Long case anchor escapement

digitalpan

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Hi everyone, here's a long case movement that's just come into the workshop. Apparently it hadn't run properly for around seven years since the owners moved house. The case was very shallow in depth, so much so that when the movement was positioned so the weights cleared the door, the pendulum fouled the back of the case.

I didn't do anything to the movement, but just put it on the clock stand and took a look:

[video=youtube_share;wkO0iO5QC1M]http://youtu.be/wkO0iO5QC1M[/video]

Now is it just me or is the escape wheel on back-to-front? I thought that the teeth pointed backwards on an anchor escapement. The action looks all wrong. Also in the first segment you can see that the excess pendulum swing is locking the entry pallet in the escape wheel teeth and raising the whole pallet arbor in the worn pivot hole. The pendulum swing gradually decreases and then, presumably as it's not getting enough/any recoil, it stops.

Any comments would be gratefully received!
 

Jay Fortner

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Hi everyone, here's a long case movement that's just come into the workshop. Apparently it hadn't run properly for around seven years since the owners moved house. The case was very shallow in depth, so much so that when the movement was positioned so the weights cleared the door, the pendulum fouled the back of the case.

I didn't do anything to the movement, but just put it on the clock stand and took a look:

[video=youtube_share;wkO0iO5QC1M]http://youtu.be/wkO0iO5QC1M[/video]

Now is it just me or is the escape wheel on back-to-front? I thought that the teeth pointed backwards on an anchor escapement. The action looks all wrong. Also in the first segment you can see that the excess pendulum swing is locking the entry pallet in the escape wheel teeth and raising the whole pallet arbor in the worn pivot hole. The pendulum swing gradually decreases and then, presumably as it's not getting enough/any recoil, it stops.

Any comments would be gratefully received!
It does look like the EW is on backwards it's definitely a recoil anchor an EW.
Looks like it could use a good cleaning also.
 

shutterbug

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It is recoiling (but badly out of beat), and the teeth look like they curve back a bit by design. If it IS on backward, one would have to wonder how and when that took place. At any rate, it's recoiling enough to keep it running. Something else must be involved in the stopping problem. I'll wait for someone with more experience in old recoils to ascertain whether the wheel needs to be turned around. :)
 

shimmystep

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Looks backward to me. It'll struggle to get recoil on the exit pallet in that configuration apart from when it's given a good initial swing, there after I think it will stress the teeth ends on the exit pallet, which might explain the bent teeth.

pic 14 a.jpg
 

Tinker Dwight

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One has to wonder if it is the escapement wheel or the anchor that
is wrong.
Many tall clocks were made with Graham dead beats. Such clocks
will not usually run well with a recoil anchor, even if the escapement wheel
is turned around.
Tinker Dwight
 

Jay Fortner

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Looks backward to me. It'll struggle to get recoil on the exit pallet in that configuration apart from when it's given a good initial swing, there after I think it will stress the teeth ends on the exit pallet, which might explain the bent teeth.

197925.jpg
The teeth on his EW are supposed to look like that and when in the proper direction will lock into the curved surfaces of the anchor.
What he has is an improved recoil that actually has lock and less recoil than the conventional type.
Tink,The anchor is correct.
 

shimmystep

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The teeth on his EW are supposed to look like that and when in the proper direction will lock into the curved surfaces of the anchor.
When I said bent teeth Jay, I mean the ends, not the whole length of them, I'm aware they need to be that angle. In the pic in my post is the same anchor type, with curved impulse faces, the EW is on the other way round, that movement runs likes a champ.

Curved pallets.jpg
 
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Jay Fortner

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When I said bent teeth Jay, I mean the ends, not the whole length of them, I'm aware they need to be that angle. In the pic in my post is the same anchor type, with curved impulse faces, the EW is on the other way round, that movement runs likes a champ.

197927.jpg
I went back and looked at the video again and there is a slight bit of wear from it running the wrong way but I wouldn't consider the tips bent. Give it a good cleaning,install a bushing in the anchor arbor(and anywhere else it may need one),polish the pivots,turn the EW around,put it in beat and it should run fine.
 

Burkhard Rasch

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not that I understand that much,but:in the first sequence of the video You can see the anchor pivot moving considerably up and down when in action.Could be a loss of power to the pendulum,couldn´t it?
Burkhard
 

shimmystep

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not that I understand that much,but:in the first sequence of the video You can see the anchor pivot moving considerably up and down when in action.Could be a loss of power to the pendulum,couldn´t it?
Burkhard
I agree Burkhard, huge amount of movement of the pivot at entrance recoil. That is one very worn pivot hole, which as you say will rob a lot of power.
 

digitalpan

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Could I just reflect on Tinker's post where he asks if it is the anchor or the escape wheel which is wrong? I hadn't considered that the anchor might have been changed. I guess it's more likely than the escape wheel turned round. Would that mean that it was originally a deadbeat escapement? Can I tell from the shape of the escape wheel teeth if that's true? I thought deadbeat escape wheel teeth had straight faces rather than the curved ones I see here.

I do seem to get clocks with "interesting" history. Here are two photos from another long case movement I have in the workshop. The pallet arbor has been re-pivoted sometime in the past(!):

P1040890a.jpg P1040888a.jpg
 

oldticker

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The escape wheel needs to be turned around I reckon. as you say, if it were a deadbeat it would not have outward curved pallet faces. There should be as less possible play in pivot holes.
 

shimmystep

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Could I just reflect on Tinker's post where he asks if it is the anchor or the escape wheel which is wrong? I hadn't considered that the anchor might have been changed. I guess it's more likely than the escape wheel turned round. Would that mean that it was originally a deadbeat escapement? Can I tell from the shape of the escape wheel teeth if that's true? I thought deadbeat escape wheel teeth had straight faces rather than the curved ones I see here.

I do seem to get clocks with "interesting" history. Here are two photos from another long case movement I have in the workshop. The pallet arbor has been re-pivoted sometime in the past(!):

197946.jpg 197947.jpg
That looks like the verge arbor from the first pic, I'd make a new arbor rather than repair, beyond repair really IMO
 

wow

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Definately looks backwards to me. Turn around one or the other ( which ever is easier), and try it. I believe that will do it.

Will
 

digitalpan

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I'm going to try the escape wheel/anchor combination in the depthing tool to check that it works the other way round. I'll post my results later. And just to clarify, the cracked pivot in the photo is not from the same clock!

Ian
 

Tinker Dwight

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Is it possible that the entire time train is installed backwards?
You might loosen the anchor and make sure the hands go the
right way. It would be a shame to press the escapement
wheel off, just to find the clock is running backwards.
Just a thought
Tinker Dwight
 

Jay Fortner

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Is it possible that the entire time train is installed backwards?
You might loosen the anchor and make sure the hands go the
right way. It would be a shame to press the escapement
wheel off, just to find the clock is running backwards.
Just a thought
Tinker Dwight
I have seen that and on a spring wound movement. The guy couldn't figure out why the strike train kept jamming up. He had the mainwheels in the wrong sides.
 

digitalpan

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I'm becoming a bit obsessive about working out what's been going on with this mystery clock! So I photographed the anchor (the crutch is at the rear):

P1040929.jpg

It looks a bit strange to me! So I took photos of two other long case anchors from movements that I have (unrestored I add quickly to explain their condition):

P1040931.jpg P1040930.jpg

These are what I would call "normal".
Then I pondered on Tinker and Jay's comments about the train being assembled backwards, and I compared the three movements I have readily available. One is a timepiece only, and the pinion on the escape wheel arbor is at the front (face & hands side) of the clock. The other two are strikers, and in both cases the pinion on the escape wheel arbor is at the back (pendulum side) of the clock. So, for want of better terms (if there is a term someone please tell me!) we have "left-handed" and "right-handed" escape wheel arbors. If you put a "left-handed" arbor in a "right-handed" clock the escape wheel teeth will point the wrong way (which is what appears in the mystery clock). So my current theory is that something catastrophic happened to the escape wheel, and a replacement was found in the scrap box - but it was the wrong "handed" type, so the escape wheel teeth pointed the wrong way. The anchor was probably ground to make it work - there's evidence of alteration to the pallet faces.
Does any of that make sense?
Ian
 

Jay Fortner

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Remember that me and Tink were just spit ballin'. With the anchor out rotate the center shaft in it's normal clockwise rotation. I think you're gonna find that the EW is rotating the same way. All three of those anchors are for clockwise rotating EW's.
If EW the teeth are pointing in the direction of rotation then it's backwards. Turning the anchor around WILL NOT FIX IT!!!!
I've got a W&H mantel clock with the same escapement in it that is currently disassembled and I'll throw the EW and anchor up on my depthing tool and shoot you some pics of what it is supposed to look like. That clock ran really well in a dirty state.
Some pics of your movement will confirm or dispel whether it's put together correctly or not.
 

Randy Beckett

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I think it probable that everyone had their own slightly different variation of anchor and escape wheel design when these clocks were made. However they all worked according to the same principles, some better than others. If your escape wheel was originaly matched to your anchor is unknown, but it seems to be backward to me. Of the 3 anchors you have pictured I like yours the best, with it's gracefully curved entrance pallet, and would expect it to perform smoothly, if adjusted correctly.
 

shutterbug

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So .... during escapement, which way is the minute hand turning? Further analysis depends on that answer.
 

Tinker Dwight

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It is quite possible that the escapement wheel could have been
swapped as you described.
I do agree that the direction of the wheel looks right for the
clock but the teeth are the wrong way around.
If it has been swapped, it could also be that the teeth
on the pinion don't mesh well with the driving wheel.
Something to look at when you get the teeth the right
way.
Tinker Dwight
 
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shimmystep

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Here's a pic (ignore the lines that I put there to illustrate a different issue at a different time) of a very similar anchor, only real difference is impulse faces have been re-faced with spring steel. I think the curved faces will help give a strong impulse. So I'm not sure they have been altered as you think, but are probably a nice design.

In your video the EW is turning in the right direction, still think the EW needs flipping on the arbor but may need a new collet made to do so.

IMAG2309.jpg
 

Jay Fortner

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Ian, Here's what it should look like;
clock tech 320.jpg clock tech 321.jpg clock tech 319.jpg
You can see how those curved surfaces on the pallets interact with the curved gullets in the leading edge of the EW teeth. In these photos the EW would be turning clockwise.
 

digitalpan

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Hi everyone, finally got back to the the clock after dealing with lots of other problems, and decided to "bite the bullet" and reverse the escape wheel. The easiest way to test it was to reassemble the going train in the plates, and immediately I put it on the test stand with some weight (but no pendulum) away she went! I was aware of the poor state of the pivots so I carefully turned off the smallest amount to get them parallel, polished them and bushed the plates. Here's a short video of the movement running on the test stand (and no, I haven't cleaned it yet!):

[video=youtube;vM6te1_i0-8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM6te1_i0-8[/video]

It's just run all night so I'm very hopeful that the problem is solved! Just one more observation; the pendulum amplitude seems small, and the suspension spring seems thin and "floppy", compared with other clocks.
 

shimmystep

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Looks like it's running well now the EW is on the right way round.
Amplitude looks healthy enough to me. As far as I can tell I can hear roughly 60bpm, which would be right given it'll likely have 30 teeth on the EW.
Nice job
 

shutterbug

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Looks right now. Good recoil for a long case, and it shows on the over swing. The remaining mystery is "why was it reversed, and how long ago?".
 

Hudson

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digitalpan,

This thread about your anchor escapement has been most informative. Thanks for sharing the details and providing the excellent videos. It has been very interesting to follow the thread through.
 

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