Adjusting verge depth

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by RJSoftware, Jul 12, 2005.

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  1. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hello all;

    I have been trying to figure out how to set a verge depth.

    I have a german clock that has an arm that adjust one side of the verge armature to set the depth of the verge next to the escape wheel.

    I have been tinkering with this and is difficult to get it right.

    So I did a "find" search on this site for verge depth and got some post.

    This one by Labounty looks promissing but I am not exactly sure what he means.

    How am I suppose to bend the verge? Can anybody tell me the steps to take.

    Here is copy of Labounty post.

    Any comments apreciated.

    >>Hi Greg-

    There are two sets of drops you have to adjust and by adjusting the "verge depth to the escape wheel" you are only adjusting the exit drop. The entrance drop should be adjusted first and is done by bending the anchor to open or close the distance between the entrance and exit pallets. Once you have the entrance drop where you want it, you can sucessfully adjust the exit drop by varying the distance between the anchor and the escape wheel. The two drops should be equal.
     
  2. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hello all;

    I have been trying to figure out how to set a verge depth.

    I have a german clock that has an arm that adjust one side of the verge armature to set the depth of the verge next to the escape wheel.

    I have been tinkering with this and is difficult to get it right.

    So I did a "find" search on this site for verge depth and got some post.

    This one by Labounty looks promissing but I am not exactly sure what he means.

    How am I suppose to bend the verge? Can anybody tell me the steps to take.

    Here is copy of Labounty post.

    Any comments apreciated.

    >>Hi Greg-

    There are two sets of drops you have to adjust and by adjusting the "verge depth to the escape wheel" you are only adjusting the exit drop. The entrance drop should be adjusted first and is done by bending the anchor to open or close the distance between the entrance and exit pallets. Once you have the entrance drop where you want it, you can sucessfully adjust the exit drop by varying the distance between the anchor and the escape wheel. The two drops should be equal.
     
  3. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Labonty has given you the correct procedure to properly adjust the dead-beat escapement so that the "drops are equal and safe" both entry and exit.

    Reforming the verge is a trial-fit process that requires some luck and aquired skill. You can easliy "squeeze" the verge in the jaws of a vice to close the span but only if the arch area of the verge is soft. Nick with a file to test for hardness; gently heat to soften if required but don't let the heat affect the temper of the palets. Note that the adjustment range is often less than 0.001" so work slowly.

    Opening the span is equally delicate. Straddle the verge across a brass or aluminum block selected to be slightly narrower than the span between the palets, then tap the apex of the verge to spread the span.

    It's usually simplest to have the movement stripped with only a couple of wheels plus the 'scape wheel and the verge. Use a little finger pressure on the center wheel to work the escapement during the trial and error process.

    Adjust, adjust and try, try again and again!
     
  4. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Eckmill;

    Thanks for quick reply.

    Is the distance between the edges of the verge suppose to equal a distance between two gear tips.

    (However many gear tips required to equal aprox same distance is unknown, but within range of natural verge shape.)

    Or should it be hitting 1 tip on one edge and between 2 on the other edge?

    Trying to visualize this.

    RJ
     
  5. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hi RJ-

    I see Les has beaten me to the punch again :).

    Since not everyone is familiar with all of the terms I used, I'm including a drawing of a deadbeat escapement with the parts labeled. Even though this graphic is a deadbeat rather than a recoil, you should be able to determine what I mean when I say "entrance drop", for example, if you have a recoil.

    42.gif

    So, to adjust the entrance drop you need to adjust the distance between the pallets. To adjust the exit drop, the distance between the EW and pallet pivot point must be adjusted. These adjustments are easier on some clocks than others. For example, on an American clock with strap pallets, the pallets can be easily bent at the middle to adjust the entrance drop. But on an English longcase with a solid anchor, the pallets may have to be slippered (add material to the lock face) in order to adjust the entrance drop.

    Adjusting the exit drop can be equally easy or difficult depending on the design of the movement. American clocks often times have the anchor mounted on a pin which is fixed to an adjustable cock. This can be easily moved either up or down to adjust the exit drop. English longcase movements, on the other hand, may require you to drift the anchor arbor pivot holes and install a bushing. French clocks have a slotted plug which can be turned (with difficulty) to adjust the exit drop.

    Just to reiterate on my previous post to Greg, the entrance drop adjustment is done first and then the exit drop adjustment. The two drops should be equal and there should be sufficient drop that the pallets can't catch on a tooth. The drops are a safety margin to account for inaccuracies in the escape wheel. If you have them too close, your safety margin may not be enough and a pallet may scrape or catch on a tooth and stop the clock. You want the drops as small as possible since excessive drop is wasted energy.

    Hope that helps!
     
  6. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Is there anything specific (besides clock working) that would tell me if my verge is shaped correctly and at the right distance?

    I can for example put slight pressure on one of the gears and get the pendulum to swing correctly.

    Come to think of it, maybe this is not the problem but I have power problem somewhere allong the train.

    Thanks for insight.
    RJ
     
  7. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hey RJ-

    The term "verge" has gotten ambiguous over the years and doesn't really tell us what type of escapement you have. Recoil pallets are very forgiving regarding shape but deadbeat pallets need to be exact. There are many different methods and tools to help shape either type but it is certainly something that comes easier with experience.

    As for the right distance...Move the crutch foot back and forth with your hand and look at the drops with a loupe. Watch closely where the EW tooth hits the pallets and how far the EW moves when let off.

    If you can tell us what type of escapement you have it would be easier to go into specifics. There are too many different things to look for between a deadbeat and recoil to list here.

    And yes, you will need to solve all of your power problems before trying to adjust the escapement :).
     
  8. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    David;

    I will have to post to you tommorrow. I will post pic. Gotta crash early tonight, getting tooth pulled tommorrow. :frown:

    RJ
     
  9. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Just a slightly different take.
    I will refer to pallets (UK) not verge (USA) as this always makes me think of a verge escapement.

    Both types
    All drop is wasted power - escape wheel is moving but not impulsing pallets.
    Moving pallet pivot will alter drops.

    Recoil

    Pallets set as close as possible without tripping on any teeth.
    Pallets bent if one pallet trips and the other one does not.

    Dead beat

    Pallets set by moving inserts if you can so the tooth drops just above the impulse face of the pallet (more for 400 day clocks)
    Drop is correct if wheel moves the same amount with pallets on either side.

    Does this make any sense?
     
  10. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Here is drawing of verge shape.
    So which one is it?

    http://www.picpuppy.com/verge.bmp

    RJ
     
  11. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hi RJ-

    Your escapement is a recoil with the entrance pallet on the left and the exit pallet on the right as you have it pictured.

    I call those "strap pallets".

    You had questions about the proper shape and I'll post more on that a bit later. I just got back from catching 17 Red Salmon on the Kenai River and I want to wash off the stink before I transfer it to the computer (or others) :).
     
  12. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Wondered why my SLAPTOP smelled kinda funny - ginnin' ta have a romance . . . Naw, Lab - did you mean "STRAP"? I call 'em "STRIP" pallets. Guess that's why I'm Da Duffer.
     
  13. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    :) Hey Scottie-

    Smell's gone, at least for now...

    Yup, I meant "strap"...but now I'll have to find out where that comes from just to make sure I haven't had it wrong all these years. Thanks for keeping me honest!

    And RJ, I was praying for your tooth extraction and trust it went well!
     
  14. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Ok Scottie...it's "strip" not "strap". I found three references for "strip pallets" and none for "strap pallets". I'm feeling so wrong!

    And RJ,

    Below is a diagram of recoil strip pallets. The exit pallet is at a right angle and the entrance at the angle shown. The angles aren't critical in a recoil escapement and I wouldn't suggest changing factory unless you are sure they are wrong.

    43.gif

    If you are having a problem keeping your clock running, I'd start by trying to find a power loss up the train and then look at the drops. Before you make any adjustments though, I'd recommend re-reading Les's expert advice on technique in his post above.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  15. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    17 fish hey, now I am jealous. Run into any bears?

    Didnt get my tooth pulled yet. Went to college dentist to get it cheaper. They put me on a lottery. Only 17 people per the day get lucky enough to get tooth pulled cheap.

    (funny that number shows up again, maybe I should buy lotto ticket)

    They started as a dental lottery cause people where actually fighting to get in line first. Finally police had to be assigned there to oversee waiting crowd.

    When you think about it makes sense though, lots of angry hurting people with miserable tooth aches fighting to get in line.

    One guy cut in line in front of me and I gave him a piece of my mind. Stupid jerk, lottery or not you just dont cut in line in front of somebody. That's just plain rude.

    My tooth doesnt hurt now, but you know how it is sometimes ok, other times sweating bullets.

    Back to clocks:

    Ok, so for this type of verge most likely is not need of bend (probably).

    Well, I took the verge out of the way and the escape wheel seems to spin ok. Got lots of oil on the works.

    When I watch the works pushing the pendulum, sometimes the pendulum jerks then eventually stops. Sometimes the pendulum will actually stop and hang at an angle.

    I figure the verge pallet is hanging on escape wheel tooth. So I try to mark the gear tooth to spot where hangs.

    Forget marking with sharp felt pen. The teeth on this German escape wheel are much finer than the American Gilberts I am use to.

    Pondering:
    You know it's funny when you see the detailed work of a German movement as compared to American movement. It makes me wonder how come they did not win the war. I think the movements of would be a clear indication of technological superiority. (Where they not the first to create the jet (buzz bombs))?

    But in another ironicle sense, it is the sloppyness of the American movements that seems to rely on certain degree of slack and has proven itself to be more reliable maybe? Maybe this is just my own experience.

    But we did win the war by acquiring nuclear technology from thier scientist. (Oppenhiemer etc..) and we slopped together "little boy". I say slopped but I really mean rushed with respect.

    Just trying to point out an irony. Someting overworked may not work reliable and something casually strung together works reliable.

    end ponder:

    I try to scrape the side of the gear with sharp edge of small screw driver but even that is poor. Need a better way to mark the escape gear while still in assembled movement to help identify possible bent escape gear tip.

    Truthfully, I hate to take apart this movment. It's more complex than the Gilberts and I have tough time with them.

    Also I made the mistake of pumping lots of oil in the spring barrel cases in little holes.

    Now I get oil run when movements in case. Put a big napkin in bottom :)

    I also dont have sonic cleaner. So what I did was to take some karosene (coleman lantern fluid) and fill a half cut gallon milk jug with it. Let the movement assembled, soak in the karosene, to remove old dirt.

    It dried kinda funny, like a mildew film on the brass, but oil removed that.

    Anyway, was hoping to clean out the spring barrels incase the windings where clinging by dirt to each other.

    After that I let dry in the sun and re-oiled spring casing with a little less oil this time. Also oiled all of the pivots.

    Still stops as now I figure escape wheel teeth are possible bent.

    Any advice on how to detect if an escape wheel gear tips are bent when they are as small as the one I am dealing with?

    Imagine it's hard to detect.

    RJ
     
  16. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hey RJ-

    Checking for bent EW teeth is a good idea but correcting the problem may require disassembling the movement. Once in a while you can straighten a tooth in place but there is often more than one bent. Seeing a bend in very fine teeth can be tough with the naked eye so I use a 3X loupe to examine them.

    Click Here for information on restoring a damaged EW.

    Something else you want to look for is rutting in the pallets. Wear on the pallets can kill the pendulum action and cause other problems.

    And good luck with that lottery!
     
  17. Robert M.

    Robert M. Registered User

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    Hey Dave,enough with the verges.Post some pictures of those fish.I too am an avid fisherman.I've never fished Alaska but I've bounced up and down the east coast fishing for Largemouth Bass in the south and Stripers in the northeast.Maybe you can incorporate a clock in your Salmon pictures.This would fall under the catagory of what clock repair people do when they're not working on clocks.I'm sure a lot of folks have often pondered that question. :p
    Respectfully,Bob Fullerton
     
  18. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hey Bob-

    I was actually too busy fishing to take any pictures! I'd be happy to tell my "fish story" to anyone interested but I'd have to stretch quite a bit to get a clock topic out of it :). I don't want to put Phil in the position of having to lock this thread so, Bob and RJ, I'll send an e-mail or private message to you and others interested.

    And RJ...I was thinking about the different types of German strip pallets I've seen and a few of the smaller ones don't fit the above geometry. The exit pallet is flared open and the pallets span fewer teeth. Trying to get the pallets to conform to a normal American configuration would be the wrong thing to do.

    Anyway, good luck with it!
     
  19. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Remember to clean it after!
    Right!
    No - we invented the jet engine - Frank Whittle.
    You cannot service a clock without doing!

    Aaaarrrggghhhh!! :frown: Now you will really have to clean it properly :frown:

    Mark suspect teeth, and remove wheel. Use brass pliers to straighten teeth.
    HTH
     
  20. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hey Mike;

    What are the brass pliers like?

    Are they like rubber tip or something? Maybe like brass needle nose?

    Is the point, brass on brass to avoid more damage?

    RJ
     
  21. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    #21 Mike Phelan, Jul 14, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017
    Hi RJ
    I made mine - cheap pliers with about 8mm x 3mm square jaws, then filed off a few mm, soldered brass sheet and cleaned up.

    44.gif
    I use them for nearly everything to do with clocks!
    Yes!
     
  22. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Well got it working.

    Turns out all I had to do was smooth the burs of of the escape wheel gear tips.

    It seems the leading edge of the escape wheel gear tips would occasionally not slide past the verge pallets. They would stick.

    So I took one of my jewler files and gave each leading edge 4 -1/4 inch strokes not applying much pressure. Just enough to give each blade a shine.

    Then I took a stone (actually I broke a clay flower pot to make smoothing stone) and water and commet scrubbing detergent and smoothed the surfaces of each leading gear tip edge (especially concentrated on tips).

    I also took the stone to the verge. The verge has a small indication of a rutt where tips met. So I smoothed that area over too with the stone water and commet.

    Now I also notice that I could set the verge lower without stoppage.

    Setting the verge lower/closer to escape wheel gave more power to push the pendulum.

    Before I was trying to lightly dance the verge on the tops of the gear tips. Doing that gave me little power. Or just enough power to last a moment only.

    So I conclude that even though I could not really see well the micro burs on the escape wheel, I know that they where there because now the verge pallets slide by the escape wheel's gear tips.

    I had an ideal they where there, but only faintly. Like imagined. This is such small work even with magnification.

    Have any of you done simular thing to get your clock working?

    RJ
     
  23. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    86277680_02d5371915_z.jpg
     
  24. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    25849725_288d1662fa.jpg
     
  25. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Thanks for the update, David.
     
  26. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    :D
    Tinker Dwight
     
  27. MikeBY

    MikeBY Registered User

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    Thanks for the drawings Dave. Great reference.
    This thread is such a good reminder to people new to clock repair that the by far the vast majority of clock run problems are caused by dirt, old lubricants and worn pivots.
    So, before even considering mechanically adjusting a pallet, Inspect, Disassemble, CLEAN, and address common wear issues!
     
  28. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Glad to do it! I'm not sure why the original photo links became broken.
     
  29. gocush

    gocush Registered User

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    Hi David,
    In searching for info on verge depth adjustment I found this thread and others. I have a ST (stamped 89) which has what looks to me like a combination of the two drawings you provided: deaddrop and recoil. The EW teeth slant and rotation as well as the shape and angle of the pallets appear like the deaddrop. But the shape of the anchor is in line with the strip verge. Assuming that the critical function comes from the point of contact between the pallets and the EW teeth, is this type of verge really a deaddrop?

    See video. Sorry the focus keeps changing as I move around to get different angles of view.

    Next, I think I read a comment in another thread that the tip of the EW teeth are suppose to "land" on the entrance and exit lock faces of the pallets, then slide of the LIFT FACE. From the video it can be seen that my pallets are landing on the lift faces. My assumption is that the adjusting cocks need to be turned slightly to bring the verge closer to the EW. Can you verify this? Thanks.
    [video=youtube;P4C4BsJusOo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4C4BsJusOo&feature=youtu.be[/video]
     
  30. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Yes, the pallets need to be moved closer by a couple thousandths. Do not
    adjust with the clock under power. A little slip will make a mess of the
    escapement wheel.
    It is a strip deadbeat.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  31. gocush

    gocush Registered User

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    Thanks Tinker, My guess is that a couple 1000 adjustment closer to the EW will cause the tip of the teeth to land on the locking face of the pallets as called for by David elsewhere. I'll give it a go.
    BTW in other threads on this topic, making that adjustment will likely cause the pendulum to swing a little wider and improve reliability.
     
  32. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I've heard other recommend advancing it until it fails to escape
    and then back it off a little.
    This method works well on a recoil but does not optimize the
    swing of a recoil. Excess lock reduces the swing. Hitting the lock
    right at the edge of the knee between the lock surface and the
    impulse face is the optimum. Still both pallets MUST lock.
    Because of slight errors in making the pallets, one may need to
    set one lock more than optimum to get the other pallet to also
    lock.
    The pallet I see in the picture is just missing lock. Make sure the
    bushing for the anchor and escapement wheel have minimum
    play. Deadbeats don't like any loosened in the bushings. Even
    less then you'd consider as usable elsewhere in the power train.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  33. gocush

    gocush Registered User

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    Thanks Tinker. Without seeing this comment, that's just what I did.
    For others who are trying to learn, I will illustrate this.

    After capturing the power on both sides I backed off the two upper stud nuts just enough to allow me to remove the verge anchor as well as the EW to prevent any possible slipping of my pliers causing damage to these parts. I wasn't sure if the cocks were "stuck" and would require much force and perhaps cause my pliers to lose a grip and slip off.

    Second, I used and xacto knife to mark the front and back plates at the edge of the current location of the 2 adjusting cocks.
    Followed by rotating the cocks slightly with flat pliers, checking the xacto guide marks. When I felt pretty sure I had gone enough I re-installed the EW and verge.

    Without putting things back under power, I applied gentle rotational pressure to the 3rd time wheel with a finger while manually swinging the verge crutch. I had adjusted a tiny to far, preventing the EW teeth from escaping.

    Now that I knew I could rotate the cocks without much effort, I slightly backed off the cocks without removing the EW and verge. I checked both the entrance and exit pallets to see that the teeth were landing on the locking faces but not preventing escape of the teeth. One try and it worked. :chuckling:

    Here's a pic showing a tooth landing on the locking face "just before slipping over the knee."

    And BTW the pendulum swing is much more robust now. I'm happy with this.
    Thanks guys.
    309607.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  34. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    It has enough room to reduce the lock a little more.
    Still, it sounds like you have it running well. It will
    run slower now but the rate will be much more consistent.
    It isn't clear to me how the depth is set on this movement
    but you got it done.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  35. gocush

    gocush Registered User

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    #35 gocush, Jul 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
    Again, to help others understand the process, let me clarify a term I used to make the adjustment: COCK (in horology) is a moveable appendage attached to the main body at one end ( let's stick to horology, now :argument:). In the attached photo it can be seen that the cock (red arrow) is attached to the main plate with a rivet at the lower end. Rotating the upper end, which holds the verge arbor pivot, in a counterclockwise direction results in moving the verge closer to the EW. There are two cocks, one on each end of the verge arbor, which need to be equally adjusted to maintain parallelism.

    Also note under the red arrow you can faintly see the scratch mark I made to indicate my starting position prior to adjustment.
    HTH
    309683.jpg
     

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  36. LaBounty

    LaBounty Registered User
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    Hi Gocush-

    You ask if this type of escapement is a deadbeat and it isn't quite. There is some slight recoil on these and they are generally referred to as a half-deadbeat escapement. However, as Tinker says, they can be adjusted as if they are a deadbeat.

    Glad you got it working!
     
  37. mscomms

    mscomms New Member

    May 12, 2017
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    FYI (Sir) Frank Whittle was English.
     
  38. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,040
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    utah
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    This thread illustrates why you should never use external storage sites for pics. Site goes bad, the thread loses the pic. Always upload pics to the MB.
    Please.

    bangster
    moderator
     

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