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  1. #1
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default fusee chain repair question

    hi, i have a small english clock and the fusee chain is broken due to a mainspring mishap. I have little experience with these and am trying to figure to which way the hooks face so they will be correct. If you lay out the chain flat will the hooks hook in the same direction or in opposite directions? I know the barrel hook will only go one way but the fusee end looks like it could hook under or over the pin.

    I would also like to hear from anyone with experience replacing these tapered link pins, I have all the parts and the one link pin was pulled out, so it looks like i can replace the pulled pins.

    thanks for the help. Joe Hall

  2. #2
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Hi,

    If it's a normal fusee, both hooks face the same way, and the hook with the spike, (if there is one), goes in the barrel. If it's a reverse fusee, with the chain crossing over from the barrel to the opposite side of the fusee, then the hooks have to be facing opposite ways. The link pins have to be riveted in, but not too tightly, so that the chain can still flex, and the rivet must not stand proud, as it has to fit in the fusee groove without binding.

    Regards,

    Graham

  3. #3
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    graham,

    thanks for the reply. I am familiar with the difference in hooks, tks. the chain on this runs from fusee to and around barrel like a reel to reel tape would, so i assume this is not a reverse fusee. It sounds like you have experience with this repair, what can i use to make the tappered pin? so far have read use "nonClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	166261 hardened good steel" can you tell me what that is or what you use. thanks, joe

    p.s added photo of movement, wondered if you have seen this maker or know anything about it?
    Last edited by klokwiz; 02-18-2013 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Hi Joe,

    Yes you have a 'normal' fusee, not a reversed one. For the pins, I guess it depends on the size of the chain, but I've used sewing needles in the past for watch fusee chains; I'd suggest pivot steel, or maybe drill rod of the right size. It needs to be hard enough to take the work, but just soft enough to shape it. Have a good look at the links, you should see which side has the larger hole, so that the taper pin goes in the right way.

    Regards,

    Graham

  5. #5
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: gmorse)

    I use either blue steel softened or had the temper taken out, or use silver steel,

    silver steel is strong enough for the job and can be riveted,

    use a fine emery on the area to be repaired, that is both sides of the chain, this you should be able to see the large and small side of the rivet, lightly tap out the old rivet, if a link has broken just remove that section or piece.

    press the chain together and double check you have the correct way in relation to the hooks, file up a long taper on the silver steel and finish it smooth, press it in place, you don't have to jam it in just seated properly.

    now with sharp sidecutters nip the rivet close to both sides, now stone down the rivet until it is just proud of the chain, place the joined chain on a hard steel block and with a small steel riveting hammer lightly spread the rivet, the trick here is to just spread the rivet enough so it won't come out in use but not so tight the chain will bind, you need to to leave just enough of the rivet to spread after cutting and stoning, leave too much and you have a tendency to try and hammer it more making the rivet bind, not enough material and the rivet will fall out.

    after riveting, check the chain will move and not be binding, now stone the rivet until it is smooth to the chain

    to clean the chain I get a buff stick with fine emery wrapped around it, I clamp the buff stick in the vice upright, then hold the chain by each end and put the chain at the back edge of the stick, you want to pull it over the thin end, now with a sawing motion gently pull the chain back and forth over the buff stick, this will cause the chain to cut into the stick making a groove, this action mixing in with the emery dust will help clean rust off the chain and make the chain smooth in action, pull the chain through the stick a few times, flip it over and do the other edge of the chain, now run the chain through you fingers to check for tight links (or sloppy links).

    I run the chain in the ultrasonic, then rinsed well in white gas blown dry with compressed air, then I soak the chain in oil and leave it in that until I am ready to reinstall it in the clock, then I wipe away the excess oil and fit it.

  6. #6
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Thanks for the detailed explaination of the process. I am not very familiar with metals. Is there any commonly available items i might use to fashion the pivot i.e. needle or pin or such? or do i need to purchase materials from supplier like timesavers? Joe. timesavers list a steel rod 6" x 1/16" as "silver steel" is this the sort of thing i would need?
    Last edited by klokwiz; 02-19-2013 at 11:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Hi,

    Yes silver steel is good, it's a higher carbon steel which can be hardened and tempered with heat treatment. For some purposes it's fine to use as it comes, without heat treatment. You can get it in a range of metric and imperial sizes, but you'll need to turn it to size in a lathe. Steel needles are OK if the size fits, but again, they'll probably need to be annealed before you can work them, and then re-hardened and tempered. Quality varies a lot though. Steel pins are usually only mild steel, and can't be hardened, so no use for this.

    Regards,

    Graham

  8. #8
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Quote Originally Posted by klokwiz View Post
    hi, i have a small english clock and the fusee chain is broken due to a mainspring mishap. I have little experience with these and am trying to figure to which way the hooks face so they will be correct. If you lay out the chain flat will the hooks hook in the same direction or in opposite directions? I know the barrel hook will only go one way but the fusee end looks like it could hook under or over the pin.

    I would also like to hear from anyone with experience replacing these tapered link pins, I have all the parts and the one link pin was pulled out, so it looks like i can replace the pulled pins.

    thanks for the help. Joe Hall
    Joe
    Others have covered the hook direction.

    At least personally, in most cases fusee chain that I have encountered has had taper pins. While not the most mechanically sound method, it should be retained if originality is desired. The most sound repair when using taper pins will come when the chain link holes are the exact same taper as the pins. Under these conditions, you will have the greatest strength and resistance from working loose.

    My personal method of achieving this is as follows.

    (1) I use W-1 drill rod for pins in case hardening and tempering are desired at any point in the process plus it is generally easy to machine. However in most cases hardening is not required or desired.

    (2) Next, the three links to be pinned are held in correct position and the hole is reamed ever so slightly with a high quality cutting broach. The broach is only used to clean up the holes and establish a tapered hole in each link. From this point the center link is removed and held by itself where it is reamed slightly larger so it will not friction fit to the pin when assembled. Links should be checked for hardness before using a good cutting broach.

    (3) Then the broach is then mounted in the Lathe spindle in a collet per the first attached photo. From this point a straight edge Lathe cutting tool is positioned parallel to the cutting surface of the Broach used to clean up the holes in the chain links and locked in place.

    (4) The cutting tool is now used to machine a perfect matching taper pin to the broach per the second attached photo. Once to size, the pin is parted off of the work piece and used to assemble the chain.


    Before assembly, I first chamfer the small exit hole on the third/lower link. The pin is then snuggly staked into place and both ends are trimmed off. From this point the large end of the pin is dressed to the link. The small end is left ever so slightly above the link surface and stacked/mushroomed into the chamfer using a watchmakers staking tool set. It is then dressed to the link surface and the center link is worked back and forth until it works freely.
    In addition to the taper friction fits the upper link will be held in place by the pin taper. The lower link will have the additional staked metal in the chamfer to lock it in place.

    Jerry Kieffer
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN5424.jpg   DSCN5414.jpg  
    Last edited by Jerry Kieffer; 02-19-2013 at 03:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Good morning, first i want to thank those who responded to my post: Graham, dAz57, Jerry. After trying to find someone with more experience to fix this, I took Jerry's advice and just tried it. I got some tapered steel pins from Timesavers and went to work. i finally got the broken pin piece to pop out without screwing up the link, used a pin and brass hammer. I then had to sand down the thinnest tapered pin on emory paper to get it into the tiny hole. once it was in I had to figure out how to cut off the excess pin. since i have few tools of this size it took some good old yankee ingenuity, I use a pair of cuticule clippers! I filed the pin flush and staked the ends.

    Now I know some of you may be cringing at my novice repair, but the link seems to be holding well. I will do a little more stress testing and be observant of its condition after install. Wish me well. I posted some pictures for those who haven't seen one of these. Joe

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  10. #10
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Joe,

    Looks pretty good, well done!

    The movement is interesting, how big is it, and what type of case is it in? Can't find a W. Gower in my references, but somebody might be able to tell more.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  11. #11
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Graham,

    Thank you, I'm pretty proud if the results. The movement plates are about 1 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches by 3/8 inch. it is ornate and looks pretty old (judging by hand made screws), but it is also marked No.122, so it would seem this maker was pretty prolific. I really would like to find more info about the maker, my online searches have come up with nothing. The case is pretty non-descript. it is wood with some ornamentation. It is sort of like a desk clock since it really isn't very big, about 12 inches tall maybe six wide. Frankly, I thought maybe the case was made later for an orphan movement, but the more i look at the case the more it looks like it may be as old as the movement. I will take some photos and post them. I bought it from an auction house because of the interesting movement. Joe.

  12. #12

    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    I think that's going to hold just fine. Sometimes you just have to be inventive to make things happen

  13. #13
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: shutterbug)

    Joe,

    The balance cock looks like one for a large watch. As it's an English lever, with the usual ratchet tooth escape wheel, it's unlikely to be before about 1840, but the engraving style, the pillars, the wheels and the plain steel balance all point to something rather earlier. There do seem to be some plugged holes in the back plate around the balance opening and also one in the 'W' of the signature, all of which raises the question of whether this might have been converted to a lever from something else, possibly a verge? There's a stud riveted on just below the escape wheel in the picture showing both plates, which doesn't seem to have any function, but could be the remains of the carrier for the outer end of a verge escape ('crown') wheel, and the rectangular shape of the balance opening also suggests that there might have been one there once. A really close look at the inside of the plates might reveal more.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  14. #14
    Registered User klokwiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: gmorse)

    Shutterbug, thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Graham, Thanks for the observations, the rivet next to the escape wheel inside the plate has a hole thru it going horizontaly. If I understand you, if this was a lever movment originally it is likely 1840 or later and if converted maybe older in keeping with the plate and balance style? There also seem to be a number of unused holes on addition the plugged holes in plate. I have not seen examples of a movement like tis with a verge type escape. Joe.

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    Default Re: fusee chain repair question (RE: klokwiz)

    Quote Originally Posted by klokwiz View Post
    Good morning, first i want to thank those who responded to my post: Graham, dAz57, Jerry. After trying to find someone with more experience to fix this, I took Jerry's advice and just tried it. I got some tapered steel pins from Timesavers and went to work. i finally got the broken pin piece to pop out without screwing up the link, used a pin and brass hammer. I then had to sand down the thinnest tapered pin on emory paper to get it into the tiny hole. once it was in I had to figure out how to cut off the excess pin. since i have few tools of this size it took some good old yankee ingenuity, I use a pair of cuticule clippers! I filed the pin flush and staked the ends.

    Now I know some of you may be cringing at my novice repair, but the link seems to be holding well. I will do a little more stress testing and be observant of its condition after install. Wish me well. I posted some pictures for those who haven't seen one of these. Joe

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Joe
    You should get a gold star for the day for jumping in with both feet and performing the repair.

    Your photo`s are a little fuzzy, but the repair from what I can see looks far better than my first attempt and some others I have seen. I was always embarrassed to show anyone my first attempts on various items and have long since destroyed them. If I only had them back, I am sure they would generate endless discussions.

    At any rate, good Luck with the rest of your project and this should be a confidence builder.

    Jerry Kieffer

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