deadbeat verge... close? slipper?

bruce linde

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i have a 30-tooth standard time escape wheel with worn/shortened teeth. when testing by hand with the movement removed from the case, the escape wheel teeth (just) hits the entry lock face... under (synchron motor) power, though, 4 or 5 of the teeth just barely hit the impulse face... causing a bit of recoil and pendulum shudder. the exit locks and drops are just fine.

someone already put a slipper on the entry side, but i think it's not quite thick enough. i'm pretty sure there's room to put a thicker slipper that would insure the the EW teeth hit the entry lock face... and am willing to brave this procedure for the first time (and have feeler gauges and tix solder).

OTOH, i could also close the verge slightly.... another procedure i've have never tried before but am also willing to try.

if this requires video i can provide... just wondering if the symptoms clearly indicate one option over the other?
 

shutterbug

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I think I'd try a thicker slipper first. Unusual on a deadbeat though.
Dickstorer: a slipper is a piece of metal (usually a part of a spring or feeler gauge) that is used to restore an old anchor that has grooves worn into it. The grooves are filed out, and the slipper is used to bring the thickness back to where it was when new. It is usually soldered in place.
 
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wow

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Bruce, another thing to check is the condition of the pivot/bushings of the escape wheel arbor and the verge saddle. If there is slop in any of these, tightening the saddle holes and/or bushing the escape wheel arbor pivots may solve your problem.
 

bruce linde

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dick - here are some photos of the slipper on the entry pallet. someone obviously did a bunch of work on that side to compensate for escape wheel tooth wear. almost all of the teeth hit the left side of the slipper... i.e., just barely locking... but maybe 4 or 5 can't quite reach and are hitting the impulse face... whereas there's plenty of lock on the exit side.

the escape wheel teeth should be much longer, but this kind of wear on standard electric clock EWs is a known thing:

"Pre-1929 master movements had a 60-tooth winding wheel, so that loss of reserve power was cumulative. This became a problem when the introduction of the dry plate rectifier did away with the use of automatically charged storage batteries. Repeated brief AC power failures would eventually stop the clock. So the number of teeth in the winding wheel was reduced to 59! Many older clocks had 59-tooth winding wheels installed to replace the 60-tooth ones. The whole idea was to gradually bring the clock back to a fully wound condition after a power outage not long enough to stop the clock. But once fully wound, the clock would be continually trying to overwind, with the force of the winding operation being transmitted through the stop-pins and train directly to the escapement, causing the escape wheel tooth engaged with the verge at that instant to wear short after 20 or so years. This would also happen using the 60-tooth winding wheel if if the winding cycle did not occur within a certain "window", as would often be the case since movements were usually assembled randomly in this regard. CONSEQUENTLY, over 50% of the master clocks now extant have worn-out or replaced escape wheels!"

the original OD of the EW would have been 1.5625"... this one is at approx. 1.4380"... which means each tooth is roughly 1.5mm shorter than in its prime (!).

wow - verge and escape wheel bushings have been done... and everything looks aligned. the problem now is that the entry side of the verge has been mucked with to try and compensate for EW wear and is not quite there yet. btw... the entry faces look better straight on than in profile! :)

since i have feeler gauges purchased specifically for this purpose, tix solder on the way, think i'm ready to attempt doing this, and all i would be doing is removing an existing slipper and putting on a thicker one, why the heck not? (wish me luck...)

st_1.jpg st_2.jpg
 

wow

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I think I would remove the slipper that’s on there and shape up that pallet and then adjust the pallet closer and see what happens. If that won’t do it, then try the thicker slipper. Just a thought!
 

bruce linde

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i can't see how making the entry leg shorter would do anything but allow the escape wheel teeth to miss the thing entirely... i'm going to go with the slipper (but thx!)
 

bruce linde

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i saw david LaBounty refer to it like that in one of his videos... what have you heard it called?
 

wow

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i can't see how making the entry leg shorter would do anything but allow the escape wheel teeth to miss the thing entirely... i'm going to go with the slipper (but thx!)
I may be wrong but I think if you move the anchor closer with the slipper removed, it will work. What can it hurt since you have to remove it and clean it up anyway? Deadbeats sometimes give me trouble anyway. Come on man, try it for me.
 

bruce linde

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absolutely.
ok, so i tried for you... as you can tell from the photo i was correct... with no slipper the shortened-from-wear-over-the-years EW teeth are too short... and connect with the center of the impulse face.

no_slipper.jpg

on the other hand, much progress.... slipper added, and the clock is ticking:




the only issue at the moment is a cyclic temporary fading of power from the 4 RPH synchron motor where the ticking quiets to a whisper (or inaudible) and the EW just manages to keep going before the healthy ticking resumes ...

the motor has a 17 tooth pinion gear pushing against a 61-tooth-per-hour gear on what's left of the original movement. 4 x 17 means 68 teeth per hour, so maybe i just need more teeth on the pinion... will play around and circle back.
 
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bruce linde

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they look a little wonky in the photos but are straight enough for even ticking. :)

also... just put the hands on and tightened down the nut against the spring washer... ticking continues throughout... i might rebus the minute hand arbor to make it a little more snug, offering the motor more resistance... just thinking out loud....
 

wow

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Very nice work, Bruce. Thanks for trying the adjustment on the pallets for me. I have learned something on this one, as usual. The slippers look great. What a nice clock! Is the motor new? It is a little noisy which often means worn bushings, as you know. I have several motors in my bone pile. I may have one like yours you could try if you like.
 

bruce linde

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new motor... escape wheel and verge rebushed. it’s not a one-piece back... the top part that holds the suspension block and movement had a lot of play, allowing it to resonate... i forced a clear square bumper between it and the wall and the overall ticking volume cut in half. :)

it’s an amalgamation of a bunch of pieces i had lying around (including the case, purchased off ebay when i first got started), a bit of experience, and tips from the MB (the slipper concept, using a bit of feeler gauge as the slipper, straightening EW teeth, rebushing, widening a crutch slot, removing play from the suspension spring holder to eradicate pendulum wobble, etc)...

i didn’t grow up working on cars, but this seems like a classic ‘work on it in the garage every weekend for years’ project. :)
 

bruce linde

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here it is all put together... if anyone recognizes the case, i'm curious as to what it was originally.


 

Bruce Alexander

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Hi Bruce,

Nice looking resurrection. I'm curious though, if some of the E.W. Teeth are shorter or more worn than the rest, doesn't that create problems? Are the short teeth still landing on or just shy of the impulse face or has your work taken care of that?

If you're not happy with the current performance, maybe ask David LaBounty to take a look at it and make suggestions? I know that one of the maintenance procedures that David recommends for Escapement Wheels is to "tip" the teeth to make sure they are all the same length/height before trying to adjust the entry and exit pallets.

I'm currently looking at a deadbeat on a Seth Thomas No. 48 R which was allowed to run dirty for an extended period of time. The verge has pretty deep grooves and I'm trying to decide whether or not to resurface the pallets or see if there is room to move the escape wheel over since the grooves are near one edge of the verge. The opposite edge is sharp and original. I need to measure the unworn/unused surfaces to see if they are wide enough. I don't want to just kick the can down the road but if the movement is given reasonable maintenance, I can see no reason why this wouldn't be an acceptable course of action.

Good luck with your Escapement work Bruce. It looks like you have a very nice collection of wall clocks going there.

Regards,

Bruce A.
 

bruce linde

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the EW teeth have been topped... they are all the same height. like me, they are getting shorter as they get older.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Just so long as they can still get the job done...
 

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