Gilbert Rack & Snail

Dietofnothing

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Nov 7, 2020
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I’m getting ready to tackle this Gilbert rack & snail movement. I only have worked on American clocks with a count wheel. I read a little about rack & snail, but couldn’t seem to isolate if there is a definitive way necessary to set it up like a count wheel has that will make it not work or chime forever?

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tracerjack

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Jun 6, 2016
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What is nice about the rack and snail is that once the plates are back together, adjustments for the strike are on the outside. I've not seen one with the rack and snail on the back plate. Interesting. You must set the snail so that the rack tail strikes the center of the step. Since the 11 and 12 steps are quite small, most use those steps when setting the snail. If using the 11, you must also check the 12 step, since there is the long wall on the snail that goes up to the 1 step. The tail can get caught there if the 12 step is not centered. Usually after checking the strikes, the snail may need to be adjust by a tooth.
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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This one is a bit unusual as noted, and any rack and snail setup that has three gathering pallets (the pins that jack up the rack) can be a little more tricky to setup. The strike train must stop with all three pins clear of the rack so it is free to fall. Inside the movement there should be stop pins and warning stops not unlike in a count wheel and, like in a count wheel, these need to be positioned correctly. Try to observe this movement's action before taking it apart. Once understood, the rack and snail is no more difficult to adjust, and perhaps easier.

RC
 

shutterbug

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Yes, the rack and snail was a big improvement over the count wheel for ease of setting and reliability. Most of the adjustments can be made after the movement is assembled. The only fly in the ointment with yours is as RC explained above. You need a fairly short warning run on that style of gathering pallet.
 

Dietofnothing

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Nov 7, 2020
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Gilbertsville PA
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Thanks all. I think I’m ok. Have it running on test stand & can find no reason to actually dissemble to movement. Bushings seem good & it seems it wasn’t running reliably because the friction crutch was out of adjustment.

The case is getting stripped down & re done though
 

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