Brillie A Brillie barely hanging on ...

Thurmond

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Dec 14, 2021
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Over the years, I've picked up various electro-mechanical 'junkers' for not much money. I pulled out a Brillie from the collection to see what ails it.

To start, it was one the most tarnished and gummed up clocks I've come across. The brass was completely black and the gear train did not want to move. I wonder how this clock had been stored. Many years in a humid basement?

After cleaning, it went back together without too much trouble except for an extremely worn ratchet tooth (see below). The lower right corner of the tooth is almost completely worn away yet its still engaging the gear. It runs but I don't see how its going to last very long before the rest of the tooth is worn away.

Has anybody fabricated a new tooth, and would like to share some knowledge?

For starters, what type of material is the tooth made of? Apparently is softer than brass because it seems to be losing the friction war.

Thanks for any info,

Thurmond

PS. Any suggestions of a good chemical concoction to clean blackened brass? I tried a combo of vinegar/salt which worked somewhat. But heavy 'polishing' with 0000 steel wool did most of the work but left lots of micro scratches.


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Thurmond

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Dec 14, 2021
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Does this thread help? It's a different movement but looks similar. Silver would make sense for the material.

Brillie Contact Concern | NAWCC Forums
Hi EscapeWheel,

The link you provided discusses the electrical contacts (circled and pointed to in blue below). And they are an important part of the electrical portion of the clock.

The part (tooth) I'm interested in is purely mechanical in nature. This tooth rides over the ratchet gear. As it rises, it pushes the contacts together to close the circuit. And in its rest position, as shown below, the contacts are open. I've added some yellow dots to indicate where the original edge of the tooth was and you can see how much of the tooth has been worn away by being dragged over the teeth of the ratchet gear.

Thanks for the interest,

Thurmond



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Jmeechie

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Dec 8, 2010
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Hi,
That part of the switch is flat and I don’t see any appreciable wear on the point you are referring to? It serves 2 purposes, 1. To lock the advance gear from being drawn backwards as well as maintaining position and 2. Provides a smooth surface for the tooth to ride across as the tooth lifts and closes the contacts.
The area you are indicating never existed. These clocks operate on a very light advancing action from the swing of the pendulum and any great resistance or binding/drag will cause the clock to stop! Also, the contacts only have to touch and not be forced closed to make the circuit. I currently have 4 of these all running and your piece on question is absolutely correct.
I hope this helps.
Cheers,
James
 
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