Is it bent?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by ballistarius, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Hello,

    I have recently purchased a PHS shelf cuckoo. The movement is brass single-fusee. The clock suffered a shipping accident and I have had to straighten the rod (sorry for the incorrect term...) inside the motion work.
    When I look at the slit in the bridge suporting the suspensin spring I cannot avoid feeling that it is bent, but the bridge is a sturdy element and only the slit, not the prongs themselves looks so biased. What do you think?:confused:

    Many thanks in advance,

    Aitor
     

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  2. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    The cock itself looks bent as well as the suspension slit slanted. The bent cock won''t hurt anything but a slanted slot will encourage the pendulum to wobble and dance.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I'm thinking it's a dangerous fix. Unless it's causing problems with the pendulum I don't think I'd mess with it. Could well cause it to break, creating a way bigger problem.
     
  4. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    No. I would not attempt to straighten the cock but would pursue some way to get a perpendicular slot in it.
     
  5. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Scottie's right. The issue is the cock-eyed suspension slot; it's got to be put right but don't just cold bend the bridge.

    Instead, securely clamp the bridge to a flat piece of steel or other plate, then insert a long piece of thin steel "feeler-gauge" in the slot to use as a visual gauge to compare the angle(s) of the slot. Direct an intense flame at the bridge and not directly at the steel gauge stock for several minutes or until the piece of steel feeler gauge is dull red color. At this point, the crooked piece may be formed to true the slot.

    Let the assembly cool slowly to allow the steel gauge stock to cool slowly and evenly while in place. The intense heat will relieve any stresses in the brass that would be present from cold bending the bridge out of truth when the clock was shipped.

    Others may disagree with heating to dull red and suggest cold reforming but I wouldn't do it.
     
  6. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

    Feb 5, 2011
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    That slot looks like it was made that way. Thats an old hand carved cast brass movement,I wouldn't be surprised if the cast brass was hand beaten into sheet form. Be extremely careful if you start trying to bend anything(as in don't even try it). Old cast brass like that will pop if you look at it crosseyed.
     
  7. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    I would go along with that it was made that way, I would just fit the suspension spring and hanger with the pendulum and see how the pendulum behaves, if it swings normally without fishtailing then it's fine, at worst the pendulum might swing a bit closer to the movement on one side.

    these clocks were hand finished by people who were good at timber work and carving, so they are expected to be a bit rough.
     
  8. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Wow, many thanks for that lot of information and advices! :coolsign:

    I too guess that the slit was cut that way originally...
    Before I try anything 'harder' I'll follow dAz57's advice and I'll try to see how the pendulum behaves. The problem is that the movement is dirty. I'll wind it up a litle and hang the suspension spring and pendulum. The suspension spring wasn't in its best moment, if I recall well, but it wouldn't be the first LONG supension spring with a few nicks I have working on a clock...:whistle:

    Aitor
     
  9. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Yes, as others have said, that slot has always been that way. I would open the slot (straightening it in the process) to accept a long French type suspension spring. The sort with the thin brass block top and bottom. I know that would mean fabricating a different suspension leader, but I think it would give it a cleaner look.
     
  10. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    AWSUM IDEER! I was thinking more along the lines (no pun in ten did) of sawing another slot, straight, alongside but like your idea better.
     
  11. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Hey, I can barely follow your pace ;) (This is what I really love about this forum: There is always people queuing to help you!!:D)

    Here are two pics of the suspension. It is the original one and not exactly a long French:confused:
    There is only one real nick near the top and I tend to think that it is intentional and surely the way the clockmaker 'corrected' the mistake with the cock slit. What do you think?

    I'll try to test how the pendulum behaves later, but before I must continue 'straightening' some case issues...
    :cuckoo:
    Aitor
     

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  12. RickB

    RickB Registered User

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    Cast brass should be heated and quenched first to soften (anneal) it. Just heating it and bending it can break it.

    Depending on the alloy the brass could be quite brittle. Heat to DULL red in dim light and water quench. That will anneal them and should allow bending without breaking. If you wish to harden it afterwards again heat it to a dull red and allow it to cool without quenching.

    As said above, I would remove the bridge, clamp it to a solid plate for this operation. And place a piece of thin steel in the cut for the suspension spring.
     
  13. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    When I go to bend something, I always think about something my Uncle (master mechanic) used to say. "There might not be another bend left in it".

    Willie X
     
  14. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Hello again,
    I've put together movement, suspension and pendulum and, against all predictions, the pendulum behaves well...:eek:
    Notwithstanding, the pendulum stops abruptly after a short while...oh, no... advance of escapement wheel inspected under a lens and nasty surprises there: a pair of tooth points are bent but, what looks worse, the teeth are mostly irregularly cut (as if cut biting with the teeth...:mad:) and some tooth bases are rather narrow... Again this can be an original feature of the careless maker rather than savage recutting by some sinner hand...
    In any case, rather than start tinkering about, probably I'll carry the movement to a professional repairer...

    Many thanks for your help, folks!:coolsign:

    Aitor
     
  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Sounds like you may be in need of a new EW. Search for a repairman who has the equipment and skill to make one if necessary.
     
  16. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Can you post a picture of the set up suspension? I can see how the bend in the spring would counter the off set slot. But I am not sure about the interaction between the leader and the crutch. Does the spring run though the crutch loop? If it does, that isn't as efficient as it could be. A picture of the escape wheel would help us as well.
     
  17. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    as I said these clocks are rough, case brass plates and wheels, the edges of the plates and crossings of the wheels are either finished with a course ####### file or not finished all, the spacing at the escape wheel teeth roots doesn't matter, the spacing between the tooth tips does as well as the wheel spins true.

    straighten the teeth just keep in mind this is cast brass, there are a couple of threads in here about straightening escape wheel teeth

    and I would not call the makers careless, they did pretty well with the equipment they had.
     
  18. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Reads to me like teeth became malformed at the hands of a well meaning miscreant repairman using a common pair of pliers not adapted for tooth straightening. I have not found factory clocks mass produced showing evidence of shoddy machining or casting from the factory. Problems with this clock may well be approaching the limit of his skill levels at this time.
     
  19. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Peter,
    I have unpacked suspension and pendulum again ;)
    Here are some pics. I think that there is a set of (clever?) blunders conducing to a correct final functioning...

    Scottie, I rather tend to agree with dAz57. Look at the escape wheel (This is the best shot I've managed to take) it doesn't look like having been tinkered later. Probably it would be easy to corrrect the slight bents on the tooth tips but I don't want to be the 'well meaning miscreant repairman using a common pair of pliers', moreover when teeth are so irregular by themselves:%

    Aitor
     

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  20. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's hard to make out, but it appears to be a recoil anchor, and it looks badly misshapen to me. All of the EW teeth look unnatural, and at least one shows a stress crack that's going to be an issue. Can you show a better pic of the anchor for us?
     
  21. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Your wish is my command ;)
    These are the best ones I can take at this moment.
    Fortunately, the 'stress crack' is only a filing mark.


    Aitor
     

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  22. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    OK, that looks better. I'm guessing it's original to the clock, but not sure why they made it so narrow (spanning less than the optimal number of teeth). The teeth on the EW need some work, but appear to be unnaturally curved on purpose - perhaps to impart more impulse than the anchor could on it's own with a shorter stroke.
     
  23. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Sigh of relief...:)
    That kind of anchor is quite common in spring-driven BF cuckoos.

    Aitor
     

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