Welch, Spring & Co. Patti VP project - a few questions

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by R. Croswell, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    The Patti VP, and the infamous "Patti movement" is one of my least favorite clocks to work on, but this one came along "at a good price" and I guess every collection deserves to have one. Yes, this is the one with four main springs (two in each can). She's a little rough looking but is actually running well and has never had any bushing work, but I have a few questions.

    1. Does anyone know what the BPH for this movement is? I don't plan to tear down the movement until later and it would just be convenient to know.

    2. The club-foot escape wheel in this one looks different than what I've seen in other Welch, Spring & Co. movements. There are no signs that the clock has been messed with but there are several dates where it was "cleaned and repaired". Note the concave cut out in each tooth and the lack of the "foot" at the tooth tip. Was this a factory variation? anyone seen one like this? It runs quite well.

    3. I haven't seen many Patti-VP clocks, but looking on line I have not seen this bright blue center glass and pattern. Just wondering if the Patti-VP ever actually used this pendulum?

    4. I pretty sure the hands are not original, and the nut is one I found that doesn't really fit. Finding the right nut will be a challenge.

    5. The dial will be a job for The Dial House at some point.

    This one will be one of those when I find a "round tuit" projects, maybe next winter. At least the springs are good.

    RC

    patti-vp-01.jpg patti-vp-02.jpg patti-vp-03.jpg patti-vp-04.jpg patti-vp-05.jpg
     
  2. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I haven't seen a club tooth quite like that one either. Looks like a good challenge ;)
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    conover has a chapter on the patti in his book 8... but it mostly discusses dealing with the mainsprings. no mention of BPH or escape wheel.
     
  4. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Here is a picture of the club-foot escape wheel in another Patti-VP that I worked on some time ago (on the right) side by side with a repost of the one in my current project (on the left). Looks too uniform to be an aftermarket modification and that face shouldn't be subject to wear. I just don't understand the reason, looks like the "club" is gone. Perhaps the cut out is to allow the eexit pallet better access? Still I would expect someone here to have seen another like it if many were made.

    RC

    patti-vp-04.jpg patti-vp-20.jpg
     
  5. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    it appears that in your example the "legs" are wider at the base, making the teeth more resistant against bending. Maybe this was an improvement over the other design.

    Uhralt
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I was thinking the same thing. The other one has long thin teeth and bending or breaking may have been an issue.
     
  7. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    according to tran's welch book (second edition, page 535) that looks like the 'pendulum no. 15)... except they say it would have had four blades of blue with everything else white... appears to have been used on something called the 'fancy patti' and the 'judic'
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Sounds logical.

    RC
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Here is the pendulum from the other Patti-VP that I had in the shop a while back. I see on-linePatti-VPs with this one and the one you describe with 4 blades of blue. In The Supplement to the BULLETIN if the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. No. 12 February 1978, THE WELCH, SPRING AND COMPANY, by Owen H. Burt and Jo Burt (MI) [quoted in part in the image below] the writer suggests that a lot of mix-match has gone on. The article shows 5 basic types of pendulums used, but images found on Antique Clock Price Guide and elsewhere show examples of the Patti pendulum with various sandwich glass medallions in the center but so far none with blue glass. The article indicates that the Patti-VP and the Judic used the same pendulum design. I'm not aware of the "Fancy Patti" but the referenced article shown the Patti VP No. 2 which looks the same but is much shorter. Some of the other models were identical except the wooden top parts.

    I've included a couple other pictures of Welch, Spring & Co. club-foot escapements. The Empress is one of mine as it came apart and confirms Shutterbug's speculation that the teeth are easy to bend in this model. The Verdi image shows the verge for anyone who has not encountered one of these beasts. Think of it like this, put your hand down the thought of a dead beat escapement, grab its butt, and turn it inside out and this is what you get!

    RC

    patti-vp-21.jpg patti-vp-22.jpg empress.jpg verdi-esc.jpg
     
  10. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Here's the escape wheel of the Patti that I'm working on now.

    IMG_8043.jpg IMG_8012.jpg
     
  11. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    That escape wheel is similar to what RC has but again slightly different. It seems that the manufacturer tried various different designs during a certain period.

    Uhralt
     
  12. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Thanks for posting. Yes it looks similar to mine. In addition to being a more sturdy tooth, I expect some of these changes may have had to do with ease of manufacturing. Yours and mine seem to be devoid of the little trailing lip on the tooth tip which I thought sort of defined "club-foot". I've often wondered if that "lip" really accomplished anything other than making it difficult to machine the part. A few years ago someone here (may have been Jerry) described the somewhat involved process of making a replacement.

    RC
     
  13. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Just for reference, here's the escape wheel from my Welch Spring Verdi.
    IMG_3085.JPG Verdi Escape Wheel.jpg
     
  14. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    With this many examples I think this has to be a factory change

    R C
     
  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I think so too. Interesting to see the evolution though.
     
  16. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    #16 R. Croswell, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    The Patti was running fine and keeping time, but knowing that it wasn't really clean and that I could see a few pivots "dancing around", I didn't want to keep running it, so I have the movement apart. The face will go to The Dial House, and I have some work to do to the case.

    The BPH = 7523.27 if anyone is interested and the going train is shown in the attached picture.

    After looking at dozens of pictures of Patti-VPs I did find just one with a blue sandwich glass center medallion (upper left in the photo) but it appears to not have the upper part like mine (lower left photo). There are probably a dozen or pendulums pictured in the Patti-VP but probably no easy way to tell what is original and what may be from another model and used as a replacement. At some point there may even have been after market knock off copies. Anyway, I'm pleased to know that my blue pendulum is not the only one ever made, it looks nice and the clock runs and keeps time so its a keeper. I'm disappointed that the gold leaf decoration on the door is gone. Unless I can find a glass from parted out case I can't afford the cost to reproduce the original.

    RC

    goint train.jpg p-15.jpg

    Forgot to mention, the pivots in this girl are tiny like in a French clock and really sloppy in the pivot holes. Looks like a lot of bushing work. There is wear on the pivots but not much there to file or turn down. It was running OK so I plan to just clean up the pivots with 2500 paper and some abrasive polish. Not the easiest movement to work on but with the arbors tilting over about 30 degrees it would be almost impossible to get back together without bending a pivot.
     
  17. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    As I'm working on a Patti too, I'm following your story with interest. Like yours, mine is fairly loose, and I think I will end up putting a good number of bushings in it. When I first took the clock apart, there were three bent pivots - one on the fly, one on the escape wheel, and one on another time train wheel. I'm amazed the clock ran as long as it did in this condition.

    Thanks for the BPH calculation.
     
  18. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Strange new development - thought it was demon possessed! So I just finished installing almost 2 dozen bushings and thought all was well. These tiny pivots are not hard and will bend if looked at crosswise so I don't want anything leaning at large angles when I put it back so I bushed both ends of both strike control lever arbors. The fit was good with free endshake etc.This clock doesn't have a normal "J" hook but just s straight wire that rests on the center arbor (like a Terry style wooden works) - see the pictures below. Both control levers moved OK by hand but there seemed to be a tight spot on the lever that rests on the center shaft. There are no helper springs on this movement, so to test that everything is free I turn it upside down to see if the levers drop under their own weight. But that one lever is hanging onto that center shaft and won't drop unless I give it a nudge then it swings free. Just like it was magnetized, no can't be....... well maybe. So I hit it with my bulk tape demagnetizer and now all is fine. Who would have thought that these parts could become that magnetized and how? I guess it wasn't intentional - can't see any reason for it but maybe I'm overlooking something?

    RC

    patti-vp-23.jpg patti-vp-24.jpg
     
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  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I suspect someone was trying to adjust things using a magnetized screwdriver or some other tool. The magnetism was transferred to the lever. Strange for sure!
     
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  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Steve Conover in "How to Repair 20 American Clocks" devotes 9 pages to this movement including "Making the Patti Verge". His illustration of the escape wheel on pg. 137 shows an EW with the wider tooth base but not as dramatic as mine. My verge has seems to have a distinct dead face and impulse face; steve's illustration, and the other Patti for which I have records seem to have more pointy pallets. (sorry for the fuzzy image).

    The rebuild is finished and the movement running strong. There is a bit of recoil on the exit pallet and a little bounce spike on the graph that I haven't been able to get rid of but will let it run fro a couple weeks and see how it levels out.

    For anyone following Conover's instructions, he suggests leaving the center shaft and cannon pinion in place on the front plate. In my opinion it is much, much, easier to reassemble this movement if the cannon pinion is removed and the center shaft placed on the back plate, with all the other parts before placing the top plate. The cannon pinion was easy to remove with a little heat and gentle tap with a hollow brass punch.

    The face is at The Dial House now so maybe this fall I can update with a final picture.

    RC

    patti-vp-25.jpg
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I think I remember the verge pallets to both be nice and sharp. No angled surfaces.
     

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