I’m working on a 1950s mantel clock, British and looking at escapement problems for the first time. Despite reading up –de Carle, Penman, Gazeley, I don’t really get beyond trial and error. This thing has a recoil escapement with the solid type of anchor. I thought the scape wheel looked a bit iffy and I needed to get some practical experience, so I topped the teeth in the lathe (my workshop is basically that of a home machinist) and refiled the non-radial side until the tops were about the right thickness. I stoned the anchor with my new expensive Arkansas stone.
I really don’t see how to set the depth of engagement except by trial and error, but after some meddling I got good results and the clock ran for about a fortnight. Just as I was preparing myself for the plaudits of the owner, the bugger stopped.
I checked the train and everything was free. The thing would run in a rather lack lustre sort of way about a half turn of the wheel and then stop- not necessarily at the same place. More meddling accomplished nothing! I then took out the anchor thinking I might have to give it more attention, eg soften and bend it. There seemed to be some marking on it, so I stoned it again and this time put a light film of oil on it. It’s been running happily for the last 5 hours now.
My theory is that the working surfaces needed to bed in and created some microscopic waste in doing so and that cleaning that off and giving it some oil may have been enough.
But, clearly, I know nothing, so I’d welcome some advice- hopefully better than “ don’t mess with what you don’t understand” . I’m trying to learn. The books get frightfully technical about impulse angles, the drop and the like, but I can’t see how you can measure very much in situ.