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Zero power making it from the mainspring to the pallet fork


GregG
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I bought an Ingersoll Eclipse pocket watch.  I don't have photos of the exact movement, but you can see a similar one here:

https://www.clevelandwatchrepair.com/ingersoll-yankee-pocket-watch-repair-2/

I stripped it apart, cleaned it, cleaned the pivot holes, reassembled, and oiled.  I wound the mainspring, but there's a loss of power somewhere between the barrel and the pallet fork.  The balance is rotating nicely if I give it a puff of air, so it's not a matter of friction in the balance or too little headspace.  The mainspring barrel has a little bit of headshake and sideshake so I know it's not stuck in place.  Unfortunately, it's a full plate movement, so I can't assemble part of it to search for problems.  It's all or nothing with how assembled it is. 

suspect it has something to do with the center wheel.  Ingersoll has a design where they don't use canon pinions.  The "pinion" gear is friction fitted to the axle of the center wheel, so you cannot access the hole for the center wheel if you cannot get the pinion gear off, which I could not, therefore, I could not do any mechanical cleaning, only what was accessible from the ultrasonic cleaner.  Though a high-torque area such as the center wheel would seem like an unlikely place to stop running from being gummed up, I would expect that to be in the low-torque areas.

Anyone have any ideas of what it could be?

Thanks

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What you need to do is take it all apart check all the pivots and teeth. Put the train and barrel all back but not the pallets, add a little power and see how the train runs it should run completely right down. Let me know what happens. When I was an apprentice I repaired loads of these pocket watches.  

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Posted (edited)
On 8/28/2021 at 4:09 PM, oldhippy said:

What you need to do is take it all apart check all the pivots and teeth. Put the train and barrel all back but not the pallets, add a little power and see how the train runs it should run completely right down. Let me know what happens. When I was an apprentice I repaired loads of these pocket watches.  

Hi hippy, following up.  I kept the pallet out, and everything runs as expected when I turn the crown, the escape wheel is rotating extremely fast.  I put the pallet in, and I am getting some snapping out of the pallet when I turn it.  I've uploaded a video I took for you to determine whether the strength of the snapping is correct.  After handling, assembling, and disassembling it so many times, some of the lubrication may have been lost, but it wasn't running even when it was lubricated so I don't think that's the issue.

Edited by GregG
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The power is now getting through. With the power off do all the wheels have end shake? is it's time to test it with the balance wheel fitted. After sorting it all out it will need cleaning again. Get back and let me know. 

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6 hours ago, oldhippy said:

The power is now getting through. With the power off do all the wheels have end shake? is it's time to test it with the balance wheel fitted. After sorting it all out it will need cleaning again. Get back and let me know. 

I'll try checking for endshake when I have some time, but if I remember correctly when I was assembling it yesterday, each wheel had some. Although the center wheel is a bit of an unusual case since the way the canon pinion gear is rigidly fixed to the center wheel's axle, but I do believe there is some endshake.

I did try to reassemble it fully last night after verifying that the pallet snaps into place, but same thing as when I first tried it: no power making it to the balance, or at least not enough to sustain oscillation.  Call me crazy, but does it seem like the strength of the pallet fork snap is very weak?

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From what I could see the pallets are working fine. These movements are robust and apart from wear in the pivot holes very little goes wrong. The conical pivots of the balance wear they look like a blunt pencil, so they have to be sharpened and sometimes the oil cups wear. But that is all. 

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21 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

From what I could see the pallets are working fine. These movements are robust and apart from wear in the pivot holes very little goes wrong. The conical pivots of the balance wear they look like a blunt pencil, so they have to be sharpened and sometimes the oil cups wear. But that is all. 

Thanks again hippy.  I'll take a look tonight. If the oil cups are worn, how is that repaired?  Same for the balance pivots?

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Just had a similar problem with an Oris. Is the Ingersoll a pin lever escapement like a Timex?

If so you will need to oil the escape wheel teeth with Moebius 9010 or Moebius 941.  Just a very small drop on every other tooth point. Just the escape wheel teeth, do not oil the pins or pallet pivots.   When I did this the balance swung away with good amplitude at strength.  Also make sure you have lubed the balance pivot cups with Moebius 9010. Generally they need to half/3 quarter full.  These are potentially high friction metal to metal areas and lube is essential.

Also check the balance spring etc is flat and not rubbing on the centre wheel gear or plate.

Edited by canthus
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1 minute ago, canthus said:

Just had a similar problem with an Oris. Is the Ingersoll a pin lever escapement like a Timex?

If so you will need to oil the escape wheel teeth with Moebius 9010 or Moebius 941.  Just a very small drop on every other tooth point.  When I did this the balance swung away with good amplitude at strength.  Also make sure you have lubed the balance pivot cups with Moebius 9010. Generally they need to half/3 quarter full.  These are potentially high friction metal to metal areas and lube is essential.

Also check the balance spring etc is flat and not rubbing on the centre wheel gear or plate.

Yes it's a pin lever escapement.  Ironically I've done dozens of Timexes and none have ever needed oiling on the escape wheel, but I'll apply some 941 tonight if I can.  I have 9010 in the cups, and the balance spring looks flat and concentric.  If I remove the pallet and just give the balance a puff of air, it swings and swings and swings and swings, so I don't think that's the issue, but I'll double check.

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3 hours ago, GregG said:

Thanks again hippy.  I'll take a look tonight. If the oil cups are worn, how is that repaired?  Same for the balance pivots?

The balance can be stoned with a small  arkansas in a lathe. The cups can be cleaned up with a countersink in a pin vice.

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15 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

With the balance fitted, if you manually turn the balance wheel slowly, can the impulse jewel enter the pallet fork and exit without any restriction? 

It seems like it is.  I'll look more thoroughly with a high-powered loupe tonight.

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Sorry for the delay.  @HectorLooi, I looked at the impulse pin, and it doesn't appear to be obstructed.  I could be wrong, but I didn't notice anything unusual.

I tried @canthus's recommendation of using 941 on a few of the escape wheel teeth, and it actually helps a bit.  Before, it wasn't running at all, now it's running, albeit very weakly.  If I'm very gentle with it, and place it in a certain orientation, it will tick.  What are some other things I can try?  I don't have a countersink, lathe, or Arkansas stone as @oldhippy has suggested, but I will look into them more.

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From your description I would say the balance tips are blunt. Could you upload a clear photos showing both balance tips and both balance cups. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 1:52 PM, oldhippy said:

From your description I would say the balance tips are blunt. Could you upload a clear photos showing both balance tips and both balance cups. 

Sorry for the delay again, I will get a photo this weekend.

Also, the dial is in nearly pristine condition with the exception of some off-white stain on it.  Do you know of a way to clean it?  I've tried a little water, and a little alcohol, neither helped.  I saw that denture-cleaning tablets can help, but judging by the original low-cost of these, I don't know if it's an enameled dial.  Feels more like paper.

Edited by GregG
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On 9/6/2021 at 1:52 PM, oldhippy said:

From your description I would say the balance tips are blunt. Could you upload a clear photos showing both balance tips and both balance cups. 

@oldhippy, as promised, here are the images I was able to get.  Made a makeshift microscope out of my loupe plus my phone and the digital zoom, and I got pictures of everything I was able to.  It was a little hard to get images of the bottom of the balance pivot between the hairspring, but I did the best I could.  The pivot does look a little worn on that side.

IMG_20210912_113002.jpg

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IMG_20210912_114712.jpg

IMG_20210912_114715.jpg

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IMG_20210912_114736.jpg

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The blunt balance staff is the problem. With oil in the cups I can't tell if the cups are OK. If you are unable to sharpen the staff then your best bet is to find another. The other pivots on the wheels look OK. 

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28 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

The blunt balance staff is the problem. With oil in the cups I can't tell if the cups are OK. If you are unable to sharpen the staff then your best bet is to find another. The other pivots on the wheels look OK. 

Thanks hippy.

I tried taking some better photos of the oil cups with a flashlight pointing on them.

 

IMG_20210912_140703.jpg

IMG_20210912_140817.jpg

IMG_20210912_140920.jpg

IMG_20210912_140948.jpg

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I don't have it in front of me, so I can't check: do these have removeable hairspring collects?  I would try to remove the hairspring stud first, but I didn't see a screw or anything to release it.  As far as I can tell, I'd only be able to sharpen those pivots if I can remove it from the bridge.

Edited by GregG
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The hairsprings are attached to collets and normally easy to remove. I have removed some just by putting my tweezers under the collet and pushing upwards. Make sure you make a mark where the hairspring ends so when you put it back on it should still be in beat.   

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Have you actually tested the balance in isolation without the pallets to see if it oscillates freely for a reasonable amount of time?

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On 8/31/2021 at 4:30 PM, oldhippy said:

The balance can be stoned with a small  arkansas in a lathe. The cups can be cleaned up with a countersink in a pin vice.

EDIT: Are you saying that the balance should go in a lathe and an Arkansas stone is held against it, or a cylindrical Arkansas stone should go in a lathe and the balance held against it?

I've been looking into how I can accurately sharpen the cone.  I don't have a watchmakers lathe so I've been thinking to just get a small low-RPM DC motor and connect the balance to it, turn it on, and hold it against an Arkansas stone.  However, I can't figure out how to connect the two.  The balance wheel is 14mm wide, and has the weight screws, so I I don't know a way I can securely grab onto it and have it still lie square to the rotational axis.  Not only that, but I am having trouble finding collets that are 14mm that would also be compatible with any tools that I currently own.  Any ideas?

Edited by GregG
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1 hour ago, oldhippy said:

Normally you would hold one side of the balance staff in the chuck in your lathe while sharpening the other side with an Arkansas stone . This is the type I used and it's what you need.

https://www.hswalsh.com/product/arkansas-stone-type-triangular-size-92mm-x-10mm-ta75

Thank you for the link hippy.  My concern at this point is how to hold the balance in the lathe.  Chucks like on a lathe or a pin vise are good at holding simple cylindrical objects, like drill bits or a cylinder of whatever you're about to cut into.

But a balance is a complex surface and I'm having trouble envisioning how exactly it would fit into the lathe chuck.

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