1699 Bracket Clock Verge Escapement Repair

Even after all these years there are some clocks I get in that…

  1. I do immediately.
  2. I should be getting danger money for.

This Bracket clock is one of those. It came into the centre at 3pm, was on my bench by 5pm and finished at 3am. I the customer picked it up at 11am. Thats a 20 hour turnaround. The fact of the matter is that I really care about my reputation for service and this is exaggerated by having a £10k clock on site.  Add to this that old clocks are fragile, impossible to source spares for (you have to manufacture them) and you can see why sleep was not an option.

Ok, so whats a “lever escapement”. Well basically its a crown with two oars hitting it from either side as opposed to a star with an anchor shaped bit hitting it. Its every bit as accurate as an anchor escapement. Its difficult to see why the lever escapement was replaced by the anchor escapement. I suppose the real reason is that the cog on a lever escapement is easier to make as a crown than a star. Its probably as simple as that.  Its a shame really as it looks great when its working.

In terms of maintenance these clocks are just like any other.  Cleaning and lubrication is the same.  This particular clock was running a “bit rough” to give it a technical diagnosis, and with that you have to look for the problem(s). Once I had it apart I could see it was suffering from wear on the escapement paddles. This meant that the teeth of he crown had worn a trench in the paddles where it connected. More of the cog face (the sides as well as the face), was therefore connecting and adding friction. To address this I removed the paddle arm and compound polished out the grooves to a nice flat surface and it was job done. With these clocks you have to work very slowly as accidents CANT happen – there are no spares to rely on. If it was a car it would be a GT40 – the same sort of problems with maintenance.

The next day I fixed two modern kitchen clocks. Thats the great thing – the variety I see.

Anyway feast your eyes on this…..

Sorry about the finger nails. I need them and they get oily!.