Help Sessions movement escape wheel skips

MBorders

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I received an antique clock as an inheritance and am attempting to get it running. I initially had a very good beat and it ran fine for several weeks. However, it has developed an issue where the escape wheel will skip. I thought it was a beat issue but after numerous hours trying to get it in beat and stop skipping, I now believe it is a bigger issue. I am linking two videos of it
‘’running”. One with the pendulum attached and one without. It is almost as if the escape wheel is not flat but when I take it out , it appears to be okay. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

videos:
Session movement escape wheel skip (with pendulum)



Session movement escape wheel skip (without pendulum)
 

bruce linde

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stop running it immediately. you need to figure out why it's skipping, which can damage the escape wheel teeth. it is also seriously out of beat (see tips --> setting the beat 101 in the clock repair 'sticky' threads.
 

MBorders

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stop running it immediately. you need to figure out why it's skipping, which can damage the escape wheel teeth. it is also seriously out of beat (see tips --> setting the beat 101 in the clock repair 'sticky' threads.
Thank you for your reply. I have read the tips in the past and was able to get a good beat. After a few weeks, it stopped and when attempting to get it back in beat I cannot get past the skip and get it back in beat. At beast, it will run for 30 seconds.
 

Willie X

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The verge pivot pin needs to be moved to the left.

Probably the safest way to do this is to arrest the time train first, by tying the escape wheel to the plate using a length of very small diameter wire.

Then carefully rotate the pivot pin's mount (dog-bone) clockwise, using large pliers. Or, you can tap the lower part of the
dog-bone lightly, using a flat nose punch and a 2 ounce hammer. Either method is good. Be extra careful not to bump the escape wheel teeth or the pin.

Move the dog-bone the tiniest amount you can. If you think it moved, that might be to much. :)

Put it back together and see what happens ...

Willie X
 

MBorders

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The verge pivot pin needs to be moved to the left.

Probably the safest way to do this is to arrest the time train first, by tying the escape wheel to the plate using a length of very small diameter wire.

Then carefully rotate the pivot pin's mount (dog-bone) clockwise, using large pliers. Or, you can tap the lower part of the
dog-bone lightly, using a flat nose punch and a 2 ounce hammer. Either method is good. Be extra careful not to bump the escape wheel teeth or the pin.

Move the dog-bone the tiniest amount you can. If you think it moved, that might be to much. :)

Put it back together and see what happens ...

Willie X
Wow! A smidge to the left worked! Skipping is eliminated and I have beat very close. Will fine tune over next couple of days. Thank you very much Willie!
 
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Codozalator

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I am having the exact same issue with an old Sessions movement that was, according to the writing inside the case, last cleaned in 1928. And nearly a century's worth of schmutz has accumulated. My sister had this old clock, so she gave it to me to see what I could do to get it running. At first, it was obvious it didn't run by how filthy it was.
Anyway, I did not take it completely apart by separating the plates, but I cleaned the movement in my sonic cleaner, dried it, and oiled it at the pivot points. After giving it a go, that is when it begun skipping on the escapement wheel.
I enjoy it, but I am new to the clock hobby, so any advice on what to do and don't do is appreciated. I removed the verge and the escape wheel unwound the spring giving me more space to clean the mainspring between the winds. Was that OK to do?. It was easier than removing it, though that would be method of doing it right. I just want to get that skipping on the escapement fixed for now. As was suggested, I will try tapping the dogbone, but I am nervous about doing that because it is riveted on, and I always feel like I am going to damage it.
 

wow

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Photos would help, but moving the pallets closer to the escape wheel is your first step. It should be cleaned properly and serviced, as you know, but at least you may get it going by moving the pallets.
 
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R. Croswell

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I am having the exact same issue with an old Sessions movement that was, according to the writing inside the case, last cleaned in 1928. And nearly a century's worth of schmutz has accumulated. My sister had this old clock, so she gave it to me to see what I could do to get it running. At first, it was obvious it didn't run by how filthy it was.
Anyway, I did not take it completely apart by separating the plates, but I cleaned the movement in my sonic cleaner, dried it, and oiled it at the pivot points. After giving it a go, that is when it begun skipping on the escapement wheel.
I enjoy it, but I am new to the clock hobby, so any advice on what to do and don't do is appreciated. I removed the verge and the escape wheel unwound the spring giving me more space to clean the mainspring between the winds. Was that OK to do?. It was easier than removing it, though that would be method of doing it right. I just want to get that skipping on the escapement fixed for now. As was suggested, I will try tapping the dogbone, but I am nervous about doing that because it is riveted on, and I always feel like I am going to damage it.
If you didn’t disassemble this movement then you didn’t clean it

keep in mind when one finds a filthy old clock, more than likely it got set aside because there was something wrong before it got filthy, so whatever was wrong is still going to be wrong.The immediate issue is escape wheel teeth skipping past the verge, and the most often suggested solution is to adjust the verge closer to the escape wheel, but wait! The verge adjustment is usually rather tight, it didn’t change on its own, so why would it need to be adjusted now? In one word, wear. Not so much wear of the verge, but wear of the escape wheel pivot holes Allowing the escape wheel to drift away. Getting rid of some of the filth, tweaking a few adjustments, and oiling may get it running for a short period but the joy won’t last because the real problem(s) are still there.

RC
 

ChimeTime

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I have the same Sessions time-only movement. The only wear it has experienced is both at the verge and escape wheel pivots, just as Mr Croswell predicted above.
 

Codozalator

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If you didn’t disassemble this movement then you didn’t clean it

keep in mind when one finds a filthy old clock, more than likely it got set aside because there was something wrong before it got filthy, so whatever was wrong is still going to be wrong.The immediate issue is escape wheel teeth skipping past the verge, and the most often suggested solution is to adjust the verge closer to the escape wheel, but wait! The verge adjustment is usually rather tight, it didn’t change on its own, so why would it need to be adjusted now? In one word, wear. Not so much wear of the verge, but wear of the escape wheel pivot holes Allowing the escape wheel to drift away. Getting rid of some of the filth, tweaking a few adjustments, and oiling may get it running for a short period but the joy won’t last because the real problem(s) are still there.

RC
Thanks very much for the straightforward advice. I attached a photo. I managed to push the "dogbone" in toward the escape wheel just a touch and it is no longer skipping, but it does stop after about 5 minutes.

DSCN1776.JPG
 

Codozalator

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Photos would help, but moving the pallets closer to the escape wheel is your first step. It should be cleaned properly and serviced, as you know, but at least you may get it going by moving the pallets.
Thanks
 

wow

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It is probably stopping because it is out of beat. If you could make a video we could tell if it is in beat.
 

Codozalator

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Thanks. I, too, was thinking a video would be more helpful, so I attached a short one. I really appreciate your help and tutelage. I don't know much, but I think the escapement wheel teeth are shot in places from all the skipping. Some of them look kind of chewed up and that can't be a good sign...novice or otherwise.
Plus, there is a little play in the escapement pivot.
I hung the movement from nails in the wall so it would be level and easy to access, so please pardon me if I do stupid things which seem like common sense to you all. The case is too large to hang just to keep this tiny movement in.

Thanks very much for your help. I find this hobby very interesting and fun, but I have a lot to learn.
 

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R. Croswell

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Thanks. I, too, was thinking a video would be more helpful, so I attached a short one. I really appreciate your help and tutelage. I don't know much, but I think the escapement wheel teeth are shot in places from all the skipping. Some of them look kind of chewed up and that can't be a good sign...novice or otherwise.
Plus, there is a little play in the escapement pivot.
I hung the movement from nails in the wall so it would be level and easy to access, so please pardon me if I do stupid things which seem like common sense to you all. The case is too large to hang just to keep this tiny movement in.

Thanks very much for your help. I find this hobby very interesting and fun, but I have a lot to learn.
stop running it right away before you destroy whats left of the escape wheel. You may save it by gently pulling each tooth straight with flat nose pliers. You can keep futzing with it and never get it to be reliable, or resolve to fix what’s actually wrong. This is an ideal first clock to learn on.

RC
 

Willie X

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For a video to have much meaning, it needs to be, straight on, well lit, and close up. Move the pendulum back and forth slowly with your hand.

Wear can cause lots of escapement problems but skipping teeth, probably not. Usually it's bent teeth, or a loose crutch to pallet connection. Misguided adjustments from previous repair people is very common.

Do you know how to check your movement for wear? If you have a lot of wear, that certainly needs to be addressed first.

Willie X
 

Codozalator

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For a video to have much meaning, it needs to be, straight on, well lit, and close up. Move the pendulum back and forth slowly with your hand.

Wear can cause lots of escapement problems but skipping teeth, probably not. Usually it's bent teeth, or a loose crutch to pallet connection. Misguided adjustments from previous repair people is very common.

Do you know how to check your movement for wear? If you have a lot of wear, that certainly needs to be addressed first.

Willie X
Thanks everyone for being so nice and willing to help. Yes, I was thinking the same thing about it being a good clock for a beginner. That I certainly am.
I wish I had a camera nice enough to do some major close ups, but alas, I don't.
Check the movement for wear?. You mean like checking to see if the bushings have play?. Yes. I think I can do that. The escapement gear appears the worst.
 

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Willie X

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The dog bone needs to be moved to the left, just like in the older thread, same instructions.

Yes, it's a simple movement and very good for a beginner.

Also, these little movements can run (non stop) for 50 years. That is both good and bad. Good not to need repairs, bad because they often have severe wear when they stop!

Willie X
 
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shutterbug

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You've got great recoil, especially on the exit pallet (the 90° one). The entrance pallet is way too far from the wheel. That could be an out of beat condition (move the dog bone) or you might be able to get the whole verge closer to the wheel. You want it as close as possible while still allowing the teeth to release. Verge adjustments are tricky for a beginner. You may need some help.
 

Codozalator

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The dog bone needs to be moved to the left, just like in the older thread, same instructions.

Yes, it's a simple movement and very good for a beginner.

Also, these little movements can run (non stop) for 50 years. That is both good and bad. Good not to need repairs, bad because they often have severe wear when the stop!

Willie X
Thanks very much. Yep, that's what I did. I have a pair of funny looking pliers (I am not sure what they're true function is) that work perfect for moving the dogbone. It is no longer spinning on the verge, but now, after it ticks for a while, it wants to periodically hang up on an escapement wheel tooth and stop. But it's been running decent now for a while so I likely have the dogbone as close as I'll ever get it.
The ol' girl needs to be taken clean apart and cleaned right for one thing. It's just that being a newbie it makes me nervous. I reckon there is no other way to learn.

EDIT: After the dogbone adjustment, It has been running OK now for a while, so I'll see how long it continues.

Thanks much for the tutelage

session clock movement forum.jpg
 
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Codozalator

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You've got great recoil, especially on the exit pallet (the 90° one). The entrance pallet is way too far from the wheel. That could be an out of beat condition (move the dog bone) or you might be able to get the whole verge closer to the wheel. You want it as close as possible while still allowing the teeth to release. Verge adjustments are tricky for a beginner. You may need some help.
Thanks much. I adjusted the dogbone as close as I could get it and it has been running well for a while now just ticking away. I had forgotten to put a safety wire/cotter key back into a gear wheel, so after I placed that back where it belonged it has been running better. Admittedly, I am not even sure what that gear is for. It's the bottom gear with the pin sticking out in the photo I just posted. Anyway, it had a piece of wire through the arbor/spindle keeping it in place, and I had forgotten to put it back in. Rookie mistake.
Sorry, I do not know the names of many of these respective clock parts. I attached the photo of the gear I mean.

session clock movement 2.jpg
 

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Codozalator

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Thanks, Willie. The Calendar drive, huh?. Heck, I had not even noticed the face has numbers from 1 to 31 around it. Makes sense now. Duh!
It ran for three hours w/o the pendulum then quit. I put the pendulum on, and it ran for about 10 minutes before slowly winding down and stopping.
The thing is...the pendulum hangs by a thin strip of metal and appears to be wobbling as it swings.
I'm sorry. I understand if you guys don't want to bother with me anymore. It's just that I like clocks and I am learning something at the same time.
 

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Willie X

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It doesn't work that way.

The people in this group will stay with you as long as some progress is being made.

Now ... there may come a time when you will need to do some reading, buy some tools, meditate, stuff like that.

It's not a "bother". It's what this MB does, over and over and over. :)

About 80 to 90% of the time, a wobbling pendulum is due to a defective suspension spring. The rest of the time it's due to some part of the pendulum, or crutch, being loose or out of alignment.

Willie X
 
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Codozalator

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Thanks. The pendulum hangs by a strip of thin metal. It looks like it may be that. It is bent a little.
Well, I reckon I should start by taking Croswell's advice and disassemble it and clean it correctly. It keeps stopping, so it needs help.
So, Willie & Co. what is your advice to what I should go ahead and do?. Take it apart and clean it right, and then proceed at addressing any subsequent issues?. I really do enjoy this hobby, but I'm dumb about it and have no problem tackling a task if I know what to do or where to begin.
Oh, btw, I attached a photo of that metal strip the pendulum hangs from. Is there an official name for it?.

EDIT: sorry, I told you I was dumb. I did not know that strip of thin metal was a "suspension spring". It doesn't look like a spring to me. Anyway, they sell these rather cheaply on Amazon. Are those OK to get depending on the length?. The one on my clock does indeed look bent. Just looking at it, it appears to be causing the wobble. From the top of the metal strip to the bottom where the pendulum attached is 9.25 inches. A 10-inch one should work, shouldn't it?. Amazon.com: 10 Pendulum Rods and 10 Springs for American German Clocks Repair Part

DSCN1795.JPG
 
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Willie X

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Suspension spring.

RC's advise is always good.

Make sure you understand exactly how to 'let down the mainspring' BEFORE you
actually do it.

Willie X
 

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OK. Will do. Thanks very much. I really enjoy this hobby, but I feel like a hog on ice totally clueless
 

R. Croswell

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OK. Will do. Thanks very much. I really enjoy this hobby, but I feel like a hog on ice totally clueless
Try timesavers for your suspension spring. These should do; .003" x 17"/18" Suspension Rods 12-Pack
While you are there consider getting a copy of this book; Clock Repair Basics By Steven Conover (timesavers.com)
You will need a letdown key. You can improvise one using a good fitting winding key and a piece of brook stick, or select one from Timesavers selection. I believe this clock takes a #7 size. I like this one #7-#8 Let Down Key (timesavers.com) and this one for size 5 and 6 #5-#6 Let Down Key (timesavers.com) You can also get a single handle that accepts a variety of chucks. Now you absolutely should have this book; How To Repair 20 American Clocks By Steven Conover (timesavers.com) Chapter 9 is devoted to the same Sessions movement that you have and includes illustrations and detailed instructions for everything including the calendar.

I know you are starting to see $$$$$ signs, but it's a hobby, and money spent on your hobby don't count, right?

Then from your local hardware store, get a roll of soft iron #16 rebar tie wire (to restrain the mainspring).

I would set this movement aside until you read these two books, after which you will know names of the parts and how to proceed safely. That's not going to fix your clock, and this is not all the tools you will need, but it will get you started. With this one, I think it may be possible to rewind the spring without a "spring winder". There are a lot of posts here on bushing installation and pivot work, including some that I can't recommend, but you should be able to find a method that uses "affordable tools" that will work for this movement. This one is fairly tolerant and forgiving.

The folks here will indeed see you through this project as long as listen to the advice given and "are making progress".

RC
 

Codozalator

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Try timesavers for your suspension spring. These should do; .003" x 17"/18" Suspension Rods 12-Pack
While you are there consider getting a copy of this book; Clock Repair Basics By Steven Conover (timesavers.com)
You will need a letdown key. You can improvise one using a good fitting winding key and a piece of brook stick, or select one from Timesavers selection. I believe this clock takes a #7 size. I like this one #7-#8 Let Down Key (timesavers.com) and this one for size 5 and 6 #5-#6 Let Down Key (timesavers.com) You can also get a single handle that accepts a variety of chucks. Now you absolutely should have this book; How To Repair 20 American Clocks By Steven Conover (timesavers.com) Chapter 9 is devoted to the same Sessions movement that you have and includes illustrations and detailed instructions for everything including the calendar.

I know you are starting to see $$$$$ signs, but it's a hobby, and money spent on your hobby don't count, right?

Then from your local hardware store, get a roll of soft iron #16 rebar tie wire (to restrain the mainspring).

I would set this movement aside until you read these two books, after which you will know names of the parts and how to proceed safely. That's not going to fix your clock, and this is not all the tools you will need, but it will get you started. With this one, I think it may be possible to rewind the spring without a "spring winder". There are a lot of posts here on bushing installation and pivot work, including some that I can't recommend, but you should be able to find a method that uses "affordable tools" that will work for this movement. This one is fairly tolerant and forgiving.

The folks here will indeed see you through this project as long as listen to the advice given and "are making progress".

RC
WOW!!!. Thanks so much. I must have a little intuition because I already ordered Conover's Basic book and I already ordered suspension springs. Yes, I have been thinking about a Let down key. I know I need one of those. Thanks for the specifics.
I will also get the other Conover book you mentioned. I will keep everyone apprised of my progress and thank you all so much.
 

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Well masters, the padawan may have been rather impulsive but I went ahead and purchased an Ollie Baker mainspring winder, letdown tools, clamps, etc. all in one pack. I like having the tools to do a job right and safely. If I was wrong in doing this, then I was wrong. I also ordered Conover's book on American clock movements but it won't be here until Tuesday.
 

Willie X

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Not wrong ... but you won't need the spring winder to much on that movement. You will need the other stuff and probably some means to replace a few bushings. Willie X
 
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R. Croswell

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Well masters, the padawan may have been rather impulsive but I went ahead and purchased an Ollie Baker mainspring winder, letdown tools, clamps, etc. all in one pack. I like having the tools to do a job right and safely. If I was wrong in doing this, then I was wrong. I also ordered Conover's book on American clock movements but it won't be here until Tuesday.
The spring winder will make your task much easier for his movement , and will be essential for many time & strike / chime movements. The spring clamps can be convenient where they fit but often there is not enough space, plus you need an extra hand to hold then. I find tie wire easier to use and you can just snip the wire to get the spring out of the restraint. You can never have enough tools.

RC
 

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Thanks much for the advice and help. That goes without saying. I am waiting on the Conover book, and I'll be back to post my progress. Yep, I know what you mean for the "never enough tools". I am likely going to have to attempt the bushings myself, but if I can find a clock shop in my area, I will check them. Plus, from the spinning on the escapement, the verge sure looks nicked on the entry pallet end. I am hoping that Conover book (how to repair 20 American clocks) will have some details on the parts needed for this particular movement because I would like to get a new verge. Though I am a rookie, I did some measuring, and it has 7 teeth between the lock and drop and following Conover's Basics book it appears the measurements are dang close to what he states on page 39. I thought about ordering the verge/escapement combo, but I wanted to consult the book first and not order the wrong thing. The thing is the escapement is 29 mm diameter and 34 tooth. Timesavers does not have anything in stock, and all Perrin has is a 34 Tooth 31 mm escapement wheel. I asked them if that would work, and they said if there's enough room under the escape wheel cock for the larger diameter escape wheel and enough room to adjust the pin plate then it should work.
 

Willie X

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Replacing is often more of a problem than repairing what you already have.

Note, none of the stuff you order will fit correctly unless you are really lucky.

IOWs, what you have has worked in the past and probably isn't to far from working now. What you will buy will be a total reshuffle.

What was your diagnosis on the old escape wheel and pallet/verge?

Willie X
 

R. Croswell

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Thanks much for the advice and help. That goes without saying. I am waiting on the Conover book, and I'll be back to post my progress. Yep, I know what you mean for the "never enough tools". I am likely going to have to attempt the bushings myself, but if I can find a clock shop in my area, I will check them. Plus, from the spinning on the escapement, the verge sure looks nicked on the entry pallet end. I am hoping that Conover book (how to repair 20 American clocks) will have some details on the parts needed for this particular movement because I would like to get a new verge. Though I am a rookie, I did some measuring, and it has 7 teeth between the lock and drop and following Conover's Basics book it appears the measurements are dang close to what he states on page 39. I thought about ordering the verge/escapement combo, but I wanted to consult the book first and not order the wrong thing. The thing is the escapement is 29 mm diameter and 34 tooth. Timesavers does not have anything in stock, and all Perrin has is a 34 Tooth 31 mm escapement wheel. I asked them if that would work, and they said if there's enough room under the escape wheel cock for the larger diameter escape wheel and enough room to adjust the pin plate then it should work.
When it comes to clock work, "dang close to" usually won't get it. My experience with this sort of replacement parts is that they usually require considerable fitting and finishing. I agree with Willie, unless the parts you already have are really trashed, you may do better repairing what you have that you know already fits.

RC
 

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Okey-doke then. I understand.
I was reading Conover's book and he said the same as you guys; fix what you have rather than buy new unless you have to. The verge is nicked on the top end and some of the escapement teeth are scored somewhat from all the slipping. I will take your advice and follow Conover's instructions in his book. Thanks
 

Willie X

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Notes,
On this type escapement, the teeth spaned by the anchor will be about 1/4 the number of teeth on the E-wheel and the anchor's span is always plus (or minus) 1/2 tooth.

In other words, when one pallet is 'point to point' with the E-wheel the tip of the other pallet will be half way between two teeth.

This might not sound right but that's the way it goes ... :) Willie X
 

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Notes,
On this type escapement, the teeth spanned by the anchor will be about 1/4 the number of teeth on the E-wheel and the anchor's span is always plus (or minus) 1/2 tooth.

In other words, when one pallet is 'point to point' with the E-wheel the tip of the other pallet will be half way between two teeth.

This might not sound right but that's the way it goes ... :) Willie X
Thanks. My big issue is adjusting the verge by ever-so-slightly nudging the pivot pin plate (dogbone). I barely move it, then it's either is too far away and slips on the escapement or it's too close and won't advance the escapement wheel.
 

Willie X

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That's could be because you have more or less than the (x) plus or minus 1/2 tooth spacing.

Course a short E-wheel tooth, bent tooth, out if round E-wheel, etc., is a common problem also.

A good straight-on close-up photo of the E-wheel can easily rule it in (or out) as the culprit.

Willie X
 

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I kinda suspect that your verge is a replacement, and was improperly adjusted (or not adjusted at all) for the wheel. As I noted above, your drops are way different. You may need a trained clock guy to look at it and advise you. You likely have a situation there that no amount of adjusting anywhere else will fix.
 

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www.greenfieldclockshop.com
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I kinda suspect that your verge is a replacement, and was improperly adjusted (or not adjusted at all) for the wheel. As I noted above, your drops are way different. You may need a trained clock guy to look at it and advise you. You likely have a situation there that no amount of adjusting anywhere else will fix.
I believe Shutterbug is correct. If you can't find a position for the verge between lockup and skipping where the drops are reasonably equal, that's a sure sign that the pallet spacing is incorrect.

RC
 

Codozalator

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Jul 4, 2022
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Thanks everyone. I will try to find someone to take a look.
 

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