Escapement problems with Seth Thomas

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Jeff Salmon, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    654
    6
    18
    I am working on a Seth Thomas #10 calendar clock with the Lyre movement. It has not run for many years. The present owner has not seen the clock run for 25 years or so. The clock has previously been bushed, the pivots were fine, but I polished them, and the movement was cleaned etc. It appears that the escapement is a source of the problem. I suspect that the pallet strip and the pin have been changed and I can't get any type of adjustment will make the clock run for more than a minute or so. The movement has a 50 tooth escape wheel, 1.325" in diameter, and the span of 9 1/2 teeth is .655". The verge wire has obviously been changed as it is soldered on to the pallet strip. The distance between the pallet faces is also .655". Perhaps the little plate that the pin is on is also changed. The plate/pin assembly is fixed to the movement by a brass screw.
    Maybe this pallet strip was made, but incorrectly. The pin that the verge saddle fits on has been changed, or the whole piece is a replacement. One can see that the hole is enlarged and oval and this allows adjustment up and down as well as in an arc using the screw as a pivot point. This combination of adjustments makes it troublesome to find a proper position.

    When I find what seems to be a good position for the verge, with the drop and lock seeming to work properly, and the beat set, the clock suddenly stops within a few seconds. The illustration in Tranh's book are very grainy and it is difficult to magnify.

    If anyone has some suggestions, I would appreciate them.

    escapement 2.jpg escapement 1.jpg IMG_1840.jpg
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    5,655
    520
    113
    oakland, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    anyway you could upload a video of it running and then stopping?
     
  3. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    654
    6
    18
    I'll work on that this weekend.
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,009
    699
    113
    #4 Willie X, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    I see some misplaced bushings, which are to long, and some deformed teeth on the escapewheel. I don't think you have a #10 calandar movement there?

    That little plate that holds the pallet pivot wire is not made properly. The screw should be steel and have a head like a gun screw and there should be no slot, just a snug fitting round hole.
    Willie X
     
  5. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    2,231
    118
    63
    Male
    Carson City, Nevada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    here is a you tube of basically same movement set up and running smoothly

    note the number of teeth between the pallets, the angle of the mounting - - hope this helps some

     
    Jeff Salmon likes this.
  6. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    654
    6
    18
    The movement appears to be the same as in Tran's Calendar Clock book, page 263. I do agree that the plate for the pallet pivot may be not correct (especially the oval hole). I will re-examine the escape wheel teeth. I realize that the escape wheel bushing is long, it was done a long time ago by someone else.
     
  7. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,142
    714
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    What Tran seems to show is a semi-deadbeat escapement. Yours is obviously recoil, but I wonder whether someone in the past had fiddled around, reversing the escape wheel and adding a replacement verge, with unhappy results.
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,783
    725
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The verge looks ok to me. It would be good to see the clock running in a video though. I suspect you have a different issue. I do note some of your EW teeth are bent at the tips. That probably wouldn't stop the clock, but would make in go in and out of beat.
     
  9. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    2,231
    118
    63
    Male
    Carson City, Nevada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    And there is one short / broken EW tooth about 6 teeth clockwise of 12 oclock position in the picture
     
  10. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,009
    699
    113
    Another short one about 4 to the left of th bottom. Several bent ones too.
    Willie X
     
  11. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    654
    6
    18
    Good call on the escapement. The escape wheel is reversed as shown in Tran's book and the pallets are now recoil. I don't know why someone would do this, but now I have to fix it.
     
    THTanner likes this.
  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,009
    699
    113
    It probably was made as a recoil. I don't have the figures but it would be interesting to know how many Lyre plate movements were made with recoil vs deadbeat escapements. I always though that the recoil was early and the deadbeat was later but that may or may not be true. Same questions could be asked about the shouldered S-T movements of the same era. Willie X
     
  13. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    654
    6
    18
    #13 Jeff Salmon, Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    I have spent the day watching football and working on the escapement. I reversed the escape wheel and, in fact, some previous repairer scratched something on the back of the hub for the escape wheel. Wonder why. I had a half-deadbeat verge to try and I fit a new pin. I also checked the trueness of the escape wheel and found it was slightly out of true, so that was fixed. I made a new bushing for the escape wheel bridge. Now to another question: I notice in the pictures of original clocks in Tran's book that the verge wire is longer than what was on the clock when I received it. How critical is the length of this? I am interested in the length of it before I make the small loop that the suspension spring fit in. This will be a test to see if the clock runs at all.
     

Share This Page