Author Topic: My first clock will not work  (Read 1636 times)

Offline Al Nelson

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My first clock will not work
« on: April 14, 2017, 10:59:51 AM »
This is my first clock (Mark Tovar 30 hr gear clock) and I can't make the clock keep working.  Very frustrating. I would appreciate any advice.
1. When I disengage the pallet and start a gear going all of the gears keep turning with a 3 lb weight until I stop the weight. 2. When I reengage the pallet and put up to 4lb 4oz of weight on it and swing the pendulum it works until the pendulum gradually stops swinging. It seems like it may not be enough weight but if I increase the weight by pushing down on the weight the same thing happens.  I really enjoyed making the clock and I want to start on the next one.  I'm stuck and would appreciate your help.

Offline jss

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Re: My first clock will not work
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 09:34:09 AM »

This may give some suggestions

This comes from Clayton Boyer Woodworking Designs

Why doesn’t my clock run?

When I put a clock into beat and it has a good, even balanced 'tick, tock', and yet only runs for a few minutes, the first thing I do is start marking teeth and pinions.  I go through the train marking each set of gears where they have stopped together.  Then I start up the clock again and when it stops, see if any of the pairs match again.  I have lots of pencil marks on my clock wheels.

Eccentric wheels are another very common cause stopping new clocks.  Rather than using the original drawings in the plan, people use Xerox copies of clock plans, and the copy machines don't always copy true, leaving them with egg-shaped wheels. I never use copies.

When looking for what's stopping a clock, I ALWAYS start at the escape end of the train and work down.  Very little stops the weight end, but it takes very little to stop the escape end.  So, those are the three things I would check first, proper tooth mesh, out of round wheels, and internal friction.  There are, of course, a few thousand other possibilities, but those three are the most common reasons for a clock that wants to stop.

Just thought of another...Are you applying any finish between the teeth?  If you are, I have a suggestion - don't.  The application of any finish between the teeth increases internal friction of the clockworks dramatically.  Finish not only makes teeth gummy, it also takes up critical space between the teeth.  A clock that works great dry, will, many times, stop dead when finish is applied.  It's happened way too many times, and now when I finish a clock I spray it - and try to keep the spray out of the teeth and just on the faces.

Also, poly finishes never really dry.  In the fluctuating humidity here in Hawaii I found that during very humid times the clocks sprayed with polyurethane get just gummy enough to stop the train.  I've contacted the people at MinWax about this, and having never made a wooden clockworks, they didn't have a solution.  They recommended I use their Helmsman Poly since it was designed for boats.  It gums too.  Just not as bad.  So now I avoid anything hitting between the teeth.