Watch and Clock Escapements eBook

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

We would here take the opportunity to say that there is a great latitude taken by makers as regards the extent of angular impulse given to the cylinder, or, as it is termed, the “actual lift.”  This latitude governs to a great extent the angle A b g, which we gave as sixty-four degrees in our drawing.  It is well to understand that the use of sixty-four degrees is based on no hard-and-fast rules, but varies back and forth, according as a greater or lesser angle of impulse or lift is employed.

In practical workshop usage the impulse angle is probably more easily estimated by the ratio between the diameter of the cylinder and the measured (by lineal measure) height of the impulse plane.  Or, to be more explicit, we measure the radial extent from the center A between the arcs a k on the line A b, and use this for comparison with the outer diameter of the cylinder.

We can readily see that as we increase the height of the heel of the impulse face of our tooth we must also increase the angle of impulse imparted to the cylinder.  With the advantages of accurate micrometer calipers now possessed by the horological student it is an easy matter to get at the angular extent of the real lift of any cylinder.  The advantage of such measuring instruments is also made manifest in determining when the proper proportion of the cylinder is cut away for the half shell.

[Illustration:  Fig. 130]

In the older methods of watchmaking it was a very common rule to say, let the height of the incline of the tooth be one-seventh of the outer diameter of the cylinder, and at the same time the trade was furnished with no tools except a clumsy douzieme gage; but with micrometer calipers which read to one-thousandths of an inch such rules can be definitely carried into effect and not left to guess work.  Let us compare the old method with the new:  Suppose we have a new cylinder to put in; we have the old escape wheel, but the former cylinder is gone.  The old-style workman would take a round broach and calculate the size of the cylinder by finding a place where the broach would just go between the teeth, and the size of the broach at this point was supposed to be the outer diameter of the cylinder.  By our method we measure the diameter of the escape wheel in thousandths of an inch, and from this size calculate exactly what the diameter of the new cylinder should be in thousandths of an inch.  Suppose, to further carry out our comparison, the escape wheel which is in the watch has teeth which have been stoned off to permit the use of a cylinder which was too small inside, or, in fact, of a cylinder too small for the watch:  in this case the broach system would only add to the trouble and give us a cylinder which would permit too much inside drop.


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Watch and Clock Escapements from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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