old style floating balance in hermle triple chime movement

Rod McLeod

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I have thoroughly cleaned the movement. However, though the balance has been set to maximum, the clock is still losing about 1-2 min. per day. Is there a way to change the adjustment so the clock will keep better time.
 

Dick Feldman

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Hello Rod,
Those floating balances are normally trouble free.
The movements carrying those have been out and in use long enough to wear to the point that dependable operation is no longer possible without serious service.
Many times, problems with escapements of all types are, in reality, problems with power to the escapement. That puts the escapement as being a victim rather than a cause of problems.
More than likely, the situation you have is caused by wear in the movement.
I would suggest you re evaluate the movement for wear to insure proper service.
Best,
Dick
 

Willie X

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Has the balance been in an ultrasonic cleaner? This will etch the spring and cause it to go slow. Also, going slow is often caused by the fork, or the safety table, dragging the roller pins. The later can often be diagnosed using a beat amplifier. Willie X
 

Rod McLeod

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Hello Rod,
Those floating balances are normally trouble free.
The movements carrying those have been out and in use long enough to wear to the point that dependable operation is no longer possible without serious service.
Many times, problems with escapements of all types are, in reality, problems with power to the escapement. That puts the escapement as being a victim rather than a cause of problems.
More than likely, the situation you have is caused by wear in the movement.
I would suggest you re evaluate the movement for wear to insure proper service.
Best,
Dick
Thanks, Dick. When I serviced the movement, I noted no wear in the pivots. However, the fork was out of alignment/bent so I did my best to realign it. Should I have another go at that before disassembling the movement? Thanks.
What I have noticed with these clocks is that I find the old style floating balance is much more reliable than the new ones. Do you find that as well? Thanks, Rod.
 

Dick Feldman

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Floating balances were discontinued due to a patent dispute, not because of unreliable operation.
I thought it a tragedy that they were discontinued.
I cannot say what the problem is but I know that all escapements will not function properly without sufficient power.
If you solve ALL wear problems in the movement the balance has a much better chance of long term, reliable operation.
Adjusting to compensate for wear is not my idea of a good repair.
Adding a couple of bushings is not my idea of a long term solution either.
A clock performing reliably for a long time depends on a series of things happening. If one thing is missing, the clock cannot hope to run.
Installing a couple of bushings may make the clock run again but only till a marginal wear point (that was ignored) fails. That marginal wear point will be the next thing to keep the movement from performing properly.
I advocate addressing all wear points.
JMHO
Dick
 

shutterbug

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Usually power issues in the train will cause the balance to rotate less and therefore speed up the clock. Since yours is running slow, there might be something else going on. Could you explain more about the alignment problem? And a pic of the balance would be good too. Is it new, or has it been cleaned? I'm leaning toward Willie's assessment.
 

Dick Feldman

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I feel it is poor practice to try to use adjusting as a solution for likely wear.
If you assure yourself that there is proper power to the escapement, it probably will not need adjustment.
JMHO
 

wow

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I have about 10 of these in my shop right now, and all are (finally) running and chiming and striking properly. In all of them, the time train needed help. Several needed bushings in the barrel, both barrel and cap. Most needed T-2 bushed on one or both ends. Most needed one or two more bushings in the upper time train. Once this was all done, I cleaned the balance with naphtha and denatured alcohol and set the fork. Then I tested the balance in a vise. In most of them the balance was not the problem. Once I got the power in the train right, the rotation was very good. My conclusion is: concentrate on the power to the balance first. Then the balance.
Will
 

Willie X

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"No wear at the pivots", in a pre 1988 Hermle this would be very rare. I just inspected one from1986 (today) and it needs 15 bushings. :( Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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My experience is that many problems with these escapements are caused by someone trying to "adjust."
The primary cause of poor performance of floating balances is lack of power due to wear due to long use.
Once someone has "adjusted" the escapement there are usually two things wrong with the clock.
The first being low power and the second being the consequences of adjustment.
The operation of a clock movement is a series of things that must happen.
Having two things wrong with a clock is more than twice as difficult to solve than one.
Proper trouble shooting is of utmost importance and clock repair should not be a series of guesses.
Best,
Dick
 

Rod McLeod

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Mar 3, 2019
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My experience is that many problems with these escapements are caused by someone trying to "adjust."
The primary cause of poor performance of floating balances is lack of power due to wear due to long use.
Once someone has "adjusted" the escapement there are usually two things wrong with the clock.
The first being low power and the second being the consequences of adjustment.
The operation of a clock movement is a series of things that must happen.
Having two things wrong with a clock is more than twice as difficult to solve than one.
Proper trouble shooting is of utmost importance and clock repair should not be a series of guesses.
Best,
Dick
Hi Dick. Thanks for all your feedback re this movement. It has been very helpful. When I have time, I will disassemble the movement again and have a closer look for wear in it. I never "punch" worn holes. I always cut in new bushings. Rod.
 

Rod McLeod

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"No wear at the pivots", in a pre 1988 Hermle this would be very rare. I just inspected one from1986 (today) and it needs 15 bushings. :( Willie X
Thanks for this, Willie. All responses tell me to reassess the time train for wear. When I have time, I will do that. Rod.
 

Rod McLeod

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Hi Dick. Thanks for all your feedback re this movement. It has been very helpful. When I have time, I will disassemble the movement again and have a closer look for wear in it. I never "punch" worn holes. I always cut in new bushings. Rod.
Hi Dick, Sorry to be so long replying. I have had too many projects. I did find a number of worn holes and have rebushed them The clock still loses about 1-2 min/day. The floating balance has a strong rotation and a strong "snap" when running. I note some folks remove weights to speed up the clock. One other site recommended slightly bending the forks to increase the speed. I am afraid to try either. Any suggestions? Rod.
 

Rod McLeod

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Thanks for this, Willie. All responses tell me to reassess the time train for wear. When I have time, I will do that. Rod.
Hi Willie, I have rebushed a number of the holes and have the time movement only running on my stand. It still loses 1-2 min/day. The floating balance has a good strong rotation and snap as the clock runs. One site suggested to remove a weight from the balance to speed it up. Another suggested I bend the forks on the bottom of the balance frame. I am afraid to try either. Any suggestions? Thanks, Rod.
 

Willie X

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What is your rotation now?

It won't hurt anything to remove one slug from the outer rim. I wouldn't remove a pair until is saw what removing one will do. Mark the hole, you can always put the slug back. It's a 'see what happens' thing.

It's nice to have a 'known good' balance assembly around, for just such an occasion. :)

Willie X
 

Rod McLeod

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Mar 3, 2019
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Thanks to everyone who passed on very helpful suggestions. Between bushing worn holes and finding that someone had taken one weight off the balance wheel (I took the opposite weight off to rebalance the wheel) The movement is now working well. Rod.
 

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