shout and see what you're up to.
Johnny
 

sharukh

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That is a spectacular piece of work Johnny.

Like Jim, I am floored by the seeming simplicity of the whole piece, more so because you have very generously taken us along for the journey of the whole build.

Please don't wait too long getting to work on the next one.

Sharukh.