Problem with tiny lantern pinion and possible repair options

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by R. Croswell, May 15, 2019.

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  1. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I serviced this Kienzle box clock a few months ago and the clock runs OK but the owner reported that it would occasionally lose strike sync. It is a count wheel movement. Of course it worked perfectly while being watched, but this week the owner reported that it would not strike at all. This is a good example of how an incompetent previous repair caused damage that ultimately caused the strike train to fail. I have a couple choices to make and I'm interested in how others would repair this one.

    The immediate cause of the clock not striking became quickly obvious. A tooth on the wheel driving the pinion on the fly arbor was impacted against on of the trundles in the lantern pinion. It isn't real easy to see in the picture but several of the trundles are slightly bent. I didn't notice this when the clock was in earlier. There is also evidence that the peninsula that supports the pivot may have been "adjusted" at some point.

    So I removed the fly arbor and set about to begin replacing trundles. I removed the retainer spring to remove the fly but it wouldn't come budge! I wasn't looking for this or expecting it, but someone super glued the fan to the arbor. I've seen fans soldered and glued before, but this is the first time I've seen actual damage like this caused by a fan not slipping when the strike train suddenly stops. Fixing the fly is no problem, but the lantern is a bit more involved.

    The trundles in the lantern (7 of them) are only 0.018" in diameter and were easily cut out with wire cutters so I assume they were not hard or at least no much so. The lantern seems unnecessarily long to me. I'm at a loss to understand why. looks like with trundles this thin the lantern should be as short as possible. Perhaps the maker intended to the trundles to be a bit "springy" to soften the shock when the train stops?

    I propose to reduce the length of the lantern somewhat to a more "normal" length and obviously replace the trundles. I normally use "pivot wire" but have none this small. I've ordered 0.018" music wire and some #77 (0.018") drill blanks as possible trundle material. I don't foresee using plain steel wire. The cap was originally knurled but it's pretty tiny and not much metal there. I don't have a way to knurl something this small and I'm afraid that staking would run the risk of distorting the tiny shroud causing misalignment of the trundles, so may have to resort to some "alternative means" to keep the trundles in place. Any thoughts about whether music wire or hardened drill blanks would be the best choice and how you would secure the trundles in the shroud without distorting it? I'm leaning toward music wire with a brass plate pressed on as a retainer but am open to suggestions.

    RC

    Kienzle-Box-Wall-Clock.jpg
     
  2. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Music wire will work just fine.
    If you cut the wires and removed them from the inside, the crimp should still be in place on the lantern side piece. Since you want to shorten the wires, perhaps you can put the wires in place and close up the gap by driving the side pieces closer together.
     
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  3. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    If you click on your photo and zoom in you can easily see the bent trundle. I have had to release fans in the past. I suppose there has to just enough friction when the strike suddenly stops. How much fan slippage is optimal? Would you use Locktite to secure the trundles?

    Ron
     
  4. David S

    David S Registered User
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    RC to hold the trundles from coming out, I think I would punch out some caps and press them on to the shaft.
    trundle retainer cap from stamped brass.jpg
    ;
    David
     
  5. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    You have several options. You can use locktite, super glue, or as David suggested press a thin coller and press it down over the end cap. Or as Allan suggested, you want to shorten the distance between the collers, put a set of shortened trundles in place and stake one or both collers back in place. Music wire or drill rod will work fine. I usually judge fly resistance by holding the arbor in place and hard flick the fly with my finger. The fly should not move any further than the distance your finger is in contact with it.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I'm just taking in all the suggestions. I usually go with whatever amount of tension the retaining spring gives the fan, as Joseph said, as long as it doesn't spin on its own when fingered.

    Ordinarily I would say OK to drill rod or music wire, but my concern here is with long thin trundles would the music wire flex, and would the hard material be apt to snap? I'm thinking that if I shorten the lantern to a "normal" length this probably won't matter much if at all. Still don't know why that pinion is so long. I hate to change an original design.

    Yes, the trundles are both worn and bent, wasn't sure that was visible in the picture.

    RC
     
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  7. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    The other pinions also seem to be rather long in this movement. I would keep the original design. I also believe that music wire will be fine as long as the fan is not fixed to the arbor. I think the glued-on fan caused all the damage.

    Uhralt
     
  8. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Looking at the picture I think you are right. The long and thin trundles are subject to bending. This fly may have been used in several different works and designed to work in all of them. In any event if it were mine I would press the two collers closer together to shorten the length of the trundles. That way they would have less flex and work more efficiently. Music wire is a common high-carbon steel alloy used for spring manufacture. Drill rod on the other hand is used for making drills, shafts including axels, often without hardening. My choice would be drill rod.
     
  9. Time After Time

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    If you don't want to depart from original design, remove the trundles by separating the shrouds slightly, replace and re-position. Hopefully they won't loosen. Not a lot of torque on the pinion. A little loc-tite on the arbor could ensure the shrouds stay put. Alternatively, knurling?
     
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  10. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    I would just separate the shroud cap put in the new pinions and replace them and be done . No Loctite super glue or anything else for that matter. It will not affect the knurling. Not much power transfer to worry about it not holding. I never push the pinions through the cap it causes to many problems there after to fix.
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Easy to lose alignment with shrouds that far apart. I say a cap (hand washer, etc.)
     
  12. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I'd vote for music wire and an end cap to avoid having to stake those tiny trundles. But beware: the last time I saw anything like this the fly (tiny, like yours) was soldered to the arbor. Hokay, sez I. I'll just heat it up and get rid of as much of the solder as I can. And that is when I found that the arbor had been soldered to the fly because the arbor itself was broken in two, right at the spring groove. The fly was holding the arbor halves together and it was miserable to repair. I finally managed to repair the arbor with a sleeve and then somehow get the fly on.

    And then I discovered the stripped-out barrel teeth.

    M Kinsler
     
  13. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    No it's not...... I do this all the time and have never had an issue.
     
  14. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    #14 Jerry Kieffer, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    RC
    For trundles I use either drill blanks or replacement gage pins. The Gage pins are ground to size and rockwell 61 hardness as well as inexpensive and available in all sizes.

    The shrouds
    The repair that likely caused your issues was a compromise to be polite. The question is, do you wish to continue the trend with the shroud being close to the plate with another repair compromise??

    If not, a small knurl for this job and others in the future, is very easily and quickly machined per first attached photo. In this case, it was machine as one piece from 5/32' A-2 (air hard) drill rod. The head was knurled using a fine knurl, and is 5/32" with a 1/8" arbor". It took less than ten minutes including words with the dog. Once machined, just the head was hardened by heating red hot with a small torch and brushed clean.

    In use, the arbor was inserted in a 1/8" boring bar holder hole in the tool post as described in the current thread on this forum titled "Basic Lathe Procedures. Once the knurl makes contact with the shroud per second photo, both the knurled head and arbor rotate in the hole. When the knurled head makes contact with the existing knurled path, it locks itself into that path. In this size, the knurl only requires very light pressure to do its job in about 5 seconds. Lubricate the knurl arbor section in the tool post hole since it rotates.

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_3c5.jpeg fullsizeoutput_3c6.jpeg
     
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  15. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

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    In the 19th C cuckoo clock I repaired recently for a friend I had to replace all the pins (trundles?) in two lantern pinions. The original ones were quite soft and very worn. I used hardened pivot steel. As the diameter was a little too large I had to reduce it, which I did using a diamond file while rotating it in the lathe, and then an Arkansas stone to get a good polish. Once the new pins were all in place I put a little bit of soft solder over the ends. Clearly your fly must be only a friction fit to dampen the impact of the train being locked at the end of its strike.
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    This was the usual procedure at Montgomery Clocks when I worked there in 1966 or so, though for trundles we always used pivot wire that looked to be the right diameter. It's easier to use red Loctite nowadays because it's lots easier to reverse. Again, I don't think it's a good idea to have the trundles rotate, for there's no way to deal with worn-out holes and no way to lubricate the rotating trundles.

    And I hope I won't offend Mr Kieffer by saying so, because I have great respect for his skill, his standards, and his generosity in sharing. But I have a collection of Loctite and Permatex thread and sleeve lock compounds, and whenever I have to use one or another of these elixirs in a clock I always think of him.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Hey Mark

    Are you Kidding me.

    Have you not seen the "Professionals by their own Lips" who have attempted to offend me. It is especially comical in cases where they are apparently unaware you have been asked to repair some of their work. Generally, they can be easily identified by being more elusive than Nigerian scammers at demonstration time.
    Your continual support and very kind words are always greatly appreciated.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  18. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Jerry, I have ordered drill blanks and music wire so I have that option. The repair that apparently caused the problem (gluing the fly to the arbor) was no compromise, it was an example of ignorance and incompetence. Being "politically correct and polite" I'm afraid is not one of my skills. The knurling tool you describe is inspiring and is something worth considering. The fly has been unglued and cleaned up and should be fine. Whatever repair I end up doing to the lantern it will be a durable lasting repair. I suppose all repairs are a compromise to some degree.

    That would have been one option but I had already opened the holes to assess how much the holes had worn. I've never had a problem later pushing pins through the cap and staking, but this one is so tiny that I'm afraid that staking would distort the shroud.

    Thanks for the suggestion. The opinions about music wire vs drill blanks seems mixed. Music wire is spring steel and works fine on larger trundles, I've never used it this fine before. I have moved the shrouds a little closer so it seems like 6 of one and half-dozen of the other. I think an end cap would make a neat repair with the advantages you state, it it can be adequately retained. There isn't a lot of space.

    I agree, lining up 7 tiny pins all the same length at the same time could be a problem, and in as much as I have already open the holes that is no longer an option. I'll record another vote for the end cap.

    Yes, the fly has been taken care of. I've worked on clocks that had soft solder holding the trundles in place, and sent them back out without changing anything. I'm not a fanatic about using soft solder in Horological repair and I believe there are some acceptable uses, but with all due respect to you and others I do not believe that soft solder is the best choice for this repair.

    Either solder or Loctite I believe would hold the trundles in place and of the two I would prefer Loctite. Stay tuned, we may hear some other opinions.

    Thanks,

    RC
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Early on, I was chastised for using solder to secure the trundles in a repaired lantern. Not easy for the next guy to undo. Never done it since.:emoji_scream:
     
  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Well I decided to take Jerry's material suggestion and cut the trundles from #77 brill blanks. The music wire that I received didn't have a very nice finish under magnification and didn't even see to be perfectly round. 12" lengths also seemed very "wipp y". I still have some concern that drill blanks this thin might be a bit brittle.

    The new trundles are in place but not "locked" yet. I discovered that the outboard shroud isn't very tight. It appears that the pitch diameter of the outboard shroud is very slightly less than the inboard shroud. No reason to believe this isn't original so I plan to leave that alone, although I don't know why it should be.

    Taking a break......

    RC
     
  21. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

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    This thought did occur to me as I was applying the solder, on the advice of my tutor. However with hardened steel rather than the original soft steel I figure the repair should last a good hundred years or more.
     
  22. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Maybe you should rethink this Because this is not a good idea.
     
  23. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I find it interesting how various methods get passed on by one's mentor and become accepted and passed on to others whether good, bad. or otherwise. I also find it interesting how some methods are rejected as being wrong simply because they are, well, wrong just because they are. In my opinion any repair should be objective driven, and far be it from me to tell anyone else what their objective should be. At one extreme is to execute a repair that is invisible, durable, and matches the original construction methods and materials in every way possible. The other extreme are examples like we have seen in the Clockmakers Hall of Shape where gobs of solder and other "innovative fixes" dominate and the only goal is that the clock run (at least for a while) regardless of how bad it looks.

    A bunch of soft solder on this lantern shroud would hold the trundles in place and secure the shroud. It would not matter whether the trundles are hard or soft. The primary goal is to keep the trundles in place. It would not be necessary to actually solder the trundles. However, if the one wishes to solder the trundles, or solder the shroud to the arbor a strong (corrosive) flux would usually be used. It would be near impossible to completely remove the flux resulting in future corrosion. Solder would meet the minimum objective of a working repair, and I've seen this done by others numerous times. It is not a pretty repair, and when I see it I know that it causes me to wonder about the person doing the repair. I rejected using solder for my repair because I think it just looks bad, not because it would not get the job done.

    I'm finishing this job today but ain't saying how until I see how it works out but it does not include solder.

    RC
     
  24. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I suppose if solder was already used, it would be just as easy for the next guy to undo as it would for the person who applied it. They won't thank you, but you'll probably be gone by then anyway ;)
     
  25. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    The movement is back together and seems to be working fine. I'm not sure that everyone appreciates the size of this thing. The lantern is only 0.150" and as for the suggestion of backing the shroud with a hand washer, the hole in a typical hand washer is larger than this pinion. Knurling was an interesting option but I don't have all of Jerry's toys and with the size of this one and the thought of having to make a new shroud this size if I screw up I decided to pass on that option but would like to try Jerry's knurling gizmo sometime on a practice pinion. Solder is out because it is usually ugly and followed by tar and feathers, neither of which I care fore.

    So I moved the inboard shroud slightly to allow shorter trundles.
    I went with the hardened drill blanks which had a better finish than music wire and less springiness
    I turned a brass rod to the OD of the shroud (0.150")
    I drilled an undersize hole in the lathe, then a tiny boring bar to get the hole "right" and perfectly centered
    A washer with about half the thickness of the arbor stub was parted off on the lathe
    A small amount of JB-Weld was placed over the end of the shroud and around the arbor. At that point the arbor was somewhat tapered
    The brass washer was pressed against the shroud using the lathe tail stock.
    After the JB-Weld cured, the excess was trimmed away.

    I don't think anyone will ever need to take it apart in the next 100 years, but if they do, it would be pretty easy to just cut away the brass washer and JB-Weld on a lathe. It ain't original, but that doesn't really bother me. The JB-Weld is "out of sight" but that doesn't bother me either. Over all I think it looks like a decent repair for an old clock that ain't likely to ever become a museum piece, and if it strike without hanging up the owner and I will both be pleased.

    Thanks for all the suggestions,

    RC

    lantern-01.jpg lantern-02.jpg lantern-03.jpg
     
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  26. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Great job, Bob! I didn't realize it was that tiny.
     
  27. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Nice work Bob! Looks better that the original. JB Weld is amazing stuff.
     
  28. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Not my cup of tea. JB weld seriously
     
  29. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Seriously, JB-Weld is a great product although it has limited uses in Horological repair work but sometimes it is a viable option, same for soft solder; fine for some things, not for others. All depends on the application and the repair objective.

    RC
     
  30. Time After Time

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    Looks okay to me. If it works, who can argue with success? I'd much prefer to see that than a Lantern Pinion slathered in Solder. Seems like you've pursued variation on David S's "Shroud Cap" idea. I think he was counting on a friction fit to keep them in place though. Not sure.

    Politics, correct or otherwise, aren't allowed on the MB but being kind and courteous is a general guideline. I try to follow it although I sometimes fall short.

    Yes, I was thinking about how I might attempt that. Perhaps a little modeling clay around the periphery of the trundles to position and hold them in place until the shroud could be moved enough to capture them might do the trick. In any case, you've solved the problem so the point is moot.
     
  31. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Ridiculous option sorry I have to much pride in my work. Some don't
     
  32. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    While it is true that epoxy or other modern adhesives in a clock movement aren't particularly attractive, we encounter bits of modern technology in any movement less than 75 years old. There are E-clips, and modern nuts and bolts. Occasionally there are Phillips screw heads, and the plates bear traces of flash from the dies of a punch press. There are coil springs--and an occasional plastic gear, and I believe I've seen an aluminum part or two in surprisingly old clocks.

    And so our repairs might well involve less noble materials than perhaps we'd like. This tiny lantern pinion was exceptionally difficult, and epoxies have been in active use since the 1950's.

    M Kinsler
     
  33. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Indeed Mark, and what about all the modern lubricants that we use now. I like JB weld and had both the quick and the slow cure that get used for various jobs.

    David
     
  34. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    One advantage of adhesives over say, staking, is that they spare the brass plates and/or parts, which constitute a limited resource. Staking something the first time gives you a secure joint, but staking a second time does not, for the plate will be work-hardened and the hole will have to be reamed out a bit.

    This ought to be a consideration when we choose repair methods, for no repair lasts forever.

    M Kinsler
     
  35. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Mark
    A shroud can be knurled any number of times retaining original strength without issue.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  36. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    I find it funny when a guy can have all the knowledge and equipment and apposes not to use them. But use a method that is below standard and acknowledge that it is. Then states that it's okay. I don't get it. Some of guys blow me away.
     
  37. Time After Time

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    Let's try to put all personal or judgmental attacks aside. What's functionally wrong with the option R&A? If you weren't looking for the repair are you certain that you would see it? Is it the use of epoxy that chaps your hide? Do you have a comparable repair situation that you'd care to share or demonstrate?

    I think I personally would have preferred to try the repair in a manner that we've both described but the scale is small with a tiny margin of error for both reassembly and final function of the part.

    What RC has done looks good and functions well. I personally don't see anything wrong with it.
     
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  38. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    That’s a good looking repair. At a canoe carving contest on Maui a few years ago a self righteous tourist commented that their ancestors would be aghast that they were using chainsaws and power tools. The native carvers reply was “if my ancestors had power tools they would have used them”. It cut the timeframe from tree trunk to seaworthy canoes from maybe a year down to 2 weeks. Peter
     
  39. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Below who's standard, your own? I do objective driven repairs and the objective here was to return this strike train to working order. The first repair was to unglue the fly, apparently all agreed. The second repair was a reasonably neat and durable repair to that lantern pinion. That objective was accomplished and the clock is happy. I greatfuly acknowledge that several methods suggested in addition to the one selected might have accomplished the same objective. Some guys who insist that their "standard" is the only acceptable standard and summarily dismiss the use of modern materials and alternative methods just blow me away.

    RC
     
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  40. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    It's not that my standards are the only standards And yes if you search you would find that this is not the only time I have given comments and advise to this type of repair. Nor have I ever said that that my way is the only way. If I disagree Then I disagree. So what. I have to look myself in the mirror at the end of the day. If you don't like the fact that I think you could have done better. Instead of arguing Why not try to do better. I am here to do my best to help. And not pollute your heads with some off the wall repairs , because I think that I have reinvented the wheel. And to attract an audience that doesn't know any better, and think this is the way to go. Many of you that have seen me on here, know me for this. It's not going to change me or insult me. If you take what I have said as an insult,then your think skin is the issue. Some just can't handle criticism You lose a lot of good people from this board, that have raised the same argument. Some time I think I am wasting my time in here. I'm done with this thread.
     
  41. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    I do think that it's instructive to consider that some mechanisms are more precise, complex, and critical than clocks, e.g. fuel controls for jet and gas turbine engines, the mechanical end of aircraft flight controls, steam controllers for electric power utilities, and automatic transmissions used in today's automobiles, and the stainless steel innards of medical and surgical equipment. All use modern thread lockers, sealants, and epoxies.

    A clock movement, new or properly repaired, will rattle when shaken. A diesel fuel metering pump will not.

    M Kinsler
     
  42. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

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    I agree with everything you say. Next time I am faced with a repair to a lantern pinion I will not be using solder!
     
  43. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    This thread has taken a turn toward personal attacks. Let's let it go, OK?
     
  44. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #44 Time After Time, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    How about a musical interlude to "cool" things down a little?

    :chuckling: Seriously though, I think things pretty much resolved themselves.
    It's good to have demonstrated options. I'd never expect to see what RC has done to show up in the "Hall of Shame" thread. IMHO, well done and thanks for sharing RC.
     
  45. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Thanks. Its 86 degrees and climbing here, perfect day for a cool song. Amazing what can be done with animation these days.
     
  46. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Thanks guys.
     

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