Repair or Replacement of Platform Escapement

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by dwlodyka, Jul 5, 2016.

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  1. dwlodyka

    dwlodyka Registered User
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    Dec 30, 2009
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    Hello Friends,

    I purchased a Westminster chime, tambour, spring driven clock from ebay. I'm told the this movement is German in manufacture. Unfortunately, there are no markings on either movement or case (except for a four digit number) that would identify the manufacturer.

    The platform escapement (shown) is 34mm by 21mm in overall size. An escape wheel pivot is broken. This repair is out of my reach, as I do not have a lathe.

    I've seen a number of replacement platform escapements advertised by Timesavers. I have no experience in fitting these replacements and wonder whether anyone can offer insight into this topic.

    Any information pertaining to how to determine which escapement would be suitable would be appreciated.

    Since I have no experience with these escapements, any information will be valuable to me.

    Thank you,

    Dennis 20160705_115817-1.jpg
     
  2. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Be certain to count the escape wheel pinion teeth. The tooth count on many is 8 teeth. Any platform that is physically close to the original, and with an 8 tooth escape wheel pinion (if that is the tooth count of yours), should do. When you check out the price of a fully jewelled Swiss platform escapement, or the cost of repairing the one you have, you might well consider shelving to clock if it also requires other work!
     
  3. emhitch

    emhitch Registered User
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    Mar 17, 2009
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    medical device design engineer
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    Hi Dennis, I would repair this platform escapement in the event it is deemed appropriate (cost to repair vs. replace, overall condition of your unit, replacement availability, etc.). I have some limited experiences with platform escapements and have serviced a few of these but I have not tried pivot replacement because I do not yet possess the appropriate skills for this repair. David LaBounty at AboutTime Clockmaking (link here) can help you with this as he is an expert in these types of repairs. He has replace a balance staff for me and has replaced platform escapement pivots as well (as you can imagine, these are extremely delicate and very easily damaged). Good luck with it!
     
  4. dwlodyka

    dwlodyka Registered User
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    Dec 30, 2009
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    There are several platforms in Timesavers that are very close in size, but I do not yet know the number of teeth on the escape wheel pinion. My first concern would be whether the holes designed for mounting a new platform would line up with the holes in the back plate. Seems that there would be no margin for error.

    Platform escapements are very new to me. I enjoy learning by doing, but take very much care in not blundering about!
     
  5. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Mounting a replacement platform would require drilling and tapping new holes. On occasion, it is possible to cut an elongated slot on the edge of the new platform adjacent to the original mounting holes on the clock. This enables you to shift the platform to permit the best alignment, after which you tighten the original screws. Most parts distributors would be able to tell you the pinion count, if the catalog showing the platforms doesn't tell you.
     
  6. dwlodyka

    dwlodyka Registered User
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    Dec 30, 2009
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    Doug,

    I have some idea as to how the drilling and tapping would go. Obviously, the most important part would be the location of the new holes in the original plate. Is there a tip as to how to insure that the new holes are drilled to the correct location? Keeping the drill from wandering would be crucial.

    Timesavers has a collection of new platforms. At least one type with some adjustment space built in. Some are not that expensive.

    Other than for overall dimension and pinion count, any other considerations when ordering a new platform?

    Thank you,

    Dennis
     
  7. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    I have used double-sided tape to hold a new platform in place once it is properly located. Center punch the platform in an appropriate location, and drill a hole through the platform, and into the clock plate. Remove the platform and slightly enlarge the holes you drilled in the platform to allow for final adjustment. Tap the holes in the clock plate and fit the platform.
     

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