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Longcase Restoration Project

JimmyOz

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How to move it is just hold the rack and move the lower arm (the one that hits the snail) slightly, they are made to move, however we are talking a millimetre at a time.
 

JimmyOz

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The next shot is during the failed warning….the GP is catching the rack here. I’ve looked and it was the only thing catching it. I think I need to find a way to keep the GP just a little further away from the rack…
If it was going into warning at the time, then the last strike section did not finsh as it would have had the rack at the end not in the middle.
 

Snorty

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If it was going into warning at the time, then the last strike section did not finsh as it would have had the rack at the end not in the middle.
Hmmm….it never seems to have an issue completing the strikes. If you watch the video I posted In post #342, that gives you be best illustration of what is happening.
I think the issue may have been 2 fold as the rack hook was definitely catching previously. However now, the gathering pallet looks to also be causing the rack to get caught.
 

Snorty

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Above is part 1 , so try it to see if the rack is clear of the hook and still in warning.
Part 2, now you need to get the lifting part of the lever (the one that the pin on the hour wheel lifts the whole lever up with) in the right position. If part 1 worked then you have a mark on the hour wheel.
Looking at the brass spring (which is there so the hands can be moved anticlockwise) it is above the screw, this should be below the screw and need to be bent so that when the pin is lifting the lever it prevents it from moving to the left and the tip of it is on the mark you made on the wheel.
If the above works then I would not move the hands backward as the spring is crude and may bend out of shape and you would be back to square one.
I never move the hands backwards past the hour. To be honest, the piece of the rack that contacts with the wheel is very stiff as is the screw hold it it in place so I doubt it would have the ability to be sprung anywhere.
 

JimmyOz

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To be honest, the piece of the rack that contacts with the wheel is very stiff as is the screw hold it it in place so I doubt it would have the ability to be sprung anywhere.
So why is the spring there?
 

RJSoftware

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If the gp in is catching on pin when warning mode completes that means gp is out of sync.

Jimmy mentioned earlier you could test gp by pulling gp pin and rotate 1/4 turn. So you could try all 4 quadrants (square arbor) and see which works best.
 

Snorty

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So why is the spring there?
The spring is there for the reason you suggested….turning the hands anti-clockwise. It’s just a case that the screw has become very stiff to turn over the years and do when screwed into place, it doesn’t allow the vertical piece any movement.
 

Snorty

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If the gp in is catching on pin when warning mode completes that means gp is out of sync.

Jimmy mentioned earlier you could test gp by pulling gp pin and rotate 1/4 turn. So you could try all 4 quadrants (square arbor) and see which works best.
It’s not the pin it is catching on, it is quite difficult to explain but it the long piece of the GP (not the tooth that pulls the rack but the piece that hangs down) is snagging the teeth of the rack. That’s why I believe the gp’s arbor needs to be pushed forward to allow a millimetre or two clearance.
 

Snorty

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Ok, latest update, I have altered the position of the gathering pallet and it seems a lot happier…..however, I had to remove the taper pin (if you could even call it that) and the end broke off.
It I was microscopic and I have nothing that fine.
Any thoughts on where I could get something this small? Even the thinnest of pins I have won’t look at the hole in this arbor. Red circle around the remaining bit of the original. I can barely pick it up never mind insert it….. F3C95F64-56ED-404E-8865-0E49EDA5B1BA.jpeg
 

gmorse

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Hi Snorty,
Any thoughts on where I could get something this small? Even the thinnest of pins I have won’t look at the hole in this arbor. Red circle around the remaining bit of the original. I can barely pick it up never mind insert it…..
You could either buy an assortment of watch taper pins from Cousins or HS Walsh, or file down one of the pins in your collection; do you know how to file down a taper pin so that it stays round?

Regards,

Graham
 

Snorty

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Hi Snorty,


You could either buy an assortment of watch taper pins from Cousins or HS Walsh, or file down one of the pins in your collection; do you know how to file down a taper pin so that it stays round?

Regards,

Graham
Cheers Graham, I might need to buy some more. managed to stab my finger twice in the process but got one filed down eventually! I’d love to hear the method for keeping it round though as this one has lost its shape a little. It’ll hopefully suffice for now though :)
71CD9CAF-413F-49B6-8EA9-4F45C0C6B9CF.jpeg
 

Ralph

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Adjust your rack tail, so the rack is correctly positioned at warning.

Ralph
 
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Snorty

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The more I look at this, the more I think the gathering pallet is at the core of the issue. When the movement goes into warning, the gathering pallet falls and that is what is fouling the rack. I had altered the gathering pallet to a new position on it’s arbor but ultimately, it always ends up hanging down.
It has quite a lot of play / slack at this point (I’ll get a video when it next goes to warning) and it is because of this play, it hangs down and snags the rack.
 

shutterbug

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A few mm of movement of the GP is a lot! I'm assuming this is in and out movement. You may need to reduce that end play with a longer bushing.
 

Snorty

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A few mm of movement of the GP is a lot! I'm assuming this is in and out movement. You may need to reduce that end play with a longer bushing.
The play I’m referring to here is actually play in a circular motion….ie turning motion. The arbor does have in and out play too though! 1-2mm or there abouts
 

shutterbug

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Oh. OK. I guess I misunderstood what you said :) If it's not interfering with the rack rising it should be OK.
 
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Snorty

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Ok….so! 2 short video’s….the first showing the play in referring to on the gathering pallet and the second showing it in operation. I know the rack doesn’t appear to catch when I’m moving it there but trust me it does!!


 

RJSoftware

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Not really play I think, but could be wrong. You're forcing the gp gearing backwards and naturally there would be some slack.

But there could be excessive slack considering the age. Examine the pinions and arbors for slack when you push gp like that. But might not mean much.

On one of the gears of the strike train is a small stub of a pin sticking out perpendicular from face of the gear. It is usually the gear proceeding the fly. Sometimes the pin falls out so all that's left is a tiny hole on gear face. That pin is used to stop the strike train on many different types of clocks. When the gp is done lifting the rack one tooth at a time the gp enables/pushes another lever that falls in front of that pinned wheel. Stopping the train.

What is good to do is put finger on fly when pushing hand to activate strike, when rack falls see where it's hanging up. If it's still like you say gp slack allowing part to sag down/catch, then allow fly to spin and stop fly before last strike. Then let fly turn one turn at atime. What you want to see is the stop sequences. What position is gp when lever hits pin.

The square arbor is more difficult I think. If it where round, friction fit, like many are then you could just tweak the gp in a little more favorable position.

Just a thought, not sure as I don't know your movement.

But this makes me think you might have to shift gp position a tooth or two by disengagement from train. You might be able to tweak gp position by altering pinned gear position.

This kind of tweaking doesn't require full disassembly. You can remove pins/nuts of upper post so that plates can be marginally spread open and carefully slip the fly and pinned gear out/disengaged.

This kind of timing adjustment is common on count wheel type movement but not rack n snail.

The square arbor has me uncertain.
 

gmorse

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Hi Snorty,
I’d love to hear the method for keeping it round though as this one has lost its shape a little.
Take a piece of wood, preferably a hardwood, about an inch square in section, (doesn't matter much if it's bigger or smaller), file some shallow tapered grooves in one end, just deep enough to leave about half the pin diameter showing, and grip it in the bench vice. Holding the pin in a pin vice, file with a fairly fine file whilst rotating the pin in a groove against the stroke of the file. This will keep the pin reasonably straight and allow you to form the amount of taper that you need. This is just an old offcut of mahogany that's been in use for this purpose for a long time.

DSC01487.JPG

Regards,

Graham
 

Snorty

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Not really play I think, but could be wrong. You're forcing the gp gearing backwards and naturally there would be some slack.

But there could be excessive slack considering the age. Examine the pinions and arbors for slack when you push gp like that. But might not mean much.

On one of the gears of the strike train is a small stub of a pin sticking out perpendicular from face of the gear. It is usually the gear proceeding the fly. Sometimes the pin falls out so all that's left is a tiny hole on gear face. That pin is used to stop the strike train on many different types of clocks. When the gp is done lifting the rack one tooth at a time the gp enables/pushes another lever that falls in front of that pinned wheel. Stopping the train.

What is good to do is put finger on fly when pushing hand to activate strike, when rack falls see where it's hanging up. If it's still like you say gp slack allowing part to sag down/catch, then allow fly to spin and stop fly before last strike. Then let fly turn one turn at atime. What you want to see is the stop sequences. What position is gp when lever hits pin.

The square arbor is more difficult I think. If it where round, friction fit, like many are then you could just tweak the gp in a little more favorable position.

Just a thought, not sure as I don't know your movement.

But this makes me think you might have to shift gp position a tooth or two by disengagement from train. You might be able to tweak gp position by altering pinned gear position.

This kind of tweaking doesn't require full disassembly. You can remove pins/nuts of upper post so that plates can be marginally spread open and carefully slip the fly and pinned gear out/disengaged.

This kind of timing adjustment is common on count wheel type movement but not rack n snail.

The square arbor has me uncertain.
It’s definitely play, the arbor is still whilst I’m showing the gathering pallet moving in the video .
I’ll have a look at the strike train gearing though just in case. Moving the GP to another position resulted in the hammer now resting near the bell as apposed to pulled back. That actually seems to work slightly better that way.
 
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Snorty

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Hi Snorty,


Take a piece of wood, preferably a hardwood, about an inch square in section, (doesn't matter much if it's bigger or smaller), file some shallow tapered grooves in one end, just deep enough to leave about half the pin diameter showing, and grip it in the bench vice. Holding the pin in a pin vice, file with a fairly fine file whilst rotating the pin in a groove against the stroke of the file. This will keep the pin reasonably straight and allow you to form the amount of taper that you need. This is just an old offcut of mahogany that's been in use for this purpose for a long time.

View attachment 679538

Regards,

Graham
That’s great, thanks Graham. I love learning these methods! I’ll likely re-do the pin I filed earlier at some point. I’ll need to find a bit of hardwood from somewhere….I know where I might be able to grab a bit at some point!
 

Snorty

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To digress from my main problem briefly, I did some re-silvering of the chapter rings, boss etc today. It’s not perfect but I’m pleased with the results…
87597FA0-7FE6-433D-9A69-2F97E5CFECCE.jpeg

Here’s an odd thing and a question though, for some reason, one of the main chapter ring posts had no taper pin hole in it! I was a bit surprised I have to say. I tried drilling it with a 1mm bit. I got part way through but had to stop due to the bit entry angle. It’s enough to hold it though which is great!
Here’s the question though, the date ring is missing some bits….it needs a piece of retaining wire and there is a hole with what appears to be a broken screw in it. There are 2 rollers on the rear but this hole is too close to the ring to have been a roller I think….anyone know what the setup should look like? I have marked the wire and hole below..
00966BC2-A4BD-4FAA-A2AB-44E012BDED4D.jpeg

95C27115-B51D-4E1C-8D20-9F76CE29585B.jpeg
 
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Snorty

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Back to my rack issue….aside from the play in the gathering pallet causing one problem, I can’t see a way to prevent the snail from riding forward as the movement runs….this is what is snagging the tail sometimes and stopping the tail pin seating properly.
Video below illustrates….
I’d love to hear any and every option on this as it is driving me slowly insane!! :excited:
 

novicetimekeeper

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The hole is probably where a tab was riveted to guide the top section of the ring, You can rotate it to free the ring for removal.

The foot for the chapter ring may have broken off at the original pin hole.
 

Snorty

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The hole is probably where a tab was riveted to guide the top section of the ring, You can rotate it to free the ring for removal.

The foot for the chapter ring may have broken off at the original pin hole.
Interesting, I might need to effect a repair to the top to hold the ring in place. I don’t think it rotated when I got the clock. Potentially a brass bolt filed smooth and left to protrude could keep it in place. One tooth is quite badly damaged though..
 

novicetimekeeper

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was it there when you got the clock then? You could let in another pice to make a new tooth for the damaged tooth then resilver, it depends how close the engraving is to the tooth.
 

Snorty

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was it there when you got the clock then? You could let in another pice to make a new tooth for the damaged tooth then resilver, it depends how close the engraving is to the tooth.
I’ve actually just found the piece that was on the dial to begin with….just a 90 degree bent piece of steel. Holds the ring in but it is just a pressure fit in the hole so not likely to remain in place. Unless of course it was threaded in previously and has snapped. That might add up.
The damage to the tooth is pretty severe…I hadn’t picked up on the wax damage to that ring earlier either….I would have dealt with that if I had noticed.. D3212856-29E8-4C9D-9D95-0D2E01D4704C.jpeg
 

novicetimekeeper

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It looks like the date ring has been hammered to form enough brass to shape another tooth. It does look a bit vulnerable though.

The flags I mentioned are usually just riveted in and you can rotate them They are not threaded. They are usually brass so that the end of the rivet is not noticeable.
 

RJSoftware

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Some people object to soft soldering some brass in place for a new tooth. I fail to understand why. No need for a dovetail fit, just file a flat. Then I would hold brass scrap underneath good tooth and scratch profile with fine point awl. Then hold that scratch profile behind broken tooth area exactly in place (measured tooth height, distance & angle). Then scratch the flat. Cut that scratch profile out from the scrap and solder that puppy in. When the joint is square, flat to flat, the solder job is nearly invisible.

I was under impression that you had replacement dial, that was my confusion over the gear for date or possibly moon dial. Guess I didn't see date wheel. So it's 100% original..!

That is one nice clock!

A couple things I wonder, can you reach in and manually adjust date?

I wonder if a spring tensioner was employed somehow to assure each day advance has gear tooth in proper position for the next day advance. I dont know, a simple thing where the flat of a piece of spring fits into date wheel tooth profile. The pressure of spring pushes/assures reliable tooth position. It might not of ever had or needed it. But pretty much a standard thing, especially on moon dials I think.
 
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Snorty

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It looks like the date ring has been hammered to form enough brass to shape another tooth. It does look a bit vulnerable though.

The flags I mentioned are usually just riveted in and you can rotate them They are not threaded. They are usually brass so that the end of the rivet is not noticeable.
Ah, yes, I was wondering what had happened to that part of the ring. If it works, I’m not too bothered as it won’t be seen. The alternative would be to send it down to Andrew along with the hour hand and have him repair it. I’ll give it some thought.
I’ve managed to get the flag in quite nicely and it is staying there so I think I’m good there.
 

Snorty

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Some people object to soft soldering some brass in place for a new tooth. I fail to understand why. No need for a dovetail fit, just file a flat. Then I would hold brass scrap underneath good tooth and scratch profile with fine point awl. Then hold that scratch profile behind broken tooth area exactly in place (measured tooth height, distance & angle). Then scratch the flat. Cut that scratch profile out from the scrap and solder that puppy in. When the joint is square, flat to flat, the solder job is nearly invisible.

I was under impression that you had replacement dial, that was my confusion over the gear for date or possibly moon dial. Guess I didn't see date wheel. So it's 100% original..!

That is one nice clock!

A couple things I wonder, can you reach in and manually adjust date?

I wonder if a spring tensioner was employed somehow to assure each day advance has gear tooth in proper position for the next day advance. I dont know, a simple thing where the flat of a piece of spring fits into date wheel tooth profile. The pressure of spring pushes/assures reliable tooth position. It might not of ever had or needed it. But pretty much a standard thing, especially on moon dials I think.
That sounds like a good plan….sadly something I have no experience in whatsoever! Happy to learn of course so we shall see.
As for adjusting the date, I’m unsure if the date wheel can be moved freely. I’m sure someone will know though.
There is a piece of wire missing from the top of the ring which was attached to one of the dial posts. I’ll need to try and find a replacement for this somewhere.
 

JimmyOz

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In Post #367 (this thread must be a record for one movement?) there is far to much play in the gathering pallet and it will never work correctly untill that is addresed.
 

Snorty

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In Post #367 (this thread must be a record for one movement?) there is far to much play in the gathering pallet and it will never work correctly untill that is addresed.
Yes, it is getting quite long now! Nice to have the journey documented though :)
I feel the issue with the gathering pallet is the only problem left to solve now. I’ve ordered some illuminated magnifying glasses as it is just too small to work with using my own eyes alone! Once the arrive, I’ll remove the gathering pallet for inspection and report back. I don’t particularly want to have to replace it as creating a new square tapered hole looks tricky to say the least. Repairing the existing would be preferable.
The movement is striking out correctly but when the rack releases at warning, the gathering pallet droops due to the play and can be heard catching the rack teeth. The rack usually gets stuck eventually but does frees itself before striking begins.
 
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Ralph

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In my opinion, your rack detent might have been modified and usually has a better from for registering in the rack teeth. Regardless, it appears your rack tail also needs adjustment.

The first thing to do is adjust the rack tail, so when released in warning, and resting on a land, the gathering pallet will/can enter the tooth cleanly. At the same time, if the detent is made correct, it should also be registered in a tooth space clean.

Ralph
 

Jim DuBois

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As others have suggested the gathering pallet does need to be tight on the gathering pallet arbor's square shaft. As you have demonstrated your's is quite loose and ultimately that will cause problems. Most often these are a tight fit and are tapped on using a hollow punch to completely seat the pallet on the arbor. Lightly tap, not hammering it. If it doesn't solidly seat we might suspect a replacement gathering pallet or a badly worn taper or a crack in the gathering pallet itself. As Ralph suggests the relationship of the rack tail to the position of the detent vs the position of the gathering pallet when in warning are all critical. A loose gathering pallet can mess it all up if it hits the top of a rack tooth when trying to count. These mechanisms are very robust and will work a long time, when they are properly adjusted. A bit of wear here, a bit of bending there, some hammering elsewhere, and suddenly you have a mess.
 

Snorty

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Thanks guys. Yep, I understand what your both saying.
From what I can see, the pallet engages pretty smoothly with the rack and doesn’t struggle to pull it through. I’ll maybe get a video of it in operation for you to look at.
I will try tapping the pallet back onto its arbor a little to see if that tightens it up. Alas I don’t own a hollow punch yet but I’ll find something that will do the job. Here’s hoping that’s all it really needs as I simply placed it onto the arbor when it was removed for cleaning.
 
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JimmyOz

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Put a shim between the front plate and the gathering pallet as you don't want it to be rubbing.
 

Snorty

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Put a shim between the front plate and the gathering pallet as you don't want it to be rubbing.
Mmmm….I could probably put a small square hole in a steel washer and try that. It might just be enough to stop it from drooping. Aside from the droop, it seems to work perfectly well.
I tried tapping it further onto its arbor but despite it feeling as though it seated back a bit better, it still dropped when it next went to warning.
I know the likelihood is it’ll need to be replaced but I’m just not sure I am skilled enough yet to form the correct sized tapered square hole in a new blank!
 

Jim DuBois

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Making gathering pallets is not an easy process in most cases. I have made quite a few of them and it is not a job I look forward to. That said David Creed put together a nice paper on how he makes a gathering pallet some years ago.

Gathering Pallet_Page_1.jpg Gathering Pallet_Page_2.jpg Gathering Pallet_Page_3.jpg
 
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Snorty

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Thanks Jim, I shall have a good read through that this evening.
 

JimmyOz

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The shim was to keep a gap between the gathering pallet and the front plate that you would take out so to leave a gap.
 

Snorty

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The shim was to keep a gap between the gathering pallet and the front plate that you would take out so to leave a gap.
Ah ok, sorry I didn’t pick that up correctly.
 

Ralph

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I guess, I misunderstood the problem you are trying to fix. Are you saying the gathering pallet is loose on the arbor square it mounts on. I didn't get the drooped terminology.

Ralph
 

Snorty

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I guess, I misunderstood the problem you are trying to fix. Are you saying the gathering pallet is loose on the arbor square it mounts on. I didn't get the drooped terminology.

Ralph
Hopefully watching the next 3 videos in order will give a better idea Ralph. I’m afraid, I haven’t had time to remove the gathering pallet to inspect it fully yet.
In the first video, you will see the movement go to warning. The pallet unlocks and immediately falls down under its own weight causing it to drag and catch on the teeth tips of the rack as it tries to release. I know that the rack hook does appear to catch the second tooth on the rack after warning but this seems to be less of an issue after making adjustments to the strike lifting lever.

In video 2, I demonstrate the ‘play’ that the gathering pallet has….when I’m moving it up and down here, the arbor appears to remain still.

Finally in video 3, you can see the gathering pallet running. Despite the ‘play’ that is causing the dragging on the rack teeth, the gathering pallet still engages fine and runs fine. At the moment, I really can’t see what is causing the slack / play, that is at the heart of the issue!

it is probably worth mentioning that despite the pallet snagging the rack when it hangs down, the rack does eventually free itself and the movement always strikes out correctly.



 
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RJSoftware

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I do not know the square arbor arrangement. But it could be as follows:

1. If the square portion of shank is friction fitted to round arbor. With amount of drooping play this makes most sense. The friction fit of round arbor in the square end piece maybe partially catching, providing enough force to turn gp and lift rack. Other times it slips and droops. It may be simple as tightening fit as previously described with hollow punch and shim. A small piece of metal tubing or even empty plastic ball point pen shell. The gp is designed to be removed from arbor on most clocks for full disassembling.

2. On some movement there is a small set screw to tighten gp's to arbor. I highly doubt this is your arrangement.

3. There is some other friction fit in the strike gear train failing. Of each arbor is a large gear and small gear (aka pinion) the relationship between the 2 of each arbor is supposed to be firm, however, If one of the gears/pinions slips that would cause the slack. Also look for missing teeth on pinions.

A temporary remedy might employ superglue, which is removable by heat. This could give you better testing results just to establish what i going on. Then remove sg and do properly.

I find no shame in any lengthy post or slow repair as we don't have the chop shop boss breathing over our necks to meet quota. More like an artist jigsaw puzzle that we do at our leisure.

When you really cross examine the relationship between you and "your" clock you'll have to ponder the truth of who really owns who. Because the likelihood that you will become a decomposed corps or a pile of ashes long before the clock becomes unfit is the most likely scenario.

The clock may eventually die, for man and nature are both destructive forces. The point is there will be many owners in succession after you. We are only renters in a symbiotic relationship. For the price of imparting our energies the clock in turn gives us back pleasures to our senses and that most appealing feeling of time travel. Opening windows of mystery and dreams.

So the unwritten contract is clear, you the renter, render your best energies as long as you can and desire to, which becomes long testimony as witnessed by successors, are gifted back said pleasures.

Know now the time travel dream. While the next proud owner takes charge of the human rental clock symbiosis, signs his/her name to this invisible contract, he will ponder thoughts of you as we the here and now dream of those before.

It is a very unique relationship, as very few things that get passed down from generation to generation gift back as much in sensory pleasure and daily use. Others of daily use usually rot to dust. So symbiotic simple.

So take you time. Do your best. Long live your good testimony.
 
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Mike Phelan

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I've totally lost what the actual problem was, but the last videos looked perfectly normal with the gathering pallet working correctly and the strike occurring at the time it should, and stopping when the tail of the GP hits the pin on the end of the rack.
 
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Ralph

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I've totally lost what the actual problem was, but the last videos looked perfectly normal with the gathering pallet working correctly and the strike occurring at the time it should, and stopping when the tail of the GP hits the pin on the end of the rack.
Mike, that was also my problem. Now I believe that the OP was telling us the gathering pallet was loose on the arbor square.

Reggards, Ralph
 

RJSoftware

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As per op descriptions:

The problem was/is the gp snagging rack from fully falling, sometimes. The gp seems to flop down after warning mode is accomplished leaving it in the way of rack fully dropping.

Also issue with end slack in snail, causing tail to occasionally improperly seat. Two intermittent problems.
 
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Mike Phelan

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Mike, that was also my problem. Now I believe that the OP was telling us the gathering pallet was loose on the arbor square.

Regards, Ralph
I see, Ralph. Maybe it would be possible to make a fine saw with a slitting saw and try to close the GP up slightly? It ought not matter too much if it's only slightly loose.

As for the snail being loose, is it loose on the hour wheel? If it isn't and the hour wheel itself is loose then something is very adrift as it should be held on by the cannon pinion being held between the spring bow under it and the domed washer on the minute hand.
 

Snorty

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Thanks guys, the snail / tail issue hasn’t happened for about a week now so I think we can set that aside.
The only issue as it stands is as RJ nicely put it ‘The problem was/is the gp snagging rack from fully falling, sometimes. The gp seems to flop down after warning mode is accomplished leaving it in the way of rack fully dropping’
The gathering pallet still works perfectly well but it cannot be held tight on the arbor as can be seen in the second video in my last post.
 

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