Endeavor

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Endeavor last won the day on September 16 2017

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  1. Hello All; I managed to get a NOS Molnija Pocket watch from a collector who passed away. Before I do this relative simple walkthrough, I read up on this iconic Russian pocket-watch and like to share some of its history I gathered; The Molnija movement is basically a copy of a Swiss cal.616 movement designed by Cortébert. This design was very popular and turned out to be a blueprint for many other movement designs such as in Rolex watches from around 1940's: The Molnija (Молния) pocket watches were made from November 1947 to October 2007. The main factory was located in the Ural town of Chelyabinsk with a second factory outside of Moscow. The Russian word Молния means "lightning". The Russians improved accuracy of the movement quite a bit when they upgraded it to their 18 jewels version of the movement but the basic design remained the same until the closure of the factory in 2007. In other words the Molnija movement was originally a Swiss Cortébert movement. A high quality movement. The movement is mainly made out of a nickel copper alloy. The smaller and more delicate cog wheels are made of brass and the bigger wheels which are directly connected to the main spring are made out of carbon steel. Molnija technical specifications Movement diameter: 36 mm Movement types: early movements are called "ЧК-6" (ChK-6) and they have a nice striped pattern finish (Geneva stripes). Around 1964 a new movement called 3602 was introduced. The 3602 is almost identical to the "ЧК-6" but it has no finishing pattern and some of the internal dimensions are different such that you can not exchange parts between the two types. The 3603 movement is a 3602 movement with shock protection (the balance wheel jewels are different). Jewels (gemstone bearings): normally 15 on the "ЧК-6" and 18 on the 3602/3603 movements Rate: 2.5Hz, 5 beats per second, 18000 bph (beats per hour), Lifting angle 52 degrees. Main-spring reserve: The watch runs about 40 hours when fully wound. Balance staff: riveted, note "ЧК-6" (ChK-6) and 3602/3603 movements require different staffs. Balance wheel: The balance wheel alloy was changed and improved over the years. At least 3 different kinds of alloys with different colors in Molnija watches. Hairspring material: Elinvar, hairspring form: Breguet overcoil for 3602/3603 and flat hairspring for ЧК-6 The Chelyabinsk Watch Factory used in the 60's and later sometimes this symbol of a watch showing 9 o'clock. Shock protection for a mechanical watch indicates that the delicate pivots that hold the balance wheel are mounted in a spring suspension system. A shock resistant watch is supposed to survive falling from a height of 1 meter onto a horizontal hardwood surface without any damage to the balance wheel staffs. Most of the Molnija pocket watches are caliber 3602, without shock protection. Shock protection is highly recommended for wrist watches but rarely used for pocket watches especially older models. Pocket watches are more protected against shock if they are properly secured with a chain or some kind of string and carried in a pocket. A few pocket watch models in the late 80's and early 90's were caliber 3603. The 1980's models had a triangular metal piece holding the balance jewel and the later 1990's models had a star shaped metal piece with a round center hole. The 3603 Molnija movement (shock protection) is not seen very often but it can be easily identified because the regulator has two arms that can be moved and the jewel on the balance cock is held in place by a small metal piece sitting on top of the jewel. The watch I received had the more rare 3603 movement, and the solid Silverine case was, apart from some "drawer-wear, in a superb cosmetic condition. It has a Steam locomotive theme and is also called a "Railroad" watch. The finish on the stamped locomotive is done with a grey paint, which wears off in time. The paint on this watch had no wear to speak of. Here a close up of the 3603 movement with a "star" shaped anti-shock spring, suggesting that this movement is from the early 1990's. Clearly, nobody has serviced this watch since it left the factory. It ran, but stopped. The movement is held in place by two case-screws and is removed via the front, so the front bezel and the glass have to be removed first. Removing the hands; I used some 0.2mm thick plastic to protect, in this case the plastic dial. Remove any residual tension in the mainspring by holding the crown, lifting the click and let the spring tension slowly escape via the crown. Once the tension is off, the winding-stem can be pulled by depressing in the stem-release button. Undo the two case screws and take the movement out via the front. The plastic dial has two dial feet, hold in place by two dial-screws on either side of the movement. Note the anti-shock for the balance wheel and the separate cap-stone for the escape-wheel. Started disassembling the keyless works; With the keyless works and cannon-pinion removed; Flipped the movement over; Removed the balance assembly. Clearly to see the dried and solidified oil on the inside of the top anti-shock. Also the "nine-o-clock" stamp of the Chelyabinsk Watch Factory, normally "hiding" under the balance wheel. The escape wheel cock and wheel-bridge removed; Next is the ratchet wheel, the click, crown-wheel (left hand screw!) and thereafter the whole train can be removed; Next is the barrel bridge and barrel The movement has now been fully stripped and ready for some thorough cleaning. Also the main-spring has to be cleaned & checked; I normally take it out by hand and wind it by hand. After some practice it's not hard to do; however never loose concentration while uncoiling or winding the spring though ! These springs LOVE their freedom !! Cleaned and checked the spring, re-wound and oiled it. Make sure the springs "side-wings" engage in a special hole inside the barrel and place the lid correctly. It is also a good idea to demagnetize each part before assembling. Magnetism can cause strange and "un-explainable" running behavior later on. Best is to "nip it in the butt" right from the beginning. Since we are dealing with dried and solidified oil, each and every jewel has to be cleaned thoroughly with peg-wood. Even down to the smallest jewel hole has to be cleaned manually. Every pivot has to be checked and manually cleaned it required. Failure to do so, chances are that the watch doesn't run fine. For removing the anti-shock star form spring, I'm using this drilled out and edge-shaped peg-wood. It works very well for me; After cleaning the anti-shock cap stones, I'm using Rodeco to support it for oiling. Once the oil is on, you pick the Rodeco up, turn it upside down and place the cap-stone in the waiting Chaton. Hold with your tweezers the top of the stone and pull the Rodeco off. When using a 5x magnification, this works as a treat for me. Same methode for the escape wheel cap stones; Also Redoco for holding the pallet-fork while oiling the stone-tips; (hmm ...... it's about time for some new Rodeco !) Assembling the watch is the reverse of the above. After some adjustment the timegrapher produced the following picture; I'll settle for that ! Hope you enjoyed this reading and that this walkthrough will benefit somebody, some day Roland.
  2. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    Thanks @oldhippy; yes, after writing the article above it became clear to me that even if option 1) was chosen, that the "fix" would tackle only a part of the problem, not the whole problem. All the previous "fixes" done to this movement also focused on just a part of the escapement-problem, not the whole. Fixing a part of the problem will be relative short lived as well. I decided that this was no longer an option for me. One does it either right or you don't do it at all. Today, I had a discussion with the owners and it has been decided that the clock will be cleaned, assembled, oiled and optimal adjusted with all its flaws. The clock will most likely only run on special occasions and therefor it may last for quite some time. I told them an easy to remember analogy: it's like driving an old car by which you now know it has an engine problem; it may brake down today, but if you drive it carefully, it may do you another 50,000 km ...... ?? after which they can still decide to do a proper full-restoration or not. Now for them, after having looked at a still-standing clock for 20 years, they not only get a clock back which runs, but also a well detailed report of what my findings were. It's now up to them to take at a later date action upon those points. For me it's now a matter of assembling, oiling, adjusting, see if I can get the date & moon working and installing the "missing" moon-indicator. A test run and thereafter it's back to the owner. Disappointed ..... not really. I learned a lot and for me, I stopped in time. Rather a running 18-century clock and well informed owners than knocking on the door with a plastic-bag full of parts and a message: "I'm sorry" ........ Thank you all for your excellent help !!
  3. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    Thank you very much @oldhippy ! I'll certainly use this as a reference if we get to that point.... I would then be delighted to do the final touches. Just now, to say it gently, there are some hurdles to overcome. The more I catch up in theory, the more I see, discover and question (the usual "enlightening": the more one learns, the more one realizes that one knows next to nothing ). Even though the clock ran seemingly fine on a 1.25 kg weight, one could hear, after some studying how an anchor-escapement supposed to work, that there were troubles. To assist in clear communication, I took the liberty to give things some names (in the hope that I named them correctly); Above we see the anchor, on the left the Entry-pallet and I named the sound, when a teeth of the escape wheel makes an impact on the entry pallet, the "tick". On the right the Exit-pallet and I named the sound, when a teeth of the escape wheel makes an impact on the exit-pallet, the "tock". Even though the beat of the clock sounded right, about the same time between the tick and the tock, the tock sounded louder than the tick. This means that the impact forces on the pallets were different and in this case the teeth on the tock had a greater impact on the exit-pallet than a teeth tick on the entry-pallet. Measurements with a feeler confirmed this (the "drop"). The drop between a teeth and the entry-pallet, at the moment that the exit-pallet released, was 0.35mm. The drop between a teeth and the exit-pallet, at the moment that the entry-pallet released, was 0.9mm. This means that it takes longer for a teeth to hit the exit-pallet after release, than it takes for a teeth to hit the entry-pallet after release. This in turn means that the impact forces on the exit-pallet are much greater, and therefor the wear will be much greater. It also means that there is an inequality in the amount of energy being given to the pendulum on each beat. Preferably, to minimize the wear, the impact forces should be equal and kept to a minimum. The impact forces are in turn a function of the distance the teeth travels freely (the drop) between release and impact (the greater the distance of free travel, the more speed the teeth develops) and the torque applied to the escape-wheel. The torque is a function of the weight hung on the clock minus all the friction in the gear-train etc. The greater the weight, assuming the friction being equal, the more torque on the escape wheel ..... so the "running"-weight should be kept as low as possible as well. Looking at the anchor self, it seems that the anchor is slightly warped on the entry-pallet side. This most likely caused the tilted wear on top of the escape wheel teeth; To make matters worse, for as wear is concerned, both pallet surfaces are not polished, never mind burnished. Hopefully you can see on the picture the file marks left behind which are running from left to right .... the worst possible direction for causing wear. Here the exit pallet; and here the entry-pallet; One can also clearly see, that due to the warped anchor-arm, the escape wheel teeth impact imprint on the pallet is off-center. Whereas on the exit pallet it is nearly in center. If I, as I've done before, move the pallet-cock to the lowest position, the situation becomes even worse. The drop between an escape wheel teeth and the entry-pallet becomes 0.2mm and between an escape wheel teeth and the exit pallet 0.8mm, making the difference in sound between the tick & the tock much more pronounced. Perhaps there are many options left, but the ones I currently see: 1) The anchor needs a serious rework, to straighten, increase in pallets thicknesses (meanly the Exit pallet, but also some to the entry pallet, so there is some "meat" for polishing and burnishing the surfaces) 2) A complete new set of escape wheel, cock and bridge (CousinsUK sells complete sets) 3) Leave it as is an the clock goes back to the owner, with a list of spotted defects. The clock will run for some time to come, but we now know that it will stop at some point in time due to wear on the escapement. If either option 1) or 2) is chosen, I have to see what that all entails and whether I can do it? Option 3) is currently the last option I like to opt for ...... but wisdom is also to recognize one's maximum capabilities. Of course, there is the owner of the clock which needs to be informed if serious work & cost are on the table. Hope to receive some advice, idea's & other options on how to proceed .......
  4. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    For whatever it may be worth; with the pallet-cock in the highest position, the clock runs at the moment very nice & regular. The seconds hand, and the (visible) escape-wheel have a very slight recoil on either side of the tick. The original clock weights are 5.9kg each. Currently the clock runs, without any auxiliaries attached to it, just the going train, very happy on a 1.25kg weight. Now it's time to study the ins & outs of an anchor escapement, so I hopefully get a better understanding where I'm looking at and where to look for. Try to figure out what the situation is with the pallet impulse face's, angles, depths etc. The pdf-link above is already good theoretical help/understanding.
  5. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    I've some clock repair books to go through, but also found some other interesting material about the mechanics of clock- & watch-escapements, design criteria, etc : www.orologiko.it/pdf/EscMechanics.pdf Try to catch up with Oldhippy
  6. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    Tomorrow I will get the bottom part of the case. This saves me making a special stand and the clock will be in its "own environment", which suites me better. I did put the going train together. The pallet cock has on one side a "centering"-pin, the other side it has none and because the screw hole on that side has been enlarged, the cock can one-sided be slightly adjusted in height, and thus so the height of the anchor. With the cock in the lowest position (and so the anchor), when putting power (by hand) on the train, nothing moves and the pallets of the anchor seem to "dig" themselves into the teeth of the escape wheel. However, if I position the cock in the highest position (and so the anchor), the escapement seems to work, with very little power applied to the train, with gusto and seemingly flawlessly ..... Of course the crutch is free moving and has no resistance. According to Wikipedia the anchor escapement seems tolerant of large geometrical errors in its construction. The recoil is seen as a disadvantage as it causes extra wear in the whole wheel-train. It is also a frictional escapement, the pendulum is always being pushed by an escape wheel tooth throughout its cycle, and never allowed to swing freely. Once I have the clock setup in its case, the pendulum and weight attached, we have to see how the anchor-escapement performs "under load"....... to be continued ......
  7. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    We'll see how and where this project goes. One step at the time and before anything gets done, each & every step has to be thought through. If it turns out that this project is more than I (or we) can chew, the clock goes back to the owner in the same condition, or in a better condition than as I received it. Regardless the outcome it will be very interesting & educative. Needless to say that I hope for a positive outcome ........
  8. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    @oldhippy; Yes, that all makes very much sense to me. Thank you I'll also study the clocks long case itself as I noticed some scores on the wood inside the case, at the height where the pendulum weight swings. The pendulum weight itself also hung a bit "off". To make a decent stand and setup for the clock is no problem, but it's going to take some time. I least now we can zoom in to a specific problem. Obviously I'll now study the ins & outs of deadbeat escapements as it now became apparent to me that previous clock-makers have gone through great efforts to correct the wear situation. What also became apparent to me is that they all concentrated on either the escapement self, the pallet-cock or a combination of the two, i.e. not the escape wheel self. This "tells" me that the escape-wheel is the very last to be touched. I do agree with you that the pallet-cock has seen some delicate & "cruel" treatments, but it is still in one piece and therefor I do assume that it is still usable and a good starting-point for whatever comes next. "I'll will be back" as soon as I have some more findings to report. All very interesting & educative indeed !
  9. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    @oldhippy; that doesn't sound too good ........ any suggestions how to proceed?
  10. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    Thank you @clockboy for shearing this information. That's how we all learn how not to ! Mistakes are the best to remember I guess there aren't enough Gigabits in the world to describe my "mishaps"
  11. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    Here are some pictures of the escapement and escape-wheel. It is clear that work has been done to the escapement. One can see some wear on the surfaces, but one can't feel groves with the finger-nail. The teeth of the escape-wheel seem fine too, but the tops of the teeth are worn under a slight angle, the highest point being towards the back of the clock, the lowest point towards the front of the clock. Not that easy to get a clear picture. If the wear on top of the escape-wheel teeth is the result of 300 years, I guess all is fine and no need for interference. Best is, in my humble opinion, to assemble the clock and see how the escapement and escape-wheel engage. The tolerance in the front bushing is fine, so if the escapement needs some correction in height, the "dubious" rear-bushing has to be changed out. Included are some pictures of the double rear-bushing, mounted in the rear-bracket.
  12. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    You have a point with the dial of course ! If you start on one part, then the other part looks like it needs too. Once the dial is done, then the whole clock-case looks like it needs at revamp. Once the dial & whole clock-case are done, then suddenly the room and furniture in which the long-case clock stands start to look worn & shabby, and so the story continues ....... It's indeed an art when not to add / fix or touch. To leave things alone, "as is" ........
  13. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    @oldhippy: thanks a lot for elaborating on the when, or when not to interfere with bushings / pivots. I guess we leave the fly as is and tonight I'll study the escape and escape-wheel for unusual wear. If possible I'll make some pictures and we go from there. As for the calendar hand is thankfully still there. It wasn't attached and was laying loose in the hood. I need to get a washer and pin for it. It is as you described and therefor probably the original. We may end up, which I didn't expect, just doing a thorough clean and reassembly. Thinking ahead and what's best for the clock, which oils to use? Judging the story I've been told, that this clock has been standing still in a corner for the last few decades, I can't see that this clock will suddenly get high attention and regular servicing....... but of course, I can be completely wrong ! Assuming the worse case scenario, wouldn't it be wise to to use synthetic oil for this clock and if so, which ones? Then, as Stuart already mentioned to me, re-silvering the dial and the moon-phase dial. Obviously, I have to ask the owners if they like that or leave the clock as is? You can see on this picture the the dial has seen "wear" and could do with a revamp. In the end of the day, for most people, it's the dial which draws the attention, not the internals. The internals are, as the owner jokingly likes to say to me, for nerds. I'll take that as a compliment I've done re-silvering on a small object, but this is grand and has to be done right ....... needs more studying and I need to get the right materials.......
  14. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    @oldhippy: As Stuart said, you were bang on Good judgement and skill I also found some clock-dating info: http://www.clockmakersandrepairs.co.uk/page6.htm And yes the bushing repair isn't as it should be, but that leaves me with the question; if the (double) bushings and the pivots, apart from two (borderlines?) mentioned before, don't show excessive wear, shouldn't I, despite the incorrect installment, just leave them as they are? Or are there other reasons which would justify changing these bushings out? Also, what to do with one bushing of the fly-fan and the escapement bushing on the back-side? The fly-fan bushing isn't excessively worn, but shows some more play and "looks" worn round. Of course it could be that whomever did this bushing, broached the hole slightly too big to start with? Same counts for the escapement bushing, but that one has already been bushed twice. Is there a reason why that bushing would wear faster? I guess that bushing sees the power-flow of the escape wheel, via the shaft transferred to the pendulum. At what stage would one change out that bushing? Hope to hear .....
  15. Tools required for an Antique Long case?

    @oldhippy; thank you very much for your advice The Unimat 3 lathe looks indeed like a nifty tool. By the looks, well used machines around £300 on eBay, but one has no idea about the (worn-out?) condition...... Today I disassembled the clock further and cleaned the strike- & time-train wheels and all the pivot holes in both plates. Upon inspection all the pivots look very good, some are very slightly barrel-shaped, but if that shape has been formed during those nearly 300 years, then the wear is remarkably minimal. Looking at the pivots with a 10x eye-loupe, they all look pretty shiny with smooth surfaces. Some pivots do have minor groves, but again, if these minimal groves have formed themselves in the past 300 years, they are minimal indeed. These groves are not visible with the naked eye at all. As for the holes; nearly all the holes have bushings in them, the exceptions are two holes in the front-plate from both main wheels. All the rest have been bushed, even twice ..... a bushing inside a bushing. The result is that the oil-wells of those aren't optimal shaped. Some holes have had initial repairs by deforming the metal, later to be bushed. Regardless the way the bushings are set, there are currently only 2 bushings in which the pivot, or rather the shaft exceeds an approximately 5 degrees tilt. In all other bushings, the wheel-shafts have no more than 5 degrees tilt in any direction. The two bushings which are exceeding (marginally) the 5 degrees are; one bushing in which the fly fan turns and one bushing in which the escapement turns, the bushing situated in the bracket on the pendulum side (which also happens to be a bushing inside another bushing). The two main wheel holes in the front-plate (winding side), which aren't bushed, show a play of about 0.5mm. The two main wheel bushed-holes in the back-plate show also some play. I'm not sure what the criteria's are for any of those big holes. If the wear in the front plate main wheel holes are the result of 300 years, I guess there is nothing to worry about. To summarize my observations; All the pivots seem original, and therefor after 300 years I think they are in a very good shape. Perhaps not all of them are 100% cylindrical, but if that wear is the result of 300 years running, they will last easily another 300 years. I also think, with my limited clock know-how, that whatever I would do to those pivots, I would not improve the, through time, nicely polished / hardened surfaces. More to the contrary. As for the bushings; some of them are perhaps not correctly set, but apart from two, the pivot fit seems to be good, or at least within the 5 degrees "boundaries". Question is, those two who are slightly over the thresholds, do they repair? It is one bushing of the fly fan which is slightly too big, and the bushing sits inside the escapement bracket. The respective pivots (fly fan and the escapement) which turn in these two "worn"-bushing look fine. Any opinions whether to do something about it or leave it "As is"? If close ups are required, please let me know of what exactly and I will try to shoot some descent pictures ..... The wear of the strike warning wheel at the front is another story for another day.