Setting fusee palette stone depth

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by RJSoftware, Aug 12, 2016.

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  1. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hello all.

    Well, almost home free from the disaster of my bumbling on a fusee repair.

    Broke the fusee chain. Fixed.
    Repaired barrel pin that came out.
    Bent and then broke palette pivot. Turned new arbor/pivots. Fixed.
    Screwed up stone setting by torching (annealing) palette arbor so I could drill arbor for new pivot.

    Watch came in for new crystal and clean/oil. LOL...!!!!

    Ah well, I've been swimming in my sweat on this one.

    So the question, how does one set the stone depth, examining for lock etc. when one is dealing with full plate and not too good of visual from the side?

    Or do you guys just set the stone depth at a certain amount, guessing?

    The only thing I can think of is that maybe I should be able to see it enough to set the stones from side view.
    (also know it's allot of work to install/uninstall so as to examine and fiddle with it to set the stones).

    Or maybe there is just a given position that is the accepted norm. Like 1/4 of the stone above the surface in parallel with the metal or something along those lines.

    Or maybe I could drill some .16mm holes in two sheets of acrylic plastic same distance as ew and palette and put them in and then set the stones being able to see it that way. (might work but seems really too elaborate).

    Or cross my fingers and hope you guys got me some excellent advise as usual...!

    RJ
     
  2. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Full plate watches are not fun for escapement matching. I have no idea how American factories did it, and resetting them, especially without a modern escapement matching tool (the Bergeon "meter"), it is all on your luck. I can only think they used the tool with three places for the three pieces set to holes as found in the plates. Probably got pretty fast (or fired).

    Shoulda, woulda coulda... removed the pallet arbor.

    Anyway, this is a fusee; likely has the slit faced pallet. If so, then usually it makes the most sense to bring the pallet stones even with the ground steel faces.
     
  3. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Thanks for quick reply Dewey.

    Yes, that makes sense to me too, to bring the jewels out parallel with the metal faces. I may have to drill two sets of holes in acrylic plastic. I have a depthing gauge to get the distances. I know it's not a depthing job, but it should help to judge how far apart to drill the holes.

    Currently the escape wheel just skitters by. Also when inserting the new arbor, the hole is just starting to crack on the palette since the hole was very close to that edge. Maybe a slight oversized, but is working.

    I was thinking that the almost split could have effected the distance but in it's position I think it would have made more lock not less.

    RJ

     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi RJ,

    I think that when these were made, it was done as Dewey has suggested, with the pallet stones being fitted flush with the ground and polished steel faces. It's a good place to start anyway. I don't mess with the stones in these if at all possible, and I know you can understand why!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I am afraid two holes will not do it! I have tried a similar method with a depting tool and it does not help much. The lack of banking pins makes the test rather worthless for my use.

    This has happened to mee a few times but only if I push the gear train in reverse! These movements dd not appear to have been tampered with and I believe they were made this way from the factory" (I could be very wrong here!) When assembled they did perform very well when the mainspring pushed the gear train in the right direction.

    I believe the test with the pallet stones almost flush with the steel face will do it! I have a few laying around but I can not check since I am away from my workshop. From memory I want to remember however that they are almost flush!

    Good luck with your project!
     
  6. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hey Graham.

    When I first took it out I could have sworn that they where flush with the surface. I had thought how strange because it seemed that the metal and stone together would wear or funny not to have a leading edge of jewel.

     
  7. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Thanks Skutt. I will give flush a try. I also noticed prior to this problem that pushing the train backwards allowed the ew to turn as you say.

    I am wondering now if I did not mess up the height of the ew teeth to the hight of the stones. I did alter the height a bit on the new arbor so the lever would sit a little lower. I did that because I had balance wheel action but low amplitude.

    Because of the low amplitude, I was also was concerned over the safety dart might have been rubbing on the roller edge so I tried to give it a small bend back to clear. My thinking was I wanted to eliminate whatever was causing drag so to get the amplitude and then go back and set the safety dart gradually inward so to avoid overbanking.

    But on thinking of this, I assume the safety dart only touches when the lever fork gets accidentally bumped over as to cross over. Then the safety dart comes into play by not going over till the notch allows it to.

    First I'm going to set the stones flush, then I am going to check the stone to ew tooth level, maybe I have it too low. I was also concerned over the fork touching roller table. But think I saw clearance anyway.

    All opinions are appreciated.
    Thanks!

    RJ
     
  8. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Lowering the lever could mean that the escape wheel miss the jewels! If you moved it a tiny bit it should still work. Check the action with a loupe when you assembled the gear train.

    If you are concerned about the balance and lever interaction you could assemple the movement plates with only those components installed. The balance should swing for some time after a small push!

    Moving the safety pin may be a problem. There is not much needed for it to stop working and the balance overbanks. Let's just hope it will be fine, but you need to check this carefully. Sometimes overbanking only apperas under special conditions e.g. when the mainspring is almost run down or if the wacth is turned rapidly in the direction the balance wheel turns........
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi RJ,

    All the English lever pallets I can remember seeing had convex surfaces for the locking and impulse planes, with the edges flush with the steel. Any errors in the height of the pallets against the escape teeth would mean that the teeth would not be centred on the crest of the convex jewel surfaces.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  10. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #10 RJSoftware, Aug 13, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
    Thanks all. I have to cut another arbor. I will reply later after the next attempt. It was definitely at the wrong level because the ew teeth where bumping into the fork portion.

    I pushed it down and it worked better but the entrance palette would not lock. Fiddle around some more and broke it's pivot. No problem though cause it's not hard to make. I have a bunch of small balance staffs for swiss watches that are close in size.
    It's pivots are .16mm

    The whole thing is composed of 6 parts. The fork, lever body, a pin, 2 palette jewels, the arbor. The lever body has two holes, one for the arbor and one for the pin that maintains it's position with the lever.

    Now I have another problem. When I cut the arbor I put a slight taper on it. The only way I could figure to insert was to put the arbor in the lathe held by collet and then twist the arbor in to what looked like the proper depth.

    Now I see the side of the lever body has begin to split on the thin side. Using the pin gauge the hole is aprox. .24mm but the hole of the fork is .21mm.

    I might be able to push the split back closed but afraid of breaking it. Trying hard not to break it anymore. I have to examine the jewel surfaces better now that I know about the convex surfaces. I may not have installed it with expected surface facing out. Plus I hope the jewels are not cracked/chipped any.

    Thanks again you all.
    RJ
     
  11. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    One of the most important skills to learn is to see. You seem to have moved the dart without knowing. This is not meant to be harsh; but emphasize. Get hold of a book by Barkus or Jendritizki to learn the functions of the various components of the lever escapement and how to verify their functions.

    Then and only then make adjustments. Otherwise you are doing the traditional "by guess and by golly" routine which only leads to occasional success and usually lots of trouble. There is more theory and physics than some would have you think.

    Yes, I wondered if you altered the height of the lever when you repivoted. The EW teeth should be dead center on the jewels themselves and the lever and EW should really have the same endshakes (not easy to adjust on a fusee).

    Yes, you do understand the role of the safety dart.

    You are doing a lot of learning! Good for you; although it sounds like you are also under pressure.
     
  12. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    There are tools for most anything you can imagine and the "Hardinge Watchmakers Escapement Matching Tool & Movement Holder" can help set up the escapement when the pallet and escape wheel are not easily visible. The tool holds the plates and the pointed end of the rods align and lock to the holes you want to use. You slide the rods up out of way, remove one plate and place your escapement parts on the other. Turn the rods to the concave side and use them to hold the pivots. Now you can see what you are doing. Do a google search for pictures of the tool. They turn up on ebay every now and then too.

    Roger
     
  13. topspy

    topspy Registered User
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    image.jpg
    Here's the "deluxe" version of the tool. Still very useful.
     
  14. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Wow...! What a tool that one is. Kind of confusing in front of the mirror but I get it. The lanterns adjust inward and come down to hold the pivot tips. I suppose you just set the necessary ew and paletts in one of the plates and then you get to see where it lands..!!!

    It would be nice if you could add one gear for power and then install the balance normally. Then you could push the gear and see what the adjustment does then and there.

    RJ
     
  15. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    After searching google I seen the simpler version. The clamping kind of reminds me of a face plate.

    I'm thinking I can make that thing. All I need for the runners are 3 stakes from the staking set. A movement holder bolted on wood. 3 large bolts for pillars. Some thick aluminum arms with slots.

    I have a nice drill press. But I need to get an cross slide vise. Seen one cheap I should have bought it. That and some end mills.

    But two small sheets of thick acrylic. Drill the holes plotted with depthing tool that I already have...
     
  16. sharukh

    sharukh Registered User
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    Hello topspy,

    That looks interesting. Can you post more photos please ?

    Sharukh
     
  17. topspy

    topspy Registered User
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    I will post some more photos when I return home. I'm traveling again but will be home in the 25th
     
  18. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I like this idea. I have plenty of unsorted odd balance staffs and it sounds easier to just cut one of these down when making a new arbor for the lever! Why did I not think of that before......
     
  19. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Do your levers have endstones??

    Frank
     
  20. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    #20 praezis, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    Meanwhile I can show a photo of my tool, its only task being "dust trap" :D

    e57205106d35f65bd77506350.jpg

    Frank
     
  21. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #21 RJSoftware, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2018
    Hello Frank. No, that part is not jeweled. No end-stones/cap stones.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nice. Would love to put it to use at my house :)

    RJ

     
  22. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Well, this thing is cursed for me. When setting one of the stone depths, the stone completely came out. And as you may have already guessed I lost it.

    I was working over a box on a table. But the dang thing is soo small. I don't know how but I lost it.

    This leads to my next question.

    I have another fusee and decided to take a look at it's palettes/ancnor.

    Are the designs and distances of stones, etc. the same on most all fusee's?

    The one I have in my fusee has near identical palette arrangement but has a different sized fork. I am tempted to temporarily swap forks/palettes and see if it will run.

    And if it does I might just go ahead and take the loss. Call it a learning curve. But later on I would like to buy another pallete/fork combo and I see they sell them on ebay.

    I see they sell like 6 or more sets. ew's with pallets/anchor. Is the ew and palette/anchor mated/matched specific to each? Or is there some common agreed upon standard?

    I think that in addition to losing one of the palette stones, the anchor got deformed because I stretched the hole when inserting/staking in the arbor that I cut for it. I went with a taper for snug fit and I think I drove it too deep. The anchor hole busted out on the thin side and shows evidence of beginning crack on the other. I think this may have effected the depth of locking.

    But since I lost the stone anyway I am hoping to get another anchor/palette that would work. Even if I have to keep the old fork. But it has a pin to keep the fork angle constant.

    I'm hoping that one of you might be able to enlighten me on the experience of having to purchase and get another anchor to work.

    RJ
     
  23. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi RJ,

    I'm afraid the simple answer is no; although these parts were made in bulk by specialist makers, they were then selected and fitted to individual movements by the escapement makers. You might be lucky and find one that fits, but you'll probably need to make some adjustments.

    Yes, the spacing and angle of the pallets has to match the escape wheel tooth pitch and the distance between centres. There's no standard!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  24. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #24 RJSoftware, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
    Hey Graham. That's what I was thinking that this is "hand made" or "fitted" erra. I wonder if this is "Eubache erra" (spelling?)?

    I guess then too that if the ew/anchor is a mated pair that the distance between holes (ew to anchor) might be slightly different.

    But I think the ew teeth should not be too far off. Probably surely have same tooth count and the pitch I would think influenced by the original eubache creator (not altered). Probably just fine polished not altered. (Maybe just wishful thinking...).

    Looking at a best case scenario I might be able to use a jewel for the one that is lost. Or maybe put the original fork onto another anchor and hope it mates with existing ew.

    The worse case scenario is I have to install bushings and move the holes so a new mated pair would work with the existing fork installed on the new anchor.

    I may have to make a new anchor. I could even skip the jewels. I don't know if my slitting saw is that fine. I have a rough screw head file. I know how to make a razor saw by hammering razor blade edge into file profile. But it lacks in longevity. I probably won't do it. I hope I get lucky with easier way first. I do get lucky sometimes.

    Say if I where to make a new anchor. I might be able to trace/scratch the dimensions onto some similar thickness metal and then cut/shape/file the piece.

    Thanks again even though it was only confirming what I suspected. Bad news is still good information when true. I don't like being beat by anything, but this one has me on the ground in the back alley. Oh well.

    Now to decide on which way to gamble. 6 combos off ebay or sacrifice from my personal collection.

    RJ
     
  25. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi RJ,

    I think you're in danger of forgetting one of the golden rules, namely that the replacement should be altered to fit the movement, and not the other way round!

    If this is an English lever fusee, (I can't recall if that's what you said it was way back when), and it isn't one of the later 19th century machine-made ones, then the escapement would have been planted at the correct depth by the escapement maker, based on the selected EW and pallets. Plugging and re-planting to match another combination definitely goes against that first rule.

    The option to adjust another anchor or make a new one requires some accurate machining, and cutting the pallet slots with anything other than the right slitting saw isn't going to be good enough. If you've got W.J. Gazeley's "Clock & Watch Escapements", he describes making and adjusting the pallets in some detail, (PM me if you haven't). Going back to the lost pallet jewel, it's probably best to look at fitting one from another lever; this will involve little or no alteration to the existing components, and whilst the angles might be slightly off, the escapement should still work if they're pretty close. If you decide to make a new anchor without jewels, the steel will have to be very hard and the polish on the locking and impulse planes must be very good.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  26. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Sorry to hear about your lost jewel......

    Did you consider giving the search option another go and then widening the search area?

    I have lost parts myself and replacement often takes much longer than a very close search. (Except for easy to replace springs, srews ets)
    If you don't find it by simply lookin around, try a stocking on the vacum hose.......

    I have found parts in holes of the movement holder, in the gap of my tweezers, in the Seitz jeweling set box, in my lathe tool box etc. etc. No option is to be left untested!

    Good luck!
     
  27. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Hey RJ!
    Sounds like you're in a bit of a pickle with this one... If I remember correctly this is a watch that belongs to a client? I can't shed too much light on matching the escapement but keeping things original should be a priority. So either try to repair the lever and find the stone, or try to find a new stone. Or try to find a donor movement from one of the same model to at least get close, even if they're not standard. Or just fess up to the client. You are venturing into botch job territories with this line of thought of finding another pallet.

    I'm also curious as to why you would turn a taper on the arbor? Was it tapered originally?

    The advice I can give you though is what I would have done when presented with an unfamiliar type mvmnt: practice on one of my own first. Especially if it's an old one where parts are obsolete.

    Best of luck in your endeavors!
    Karl
     
  28. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Thanks y'all. Yes, it is tempting to go outside of the "do no harm" or "botch"...

    I have basically told him that I have been having problems. Not sure what he will expect of me except a running watch. I will do as advised and go conservatively.

    The small taper started out as trial fit. But over-enthusiasm got the small brass hammer out to give it a small whack for adjusting height a little smidge lower. Later I notice the blow-out.

    Plus I had to keep going back and reducing the arbor shoulder length for the end-shake. Every time I thought I had it the anchor pivots would tighten up in the bushings holes. I thought it the shoulders but it was the pivot thickness as well.

    When I finally got it to where it would flick back and forth well, the jewel toward the fork side did not catch/lock. (I forgot which way the ew turns now because I'm not in my shop now).

    Anyway, that is when I decided to put my combo palette/roller jewel heater to use. This is strange but trying to use the loupe I burnt my nose because of the closeness.

    Later I run into flea market vendor who sold me a bunch of watchmaker tools for $20. You can't believe all the tools he gave me. And I got a palette warmer with the spit in the middle.

    So I started using that. It has the clip to hold down the anchor but thing is it's not that strong a clip. I found the anchor tends to scoot when I was grabbing the stone with tweezers or trying to scoot it with needle tip. That and I was afraid to burn my nose again..!

    I finally ended up sticking the needle tip behind the jewel in the crack where your suppose to put shellac and pushed the needle in and the stone slid out. I tried to grab the stone with my fingers and I was working over a box but still lost the dang thing.

    It also looked like it was installed in backwards for some reason. I might have did that because earlier in my attempting to repair, before I knew the arbor was friction fit I tried to drill the hole. So I torched it on the arbor to dull red so I could get it to soften. Having pictured in my mind that I would just shellac them afterwards.

    I also think that this is a later model fuse because the parts seem more uniform/regular like the fusee I have. I may first see if I can install the fork of his onto my arbor and see what happens. The anchor of mine fit, but the fork was too small. Even the pivot and shoulder size looked good. Just the fork was too short.

    It would be nice if I get a break in some direction with this thing. :)

    RJ
     
  29. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Well, some progress but not out of woods yet.

    I found that the parts are not the older non generic (hand made) but are the generic.

    Was able to fit another lever with jewels and it works. Yea...! (at least I think it was working for a moment. The fork fell off but pretty sure I had action).

    But later found that when the chain busted from before it broke one of the wheels pivots.

    So I don't give up.

    I won a similar sized fusee (from Britain) thinking the 3rd wheel would be same. It's the same size as the other one in movement diameter. Could not get the seller to write back.

    But 3rd wheel was not same. Rats..!

    So I got to try to get just the 3rd wheel and I'm home free.

    The old third wheel has become another disaster. I have to conquer the micro drilling. Put it this way, I lost the arbor and pinion connection in the process. And found that thin brass arms can evaporate like a whisp if one is not careful with the torch. I did not know that.

    I have the remnant of the wheel arbor and pinion all teeth intact so I can establish all lengths and diameters.

    I could cut another center and forget the spokes. But the old arbor still has the broken pivot. I got to get the micro drilling down pat.

    For now I just have to get another 3rd wheel and be done with it.

    RJ
     

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