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Smiths Enfield won't tick when level


AndytheCrafter

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Good day one and all.

I'm new to watch/clock repairs but have the patience and determination to learn new skills as well as being good at fixing things.

I have recently acquired an old Smiths Enfield pendulum with gong clock movement which runs only when tilted at a slight angle.

I stripped it down and rebuilt/oiled it following a video on YouTube from Scotties clock world.

it wasn't running before but does now although only when I tilt it a few degrees to the side, It's currently fitted inside an old Smiths clock case but when mounted square it ticks a few seconds then stops, if I lift one side of the clock case up in this instance the right side when looking at the rear of the movement it ticks and works overnight and I believe at the moment it still is ticking, I'm not at home to check but it was fully wound yesterday when I put it in the case and this morning when I left home for work..

The only adjustments I've made is to the pendulum length by the screw on the shaft.

The attached picture isn't my movement but the same type.

Any suggestions, I guess it could be something simple.

Thanks in advance, Andy

rs-smiths-clock.jpg

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Hi. The escapement is out of beat . Untill the movement is level it won’t  run.  Tilt thr clock from either side untill you get an even tick…tock. Now the hard part,  the escapement bridge will have to be adjusted until it locks the pallet/anchor correctly.  First remove the movement from the case and make a stand to fit it on. Next check the movement is level (spirit level). You can get little ones. Now we have the movement mounted level. Move the pendulum left to right can you see it releasing the escape wheel in not move the bridge up or down on which ever side does not lock properly, once done a couple of turns on the spring fit pendulum and re try running the clock, if not go through the adjustments again. It can be a fiddly job but requires patience. Come back to us with the results good or bad for more information.  At this point do NOT bend anything.  

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Hi. Yes of course the movement will work not on the level if chocked up or the pendulum leader is bent or adjusted to do so. M any mantle pieces ,shelves sideboards where the clock# resides are no level so some small adjustment is needed like two pennies under one side. The reason for setting it up level out of the case is that once set up and running ok you can observe the escapement and make sure the pallets are locking ok under running conditions. Once all is ok then case the clock up and adjust as required by moving the pendulum leader to maintain a steady beat. Adjusting a clock to overcome the intolerance due to being not level is the correct procedure. Make sure the movement works on the bench first and is level.   Anniversary clocks have to be level or nothing works so get used to setting them up correctly. I it has been dismantled and the escapement cock/bridge removed the pallet depth will have to be reset and can only be done on the bench.

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On these clocks the pallets are mounted on their arbor with a friction fit, and beat error is adjusted by carefully rotating the pallets around the arbor against the friction.

To do this place the clock on a level surface and set it running. Observe the pendulum and listen to the ticking. If it's out of beat then the tick on one side of the swing will be longer than the tick on the other, this is because the pallet is engaging too deeply with the escape wheel on that side. Once you have determined which side of the swing has the longer tick, gently push the pendulum across to that side until you feel a stop. This is when the pallet is fully engaged in the escape wheel and can't go any deeper. Now gently but firmly push a little more. This causes the pallet arbor to rotate slightly in the anchor so that when the pendulum is released it will have slightly less engagement on that side than before. Test the pendulum again and you should find that the ticking is less uneven. You may need to do this several times, pushing the pendulum against the stop on the longer tick side of its swing until you get it right and the ticks are even. It's very easy to go slightly too far so you may have to adjust in the other direction as well.

If the clock is intended to live on a surface that isn't level then all you need to do is set the beat up on a test surface that has the same slope as the intended location for the clock. That way even though the clock isn't level it will still be in beat. Obviously the severity of the slope that you can accommodate with this procedure is limited by how much free swing the pendulum has.

I first got this procedure from instructions on a factory printed label stuck on the inside of the door of a Smiths clock, so at one time it was part of the set up instructions Smiths provided for their clocks, and I have used it on many Smiths clocks since. I can't comment on how it applies to other makes. Also I would say that, as with most things horology, if it requires anything more that gentle force there is probably something else amiss and further investigation is needed to prevent inadvertent damage.

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Thanks for the advice, I'll give this a go in the coming week when I get a chance and update with the results. So far it has been running for a couple of days with what sounds like an even tick, I don't have the hands on it at present, I'm running it to see if it keeps going consistently before I put it all together.

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It just needs to be put in beat. Make sure the suspension spring is in good condition, any kink in it then it needs to be replaced. I have watched many videos Scotties clock world. He is nothing but a cowboy I cringe at many thinks he  does in his videos. 

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20 hours ago, watchweasol said:

 ...I it has been dismantled and the escapement cock/bridge removed the pallet depth will have to be reset and can only be done on the bench.

Actually, wery few people, even watchmakers, know how to do this and what it affects at all. This is because the VERGE watches and clocks went out of service very long time ago, and very few people still working on them. The Schvartzwald escapement is simplified variation of the verge escapement and it acts and regulates the same way.

I have written an article on how to do this here. Of course, it is in russian. Use google autotranslate, if needed I will try to explain in english, but it is not my language and not so easy for me to do. The main thing when adjusting old clocks where the escapement has wear is to make the depth as deep as possible in order to obtain some normal isochronism. If the depth is not enough, the clock will run faster than the pendulum own osillations period, and will work faster when fully wound and slow down in the period between windings

Edited by nevenbekriev
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One of the ways of sorting out if the pallets are worn is to re-face them. Some advice is getting out of hand with this type of clock movement. Providing the escape wheel teeth and pallets are fine you just adjust the pallet cock so the escape is not to shallow or to deep, to deep and it wont work, to shallow and the pendulum will hardy swing. It is also good practice to mark around the pallet cock before removing. 

Edited by oldhippy
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Hi I think it all depends on whether the cock/bridge was removed for cleaning. If not the hole pegged it should fit right on with the plate, still needs checking . If it came off the plate without marking you then have the problem of adjustment and all it entails. But as OldHippy has said is essentially what’s required to achieve a running clock.

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So I have it working on a level surface and it’s ticking along nicely if you pardon the pun. Thanks for all advice given.

I had to disassemble the movement after knocking the clock over accidentally and bent the arm on which the pendulum hangs.

Also when assembling the gong mechanism which I hadn’t yet done when posting before, I discovered the arbour on which the hammer sits was in the wrong holes, I can’t think why there are two matching holes on both plates in which this arbour perfectly fits and are about 10mm apart from each other. I didn’t realise until I tried testing the gong and the star wheel failed to meet the tab on the gong arbour.

After installing that correctly it’s working but it seems to chime a few minutes before the hour which I need to investigate

Anyway it seems to be working quite well, I need to keep an eye on the accuracy and adjust as required then I will put it back in the case.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all.

Well It's been over a week and using the original hands which came with the movement it chimes on the half and full hour, I will try watchweasols method to adjust the spare hands when I get around to it.

I've put it back in the case and it's running consistently, I'm still trying to get it to run accurately. To start it was losing nearly two hours a day, slowly with tweaks to the pendulum length it seems to be getting better but still slow over a full day.

Listening to it tick, when it was losing around an hour a day, counting the ticks it seemed to have a beat of around 88 bpm, it's running slow at that point so should have a higher count by my reckoning, is there a figure I should be aiming for in regards to this movement to be accurate?

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I have had a good look at the first photo and if that is your clock I can see why you are having trouble getting it to keep time. The leader is the wrong one for this movement. The crutch of the pendulum should be about half way in the hole of the leader, yours is resting on the bottom of the leader, it should be free. That is also why the suspension spring is long, a shorter one and the leader would not fit. If you look at where I have ringed you will see what I mean.

rs-smiths-clock.jpg.2c46f0a105e692a7f06ba880924c52b4.jpg

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Here is a picture of my movement. I’ve taken the gong out of action for the time being which is why the hammer is not shown and the coil is low down, also allows a better view of the movement rear. The red arrow is a reminder to myself which hole not to use for the gong hammer arbour during reassembly. The pendulum was bought separately from the movement.

IMG_0033.jpeg

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Hi there,

The pendulun and the leader are OK.

You clock has to go with about 172.41 BPM (according to my calcullations based on a picture of a stripped down movement where I could count the teeth of the wheels). You say it is going with about 88, which should actually be 196.  This means the clock now actually goes faster than needed. What You should look at is the central wheel and the shaft on which the minute hand sits. There is clutch there with big 5-leaf spring. I bet it is sliping and the shaft turns slowlier than the wheel. If the movement is out of the case, put a mark with marker on the wheel to point the place under the hand, then observe if the hand will fall behind the mark.

Edited by nevenbekriev
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2 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

Hi there,

The pendulun and the leader are OK.

You clock has to go with about 172.41 BPM (according to my calcullations based on a picture of a stripped down movement where I could count the teeth of the wheels). You say it is going with about 88, which should actually be 196.  This means the clock now actually goes faster than needed. What You should look at is the central wheel and the shaft on which the minute hand sits. There is clutch there with big 5-leaf spring. I bet it is sliping and the shaft turns slowlier than the wheel. If the movement is out of the case, put a mark with marker on the wheel to point the place under the hand, then observe if the hand will fall behind the mark.

The leader is not the correct one. 

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Hi. Just because the leader came with the movement doesn’t mean it’s the correct one. I have an Enfield such as yours , and as stated by Old Hippy the crutch is midway in the leader slot, so until that’s sorted any other adjustments etc will cause problems. Fix the leader crutch as it should be then start from scratch knowing that the clock conforms to spec.

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Dear boys, the crutch is a little bent down, that's all. This is not important, as the clock works and do not stop. The whole lenght of the pendulum is correct and the frequency is less ot much correct too. But the clock is slow 1-2 hours/day. Then, leave the pendulum alone and search for the real reason...

Edited by nevenbekriev
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nevenbekriev, thanks for your input but you are clearly wrong. Just look at my post where I highlighted the problem and you can see I'm right. I was a clock maker for around 30 years working on high grade clocks and not just repairing but restoring and making the parts. I think I know what I'm talking about. Have a Happy Christmas. 

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5 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

nevenbekriev, thanks for your input but you are clearly wrong. Just look at my post where I highlighted the problem and you can see I'm right. I was a clock maker for around 30 years working on high grade clocks and not just repairing but restoring and making the parts. I think I know what I'm talking about. Have a Happy Christmas. 

OK, then please, answer this question: Is it possible to do something with the pendulum or leader or suspension spring or whatever what the high of this wooden clock case itself alows that will bring to 2hours/day dalay??? Or, may be the movement is from longer case?

For the record, I too restore antique clocks and make parts for them. From 40 years, with breaks.

 

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Hi.   You can make bits and bodge clocks to make them work even if out of manufacturers specifications, but it’s best to get the clock back into spec with the correct parts. Once that’s done then investigate the problem. Once found you are sure in the knowledge it’s as was when built. Bodging is not the way to proceed.  The only five star spring clutch I have had in fifty years that failed was because someone had been working on it and ruined it. 

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