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Pallet Lock Question


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So I am working on a Waltham pocket watch movement and when I move the pallet fork away from one backing pin it snaps back to that same pin. I am assuming that this is a lock problem on the opposite pallet jewel, but just wanted to confirm that my thinking is correct and that there isn't something else that I might be missing. Thanks

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Before playing with your Pallet fork jewels have you adjusted the banking pins to where there supposed to be? Banking pins are way easier to move than pallet stones and there's a tiny possibility that somebody might have moved them before you. So I was like to make sure the banking pins or where there supposed to be.

The other thing after careful when you're manually moving the fork it's not the same as the balance wheel. The balance wheels pushing on it much much faster than you can so does the watch run when the balance wheel is in for instance?

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  • 3 months later...

So I am also working in a Waltham pocket watch (Royal).  It keeps overbanking.  I have tried replacing the pallet fork (guard pin on the original seemed bent), and balance complete.  I still get the issue.  I am wondering if someone else tried to adjust the banking pins before I did.  Can this cause the overbanking problem?  If so I would try to adjust the banking pins myself, but I don't know how to figure out the correct position....  Any advice would be helpful.

 

Edited by nlapietr
clarity
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Overbanking is an issue with the guard pin, nothing to do with the banking pins. Is this a vertical guard pin? They are touchy to adjust, but essentially, with some power on the watch, turn the balance manually until the escapement escapes, and an escape tooth has just fallen on one of the pallet stones. Stop turning the balance (but hold it in position), and check that the fork has some freedom; here you are checking the fork horn clearance. Continue to turn the balance maybe 10 more degrees, and check the fork again. Here you are checking the guard pin safety action; the escapement shouldn't unlock, but it should be just about to. Check for both sides. If the escapement unlocks on both sides, the pin should be bent slightly toward balance center. If it favors one side or the other, it should be bent in the direction to correct that. There should be play, but not enough to unlock.

 

This is assuming the pallet stones are in their correct position in the fork.

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1 hour ago, nickelsilver said:

Overbanking is an issue with the guard pin, nothing to do with the banking pins. Is this a vertical guard pin? They are touchy to adjust, but essentially, with some power on the watch, turn the balance manually until the escapement escapes, and an escape tooth has just fallen on one of the pallet stones. Stop turning the balance (but hold it in position), and check that the fork has some freedom; here you are checking the fork horn clearance. Continue to turn the balance maybe 10 more degrees, and check the fork again. Here you are checking the guard pin safety action; the escapement shouldn't unlock, but it should be just about to. Check for both sides. If the escapement unlocks on both sides, the pin should be bent slightly toward balance center. If it favors one side or the other, it should be bent in the direction to correct that. There should be play, but not enough to unlock.

 

This is assuming the pallet stones are in their correct position in the fork.

Great explanation!

These are some slides for a lesson I created to explain this. It is a Swiss lever escapement with a double safety roller, but the principle is very similar to a single safety roller with a guard pin on the top. nicklesilver gave a great explanation. You may find the slides helpful as it is more visual

 

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Edited by Jon
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“To(o) great a distance will loose power (amplitude) as it will be lost power in the travel of play.”

Jon, once again a lesson of yours is of tremendous value to me. I don’t recall seeing this idea expressed anywhere in the classics but it makes perfect sense and I know I’ve seen this before and wondered if the play is excessive…

Question: While the error is causative of generally lower amplitude would that loss be exaggerated in positions?

Edited by rehajm
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16 hours ago, nlapietr said:

o I am also working in a Waltham pocket watch (Royal).  It keeps overbanking.  I have tried replacing the pallet fork (guard pin on the original seemed bent), and balance complete.  I still get the issue.  I am wondering if someone else tried to adjust the banking pins before I did.  Can this cause the overbanking problem?  If so I would try to adjust the banking pins myself, but I don't know how to figure out the correct position....  Any advice would be helpful.

 usually best not to start swapping parts on American pocket watches to fix problems especially if you don't grasp what the problem is. As that tends to introduce new problems as the watch was originally made with the original parts and they were Adjusted with the original parts. In other words at the time this watch was made interchangeability 100% doesn't work. This means if you swap components you have to adjust the watch for the new components. It would be best if you put back the original and work with those.

Data regarding your question of have the banking pins been moved more than likely their movable. Anything that's vintage and has anything that's movable it's probably been moved as there's a certain lack of understanding of why they're there in the first place. They oftentimes get moved for the wrong reason. Usually guard pins aren't played with because are a lot harder to be played with. Although sometimes on the single rollers they don't seem to be quite the right place. But this can also occur when somebody replaces a balance staff and starts mixing and matching components like the Roller is it contains both the roller jewel and the safety all in one and a lot of times with a replace the staff don't break it or something and then you will have issues. Back to my complaining about it's best not to change things.

2 hours ago, rehajm said:

I don’t recall seeing this idea expressed anywhere in the classics but it makes perfect sense and I know I’ve seen this before and wondered if the play is excessive…

It depends upon the books you have access to or perhaps the handouts. Then yes a lot of books do not go into detail of the escapement and even if they did go we often end up with the problem of everybody is slightly different terminology and concerns they have. One of the most interesting books is Know the Escapement  – January 1, 1948 by Sarah & Homer A. Barkus (Author). Amazon is always interesting it shows that the book does exist at least did but they don't have it. Amusingly they do not have a picture of the book itself normally pictures of books aren't interesting but this one is if you get an original first edition. In real life you would've purchased the other item and I'm sure the book came with it. I was really hoping some enthusiastic person would reproduce this is a 3-D printer item as it makes it a lot easier to understand the escapement if you have something to adjust

image.png.22a34facee21bac2f99628c535485afc.png

Then what happens if somebody makes hand out where they include lots of different sources you do in a lot of nice information but not as nice as what's up above words all been consolidated. I'm attaching a PDF. Then I do you think some of the handout is based on a lecture unfortunately the audio quality of lecture really sucks but I do think it is online if you could tolerate the background noise AWCI sometimes films or conventions unfortunately they're totally clueless about how to do filming. Or in particular their clueless about audio the better people will have somebody wear headphone with a noise canceling microphone so in other words background noise gets canceled out and you're not holding onto a microphone that's picking up every single thing in the room. If you're really curious I can go and track that down it's on the AWCI website or on their YouTube channel

 

 

Escapement handout wostep nscc.pdf

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The WOSTEP escapement handout is a great piece of information. Thanks, @JohnR725 for posting it! I use that handout for my students. Imperative to know the theory before attempting to set jewels for the escape wheel and pallet. Another great book regarding the escapement is 'The Watch Escapement' by Henry B Fried. It pretty much covers everything you need to know about the Swiss lever escapement 

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11 minutes ago, Jon said:

WOSTEP escapement handout

I find it's an interesting hand out as I think it comes from several sources.  Then if you like handouts here's a few more. Handouts and different sources on escapement become amusing because of slight difference of terminology and well they just become amusing

then if you want to know where the handout originally came from a came from a lecture. Now the lecture is a very very good lecture but. The speaker is outstanding lectures outstanding but the people filming the lecture are not outstanding there are quite stupid. I was watching another lecture on YouTube where the speaker or a headset with a microphone and it would bid noise canceling microphone. Noise canceling microphones only pick up sound from the speaker anything in the room is canceled out. Unlike here were he's holding his microphone and unfortunately very noisy room.

What becomes interesting with all of this is that if you were in the room which I was by the way he gave the lecture twice at the convention so I watched twice. So yes some of the background noise was noticeable when you're in the room but for some reason his microphone picks up all of it so if you can work your way through his accent and listen to it it's a good presentation.

 

Escapement Detached Lever Escapement.PDF Escapement Elgin setting up the escapement.PDF

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/25/2023 at 6:53 PM, JohnR725 said:

Before playing with your Pallet fork jewels have you adjusted the banking pins to where there supposed to be? Banking pins are way easier to move than pallet stones and there's a tiny possibility that somebody might have moved them before you. So I was like to make sure the banking pins or where there supposed to be.

The other thing after careful when you're manually moving the fork it's not the same as the balance wheel. The balance wheels pushing on it much much faster than you can so does the watch run when the balance wheel is in for instance?

Hi John,

I wonder why You told the guy to check banking pins position when He doubt if He has locking issue? Do You believe that banking pins position affect the locking?

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On 6/25/2023 at 6:34 AM, fuse63 said:

I am working on a Waltham pocket watch movement

Notice we only get a question we don't get a model number we don't get pictures? This means that the answers will be a guess without additional information

3 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

I wonder why You told the guy to check banking pins position when He doubt if He has locking issue? Do You believe that banking pins position affect the locking?

American pocket watches how to screw them up? Banking pins their adjustable and they get adjusted their easy to adjust. Probably the most common thing people will play with because their adjustable and adjustable things must be adjusted at least on pocket watches. Most people have no idea why they're even their but they can move them. Along with the timing screws on the balance wheel they like to play with those also because their adjustable. Sometimes they adjust them so much there actually loose which tells you they get played with a lot.

Typically guard pins never get touched at least typically. It's the easy things like the banking pins they will be the first thing to get adjusted.

Moving the jewels yes they can be moved but not as easy as moving the banking pins.

Then when answering questions like this more information will be nice background history what was the watch doing before it was serviced didn't even run? I was like to ask that question because sometimes the watch was running and now it's not running. History of the watch be nice and of course pictures especially when were dealing with escapement issues one picture we might instantly know what the problem is perhaps

then without background history if we have somebody mixing and matching components. On vintage American pocket watches typically the parts book says that everything interchanges the reality is all escapement's were individually adjusted for each watch.

So basically I'm guessing as the most likely scenario on American pocket watch playing with the banking pins because they can. 

 

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3 minutes ago, nevenbekriev said:

Well, I expected simple answer like 'yes, it does' or 'no, it doesn't'.

In fact, moving the banking pins doesn't affect in any way locking. Locking only depends on pallet stones position in the slots

That's not the case. The wider the banking pins the deeper the lock of the pallet stones (jewels) with the escape wheel and vice versa

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When I say 'locking', I mean that inside and outside drop must allways happen on the locking surface of the pallet, like in the picture, and never on the impulse plane. This is the locking of the escapement and it doesn't depend on the banking pins position

locking.jpg

Edited by nevenbekriev
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8 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

Well, I expected simple answer like 'yes, it does' or 'no, it doesn't'.

In fact, moving the banking pins doesn't affect in any way locking. Locking only depends on pallet stones position in the slots

you like short answers here's one you're wrong look at the image below.

 

image.thumb.png.218cb259799c685de5dfb9419bd7653e.png

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OK, this is something one can argue with.

I will ask anothe question then:

Look at the beginning and see what the problem of the topic starter was. He wrote: "So I am working on a Waltham pocket watch movement and when I move the pallet fork away from one backing pin it snaps back to that same pin. I am assuming that this is a lock problem on the opposite pallet jewel, but just wanted to confirm that my thinking is correct and that there isn't something else that I might be missing. Thanks"

Do You all think, that the problem can be solved by opening the banking pins?

Edited by nevenbekriev
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1 hour ago, nevenbekriev said:

Do You all think, that the problem can be solved by opening the banking pins?

let's look at the original question

On 6/25/2023 at 6:34 AM, fuse63 said:

So I am working on a Waltham pocket watch movement and when I move the pallet fork away from one backing pin it snaps back to that same pin. I am assuming that this is a lock problem on the opposite pallet jewel, but just wanted to confirm that my thinking is correct and that there isn't something else that I might be missing. Thanks

it would be nice Pictures it would be nice to have a better description it would be nice to have all kinds of things none of which we have.

so basically what happens in this discussion group is people make guesses based on their experience and poor descriptions. to this was basically just my guess because I know one American pocket watches the banking pins get moved a lot and it can screw up things. But I don't know what's actually wrong with the watch until we get a better description out of the original posting person and it would be nice if we had a picture to be nice to have a lot of things but typically were not going get those.

So what is your guess of the problem?

 

 

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7 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

OK, this is something one can argue with.

I will ask anothe question then:

Look at the beginning and see what the problem of the topic starter was. He wrote: "So I am working on a Waltham pocket watch movement and when I move the pallet fork away from one backing pin it snaps back to that same pin. I am assuming that this is a lock problem on the opposite pallet jewel, but just wanted to confirm that my thinking is correct and that there isn't something else that I might be missing. Thanks"

Do You all think, that the problem can be solved by opening the banking pins?

This is getting silly now, i think someone does just want to argue. If i rang my car mechanic and said " hey Andy my car won't drive above 10 mph can you tell me whats wrong with it mate "   He would ask me to take it in to his garage so he could check it over because the fault could be dozens of different things inc. one or two guesses i made myself.  Here we have an initial question with no further information or anything to examine to diagnose what it could or couldnt be, in fact the OP never returned after John's reply. Kindly take a step back,shake your head and then come back please.

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Well, there is a small possibility that all is OK with the escapament, and the person that asks doesn't know how to check the escapement action correctly. This will be in some old movements with hidden pallet stones lever, heavy and with long tail. But, in the common case, that is pritty good describtion of what happens in escapement that doesn't lock itself correctly, at least in one direction of lever movement.

The reasons may be different - wear of the escape wheel, wear of the bearings, bearings restored but shifted, replased wheel or lever from donor, chipped pallet stone, incorrect position of wheel/pallet stones in hight and so on.  The reasons may be well rectified, but still pallets position adjustment must be done to reach correct action of the escapement.

I have writen an article about pallet stones adjustment in bulgarian here, my first post in the thread. I was then translated to russian in the greatest russiam watch forum and become cnown, it was back in 2013. I tried to translate it in english here, post #4. I have used totally different terms, as I translated them directly from my language, not knowind the english terms

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2 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

Well, there is a small possibility that all is OK with the escapament, and the person that asks doesn't know how to check the escapement action correctly. This will be in some old movements with hidden pallet stones lever, heavy and with long tail. But, in the common case, that is pritty good describtion of what happens in escapement that doesn't lock itself correctly, at least in one direction of lever movement.

The reasons may be different - wear of the escape wheel, wear of the bearings, bearings restored but shifted, replased wheel or lever from donor, chipped pallet stone, incorrect position of wheel/pallet stones in hight and so on.  The reasons may be well rectified, but still pallets position adjustment must be done to reach correct action of the escapement.

I have writen an article about pallet stones adjustment in bulgarian here, my first post in the thread. I was then translated to russian in the greatest russiam watch forum and become cnown, it was back in 2013. I tried to translate it in english here, post #4. I have used totally different terms, as I translated them directly from my language, not knowind the english terms

Does that mean that pallet stones position in the fork slots isn't the only thing that affects the escapement lock then ? Its just a mix up of terminology,  thats good we can all go back to having a quiet lunch now 👍

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4 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

and the person that asks doesn't know how to check the escapement action correctly.

I suspect if you did a survey very few people actually know how to check the escapement on this group.

4 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

that is pritty good describtion of what happens in escapement that doesn't lock itself correctly, at least in one direction of lever movement.

it's a shame that the person posting the question will never get back to us will never know. So your recommendation is not to check the escapement and just go at moving the pallet stones around? In other words we don't have to really worry about the banking pins at all?

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I made some videos to illustrate the process of escapement locking.

First I searched for a movement in which the lever sometimes jumps back when pushed towards the other banking post, and this movement still works fine. In the first part of video, You will see that when I just push the lever by the tweezers, it happened one time that the lever jumped back to the same post. Then, after the pause, I demonstrate another way of testing the lever action: one of the tips of the tweezers pushes the lever until the escapement unlocks, but the other tip holds the lever and doesn’t let it go to the end. Then, the second tip slowly moves, letting the lever go to the other post. If when tested this way, the lever never jumps back, actually the locking is good enough.

In the next video I put the lever and the escape wheel of this movement on the depthing tool. In the beginning, You will see that the distance between the lever and the wheel is big and they just don’t interact. Then, I gradually decrease the distance and the lever begins to oscillate – first with small amplitude, then with bigger, and then, at specific distance, the locking starts to happen on every 15 teeth and in every direction of the lever movement. In my language we call this ‘critical depth’ of the escapement. Then, the correct depth, with which the couple lever/wheel should work, is just a little deeper than the critical.  Making the depth bigger than needed leads only to smaller balance amplitude, and also it affects the isochronism in a bad way. In the common met movements we don’t change the distance, but we move the pallet stones and this way we reach the same effect. As the OP asked which pallet to move, I would answer him that no matter which pallet we will move towards the wheel, the effect on the locking will be the same. That’s why we choose to move the pallet of which the rest angle is smaller,  thus reaching the effect of increasing this rest angle too.

As You can see, the banking posts do not participate in the locking process, the locking happens without their presence. They just limit the movement of the lever to where it is useful and cut the excess.

Of course, if the posts position is not correct, it must be adjusted. But, we have no symptoms showing such fault, that’s why I don’t see a reason to advice the OP to mess there, especially if he has no experience.

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