Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets
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  1. #1
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    Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Hello, all. First post, hopefully this new hobby will start to flourish. I humbly ask for your ear and assistance.

    I have read the other thread based on the same question. I bought my first swiss movement, from a Croton watch, apparently from the 60's, but it's a hand wound A52-F521 with calendar complication. It was $20, so I guess I did well. I bought it for practice. Have some good quality tools, and I've disassembled, then put it all back together, but I'm at an impasse. I can not for the life of me get the balance wheel oriented correctly before snugging the cock's screw.

    After installation, a light touch will cause the wheel to rotate freely in one direction, but binds in the other. I don't force anything of course. Sometimes it's locked when trying CW, sometimes CCW; but it's been locked every time.

    Here's what I've done. I've marked on the top of the balance wheel, where the impulse jewel lies below. I do my darndest to line this up, taking note of Samantha's advice (noting whether the fork's prong is left or right after winding just a few revolutions), but despite my best efforts, I fail.

    Every time I try, the wheel will spin one way, but is locked where the jewel hits the outside of the pallet forks trident-shaped end.

    I've watched probably a few hundred hours of reassembly of hand-wound movements, and I've never seen anyone have this issue.

    Here's my question, or just making sure my thought process is correct. If the balance wheel is not set into position upon reassembly with the jewel INSIDE the pallet fork pronged end, it will not work. Is this correct?

    I'm completely able to walk away and return hours later, but don't want to be doing this for weeks.

    What am I missing?

    Thanks!
    Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. For you are young and time is long, and there is time to kill today. .

  2. #2
    Member bounder's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    You don't need to get the impulse jewel inside the pallet fork when you're installing the balance - it spends most of the time detached anyway.

    Give the crown a couple of turns so the entry pallet stone is locked, and then bring the balance down with the impulse jewel well to the right of the fork. That way the jewel should be the correct side of the fork for the next time it swings.
    Joe Horner likes this.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    That makes perfect sense. So the wheel is stopping against something means something is wrong elsewhere then.

    Live and learn.
    Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. For you are young and time is long, and there is time to kill today. .

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  5. #4
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyLB View Post
    Hello, all. First post, hopefully this new hobby will start to flourish. I humbly ask for your ear and assistance. Here's my question, or just making sure my thought process is correct. If the balance wheel is not set into position upon reassembly with the jewel INSIDE the pallet fork pronged end, it will not work. Is this correct? Thanks!
    No, it is not correct. The balance wheel is not placed so that the roller jewel is in the fork slot. The wheel is placed perhaps 90 degrees from the static point so that as it rotates back to the static point the roller jewel enters the fork slot. A picture would be worth a thousand words. Let's assume the movement is wound a few turns, and the fork is on the innermost banking pin. Pick up the balance cock with the wheel attached. From the point where the cock would sit when correctly assembled, swing it about 90 degrees clockwise. Lower the balance wheel pivot into the lower balance jewel, lower the cock to prevent the wheel from rising up out of the jewel and swing the cock back around and in place. As you do, the wheel will rotate and the roller jewel will enter the fork slot and if you do it all right, the watch will start to tick. Good luck!

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
    Michael Maddan and GeneJockey like this.

  6. #5
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    SparkyLB...Hello!

    I'm out the door, so a quick suggestion: with the balance installed--and without the pallet!--the roller jewel ( impulse pin ) should rest between the banking pins. Roller tables are not always properly positioned when you encounter them, and this is a quick check. Make sure the jewel's tight, too, and planted vertically & in-line with the staff.

    Of course, you'll need to check proper pallet jewels interactions with the escape wheel...balance out / a little mainspring winding / see that both jewels are correctly interacting with the escape teeth.

    There's more (!), but this should help a bit.

    Michael.

  7. #6
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    No, it is not correct. The balance wheel is not placed so that the roller jewel is in the fork slot. The wheel is placed perhaps 90 degrees from the static point so that as it rotates back to the static point the roller jewel enters the fork slot. A picture would be worth a thousand words. Let's assume the movement is wound a few turns, and the fork is on the innermost banking pin. Pick up the balance cock with the wheel attached. From the point where the cock would sit when correctly assembled, swing it about 90 degrees clockwise. Lower the balance wheel pivot into the lower balance jewel, lower the cock to prevent the wheel from rising up out of the jewel and swing the cock back around and in place. As you do, the wheel will rotate and the roller jewel will enter the fork slot and if you do it all right, the watch will start to tick. Good luck!

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
    Yep. That's how I do it, as well. Sometimes the pallet gets nudged to the other bank, causing the balance to be out of action, but I just redo it till it's right. Usually works the first time. Always by the 4th.
    Bob Duckworth likes this.
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Thanks all. It was something else. I don't know what, but that STOP always hampered my progress. I'm certain that it was swinging towards the fork leaning towards it. So many ways to express the same idea, but I did what CCW watchmaker suggested before I posted. Anyways; I'm thinking with the balance wheel hanging so many times, I probably bent the spring, because after awhile it started hanging in a different position. A different non-desirable condition. So that movement is scrapped, but the only thing wrong is the hairspring. I don't know how to install a new one yet, so I'll use it as a learning tool.

    Thanks all for the assist!
    Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. For you are young and time is long, and there is time to kill today. .

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyLB View Post
    Thanks all. It was something else. I don't know what, but that STOP always hampered my progress. I'm certain that it was swinging towards the fork leaning towards it. So many ways to express the same idea, but I did what CCW watchmaker suggested before I posted. Anyways; I'm thinking with the balance wheel hanging so many times, I probably bent the spring, because after awhile it started hanging in a different position. A different non-desirable condition. So that movement is scrapped, but the only thing wrong is the hairspring. I don't know how to install a new one yet, so I'll use it as a learning tool.

    Thanks all for the assist!
    If you hang the balance it should NOT bend it. It is actually a proper way to keep the balance when you take it off. There is a small stand with a needle sold specifically for this. If the spring is bent it is probably due to the fact that you bent it trying to take the balance off. That can happen. Slightly tapping the watch before lifting a balance, to free the pivot, is what people do. Or you just need to be super careful not to pull to strong.
    I think all the people above give the same advise: instead of trying to put the balance (the impulse jewel) straight in the middle you put it at a big angle but mind the location of the fork. It should be positioned to the side that have the opening towards the jewel. This way, when the balance rotates, it will enter the fork’s tail opening. I hope this helps.

  10. #9
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa200 View Post
    If you hang the balance it should NOT bend it. It is actually a proper way to keep the balance when you take it off. There is a small stand with a needle sold specifically for this. If the spring is bent it is probably due to the fact that you bent it trying to take the balance off. That can happen. Slightly tapping the watch before lifting a balance, to free the pivot, is what people do. Or you just need to be super careful not to pull to strong.
    I think all the people above give the same advise: instead of trying to put the balance (the impulse jewel) straight in the middle you put it at a big angle but mind the location of the fork. It should be positioned to the side that have the opening towards the jewel. This way, when the balance rotates, it will enter the fork’s tail opening. I hope this helps.
    Yes, it helps. You put it clearly. Turns out I was doing it correctly but never got a heartbeat. Still scratching my head, but I'm certain it was user error and nothing wrong with the movement; as it worked fine before dismantling.

    I did make sure that without the pallet in place, a tweezer on the barrel's bottom caused the escape wheel to turn freely. I'm stumped. The pallet was not upside down, either.
    Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. For you are young and time is long, and there is time to kill today. .

  11. #10
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    Re: Can't Get Impulse Jewel Lined Up With Pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa200 View Post
    If you hang the balance it should NOT bend it. It is actually a proper way to keep the balance when you take it off. There is a small stand with a needle sold specifically for this. If the spring is bent it is probably due to the fact that you bent it trying to take the balance off. That can happen. Slightly tapping the watch before lifting a balance, to free the pivot, is what people do. Or you just need to be super careful not to pull to strong.
    I think all the people above give the same advise: instead of trying to put the balance (the impulse jewel) straight in the middle you put it at a big angle but mind the location of the fork. It should be positioned to the side that have the opening towards the jewel. This way, when the balance rotates, it will enter the fork’s tail opening. I hope this helps.
    Yes, it helps. You put it clearly. Turns out I was doing it correctly but never got a heartbeat. Still scratching my head, but I'm certain it was user error and nothing wrong with the movement; as it worked fine before dismantling.

    I did make sure that without the pallet in place, a tweezers on the barrel's bottom caused the escape wheel to turn freely. I'm stumped. The pallet was not upside down, either.
    Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. For you are young and time is long, and there is time to kill today. .

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