Watch and Clock Escapements eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 202 pages of information about Watch and Clock Escapements.

The first problem in our consideration of the theoretical action of the cylinder escapement, is to arrange the parts we have described so as to have these two movements of the escape wheel of like angular values.  To explain what we mean by this, we must premise by saying, that as our escape wheel has fifteen teeth and we make each tooth give two impulses in alternate directions we must arrange to have these half-tooth movements exactly alike, or, as stated above, of equal angular values; and also each impulse must convey the same power or force to the balance.  All escape wheels of fifteen teeth acting by half impulses must impel the balance during twelve degrees (minus the drop) of escape-wheel action; or, in other words, when a tooth passes out of the cylinder from the position shown at Fig. 126, the form of the impulse face of the tooth and the shape of the exit lip of the cylinder must be such during twelve degrees (less the drop) of the angular motion of the escape wheel.  The entire power of such an escape wheel is devoted to giving impulse to the balance.

The extent of angular motion of the balance during such impulse is, as previously stated, termed the “lifting angle.”  This “lifting angle” is by horological writers again divided into real and apparent lifts.  This last division is only an imaginary one, as the real lift is the one to be studied and expresses the arc through which the impulse face of the tooth impels the balance during the act of escaping, and so, as we shall subsequently show, should no more be counted than in the detached lever escapement, where a precisely similar condition exists, but is never considered or discussed.

We shall for the present take no note of this lifting angle, but confine ourselves to the problem just named, of so arranging and designing our escape-wheel teeth and cylinder that each half of the tooth space shall give equal impulses to the balance with the minimum of drop.  To do this we will make a careful drawing of an escape-wheel tooth and cylinder on an enlarged scale; our method of making such drawings will be on a new and original system, which is very simple yet complete.


All horological—­and for that matter all mechanical—­drawings are based on two systems of measurements:  (1) Linear extent; (2) angular movement.  For the first measurement we adopt the inch and its decimals; for the second we adopt degrees, minutes and seconds.  For measuring the latter the usual plan is to employ a protractor, which serves the double purpose of enabling us to lay off and delineate any angle and also to measure any angle obtained by the graphic method, and it is thus by this graphic method we propose to solve very simply some of the most abstruce problems in horological delineations.  As an instance, we propose to draw our cylinder escapement with no other instruments than a steel straight-edge, showing one-hundredths of an inch, and a pair of dividers; the degree measurement being obtained from arcs of sixty degrees of radii, as will be explained further on.

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Watch and Clock Escapements from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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