Owner built precision regulator

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by jhe.1973, May 11, 2011.

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  1. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    And carried this process to the infrared trigger: 309776.jpg
     
  2. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Then up to the acoustic pickup: 309777.jpg
     
  3. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Where it now has a dedicated stud on the rear plate of the movement: 309778.jpg
     
  4. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    That's it for now. I think I have some more photos but I have to go between my camera and phone to find them. For a lot of these last ones I was too pressed for time so I did not set up the camera and just used my cell phone.

    Thank you all once again for your interest, comments and views. It is all appreciated!

    :thumb:
     
  5. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    #155 harold bain, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2017
    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Jim is this an indication that you use hide glue? I'm always happy to see joints come apart rather than broken wood when an accident happens. Hide glue usually comes apart before the wood breaks.
     
  6. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Hi Harold,

    Actually, I used Elmer's yellow wood glue years ago when building this cabinet.

    It seemed a bit weird that this molding broke off considering nothing hit it.

    The case was on its back at an angle supported by the handle of a hydraulic shop cart/table. I was just starting to jack it up to level it when it slid off, bottom first and slapped down against the floor. I was amazed the door glass did not break but chalk it up to not being too rigidly held along its length. Instead the glass is only held by four blocks along each side's edge. It wasn't careful planning back then, just a quick and dirty way to mount the glass.

    I think I figured out why it came off w/o being hit by anything.

    My bet is that the molding is under pressure from the rear due to the poor construction of this house that I have mentioned before. The upper corner of the molding that came off is in contact with the wall and the diagonally opposite lower corner of the clock is 1/4 inch away from the wall.

    I suspect that through the years the glue joints that failed have been under a shear stress and just needed a shock to complete the job.

    ................... at least that's my theory ................. and we all know about theories!

    :whistle:
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #157 Jim DuBois, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    Re: In case any are interested..............

    I have noticed that some, not all, yellow and white glues become quite brittle with age. And not all that much age. Frequently a sharp tap will remove case parts that were glued together 20, 30, 40 years ago, or more, using "modern" adhesives. True hide glue applied hot and freshly made is usually not so likely to yield in a long time. It is not uncommon for 200-year-old hide glue joints to be quite difficult to seperate even with heat, so called solvents such as vinegar etc., moisture, and mechanical pressure.

    I use modern adhesives frequently, for small jobs in particular. So much easier than getting out the glue pot, heating it up, mixing a fresh batch of glue, then applying it....convenience is just that, convenient, but there is a price and a cost to some modest degree.

    And Jim, I would recommend some additional glue blocks for the cornice of your clock, both at the intersecting mitre joints and along the top of the case and the rear of the moldings....that will provide additional support and remain unseen. And maybe they are already in place and not seen in the photos? Great job on the clock and the case and the stand. Your recent upgrades to the necessary wiring is a supurb solution.
     
  8. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for checking in and your suggestions. Glue blocks are on the agenda ................ I think 348,217 on the list IIRC. :chuckling:

    Thanks too for the comments on the wiring etc. I value your opinions quite highly and it was so nice to catch up a bit at the National. Its been nuts here since returning so I only am catching my breath now!
     
  9. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Re: In case any are interested..............

    Hi Everyone,

    Stealing some time away (pun intended) from other priorities, a few months ago I finally made a weight tray for this clock's pendulum:

    315232.jpg

    It is a flat stainless steel oval disk with a bronze hub:

    315233.jpg

    True to my pack-rat nature, the SS was given to me decades ago and the bronze came from a leftover aftermarket Harley-Davidson exhaust valve guide. It happened to have the correct bore so I only needed to reshape it to make it more attractive. I don't remember where the thumbscrew came from - its been lying around my shop as long as I have had a shop! I also have to remain true to the name I have now given this clock and was first unveiled at this year's NAWCC National.

    Drum roll please! ......................................"THE LEFTOVERS CLOCK"

    I figured that if Professor E.T. Hall could name his clock the "Littlemore Clock" I could be descriptive as well.

    :chuckling:

    But I digress.................back to the story.

    I just took a flying guess as to the best location. Its about 1/3 the way down from the suspension spring.

    After adjusting the rating nut fairly close, I first used a penny on the tray and was blown away with the results!

    It is now a piece of cake to keep it within one second per day. Each morning I use an app on my smartphone that uses GPS tracking and if it is one second slow I put the penny on. The next day it will either be right on or, if it is one second fast, the penny comes off.

    I've been doing this for the last couple of weeks and it is extremely predictable. Sooooo, yesterday I decided to weigh the penny and duplicate it with a weight (2.6 grams) that would be easier to grab from the moving pendulum:

    315234.jpg

    Now I think that at least some of my problems with accuracy were self-inflicted. Even though I have a very fine pitch thread that I single pointed for the shaft and rating nut, it now appears that it is too difficult to tweak the nut slightly enough to shift the 26 pound bob in the tiny increments necessary.

    I know the photos aren't the best but considering that they are cell phone shots of a moving pendulum, I'm pleased!
     
  10. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    #160 jhe.1973, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Hi Everyone,

    Once the fall weather started settling in this clock was running consistently fast. I made another weight tray underneath the bob so that the addition of weight would slow it. I used a piece of polycarbonate (Lexan) that I had so as not to cast a shadow over the beat scale.

    DSC_2185a.jpg

    I also filled an assortment of small bottles with lead shot knowing that a tray close to the bob would require more weight to change the rate.

    DSC_2186a.jpg

    I decided to bring the stand in from the shop so I could use the Microset timer on the shelf dedicated for it. I had to move a bookshelf to another room because the base of the stand is so wide.

    Clock & Stand2.jpg

    Now it will not run at all!

    When I walk towards the clock, the pendulum & weight will swing front to back at least 1/4 inch. The clock stops within 10 or 15 minutes. Even using my test weight shell filled to the brim and chunks of lead piled on top of it would not keep running.

    Gee, I thought the walls were flexible but I guess the floors have them beat!

    :banghead:

    DSC_2185a.jpg
     
  11. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    Bummer, Jim. I thought you had spent a year or so fixing that stuff. Unstable wall and floor attachments have been the bane of accurate timekeeping forever. Nothing like a 350k lb adobe house to keep the clocks steady.
    Johnny
     
  12. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    #162 jhe.1973, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    Hi Johnny,

    You are probably remembering the quote below from March of 2014:

    I only was able to finish the immediate area that I showed along our driveway, close to my Synchronome.

    Get to this spot this summer.............boy that's a laugh! Still haven't gotten to the area I was referring to (but to get a door to close properly I have jacked it up ---------------TWICE). :mallet:

    I think I might be able to get to it this winter though I am not making any more time estimates. Whenever I can get to this it has to be in the winter. Our house is home to more black widow spiders than I have ever seen. After we moved in and I was clearing the yard of tall weeds, trash & whatever I lost count after 25 or 26 that I killed in broad daylight! They are usually nocturnal.

    I also had to rebuild my entire web site when the person hosting it vanished. This meant a new learning curve since I first created it in 2003 IIRC. Once through the curve though it is a blessing in disguise as I am in now back in total control and can update and edit as time permits.

    Back in spring of 2014 I displayed this clock at our local Regional for the first time. It was just fastened to a set of shelves as shown below and I had run it in our house before the event.

    2014 Regional.jpg

    In the house it was in roughly the same location it is now AND even farther from the wall. I figured I should have no problem. So much for best laid plans!

    I am reminded of one of my favorite Einstein quotes, ""If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
     
  13. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    FINALLY getting back here since last July when we returned from the National.

    One of the Craft Competition judges (Stanley McMahan who is also an instructor at the North American Institute Of Swiss Watchmaking) and I had a great conversation discussing several areas of the craft.

    I mentioned that I still wanted to try ruby & sapphire jeweling some day. He said that I needed to be sure to provide a tiny bit of radial clearance at each jewel. Even though the arbors might spin freely by themselves, the teeth seem to need this tiny bit of play to roll over each other without binding.

    This brought to mind my experience that I reported in this thread back in February of 2014. This was when I fit ball bearings to both ends of the great wheel arbor and the front of the second arbor (post #87). The clock had been running fine for decades and the pivot holes showed no wear, but with the ball bearings I now had the same tooth meshing problem I had in the beginning.

    I told him that I felt he cleared up a mystery that I have not had the time to look into. I also asked him if he would mind my using his name here - he is fine with it.

    So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    :)
     
  14. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Harold,

    I guess I must be an elephant 'cuz I feel like I plod along these days and I heard they don't forget............I just can't remember where I heard that.

    :)

    Anyhow, I finally transferred all this info from the notes on my phone when I set up the clock & stand in the house.
    • Cabinet w/o movement assembly & pendulum - 54 pounds
    • Complete pendulum w/both weight trays - 28.2 pounds
    • Complete movement & dial assembly - 4.6 pounds
    • Weight & pulley - 6.1 pounds
    • Stand - 108 pounds
    • TOTAL - 200.9 pounds
    Not too bad for my original guess. Now you can finally get some sleep, right?

    :whistle:
     
  15. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    I submit that yes, you need *some* play at the jewels, but if the pinions are 12 leaf or more, with straight faces, and the depthing is right, all the action will take place after the "line of centers", and as such will not have an engaging or butting action, but a withdrawing one, and will need very minimal pivot play. Easier said than done, of course. So far, my jeweling has been only on the scape and pallet arbors and pallet faces, and as such doesn't have this problem.

    Johnny
     
  16. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Thanks for your input Johnny! And sorry that it has been so long in getting back here.

    I did wonder (and will until I get the time to jewel this movement) if Stanley's statement is more related to watches than clocks, only because of the smaller size of wheel and pinions.

    This isn't meant to be a disagreement with either of you, just passing on his view and my experience with the ball bearings used with my less than ideal tooth profiles. I know for certain that I have a butting action even with high numbered wheels and pinions. The pinion teeth have a tiny bit of shine right where the tip radius meets the tooth flank and nothing on the flank itself. Not a good sign!

    Regarding your statement about depthing, my wheel teeth are too wide to allow for it and because the bronze I used was rather tough to cut, I didn't try to re-cut them. Maybe in my spare time I'll get to trying that...............as if that is going to happen! :)
     
  17. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    #167 jhe.1973, Dec 31, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    Some great news!

    Recently I noticed that walking on a raised area in the room where I have had this clock did not rattle items in a display case nearby (the regular floor does). I think that the previous homeowner did another one of his concrete pad tricks (I mentioned the one I discovered under our laundry area).

    Soooo, I moved the clock and stand to an area along another wall and the clock now runs with excellent power. At least as good as in my shop or at the center where we have our spring Regionals.

    YAAAY!

    DSC_2189a.JPG

    There is a down side however. This area of the room gets the forced air heat first, not directly at the clock, but still before the rest of the room has a chance to catch up. The consistency I reported earlier can't be achieved - not even close. Fast or slow by 5 or 6 seconds several times a day. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow - all in the same day!

    This down side is minor as far as I'm concerned. I am just happy to have the clock running again.

    Besides having some Invar (thanks Alan) to try out for the pendulum, a friend in our Chapter gave me a long enough piece of the same diameter carbon fiber.

    I might just try each - in my spare time of course!

    I know that I will be able to make a sizeable difference when I get to making a new pendulum shaft.

    Just out of curiosity, when I tried to flex the carbon fiber I found that it is NOTICEABLY stiffer than the Invar so I am REAL anxious to try both.
     
  18. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    Hey Jim -- good to hear from you. It's an interesting concept regarding play in the jewels. I know that normally clocks run better with some play in the pivot holes, not too tight. This might well have to do with lower number pinions, and "butting" engagement. I wonder if Stanley has done any experimentation on this.

    On another note, I'm considering a visit to Tucson via PHX, sometime mid-Jan, and if you're going to be around, I might swing by for a short visit, if that would be alright. Kind of depends on the weather, too. Let me know by PM or e-mail, and we'll go from there.

    Johnny
     
  19. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    YAY! You bet I'll be around. I'm excited for the chance to spend ANY time together................... e-mail on the way.
     
  20. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    Just thought I would include the latest discovery. I replaced the cheap quartz clock with this much better one that accurately displays the correct seconds from WWVB. It is now really easy to compare during the day/night. I am finding that the clock retains much better accuracy during the day than at night. I am pretty sure it is because we are having almost record warmth during these days and the heat does not cycle on as often, or for as long.

    No problem keeping it within a second during the day but now in the early A.M. hours it is two seconds slow:

    IMG_1315a.JPG
     
  21. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    Putting one of those "atomic clocks" next to a regulator gives a whole new meaning to "regulator", doesn't it! Actbually, they (at least mine) can be whole second off before it adjusts itself. So, if I can think my clock has lost 3 seconds, and poof! all of a sudden it has lost 4 (or 2) seconds.

    Johnny
     
  22. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    #172 jhe.1973, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    We have had two of the 'Atomic' clocks with the large LCD displays for years, they never have agreed with each other. I heard about this one that I mentioned above at one of our chapter meetings. It is supposedly the only one on the market that is true to the WWVB signal. Since getting mine I have checked it with the USNO time display using my computer and an app that I installed on my phone. They all agree so well that I no longer bother to check this wall clock for accuracy.

    Ultratomic.JPG

    La Crosse Technology makes all sorts of radio controlled clocks but this Ultratomic is the only one that is so accurate. It is more expensive than others that look similar but the price has come down a lot and they can be found for just under $45.00.
     
  23. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    Had a terrific visit with Judy and Jim last week, on a whirlwind tour of the S.W. His mind is as full of an incredibly diverse array of interests as his shop is cram-full of fantastic old machinery. He has many projects going - my style completely.

    Johnny
     
  24. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Thanks Johnny,

    He is being polite and neglected to say "TOO many projects". :mallet: There, I'm much better now!

    :chuckling:

    Johnny mentioned that now that he has retired from his business he is moving towards re-connecting with clock people. I sure hope that includes more photos and discussion of his clocks in this forum!
     
  25. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    Last evening I dug out some of the tools that I made in 1984 for making the jewel settings for my second generation regulator movements. This was to explain a detail in another post. To avoid hijacking this other post, I realized that explaining this topic would be better here.

    Here are all the settings with the tools:

    DSC_2205a.JPG

    Just the tools:

    DSC_2205c.JPG

    On the left are two gauges that duplicate the ODs of each jewel. These I ground from broken HSS endmills. In the plastic container are the pushers that I used by hand to guide the jewel squarely into the hole that I single point bored with the appropriate boring bar on the right. These bars I also made from broken endmills.

    This is the grinder that I used to make these tools and the wheel and pinion cutters that I have described in another thread:

    DSC_1763a.JPG

    This grinder came from a farm auction and out of a barn. Here is the nameplate on the left side of the column:

    IMG_1371a.JPG

    Yep, that's right - Patented June 15, 1915.

    The grinding head on this machine came from another grinder that was for sharpening reamers. It was a benchtop machine that resembled an automotive valve grinder and was made by Sioux.

    To circular grind items, my dad and I made this spin attachment that is now mounted on a commercial swivel base:

    IMG_1372a.JPG

    I am going into these details to hopefully let people see that a person does not need all the latest or fanciest equipment to do high quality work.

    There are plenty of photos available, some in books, some online, showing beautiful shops. As nice as these shops may appear, they can also discourage people from starting with what they can afford and build from that point.

    It is getting quite late and I have to do some travel, perhaps as early as tomorrow. I will get back here soon to explain in more detail how the tools shown were used to spin set the jewels in their mountings.
     
  26. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,the early

    I'm on the road and working from my laptop with limited photos available, but I'll continue as best I can.

    Without digging through old records at home I have to be a bit vague on dates.

    It was in 1983 that I was working full time trying to get these next regulator movements built. I purchased all of the ring jewels shown and also the sapphire endstones from Bird Precision. I had discussed my project with one of their representatives as to mounting the jewels. He was aware of the friction set method used in the watch industry but said that they had experienced too much trouble with process. He also mentioned that they had tried many different types of adhesives but ran into a lot of trouble trying to keep the adhesive from creeping to the working surface of the jewel. They had settled on the spin set method where the jewel is slipped into a snug fitting hole and the end face of the setting is rolled/spun over the outside edge of the OD of the jewel.

    He had provided a lot of help with so many details that I figured it was worth trying.

    My challenge was that I had to adapt the 5C Hardinge lathe that I owned and do it on a non existent budget. We had two children that were not yet in school and money was very tight. This an identical model:

    1a.JPG

    Basically this is a large watchmakers lathe. I had no X Y crosslide or way to change multiple tools so I spent a month or two building this:

    1.jpg
    The lower slide came from a swap meet but the entire top slide, quick change toolpost and tool holders are my own design and fabrication. The aluminum spacers were needed to get the slides in the appropriate position on the lathe.

    Each jewel setting was turned and drilled without moving the bar stock. The through hole and counterbores for the jewel seats were individually bored with the appropriate boring bar from those shown in the last post.

    The gauges I made were to establish a snug push fit for each jewel. The jewels are NOT pressed into the settings.

    By boring each hole individually I could get a hole as round as my machine is capable of for maximum support of the jewel and the best concentricity.

    Through the evolution of machining and measuring methods we have reached a point where we have learned that there is no such thing as a round hole, or flat surface. All we can do is get closer to ideal and reduce errors as much as possible.

    Pressure is exerted with one finger of my left hand on a pusher (shown in the last post) while my right hand guided the tip of the burnisher to roll the brass face of the setting over the slightly rounded OD edge of the jewel.

    The burnisher is shown here as is a setting outside of the plastic case so you can see how the face is actually slightly concave as the metal has been displaced inward towards the jewel:

    DSC_2204a.JPG
    The action of moving metal inward locks the jewel in place with a surprising amount of force. Care must be taken and the 'touch' developed because there is enough compressive force possible to crack a jewel and even crush one. This is why I went ahead and did all of them once I 'got the hang of it'. Even being careful, I ruined several jewels.
     

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