Dugena Balance wheel adjustment

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Rockin Ronnie, Nov 24, 2013.

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  1. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I have a Dugena clock with, what I believe to be a Hermle movement, with a balance wheel escarpment. I think I have adjusted the balance wheel all the way to the negative stop but the clock is still running fast. First question, have I gone far enough? Second question if I have gone to the full negative stop what else can I do to slow down the clock? I have turned off the strike since that seems to be a little screwed up (i.e strikes incessantly, it seems). I need to take it apart and have a further look but can I slow this clock down using any other adjustments?

    Ron Dugena clock_2.jpg
     
  2. Tony10Clocks

    Tony10Clocks Registered User

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    To slow it down more, you need to add some more weight. But it might be good to give it a clean first and see how it goes from there
     
  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    One important question. How much amplitude do you have to the balance? Make a sharpie pen mark at the balance's rim, in line with the rollers double pins (underneath) that drive the balance wheel.

    If this amplitude is less than about 360 degrees (stop to stop) then you have a power problem. This is usually caused by wear, but the good thing you have going is that your clock was made before the plated pivot era and is fully serviceable. Be extra careful in your actions though, as replacement parts are long gone. The balance will actually go well over 360 degrees when all is well, sometimes as much as a turn and a half/

    Willie X
     
  4. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Thanks, I'll try that.

    Ron
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Yes - the timing problem is caused by a weak train. You need to disassemble and clean the movement. Then the problem will correct itself.
     
  6. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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  7. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    A lot of what you want to know is covered in This Thread.
     
  8. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    This thread looks encouraging and provides much more detail. Do all these types have weights on the balance wheel?

    Ron
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    #9 bangster, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
    No. All Hermle or Hermle-style floating balances have the little weights. Yours is a Smith floating balance, and I believe they do not have them. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of info about the Smiths. :(

    (Later)

    Googling, I ran across this picture, apparently from the original clock manual. I've never seen a Smith's balance live, and this is one of the most informative pictures I've seen.
    smith's fb.jpg Looks like the rate adjustment is basically the same as Hermle: turning the pointer moves two weights toward and away from the center. But in this picture, we can clearly see the holes around the perimeter of the wheel. Hermle has similar holes which take tiny fine-adjustment weights in diametrically opposite pairs.

    If you like, you might try making some weights from bits of solder. Put in a pair of them in holes diametrically opposite, and see if it slows down the speed of the clock. If it doesn't, you can take the weights back out and no harm done. If it does, you might do it some more until you get the rate where you want it. The weights have to be opposite each other to keep the wheel in balance.
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    But unless it's been fiddled with, it should keep good time without adding or subtracting weight. The problem is usually elsewhere.
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    That's true. But if it were me, I'd try the little weights first, and leave the tear-down and search for power loss until later. It's nice to see results.
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Can't disagree, but a bandaid will only work short term. Might as well git 'er done right.
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    "All good things in the fullness of time."
     
  14. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Seems to me the only thing Ronnie should do to this balance is clean it (a couple of minute soaking in naptha gas (camping fuel) with a swish) and then test it by giving it a push and see how long it will oscillate. If it keeps swinging for a minute or so, there is nothing wrong with it. Adding or removing weights is more likely to screw it up permanently. The floating balance is seldom the reason a clock will gain time. And, whatever you do, don't oil the balance.
     
  15. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    If the problem is in the train, adding weights will not make the clock keep time. It will have a very erratic rate.

    Did the OP ever answer the question about the balance amplitude?

    Willie X
     
  16. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I agree with Willie and others. Adding weights doesn't
    correct the original problem.
    It worked once but the physics hasn't changed.
    It has poor swing and isn't locking right causing it
    to run fast.
    As Harold says, if the balance wheel is the problem,
    it may have been oiled and just needs to be cleaned.
    Otherwise, the problem is most likely something else
    in the power train.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  17. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    With the clock all the way to the negative stop I am still gaining about 10-15 minutes per day. I like your idea because it is likely that I won't do any real harm unless I fail to lubricate it after the"wash". Does that make sense?

    Ron
     
  18. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Not really. Oiling it will just gum it up. Let it run dry.
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    T'ain't nohow permanent. Weights can always come back out. I'm not saying to solder them in; just stick bits in holes. Bits in, bits out.

    But Tink is probly right; if low power is the problem, weights won't help.

    What you said: DON'T OIL THE BALANCE!!
     
  20. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Bits-O-What??
     
  21. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Okay Ronnie, here's where we're at: Something earlier in the gear train is probably robbing power to the escape wheel. If cleaning the floating balance (as described) doesn't help your problem, the only thing left to do is take care of the train robber. A stop-gap (I emphasize that it's not permanent or long-term) would be to take the movement out of the case and put a toothpick-drop of light oil on each of the pivots in the time train, front and back. For this purpose, doesn't have to be clock oil; 3-in-1 or sewing machine will do for now. Then run it for 15-20 minutes to let the oil work in and see if it makes any difference. If it does, the problem is crudded up pivots, and the clock needs to be disassembled and cleaned. If it doesn't, the problem is somewhere deeper (something worn, something bent), and besides disassembly and cleaning it's going to need some deeper diagnosis to discover what needs to be repaired.
     
  22. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I believe he is talking about staking small pieces of solder
    into the holes. The solder would be soft 60/40 and easily
    squeezed in to hold. Either with a flat end punch or even
    smooth jawed pliers.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  23. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    post #9. As Tink says.
     
  24. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Okay, I will try that first. Have resigned myself to take the movement out anyway to have a look.

    Any way that it can be tied to the strike? I have turned the strike off because it strikes incessantly, maybe upwards of 20 times each time it hits the hour.

    Ron
     
  25. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Okay, so I decide to take the movement out. I take photos of the screw placements in the inside of the clock and prepare for removing the movement. I start to take the hands off and it appears that a previous owner has glued the minute hand to the shaft. Is there a solvent that will loosen the glue?

    Ron
     
  26. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Sure. Check your local hardware. They should have stuff. You could also try Acetone. Heat works too, but caution is in order. Use a solder gun to limit negative effects on the dial and hand if you go that route.
     
  27. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    I think you are correct Bangster. I finally got the clock out of the case and yes the hands were glued (Acetone worked). I got it to run again and took a video which can be found here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVnAcuLTso4&feature=youtu.be

    I am hoping from the video that the viewer can see that the balance wheel does not seem to be getting enough power i.e. there is no full 360 spin. If you agree I can go about trying that temporary fix to see if it is the pivots. If I have to further disassemble the clock I am treading into unknown territory. I'm glad I paid only $30 for this clock.

    Ron
     
  28. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Yeah, that's very poor movement. The balance spring is un-naturally compressed, and I suspect that the wire going down through the balance is in pretty bad shape. They are not hard to replace using a guitar string. David LaBounty has a great video of how to do the repair.
     
  29. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Have you removed the balance, and cleaned it yet? This is the easiest thing you can do that might get you more swing.
     
  30. David S

    David S Registered User
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    SB I am working on my first floating balance movement and would be interested in David LaBounty's video. Is it a free download or a "buy it now" video. I couldn't find it on his website
     
  31. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Perhaps tonight. Though I would like to see that video that David S suggested.
     
  32. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    #32 bangster, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
    The balance spring looks normal to me, for a Smiths unit. They leave a lot of room between spring and wheel. Coils don't look too close together to me. I'm sticking with my suggestion. The problem is probably power loss somewhere in the train, rather than a balance issue. Cleaning the balance cain't hurt; but I suspect the problem lies elsewhere.
     
  33. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I was looking at how the spring hangs. It looks un-natural, like something is holding it from a relaxed hang. I can't see it working properly that way.
     

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