Replacing escape wheel

Bill Willey

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
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Anybody know of a video showing how to replace an escape wheel on the original arbor? I have new wheel and hub from one of the suppliers, but have never done this before and I learn best by watching videos. Thanks, mu ch.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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David LaBounty has a good video on mounting wheels on hubs. Do you have a lathe? Willie X
 

Bill Willey

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
8
8
David LaBounty has a good video on mounting wheels on hubs. Do you have a lathe? Willie X
I do not have a lathe. Have never operated one and space is a big issue with me. I have thought about buying anew Sherline lathe, though, but would want a really good one, and would especially need a thorough user manual.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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May 31, 2005
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I do not have a lathe. Have never operated one and space is a big issue with me. I have thought about buying anew Sherline lathe, though, but would want a really good one, and would especially need a thorough user manual.
Bill
While nothing is impossible, A lathe is really the only practical way of replacing any wheel and assure that it runs true.

Sherline is about the only company of small lathes that provide a thorough instruction manual. It can be down loaded from their web site at no charge. It will give you a good idea of what to expect if you are new to lathes.

In addition, If you are from the US, you may want to consider the NAWCC beginners Lathe course WS- 117.

Jerry Kieffer
 

Bill Willey

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
8
8
Bill
While nothing is impossible, A lathe is really the only practical way of replacing any wheel and assure that it runs true.

Sherline is about the only company of small lathes that provide a thorough instruction manual. It can be down loaded from their web site at no charge. It will give you a good idea of what to expect if you are new to lathes.

In addition, If you are from the US, you may want to consider the NAWCC beginners Lathe course WS- 117.

Jerry Kieffer
Thanks. I am in Lexington, VA. I took Ken Delucca's second course on American Strike Movements last March.
 

Bill Willey

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
8
8
Bill
While nothing is impossible, A lathe is really the only practical way of replacing any wheel and assure that it runs true.

Sherline is about the only company of small lathes that provide a thorough instruction manual. It can be down loaded from their web site at no charge. It will give you a good idea of what to expect if you are new to lathes.

In addition, If you are from the US, you may want to consider the NAWCC beginners Lathe course WS- 117.

Jerry Kieffer
I have an opportunity to purchase a like new Unimat SL200 lathe. It is complete with many attachments, original box, manuals, etc. Almost mint condition. From a clock repair person in my area. I agree wholeheartedly that I need a lathe. This person says this will be the perfect lathe for me, a hobbyist new to the clock repair hobby. Do you have an opinion of that lathe? I know they are Austrian made, and that a company exists which can furnish any repair parts or accessories I may need.

Thanks for you constructive comments and I hope to hear from you today as I plan to drive three hours tomorrow to pick it up. Of course, I will not mention any comment you might make to the person selling the lathe.

BTW, I took Ken Delucca's intro to American Striking movements last March, and attending the lathe course is a plan of mine.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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This may sound silly but make sure you put the escape wheel on the right way. :oops:

A lathe is a very good thing to have but unless you plan on getting into serious clock repair, surely not necessary. And, it takes a long time to learn how to use this tool effectively. You can send jobs like this out and buy just about all the other (necessary) tools you will need with what you are paying for a lathe.

Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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A few comments on the Unimat Lathe.
There have been a number of series of those lathes. From what I have been able to gather, the early models are the most useful and most expensive.
Quality wise, I do not think any will measure up to the Sherline equipment. I do not think any Unimat machine will measure up to the convenience and accuracy of Sherline equipment.
As you may have noticed, the tooling for lathes/mills is as or more expensive than the initial investment. However, every time you add a tool, you are increasing the capacity and versatility of the lathe/mill.
With the early Unimat lathes, there has developed a "cult" of owners. The early lathes and equipment are no longer made and that equipment is becoming scarce. The prices on all of that is high. The accessories (tooling) for Unimat are designed and work well with that equipment but are not universal to the world of machining.
Now to my story. I started out with a Sherline mill many years ago and did not have a lathe. I ran into a good deal on an early Unimat lathe and jumped in. For a time, that worked well but I found that every time I had a work piece that needed mill and lathe work, I was building adaptors to complete the job. My final decision was to sell the Unimat and buy a Sherline lathe. That was a good management decision because then every tool I had was interchangeable. I could transfer a work piece from mill to lathe or visa versa without removing it from the tool. That saves a bunch of time and effort. I was able to essentially trade the Unimat stuff for the Sherline lathe. I should have done that earlier.
Tooling for Sherline machines is reasonably priced, is available and still made. Their line of tooling is quite complete. Their support system is excellent and sometimes a bargain, used tool can be had. Not so with Unimat.
As to replacing an escape wheel without a lathe---It can be done properly but one must use a lot of ingenuity and the process can be quite tedious.
That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Best of luck,
Dick
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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If it's only off by a small amount you can do a reasonably good job with a 1/2" tapered reamer. These are available in any good hardware store.

First carefully file away all of the old staking with a fine file. Then mark the wheel and clamp it between wooden chocks. Make a small stroke with the reamer and rotate the wheel 1/4 turn, repeat as necessary always making a same 90° rotation and same stroke with the reamer.

When you get close, wrap the reamer with 320 sandpaper and continue until the wheel snaps onto the hub. Keep in mind the hole will be slightly bigger on one side, you can correct this by flipping the wheel over when using the sandpaper.

Place the wheel, support the hub, and make 4 very shallow equally placed NSEW stakes, just enough to keep it in place. Place the arbor between cone centers, or two 'V' blocks, and check for truth. You can use your fingernail against the wheel as you spin it or a marker. If the contact points are even, just increase the stakes a bit and recheck. If the wheel is slightly off center, you can try rotating it to find a better place, or you can make a larger increase in the stake opposite where contact is being made. Keep going until (hopefully) the wheel is running the right direction, true to center, and tight on the hub.

Go very slow and methodically. I think this last part is the "quite tedious" part DF was talking about ... :)

Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
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With earlier clocks, wheels were made by hand. That includes escape wheels, so it is not impossible to replace an escape wheel without a lathe.
Along the same lines as Willie suggests, after the wheel is mounted on the arbor, the arbor can be put between the plates where it will live eventually. When spun by hand, one can even "top" the teeth while it is spinning with a needle file. Of course, the pivot holes must be tight on the pivots but any good repair will necessitate that.
That process will be excellent training for the next time.
Best,
Dick
 

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