ST pillar & scroll - taking it to the next level

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by bruce linde, Dec 27, 2019.

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  1. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    gang -

    many of you were very helpful when i first got my ST pillar and scroll and cleaned it up enough to get it running: newb needs help with seth thomas pillar and scroll with wood movement

    at that time, though, i didn't know from polishing pivots, hadn't done any bushings, etc.

    i'd like to go through the movement now and deal with some lingering issues... including checking all pivots and bushings, and repairing these issues:

    1. the replacement bridge is bolted in place... and with only the bolt (and nut behind the front plate) holding it in place it is prone to shifting.

    what would be the best way to repair the wood block it mounts to, and attach?​

    2. the pin the verge rocks back and forth on that sticks out from the little brass disk ell out.

    should i replace it? tap/glue the original back in place?
    3. there are brads that hold the brass disk that holds the aforementioned pin on which the verge rocks back and forth... but i'm not sure about the position/rotation of that disk

    doesn't it want to be rotate-able such that one can adjust lock/drop (a bit)? when i look close i see lots of wear and what looks like previous brad locations... should i fill them? line up the desired verge/escape wheel relationship and then re-insert the brads?

    also... i do have a replacement 42 teeth escape wheel and verge replacement set from timesavers... but assume it would be better to work with (and keep!) the originals, even if less than perfect?

    thx,
    b


    movement_1.jpg dial_off.jpg
     
  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Bruce,

    You might add to your list a proper cast iron bell, too.

    RM
     
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  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    it’s been mentioned... but i don’t run the strike side. my primary concern now is to go through it now that i am much better equipped to do so and bring the movement more up to snuff.
     
  4. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    1. The bridges I've seen look like they are nailed and peened over.

    2. It definitely needs to go back in securely. I would try some Loctite. If that doesn't work, you might need a larger pin and drill the verge.

    3. If you can get the brads out, I would consider adjusting it, but I think it would be hard to remove them without marring the wood. It is eccentric so it can be adjusted, but all of the ones I've seen have brads.

    Good luck with it. Oh, and in case you haven't thought about it find a proper cast iron bell.

    Tom
     
  5. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    just to confirm... the escape wheel bridges in other examples i've found appears to be nailed in one position... is that correct? with the only adjustment for lock and drop being rotating the brass disc with verge pin?

    or... does one find the optimal position for both bridge and verge and THEN secure the bridge in place?
     
  6. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    update: issues addressed, clock running great.

    1. the bridge was mounted to the wood block it sits on with a screw bolt that goes through the front plate. i managed to pull out the bottom nail holding the wood block in place (from the inside of the front plate) so i could use an existing hole in the bridge to add a second screw to stabilize the bridge in one location. i secured it in place after making sure the lock and drop were even on both sides... which seemed to be in one very tight little spot.

    2. i pulled the brass disc that holds the pivot the verge rocks back and forth on (or did, until it fell out) and re-pivoted with a fresh piece of pivot wire... trued it up and staked it in place so it won't move (was able to pry it out from under the two brads and then slip it back in place).

    3. extended the crutch wire slightly (using a taller bushing as a she-she extender) and bent a new crutch circle (?) to intersect with the pendulum rod.

    4. disassembled, cleaned pivot holes and dressed pivots, re-assembled.

    with essential escapement parts no longer able to move out of adjustment and a good clean it's running better than ever, with a nice even ticking and improved pendulum swing.
     
  7. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #7 gleber, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2020
    Glad to hear all that.

    How were you able to pull out the brass disk? Isn't it flush with the plate? It seems like you would have to dig it out, which would mar the plate.

    Here is the way my bridge is mounted - two nails peened over on the back side.

    20160325_100738.jpg
    Tom
     
  8. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    I was able to pull out the two brads and then pry the disc out with a small flat blade screwdriver without mucking things up. When I first got that clock I didn’t really know anything… Feels good that I’ve learned enough to finally set it up the way it supposed to be set up. :cool:
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    #9 R. Croswell, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    From what I can see it looks like the brass bridge is something someone made. I would expect it to be a flat strip. The wooden block under it would likely have been glued. The brass bridge should have two nails to hold it in place - it is not supposed to be adjustable. Loctite of course doesn't work on wood. The escapement is adjusted by rotating the brass button with the verge pin. These are usually stuck in the wood and held by two small square cut nails. It can be challenging to remove the nails without messing up the wood, but it sounds like you were able to do this OK. I've seen a few movements where there was a small hole through the wood under the button to allow a punch to be used to raise the button. I have drilled such a hole where none existed. There is usually a lot of corrosion and crap under the button. I like to clean this out, then clean out the nail holes and glue wooden pegs (tooth picks) into the nail holes. Someone on this board suggested placing a thin piece of paper under the button and pressing it in for a temporary friction fit (Thanks - great idea whoever). You can then run the movement and rotate the button until you perfect escapement locks and drops. I then use a small drill in a Dremel tool and lay the bit in the notches in the button and drill at an angle into the wooden plate. Remove the paper if you like or leave it and place the nails in the drilled holes.

    I would remove the gong base and look for signs that may give a clue whether is or is not original. I have one wooden works clock from this period with a gong that I'm pretty sure is original. I wouldn't really worry about the gong unless you dislike the way it sounds. It appears to be a part of the clock, original or other wise.

    RC
     
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  10. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    rc -

    thx... i’m not concerned about the bell. :cool:

    the disc held in place by the locking brads had notches to catch the brads... making the disc not really rotate-able. i could have adjusted the disc and then re-set the brads, but wanted to see how close i could get everything before risking any more of the integrity of the clock.

    the (agree... it’s home made) bridge was moved ever so slightly to adjust the interaction with the verge before being locked down. someone down the road may choose to re-work it more authentically, but it’s ticking perfectly evenly and keeping great time... and parts that are supposed to stay in one place are now behaving.

    i chose to not do a full delrin re-bush at this time, leaving that exercise for the next time i have the flu and have (get) to choose between days filled with boring tv or working on a clock. :cool:
     
  11. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    It is reasonably safe to assume the gong is not original to the pillar and scroll clock. Gongs were introduced in 1835-1836 to American clockmaking and the subject P&S, as a product of Seth Thomas, was made at least 10-15 years prior to that. Some fair number of clocks were later retrofitted with gongs by owners who found the sound of a gong more pleasing than the sound of the bell being struck.
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    At the risk of beating a dead horse.

    I have and have had LATE WW clocks with gongs rather than bells. The gongs were of an earlier form with most often a round cast iron base and occasionally a square one.

    What you suggest is a valid method of determining the originality of a gong and if a bell were once present, which I am confident it was. However, as pointed out, wire gongs were not in use when this clock was produced. Furthermore, to my eye, the gong in this clock is a relatively late one, possibly 20th century.

    In the context of this thread, it's really moot as the gong is not a priority of the current owner. However, I felt that repeat clarification might be helpful.

    RM
     

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