How to service this?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Jasons34, Mar 13, 2017.

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  1. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    I have this movement from a sessions schley banjo clock. I've never worked on an antique movement with this type of escapement before though I have worked on modern ones. The overall condition is very good. Mainspring is in good shape. No gummed up pivot holes but are dry. No pivot holes in need of bushings either. The clock does not run though. I'm not sure if it's the balance part or the part between that and the escapement wheel. When I start the balance it just stops. I wanted to know how I go about taking apart the balance assembly, the do's and dont's. I see there are 2 screws (front and back plate) that hold the balance in place. Is that all that does?[​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Yes, you unscrew the screw on the dial side just enough to free the endshake enough to lift the balance staff out of the conical bearings then take the pin that holds the hairspring out, thread the hairspring out of the regulator. Need to do this to clean and service the clock.
     
  3. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Right operations, wrong order! Remove the pin first and rotate the balance wheel to free the hair spring from the anchor and regulating loop, then loosen the pivot screw and lift out the balance.

    RC
     
  4. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I'm with RC on this one.
    Many hair springs have be damaged by doing it in the wrong order.
    It is easy enough to damage on when it is free. A balance wheel
    dangling from a plate is risking more.
    I don't recommend putting the hair spring in the US. Other than
    that it is just normal cleaning.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  5. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    Do I use my thumb on the spoked gear to rotate it in order to move the hair spring free? And like roughbarked said do I just loosen the front plate screw enough to slip the assembly out? As for cleaning it I was just going to lightly dip it in naphtha gas and let air dry but I'm afraid deposits might stay on the spring and cause issues since the spring coils are very close to eachother. I also might just bypass that idea and just clean the ends of the pivots. When installing it back in obviously I do in reverse order but how far does the end of the hair spring go in past the post? Should I measure before removing and is this critical? Also when tightening that screw against the pivot how do I know if it's too loose/tight?
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    #6 R. Croswell, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    Once you remove the pin you can gently rotate the balance wheel far enough that the end of the hair spring will slip out of the anchor and the regulating loop. It helps to move the regulator close to the anchor. There is no need to move the escape wheel (the spoked gear). You can slush the part around in whatever solvent you like. most recommend not using an ultrasonic. During reassembly you pin the tail at the same point where it was pinned originally. I find that on these larger balance wheels holding it with an alligator clip helps position it. These can be a challenge to work with. Be careful not to bend the lever. During assembly it helps if the lever is in the right position. You can partly wind the clock with the balance wheel out and this will help keep the lever in position. Two big problems with these is that the balance staff points get rounded off, and balance screws develop divots in the cones. Very hard to get these cones really clean all the way to the point. Others claim they have ways to resurface the cones but I've never found any of the suggested methods to work very well. Replacements are difficult to find and usually have metric threads.

    When tightening the balance screw go a little at a time until there is just a slight bit of 'end play'. Some say tighten until the clock stops and back off a bit but if the balance staff has a nice point, as it should, forcing it into the end of the cone, can easily blunt the point so safest way is just tight enough to eliminate most but not all of the end play. In most cases both balance screws are adjustable. Tighten the one holding the regulator until you have proper friction to hold the regulator and then tighten the other balance screw for proper end play.

    RC
     
  7. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    RC I fully understand your instructions. The "spoked gear" I was referring to is not the escape wheel which is the same look but smaller but rather the one on the same arbor right next to the harspring. I'm assuming that is used to get the clock running. So in that reguard I use that to rotate the hairspring free. Is the end going to go crazy once it lets loose or is it going to keep its shape? In the same note when installing and rotating the end back into place is it going to line up or need guidance and if so what would I use to guide the end without damage? Ihnestly don't think the hairspring is the issue but rather the part between that and the escape wheel. I can get the hairspring to rotate by releasing it until the pin engages with that "middle part" and then it stops. It does this going both directions. Like I said before the movement is bone dry. I'd go and simply oil it but I never worked on these before so I thought I'd tear it down. Also are these movements reliable well constructed or am I going to have trouble even after reassembling?
     
  8. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    #8 Tinker Dwight, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    The exact position of the hair spring will effect the rate as well
    as the beat adjustment. Luckily, on a balance wheel, these are not super
    critical adjustments. Mos often offset the beat adjustment a little so that
    the clock will self start when winding. The swing, of the balance wheel, is
    usually so large that the beat adjustment isn't extra critical.
    On a clock with poor swing it may be more of an issue but in such a
    case, the poor power show be fixed first. The bushings of the escapement
    wheel and the next wheel down are much less forgiving than
    on most pendulum clock.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  9. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    So I took it apart and got it all back together without any issues but now I have problems keeping it running. First off if I have it regulated to fast it runs but is inconsistent. If I move it down towards slow it won't stay running at all. I let down the mainspring and can keep the hairspring and escapement going without issues till it eventually stops due to no power driving it. Upon a closer look I notice the pin catches the upper fork's very tip before going between but does not do that on the other fork. This would explain why it's inconsistent and out of beat. Could that fork be bent a hair and/or that pin bent? [​IMG]
     

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  10. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Yes the problem could be that the fork, or the pin, or the lever itself is bent, but before bending anything determine just where the problem is. First, check the pivot holes for the lever. You can't adjust the escapement if the lever is flopping around. Next (with the spring at least partly wound) check that the lever 'toggles' an equal distance on each side of the balance staff. It isn't likely that the actual fork is bent if the slot looks straight. If the pin is bent that should be obvious. Because it happens on side and not the other I suspect the lever itself may be bent or has slipped on the arbor, perhaps by someone previously trying to make the clock run better.


    RC
     
  11. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    RC just remember I don't know the correct terminology but if you look at my previous post's picture you'll see what I mean. The fork itself was not bent at all but the pin coming off of it in an "L" shape was bent. That L shape pin rests on a cylinder piece that's on the arbor of the hairspring assembly and has a notch in it which allows the fork to drop and at the same time the pin that comes off that spoke looking gear falls in between the fork. Well with that L shape pin bent it was causing the fork to drop before that spoked gear pin was between the fork. Instead that pin very slightly catches the top of the fork lifting it a bit before landing between. Hope you understand what I just said
     
  12. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    So I tweaked that L shaped pin and now it runs but I have issues with it stopping after awhile. I can have it running good and strong for about 15 minutes but then it stops. It's stopped 3 times in the past couple hours
     
  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Check this older thread for part names (see both pages).
     
  14. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Did you mean to post a link?

    JTD
     
  15. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Also check that it is locking on both swings. If it doesn't
    lock it will have hit.
    Again an indication of a power problem.
    Like I said, the pivots on the escapement and the last wheel
    have to be much better than you'd think was fine for a pendulum
    clock.
    If it is locking and still off center then you might bend the lever
    but bending the pins will usually just end in a broken pin. They
    are harden steel and will more likely just snap off.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  16. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    That L shaped pin was the issue and was slightly bent upwards allowing the fork to hang lower. I tweaked it a bit more and now it's been running for about 14 hours
     
  17. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    That's great news, but 'will run or will not run' is a poor indicator of a clock's health. How well is it running? How much total rotation of the balance wheel do you see? How well is it keeping time?

    RC
     
  18. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    I know that's a poor indication. I don't have it mounted in the case yet because I wanted to make sure it stays running which it is so I can't go by time keeping yet. But I'm pretty confident when I say it's a healthy run. The movement gives off nice solid beat and does not waver at all. The hairspring assembly is rotating super fast so it's hard to tell how many degrees of rotation. But the fact that I can stop it and it will start right back up on its own is a good sign.
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    If you have an iPhone, it has a slow motion video option that's great for observing balance wheel action :)
     
  20. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    Shutterbug... I take it you own one? I don't though but have an iPad. Anyways the movement is still running. I got the case all cleaned out so if I have time I'll put everything back together if not than tomorrow. But to give you an idea of health the balance wheel is spinning faster and further than it did when I had the occasional stopping. Another question..... on my modern bracket clocks the back door opens so I can start/stop the balance wheel. There is no hole in the back of this case so how exactly would one start the clock if they forgot to wind it?
     
  21. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Usually the beat is a little off to the side so wiggling the key
    and letting it back is often enough.
    If that doesn't work, you just pick the clock u and wiggle it.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  22. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    I just noticed a dimple on the wheel that I can use as a reference to the rotation. So it stops at the 1 o'clock position and going counter clock wise stops at the 5 o clock position. So is that healthy?
     
  23. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Depends on where it starts. If at 3 o'clock healthy.
    if at 9 o'clock not so healthy.
    270 to 360 degrees is reasonable.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  24. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    Counter clockwise from 1 to 5 is a bit less than 270 but probably in the ok range.........not great but ok. When you fall below 180 (1 counter clockwise to7) you get into the critical zone where it may be unreliable. If you are getting 270 now that's probably about as good as one can expect without taking it down making everything perfect including the balance points and replacing the balance screws is what I think. If it's happy, if it were mine I would run it and enjoy it until it becomes unhappy and then worry about achieving perfection.

    To start the clock, in addition to applying and releasing pressure on the key, applying a little forward pressure to the minute hand and sometimes help kick it off.

    RC
     
  25. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

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    So I've been monitoring it comparing it to another clock that is very active. I had the regulating lever in the middle and after about 12 hours it was behind so I moved the lever to the far left (fast) just to see if it would run ahead of that other clock. I've had it like this for not quite 24 hours and it's ahead by a bit over a minute. So now at least I know I can dial it in. Now I'm going to let it run just to see how long it will run
     
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