This is hopefully a simple question! I'm more of a watch person than a clock person...so please excuse my lack of the proper terminology.
I have a very basic pendulum clock (an old school clock) with what I believe is called a deadbeat escapement.
The pendulum is suspended by a flexible steel strip which is fixed at the top (of course!) but not directly connected to the pallet. The pallet is attached to a second arm - this time a rigid brass arm. This arm has a slot in it, through which the flexible suspension strip passes.
So, as the pendulum swings on the flexible strip, it naturally carries with it the rigid brass arm which is connected to the pallet.
Does this make sense so far?
Now, the slot in the rigid arm is not a tight fit for the flexible strip - the slot is maybe a millimetre wide, and the strip is much less. This means that, as the pendulum changes direction, there is a small "lag" before it carries the rigid arm with it.
This arrangement makes a little noise of its own, every time the strip moves from one side of the slot to the other. I figured that, if it's making a noise, it's wasting energy.
If I pack the slot with a sliver of card, so that the flexible strip and the rigid arm are now locked together tightly, the swing of the pendulum is greater, and the action just "sounds" healthier.
So, my question (see, we got there in the end!) is this. Why does the slot have play in it, and is it a good or a bad thing to reduce this play as I've tried with my sliver of card?