Have you seen wheels cut like this?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by JimmyOz, Jan 8, 2020.

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  1. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
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    I bought myself a Christmas present, I will do a thread on the repairs in Clock Repair later.
    The longcase clock is by James Howden from Edinburgh, recorded apprenticed 1764 died 1810 "A maker of repute". The attached photos show a few wheels, however all are done in this manner except the EW, how common was this to cut or scribe into the wheel as I have not seen it before?

    JHowdenGF26.jpg JHowdenGF27.jpg
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Jimmy,

    These small file nicks at the tooth roots are quite commonly seen in 18th (and earlier) century work, in watches as well as clocks. However, I'm not sure what the purpose was; one theory is that the marks were made as each tooth was filed up, to show where the worker had got to. Before the widespread introduction of wheel-cutting engines, teeth would have been divided on an engine and then the tooth forms filed up by hand, possibly using some sort of jig.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I have thought those little file marks at the base of the tooth to be decorative more than having any functional purpose. But, it seems logical that someone hand filing teeth to shape might well do something like that indicating both sides of a tooth were finished to the desired profile. I have only noticed such work by one American maker. That would be the Munroe family in Concord Mass. circa 1810-1820. Clockmaking was a rougher sport hereabouts, so our mechanisms are often substantially more primitive. Also, a seldom-seen detail, a 3 arm hour wheel, same movement. This movement was made at a time when the maker was known to have a wheel cutting engine, so it may have been just a habit, or maybe he was doing some hand filing of teeth to finish them, or maybe he just liked to finish his work like so?

    Jul02_13.jpg ll.jpg
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Jim,

    These are the centre and third wheels from a watch made about 1690.

    DSCF1408.JPG DSCF1387.JPG

    These marks are too common to have been just a habit or personal preference; I think they were there for a practical reason connected with the wheel cutting process.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Thanks for the info guys, I will open a new thread as I am not sure the Hood is from this longcase.
    Cheers Jimmy
     

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