Author Topic: Regulator Clock  (Read 431 times)

Offline smiffy

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Regulator Clock
« on: March 26, 2020, 05:42:05 PM »
Several years ago I started to build a regulator clock to a design by John  Wilding . This is along the lines of the  of clock George Graham used to check the going rate of clocks that he was repairing .
It is fitted with  maintaining work as designed by John Harrison . The idea of maintaining is to keep a steady pressure on the drive train during winding .
This is  achieved by there being 2 ratchets working in opposite directions inbetween the the winding drum and and drive wheel and the drive from the second ratchet is transmitted to the going train via a spring .
 In normal operation the spring is held under tension , as soon as you start to wind the clock the inner ratchet is locked by a pawl anchored between the frames and the drive to the clock is maintained by the spring ,the second ratchet can then allow the winding to commence with no loss of power to the drive train.
 The spring has enough energy stored to run the clock for about 1 minuet.

I never completed the clock as I was not happy with the escapement so today I made another one and cleaned the rest of the clock and fitted it
I forgot to take any pictures until I was getting ready to assemble it.
The clock is also fitted with stop work so it can not be over wound

The pallets I cut from 4 mm gauge plate filed to shape and finished the pallet faces on my Clarkson tool and cutter grinder .
Unlike a recoil escarpment which is fairly forgiving this is fitted with a dead beat escarpment which needs to be a lot more accurate

I hope everyone is coping with the present situation  I consider myself very fortunate as I have a large garden ,several workshops and no neighbors  and according to the better half I have been self isolating in one of my sheds for the last few years .

Sorry about some of the photos .the double image on some of them its reflection from the polished plates

Offline Sea.dog

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 05:54:13 PM »
A beautiful piece of work.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2020, 09:31:31 AM »
I tried to take some better pictures but found it impossible due to the reflection from the plates.
 
As i still need to do more polishing and cleaning I striped it down and took some more photos

The escarpment is fitted with adjusting screws to allow for final setting on to the pallets .One screw opens the pallets up and the other closes them up  . The pallet arbor is also fitted with eccentric bushes  .
 
Once set up is should be capable of keeping time to a few seconds a week
 
The second photo shows the spring that maintains the power during winding



Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 06:56:02 PM »
I spent most of today finishing small parts such as 8 ba screws with over sized heads and blueing them
 
I blued them by heating in a bed of brass turnings . This gives a good controllable even heat . When the parts are a good colour I quench them in clean oil .

I made a brass screw driver so the screws do not get marked when fitting  also finished the winding handle and pulley for the going weight

 The 8 ba screws I fitted into a jig for slotting the heads   A bit overkill but I did them on my XYZ 1500  milling machine
 
Most of these parts I had started to make about 15 years ago so about time that I finished them  off

The 2 small screws in the  in the brass turnings are 10 ba and 8 ba   I have also used some 12 ba  to mount the wheels on the collets and for the 2 adjusting screws in the pallets .  No much fun tapping 12 ba 6 mm deep in gauge plate

I still have plenty more too do to finish it including making the case , 

 I will look at silvering the dial tomorrow but my silvering salts are a bit old and they might not be any good

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 06:11:00 PM »
I dont know how many people are interested in clocks but they fascinate me .  The type of regulator clock I am building was developed mainly but George Graham a student of Thomas Tompion and became a mentored to John Harrison who finally solved the problem of determining longitude while at sea.

George Graham worked in London as a clock  and instrument maker starting in the late 1600s. This regulator would have been used to check the accuracy of  other clocks.

The pendulum was mounted  on a stout iron frame and would have been fixed to a wall to in as much as possible isolate it from any undue vibrations that a clock mounted on a wooden floor might suffer from .
 
The clock was mounted on the same frame and the power to the pendulum is transmitted via 2 adjustable pins on the crutch
Usually the pendulum would be hung directly on the clock frames .
 
To save on friction there is no motion work as on normal clocks this allows second hour and minuet to all be mounted at the same place on the clock face .

On a regulator there are 3 separate dials  . The top dial is seconds the center shaft and longest hand is the minuets and the bottom dial records the hours .

Behind the dial the minuet hand is fitted with a counter balance  weight .

On most clocks the pendulum weight is supported on a nut which is used to lower or raise the pendulum to alter the time keeping
On this clock there is no rating nut . Instead there is a pin through the pendulum rod on this a brass tube rests and there is a pin through the pendulum that rests on the brass rod .

This is too compensate for expansion and contraction of the rod and pendulum . as the rod expands down the brass rod expands up and in theory equal each other out .

By the pendulum weight being supported in the middle it will expand  and contract equally  and not affect the going rate .

The rod length can be adjusted by placing shims on the brass rod or shortening it which ever may be the case.

For final adjustment there is a weight tray on the pendulum . Here small weight can be placed for final adjustment  .

A 6 ba nut will alter the rate by 1 or 2 seconds a week 

The weight is for testing when I have worked out how much it needs to drive it I will cast some lead in a brass tube

 In some of the photos I forgot to remove the winding handle

 I hope some one will find this of some interest

Offline russ57

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 02:33:11 AM »
Very nice, and thanks for the explanations as you go along...

-Russ


Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 04:51:54 PM »
Thanks Russ .I know that clocks are not every ones cup of tea but they can be very interesting .
When you see how well thought out the designs are ,the people who designed them must have been quite remarkable.

I struggle to make them with modern tools ,the skill levels needed to make them on more basic machines is something else .

Even with modern lighting it is difficult to see what is going on inside the frames,how on earth did they manage with a candle '

I made a short video of its first run . I has taken me most of the day to set it up , The pallet arbour sits in eccentric bushes .
the pallets are adjustable via 2 screws ,one to spread them and one to tighten them .but by only a few thou

  To set it one pallet nib is coming out of contact with the escarpment half a tooth width before the other nib engages  it needs a combination of all 4 adjustments to get this and each adjustment affects the other. Its a bit like going around in circles
 
 
This is easier said than done as it can be difficult as the clearances are very fine  It is not helped by the fact that I am self taught in engineering. Some times  it is difficult to know what to adjust to get the required result

I also made the brass weight today , when I know the drive weight  I will fill it with the right amount of lead

Video  link   


Still need to silver the face and fit it . Then I will make a case

Offline philf

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2020, 11:10:18 AM »
Hi Smiffy,

Very nice.

The escapement still needs some tinkering as there's still some recoil evident.

I have a few master clocks with deadbeat escapements and they are capable of excellent time keeping. They would be better if they weren't in my workshop in the cellar where the temperature varies a lot. (Not so much if I'm not working in there but I need the heating on to make it bearable in winter.)

Did you use commercial cutters for the wheels and pinions?

Phil.
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 04:04:57 PM »
Thanks for your comment . I realised that there was a slight recoil but was just pleased that the clock was running .
Most of the machining was straight forward but the escarpment I found quite taxing . I have only made recoil escarpments before and find them hard enough to get right

So today I striped the clock down and put the pallets in the depthing tool to adjust them . Half  a turn of the 8 ba adjusting tool makes a large difference to the clearance 

I refitted them and set the clock up again and made another video  .

Its very difficult to know which adjustment to make to alter the drop of the pallets without upsetting one of the other settings

 Its much better but still requires further work

As i said before I have no  training and this is the first regulator that I have made .I spent most of my working life as a agricultural engineer or working as a welder fitter on large excavators and HGVs . Its quite hard working on small parts when you have hands the size of dinner plates

I do have a few electrically impulsed regulators such as the  GPO   PO type 36 regulators made by Magneta

I do have wheel and pinion cutters made by Thorntons . Expensive but the very best quality .

Most of the brass  material came from the scrap yard and is of unknown grade and possible not the best , but is what I had.

The rest is either silver steel or gauge plate . The only other thing I brought was a piece of Invar for the pendulum  rod

All the machining was carried out on a Boxford AUD .I used direct division for the wheel cutting with spindle  mounted in a vertical slide on the cross slide and driven by a overhead pulley arrangement.

I have replaced that lathe with a Emco V10p with milling head but now cut wheels and pinnions on a Leinen lathe but  also have a Hemmingway pinion mill and Chronos type wheel engine both home made















Offline philf

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2020, 04:34:08 PM »
Hi Smiffy.

That looks a lot better now.

Is that an IBM (or ITR) master clock in the background? I have two - one was the master clock from the factory where I worked, the other I picked up last year cheap off ebay. I also have a Synchronome which was taken out of the school where my wife worked. She spotted it in the head's office and mentioned I was interested in clocks and he gave it to me.

I started a skeleton clock a good few years ago and made some pinion cutters which worked well but I have yet to make the cutters for the wheels.

The cost of decent clock brass is frightening. The wrong type (e.g. CZ108) machines like sticky cheese - I've got loads of that!

Cheers.

Phil.
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2020, 05:11:07 PM »
I agree with you about cz108 brass  as it is what i used for the plates  but I was given a 4x4  foot piece many years ago
 
I did use some for the thicker wheels but its not nice I did use cz120 for the other wheels..Over the years I have collected large amounts of unobtainium as I am finding many materials hard to find in small quantities at affordable prices.

I have 2 synchronomes  2 GPO type 36 and one type 46 masters .and 2 Gents C7 master clocks The clock on the wall is a ITR   The clock by the magneta is a Smiths time recorder . I also have a Gents water recorder from a pumping station and lots of bits of clocks

Offline philf

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2020, 04:08:28 AM »
Hi Smiffy,

The ITR looks identical to the one I brought home from work. For some reason it was missing it's dial when I acquired it. I found a place in Prestwich near Manchester - North West Time Recording and rang them to ask if they had a dial. I had an interesting hour with them and came away with the correct dial as well as a nice bakelite slave for about 5. Better still was the fact that the guy I saw had installed the very same clock. He gave me a very good explanation of how it should all work. Mine has an 'impulse accumulator' which remembers (mechanically) how long there's been a power cut and corrects all the slaves afterwards. My other IBM (or ITR) doesn't have that feature.

I have lots of CZ121 but only up to 2" diameter. I think I paid 90 for enough  CZ120  for my small skeleton clock!

It will be nice to see your regulator with a dial in a nice case.

Cheers.

Phil.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:16:47 AM by philf »
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 05:23:38 PM »
I need  acquire some oak before I start the case .I do have some very nice unmachined chestnut but think oak would be better

The ITR is a bit boxed in at the moment but I will have a move around so that I can get to it . I unearthed another clock that I had forgotten  about .Its a National Time Recorder .

This is a electrically  rewound spring driven clock . as the spring runs down it tilts a mercury switch which energises a solenoid which rewinds the spring

I also took some pictures of the Leinen  lathe set up for gear cutting

philf that sounds interesting about your ITR . How long ago was it that you acquired the parts ?

Offline philf

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2020, 12:22:42 PM »
I must have had the ITR and the Synchronome for 20 years or more.

The works ITR is wound by a 1rpm synchronous motor with an eccentric. The ITR (or IBM) I acquired last year is wound once a minute with a solenoid so is quite noisy. I have thought of experimenting with a damper to quieten it down but in the workshop it doesn't matter. I have a number of slaves for the ITR but have only recently got one for the Synchronome.

I have the baby brother of your Leinen a WW82 watchmaker's.

I've cut  pinions on my mill with a dividing head. When I get round to cutting wheels I'll do it on my CNC mill with a 4th axis. Unfortunately the CNC spindle won't run slowly enough for cutting pinions with a carbon steel cutter.

My works ITR has a mercury tilt relay for driving slaves. I have several spares.

Phil.
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline smiffy

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Re: Regulator Clock
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2020, 05:07:05 PM »
I can not remember how my ITR works as it is atleast 20 years since I had it running .  I will have a look tomorrow .

My favorite electric master is the GPO type 36 ,its almost silent in operation I have one in the house driving a Pul-syn-etic
slave  I did set a Gents C7 up in the house but far too noisy , it was ok during the day but the noise of it resetting every 30 seconds at night would drive you mad .

I am just learning about cnc . and am learning Arduino  and building a 4th axis the same as Myford boy on u tube but most of the time I find it really quick to use direct division

I also have a Boley lathe on the same lines as the Leinen but larger and with screw cutting and power feeds etc
 
The other clock are a TN german make clock a Brille french made clock and a Gents C7