Anker clock question for repair

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by THTanner, Apr 28, 2017.

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  1. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I have been asked to service this "Anker" clock. It is in great shape, but the time click spring has become dislodged or has broken. The chime hammers are also not working perfectly, but I think that is a simple case of improper alignment.

    The only marks on the case are those shown on the inside of the door and a "31" stamped into the wood on the bottom board. In the lower right on the back plate it simple says Made in Germany.

    The owner is not familiar with the clock, having recently purchased it. From what I have read, it is from Germany and from the 1950s - 1960s - and the word "Anker" was used by many clock makers and has something to do with the clock having a platform escapement?

    My repair question has to do with the plastic covered platform escapement. What is the proper way to clean and lubricate these? The clock is quite dirty inside and has not run for at least two years according to the owner, but perhaps even longer. There is a lot of dust inside the platform and with the broken click I have not actually run the movement at all yet.

    Is there a source for new platforms if this one is damaged? I can get pictures of the front of the movement if they are necessary to positively id the maker.

    thanks
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    #2 Willie X, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    If the platform is still good, these clocks are good candidates for repair. If the platform is bad, replacements are not available, you may be able to get it repaired or find a new one that will work but this can be very expensive, especially when you consider that the movement will need work too.
    My advice would be to let the springs completly down and remove the platform (they are very delicate) and clean away any dirt in the time train pivots and gear teeth. Fix the click, oil the pivots and check that the time train will run well with about 1/4 turn on the spring. When power is completely down, carefully replace the platform. Check the mesh between the top movement wheel and the platform. This mesh is a very important and it's a good idea to mark the platform's position, or check for previous marks of the platform, before you remove it. You never know for sure if it was in the correct position to start with ... and even so it may be different now due to wear.
    Put a couple of turns on the mainspring and the platform should come to life.
    If not, your back to square one. You can experiment with slight changes in the platform's position. Always do this with the clock springs let down completely. You can apply a little finger pressure on the second wheel to power the escapement.
    Note, NEVER LOOSEN THE PLATFORM SCREWS WITH A WOUND UP SPRING.
    Good luck,
    Willie X
     
  3. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks Willie - I take it you do not try to open the platform to clean or lubricate it? The gap for the adjustment arm that comes out the bottom seems to be the likely source of the dirt and dust inside. Perhaps just a gentle hand air puffer and see how it runs?

     
  4. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I have moved this to the Clock Repair forum to see if additional responses might be forthcoming.
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Well, you could start working on the platform first but IME the platform is either good or it's broken. This platform will have a pinion and pivot suport that protrudes through the plate to engage the topmost wheel in the time train. This pinion and pivot will often be dirty but you have to be VERY careful pegging this tiny pinion. Check to see if the staff is broken. If the staff is not broken and the pinion is clean and free, don't do anything furthur to the platform. Also, ultrasonic cleaning is a BIG no no for your platform.
    Willie X
     
  6. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Okay - I knew ultrasonic was no no, and virtually no oil is allowed. A half turn of the key and the balance took right off so I think it is good to go. Given how delicate that platform setting is, would it seem reasonable to separate the plates carefully without removing the platform from the back plate? I do have to get the spring barrels out to clean and lube and especially to inspect the time barrel where the click let loose. It does not look bulged, thankfully, but I need to pull the spring and see what sort of damage might be lurking in the ends.

    Careful hand cleaning of the back plate with the platform still attached seems possible and I would just as soon not play the game of taking the platform off and hoping to get it back on exactly the same. There are no score marks that I can see on the plate that would indicate it has ever been removed, so I suspect it is still as assembled at the factory.


     
  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Nope, bad idea 😲, take the platform off and put it in a safe place as a first step. Put it back in place as the last step in assembly.
    Willie X
     
  8. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Okay - thanks - sounds like time to get to it.

     
  9. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    In my humble opinion , platform escapements should always be dis-assembled, cleaned, and cap jewels removed and oiled. Platform escapements are no different than a pocket watch and they are ALWAYS dis- assembled and cleaned and oiled. I usually clean the hairspring in "One Dip" although I have put them in the US with no ill effects. Just my opinion.
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I have done a few open balance wheel assemblies like that using One Dip and have never had any issues. My worry here is the stories I have read about these particular ones and the fact that they are no longer available. I guess I took the suggestion that if it works don't mess with it a little too far ;) This one was exceptionally dusty but blew out pretty well with the puffer. I do worry about residual dust in the pivots and caps, so I may get a bit bolder once I get the rest of the movement sorted out. I don't work on watches so I don't have much experience with them in that area and the platforms I have worked in the past on clocks were the kind you simply replace for a pretty penny.


     
  11. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    I used to do any watch that came to my shop but as I grew older the watches seemed to become smaller. Now, In my eighties I still will do pocket watches if they are of good quality, but mostly I just do clocks. Running a pocket watch, a clock or a car without good lubrication will ultimately lead to its early demise. Running a platform escapement without cleaning and oiling is not a real good idea. I guess that there are exceptions, one that comes to mind is the new platforms that use a plastic PF and A along with a plastic escape wheel, they are all one piece and not serviceable.
     
  12. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    On these platform escapement, do you put any oil at all on the pin pallets or the fork or the EW, or do you simply lubricate the pivots?

     
  13. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    THT, In addition to oiling the pivots, a tiny bit of oil on 3 or 4 of the escape wheel teeth is enough. The oil will spread. If you have cleaned the platform properly there will be no old oil anywhere. The escape wheel pivots and the pallet fork pivots can be oiled just like any pivot but the balance pivots are done a little differently because the usually have cap jewels on them. The balance bridge has to be removed so oil can be placed on the hole jewels, just a bit. I turn the bal bridge over and place a small weight on the bridge to hold it in place, then with some tweezers, gently lift the balance wheel up enough to gain access to the jewel and put a bit of oil on it, put it all back together and you have serviced the platform. A more complicated way is to remove the cap jewels, place a bit of oil on them and then put them back in place. I say complicated but it is not really. Cap jewels often have shock springs holding them in or if not shock springs they have very tiny screws and both are easily lost.
     
  14. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    #14 THTanner, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    Thanks - That is basically what I had planned. It is totally cleaned and ready for oiling. On this one there are two jewels. One has a single screw to remove it. The top one is a bit different. It appears that the jewel is held in place by a triangular shaped piece that you turn 60 degrees and the three legs align with slots to lift it out. It looks like there is no spring, but when you put it back in the amount you rotate it determines the depth and hence the end shake. Seems pretty tricky. There is just a very slight bit of play currently but I cannot figure any way to actually measure that play to reproduce it.



     
  15. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    Tanner, I think you may be just a little bit wrong. That three legged thing you are talking about is the shock spring. The amount that you turn it to replace has nothing to do with end shake. Just turn it enough to keep it from coming out by itself. If you do not have the special tool needed to remove it, do not remove it. It is spring loaded and it will fly away easily. Best oil it by removing the bridge and oil as per my last post.
     
  16. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Okay - thanks will do - I was wondering what sort of tool might do that job and I clearly do not have one. So the end shake is set by what the jewel rests against and cannot be adjusted?

     
  17. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    Correct about the end shake. A word of caution is needed at this place, when you turn the balance bridge over and you have the balance wheel on top, you place something (I use a small curved needle nosed pliers)to weight the bal bridge down. Here is the caution---be careful to not get any oil on the hairspring, just on the hole jewel. Oil on the hairspring will make it stick to its self and that makes it run to fast. What are you using to apply your oil? A small dip oiler works pretty good for oiling jewel holes. In a ideal world oiling the cap jewel works better than putting oil on the hole jewel but only if you can safely remove the cap. The end shake is governed by the space between the cap jewel and the hole jewel.
     
  18. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I use a pin oiler as well on small pivots and tight spots such as this. In this case I used one strand of multi strand copper twisted electrical wire. Not sure of the diameter - my micrometer is not accurate enough for this tiny wire. It is attached to a long piece of orange wood.

    I was on the process of making a tri tip out of an old tiny nut driver to pull that spring when your last post came through. Saved me a bunch of trouble I am sure.

    It is all cleaned and oiled and back together. A 1/4 turn sitting level gives just at one minute of oscillation till it stops. I have no idea if that is good, bad or ugly. Is there a test for these like there is for floating balance wheels?

     
  19. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    The best test is if the clock runs when you wind it. I used to put a miniscule dot on the rim of the balance wheel, just so I could see the amplitude, if all is well you should get 360 degrees. And as Willie says, depthing of the escape pinion is critical.

    Good that you did not remove the shock spring, without the right tool they almost always end up in a haystack with some needles.
     
  20. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Any idea what the beats per minute is supposed to be. This came in with a broken click spring on the time so I have not seen it run at all - I don't see any serious damage from that event - but these have a click spring that I do not stock and cannot find a direct replacement so I will be making one from a blank from Timesavers that I hope has the right spacing from the lock pin to the screw hole. But I cannot find any information on what the BPM should be.

     
  21. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    TAnner, BPM is 300.
     
  22. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Great - thanks - see how it does

     
  23. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I've never lost a shock spring removing them.
    When I did this, I use one of those pins with a
    wooden handle. I put it in the hole at the center.
    I use another pin to work the spokes to the release
    point.
    It pops up the pin with the wooden handle and
    doesn't get lost.
    Putting is back is similar. You can hook two spokes
    in, at a slight angle and work the remaining spoke in
    with another needle.
    I've not fiddled with these in a long time so have nothing
    to show.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  24. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    By making a tri tip out of a small old nut driver I had basically the same idea that it would stay inside the nut driver. But at the time I did not realize it would be that much of a spring action. This was my first time with anything like this since I do not work on watches and have never before dealt with a jeweled escapement other than the floating balance wheels.

    However, I took dickstorer's excellent advice and lifted the bridge instead.

    The clock is running right at 300 bpm this morning with just the time train powered. I will let it settle in for a day or so and see how steady it runs. I am getting right at 180 degrees each way which seems a pretty happy action and it is very consistent according to the timing ap I use.

    Thanks again everyone. Another fine lesson and success.



     
  25. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    Yeah Tanner, you have taken the fear out of servicing jeweled platforms.
     
  26. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    actually - you took the fear out of it - great teacher -

     
  27. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Curious situation. The escapement beats right at 300 bpm with the plastic cover off and has about 270 degrees rotation now that it has settled in for a day. If I put the plastic cover over the escapement it immediately loses rotation - dropping to about 100 degrees total. The beat drops from 300 to 299 and becomes a bit erratic.

    Looking closely at the plastic cover in place I can see that the balance wheel clears the plastic by something less than 1/10th mm. There is no sign that it actually touches the plastic since there is no marking on the plastic and it did not rub away a small ink mark I made where it would touch.

    I live in a desert and the relative humidity today was about 15% so static electricity is a problem with plastic in general here. So I am wondering, 1) is it possible that static electricity builds up in the plastic and that retards the balance wheel? 2) is that just too little clearance and the effect of air moving in that tiny gap creates eddies or venturi type air flow that slows the balance wheel? Or does anyone have any other ideas or experience with this?

    The plastic cover seems square and not warped and fits over the outside of the platform properly, but it is a very close fit to the balance wheel. I am thinking of shaving away some of the plastic on the inside of the cover to add a bit more space. I don't want to cut through and make a gap there, but I need to figure out a way to keep the plastic cover from affecting the rotation and BPM. Another idea is to cut out part of the side of the cover and then glue on a bowed cover to keep it closed up with more room.

    Any ideas would be welcome.
     
  28. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    I have never had this happen to me, but the first thing that comes to mind is that your whole platform may have a little residual magnetism that is enhanced when you put the cover on. Can you bring it to time after the cover is on?

    And for Tinker---Good trick about the way to remove and replace the shock spring, you should have told me many shock springs ago. What about the ones that do not have a hole?
     
  29. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Magnetism was my first thought as well. So I put the whole assembly on a watch demagnetizer and made sure it was clean. With the cover on the regulating lever makes almost no difference at all to regulate the time. It stays between 299.25 and 299.55 regardless of how you move the lever according to the AP I use. I am going to try to swell the sides of the cover out just a little this morning and see if that cures it.

     
  30. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    How about leaving the cover off?
     
  31. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    That is my last resort, but may be what it comes to. I took a dremel burr to the inside of the cover and took out about 1/32 of an inch on each side. It now stabilizes with about 170 degrees of rotation, not as good as with no cover, but getting there. I may have to cut a full slot out of each side to be able to keep the cover. I don't really want it totally unprotected.

     
  32. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I've luckily only done a few of these and never saw one without the hole.
    I suspect they are rare. The makers usually want you to see the jewel.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  33. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    If it is static electricity, you can make a dilute mixture
    of water and liquid dish soap. Wipe a thin layer on the plastic
    with a rag or paper towel. Let it dry.
    This will deal with the static.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  34. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    That works for awhile, but after a few months I suspect it would just build back up. I don't think it is static, just too much air resistance with that tiny clearance. The case does not look warped, but it is just a bit too tight. So I gouged it out.

    After gouging out the sides a bit the cover is back on and maintaining 300.01 which I suspect is as close as I will get with this one. I will put it back in the case and let it run for a couple weeks now on the shelf now and see how it does.

    thanks everyone

     
  35. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    You may be long past this issue, but you might want to take a look at this tutorial from David LaBounty's website.
     
  36. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks bangster - a great read and a good reference - filed for future :)


     
  37. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    We used to do this on high voltage power supplies when they were used
    as negative supplies. We used to go an service the systems for other
    things and the meters still worked fine for years.
    These were often 5 or 10KV DC supplies. Without it the needles would
    freeze up against the dials and give all kinds of funny readings. Not
    something you want on a high voltage supply. Especially on a supply
    that could put out an ampere of two at those voltages.
    Tinker Dwight
     
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