Understanding Seth Thomas 89 Movement Variations

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Dave T, Oct 12, 2019.

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  1. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Third time around on the escape wheel.... And it's been running since about 2 pm without a hitch!
    Looking back, I think the second time I worked on it, I might have put too much pressure inadvertantly on the file when it was in the lathe. And it rebent some teeth.

    Also... I had my cataracts removed about 2 months ago. And now, after most of my life of being nearsighted, and the luxury of being able to see up close without glasses, I'm now struggling to see close up. But the tradeoff was that I can now see to drive without glasses. First time in 60 years!
    So... after I finally was able to really see the teeth properly with a loupe I could see flaws that had to be dealt with.

    And I think the whole time now that the main issue was the escape wheel. During this whole repair, at one time it was running well, after I adjusted the verge. That was a learning process for me too.
    And during the time I was sorting out the strike train, the ewheel evidently suffered collateral damage.

    But... I've learned a lot about repairs I never new before, and encountered several issues I've never had to deal with.
    And without you all, I would have never got to this point. So...
    A great big thanks to all of you!
    If it's still running in the morning, it's going back in the case! :)
     
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  2. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Great news Dave, I find these types of projects the most satisfying. A bit of advice though, wait 2 or 3 days of successful running on the test stand before putting back in the case, could save some aggravation.
    Don
     
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  3. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    #203 R. Croswell, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    I like a repaired movement to run at least one full winding cycle before returning to the case.

    RC
     
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  4. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    I agree with RC and run a test for at least one full winding cycle (including a double-spring, 30-day movement once) before I re-install it in the case.
     
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  5. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    #205 Dave T, Nov 13, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
    Yea, it's still on the stand. I've been watching it. It has ran consistently since yesterday, BUT.. it did stop once.

    What I see is minimum lock and minimum drop, (drop okay) on the entrance pallet. And the pendulum amplitude is not what I'd like to see, and the tick is very quiet.
    It's difficult to observe the exit pallet properly with the solid plate. I can see it but not straight on as I'd like.

    I'll let it run a few more days and keep an eye on it.

    I'm inclined to adjust the verge again, but as I understand it, the proper adjustment would be to close the verge a tad. Am I understanding correctly?
    I keep wondering if the diameter of the escape wheel was reduced by any substantial amount. And would that be a reason why the verge would need adjustment.
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    If the escape wheel were reduced in diameter you would likely need to adjust the pallet spacing. On a deadbeat you don't need a lot of lock, but you absolutely do need a positive lock on the dead face. More lock will not transfer more power to the pendulum. A small drop will somewhat reduce the sound level of the escapement.

    Are you getting any overswing? That is when a tooth drops onto the pallet dead face does the pendulum continue briefly in the same direction before starting to swing back? Obviously the clock should run without stopping for 8+ days if all is well.

    Make sure the pendulum leader wire is not at either end of the crutch loop and that there is small clearance between the crutch foot and the leader. There should be a drop of oil at that point. The pallets should also be lightly oiled.

    The question is whether the going train is delivering adequate power, or if there is still something wrong with the escapement. If the escapement is getting good deadface lock and equal drops but no overswing, then it would be good to know what the lift angle is.

    RC
     
  7. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Personally Dave, I take very light cuts on my Sherline until all Teeth tips show a little sign of having been machined. Some show a little more than others. You really have to be sure your Arbor is on center. I've never tried to use a file but I don't know what your setup is.

    If it happens once, it can (and probably will) happen again. One winding cycle with no unexpected behavior. That's my pass/fail test.

    I've always gone with LaBounty's initial set up of 2 degrees. I'm not certain, but I believe that a smaller angle will result in a shorter pendulum swing. In some "cases", you'll need and want a shorter swing. A Tall Case with a narrow waist, or a Banjo Clock might be two examples. Ideally, you'll have the angle established by the Factory or Clockmaker to go off of. David L. presents this procedure as a standalone tutorial, but in his videos on Escapements, he refers to it as part of the whole approach. As I recall, his lift angle procedure for half-deadbeat and deadbeat escapements follow resurfacing of the impulse faces.

    You take the measurement from the middle of the pivot to the middle of the impulse face, divide that value in half and set your Calipers to match. The measurement would represent the diameter. When you divide the measurement in half, you are determining the radius measurement to set your Calipers to. David suggests that you take your measurements to both the entrance and exit pallets. If there is a significant difference, you must run each set of measurements through the process and check/set each pallet to their measurement. Try to draw fine lines and use the same side of a line to check each pallet.

    If you want to check your lift angles and decide to use David L's procedure, use magnification and double-check everything carefully. Very small adjustments (or errors) can and will make very big differences.

    Good luck,

    Bruce
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Another common problem with this strip deadbeat is a rounding of the intersection of the dead face and impulse face. there should be a sharp line of demarcation between the two. Again, the most common cause of poor performance is escape wheel teeth landing on the impulse face, or landing on the intersection of the dead and impulse faces. Move the crutch very, very, very slowly while looking with magnification to be sure the teeth are clearly landing on the dead face. That is the first thing you must be sure of. Landing on the transition or impulse will really suck the power away from the pendulum. It would be good to know the lift angle, but without a good dead lock it will never run right.

    RC
     
  9. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I don't have a Sherline. I use a watchmakers lathe and a tool rest to position a file to very gently contact the tooth surface. After drawing and straightening the teeth I don't think I reduced the wheel diameter much if any at all.
     
  10. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    With the exception of stopping one time the clock has been running steady since my last post. And I haven't touched it yet.
    I will go through all of the points addressed here and report back.
    As I see it right now, it just does have lock, but barely. It's real close to the impulse face. And it doesn't seem to have the power it should. If it's not exactly in beat it won't run. I think this translates to very little overswing?
    Compared to most healthy clocks I've seen that will run even when they are substantially out of beat, this clock has to be level and in beat.

    The pendulum wire is on center with just a tad of clearance on the leader loop. Looks good to me. I did just now put a drop of oil there.
    I think the train has good power. Based on my experience early on when I was addressing these issues. Nothing has changed from then, and I still think there's plenty of power to the e wheel.

    The transition on the pallets from the impulse face could probably be improved, but in my opinion is not bad at all.
     
  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Yes, the extreme sensitivity to being level is a sure sign that you have little or no over swing. If the transition between impulse and dead face "could probably be improved" you will need a bit more lock to be absolutely sure the EW teeth are landing clearly on the dead face and not in the transition area. You may find that the pallets snag the EW teeth before you get the verge close enough to get positive lock, which will require a slight adjustment in pallet spacing. Regrinding that pallet strip to sharpen the transition line (or to change the lift angle) will open a can of worms that's best avoided if possible. But until you get a reasonable pendulum swing with enough over swing for reasonable stability you really are not finished. You have come a long way but haven't crossed the finish line yet.

    RC
     
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  12. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Yes, you have either no lock or almost no lock. There even appears to be a little recoil (I'm not quite sure about that) which means that the teeth land on the impulse face. You need to bring the verge closer to the escape wheel to get more lock.

    Uhralt
     
  13. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yep, I think this is where we are now. I tried to bring the verge closer but it can't go any closer without getting dangerously close to the teeth tips.

    Looks like a pallet adjustment is the answer. And this will be my first attempt at that!
    Was hoping to avoid that.
     
  14. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    When you try to bring the verge closer and move the crutch manually (with no pendulum) you will be able to observe if you need to close or open the verge a small amount in order to avoid hitting the teeth tips.

    Uhralt
     
  15. Bruce Alexander

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    It looks to me like some of your EW Teeth have been bent backwards. When you straighten them, you should draw the flat nosed pliers straight up along the radial surface of the tooth.

    You've marked one of the teeth in the video with a black marker. It looks bent "back" to me. Maybe it's just me so I ask others to please critically evaluate the rake of the EW Teeth.
     
  16. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    That's not a very good video, and not sure this one is that much better, but I've spent a lot of time trying to get this wheel in shape, as you indicated.
    Take a look at this one.
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOALnaiFVqTfWCaAy0WbT-utVJd6PSiM7sGz0e439sCk2GJnmHVpBirdJEebHOmOQ/photo/AF1QipNt3AP1IffLE-qJEuk1YMLljpahye6s5yoIYBpA?key=aU5RWjJPTVlNVjI2QmI4Q0huVEY4SWtuNDVjYV9B
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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  18. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yea, I notice that too, (not in beat) I've been moving it around on the table top to inspect it. (Not exactly level in all positions.)
     
  19. Bruce Alexander

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    #220 Bruce Alexander, Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Perhaps it was just the background. I don't see profile problems in the 2nd video but that's from a different view. If you're sure of your profiles, that's good enough for me.

    Your drops are a little unequal. The Exit Drop is very short. I believe that is most affected via Depth Adjustments. The Entrance Drop looks to be a bit longer to me.

    Edit:

    So my understanding is that you want to adjust the Entrance Drop first and then the Exit Drop. Your Entrance Drop (as evidenced by the drop onto the visible Exit Pallet) appears to be longer than the Exit Drop. In order to shorten the Entrance Drop you'll need to close the Pallets slightly. Only attempt to do so when you're sure that the "body" of the Strip is annealed. You do so by drawing a file across the Strip near the Arbor. If the file bites into the Steel, it should be soft enough to adjust slightly. If the file skips over the steel, it may need to be annealed before you close the pallets. Your adjustments to close the pallets will be very small. With the Entrance Drop is shortened, you'll need to turn your attention the the Exit Drop. Your Exit Pallet is very close to the tip of the EW Teeth and the Exit Drop is very short. Increasing the distance between the EW and Verge will increase the Exit Drop. With the shortened Entrance Drop, you should have enough Exit Lock to do so.

    That's how things appear to me anyway.

    Wait for consensus before you make any adjustments to the Verge.

    Bruce
     
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  20. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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  21. Bruce Alexander

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    You'll want to close the Entrance towards the Exit. As it appears to me, you shouldn't need much. Hopefully it will also give you a little more Entrance Lock

    Again, wait for input from others on your videos before you do anything else to your Escapement. Others may see things differently.

    You're close Dave.

    Good luck with it,

    Bruce
     
  22. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Closing it a bit may be the right thing to do. When I look at the verge, I notice that the straight part between the two impulse faces isn't straight but bent outwards. It seems like somebody opened the verge, maybe a bit too much.

    Uhralt
     
  23. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I agree, close the pallets juts a small amount and adjust for a bit more lock. You may need several adjustments in small increments.

    RC
     
  24. shutterbug

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    You're pretty close, and it may run as is ... but I agree that the entrance lock looks marginal.
     
  25. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    That's what I've been trying to talk myself into. Just leave it alone.
    But I'm not satisfied with it. And as long as you all have held in there with me this far, I'm going for broke!

    Looks like we all agree the pallets need to be closed.
    I'm pretty nervous about adjusting the pallets. Never done that before. And I see a lot of good information on what to do and even how to do it, but some questions linger.

    I'll measure the distance between the pallets carefully before I start. And I'll test it with a file to see if it needs to be annealed.
    Then is where the fun starts.
    How hot do I need to get it if I have to anneal it?
    How much do you squeeze it in the vice?
    Does it spring back any after you bend it?
    Can I measure it with my caliper in the vice to see where I'm at?

    I reckon it's a matter of getting a feel for it. We'll see what happens next. :)
     
  26. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Do the file test in the area where the bend will occur. It is possible that it has already been annealed because it looks like the verge has been bent previously. If you need to anneal, heat the straight section only with a small butane flame until it glows red. Let cool down slowly.. Try to avoid annealing the pallets. When you put it in the vise to close the verge, it will behave somewhat springy. So what you measure in the vise will not be what you have when you take it out. You can only go slow, measure repeatedly and test how it works.

    Uhralt
     
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  27. Bruce Alexander

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    I'm sure everyone has their own preferred methods Dave.
    I'll start things off by trying to answer some of your questions...

    Hopefully, of course, you won't have to. If you do, I would try to use a very focused flame and hold the verge between two heat sinks (old needle nosed pliers for example) to protect the pallets. Heat the strap area closest to the Entrance Pallet to a dull red glow and slowly back it out of the flame to let it cool down gradually. Let it cool and test it with your file again to see if it is sufficiently annealed. Hopefully the pallets will still be hardened.

    I wouldn't use a vise. I would hold the strap with a tool towards the Exit Pallet and exert force on the Entrance Pallet...kind of twisting it back towards the Exit Pallet. If you can see it move, you've moved it too far. It's kind of Trial and Error. If you're measuring, I would think you should try a few thousandths of an inch to start.

    I suppose that depends on the hardness of the steel

    I wouldn't use the Vise. I would try to move the Entrance Pallet towards the Arbor/pivot point. Using the Vise might close the Exit Pallet also, but it would certainly be more controlled and will probably work fine.

    Since your Escapement is between the plates, use of a caliper or micrometer is probably a very good idea. Several small, incremental adjustments would be the way to go.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  28. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I'm shooting for .001" I think RC suggested that.
    As for holding it with a tool instead of a vice, I can't picture that. What kind of tool? Two pairs of pliers, one to hold it and one to bend it?
     
  29. Bruce Alexander

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    Dave,
    As I mentioned, everyone has their preferred methods.
    You should approach it in whatever method you feel most comfortable, with tools in your shop.
    Sure, start with 1 thou. If that's not enough, add another. Better to adjust incrementally instead of backing off one that's too big. You asked how much to squeeze. I suggested a few thou...
    Other's will make suggestions and observations. Take your time and go forward when you're ready
    Bruce
     
  30. R. Croswell

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    I use two needle nose pliers, one on each side of the saddle, then just twist them toward one another. The most likely place for the pallet strip to snap is at the sharp bends. Bending by hand with pliers lets you feel the amount of force applied. Yes, it will spring back some. Yes, measure with a caliper with no pressure applied (not while in a vice). 0.001" to 0.003" at a time then try it. You only need the verge, the escape wheel, and one or two gears before the EW so you can apply drive by hand and move the crutch slowly by hand until you get a good dead face lock.

    Don't overlook the "dog bones" holding the verge. If these pivot holes are sloppy you can lose a lot of power. Also move both bones when adjusting depth to avoid pinching the pivots. Put the plates together with just the verge and make sure is swings freely by gravity as the movement is rotated.

    RC
     
  31. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    This sheds a whole new light on my understanding. Think I'll try the pliers method instead of the vice, as you and others have suggested.
    As for the dog bones, there is some play in the verge arbor on both sides, but I've been discounting that as a possible problem. Would bushing these be a consideration now, before I adjust the pallets?
     
  32. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    If the dog bones are sloppy enough that you see the pivot jumping around in the hole I would bush them first. Bushing work here could require readjustment of the verge depth. I've seen it make considerable improvement in some cases.

    RC
     
  33. Bruce Alexander

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    As one of the others, yes, I think you'll get better results not using a Vise. One tool holding the strap near the exit pallet would work. Needle-nose if you have them, a small set of plies, whatever you have on hand that fits the strap between the Arbor and the Exit Pallet. The pivot point is set by the Arbor. You want to close the Entrance Pallet, not the Exit Pallet. Once you have the position of the Exit Pallet secured, you could exert enough force to close the entrance pallet back with your forefinger and thumb if you wanted to.

    I can't see the Verge Pivots in your videos but the Verge/Arbor doesn't appear to have much lateral/vertical movement to me. Often there isn't a lot of end-shake between the "dog bones". If you bush one or both, make sure you still have some end shake. They need to be absolutely flush with the inside surface with a slight chamfer around the ID. Also, try to make sure that they don't interfere with future adjustments.

    Again, I can't see your pivots but the action shown in your videos doesn't look bad to me. A five percent clearance (or 5 degree tilt if you prefer) between the Pivot and Pivot Hole is a good rule of thumb.

    As mentioned way back near the beginning of this Thread, make sure they are adjusted parallel to one another.

    Hoping for some good news at the end of a winding cycle soon.


    Good luck
     
  34. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    I've been studying that arbor all along. And I don't see any play in it as it runs.
    Think I'll adjust the pallets first.
     
  35. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    The verge/arbor has quite a bit of end shake. In fact I can move it back and forth during operation. But, it seems to make no difference in the operation. It rides steady in one spot if I don't touch it. Don't really think it's a concern.
    And when I adjust the dogbones, I'm careful to keep both sides horizontal with no twisting. There is no binding on this arbor at all.

    Got a commitment today, but I'm anxious to get back to it.
     
  36. Bruce Alexander

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    Sounds and looks to me like you don't need to worry about bushing it then but there's only so much I can see in your videos.

    Commitments, eh? Yes, they do have a habit of getting in the way.

    We'll close this case sooner or later. I've about done all the damage I can do here.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
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  37. shutterbug

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    I actually use vise grips for small bends like that. You have a lot of control over how much it's bending.
    Just close the jaws with the set screw until they are tight against the verge when closed. Then tweak the screw inward a little, close the jaws and measure. Repeat if necessary.
     
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  38. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Had some time today to adjust the pallets on this clock. But it's been running steady for the past week or so.

    So... I put it back in the case. And it looks to have pretty good swing in the case. Nothing changed but looks decent and the tick is amplified in the case.

    I'm going to let it run that way for a week or so, and see if it has any hitches.
    I was anxious to adjust the pallets after I had so much good information on how to. And If this clock doesn't get it, it was a very valuable lesson for me.

    Thanks to all of you again! The wealth of informed folks here willing to share is awesome. I'll do what I can to pay it forward.

    Dave
     
  39. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sounds good! Which method did you finally choose to adjust the pallets?

    Uhralt
     
  40. Bruce Alexander

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    Sounds like he elected not to adjust the Entrance Drop as the movement hasn't been stalling. If it ain't broke...
     
  41. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Oh, I misunderstood. The important thing is that the clock runs.

    Uhralt
     
  42. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    2,613
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    retired accountant
    NC
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    Yea, I haven't done anything yet. Kinda hated to report that to you all after all we've been through. But, it's still an option if necessary.
     
  43. Fitzclan

    Fitzclan Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
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    Male
    Long Island, New York
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    Hey Bruce, loved your “New Frontier “ video. Which one are you? Love SD.
     
  44. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    5,419
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    oakland, ca.
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    lead singing bass player... kind of my band. we just had another sold out show and are starting to get some traction. i've been practicing/playing SD every day for 9+ years now. :cool:

    just PM'd you a little present...
     

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