Servicing floating balance chiming movement

Elliott Wolin

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Although the chime and strike trains run, the balance wheel stops rotating in a few seconds. I took the barrels and balance out, what's left looks like a typical T&S movement but with a few extra wheels and levers (I've worked successfully on a number of T&S pendulum movements, this is my first platform and my first chiming movement all rolled into one).

You can see pictures in this thread Where are the jewels Seth Thomas (Hermle) A401-003?

The escapement seems to rotate back-and-forth well by itself, the lever/fork seems sluggish when I removed the escapement. The lever does apply some impulse to the escapement, but I gather it's not enough.

My plan is to service the movement as usual, disassemble, degrease, clock cleaner, check and clean all pivots and pivot holes, then reassemble and oil the pivots. And figure out how to make sure everything is synchronized, including the chime drum (don't want the wrong note sequence!)

But I'm not sure what to do about the escapement. I could reinstall it and see if the clock runs well. If not, I could clean/oil it without taking it apart, or learn how to disassemble it and do a proper job.

Advice will be appreciated.
 
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wow

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The floating balance must be cleaned but not oiled. The two jewels inside the vertical tube should remain dry. I clean them with a wash in naphtha followed by spraying them with denatured alcohol. Once the balance drys, mount the bottom in a vice and spin the balance wheel. It should rotate about two minutes. Once reinstalled in the movement, it should rotate very widely in both directions. The position of the fork is critical. Once you get it back together, make a video of it running and we will be able to help.
 

Elliott Wolin

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Thanks Will, that information is very useful, I'll do as you instruct, but with one question:

When you say wash with Naptha do you mean immerse the entire floating balance as a unit in Naptha, or pour some Naptha into the vertical tube followed by alcohol to just clean the jewels, or take it all apart first and just wash the jewels, or something else? I don't know how to take the balance apart, I hope I don't have to.
 

wow

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Don’t take it apart. Just soak it or spray naphtha on the whole thing. I usually don’t soak it. I just spray it several times. Saturate it. I keep naphtha in a spray bottle and use it as an initial cleaner on all movements before dismantling and putting in the ultrasonic.
 
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shutterbug

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You won't be able to tell too much until you get the movement cleaned up, fixed up. Then let us know how it's acting.
 
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