Escape Wheel issues?

fredm2654

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Feb 29, 2020
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Background: Older Gilbert wall timepiece (no chimes) circa about 1922. Steel plates with brass bushings. Not a quality clock for sure but sure but owner has sentimental value in it.

The escape wheel had two damaged teeth (in alignment with both sides of the pallett) which I manually repaired and polished. All bushings and pinions seem to meet spec regarding wear and the whole train moved easily with no binding before final assembly. Once the pallett is installed and the clock beat set it only runs for a few revolutions before stopping on the same escape wheel tooth. Immediately prior, the tick(impulse) tock(lock) changes - the lock duration shortens and impulse gets longer. Coincidentally - that EW tooth is the one that was damaged (one of the two..). To the naked eye, I cant see, but suspect it is bent causing this issue.

Can anyone suggest how to better diagnose, and cure this? I dont have any sophisticated tooling, and dont want to start trial and error bending the EW tooth points as I know they are fragile.

Also, the pallet can easily be moved in or out - any suggestions to help compensate with the (suspected) bent tooth?

Capture.JPG
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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The marked tooth is leaning to the left. Same thing with the 4th tooth to the left of the marked tooth.

I would suggest you send/take the
e-wheel assembly to a pro. They can redo the wheel for not to much money. If they have to make a new wheel, that will be a little pricey but usually reasonable for any nice old clock.

When you get the e-wheel back in place, report back if there is still a problem.

This clock is normally a strong runner.

Good luck, Willie X
 

shutterbug

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It looks like your escape wheel has been topped. The points are squared off. However, you might be reaching a wrong conclusion about the wheel. The problem could just as easily be the pinion - especially if it's a lantern pinion. Check that too.
 

Hudson

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Can anyone suggest how to better diagnose, and cure this? I dont have any sophisticated tooling, and dont want to start trial and error bending the EW tooth points as I know they are fragile.

Also, the pallet can easily be moved in or out - any suggestions to help compensate with the (suspected) bent tooth?
Suggestion.
A process to evaluate the positions of the escape wheel teeth:

Obtain some Prussian Blue or similar ink.
Remove the escape wheel from the clock.
Take something like thick cardboard and make a hole in it large enough to accommodate either end of the arbor.
Smear a coat of the Prussian Blue on one side of the escape wheel. Don't let it dry yet.
Carefully place the wheel on the cardboard so that it will transfer the image of the wheel and teeth to the cardboard.
Let the bluing or ink dry on the cardboard .
Clean the bluing off the escape wheel.
Then place the escape wheel on the cardboard in different positions to see if the spacing / positions of the teeth are acceptable.
Maybe this will help identify what is or is not a problem.
 

fredm2654

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Thanks for all the great diagnostic suggestions and reference links. I've reviewed the articles - enlightening! I understand now some low-tech ways to check the EW tooth spacing.

PS: yes, I topped the EW to be sure high/low teeth were not an issue - and I also did eliminate the lantern pinion as a suspect early on.
 

shutterbug

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Could you post a video of it running for us? A closeup of the escape wheel and verge would be best. Post to Youtube and link here. Be sure you make it public.
 

fredm2654

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Could you post a video of it running for us? A closeup of the escape wheel and verge would be best. Post to Youtube and link here. Be sure you make it public.
Not right now. EW ripped out, I'm doing the clay impression tooth analysis. After I twerk, reassemble, I'll post results either way. If issue still persists, I'll post the video as you suggest.
 

fredm2654

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Not right now. EW ripped out, I'm doing the clay impression tooth analysis. After I twerk, reassemble, I'll post results either way. If issue still persists, I'll post the video as you suggest.
LOL twerk=tweek, I'm not shaking my butt...

Video here:

Using the clay impression I really didn't see the bad tooth, but I spent so much time staring at the EW I did see some teeth that were slightly bent, and some twisted when viewing from the point of the teeth.

I included a brief shot of the crutch, as I also wonder how much it should be opened when in contact with the pendulum rod.

Thanks all....
 

Willie X

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Not to bad.

You need to raise the pallet a bit and you could close that crutch eye slightly.

Willie X
 

shutterbug

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I agree. Moving the verge closer to the wheel will give you less drop (it's noisy) and better recoil too.
 

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