Retipping The Escape Wheel
This plot shows the month-duration mechanisms beats after re-tipping the escape wheel while holding the arbor instead of the pinion. Whilst the maximum difference between the tick and the tock is roughly the same as that in the previous plots, the pattern is significantly different. Is the second pattern better than the first? Easy answer – no, most likely not. Given that the maximum difference between the ticks is pretty much identical, I don’t really see any significant difference in the escapement. In my mind I think the second pattern is better, because it is not so obvious that the escape wheel is not centered, but in the real world, I don’t think it makes a lot of difference.
And, the pattern changes, depending on the very subtle changes in the force being provided to the escape wheel by the time train. It was interesting to re-tip this escape wheel – the amount removed when changing from tipping the teeth while holding the pinion vs holding the arbor was exceedingly small – even under a 10 power microscope I could not see shavings or even dust as I slowly moved my cutter across the spinning teeth. And, I did not need to readjust the gap between the pallets. But, the tenths-of-a thousandths of an inch removed was significant enough to change the pattern.
When I finish tipping escape-wheel teeth I use a very fine brass wire wheel in a Dremel tool to clean up the tips of the teeth – remove any residual burrs and smooth rough edges. Perhaps this step has some extremely slight impact on the length of the escape-wheel teeth. Whatever the case, the maximum variation I am talking about, 0.04 seconds out of beat, is very slight.