Home Forums General Discussion Forum New guy needs more help

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #48434

      Back in April I started cleaning and oiling my first pocket watch. I had a rail road watch by Illinois and I broke the main spring putting it back together. Well,yesterday I recieved a new one and put it in the barrel, everything seems to wind,but the pallet fork is not moving the escape wheel…????
      I can shake the watch and the balance will move back and forth, but the fork pallets not moving the escape wheel..
      ThankYou all


        Howdy Phil, try this, first check the balance to see if everything is looking right, if nothing seems obvious take out the balance and see if you can move the pallet fork from side to side with a very light touch of a toothpick or pegwood, if nothing happens then take out the pallet fork (make sure you let down the mainspring ;) ) wind it a turn or 2 and see if you are getting any movement at the escape wheel (make sure you have oiled the movement ;) ) Basically you are trying to isolate the problem area into sections, ie, train, escapement, balance….it is possible the problem will become (more) clear, let us know how it goes, William


          Hi Phil, William is correct about isolating the problem. This is essentialy what he said. Take the balance assembly along with the pallet fork out. Wind the watch three or four turns and see if you have power on the train. Check to see if the escape wheel backs off (very impotant) a couple of turns. If everything is good so far install the pallet fork once in place wind the watch a couple of turns. Now lightly move the pallet fork off the banking pin just enough to see if it snaps back to the pin. If it does good, now move the pallet fork towards the other banking pin, it should take off on it’s own once you push it just pass center. If everything is good you can put the balance back in and see what happens. If still no good you may have a staff or upper/lower balance jewel problem or possibly a roller jewel not centered or broken. Hope this helps, Steadypin.


            Thanks guys, sounds like ya’ll have been doing this for a while..Thank you!
            I’ll be back in the store (shop) Thursday and I will look at this again. I did take the balance in and out a couple times,and I did move the fork back and forward but still nothing. I have even taken the watch back apart… Gee..one good thing about this I will have learn a good lesson.
            I will do as ya’ll mention again, and as well look at the jewels.
            Thank you guys alot!!!


              Good morning all. Avery timmely post. I will start my own thread so as not to confuse the issue. One question : Steady, what exactly do you mean by ” Check to see if the escape wheel backs off (very impotant) a couple of turns”. I can’t picture this. Hope it turns out well Watchdogg………..take care……………..b

              Bob Tascione

                Hi Watchdogg,
                If you’re still having that problem after checking what was recommended above then you may want to make sure mainspring barrel cap is snapped and seated all the way down into it’s recess. If not it may be dragging on the plate or bridge. Also check for any screws or screw heads that might be in the path of a gear etc. People often put the wrong screws in the wrong places when assembling. In addition screws do loosen up and fall out. You’ll find them floating around between those plates much too often. Have run into this many, many times myself.

                Hi B,
                I think SteadyPin is referring to the back spin of the escape wheel that should occur. After the mainspring has completely unwound a spinning gear trains inertia should cause the train to continue spinning a bit, ‘winding’ the mainpring slightly in the opposite direction. If the watch is in good condition this tiny bit of energy will cause the escape wheel to spin backwards a few turns. This is a good indication that the movement is in good shape. As Steadypin say’s, it’s very important.

                Good luck with the hunt Watchdogg,



                  Hi B, as Bob said the back spin of the escape wheel once the mainspring winds down is what I was impling. This is important to having a watch in good working order. I have found when I don’t get this action I need to clean the jewels and check the pivots making sure everything is clean. Thanks Bob for clearing that up, Steadypin.


                    Hey everyone that helped me on my Illinois rail road pocket watch
                    I just found ( I think the problem)? The hole jewel on bottom at the the escape wheel pinon is cracked. Would that be my problem ? I’ve never replaced one, don’t know how or where to find one??
                    I’m so glad I asked this question and very excited you guys helped me
                    Let me know if you think this is my problem and how and where ill find a replacement jewel
                    Thank you all , phil


                      Hi Phil,
                      almost certainly the cracked jewel will be causing a problem, as you suggest this does need to be replaced. If you try the test of removing the lever and escape wheel because of the jewel) winding the watch a little to see if the rest of the movement is running ok? A cracked jewel will almost always cause a problem but then again it depends where it is cracked and how it is affecting the pivot that runs in it. Jewels can be purchased at most supply houses, I have had luck buying assortments on ebay and finding one to fit that way but it is a gamble. As for fitting a new jewel that depends on what type of fitting it is. If it is the “rubbed in” type it is not that difficult and you can find the tools for doing this on e-bay quite cheaply.
                      Hope that helps a little but I am not a watch expert!

                    Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
                    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.