Even this experience is in every instance modified by other influences. To illustrate: Let us suppose in the ordinary to-day marine chronometer the escape-wheel teeth exerted a given average force, which we set down as so many grains. Now, if we should employ other material than hammer-hardened brass for an escape wheel it would modify the thickness; also, if we should decrease the motive power and increase the arc of impulse. Or, if we should diminish the extent of the impulse arc and add to the motive force, every change would have a controlling influence. In the designs we shall employ, it is our purpose to follow such proportions as have been adopted by our best makers, in all respects, including form, size and material. We would say, however, there has been but little deviation with our principal manufacturers of marine chronometers for the last twenty years as regards the general principle on which they were constructed, the chief aim being to excel in the perfection of the several parts and the care taken in the several adjustments.
Before we proceed to take up the details of constructing a chronometer escapement we had better master the names for the several parts. We show at Fig. 136 a complete plan of a chronometer escapement as if seen from the back, which is in reality the front or dial side of the “top plate.” The chronometer escapement consists of four chief or principal parts, viz.: The escape wheel, a portion of which is shown at A; the impulse roller B; unlocking or discharging roller C, and the detent D. These principal parts are made up of sub-parts: thus, the escape wheel is composed of arms, teeth, recess and collet, the recess being the portion of the escape wheel sunk, to enable us to get wide teeth actions on the impulse pallet. The collet is a brass bush on which the wheel is set to afford better support to the escape wheel than could be obtained by the thinned wheel if driven directly on the pinion arbor. The impulse roller is composed of a cylindrical steel collet B, the impulse pallet d (some call it the impulse stone), the safety recess b b. The diameter of the impulse collet is usually one-half that of the escape wheel. This impulse roller is staked directly on the balance staff, and its perfection of position assured by resting against the foot of the shoulder to which the balance is secured. This will be understood by inspecting Fig. 137, which is a vertical longitudinal section of a chronometer balance staff, the lower side of the impulse roller being cupped out at c with a ball grinder and finished a ball polish.
[Illustration: Fig. 136]
[Illustration: Fig. 137]