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Deadbeat Escapement adjustment

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Hello,

I acquired an old school clock that was decommissioned in the 50’s when clocks were converted to electric.

The suspension spring was broken and the previous owner bent over the suspension rod and hung it on the verge rod. I straightened the suspension rod and replaced the spring with one as close to the original as I could find.

I can’t get the clock to run for more than a minute but being new to clocks I’m not surprised.The video shows how the verge rod is not in sync with the suspension rod. What should I be focused on? I don’t want to start tweaking things like the pallets if they are not the problem only to create bigger issues.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 
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bruce linde

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first off, re-do your video and make it five times longer are regular speed... it's impossible to tell what's going on with effects.

what is your level of experience? do you have tools? have you ever disassembled and cleaned a movement? this movement? most important: is it in beat?
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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I started playing around with clocks about two months ago. I have disassembled a few and put them back together. They have not been complete overhauls, just cleaned them, tried my hand at installing bushings and got them back together. By no means an expert and probably did not do everything correctl. I have enough tools to feel confident in doing most tasks.

I have taken this movement apart, cleaned it and put it back together. It has no chime mechanism so is easier to deal with.

 

Mike Phelan

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Crutch loop is loose, but that's not enough to stop the clock. How are the pivot holes and lantern pinions?
 
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shutterbug

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I can't tell for sure if the little wire that keeps the verge on is touching the verge or not, but it can't. It needs to rest on the pin only.
You have what is commonly known as a half dead beat escapement. It is not likely causing any issues unless it's badly grooved at the ends.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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The escapement looks to be close enough. The pallets are a little deep and could be lowered a bit.

Have you checked the movement closely for wear?

Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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The escapement looks to be close enough. The pallets are a little deep and could be lowered a bit.

Have you checked the movement closely for wear?

Willie X
thanks for the feedback. I have looked it over and though I don’t have a seasoned eye at what to look for, everything appears to be fine, no obvious signs of wear and the pivots are not loose in the holes.
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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I can't tell for sure if the little wire that keeps the verge on is touching the verge or not, but it can't. It needs to rest on the pin only.
You have what is commonly known as a half dead beat escapement. It is not likely causing any issues unless it's badly grooved at the ends.
Thanks, I looked and the wire is not touching. Dang I wish it were that easy!

E4A3AF0B-9890-4B04-B6A6-0B1B6E4ED00C.jpeg
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Crutch loop is loose, but that's not enough to stop the clock. How are the pivot holes and lantern pinions?
Hi Mike, I think what is causing the clock to stop is the crutch loop is out of sync with the pendulum. You can see in the video how the pendulum rod and crutch loop have a strange interaction and that is in effect slowing and eventually stopping the pendulum. I would expect the crutch loop to always be traveling in the same direction as the pendulum except at the extreme ends of the swings.

I have tried to put the clock into beat as best as I can but with the crutch banging against the pendulum rod it is difficult.
 

Willie X

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It can't be out of sync unless the crutch wire is loose in the verge, a distinct possiblity. Willie X
 

shutterbug

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Can we see a pic of the impulse faces of the verge? Especially the exit side.
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Can we see a pic of the impulse faces of the verge? Especially the exit side.
I’m afraid my photography skills aren’t the best. Not sure which is the exit side, but the pallet on the left is the one with the burr.

Two things have happened today. I played around with the verge (probably a bad idea) and I narrowed the crutch loop which improved the noise and I was able to get the clock into beat. It ran for over 7 hours before I stopped it to take the pictures. Went to start it up again and it was out of beat. 87B690AB-9F94-4531-B1CE-6F062C568BCC.jpeg 79FC3B2B-0409-4B76-9123-42A2B62903CA.jpeg 8A2C0ECD-1BFF-4FA0-9763-944987D1BE38.jpeg 736A0D7D-EA25-49C3-A542-4B091D36426B.jpeg 34CCBDDD-E510-4F1D-A07E-C0985F5E79F4.jpeg
 

Hudson

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The escapement is often referred to as "half deadbeat", and can be a bit tricky to fine tune. I followed Steven Conover's method to correct problems on my clock.
The escapement is covered in "Clock Repair Basics, by Steven Conover, pages 43-45" , and "Escapements, by Steven Conover, pages 59-63".
David LaBounty has also published very clear methods for setting up the half deadbeat.
If you search this forum for "half deadbeat" you will find some good information.

Additionally, it appears that the verge you have is more like a recall verge than a half deadbeat. Maybe replace it with a better formed verge?
 
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shutterbug

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The impulse faces both have to be 1.5°, and nicely defined. Yours appears to be more rounded. If you read the articles that Hudson mentioned, you should be able to fix the faces. That will make a dramatic improvement in your escapement action. Use emery paper in increasingly smaller grit size until you get a mirror-like shine.
 

Willie X

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Look up 'frog'. It's a simple tool to maintain the correct angle on those faces that Bugs just mentioned.

Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Excellent, thank you all for the advice. I’ll start reading up on it and working on the impulse faces.
 

Willie X

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Or, you can move the anchor (or escape wheel) over 1/16" and use an unaltered/unworn area of the pallet faces.

I always look into this option first.

Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Or, you can move the anchor (or escape wheel) over 1/16" and use an unaltered/unworn area of the pallet faces.

I always look into this option first.

Willie X
Thanks Willie, I’m not sure I understand, are you saying you are able to move the verge from front to back or vice versa so the escape wheel is touching the pallet faces in a different spot?

By the way your comment above about the crutch loose in the verge, well I put the verge in a vise and I could feel the crutch was loose. It was so slight that I did not notice it before. But now I’ve started down this rabbit hole so I’m going to see it through. I like the ‘frog’ and other ideas for reshaping the faces. The one thing I am struggling with is the angles, I don’t get the 1.5°, I will have to really sit down and draw it all out.

I picked up Conover’s book at the library today. What a great resource.
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Well this was my first go at adjusting angles and I think it turned out well. I am sure I will get better with practice. According to the circle with the plane trick, one of the angles was way off. It freaked me out a bit thinking the circle trick was not correct but I but the bullet and went for it. Adjusted the beat and the clock seems to be behaving but I’m going to give it a couple of days to see if it keeps running.
Also realized I need to find a better camera to take pictures. Closeups are hard. 3842455E-2638-4341-B1CC-DF41494DAAF2.jpeg 33C0F09E-A532-41EF-8B63-19C7081583C5.jpeg D1F6A530-C6B4-480B-A115-D3CACC61A180.jpeg
 

Willie X

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Looks pretty good.

When you reface the pallets the spacing becomes wider, so you may need further adjustments here.

The face angles will usually need to be tweeped a bit too.

Getting a dead beat pallet right, on the first try, would be very unusual.

Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Looks pretty good.

When you reface the pallets the spacing becomes wider, so you may need further adjustments here.

The face angles will usually need to be tweeped a bit too.

Getting a dead beat pallet right, on the first try, would be very unusual.

Willie X
I adjusted the pallet spacing before refacing them and realized what you said above so readjusted the spacing after. Then the angles changed…it felt like it was going to be a never ending cycle so I must admit the angles are not dead set at 1.5. I will give it a go as is.

One thing that is not made clear to me in what I’ve read in the book or in the forum is the distance from the impulse face to the center of the saddle. Is it supposed to be the same distance from either the entry or exit faces? This makes a difference when doing the calculations using the circle and plane method and mine are not the same distance.
 

shutterbug

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The distance from center is not too critical, because the circle method will account for it. Your angles look much more defined now, and it should make a big difference in performance. Let us know how it's going. How does the over swing look?
 

Willie X

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If you can do a slo-mo video (up close) that will tell the tale. No slo-mo ... just move the crutch back and forth slowly by hand. Willie X
 
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Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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If you can do a dlo-mo video (up close) that will tell the tale. No slo-mo ... just move the crutch back and forth slowly by hand. Willie X
Will this work? Don’t know if I can get closer because of auto focus on the phone.
 

Willie X

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Pallet needs to be deeper, moved up slightly and the entrance pallet's face needs to be a little steeper as Mike already mentioned in post #28.

Good video.

Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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The distance from center is not too critical, because the circle method will account for it. Your angles look much more defined now, and it should make a big difference in performance. Let us know how it's going. How does the over swing look?
Thanks. I figured I was just splitting hairs when looking at the distance. I just took the average. 18E5CF4F-C22F-4C55-9F46-A8009A4D4370.jpeg
 

Willie X

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Yes better but pallets need to be spaced slightly wider, maybe 3 thou (?). Willie X
 

GregS

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Your escape wheel pivot hole(s) are badly worn. In your last video you can actually see the pivot bounce with each tick, really noticeable around 19 seconds in. Also, I think your suspension spring is way too long. Good work on the pallets and crutch loop.
 

shutterbug

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At least you're getting lock on the exit now. Much better. How is it running? When determining the face angles, be sure to use the same side of the line. Tiny differences make big errors. It would probably be better to do each pallet separately, with a circle based on it's measurements, in your case. I may have mislead you above.
Greg makes a good point too. That loose wheel will rob power.
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Your escape wheel pivot hole(s) are badly worn. In your last video you can actually see the pivot bounce with each tick, really noticeable around 19 seconds in. Also, I think your suspension spring is way too long. Good work on the pallets and crutch loop.
I had noticed the pivot hole over the weekend and installed what I thought was the right bushing. The pivot was 1.27 in diameter so I used a L18 bushing. The video was made after it was done and it does look like it has some slop. I read through Conovers procedure after the work and he talks about using a broach to widen the hole if it’s too tight. Do you think I should have gone a size smaller and then manually widened the hole? I am going to double check the pivot to make sure it was not worn in the middle
As for the suspension spring, how do you determine what the appropriate length is? Is there something I should be looking at?
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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At least you're getting lock on the exit now. Much better. How is it running? When determining the face angles, be sure to use the same side of the line. Tiny differences make big errors. It would probably be better to do each pallet separately, with a circle based on it's measurements, in your case. I may have mislead you above.
Greg makes a good point too. That loose wheel will rob power.
It is running great as it is. Before, with the pendulum off, I could give the suspension rod a push and it would go back and forth a one or two times. Now the thing won’t stop moving on it’s own. I have to catch the rod and hold it still to add the pendulum.
I am going to work on the EW hole next.
 

Willie X

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Yes, most bushings need to be fitted to the pivot after installation and it's not necessarily a good thing when a dead-beat escapement runs on its own.
Willie X
 

Paddyt

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Jul 22, 2021
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Yes, most bushings need to be fitted to the pivot after installation and it's not necessarily a good thing when a dead-beat escapement runs on its own.
Willie X
Thanks for bursting my bubble, hahahahaha. It might not be a good indicator but I definitely do think it is running much better.
 

GregS

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I agree with Willie. Rarely do you get lucky enough that a standard bushing is 'perfect' for your pivot.
I mentioned the suspension spring because I noticed in one of your videos that the spring seemed to be whipping, which I think would detract from the impulse.
 

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