[Illustration: Fig. 53]
Most mechanics will estimate the size of any object measured in inches or parts of inches very closely; but as regards angular extent, except in a few instances, we will find mechanics but indifferent judges. To illustrate, let us refer to Fig. 53. Here we have the base line A A’ and the perpendicular line a B. Now almost any person would be able to see if the angle A a B was equal to B a A’; but not five in one hundred practical mechanics would be able to estimate with even tolerable accuracy the measure the angles made to the base by the lines b c d; and still watchmakers are required in the daily practice of their craft to work to angular motions and movements almost as important as to results as diameters.
What is the use of our knowing that in theory an escape-wheel tooth should have one and one-half degrees drop, when in reality it has three degrees? It is only by educating the eye from carefully-made drawings; or, what is better, constructing a model on a large scale, that we can learn to judge of proper proportion and relation of parts, especially as we have no convenient tool for measuring the angular motion of the fork or escape wheel. Nor is it important that we should have, if the workman is thoroughly “booked up” in the principles involved.
As we explained early in this treatise, there is no imperative necessity compelling us to have the pallets and fork move through ten degrees any more than nine and one-half degrees, except that experience has proven that ten degrees is about the right thing for good results. In this day, when such a large percentage of lever escapements have exposed pallets, we can very readily manipulate the pallets to match the fork and roller action. For that matter, in many instances, with a faulty lever escapement, the best way to go about putting it to rights is to first set the fork and roller so they act correctly, and then bring the pallets to conform to the angular motion of the fork so adjusted.
Although we could say a good deal more about pallets and pallet action, still we think it advisable to drop for the present this particular part of the lever escapement and take up fork and roller action, because, as we have stated, frequently the fork and roller are principally at fault. In considering the action and relation of the parts of the fork and roller, we will first define what is considered necessary to constitute a good, sound construction where the fork vibrates through ten degrees of angular motion and is supposed to be engaged with the roller by means of the jewel pin for thirty degrees of angular motion of the balance.