Governor Fan Slipping on Shaft

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Cheezhead, Sep 7, 2019.

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  1. Cheezhead

    Cheezhead Registered User

    Dec 30, 2010
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    One of the two governor fan shafts on my triple chime clock with a Schatz W3 seven jewel movement was slipping in the fan to let the chime run too fast. Degreasing the involved surfaces, first with Q tips soaked in isopropyl alcohol and again with lacquer thinner helped but later the shaft began slipping again.

    A Q tip sprayed wet with motorcycle chain wax applied to the involved surfaces brought the slippage under control.
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Slippage is always a 'metal' problem. The fly has become misshaped or worn. It really doesn't matter if it is dry or lubricated. Most companies recomend a slight amount of oil on the fly to arbor contact area.

    So, if you want to fix it, remove the fly and reform it slighyly to restore the tension. If it has a tension wire, they are often worn at the arbor contact point and need to be replaced.

    WIllie X
     
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  3. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    What Willie says is of course correct. But I have a related story:
    When I was a college student many years ago I had a small Black Forest clock that my wife and I bought the day before our first son was born. We got it from a flea market in rather dirty condition. When I got home from the hospital after the birth of our son I couldn't sleep. So I cleaned and oiled the clock and got it running during that night. The clock would run well but the strike was like a machine gun. It turned out that the fly was home-made and had nothing to provide any friction to the arbor. I didn't have many tools at that time and was determined to get the clock ready during that night. So I took a small amount of high viscosity silicon grease and applied it between arbor and fan. That worked, the clock struck fine. There was enough slippage to prevent any damage. Later I forgot about my makeshift solution because the clock ran many years without a problem.
    Later, when our son was grown up and went off to college, we gave him the clock because it was his birth-clock. He had it in his room at college and it ran all the time. Later he got married with two children and built a house. When I visited him in the new house I noticed that the clock struck fast, so I remembered the whole story and re-build the fly by adding a tension wire. The clock is doing fine now, but the original grease had kept it striking fine for almost 40 years, without visible damage.

    Uhralt
     
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  4. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    That's interesting Uhrait.
    Certainly a better temporary "between overhauls" solution than Superglue, which I've seen.
    I have also seen Governors which have so much tension that they might as well be glued to the Arbor.
    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  5. Cheezhead

    Cheezhead Registered User

    Dec 30, 2010
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    Willie X, you got me started so I took a closer look and recalled that I saw no black finely divided metal on the parts nor on the Q Tip when degreasing so I will believe that there is no or negligible wear. A pic using a borescope revealed that there is a wide groove where each fan's centrally-located friction springs rests to retain the position of the fan on the shaft.

    I was able to dislodge the spring from each of the grooves so that the friction springs could rest against the full diameter of each shaft but still permit the fans to turn as in the attached pic. This could make the chain wax unnecessary.

    Uhralt, thank you for the affirmation that adding a substance such as your silicon grease or my motorcycle chain wax can work. That may not be a comprehensive repair but is certainly easier than taking the movement apart and can/could last a long time but can be easily done again.

    Bruce Alexander, I agree that the fan shaft must be free to turn within the fan with some needed resistance to function but not too much so as to cause undue shock loading on the shutoff stop when the chime must end.

    Fan.jpg
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Fans are simple mechanisms that can be easily repaired. The only issue is that they MUST be removed from the arbor and their tension readjusted. That requires removal from the movement. If you don't want to do that, the only solution is hiring a pro to do it for you.
     
  7. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sometimes it is possible just to loosen the movement screw closest to the flywheel and spread the plates a bit to remove the flywheel. This works especially if the flywheel is close to such a screw and if the pivots are rather short. The downside is, if you try to remove the wheel and spread the plates too far, other wheels might also fall out and you are ready to take the clock apart completely. It's a judgement call.

    Uhralt
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    The little finger will likely work itself back into the groove. Sometimes you can put a little crook in the finger at about half it's length but it's best to remove it, put about 2mm worth of tension on the finger and replace it on the shaft.

    You can usually get a fly out by removing one corner post nut and loosening the others sligjtly, carefully spreading the plates a little at a time.

    ××× MAKE SURE ALL THREE SPRINGS ARE COMPLETELY LET DOWN ×××

    Willie X
     
  9. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I wanted to say movement nut, not screw.

    Uhralt
     

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