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Disassembling a Smiths car clock - help needed


JeremyJ
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Hi, I’m new and a beginner but have made some progress with disassembling this clock. It doesn't look damaged but doesn’t go for more than 10 seconds and looks like it only needs to be cleaned and oiled. 

To get the rear plate off I need to remove the wheel with the screw driver head under it see picture. The axle this wheel is on is captive and goes right through to carry the clock hands and the configuration of the wheels on this axle between the plates means that the wheel I’e identified has to come off. This wheel looks like bits been simply hammered (gently) on. It is tight and levering it off with a couple of hand removers didn’t shift the wheel.

so my question is: Should I try harder (I don’t want to bend the plates or the wheel I’m trying to get off, or shift the other wheels on this axle. Or would a gentle bit of heat from a wee torch be the answer as when heated brass expands more than steel?

cheers Jeremy

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Can't help you with that wheel but it does seam it has to be levered off, if you haven't already make sure you let down the spring before you take it apart, i am sure someone who has worked on one of these clocks will be along to give you advise, good luck with it 

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The first thing you do is to take the tension off the mainspring to avoid accidents, then remove the platform escapement and set it aside to avoid damage and also keep it covered... Then with a set of levers (easily made ) lift the gear, .   protecting the plate with a piece of plastic or cover the gear with a piece of plasic bag and then remove, doing this will avoid the gear taking of into the ether The platdorm escapement can be dealt with later.

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The short answer is yes you need to remove it.

Smiths and Jaeger used the same movement.

Here is a strip down of a really filthy Jaeger

Dial side up.

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Dial off

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dial backing plate removed.

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Hour and minute wheel removed

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Movement flipped over

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Platform escapement removed and that center wheel levered off.

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Nuts removed and the top plate taken off.

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As said above make sure you let down the mainspring first by having a gloved thumb on the Great wheel so the spring cant freespin and using a screwdriver release the click and let the mainspring unwind slowly against your gloved finger.

Don't damage the platform escapement as parts are hard to get, my clock is still waiting on me finding a new balance staff for the platform.

Edited by Tmuir
Forgot a photo
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Don't just use a screwdriver on one side to remove it though as you will damage things, you need 2 leavers on opposite side of the wheel to lever it up evenly.

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Thanks for the helpful replies. They gave me the confidence to proceed with some success but I think I may need a new escarpment. Can such a thing be found, presumably second hand?

cheers jeremy

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They can be found on ebay, but it may take you a little while, look for an 'ABEC platform escapement'

Make sure you buy one with the same number of teeth on the pinion wheel and look closely at the photos as they made a number of different models

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Hi, thanks both for these replies. I took the one on the clock apart to clean the bearings but putting it back together was a nightmare and all went well except I slightly dislodged the entrance pallet stone - i could push it back but clearly haven’t got it back in the right place as the escarpment is now all to pot.

Was it really silly to take the escarpment apart - I have a book (An Introductory Guide to Repairing Mechanical Clocks by Scott Jeffery) that describes how to do it? Or is there a way to clean the bearings without disassembling the escarpment?

Meantime I’ll try to buy one.

cheers Jeremy

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On the winding shaft use clock grease not oil. The platform use a thin pocket watch oil. The rest of the train use Windles clock oil.

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The platform escapement must be dismantled to clean and oil it correctly, else you risk leaving old oil and dirt in place and just adding new oil will turn it into grinding paste ruining the pivots.

The platform escapement is more like servicing a pocket watch than a regular clock and does require extra care.

If its the anchor that has lost a pallet stone rather than a broken balance staff that is better as you can pick up ABEC escapements with broken balance staffs reasonably cheaply that will have a good anchor in them that you can take out to fix yours, but you need to make sure you buy one the same as yours.

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