Broken fusee stop

Aledger

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Nov 24, 2022
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Hi all

new to clock restoration. Purchased my first fusee English dial wall clock. I knew very little about the fusee movement before I purchased this clock and learning fast!

As I wound the clock the chain broke and released the mainspring (with a bang!). Removing from the dial I noticed the fusee stop had actually sheared off and I inadvertently overwound causing chain to break.

I checked the mainspring and all fine.

my question is is this repairable or are there any work arounds? Can I wind on a new bronze gut and cut to right length so as I approach end of fusee on winding the line tightens and stops winding with tension.

alternatively is it possible to fix?


also any views on what is best natural gut, steel or bronze line (as opposed to chain of course)

Many thanks in advance

andrew

6111C4C0-A254-4818-8F96-B41F8235A1AC.jpeg
 

wow

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Hi all

new to clock restoration. Purchased my first fusee English dial wall clock. I knew very little about the fusee movement before I purchased this clock and learning fast!

As I wound the clock the chain broke and released the mainspring (with a bang!). Removing from the dial I noticed the fusee stop had actually sheared off and I inadvertently overwound causing chain to break.

I checked the mainspring and all fine.

my question is is this repairable or are there any work arounds? Can I wind on a new bronze gut and cut to right length so as I approach end of fusee on winding the line tightens and stops winding with tension.

alternatively is it possible to fix?


also any views on what is best natural gut, steel or bronze line (as opposed to chain of course)

Many thanks in advance

andrew

View attachment 737784
The stop could be made if you have the broken one. Just use it as a template and on a piece of flat steel stock draw it out and grind it or cut it on a mill.
Why are you opposed to using a chain? I have several with chains and if there is only about 1/4 turn tension on the spring before winding and the stop works, chains are perfect in my opinion.
 
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Aledger

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Nov 24, 2022
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The stop could be made if you have the broken one. Just use it as a template and on a piece of flat steel stock draw it out and grind it or cut it on a mill.
Why are you opposed to using a chain? I have several with chains and if there is only about 1/4 turn tension on the spring before winding and the stop works, chains are perfect in my opinion.
Thank you for the reply, unfortunately the broken piece completely sheared but I could make a replacement but it might be tricky to fit as there is no room to slot it in the arbour. I.e there is no gap between the plate and end of cone. It might be necessary to grind off the old piece which seemed integral to the main cone.

I’m not opposed to chain at all and would prefer but can’t buy it anywhere!

thanks for the response
 

Bernhard J.

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Hi Andrew,

It seems rather unusual that the stop is integral to the fusee, but I have more experience with watches than with clocks. Having a close look to your photo, it seems to me that there has been an earlier repair attempt. Is it correct that I see a hole in tangential direction? If so, a repairer might have drilled this hole and a hole into the brocken off part of the stop for joining both parts. This will, of course, not hold all too long.

You might consider to turn down the cone by an amount, which corresponds to the thickness of a steel plate being used for making a new (now in steel) stop, which then can be screwed to the upper face of the (reduced) cone. This will presumably be the most appropriate repair, although not original.

As an alternative, simply memorize the number of half-turns done with the winding key, until the chain nears its end. And wind it no further. That reminds me of a watch of mine with a too short chain. It is like that since long. I should really get going to find a longer chain :D

I would stick to using a chain. It is no rocket science to repair a clock chain, I managed even with a watch chain. If it is beyond repair for whatever reason, a search for a fitting chain should not be too difficult or long lasting. You need to measure the maximum width and minimum length (somewhat too long is no problem and a little bit less width should also be OK) and I believe that e.g. on major on-line auction sites you might find the right one using the right search terms and categories.

Cheers, Bernhard
 

Aledger

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Nov 24, 2022
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Hi Andrew,

It seems rather unusual that the stop is integral to the fusee, but I have more experience with watches than with clocks. Having a close look to your photo, it seems to me that there has been an earlier repair attempt. Is it correct that I see a hole in tangential direction? If so, a repairer might have drilled this hole and a hole into the brocken off part of the stop for joining both parts. This will, of course, not hold all too long.

You might consider to turn down the cone by an amount, which corresponds to the thickness of a steel plate being used for making a new (now in steel) stop, which then can be screwed to the upper face of the (reduced) cone. This will presumably be the most appropriate repair, although not original.

As an alternative, simply memorize the number of half-turns done with the winding key, until the chain nears its end. And wind it no further. That reminds me of a watch of mine with a too short chain. It is like that since long. I should really get going to find a longer chain :D

I would stick to using a chain. It is no rocket science to repair a clock chain, I managed even with a watch chain. If it is beyond repair for whatever reason, a search for a fitting chain should not be too difficult or long lasting. You need to measure the maximum width and minimum length (somewhat too long is no problem and a little bit less width should also be OK) and I believe that e.g. on major on-line auction sites you might find the right one using the right search terms and categories.

Cheers, Bernhard
Hi Bernhard

Thank you so much for the response. I don’t think it’s a hole just divot from the break. I think some fusee cones were made with a ‘flare” at the end integral to the cone. I have another fusee where this is the case. Some it appears have additional snail plate that was attached to end of the cone. I could take a bit off the end to allow for a new piece. Might be tricky but worth an attempt.

if that fails then your suggestion sounds sensible although obviously the only downside of that is any future owners would need to be aware but I don’t anticipate parting with it yet. I guess my question is if the line is cut to exactly the right length and it’s bronze wire will it be a problem if the tension alone when the wire ends the barrel stops overwinding? Ie. If it’s the right length it’s not overwound past the end of the cone and if it’s bronze wire it won’t break easily. Was the stop to protect the chain or gut line that would of presumably been more prone to over tension and break than modern wires? I can imagine some experts grimacing at my suggestions here but it’s not an expensive clock and a make do solution would be acceptable for me.

thanks again for taking the time to respond. Very helpful!

andrew
 

Bernhard J.

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The problem with fitting a line of whatever kind is that you will need to drill further holes into the fusee cone and the barrel in order to fix the line ends securely. Anyone wanting to return to the original chain setup will then hate your that ;).

If you fit a line and rely on your feel when the line tension increases due to the barrel being fully wound, this might work (although I would prefer the counting of half turns of the winding key). Provided that the ends are really well fixed.

The stop in connection with the chain is intended to work like this. If you look at the form of the hook at the barrel end and think about the kinematics upon overwinding, you will understand that overwinding results in this hook being "thrown out" of the barrel. Often this does not work as thought, though, and the chain breaks. In any case there is a risk of considerable damage to the wheel train. All this is avoided by the stop (if working correctly and with a chain of correct length).

Aside this, from the technical point of view, a steel line will work just as good as a chain. I personally do not really want to rely of the strength of gut.
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Andrew,

If the fusee stop doesn't work as it should for whatever reason, there's nothing to prevent the chain/gut/wire just wrapping around the top of the fusee, and it will eventually break. Normally, there should be at least a quarter of a turn still left on the barrel when the stop comes into play.

The fusee iron, or 'poke', is usually just that, a piece of iron, (or more commonly steel), fitted to the cone that engages with the stop lever which the chain has raised into its path as it reaches the top of the fusee cone. Is the hinged stop lever still intact?

It should be possible to machine down the top of the cone to remove the remains of the broken poke, leaving room for a steel replacement, which can be secured with a countersunk screw, as Bernhard has suggested. Chain repair isn't a big deal, as you're working with much larger links and rivets than the average pocket watch chain.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Aledger

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Nov 24, 2022
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Hi Andrew,

If the fusee stop doesn't work as it should for whatever reason, there's nothing to prevent the chain/gut/wire just wrapping around the top of the fusee, and it will eventually break. Normally, there should be at least a quarter of a turn still left on the barrel when the stop comes into play.

The fusee iron, or 'poke', is usually just that, a piece of iron, (or more commonly steel), fitted to the cone that engages with the stop lever which the chain has raised into its path as it reaches the top of the fusee cone. Is the hinged stop lever still intact?

It should be possible to machine down the top of the cone to remove the remains of the broken poke, leaving room for a steel replacement, which can be secured with a countersunk screw, as Bernhard has suggested. Chain repair isn't a big deal, as you're working with much larger links and rivets than the average pocket watch chain.

Regards,

Graham
Thanks Graham, yes on further research I agree with your points re the purpose of the stop. Thank you for the advice. As you and bernhard both suggest a replacement may be possible. It will put my metalwork to the test but have to learn So I’ll give that a go and see how I get on. I’ve actually managed to source a replacement chain which just leaves me with the stop repair. The stop lever is still intact. Thanks again for taking the time to help.
 

Aledger

Registered User
Nov 24, 2022
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The problem with fitting a line of whatever kind is that you will need to drill further holes into the fusee cone and the barrel in order to fix the line ends securely. Anyone wanting to return to the original chain setup will then hate your that ;).

If you fit a line and rely on your feel when the line tension increases due to the barrel being fully wound, this might work (although I would prefer the counting of half turns of the winding key). Provided that the ends are really well fixed.

The stop in connection with the chain is intended to work like this. If you look at the form of the hook at the barrel end and think about the kinematics upon overwinding, you will understand that overwinding results in this hook being "thrown out" of the barrel. Often this does not work as thought, though, and the chain breaks. In any case there is a risk of considerable damage to the wheel train. All this is avoided by the stop (if working correctly and with a chain of correct length).

Aside this, from the technical point of view, a steel line will work just as good as a chain. I personally do not really want to rely of the strength of gut.
Thank you bernhard that makes sense. It’s good to have theses challenges as it’s the only way to learn.
 

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