Escapement Secrets

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Organist, Oct 8, 2019.

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  1. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Trying to work out some of the deep, mysterious secrets of the escapement. Below is a movement from an E. Ingraham Kitchen Clock, model "Atlanta." It's kind of a bigger, more solid movement (8-day) than the other Ingraham I did. When I got it, it simply wouldn't run at all. What I found was that both pallets were so far up into the escape wheel, it was not possible for them to release on swings of the pendulum.

    I disassembled, cleaned, polishes pivots, pegged out holes and replaced some bushings. Today I lubed the springs, and reassembled. Got the strike synced on the first try!

    I bumped down the verge and have been tweaking it. Is there a secret to getting it right? Or is it just a matter of making little adjustments until it works. Right now it's not right. It seems to hit the entry pallet much too hard, and there's no recoil. I'm not letting it run for fear of messing up the escape wheel.

    The first is up close. The second clip is further back. Thanks!



     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Your pallet tips need to be spread about 1 mm furthur apart. I would probably bend the curved end downward, thus spreading the tips and giving the entrance pallet a little more angle. Test for hardness, they usually aren't very hard but you never know.

    You will also probably have to re-adjust the pallet depthing slightly deeper.

    Try this and report back, when you can.

    The up close video is most helpful.

    WIllie X
     
  3. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Thanks! Will try. Do you mean bend where it connects to the wire so that the curved side is lower in relation to the other side?

    I bought one of those iPad holders. That makes it nice to video. Just clamp it in and adjust. Keeps it nice and still.

    Mike
     
  4. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    No. He's suggesting that you bend the verge strip itself so that the pallets move about a millimeter closer together than they are. Take the verge off and check to see if they are softer than a file--that is, see if you can file a tiny bit of metal off the verge strip (not on the pallets, please. If the file just slips across the verge steel without cutting, that means that the verge has been hardened and must be annealed before you go bending it. Otherwise you'll break it. To anneal it, heat it to a dull red and let it cool down naturally. Most of the time these aren't hardened to begin with, however.

    Then carefully bend the verge strip such that the pallets move closer together. Willie's suggesting that you apply the bend to the strip between the pivot and the curved pallet. That will improve the angle and should liven the clock up a bit. Don't bend it too far: just go gradually.

    After that you'll have to fool with the depth of the verge and also with the beat setting. I would follow his suggestions.

    M KInsler
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    "Spread or make wider ...

    WIllie X
     
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Yikes. I got that backward. That makes more sense.

    Big help I was.

    M Kinsler
     
  7. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    To set the depth of a recoil verge (assuming that the dimensions are correct) you move the verge closer to the escape wheel until the escapement doesn't unlock anymore. Then move the verge a tiny bit away from the escape wheel until it just safely unlocks. That will give you the best pendulum swing.

    Uhralt
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Also, the adjustment of which Uhralt speaks should result in the drop of a tooth onto the entrance pallet (right one) being exactly the same as the drop of a tooth onto the exit pallet (left one).

    Always try the adjustment first but I'm pretty sure, in your case, the pallet spacing will need to be wider.

    The pallet spacing can be easily checked. Simply place either pallet 'point to point' with an escapewheel tooth. Then look closely at the other pallet's position. It's tip should be exactly halfway between two escapewheel teeth.
    If not, make it so and then proceed with adjusting the depth of the pallet for correct depth (equal drops).

    WIllie X
     
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  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    When adjusting a verge (pallet strip) like this one must be careful not to introduce an additional problem. Everyone has their own little ideas about hoe to do this but here is my suggestion:

    1.Unless you know for a fact that the pallet spacing, angles etc. have been messed with, initially assume that they are correct.

    2.remove the pendulum and suspension spring and operate the escapement by slowly moving the crutch by hand

    3. Adjust the verge closer to the escape wheel until it will not unlock and release teeth, then back off until the escapement operates (what Uhralt said). The tiniest adjustment here can make a big difference.

    4. Slowly move the crutch back and forth and notice how far the escape wheel teeth travel after being released before hitting the pallet. In the video the teeth travel too far before hitting the entrance pallet (this is usually referred to as the drop off of the exit pallet). You move the verge closer to the escape wheel to correct excessive drop onto the entrance pallet (drop off of the exit pallet).

    5. You should position verge to where the drop off of each pallet is the same. If you cannot achieve this without the escapement locking up, then the spacing between the pallets is incorrect. Before changing the pallet spacing measure what it already is accurately to 0.001" so you can return it is necessary.

    6. Generally, you close the pallet spacing slightly to decrease the drop onto the exit pallet, and you move the verge closer to the escape wheel to decrease the drop onto the entrance pallet. There are formulas to calculate the spacing but the final adjustment is somewhat trial and error. These two adjustments are somewhat interactive so changing one will require some adjustment to both.

    7. Check if the verge is hard where you intend to bend it, however most can be bent slightly in the area of the verge pin saddle. Never try to bend a hardened verge where the arms are curved.

    8. The angles of the arms in the video look OK and are not really critical. The pallet spacing is critical. You can't change one without changing the other unless you do some serious reforming of the pallet strip, so concentrate on pallet spacing.

    Good luck.

    RC

    Yes, what Willie said, probably better than I said it.
     
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  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I do detect some recoil, and the clock might run as is, but will run more robustly with the recommended adjustments.
     
  11. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Yes.
     
  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Bugs ... duplicate post! I thought it was just me. :) Willie
     
  13. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Thanks Willie. I didn't see it. It's gone now ;)
     
  14. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    It happens when the post doesn't seem to upload and you push the button again (and again..). There is a gray bar on the right of the screen that turns during upload. Wait until it stops turning.

    Uhralt
     
  15. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Well, here is how the thing is looking now. With many thanks to everyone, I read the posts and tried to digest. I moved the verge closer to the escape wheel, and I did bend to widen the pallets. After much tweaking it now looks like this. The pendulum swings more than it did, and the drop onto the entry pallet is not as extreme as before. It looks like it's running more "comfortably" than last night. It may not be quite there yet. Willie said with the "point to point" the other pallet should be half way between the teeth. I'm not quite sure they are yet. Anyhow, here are three vids of what it looked like after fiddling with it. It ran very nicely for a little over two hours until the next SAD chapter. See next post...



     
  16. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    I have come to the conclusion that I am either 1) the most unlucky person in town, 2) stupid, or 3) my shop is haunted by a ghost bent on making mischief.

    So, the movement was running fine on the bench, and I was busying myself with other things, keeping my eye on it all the while. As I was ready to pack it in for the night, I was sitting at the bench writing down a summary of today's events with the clock movement. As I was writing, I suddenly hear this sound, sort of like a muffled snap. The movement stopped. The time train suddenly had no power. The spring retainer was still on. I wound the mainspring and slipped off the retainer-- still no power. I was probably foolish to do this, but it's where the drama happened. I slipped off the verge, wanting to see if it would unwind on its own. It didn't. I reached over and touched one of the time side wheels and gave it a slight jiggle when the mainspring suddenly exploded out the side of the movement.

    After my heart started beating again, started looking things over. The mainspring is attached to it's arbor, and it's not broken. The click has come out from under the spring that holds it in place. The second wheel is toast, and I don't like to think about what I will find when I take the thing apart.

    After thinking it over, there's my current theory: I wonder if a tooth broke, jamming things up. I didn't see any cracked teeth when cleaning. I noticed the springs that hold the clicks in place are kind of odd. Instead of being curved and slipping in a slot, they're just kind of flat, and lay against click. I guess I should not have removed the retainer. I wonder if when I jiggled the wheel, something further down the train pushed that spring off the click, causing the thing to let go.

    Oh well, another day. Below is the fruit of my labor. At least it's my clock and not someone else's.

    Mike

    atlantadisaster.JPG
     
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  17. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    clearly you need to review whether you should be writing daily summaries... they are apparently more dangerous than you thought.

    clocks stop.
    clicks fail.
    this is the path you've chosen! :cool:

    as for 'unluckiest', you reminded me of when i was just learning how to really clean movements and was polishing an escape wheel from a similar movement using a brass brush wheel on my grinder. next thing i know, the escape wheel is yanked out of my hand and ends up embedded in the sheetrock wall of my garage, like a shuriken... a bent shuriken. fortunately, it was a learn and burn movement.

    anyway, now you get to do a new click... congrats! o_O
     
  18. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Well, the escapement was lookin good in that last video. :)

    Probably a broken pivot, or a pinion wire worked out, oh well.

    Pretty sure youre gona need a replacement 2nd wheel ...

    WIllie X
     
  19. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Yeah, well... Still kind of speechless over the whole thing. I suppose what I should have done was just leave it, leave the retainers on, and disassembled to see what was up with it. Oh well, next time.

    Thanks!
     
  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Stuff happens. Look at it as another learning opportunity. Take it down and let's take a look at the damage. (Don't forget to let down the strike spring and check that click. )

    RC
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    #21 shutterbug, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    My guess is that the click was not engaging properly due to the click springs. It was barely holding the whole time. What stopped the clock may reveal itself when you take it apart again, but check out both clicks carefully.

    I have merged the two threads on this clock together. It's best to keep everything in one thread for future searchers.
     
  22. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    The movement is an E. Ingraham, 7 38.
     
  23. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    The clock was running good and stopped. That leads me to think something low in the train failed bit didn't let go until the train was advanved.

    I've never seen an incident that caved in the rim of a 2nd wheel before.

    Wondering if the clock flew off the stand and made a bad landing:???:

    WIllie X
     
  24. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    No, Willie, it was in the test stand sitting nicely on my bench. It didn't even fall over.

    The strike side looks good. The time side... That I have found so far. I snapped some picks but I couldn't get detail.

    1) I included a picture of the great wheel so you can see the click/spring arrangement. It looks like some of the teeth are angled a bit.

    2) The second wheel is bent and missing some teeth. A wire from is missing from the lantern pinion, and the adjacent wire to the missing one is bent.

    3) The 3rd wheel looks OK, but, the wires look slanted, as is one part of the turned, taking the wires with it.

    4) The pinion on the hand shaft has a crack. I tried to take a picture, but it's hard to see.

    5) The pinion on the wheel next to the hand shaft also has a small crack. I took a picture, but it really can't be seen.

    The cracks probably happened in the incident. I didn't see them when I went over the wheels and polished pivots, etc. It's true I wasn't looking for cracks there, both of these jumped right out at me without looking for them, small as they are.

    Well, enjoy!

    greatwheel1.JPG greatwheel2.JPG greatwheel3.JPG secondwheel1.JPG secondwheel2.JPG motionworks1.JPG motionworks2.JPG mother great wheel and her chicks.JPG
     
  25. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Unless you want the practice you may be better off looking for a replacement or a parts movement. Ingraham movements are noted for cracked cannon pinions - that's the small pinion on the center shaft. It is repairable. Search cracked cannon pinion repair. Lots of opinions on what is the best way. The second wheel is toast. I may have one, post the number of teeth and diameter. The lantern pinion with the slanted wires probably got that way during the event. Try twisting the shroud back in alignment, it will probably be OK under normal load as long as none of the wires are bent. The lantern with the missing trundle should be repairable, but I would replace all the wires. Not sure what went wrong with the click. I rather suspect the trundle wire slipping out initiated the catastrophe.

    RC
     
  26. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    RC,
    Have you ever seen a second wheel with the rim pushed in like that? I've only seen that kind of damage in junk box movements, where movements have been dropped against one another, etc.
    WIllie
     
  27. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    I think I'll be on the lookout for a movement to use for parts. The missing trundle is on the mangled second wheel, so there's no chance of using it again. I'm just goi9ng to toss it in my miscellaneous parts drawer and at some future use it to get some experience replacing trundles in pinions.
     
  28. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Hello Mike,

    Was the Click Rivet loose at all? I'm trying to understand how the Click Spring slid off of the Clock like that.

    I have seen the rim of a gear bend like that with sudden exposure to force. Years ago I was studying the difference in brass gears exposed to a cleaning solution with ammonia for an extended period of time. I found that it apparently weakened the brass although I couldn't be sure that the test and control alloys were the same to begin with.

    The point being that I can see the Great Wheel applying a sudden shock to the 2nd gear with sufficient force to "crumple" the gear rim although my example was not in a gear train when the force was applied. It evidently blew out a trundle on the 2nd gear and forced its teeth against the 3rd wheel's trundle.

    It happens.

    Good luck with your parts/movement search. Maybe this movement becomes the donor instead.

    Control_Test_Side.jpg Control_Test_Side2.jpg Control_Test_Front.jpg Control_Test_Back.jpg

    Bruce
     
  29. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    The teeth on the great wheel should have 'skint back' teeth where it made a quick 20 turns against the 2nd wheel trundles.

    The click tip is supposed to have a clean sharp point with about a 5 degree draw into the click wheel.

    Over a long run the tip of the click will batter and actually become wider with zero draw. The extra width can cause the click to stick against the great wheel in the up position, or push out and off the open side of the click wheel. Not to mention bouncing up after a winding stroke that doesn't quite allow the tip to fall into place. The click goes point to point for an instant and then either in or out. In = good (barely notacable) out =(catastrophic let down).

    Org,
    I wish you had an ultra slow-mo video of that incident, you could probably sell tickets.

    WIllie X
     
  30. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    We are looking at possibly two diffieren failures, the trundle gone missing, and possible click release. In an open spring system like if the click let go the main spring would "explode" out the side of the clock but the main wheel would have no power and would not turn (with the click released). If the trundle slipped out the main wheel would spin wildly and one would expect to see raked teeth and hear a buzz saw noise for a second or so. I don't see how one of these failures could have caused the other. I can't imagine there being enough torque applied at the pinion to crumple that wheel even if the spinning main wheel suddenly snagged the next trundle without a lot more damage to the rest of the pinion. But something sure happened. Yes a video would have been interesting.

    Some years ago I had a second arbor pinion lose a trundle late one night. Clock was. In another room and sounded like a wild animal, scared the crap out of me until I found what was making such a hellish noise. There was no damage to anything, replaced the trundle and all is fine. I still have the clock and use it regularly. Never can tell what the outcome of a clock event will be.

    RC
     
  31. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I'm wondering now if maybe one of the trundles on the second wheel was either missing or not fully engaged - and maybe you didn't see it. That could have stopped the clock like you describe, and when you moved it a little it let loose, causing the disaster.
     
  32. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    #32 Bruce Alexander, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    When a mainspring releases, it happens so fast I imagine that almost anything can happen depending on where parts are at the moment. Obviously a lot of force went through the 2nd Wheel in this case.

    I was recently working on an Ansonia WM Movement. It's one of those with the Pat. Pend." stamps on the back plate. I think that the Patent may still be pending. :chuckling: Not a good design in my opinion. Anyway, I've been fairly lucky winding mainsprings over the years but this movement bit me. As I was winding the Chime Mainspring, I released the key and the click spring broke with a "Pop"! I swear, in the blink of an eye the spring completely unwound. I was aware of a "fluttering" of the key against the fingertips of the middle two fingers of my left hand. They turned purple and started swelling almost immediately. It stung pretty good to ice them, but that kept the swelling down I think. I was re-positioning my hand when the click spring broke or my thumb probably would have been involved too. I got lucky as I've seen photos of much worse than I experienced.

    You just can't be too careful around mainsprings. :^


    Edit: There is damage to some of the Great Wheel Teeth. Who knows what happened when the 2nd Wheel's Rim collapsed/crumpled?
     
  33. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I expect that every clock repairman has had bruised fingers from the same thing, sometime in their experience ;)
     
  34. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Paying my dues I suppose. I called myself being careful as I'm in the habit of making sure that I hear a click before I release the key.
     
  35. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Yep, a video would have been spectacular. I sure would have liked to have seen it go. As it was, it was something akin to a lightning strike-- by the time I realized something happened, it was all over. Fortunately, there were no slaps or bruises. The wheel I grabbed hold of was at the top of the train, then-----!! The only thing flying faster than the mainspring was the stream words coming out of my mouth, which I'm sure I can't post here.
     
  36. shutterbug

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  37. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Well, I found an Ingraham movement like this one. I also found a second wheel in my parts drawer. It's identical to the one that got mangled. Hopefully I'll get this thing going again. I'm going to look closely at the clicks on the great wheels. They don't seem to be too loose, but what it "too loose?" They don't seem so different from others I've had.
     
  38. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    They need to loose but not sloppy, especially in the in - out direction. That is, the tip of the tooth should always be kept close to the face of the great wheel.

    Your click needs to be removed and restored to have flat faces and a sharp tip. The tip's locking face needs to be such that makes about a 3 to 5 degree angle to the click wheel's faces. This way the click will drop cleanly into the gullet and stay there. Years of battering causes this angle to decrease to zero. This results in a flat to flat condition at the tip's face which will cause the click to pop up and, with that round point, it aint going back down ... Kablooeee!

    Note, jacking up the click spring pressure is never an effective cure for a click malfunction. and often results in a broken click spring. The spring should be adjusted to move the click to the bottom of the gullet + about 1 mm, that's enough. The click's geometry does nearly all the work.

    WIllie X
     
  39. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    The clicks don't seem "sloppy" loose. I now notice that the wheel with the exploding spring is tight when it rocks back. It's almost feels bent. I can say it didn't feel that way when I let the springs down before taking the movement the first time. I'm guessing that something bent during the excitement. Below are both wheel clicks, each in the open and closed position. The strike wheel has the key handle and the time wheel has the key shaft.

    strikeclick1.JPG strikeclick2.JPG timeclick1.JPG timeclick2.JPG
     
  40. shutterbug

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    If it's too tight, it might not engage the ratchet properly. My guess is that it was that way before, and probably caused the catastrophe.
     

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