There have been many devices brought forward to aid the workman in adjusting the pallet stones to lever watches. Before going into the details of any such device we should thoroughly understand exactly what we desire to accomplish. In setting pallet stones we must take into consideration the relation of the roller and fork action. As has already been explained, the first thing to do is to set the roller and fork action as it should be, without regard in a great degree to pallet action.
[Illustration: Fig. 107]
To explain, suppose we have a pallet stone to set in a full-plate movement. The first thing to do is to close the bankings so that the jewel pin will not pass out of the slot in the fork on either side; then gradually open the bankings until the jewel pin will pass out. This will be understood by inspecting Fig. 107, where A A’ shows a lever fork as if in contact with both banks, and the jewel pin, represented at B B’’, just passes the angle a c’ of the fork. The circle described by the jewel pin B is indicated by the arc e. It is well to put a slight friction under the balance rim, in order that we can try the freedom of the guard pin. As a rule, all the guard pin needs is to be free and not touch the roller. The entire point, as far as setting the fork and bankings is concerned, is to have the fork and roller action sound. For all ordinary lever escapements the angular motion of the lever banked in as just described should be about ten degrees. As explained in former examples, if the fork action is entirely sound and the lever only vibrates through an arc of nine degrees, it is quite as well to make the pallets conform to this arc as to make the jewel pin carry the fork through full ten degrees. Again, if the lever vibrates through eleven degrees, it is as well to make the pallets conform to this arc.
The writer is well aware that many readers will cavil at this idea and insist that the workman should bring all the parts right on the basis of ten degrees fork and lever action. In reply we would say that no escapement is perfect, and it is the duty of the workman to get the best results he can for the money he gets for the job. In the instance given above, of the escapement with nine degrees of lever action, when the fork worked all right, if we undertook to give the fork the ten degrees demanded by the stickler for accuracy we would have to set out the jewel pin or lengthen the fork, and to do either would require more time than it would to bring the pallets to conform to the fork and roller action. It is just this knowing how and the decision to act that makes the difference in the workman who is worth to his employer twelve or twenty-five dollars per week.
We have described instruments for measuring the angle of fork and pallet action, but after one has had experience he can judge pretty nearly and then it is seldom necessary to measure the angle of fork action as long as it is near the proper thing, and then bring the pallets to match the escape wheel after the fork and roller action is as it should be—that is, the jewel pin and fork work free, the guard pin has proper freedom, and the fork vibrates through an arc of about ten degrees.