Cracked Brass Pendulum Hanger

expeditionhiker

Registered User
Jan 4, 2017
60
1
8
Country
This hanger is for a 5' tall regulator with a large heavy bob. It looks like it has been broken for a while, because the crack is now bent out of alignment. I'm afraid to bend it back because it might break somewhere else. What is the best way to fix this? I was thinking of sandwiching two thin sheets of brass around the crack with metal epoxy inside. Or, one thicker plate drilled with pins or screws. I'm afraid of applying heat, because there are other repairs, and I don't know how they were made. This is from a clock made around 1813, maybe older. Thanks for your help, any repair pictures of something similar would be helpful.
hanger.jpg
 

bruce linde

NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
10,483
2,218
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
first off, i want the clock without even seeing it. :) pls post photos?

if i pulled a dial and saw that i would not hesitate to CAREFULLY try to squeeze it back into alignment in my drill press vise... slowly... and then solder while the pieces are held together.

for more strength, you could then lay a small cross piece spanning the bottom back of the hanger (across the back) using loctite but i don't think you'd need it if you prepared the break for soldering sufficiently.

you could also use jewelers saw to cut a small notch on each side of the break, insert a little brass piece (like a biscuit, in cabinet work) and THEN solder... and then file down smooth, etc. that would also give additional strength... not sure it would be needed.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
17,479
3,197
113
I would take it to a jeweler. They can properly redo the old repaired places too, if necessary.

If something like this is cracked up, all you can do is break it apart. They would then straighten up and prep all the mating surfaces. Then pin (or wire) everything in place. And finally, hard solder (or braze) it all back together.

If we'll done, it will be as strong as it ever was.

Note, I prefer brazing with a slight build. I leave the brazed up piece as is. Some try to refinish everything back to flat. This weakens the piece and can be more notacable than the slight build.

My 2, Willie X
 

expeditionhiker

Registered User
Jan 4, 2017
60
1
8
Country
hi Bruce, you already know this clock :). The more I take this clock apart, the more interesting things I find. The hour hand wheel, sorry I don't know the technical term, but the wheel has all kinds of service engravings. Some of the names on it were from the 1840's and 1830's( F.T. Chase, W&Stover, L. Adams...) list goes on. When removing the wheel, found more names on the back side dating back to 1813. Chase worked with Phineas Quimby and built the 1836 clock tower in Belfast ME. My clock has a service engraving from Belfast in 1837.

I'll try the vise and solder, I was a little afraid the heat would cause other repairs to fall apart. Also, it is nailed into the pendulum rod with 4 nails, so i'm trying to do this without removing it.
95889427_10223300159714281_6972735102744788992_o.jpg
 
Last edited:

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,108
2,771
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I'm with Willie on this. Hard solder or bronze. Nothing else will hold up to the weight of the pendulum. If you just try to piece it together, it could break again and cause damage to that nice clock. If you don't have a gas/oxygen setup for hard soldering, take it to a Jeweler.

I have no clue as to how they did that small engraving on the wheel! Looks like someone made a round hole out of a square one. I can't read what either says.
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
3,148
745
113
wisconsin
Country
This hanger is for a 5' tall regulator with a large heavy bob. It looks like it has been broken for a while, because the crack is now bent out of alignment. I'm afraid to bend it back because it might break somewhere else. What is the best way to fix this? I was thinking of sandwiching two thin sheets of brass around the crack with metal epoxy inside. Or, one thicker plate drilled with pins or screws. I'm afraid of applying heat, because there are other repairs, and I don't know how they were made. This is from a clock made around 1813, maybe older. Thanks for your help, any repair pictures of something similar would be helpful.
View attachment 588593
How you repair this will determine the value of your clock.

If I were repairing this, it would be as follows

(1) The parts pointed out by the three arrows at #5 appear to be poorly made shop parts soft soldered in place. I would remove these and remove all traces of soft solder.

(2) The arks in pieces #3 and 4 may or may not be original. They would be left as is or straightened depending on research of the original configuration.

(3) The bottom indicated by the three arrows would be remade as one piece based on original appearance .

(4) It can then be high temp silver soldered in place and dressed invisible. If you cannot solder, I would suggest visiting a local welding shop and get a reference on someone local who can silver solder.

(5) while I cannot see the joints at #1 and 2, they should be reviewed and addressed if required.

Per your request on photos, the second third and fourth give an idea what can be accomplished with high temp. silver solder when working with brass.

The second shows a part from an expensive tower movement as I received it missing a broken off section.
The third shows the completed repair where the missing section was machined and then silver soldered in place. The repaired area was then blended with the original using a bead blaster.
Fourth photo shows the part installed.

The customer elected to allow the part to naturally age or it would have been aged invisible

Jerry Kieffer

fullsizeoutput_5b5.jpeg fullsizeoutput_55d.jpeg DSCN0058.JPG fullsizeoutput_562.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kim Miller

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,108
2,771
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Jerry sees things there that I overlooked. His suggestions are your best option here. If you can't do the work yourself, consider farming this one out to someone who can. No shame in that.
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
3,148
745
113
wisconsin
Country
Jerry sees things there that I overlooked. His suggestions are your best option here. If you can't do the work yourself, consider farming this one out to someone who can. No shame in that.
Shutterbug
We all like to think we are on top of things, but I doubt we will ever come up to the standards of a meticulous customer.

The repair I showed is an excellent example. When I received the part, the customer pointed out that the original part had a casting flaw per the arrow first photo and he wished to retain it.

Second photo is the result of my attempt.

Jerry Kieffer

fullsizeoutput_5b8.jpeg fullsizeoutput_5b6.jpeg
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,108
2,771
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Interesting, Jerry! Not only that he thought it was important to keep the flaw, but that you were up to the task of preserving it! That explains why you didn't just machine a new piece as well :)
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
3,148
745
113
wisconsin
Country
Interesting, Jerry! Not only that he thought it was important to keep the flaw, but that you were up to the task of preserving it! That explains why you didn't just machine a new piece as well :)
Shutterbug
Thanks for the kind words.

However, I have been occasionally chastised for promoting this type work, but in reality, it actually required less skill and time than a creative cobble job.

Jerry Kieffer
 

expeditionhiker

Registered User
Jan 4, 2017
60
1
8
Country
thanks for all the input, sounds like I will be silver soldering the break. What is really strange, joints 1 and 2 from Jerry's picture are magnetic, how is this possible?
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
49,108
2,771
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I think he may have meant the joint you repaired, Jerry. I'm not sure what the magnetic part is. Can you explain further, Expedition?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
177,526
Messages
1,555,876
Members
53,605
Latest member
Morbier
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,054
Last edit
Illinois Watch Company by Kent