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Accurate Clock Pendulums$
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Robert J. Matthys

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529712.001.0001

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Solid one-piece suspension springs

Solid one-piece suspension springs

(p.131) Chapter 18 Solid one-piece suspension springs
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how to make solid one-piece type of pendulum suspension springs. There are three types of pendulum suspension springs: the mechanically clamped type, the soldered assembly type, and the solid one-piece type. The mechanically clamped type is the easiest to make, but its clock rate is variable and dependent on the clamping forces and clamping surfaces. A 10-microinch change in the length of a 1-second beat pendulum amounts to an error of 3.7 seconds per year. To meet the microinch length tolerance needed for an accurate pendulum clock, a mechanically bolted assembly must have microinch tolerances on the clamped surfaces, that is, an optical finish. Mechanically machined surfaces are not good enough, and introduce uncertainty as to where the spring ends and the end clamp actually begins. The uncertainty causes the pendulum's length and its timing to vary with temperature and the suspension spring's clamping pressure.

Keywords:   one-piece suspension springs, pendulum, clamping, soldered assembly, pendulum clock, optical finish, tolerance

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