Carriage Clock Escapement Seems Broken?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by ChrisCam, Jan 29, 2018.

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  1. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Hi Guys,
    As RC has pointed out this type of clock repair is beyond a beginner and I understand that. It is not ticking and I am pretty sure the escapement is broken. I have no intention of further disassembly but would like your thoughts. Firstly the owner said it was OK till the cleaner moved it. I suspect more than just a move but hey I don't really know. Anyway the hairspring looks OK but the escapement wheel and anchor don't mesh. Surely I would expect to move the fork and see the escapement wheel rotate? If you get a clock like this and the escapement is broken are parts gettable or is this jewelled type of clock to be avoided if the fault is with as here the escapement.

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher

    WP_20180129_15_26_43_Pro.jpg Clock Top.jpg Escapement.jpg
     
  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I wonder if the balance staff is broken - very easy to do if the clock is dropped.

    Just about everything is repairable if you are willing to pay but finding someone to repair a balance staff is not easy and the cost may be more than the owner would want to pay.

    But broken balance staff is only a guess on my part - others may have different ideas.

    JTD
     
  3. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    The pallets don't move the escape wheel,the escape wheel moves the pallets when power is applied to the pinion. That appears to be a semi modern(20thC) french lever platform. A new Gorge swiss lever platform could be fitted and the clock will love you for it. They are measured by lenght and width and come with no mounting holes,you have to fit it to the movement. That platform may be repairable by someone with knowledge of watch escapements.
     
  4. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks JTD, No the balance wheel staff (pinions) are OK. And the fork will move the escapement I found out how. As the balance wheel appears OK I suspect the fork had dislodged from the balance wheel. There is a tiny pin that locates on the balance wheel staff. I am hoping this just got dislodge. Also I see you can buy used platform escapements but the main issue is screw hole alignment (among no doubt other things).

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  5. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Jay, yes I subsequently worked that out and think the fork pin that engages with the staff may just have come out when knocked (wishful thinking but possible?)

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  6. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    That "pin" is the roller pallet or roller and should be engaged in the fork with the balance wheel at rest. The roller,balance pivots and lever pivots should lie in a straight line with the BW at rest. This is the "in beat" situation.
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    I think there may be some confusion around which pin does what. There's a pin, (usually brass or steel), in the lever just at the base of the fork, whose function is to engage a crescent shaped cutout in the roller on the balance staff. It can only pass through this cutout when the fork is in the correct position to impulse the balance, and it's called the guard pin for that reason.

    The other pin is in the roller on the balance staff and it engages with the lever fork to give the balance a kick at just the right moment to keep it oscillating. This is the impulse pin and it's often a jewel.

    If the guard pin isn't there, the lever fork can get itself on the 'wrong' side of the roller. If the impulse pin isn't there, the lever can't give the balance any impulse, so in both cases nothing will run.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    If you can post a clear picture of the roller area of the balance staff it will be really helpful.

    DSCF2805.JPG

    This is from a lever watch, but yours should look very similar. The jewel impulse pin can be seen on the right hand side just next to the cut out, (called the passing crescent), in the roller.

    The lever should look like this, with the guard pin sticking up near the lever fork.

    DSCF3494 - Copy.JPG

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  10. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Graham,
    Will post as requested tomorrow with details as is late now. However from memory they are different.

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    I didn't quite tell the whole story with this; the movement will still run without the guard pin, and being in a clock the lever is less likely to be subject to a shock or jolt which could cause the fault described.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    #12 ChrisCam, Jan 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
    Hi Graham,
    What is the Guard Pin? Will try to find out.(Now have see diagram) I can only guess that part of the pin from the fork that mates with the hole in the balance has sheered leaving some but not enough. Without the balance platform the clock Time Train runs well. If all I have is a broken balance platform with nothing to compare it is difficult. I have reassembled carefully the balance platform trying to locate the pin (difficult even with magnification to be sure but had many attempts. The problem is in this area. Spring OK I am careful. Ok after thinking if the pin from the fork has sheered which it could do with a jolt it would explain a lot. I recognise still am learning so if you think otherwise I am grateful for ideas?

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher

    Clock Top.jpg fork.jpg Balance.jpg diagram balance wheel.jpg
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    The diagram you have shows a slightly different type of roller, but the functions of the parts are the same as yours, (it's a double roller, yours is a single one). The guard pin in normal action doesn't actually touch anything, it only comes into play if there's a jolt and it stops the fork and the roller getting 'out of sync' with each other. The guard pin is marked with a red arrow here:

    fork_edit.jpg

    The impulse pin in the roller does appear to be present in your picture of the balance, (green arrow):

    Balance_edit.jpg

    If you can confirm that this pin is really all there, (number 3A in your diagram), then you don't have any parts broken or missing.

    In that case, the reluctance to run could be due to the relative positions of the impulse pin and the lever fork when the balance is at rest, with no power on it. In this condition the impulse pin must be sitting in the lever fork and not out to one side of it, so when replacing the balance you must be sure that the pin is centred in the fork as you lower it into place. As you settle the balance cock down, give the platform a slight swing to keep the balance moving, and carry on doing this as you tighten the screw. if it stops suddenly, back out the screw or you may break a pivot because something isn't lined up properly. Lift the balance cock up and start again. Once the balance cock is fully installed the balance should still swing freely, and if you try gently turning the escape wheel pinion, (that's the long one projecting from the underside of the platform), the escapement should start to work. It should turn clockwise looked at from above.

    Let us know how this goes.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    #14 ChrisCam, Jan 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
    Many thanks Graham,
    I think we are getting somewhere. What i thought was the fork pallet locating pin is indeed the guard pin. I can not locate this in the hole in the bottom. of the balance shaft because it was never meant to. The solution thanks to your help is that the impulse pin is sheered off. Where your green arrow points to is a hole (slightly rectangular. Hence no tick tock. My estimation is on a clock worth £200 working its a tight call to repair as platform alone would be £130 ish.
    This has been an excellent learning experience and thank you Graham for your help.

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher


    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  15. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    Your calculations are reasonable, however this tale needn't end here; it doesn't require the whole platform to be replaced, just the impulse jewel, which would cost a lot less. Is there any sign of it inside the case? If you can't find it, or it's broken off, these jewels are available, and 'D' shaped in section, although other sections were used in earlier movements. A modern 'D' section pin will usually work even if the original one was a different shape, so long as the width fits properly in the lever fork. Sourcing the correct jewel requires careful measurement of the slot in the lever fork, and fitting it is a delicate job involving cleaning the roller thoroughly and setting the jewel in place with melted shellac.

    As Jay remarked in his post #3, this is really a watchmaking job, but as the clock isn't yours you must tread carefully.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  16. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Graham,
    Absolutely right the clock will go back to owner with my exploratory report. So to clarify the broken impulse pin is a jewel or has a jewel attached to it or can it be just metal?

    Kind Regards

    Christopher
     
  17. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    These are commonly just a jewel set directly in the roller table, as per the first picture in my post #9. They're a cylindrical lump of ruby or sapphire with one side ground off to make a 'D' cross-section and then highly polished. It's pretty unusual to find a metal one that was fitted originally, although later repairers sometimes resorted to steel pins. Ruby or sapphire, (both coloured forms of corundum, aka crystalised aluminium oxide), are very hard and take a high polish. Steel, even when fully hardened, is softer and will wear.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  18. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Graham
     
  19. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Hi Graham,
    Right I have done some poking around to learn about this. From a good blog on the web I found a watchmaker describing the process. He said from a large batch of tiny jewels you have to select with the aid of tweezers one that exactly fits. You position it and with the aid of a special jewelers lamp (amounts to wick / flame) fix it in place with shellac being careful not to heat the spring or it will destroy it.. He states it can take several attempts and take a couple of hours. From this there are 3 obvious questions (1) Surely there is a cold adhesive to use rather than shellac and (2) There are commercial implications for attempting a repair that takes 2 hours and may fail rather than replace the platform escapement albeit alignment holes will have to be drilled. (3) where does one purchase such jewels in a quantity to offer solution and are such really expensive?

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  20. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    The first step in this repair is to take the hairspring off the balance to avoid any chance of damaging it, after first carefully noting its position relative to the roller. Attempting to use a flame to melt the shellac directly, with the hairspring in place as your source appears to be suggesting, is foolish.

    Measuring the required jewel by trial and error is one way, but measuring the width of the acting part of the lever fork, and then sourcing a jewel pin of the appropriate size is, I suggest, a more sure method. Having taken the precaution of removing the hairspring so that it's out of harm's way, the procedure of fitting the new jewel is not risky and neither would it 'take 2 hours and may fail'. To be honest, I don't consider this person's comments to indicate any great level of knowledge or skill.

    Shellac is used for this purpose because it can be melted easily to reposition the jewel if it's found to be necessary, as many times as needed. Adhesives which set and can't easily be removed if needed are not suitable. Buying large assortments of jewels becomes unnecessary if the fork is accurately measured as I mentioned above.

    If you would like more detailed information around this subject, please PM me.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  21. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Graham, the guy was a watchmaker glad to hear job not so difficult as he implied. His blog is incase your interested: How to Replace a Roller Jewel – The Watch Doctor

    Will PM you

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     

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