Help Vienna Regulator lost it's beat - New EW maybe?

Probox

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Hi all. I've had this Vienna Regulator for about 5 years now and it's always worked well, except that one day an experienced hobbyist did mention the pendulum swing appeared somewhat minimal for the clock. I agreed that it was but seemed to work okay, so I didn't fix something that wasn't broke. Year or two later, I can't remember if it stopped or if I removed it to oil it. Anyway it won't go into beat, even using my beat analyzer. I noticed when I listened well with weight on the clock with no pendulum on that it would beat quickly then slowly then really fast for a few beats. This got me to thinking the escape wheel (EW) had bent teeth. I tried the flat pliers trick to straighten each tooth and put back together with no success. It's worse now. I then went about adjusting the pallets since they are the adjustable type. I lengthened the pallets to get more depth, but now I have good beat for a while then it seizes on a tooth.
Here is the ask: Do I need a new EW? Or, is there some other fix I can employ? It's a 30 tooth EW. Can you recommend someone who can make me one? I added a few pics of the EW and the movement. Help needed and appreciated. Thanks so much.

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wow

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If one tooth is slightly bent or shorter than the rest it would cause that. Examine every tooth under magnification. Then let us know what you find. If you could post a straight on photo of the EW rather than an angle shot, we could help you examine it.
 

Dick Feldman

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The most likely cause is lack of power to the escape wheel. A common cause of irregular beat is lack of power due to wear due to use.
It is common for repair people to look at an escapement because it is the thing that is visible and moving.
Have you checked the pivot holes(all of them) for wear?
Clocks usually do not wear in only one place and the pivot holes in that movement probably need attention. (bushings)
If it is a Vienna, it has probably been running for 100 years or so.
Clock movements are machines and will wear just as any other machine.
Vienna regulators do not normally have a lot of excess power and many will have relatively low amplitude on the pendulum even when the movement is in good shape.
You may now have all of the following:
1. An escape wheel that is out of whack due to your tooth adjustment. The tooth alignment can be checked best with a rotary table or other precise degree measuring tool.
2. A verge that has improper distance between the pallets because of your adjustment. That distance is critical and is a delicate setting.
3. A center distance on the escapement that is improper due to having been taken apart and put back together.
4. A worn movement that needs bushings before it will be dependable.
Clean, oil and adjust are seldom viable long term cures for clocks that do not run and damage can be done to the movement. .
Those functions are primarily preventative rather than being curative.
I believe you now need a qualified clock repair person with proper equipment to solve the problems with your movement.
Best Regards,
Dick
 

Vernon

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You could also have wear on the pallets; check these for rutting. I wouldn't make repairs based off of assumptions. I would look for wear in the pallets, pivots, bushings and other areas and correct then clean/assemble then oil. You will likely need to adjust the pallets again.
 

Probox

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If one tooth is slightly bent or shorter than the rest it would cause that. Examine every tooth under magnification. Then let us know what you find. If you could post a straight on photo of the EW rather than an angle shot, we could help you examine it.
Thanks Wow for your suggestion, I have included a few more pics of the EW flat on. I'll also take a look under magnification. They look bad without magnification lol. And also thanks Dick, I did at first think that the first wheel after the great wheel needed re-bushing but when I examined it a second time I thought the tolerances were pretty good so I looked for some other problem. But Yes, power seems to be a problem . I may rebush that gear and work from there. Is there a resource on NAWCC that I can be referred to for having a new EW made does anybody know?

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wow

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Thanks Wow for your suggestion, I have included a few more pics of the EW flat on. I'll also take a look under magnification. They look bad without magnification lol. And also thanks Dick, I did at first think that the first wheel after the great wheel needed re-bushing but when I examined it a second time I thought the tolerances were pretty good so I looked for some other problem. But Yes, power seems to be a problem . I may rebush that gear and work from there. Is there a resource on NAWCC that I can be referred to for having a new EW made does anybody know?

View attachment 610057 View attachment 610058 View attachment 610059
It’s difficult to tell with the shadows. A couple look short to me, but you should be able to tell with magnification.
 

Dick Feldman

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This may sound kind of harsh to you but solving only one problem will not make your clock movement reliable. If you get the escapement back into shape, your clock likely will not run. I feel that way because it is likely that there was little or nothing wrong with the escapement to begin with.
If you have a few pivot holes that look too loose to you, the movement probably has many more that need to be addressed in order to be reliable for a long time.
The sad fact is that clocks do not wear only in a few places.
My bet is that the wear is throughout that movement and you do not recognize it.
You may be able to get David LaBounty to build a new escape wheel for you. In the right hands, your original can probably be salvaged.
About Time Clockmaking
I still get the impression that you do not have the necessary skills and special equipment to properly repair/rebuild that movement.
JMHO
D
 

tom427cid

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If I may, I have reconditioned EWs. Generally by eye, with magnification. One caution, with this EW there are to areas to be concerned with, the base of the EW tooth and the angled flank/tip. Start with the base area. Use dividers to make sure the spacing is good. Work slowly and only make small changes. Then address the tips and slowly and carefully adjust. Use the dividers to help maintain spacing. When you feel good about the shape of things mark a tooth and roll it across a few sheets of paper to make impressions of each tooth tip. Then starting at the same point make two more parallel runs. One advance the EW 1 tooth the other back up one from the marked tooth. Compare the rows of impressions they should be all about the same. If the spacing is off you will see an impression that does not line up. By counting teeth you can identify the offending tooth. You should also rotate the EW and arbor in V blocks or a lathe to check height. Top the EW and reshape any teeth that were topped.
Hope this helps.
tom
 
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kinsler33

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I've seen escape wheels that were lots worse. See if you can adjust the pallets to back where they were, and then bush the escapement--that is, the verge pivots and the escape wheel pivots. Even if they look nominally fine, you're probably losing a bit of motion in the escapement pivots, and this makes a very large difference in the performance of the clock. Look at the rest of the escapement and bush that, too, if necessary. Once adequate pendulum motion is restored slight defects in the beat won't be particularly apparent. These clocks don't have much pendulum motion at best.

Mark Kinsler
 

Probox

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I've seen escape wheels that were lots worse. See if you can adjust the pallets to back where they were, and then bush the escapement--that is, the verge pivots and the escape wheel pivots. Even if they look nominally fine, you're probably losing a bit of motion in the escapement pivots, and this makes a very large difference in the performance of the clock. Look at the rest of the escapement and bush that, too, if necessary. Once adequate pendulum motion is restored slight defects in the beat won't be particularly apparent. These clocks don't have much pendulum motion at best.

Mark Kinsler
Thank you Mark. I did record the depth measurements of the pallets before I adjusted them, so, no problem moving them back to where they were. I plan to analyse the EW under magnification to see if I have any short/damaged teeth and will try to adjust per Tom's notes. Next, I will rebush all of the pivots that have any side to side movement. (including the verge pivots) Then I'll clean, oil and see how she runs. All I can do and if that fails, then purchase a used single weight movement for my clock. lol.
 

shutterbug

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I note several areas of the EW where the flat edge of the tooth is not flat. When pulling teeth into shape it's important to keep that flat edge straight as you pull. I would recommend marking where the wheels sounds best, and make an impression of that part using clay, silly putty or similar medium, and then slowly lift and turn the wheel to make sure that all of the teeth have the same shape and distance apart. As noted, there may be other things to consider as well, but that particular wheel is important and has to be right.
When you get the teeth looking right, spin the wheel in a lathe, or a good revolving tool with very little runout, and use your thumb to see if it feels even all around. If not, a controlled file can be used while it spins to even up the height of the teeth. When it sounds the same all the way around, it's done.
 

Dick Feldman

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For comparing teeth on an escape wheel, one can use modeling clay.
Press the wheel flat into the clay, remove and compare that impression with adjacent teeth.
Good luck,
Dick
 

Probox

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For comparing teeth on an escape wheel, one can use modeling clay.
Press the wheel flat into the clay, remove and compare that impression with adjacent teeth.
Good luck,
Dick
Thank you, those are great ideas, I will get some modelling clay and I do have a mini lathe I can use to spin the wheel. I'm not sure I have the skills though to repair the wheel so, if I find it is wrong, I'll probably contact the referral found earlier in this discussion. Thanks everyone for your kind and thoughtful analysis.
 

Dick Feldman

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Don't get discouraged.
What can happen?
Do you think you will break a broken escape wheel?
Just do not destroy it so if you need to send it out there will be something left.
Dick
 

Probox

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Don't get discouraged.
What can happen?
Do you think you will break a broken escape wheel?
Just do not destroy it so if you need to send it out there will be something left.
Dick
Thank you Dick for your encouragement. You do make a great point...lol.
 

leeinv66

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In and out of beat is often caused by a bent pivot on the escape wheel arbor. I assume you have check for this?
 

Probox

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In and out of beat is often caused by a bent pivot on the escape wheel arbor. I assume you have check for this?
Yes, today I chucked the EW in the lathe and did find that the arbor was bent (not the pivot), so I straightened that out, I used putty to get an impression of the EW teeth and found two short ones and elongated those with flat pliers and I rounded the tips in the lathe and also found two crooked teeth that I also straightened. So lots of work done on the EW tonight. I put the pallets back to their original positioning and they are clean and flat with no grooves. Later in the week I'll put it back together and see what all this has done. If still a problem, then I will look at rebushing all of the pivots. But for now, it's the wifes 60th B'day so I have to take tomorrow off and enjoy some rest and relaxation with her at Nova Scotia's Whitepoint beach resort and do a little golfing. Thank you and have a blessed day.
 
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kinsler33

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Ah. Wife. Sixtieth birthday. Tread carefully, so that thy days may be long upon the Earth.

The resort sounds like excellent life insurance. If there's a spa there treat her to anything she wants, but do _not_ suggest that she needs it, or she'll truly clean your clock, escapement and all.

Horological note: when confronted with an underperforming clock I will generally re-bush the escape wheel and verge pivots without trying to inspect them for side-shake or other wear. Experience has shown that these pivots wear oddly and may thus show no obvious wear. The rules you'd use for bushing/not bushing a train wheel really don't apply to these four escapement pivots: bush them just loose enough to allow the pivots to turn freely, and you should see a performance improvement.

M Kinsler
 
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leeinv66

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Vienna movements generally don't need a lot of bushing work. The escape wheel arbor and anchor pivot bushings are where you will find wear if any.
 
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tom427cid

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Since you have changed the diameter of the EW be mindful of the fact that the old pallet dimension will change. It is a good starting point to reestablish your "lock and drop". Because you had a bent arbor I would check the engagement of the EW and the pallets at each tooth and if needed adjust accordingly probably will be in the .000"'s of an inch. Good luck, you are on the path to having a running clock
Hope this helps.
tom
 

Dick Feldman

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Yes, today I chucked the EW in the lathe and did find that the arbor was bent (not the pivot), so I straightened that out,
It makes me wonder what bent the arbor on the EW.
I assume it was straight once.
I also am perplexed that the clock ever ran with a bent arbor.
Arbors do not bend on their own normally and I suspect the bend was due to some outside force.
Dick
 

Dick Feldman

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To check the escapement, it might be easiest to assemble the verge and the EW between the plates without any other wheels.
You should be able to advance the EW slowly while watching (with a magnifier) where the pallets are falling (or catching) on the EW teeth and tell how much drop each has as you rock the verge.
The "real" correct tool for that is a depthing tool.
The golden rules of DB escapements from Dr. David S. Goodman's book are:
Rule #1.To close the drop off the exit pallet, close the center distance. To close the drop off the exit pallet, open the center distance
Rule #2. To close the drop off the entrance pallet, close the pallets. to open the drop off the entrance pallet, open the pallets.
That book has the best explanation of escapements I have seen (for amateurs as well as experts).
Think about investing in a copy.
The book does not look like much but is jammed full of useful tricks and methods. (Tricks but not second rate repairs)
It would do well for many of the posters on this board to spend a little time studying Dr. Goodman's publication.
Good luck,
Dick
 

Probox

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To check the escapement, it might be easiest to assemble the verge and the EW between the plates without any other wheels.
You should be able to advance the EW slowly while watching (with a magnifier) where the pallets are falling (or catching) on the EW teeth and tell how much drop each has as you rock the verge.
The "real" correct tool for that is a depthing tool.
The golden rules of DB escapements from Dr. David S. Goodman's book are:
Rule #1.To close the drop off the exit pallet, close the center distance. To close the drop off the exit pallet, open the center distance
Rule #2. To close the drop off the entrance pallet, close the pallets. to open the drop off the entrance pallet, open the pallets.
That book has the best explanation of escapements I have seen (for amateurs as well as experts).
Think about investing in a copy.
The book does not look like much but is jammed full of useful tricks and methods. (Tricks but not second rate repairs)
It would do well for many of the posters on this board to spend a little time studying Dr. Goodman's publication.
Good luck,
Dick
Thanks again Dick, this is wonderful information. One of the challenges I have is that when the plates are together I cannot see the pallets and their interaction with the EW. I think I will be cutting two holes into the front plate so that I can view this interaction. Without that view, I cannot possible expect to get the verge lined up in relation to the pallets. The information above is extremely helpful. When in Rule #1 it refers to closing the center distance, what do I need to do that? To close or open the center distance? I get rule #2. That's adjusting the pallet lengths.
 

Dick Feldman

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The center distance is the distance between the EW center and the verge arbor center.
It is adjusted (usually) with the two mounting screws on the bridge for the rear pivot of the verge arbor. [simplest way]
or at the pivot on the front end. Goodman calls those brass plugs in the front plate the French turn table.
That is what normally holds the front pivot on the verge arbor.
It is an eccentric disc that has a semi a press fit into the front plate.
Normally those are seized too tight to rotate or will become loose with any adjustment and want to fall out causing additional problems. .
If you can adjust the center distance with the verge bridge you will be ahead.
If need be, egg shape the screw mounting holes with a round needle file.
I don't like the idea of cutting holes in the clock plate.
With the arbor and EW only you should be able to rotate the plate to get some sort of view with a magnifier.
I have tried for almost an hour to post a scan from Goodman's book of the French Turn Table but this system does not seem to accept Tiff format.
I finally gave up.
Maybe Bruce can come up with a solution to get that picture posted. .
Good luck,
Dick




 

Probox

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Any progress?
D
No, not so far, been working with the "one" pallet depth via trial and error because I cannot see the EW. I got it running but I could hear a "dragging" metal on metal sound which to me means that the pallets are dragging. I have polished them but so far haven't used oil. I don't oil while working. I am still considering cutting two viewing holes in the front plate. Have a smaller project that came up in the meantime so have to dispatch with that before getting back to the clock. As I'm sure you've all had happen. I will update the board with my progress and final solutions though.
 

RJSoftware

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Some methods that I do.

First, never file teeth. Especially profiles. You can knock the very tippity tops of each tooth off by spinning in lathe, by holding a sharpening stone perpendicular to teeth. To get them even. But man, make it slighter than the hair on a blonde newborn.

As mentioned, you pull each tooth straight only concerned with maintaining the flat side straight. When the flat side is straight the other side will be correct.

Use tweezers to pull teeth straight. Preferably use brass tweezers. Hold tips perpendicular to teeth, Grip and slide gently to moderate. The idea is to straighten and burnish surfaces too.

Another gotcha is grinding rutts off palettes. Be careful as changing angles and distances cause problems.

Yes, palettes need inspection and often need touching up. In fact first thing to do when clock stops like this is to oil the palettes. If oiling palettes restores reliable motion then you know where source of problem is. But there can still be multiple issues.

With no power on main wheels, springs let down, weights removed, grab the main wheels and rock them back and forth. If any pivots are bad in the trains you will see pivot tips wiggle back and forth as you reverse direction back and forth (jiggle). The rule is any pivot tip that moves 1/3 it's diameter or more has too much wear.

Also pivot holes tend to wear on one side of hole as pressure exerted causes pivot to eat side to make oblong hole. The worn bushing hole causes gear teeth to mesh too deeply into next gear causing binding, a bad mesh. Teeth should mesh at 90% contact and 10% freedom. If the mesh where 100% contact then surfaces could not slide against each other. A depthing tool allows two gears to mesh at different depths. A screw adjust the precise distance, the two meshing gears are spuns to see what exact distance feels best. Too close grinds, too far apart skips. That distance is then transferred to the plates by sharp points of depthing tool runners.

The point of the explanation was to give you a greater grasp on what is expected. I apologize if you already knew this.
 

RJSoftware

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I must admit I don't have brass tweezers. But was told by longtime member Mike Phelan that brass is kinder to surfaces of the teeth. Made sense. It's also used in other operations but can't recall now. Basically a softer metal leaves less scratching/scaring. Mike use to build movements from scratch. A genuine clockmaker. I don't know what happened to him.
 

shutterbug

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He popped on again last year for a brief time. I think something (someone) got his goat and he left.
 

RJSoftware

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too bad, he was a genuine.
 

shutterbug

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Yeah. Lots of knowledge there!
 

RJSoftware

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One thing I have learned is to address my opinions as something "what I do" or "what works for me" so that I do not present myself as absolute dictatorial ruler of the clock and watch repair methodology.
That is unless I'm trying to extract some humor, where hopefully a two party agreement of said humor stands uncontested as to it's intent.

Intent I think is the issue I think. Seeking humor is honourable but sometimes skirts the appropriate. At one point (I don't know if you recall) the board moderators declared the mandate NO JOKES ALLOWED...! (I have to admit it made me chuckle a little). But that was long ago.

Thing is there is a difference between trolling and joking. Like different forms of fishing. One uses bait the other uses dynamite.

Here little fishy fishy, I got something just for you.

KA-BOOM....!

Ah, look at all the little fishies floating in the water.
 

shutterbug

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Like the guy who was stopped by a game warden for using dynamite to fish. He lit another one, handed it to the warden and said "You gonna to talk, or fish?" :D
 
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wow

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One thing I have learned is to address my opinions as something "what I do" or "what works for me" so that I do not present myself as absolute dictatorial ruler of the clock and watch repair methodology.
That is unless I'm trying to extract some humor, where hopefully a two party agreement of said humor stands uncontested as to it's intent.

Intent I think is the issue I think. Seeking humor is honourable but sometimes skirts the appropriate. At one point (I don't know if you recall) the board moderators declared the mandate NO JOKES ALLOWED...! (I have to admit it made me chuckle a little). But that was long ago.

Thing is there is a difference between trolling and joking. Like different forms of fishing. One uses bait the other uses dynamite.

Here little fishy fishy, I got something just for you.

KA-BOOM....!

Ah, look at all the little fishies floating in the water.
Great advise, RJ. I often wonder why some of the very helpful posters quit posting. I miss those posts of knowledgeable people like Willie, Jay, Shimmy, Mike, Tinker, and many others. They have definitely helped me to become a better clockmaker. There is only one guy in my area, besides myself, who is a clockmaker. Four others have passed away recently. I depend on you pros more than you can imagine. Thanks!!!!
 
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