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  1. #1
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default tall case clock weight cord/cable

    Hi, i recently purchased a tall case clock. the movement has a date of 1814 scratched into it which i think was done when it was made. As part of the restoration work i thought i should replace the weight cables. It has what appears to be some sort of rope like material (gut?). My questions are: 1) should i replace the old cables they appear old but i don't see much damage, how do i determine if they are serviceable? 2) if i replace them can i or should i use brass cable ? or is this a sacralige to the movements authenticity? The winding drums are metal with grooves for the cable. thanks.

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: klokwiz)

    If you replace them you should use gut. It is available from the usual clock parts suppliers. If it isn't fraying it probably doesn't need replacing.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  3. #3
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: harold bain)

    harold, is this "gut" some sort of animal by product? how long can this type of material last?

  4. #4
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: klokwiz)

    Naw; "Gut" is one of those words that probably was relevant to the original material which may have had animal origin, but even tho modern versions of it are not animal based, the original name, "gut" has carried on.
    My choice would be cable. Either would suffice, and, "yes" I would replace old cord regardless how good it appears.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: Scottie-TX)

    I dunno, Scottie. Timesavers catalogue says "Gut-Animal-European, the highest quality natural gut available".
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  6. #6
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: harold bain)

    Harold i saw that too, that's what got me thinking animal.

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: klokwiz)

    Well, personally in an effort to conform with originality as much as possible, I use gut in replacing cable on a clock that would have originally had gut.
    But on another level, I am tempted to use braided nylon, mostly because it doesn't birdsnest like either gut or brass or steel cable does when the weight is removed.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  8. #8
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: harold bain)

    Hey! If it says it is - it probably is!

  9. #9
    Moderator leeinv66's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: Scottie-TX)

    Ok, if we are going to talk about it, lets call it by its full name. It is Catgut. The natural type is made from the walls of the intestines of livestock, normally sheep or goats, but can be anything from pigs to horses. The name Catgut is an abbreviation of the original name, “Cattlegut”. So Scottie will be please to know no felines are harmed in its production. Then there are the modern synthetic verities. That said, I prefer braided Nylon.
    Cheers
    Peter R Lee: AKA (Pee-Tah) from Australia

  10. #10

    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: klokwiz)

    Quote Originally Posted by klokwiz View Post
    Hi, i recently purchased a tall case clock. the movement has a date of 1814 scratched into it which i think was done when it was made.
    I'm curious about the opinions you guys have about this statement. It seems unlikely that a factory would use such a primitive method of marking, and seems more likely a cleaning date or perhaps a purchase date. What do you think? I'm thinking the clock may be older than that.

  11. #11

    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: klokwiz)

    klo,

    Good catgut is hard to find, and ... unfortunately ... what you thought was good catgut often is not. This makes everyone very unhappy!

    Use tightly woven nylon braid, it will last a very long time. 1/16" diameter is common on the clock style you mention. There should be one full turn left on the drum when the weight touches the bottom (or floor) and the drum should not be crowded when the weight is all the way up. If both these conditions are met, you have the correct cord diameter.

    Willie X

  12. #12
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    I'm curious about the opinions you guys have about this statement. It seems unlikely that a factory would use such a primitive method of marking, and seems more likely a cleaning date or perhaps a purchase date. What do you think? I'm thinking the clock may be older than that.
    You never know. It certainly isn't common to find a date of any kind on a tallclock of this vintage. Any possible dating usually revolves around the name on the dial, the type of dial and the case style, which usually only yields a ballpark estimate. On my tallclock there is a date punched on the calendar gear.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  13. #13

    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: shutterbug)

    Catgut made (usually) from sheep intestine, was used for centuries for such things as tennis racquets, instrument strings, sutures, and generally anything that required much strength and minimal stretching.

    bangster
    1. Check out the REPAIR HINTS & HOW-TO's forum! Click Here.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: shutterbug)

    Catgut is still made, and used in antique hygrometers and "weather houses" as it twists with an increase in humidity. There is no substitute.

    The scratched date is that of a repairer - real or spoof. No maker would mutilate a clock like that. If it's a British clock the only name will be on the dial.

    Any chance of a pic?
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  15. #15
    Registered user. hoo-boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: tall case clock weight cord/cable (RE: leeinv66)

    Quote Originally Posted by leeinv66 View Post
    Ok, So Scottie will be please to know no felines are harmed in its production. Then there are the modern synthetic verities. That said, I prefer braided Nylon.

    Such a pity!..hoo-boy( Dogs look you as family, cats act as if they were Leona Helmsley you their staff!)
    Last edited by hoo-boy; 01-07-2010 at 07:21 AM.

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