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Nisshin Clock Master Standard 70, repaired, need advice

pgram

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Hi all,
Here I am with another problem; I need some advice...
I found a Nisshin Clock Master Standard 70, plate 1461E, with a badly overtwisted suspension spring.
I replaced the suspension spring with a 0.0034" Horolovar new one, reassembled the clock, and now I need your advice because I see something strange; I'm still a slowly learning newcomer, so here I am asking for advice.
Here is a close-up of the escape wheel and the anchor:
As you can see, there are a lot of recoils and the movement is not really smooth.
Here is a close-up of the pallets:
I know that the beat is still not perfect, but the clock is running and I will optimize the beat after leaving it to stabilize some more time.
Look at the left pallet, please; every second beat it drops, stops a little, and then it drops more.
Is that normal?
The swing is only about 180 degrees, and the overswing is about 15 degrees on both sides ( a bit more on the right side).
The fork seems to me not to be the original. The clock is not fluttering, with this position of the fork.
Eventually, I can replace the fork with another that seems more similar to the one depicted in the book.
Can you help me with some advice?
Thanks,
 

KurtinSA

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Looks like the escape wheel falls onto the impulse face...that's going to make it lose power and also give the extra movements. Seems like your fork tines are too tight on the anchor pin.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Looking at the first video the angle is not the best to tell but it seems like you have much more pin swing to the left side (viewed from rear) than the right. Could be the beat is off or the pin is bent or the pallets need adjustment to recenter the pin. I find the pin bent on many of my clocks, suspect some may have used it as a beat adjustment. I check the pin using a metal protractor by setting the arm at 90deg, then hold the anchor on the lip of the scale and the pin should be parallel to the arm. A picture would help but I don't have a clock apart at the moment.

The second video shows why its jumping, the pallet is not staying locked on the drop for the left, it drops then slides onto the impulse face briefly. You have more lock on the right than the left. Can see that the left pallet is shorter than the right by a good bit.
 

pgram

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Thanks, Wayne, for your advice. I tried my best, but I still need some help.
I found indeed that the anchor pin was not vertical, and one of the pallets was shorter than the other one. Now the two pallets have the same length, the pin is orthogonal, and in the mean time, I found that the anchor had no end play ar all.
Most probably somebody was fiddling with the back support of the anchor; bending it just a little outward, now the anchor has a little end play and moves smoothly.
Before reattaching the suspension spring, I tried to oscillate the anchor with my finger and I did not notice any problem; the escape wheel was rotating correctly, with no flutter and no evident problem.
After reinstalling the suspension spring, I still have a problem on the left pallet (as seen from the back); it drops on the impulse face of the escape wheel, then slides down.
Instead of risking to make everything worse, I decided to post a new video; I have read some instructions in Anniversary Clock Adjusting, but still, I don't have a solid clue about what to do.
Do I have to alter the position of the left pallet, and if so do I have to extend or retract it?
Do I have to raise (or lower) the position of the anchor, by carefully bending his back support?
The clock runs, but I'm not satisfied and I would like to take the occasion and improve my experience.
Here is my latest video:
Thanks a lot!
 

Wayne A

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Looks better but there is an occasional rebound on that entrance pallet. Appears that there's some roughness in the movement and eliminating the fork and pin as a source is a good place to start. Have you checked the fork and pin for clearance at center and extents of rotation? Also look for any rough spots or notch's on the pin and fork contact areas.

Can see marks on the peninsula indicating its been moved up and down, you only get so many moves of that peninsula before it breaks. Centered like it is typically fine, watching the drops looks like there not equal but not that bad.

When you rock the anchor by hand, notice the pin location when the drops occur to see if they occur at the same pin angle from center on both sides. If the angles are the same then adjust both pallets, not the same adjust the opposite pallet sets the pin angle at drop. So try and get a little more lock by increasing pallet length, typically you can go until it binds then back up slightly, often the exit pallet will hit the back of an EW tooth.
Moving the pallets longer moves the drops further apart and its normally fine if the clock has the power to drive the swing that far out. Make very small moves, say .1mm and test.
 

KurtinSA

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Something that has been mentioned before is regarding the transition of the escape wheel tooth from the lock face to the impulse face. Ideally, when the tooth is 1/3 the way down the impulse face, the anchor pin should be vertical. If it's not, then you won't be the most power and adjustments of the pallets are needed to correct for that. I suppose in some cases, people might bend the anchor pin, but then that screws things up for the next repairer and also it could be possible to break the pin off. Some of the pins can be moved around easily but some of the earlier stuff is very brittle. For the fixed anchors like Schatz 49s, there isn't any pallet adjustment, so possibly bending the pin might be warranted.

Kurt
 

pgram

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Well, I'm learning something very important here.
1- Haste makes Waste. Never start a work deciding first the deadline... "I want to finish this clock before Sunday, I want to show it to my friends..."
2 - Never do precision work if you are not comfortable. You cannot study the pallet's motions if your neck must be cranked in an unnatural position. In this particular case, I had to build a sort of somewhat crude but sturdy support, so now the peeping holes are exactly at my eye's height.
3 - If you buy a "cheap" clock in non-working conditions, do not assume they the previous owner was just unable to level it properly; maybe (like in this case) somebody tried to fix it, but he was even a worse watchmaker than myself.
Coming now to my poor Nisshin Master...
A closer inspection revealed that the pin had been indeed broken and re-set; and as Wayne says, the Peninsula was tweaked in the wrong way, reducing the end-play of the anchor shaft to zero.
I carefully enlarged the end play, so it's now swinging without effort.

Now, let's have a close look at the pallets:

IMG_0246.jpg
Here, the entry pallet is just out; note the exit drop.

IMG_4766.jpg
Here, the exit pallet is just coming out; note the entry drop, much smaller!

Then, I went on following the Kurtin suggestions:

IMG_9091.jpg
Here, the entry pallet is just out; note the pin position, well to the right;

IMG_4981.jpg
Here, the exit pallet is just out; the pin is vertical, not leaning to the left at all!

Now, Rule number 4: Fix one problem at a time, do not try to solve all the problems at the same moment...

It seems that I'll have to alter the position of at least one pallet, a quite easy and not dangerous procedure.
I would avoid, if possible, the resetting of the pin; It appears that it was fixed with some glue, so I'll have to cut, drill, and re-seat making it shorter; but bending it is indeed a dangerous idea, I think.
I would avoid also bending the peninsula; it has been done already, and I fear it will break!

What can be the safest way to proceed, in your wise opinion?

Presently the clock keeps running at least overnight, but the swing in the morning was reduced to 180 degrees, with a few degrees of overswing.
Thanks a lot in advance for your patience. Learning is a long procedure and requires a lot of patience also on the teacher's side... IMG_4766.jpg
 

KurtinSA

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I think you're going to need to correct the peninsula position. I noticed in one of the earlier videos that the exit pallet nearly touched the backside of the tooth. This is because of the limited drop on the exit side. One thing that I thought was useful, but others have said that doesn't tell you anything, is to compare the position of the escape wheel pivot holes between the front and rear plates. We know that the clock left the factory in running order. I've assumed that front and back plates were match drilled and that would mean the eccentric location was too. Seems to me they would have designed and stamped the back plate with the eccentric in the right location before match drilling. Anyway, it might be an interesting thing to check by breaking the clock down and putting the front and back plates on top of each other...then check for alignment of the holes. You might see how the escape wheel holes don't match up. I probably wouldn't do this if you were just taking the anchor in/out and making adjustments. But the next time you have to completely disassemble it, might be worth a look-see!

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Took a look at my Master/Nisshin plate 1461C and its Peninsula is raised up noticeably. According to the books that's the direction to go if you want to increase the exit drop, and it takes very little movement to have an affect. I do any tuning to the drops first, then move to locks. Had picked up the Nisshin as a testing and training clock thinking cheap half plastic clock no worries, turns out the gears look more precisely cut than many of my other clocks and once you take the wobbly slop out the pendulum it keeps time nicely.

When I need to bend a pin always have the anchor out of the clock and grab the pin with thin flat pliers right at the anchor attachment point and bend the section above the pliers to take any load off the pins anchor socket. If you don't want to do that you can move the pin position by adjusting both pallets.
 

pgram

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Thanks, Wayne.
So, first I'll take care of the exit drop, which looks excessive, by raising the peninsula a tiny bit. I'll try to do it gently, checking the progress with a caliber, and trying to avoid further marring of the plate.
When the exit drop is more similar to the entry drop, I will check the locks, of course removing the anchor first.
I will aim for a one-millimeter drop, both sides, and locks non-interfering with the neighbor tests, and no impulse face hitting.
Finally, I'll try to make the pin vertical, using the two pliers as you suggested.
Is that the correct check-list? You know, I am a former Pilot, and I'm used to check-lists and pre-flight briefings...
 

Wayne A

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Paolo, nothing like procedures and checklists! Used to write them for industrial maintenance to use on complex safety and environmental system checks. In another hobby I do a little flying with my feet on the ground the whole time flying RC Helicopters and Airplanes.
Think the entrance drop was larger than the exit and making that peninsula adjustment moves the allocation of total drop, so entrance reduces as exit increases.
 

pgram

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I'm becoming very frustrated.
After countless attempts, there including checking the length of the pallets (and making it equal), squaring the pin, trying to understand the summary of corrections as depicted in the Horolovar book, carefully adjusting the peninsula (I'm becoming afraid of breaking it)...
Now BOTH my pallets are dropping on the impulse face!
See my last video:
I'm thinking to go back to defusing bombs (one of my previous activities, in the Army): believe me, it was easier and less stressful.
I'm completely at loss. I'm considering to search for another Nisshin Master, in working conditions, and use it as a guide...
What can I do? Change my hobby?
 

pgram

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I forgot something important: if you wiggle the pin with your finger, slowly, it works normally.
The pallets are landing on the impulse face only if the motion comes from the suspension spring and the pendulum.
 

Wayne A

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Nothing like fighting a problem clock, can be a puzzle for sure. Just fixed a Reiner that would flutter about once a month or less which has proved difficult to stop.

Kinda looks like both pallets are short. Pallets don't have to be the same length, sometimes they are most of the time there not. They end up where they need to be to get the same movement of the pin. Anyway I'd lengthen both .1mm and try, not better add more and try.
 

pgram

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I'm realizing now that when it comes to pallet regulation 0.1 mm. is what you aim for, not more.
I have a stereomicroscope (Eakin, from China...) with a coaxial camera, and I installed a measuring software; now I can be sure of what I'm doing.
And I built a very simple holding fixture for the anchor, out of a small block of hardwood, to keep it steady under the microscope.
I also learned that a detailed log of what you are doing is fundamental. My software permits me to take snapshots of the pallets, with the measure superimposed. Haste makes waste!
At least, I'm becoming proficient in taking out and reinstalling the escape wheel and anchor. I have built a pin locator tool, out of 0.6 mm. stainless steel music wire, with a tiny hook on one side and an S hook on the other end.
I was misled by the fact that wiggling the anchor's pin with my finger did not create any problem; it appears that the speed is a relevant factor!
I must say that the "troubleshooting chart" on page 47 of the Horolovar repair guide was written by an expert and addressed to experts; for a newcomer, it can be a little cryptic.
On the other hand, if you try to teach somebody how to ride a bicycle by compiling a troubleshooting chart, your student will keep crashing down countless times.
Nothing can replace practice... Do you remember the Apollo 13 story, when the Astronauts were instructed to build an adaptor for the CO2 scrubbing filters?
I'll keep trying...
 

Wayne A

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Finding a way to measure the pallets with good repeatability took me a few trys and I settled on using a caliper between the top of the anchor to the pallet tooth. Using the top of the anchor gives you a flat surface to keep that caliper jaw flat against, then holding at a slight angle close it down to you touch the pallet.
 

pgram

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Maybe I'm approaching the solution.
At least, now my understanding of the working of the clock is much better.
I started building a fixture, to hold the anchor in a safer and solid way.
Here is the picture: it is only a small block of hardwood with a few holes on it.
517820-76a412df0418dab363c2d2f05d267e3e.jpg
The anchor is held in position by two pins:
517822-f275bedf3caa79660ced304908a24767.jpg
Now I can place it under my Eakin Stereo Microscope, with a coaxial camera for taking pictures:
517823-c7f42d600487afb82f52b5a83df96c37.jpg
I have installed a measuring software, not free but very useful.
First of all, we must calibrate the measures by inserting a ruler in the field of view, so we can measure it:
517825-bc4f10204e8544a8e2173d1755c86792.jpg
Now it is possible to measure the extension of the pallets with an accuracy of 0.01 mm; zooming is useful, but we must re-calibrate the ruler, in this case.
517826-c9a3b1a1a53aa1add720c50285f375f5.jpg
So, when we extend or retract a pallet, we know exactly the existing extension and we can aim easily for an accuracy of about 0.05 mm
517827-299d826bea94032418f2c2d3b93e22ce.jpg
In the end, and after several attempts, I extended the entry pallet by 0.1 mm and the exit pallet by 0.15 mm.
Al least I did a lot of practice in dismounting and remounting the anchor, and the suspension spring as well, without destroying anything!
Now the clock seems to be running much better...
The pallets are not dropping on the impulse face anymore, and the clock keeps running.
There is still some adjustment to be done to the beat, but I'll wait for everything to stabilize first.
The most important lesson was to always adjust one item at a time and to keep detailed and accurate logs.
Never trust your memory!
 

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Wayne A

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Paolo, nice looking microscope set! Definitely recommend keeping track of changes, to easy to forget which way did I last move and how much? Have not been keeping a log of my clock work, just a clip board and toss it after the page is used up. Good to hear your getting it dialed in.
 

KurtinSA

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I, too, keep something of a log when I overhaul a clock. I've got pictures before and after, and keep a separate folder on my computer showing the steps of taking the clock apart. I always forget what the tension washer looks like and its orientation! And to be honest, I have to see how the arbors are while still in the clock after carefully removing the back plate...I know they can only go back one way, but I still don't trust myself!

But I keep a small TXT document in the computer folder that gives the highlights of the work I did. Not incredibly detailed, but it has been helpful over time. Especially if it's a problem clock so I can keep track of the things that I tried in order to get it to run.

Kurt
 

pgram

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Well that unfortunate Nisshin 70 400days clock has been running for a day and both the swing and beat are stable, but I'm not completely satisfied.
As you can see in my following video, I solved most of the problems I had been introducing myself during my previous attempts; but the entry pallet keeps landing, at least most of the times, on the impulse face.
If I lower the pivot hole, the anchor hangs and it's blocked, so this appears not to be the solution.
The troubleshooting chart in the Horolovar book seems to suggest to lower another tad the exit pallet, but I'm not sure; maybe I'm still not understanding some detail.
I'm afraid that I'll end up increasing also the exit pallet drop...
Finally, I would like to ask for advice about bending up and down the peninsula; I tried with a large screwdriver, using it as a prybar, but I fell that my idea was too rude since I marred the plate. Is there any better and safer way? what tool do you suggest, in case?
Here is the video:
 

KurtinSA

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It seems like the exit pallet is hitting the backside of the escape wheel which probably means the drops aren't right or even. The way I understand it, the drops need to be set first, then typically you don't touch that anymore...begin working on the locks. Do your hand manipulation of the anchor pin very carefully and compare the drops.

As for adjusting the peninsula, that's always a scary option. I suspect that the factory had a special tool for that. What I've used is the biggest 90-degree offset screwdriver I can find. Something that will fit tightly and not have a lot of rotation when making the adjustment...this keeps the sharp edges of the blade from digging into the brass. The offset works well because you get increased leverage on the peninsula to move it slightly.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Watching the anchor pin you have considerably more rotation to the right than the left. One of the problems this creates is when the left drop occurs there is very little tension on the suspension spring so it suffers excessive rebound from the drop. Far less rebound will occur if you have more twist in the suspension spring when the drop occurs. So to correct that you have to move both pallets, exit longer, entrance shorter.

Like Kurt suggested a large offset screw driver gives allot of leverage.
 

Wayne A

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Watching the anchor pin you have considerably more rotation to the right than the left. One of the problems this creates is when the left drop occurs there is very little tension on the suspension spring so it suffers excessive rebound from the drop. Far less rebound will occur if you have more twist in the suspension spring when the drop occurs. So to correct that you have to move both pallets, exit longer, entrance shorter.

Like Kurt suggested a large offset screw driver gives allot of leverage.
After thinking about this on another day its less clear although I have seen this problem and corrected it by centering the pin swing, yet the cause may be several. Thinking that if you picked up some friction in the pin/fork during the larger right swing you can end up setting the beat incorrectly because of this.
 

pgram

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First o all, and most importantly, I would like to thank you all. Without your help and constant advice, I would not have obtained any results.
I applied, one by one, all your suggestions.
I straightened the anchor's pin. Now the oscillation is much more even.
I lengthened the exit pallet; initially by 0.2 mm. but it resulted to be excessive, so then I reduced it by 0.05 mm. So finally it has been lengthened by 0.15 mm.
I shortened the entry pallet, by 0.2 mm.
I must say that the Eakin microscope, with the attached camera, has been most useful, thanks to the Camera Measure software. It was certainly possible to obtain the same results using a digital micrometer, but working on the images was much faster and accurate.
I modified very slightly the peninsula position; there I had to "guess" the correction because taking accurate measures was very difficult.
I found what seems to be a "sweet spot" for the positioning of the fork.
At least, I acquired a certain dexterity in working on the suspension spring; I was able to adjust the fork position several times, without destroying the spring!
Now the clock is running in a much more satisfactory way; The overswing is about 30 degrees each side.
I will have now to install the motion work, dial, the hands and then I'll fine-tune the beat.
Here is my last video:
Thanks a lot again!
 

KurtinSA

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Glad you kept at it. I would suggest that the fork tines could be a bit tighter around the anchor pin. I think you're losing some energy there.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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No better way to get the feel for what the adjustments really do than battle through getting a problem clock going.
 

pgram

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Just another update...
My Nisshin Standard 400 days clock now runs and keeps good time.
I just noticed that in one day it lost about 10 degrees of swing and 5 degrees of overswing on both sides.
I was considering waiting another couple of days; if it keeps loosing swing and overswing, I can probably raise the fork by one millimeter.
At this moment, the pendulum rotates 260 degrees, and the overswing is now about 30 degrees each side.
Am I on the right path?
Here is my video:
 

KurtinSA

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I'd say leave the clock as is. Raising the fork will only reduce the amount of over swing...total rotation is nice, but over swing is more important.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Another vote for let it run. Look at it again in a week.
 

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Yes, you have to let it settle into it's own rate. Lowering the fork increases over swing but reduces total swing. Raising it does the opposite. You want as much swing as possible while still having enough over swing to keep the clock running. It's mostly an aesthetics thing though. My recent Atmos acquisition teaches me that two turns per minute is kinda boring to watch ;)
 

pgram

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I really would like to have an Atmos, one day... But being retired, and since my wife is the custodian of the purse, it will remain a dream...
 

pgram

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This is a never-ending story...
After a few days, my Nisshin Standard 70 400 days clock is still running. Beat and overswing are keeping constant, BUT...
The entry pallet is now bouncing on the impulse face again!
I really would like to get rid of this habit, but I would not like to start messing again with all the possible culprits.
I'm attaching a video, taken from the front this time.
There seems to be a little excess of play on the fork, but I'm afraid to create friction if I tighten it too much.
Apart from the play in the fork, what is the best way to get rid of that rebounding on the entry pallet impulse face? I'm at loss, at this moment!
 

pgram

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This is a never-ending story...
After a few days, my Nisshin Standard 70 400 days clock is still running. Beat and overswing are keeping constant, BUT...
The entry pallet is now bouncing on the impulse face again!
I really would like to get rid of this habit, but I would not like to start messing again with all the possible culprits.
I'm attaching a video, taken from the front this time.
There seems to be a little excess of play on the fork, but I'm afraid to create friction if I tighten it too much.
Apart from the play in the fork, what is the best way to get rid of that rebounding on the entry pallet impulse face? I'm at loss, at this moment!
 

Wayne A

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Most likely thing to change is the beat from as little as bumping the clock. From the cameras view point there is more swing to the left than right. Fork does not appear to be causing this.
 

pgram

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The clock is now running and keeping good time.
The swing is 270 degrees, plus 35 degrees each side of overswing.
The beat is quite symmetric, with no difference on right or left.

The only problem is that is running like a lame-duck.
The entry pallet keeps landing right on the corner of the escape wheel teeth, and after a moment, it drops down.
I tried tweaking the beat; I tried to lower the peninsula for an infinitesimal distance (if any bigger, the clock stops).
The anchor pin is quite centered; I mean, the fork swings about 5 degrees each side.
It goes to the right in a single smooth step; when it goes to the left, it stops for a moment at the center, and then proceeds to the left in a swift movement when the impulse corner of the entry pallet drops from the teeth.
What can I say? It's working; it keeps good time, but it sounds like a lame-duck...
 

pgram

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The troubleshooting chart on page 47 of the Horolovar repair guide book seems to indicate a correction by moving down the exit pallet, but I'm not sure to be interpreting it correctly...
Shall I try?
 

KurtinSA

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Yes, I'd try moving the exit pallet down a very small amount. Think about what is going to happen. The tooth will stay on the exit pallet just a small amount longer, and that gives better timing for the tooth to drop onto the entrance pallet. It will change the position of the anchor pin, but a small amount of pallet change probably won't hurt that too much.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Was thinking that it was working then its not so something changed. Clock overall still looks to need longer pallets, I'd move the exit .1mm longer to both help even up the pin swing and to stop the EW from sliding up onto the impulse face. With the EW tooth jumping up onto the impulse face its probably affecting achieving accurate beat centering.
 

pgram

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I followed your advice, and I lengthened the exit pallet by 0.07 mm. (better prudent than proud...)
The clock just started again, and the entry pallet does not land on the impulse face anymore!
Now I'll have to wait for a while to get it stabilized, but it appears to swing a little more than before.
The beat is approximate for now, I'll have to wait before refining it.
At least, now I'm much more proficient in reinstalling all the wheels; It took just one minute!
Meanwhile, I tested the wheels for freedom by clicking the mainspring before reinstalling the anchor, and the movement runs very freely.
Will it be the end? I would almost be sorry... I was fond of this Odyssey...
 

pgram

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NAWCC Member
Mar 12, 2011
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Loiano, Italy
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No, it was not the end... yet.
Making the exit pallet 0.07 mm. longer proved to be not enough. There was some improvement, but the entry pallet still landed, sometimes, on the edge of the impulse face.
So I increased the length of the exit pallet an additional 0.03 mm, bringing it to a plus 0.1 mm.
Then I found that the anchor pin facing the backplate was not straight anymore. Maybe dismounting and remounting the anchor so many times (10?) lead to some mishap...
I made it straight using my lathe, with the Jacobs tool (never used before...) and I polished it in the meantime, using diamantine on a wooden popsicle stick, washing it with Benzin afterward.
Reinstalling the anchor, it was not working; the entry pallet was hitting the back of the teeth (point C on Figure 8, page 45).
So I went back to the Horolovar Repair Guide, pages 45-47, and read carefully on the effects of the anchor pin height.
I had to read it three times because the countereffects are not so obvious, for an inexpert beginner.
I had to move the peninsula carefully, and I found that a very tiny movement was required (on my first attempt I overshoot); I was afraid to break it, but in the end I found some "right spot".
Now the escapement is running more "properly", it seems.
The rotation is 260 degrees, the overshoot is 30 degrees each side.
I'd rather leave it as it is, for the moment. I'll only blow away some little specks that I can see in the video, using a can of compressed air.
The drop on the entry pallet is still less than on the exit one... But the clock is running... I think that I have to know when it's time to quit, before breaking something...
This clock was a nightmare, and I'm convinced that I was causing most of the problems myself, with my initial clumsy maneuvers...
But it was teaching me a lot.

Above all, I learned to rely on all the available information, study the books that I have (and I mean study, not read in a hurry), and not to be ashamed to ask for help and advice.
Now, let's go for the next one...
 
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