Fabrication of grasshopper escapement
assemblies - January 2009
Photos show the beginnings of the grasshopper support rings. These rings
will attached the individual grasshopper pallets to the balances. They are adjustable to
about 30 degrees to enable changing the angle and depthing of the escapement though a
small worm acting upon a toothed sector on the ring. When the assembly was attached to the
end of the balance it looked too thick, third photo, and efforts were made to thin the
The final results are below. Notice also the worm was tapered to give it a
slimmer look too.
Now begins the grasshopper composer springs. These will each contain a
jeweled antifriction wheel. This design is experimental and will manipulate the
grasshopper pallets against the force of gravity. In conventional designs gravity is used
as an assist. It is uncertain at this time whether this design will work, but it is a
beautiful complication so it will be tried. The first photo shows the slotting of a tiny
cheese head screw while the other two show the milling of the springs.
The last photo shows an EDM machine that will be used in the making of the
antifriction wheels. Nearly all of the wheels on this movement are cut by hand on a
jeweler's saw, but these are very small, and there will be a set of four identical so that
this method of manufacture was chosen.
The completed wheel as it emerges from the EDM machine. Next a matchstick
shown for size comparison and finally a shot showing the insertion of the wheel arbor.