wooden clock stops when verge is put on

Yanagawa

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My wooden clock was running fine, until it stopped. I did not move it at all. I took the verge an pendulum off and the escape wheel turns very fast. When I put the verge back on it stops. I cleaned the gears and checked the arbors. Everything looks fine. I cannot get the clock to tick more than a few times. I levelled the clock. I cannot get it to run. Help
 

wow

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My wooden clock was running fine, until it stopped. I did not move it at all. I took the verge an pendulum off and the escape wheel turns very fast. When I put the verge back on it stops. I cleaned the gears and checked the arbors. Everything looks fine. I cannot get the clock to tick more than a few times. I levelled the clock. I cannot get it to run. Help
Did you bend the wire connected to the verge? If so, it is probably out of beat. Being level does not mean it is in beat. Make a video of it running those few ticks and we can tell you if it is out of beat.
 
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Yanagawa

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I did bend the crux? Here is the video. Without the verge and pendulum attachment the escape wheel really turns fast. With the only the verge and crux it stops. Here is the video.
 

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fbicknel

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A few things to check:
- Is there enough power? try adding a little power manually a wheel or two up and see if it runs. If it does, then you know the escapement geometry is probably close.
- If there's not enough power, then see if any of the wheels are binding. Check end shake. Gently move each wheel in the train along the axis of the pivots. If one of them "pops", then that one is binding up. It's bushed too tightly or one of the bushes isn't straight.
- If the clock hasn't been serviced in a while, maybe one or more of the bushes is worn to the point that the wheel is so far out of place it can't provide power any longer. The clock needs service: cleaned, bushed, oiled. (All three: just one or two won't cut it.)

I'm betting on power, but it's a little hard to tell from just that one video.


Finally, if the clock hasn't been serviced in a while and it turns out it needs service, don't change the verge/escapement geometry to try to fix it. The only solution to the problem is a good clean/bush/oil service.
 

R. Croswell

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First, don't let a wooden movement spin fast and free without the verge!

The verge is incorrect for this movement and it looks like the entrance pallet angle is off. Can't tell anything when you swing the pendulum wide like that. Try another video and slowly move the pendulum back and forth by hand so we can see what's going on with the escapement. Someone has bushed the escape wheel pivot hole and I would look for a gummed up pivot hole or a bushing that's too tight. One horrible looking brass bushing at the center shaft but that's not likely the problem. The brass escape wheel bushing should be oiled, the wooden pivot holes not oiled. Make sure the weight cords are on the pulleys and that the pulleys are turning free and not wobbling.

The pivots in the wooden arbors of clocks like this were often driven in at an angle and bent to line up straight at the factory. Sometimes these can slip or are accidentally rotated during cleaning and polishing in which case they will run crooked and could bind. Hold suspect any bushing work that has been done. With the weights removed and the movement out of the case and the verge removed, apply hand pressure to the main wheel and the escape wheel should begin to turn with very little pressure applied. Set it spinning slowly and release pressure and see if it stops suddenly at a "tight spot". Wooden arbors and wooden gears sometimes warp and become out of round so check this. By now most of these clocks have had broken teeth repaired and sometimes the repairs are not too good and even though they may not lock up they can cause a tight spot.

Don't fool with adjusting the verge until we see a slow mo video of what's going on. It can be tricky rotating and re-pinning the brass verge support button.

RC
 

shutterbug

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The clock is badly out of beat, and the crutch needs to be bent more in the direction that it already is. I agree with RC about the verge, and am surprised it ran well before. Maybe getting it in beat will make a difference.
 
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Yanagawa

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Before I cleaned the clock, I adjusted the verge contact points. I tried to work on it as I watched one of the videos. The verge material is very brittle. I chipped one corner of the outgoing point. The escape wheel has 42 points and looks as though it was hand cut. I then opened the case and cleaned the arbors and checked the bushings. They all seemed fine. I also made a tool to check the wobble on the gears and to see if the arbors were bent. All looked good. All the gears have their original teeth and look fine. The clock has been in my wifes family since the 1800's. We had it shipped from Nebraska to Washington state via FedEx-they packed it-and it came in pieces. They failed to pack the weights separately, consequently all glass was broken, hand were bent, but the movement was intact. I was able to get it running. It has been running for 4 years. Recently it ran intermittently and then stoppeId. It seems to me that after it stopped and I started to work on it, I went about it backwards. Rather than cleaning it first, I attempted to to work on the verge and crux. I bought a set of verges that I thought at least one of them would work-no luck. I had to put the slomo file into a zip folder since it was too big to email from my camera. If more photos would help, I can try to get them. Thanks tool.JPG
 

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R. Croswell

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First, I think more people would be able to view your videos if you uploaded them to You-Tube. Size would not be a problem and you could make a long enough video so we could see more than one tic-tock. From what I can see it looks like the distance between the pallets needs to be closed just a bit. after that adjustment you will need to reposition the verge pin by turning that brass button. If the hole into which the brass button is a good fit you can put a thin piece of paper under the button and press it in and that will allow you to adjust it. Once it is right you will put the nails in at the new position, which usually requires filling the old nail holes first.

'Before bending the verge, heat each end to red hot and let it cool very slowly. This will anneal the metal so it is not brittle. Once you have it right and everything is running for a few days, you can remove the verge and again heat both ends to red hot and quickly drop it into water, this will make it hard (and brittle) again after which the surfaces should be polished.

The verge in the video is not original to this clock. The original would have been much thicker and the crutch wire would be attached to the other end and positioned on the right hand side of the center shaft.

I suggest you look up some references on adjusting a recoil escapement. You can waste a lot of time with trial and error. Seeing as how the verge isn't correct and has already been messed with, I think you need to get this right before going deeper. That does not mean that it will run, but if the escapement isn't right you can be sure that it won't run.

RC
 

Yanagawa

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I did notice that the crutch wire was on the left side of the center shaft and all the photos I have been able to see the crutch wire is on the right. Also the crutch wire was on the other end as you state. I am not familiar with a recoil escapement. In your opinion could I get this clock going if I got a new verge and adjusted could it run?
 

R. Croswell

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I am not familiar with a recoil escapement. In your opinion could I get this clock going if I got a new verge and adjusted could it run?
Any new verge that you get will require adjusting before it will work. You will need some understanding of lock, drop, and lift angles as well as putting the clock in beat. Swapping out a verge can be challenging even for an experienced person. Steve Conover's book Clock Repair Basics has a pretty good explanation of how to fit a recoil verge.

Will it run? If the escapement with the new verge operates and the clock is in beat it should run if and only if there is full power reaching the escape wheel. If there are worn pivot holes, tight bushings, and other defects it probably won't run until these other problems are fixed.

RC
 

Yanagawa

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Thanks for the information! I'll try to look up Conover's book. It will be a long process. I'll post replies as I embark on this project. By the way where would you purchase a new verge and maybe Conover's book may tell me what to get.
 

R. Croswell

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Thanks for the information! I'll try to look up Conover's book. It will be a long process. I'll post replies as I embark on this project. By the way where would you purchase a new verge and maybe Conover's book may tell me what to get.
If you want one like the original you will have to make it. You can buy verges from www.timesavers.com like the one you have but with the crutch on the other end. They are not plug n play. You have to fit them.

RC
 

kinsler33

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The first video indicates that the clock is out of beat and that there's too much play between the pendulum rod and the crutch loop. And the pendulum motion reduces so quickly that I'm wondering if something is rubbing the verge itself, like the verge retainer.

It's a lovely clock. Those wooden movements are just glorious.

Mark Kinsler
 

Dick C

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Shouldn't the crutch loop be rotated 90 degrees? My wooden works shows it rotated.
 

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