New Ansonia Marble * Open Escapement ... Movement looks in good shape; but suspension spring broken.

Savageblunder

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Nov 10, 2019
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Yeah. I’ll get the the suspension spring. I actually am the one who broke it like a dummy. How different is working on “open escapement” movement compared to a regular Ansonia movement without that feature?

I understand what’s going on in this movement (I think). But haven’t had it out of the case yet to see what really the difference is. I’m noob & one thing I’m noticing is it’s a lot harder to fiddle with stuff with the movement in the case with the little circle hole access opposed to the square mantle where the whole back comes off. I’ll have to make some type of movement stand.

Just peeking in the back the movement looks pretty clean & unmolested. The case is really nice and so is the glass. I believe the bezel is brass painted gold?
 

R. Croswell

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.........How different is working on “open escapement” movement compared to a regular Ansonia movement without that feature?
Sounds like you are about to find out. The open Brocot type escapement can be tricky to adjust, in fact Ansonia didn't really provide any "adjustment". You have to be real careful when installing bushings at the escape wheel and/or the bridge that holds the Brocot verge to maintain the correct spacing between the ew and the verge. If it hasn't been messed with you are lucky. The teeth on the escape wheel are very thin and more easily easily damaged. During disassembly you remove the visible escapement parts first including the escape wheel, verge, and crutch, which is very easy to do. These parts go back last and assembly is easy. The rest of the movement is typical Ansonia and pretty conventional.

If you are not familiar with the operation of a Brocot escapement I suggest doing a little research before messing with this one. That's about the only significant difference - it is simple, but different.

RC
 

Fitzclan

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One thing I would say is that the pallets are generally (but not always), held in place with shellac which is soluable in ammonia and alcohol. Some ultrasonic cleaners as well as metal polishes such as brasso contain ammonia and will dissolve the shellac and loosen the pallets. That is where the trouble begins.
If the clock runs now, be sure to take some close-up photos of the pallet arrangement because this is critical to operation. Good luck and have fun
 

Savageblunder

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704E5B22-07F8-4163-A368-0B16ACE534CB.jpeg

I ended up using some painters tape & epoxy to temporarily repair the suspension. It’s broken where the springy part meets the rod the pendulum hangs from.

Clock runs & seems to run well. Obviously I will replace the broken suspension. Only other thing seems to be the one winding arbor is not centered making it very difficult to get the key in. I tried to “adjust” by loosening the screws that held the face on - but didn’t seem to make a huge difference.

It seems the same 3 screws that hold the face on hold the movement on. So, I’m wondering if this is adjustable somehow. Seems unlikely the arbor is bent?
 

Savageblunder

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image.jpg

Did some polishing to the bezel and the case. Was surprised to find the ornaments on the case are solid brass - not painted spelter. Ordered a bag of DIY suspension springs. Mechanism is fairly clean & appears recently oiled.

I’m guessing there is no real way to date these clocks to an actual year of manufacture? This one is all marble.
 
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Willie X

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These arbors can and do get bent. Turn the arbor 1/2 turn and see if it remains off center in the same direction. You will also see the key shank wobble while winding. Willie X
 

Bruce Alexander

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If your winding arbors are not bent, you should look for slop in the dial/movement mounting holes.

It's hard to tell from your photos but it looks like the dial might rotate counter-clockwise around the Strike Arbor slightly.

I've not worked on an Ansonia Marble Mantel yet but I think Bangster had one in his shop recently. Regarding access/removal of the movement see post #9 in this thread: Stone clock

If you have a couple of winding keys, place them over the winding arbors as you tighten the fasteners.

Supply houses have plastic alignment aides for this purpose. I've never used them but some have found them to be helpful.
See: Plastic Plug Winding Arbor

Nice looking example of the Ansonia "Alpine" from circa 1892. The case is white Onyx. I think the hands are replacements.

The Escapement Wheel on these movements is off-set from the Front Plate to present the Open Escapement. The little Cock that forms the rear pivot hole for the Escape Wheel can be a little difficult to bush and I believe that it is easily missed when the movement is oiled. I've seen a lot of wear to both the Pivot Hole and the Pivot in that area before.

Good luck.

Bruce
 
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Savageblunder

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Nov 10, 2019
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Thanks for the clock name & advice. I don’t think the winding arbor is bent - key doesn’t seem to wobble when you wind it. I’m sure it’s some adjustment & I’m pretty good at tweeking stuff to make it work.

One thing I did notice when I had it running was at some hours the gong would do that thing where it just kept running (strike train). It would eventually stop after a while. Other hours it seemed to do the normal 1-12 times.

It looks like the lever that strikes the gong has been bent & fiddled with numerous times. When I got it the gong was too close to the striking lever & I bent the lever back slightly with my hands.

Access is sort of tight in the little hole in the back of the case & I’m thinking possibly one of the levers on the same arbor may be bent a hair from adjusting the gong? I’m waiting for the suspension spring to come to remove the movement from the case & see.

I may be dumb, but honestly it seems better to remove the wood the gong mounts on at the bottom to adjust the gong on this clock? It’s so tight, even with a lever bending tool with a slot in it, it’s still hard to hold the gong striking lever with pliers to adjust it without putting too much pressure on the lever itself.

Also, I just noticed there seems to be some radial play with the arbor that the clock hands mount to. I don’t know if this is normal?
 

Savageblunder

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Nov 10, 2019
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I got a little bag full of suspension springs from eBay. I guess these are somewhat universal for American mantle clocks, because it was the exact size of what was broken in there. Clock is running & keeping time.

I’m guessing my strike train keeps running issue is a slightly bent lever - since occasionally it stops correctly. Haven’t pulled the movement yet, but it looks clean, oiled, and no obviously worn bushings.

I took a pic of a clock in a shop I wanted to ask about... But I’m sure posting that is against some forum rule.
 
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