It is not to be understood that we insist on precisely twelve degrees draw from a neutral plane for locking faces for lever pallets. What we do insist upon, however, is a “safe and sure draw” for a lever pallet which will hold a fork to the banks and will also return it to such banks if by accident the fork is moved away. We are well aware that it takes lots of patient, hard study to master the complications of the club-tooth lever escapement, but it is every watchmaker’s duty to conquer the problem. The definition of “lock,” in the detached lever escapement, is the stoppage or arrest of the escape wheel of a watch while the balance is left free or detached to perform the greater portion of its arc of vibration. “Draw” is a function of the locking parts to preserve the fork in the proper position to receive and act on the jewel pin of the balance.
It should be borne in mind in connection with “lock” and “draw,” that the line of thrust as projected from the locked tooth of the escape wheel should be as near tangential as practicable. This maxim applies particularly to the entrance pallet. We would beg to add that practically it will make but little odds whether we plant the center of our pallet staff at C or h, Fig. 87, provided we modify the locking and impulse angles of our pallets to conform to such pallet center. But it will not do to arrange the parts for one center and then change to another.
Apparently there seems to be a belief with very many watchmakers that there is a set of shorthand rules for setting an escapement, especially in American watches, which, if once acquired, conquers all imperfections. Now we wish to disabuse the minds of our readers of any such notions. Although the lever escapement, as adopted by our American factories, is constructed on certain “lines,” still these lines are subject to modifications, such as may be demanded for certain defects of construction. If we could duplicate every part of a watch movement perfectly, then we could have certain rules to go by, and fixed templets could be used for setting pallet stones and correcting other escapement faults.
Let us now make an analysis of the action of a lever escapement. We show at Fig. 89 an ordinary eighteen-size full-plate lever with fork and pallets. The dotted lines a b are supposed to represent an angular movement of ten degrees. Now, it is the function of the fork to carry the power of the train to the balance. How well the fork performs its office we will consider subsequently; for the present we are dealing with the power as conveyed to the fork by the pallets as shown at Fig. 89.
[Illustration: Fig. 89]