Getting your clock running
  • I've just finished building my Sextus and as Dave says it does impress our house guests!

    Just thought I would share a solution to a problem that I had in getting the clock to run continuously. I tried the various ideas in the tutorials and manual but couldn't prevent the clock intermittently stopping nor could I locate the cause or any pattern. Finally, I removed the pallets, fully wound the clock and carefully, using my finger as a brake, let the mechanism "free run" until the weight touched the floor. I did this twice, put the pallets back in, started the clock and haven't had any more problems for the past week.

    All the best

    Andrew
  • This is actually a very good tip, and although it is not the penicillin of the wooden clock world, it is always worth a try when you just cannot locate the problem. Because of the high speed turning the arbors polish the bushing holes and the cog teeth rub against each other and remove that last bit “roughness”. I know it does not sound so scientific, but I would describe it as loosening up. Of course as the clock runs it will literally smooth/polish itself, but using this method speeds up the process.
    I do not have Andrew´s restraint as I let the clock run down without any braking, just be careful that the escapement does not come into contact with the escapement wheel, as at such high speeds, and the escapement wheel does whizz like a circular saw, you would almost certainly damage the escapement wheel/anchor.
  • Yup - on that last one - I did that to a wrist watch movement once - accidently letting the mainspring unwind unrestrained - it did not do a lot of good to the movement to put it mildly. But this trick certainly did sort out the last few niggles with my septimus clock.

    What surprised me was quite how sensitive to being tilted the escapement was - even a mm or out from being level is enough to stop it - certainly makes me wonder how Harrison ever built an ocean-going clock.
  • Like Dave, Harrison was from Yorkshire in England. Thats how he did it!!!!!!!