That non-elusive tick
  • I'm sorry to read comments from people who had problems getting their Septimus clocks to run. I'm therefore only too pleased to report that, having assembled my Septimus kit I hung it on the wall, hooked on a 1kg weight and it started immediately and ran absolutely perfectly. Out of interest I then steadily reduced the weight and found that it was quite happy at 400 grammes but considered the joke had gone too far at 300! It has now run for 2 months with 400 grammes no problem and kept remarkably good time. I don't feel this performance is due to luck or particular skill skill on my part but I think there are a couple of things that helped. I wanted to bring out the colour of the back frame wood but didn't want to risk obstructing the arbor holes so simply gave it a light rub over with teak oil, bringing out the colour beautifully without messing up any holes. I then settled down in a deckchair in the Spanish sunshine and contentedly smoothed every tooth in all the wheels except the escapement using manicurists' emery boards - ideal for the job, not to mention cheap! The contact faces of the escapement wheel teeth I smoothed very carefully with 1000 grade wet-and-dry. All sound rather monotonous? Not with the right frame of mind, and well worth the effort. I did nothing to the arbors except clean up the cut ends. I decided my sanity couldn't cope with trying to fit the frame front over 5 arbors simultaneously so started with the drive and, obviously, minute ones and screwed together that corner of the frame just tightly enough to keep the arbors in place. I then inserted the intermediate one, screwed down that corner and finally slid in the other two - no problem at all. I did everything up nice and tight, sat back with a satisfied smirk - and spotted the escapement anchor lying there on the workbench, forlorn and forgotten. Rude Words were said... Anway, what I am saying is that if I can make a Septimus that goes straight away, anybody can; just take it slowly, thoughtfully and carefully. It's a great clock, looks good, runs well and is endlessly fascinating - enjoy making it (I'll have my fee now, please, Dave!).
  • If it moves it has friction.
    This is as true of a clock as much as anything non static, as with the Septimus the drive arbor turns once in 3 hours 20 mins the escapement wheel once in a minute that is a ratio of 1 to 200!
    So the lesson to be learnt from NicholasĀ“s experience is, take your time and pay attention to detail.
    Well done in reducing the drive weight, and there is also your fee, the satisfaction of a job well done :-)
    Could not help smiling at your escapement wheel misfortune because that could so happen to me as well.