Ansonia Open Escapement Reassembly Question

clarke

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Oct 25, 2009
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I’m an amateur. I’ve put together a number of Ansonia movements.

But I’m faced with my first Open Escapement movement where the pillar posts emanate from the front plate, not the more familiar back plate (even the German ones I’ve put together all come up from the back plate.)

So when it comes to reassembling on the bench, everything is upside down and backwards!!

I’m having a hard time seeing, and moving pivots now, and syncing the strike train wheels and levers positioning is tough.

Are there any hints and/or processes that help deal with this? Or is this a another case of plodding along untll finally figuring it out?

Thanks for any advice.
c.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Feb 22, 2010
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Hello Clarke,

In his book "How to Repair 20 American Clocks", Steven Conover discusses an Ansonia Open Escapement movement cased in one of their Royal Bonn Porcelain Clocks, the La Normandie. He suggests starting the reassembly in the back plate (without the posts) and carefully lowering the front plate on to it. The advantage is that you're able to set up the potentially very tricky strike activation lever (see this link: Clocks hate me) and gear trains as you normally would, The big disadvantage is that you have to cope with getting the loop ends of the mainsprings over the posts without major disruptions to your gear trains....plus you have the Escape Wheel to insert into the gear train (with the center of the porcelain dial in) that you'll need to install next.

That's one way. You can assemble into the Front Plate and lower the Back Plate on top of your assembled gear trains. That has the advantage of allowing you to set up the Escape Wheel at the same time you're assembling the rest of the Time Train, plus, getting the Mainspring Loop Ends set up on their posts, but you'll need to get the Strike Levers set up as you lower the back plate.

Either way it's different and can be challenging, but it's not too difficult.

Good luck with it.

Bruce
 
Last edited:

John P

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Sep 17, 2010
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Here is another way , leave out the stop wheel and fly until you get the plates together and maintenance cam and wire lever is correct.
Then spread the plates slightly to install the stop wheel in the right position and then the fly.

my 2 cents
 

shutterbug

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I typically like to assemble with the front side down. However there are some movements that are easier with the back side down. Either way, the wheels go in largest to smallest most of the time. There are times though, like when you don't know for sure which is top and bottom, when it's easier to start with the fly or EW and work down. You will run into all kinds of situations when assembling movements and just have to learn to be flexible in your approach ;)
 

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