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Ansonia Crystal Regulator 5 1/4 back plate pinion failure assistance needed

THTanner

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Jul 3, 2016
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This Ansonia crystal regulator came in with the complaint that it would quit every 3 or 4 days, the hour hand seemed to do whatever it wanted, and the strike count made no sense at all.

When they set the clock down a little pinion was laying on the floor inside the case.

In the photos you can see where the pinion is supposed to go and it appears that it is simply staked onto the arbor and controls the snail and the hour hand.

It is pretty beat up so I am assuming this is not the first time it has come loose and worked its way off the arbor. Staking it back on is not a problem, but what else might I do to keep this from happening again? Is this a common issue with these particular Ansonia movements? The arbor is round and smooth and looks like polished steel. The pinion staking has made one side of the hole almost square. It also has done quite a bit of damage to the back plate where I assume there was insufficient end shake, or perhaps just a lot of rotations in contact with the plate.

thanks
tom

IMG_5449.JPG IMG_5474.jpg IMG_5476.jpg IMG_5477.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hi TH,

I wonder if the pivot has been damaged or shortened.

The Pinion should have clearance of the plate. Because of the position, it's hard to get a good clear photo of the pinon. it's either obscured by the Snail or the Suspension Rod but here's one from one of our "Prisms". If the Pivot is short, you'll need to restore it before you can get the pinon to stay put. You might even place a pivot with sufficient length and a slightly larger diameter to compensate for the damage done to the pinion.

Just a suggestion to consider. Good luck with it. Bruce

Prism_Movement.jpg
 
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THTanner

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Thanks Bruce - that is pretty much what I had concluded, but was wondering about other options. The pivot is at least 1/64th short of clearing the surface and that is when it is right up against the plate which is not a good thing.

This same arbor has a wheel and a pinion staked on the other end as well so it is a bit tricky to stake both ends with the plate in place. And with the pivot below the surface of this pinion it is really not possible to do a good staking job.
 

kinsler33

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Aug 17, 2014
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Hi TH,

I wonder if the pivot has been damaged or shortened.

The Pinion should have clearance of the plate. Because of the position, it's hard to get a good clear photo of the pinon. it's either obscured by the Snail or the Suspension Rod but here's one from one of our "Prisms". If the Pivot is short, you'll need to restore it before you can get the pinon to stay put. You might even place a pivot with sufficient length and a slightly larger diameter to compensate for the damage done to the pinion.

Just a suggestion to consider. Good luck with it. Bruce

View attachment 634139
"Prisms?" Is that a camera lens of some sort? Sounds rather handy.

Mark Kinsler
 

shutterbug

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It looks like the pinion has an enlarged hole. You might be able to close it a bit with a round punch or ball bearing. A better option would be to put a bushing in it and open the bushing to the proper sized hole to replace it on the arbor away from the plate.
 

THTanner

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It looks like the pinion has an enlarged hole. You might be able to close it a bit with a round punch or ball bearing. A better option would be to put a bushing in it and open the bushing to the proper sized hole to replace it on the arbor away from the plate.
Good suggestions - but the main issue is that the pivot is too short and does not get close enough to the surface to stake it properly. The pinion seems to have been dealt with more than once and is in pretty bad shape including damaged teeth. This arbor has a wheel and pinion staked in place at the other end. So the process would seem to be to stake the wheel and the other pinion then the drive pinion would be staked once the plates are back together. But with the pivot recessed in the pinion, staking the surface does not really put much pressure on the pivot.

I was considering a bushing that was a bit too tight then heating the pinion and putting it on for a heat seating with no staking required. But I think the proper step is a new pivot - perhaps a bit too large as suggested by Bruce.
 

Bruce Alexander

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"Prisms?" Is that a camera lens of some sort? Sounds rather handy.

Mark Kinsler
:chuckling:
Hi Mark,

The "Prism" a basic model of Crystal Regulator produced by Ansonia. circa 1914 (according to Tran Duy Ly). Some sources have them as early as the 1890s. (See: Antique Ansonia Clocks)

Judging from design, I think that it may have formed the "core" of many more elaborate models. In terms of style if not parts.

Here's a photo of one that we used to own.

I think that they are nicely designed, relatively inexpensive, and popular models with Ansonia Collectors.

Someone just looking for a nice example of a Crystal Regulator from an American Manufacturer might be interested in the model also. Ansonia really excelled in their line of Crystal Regulators.

FrontRight.jpg

Regards,

Bruce
 
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Carl Bergquist

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A couple of years ago I had to have this little gear made by a fellow out of New York. As it turned out he sent me two of the little buggers. I think that once he did all the work to set up his machinery he just made two. If you decide you would like to try the spare he sent me I would send it to you. I know it isn't your exact problem but the odds on me needing it are very slim and I would be happy for it to help another clock.
 
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