• Member Voting Now through June 6. Check Your Email for a Link to the Online Ballot. The Ballot Contains Links to Each Proposed Amendment to Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.

Early 1800's? Longcase Clock - 2 weights - No pulleys?

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
Hello, I recently purchased a longcase clock for $80 that needs work. Purchased as-is unknown condition. This is the first time working on a longcase clock so I am learning as I go. I started off with some minor cleaning (air dusted and applied some clock oil in certain areas) just to get an idea how much work might be involved.

The clock came with 4 weights detached with no cables, but the clock appeared to only require two weights. Someone at one point tried to use electrical wire. I added 50lb braided fishing line (approx. 1mm thick) and set up the weights. I am thinking to find thicker cable but I am leaving for now for testing. One weight is 7lb and the other is 8lb.

The base that attaches to the movement was upside-down which would have caused the cables to rub against the movement base - I flipped it back to how it should be so there is no contact. The extra weights are much heavier and probably was used as an attempt to get the clock running, but with that base installed incorrectly my guess is even that did not work out.

It took a few restarts of the pendulum just to keep it going. I figure the movement needed to run for a while being that it probably sat for years. The clock is running now and seems to keep time.

What I noticed online is that these clocks usually have a pulley system. I don't see holes for the cables to feed back up through the base of the movement and there were no pulleys so I installed the weights without.

Are there longcase clocks that do not require pulleys?

The dial indicates the clock was made by Rob McAdam from Dumfries.
Ca. 1820 or 1830? This is my best guess based on some research.

Attaching some photos. Thank you!


clock.jpg
Old cable - Base installed upside-down
Old cable.jpg
New cable -Flipped base to align holes
New cable.jpg
Weight attached - No pulley
weight attached.jpg
 
Last edited:

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
11,796
1,175
113
Dorset
Country
Region
I think your clock is probably earlier, I think there are minute numerals missing.

There are all sorts of weird and wonderful exceptions out there but I very much doubt yours is one, so yes I think it should have compound weight suspension with pulleys, otherwise I don't think it will run for 8 days. Judging by that rather dubious looking black stuff on the winding barrels this clock has had the attention of previous owners who did not understand it.

Fortunately now you have it and can give it a better life.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beameup

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
I think your clock is probably earlier, I think there are minute numerals missing.

There are all sorts of weird and wonderful exceptions out there but I very much doubt yours is one, so yes I think it should have compound weight suspension with pulleys, otherwise I don't think it will run for 8 days. Judging by that rather dubious looking black stuff on the winding barrels this clock has had the attention of previous owners who did not understand it.

Fortunately now you have it and can give it a better life.
Thank you for the information!
The original numerals and makers signature are faded to the point where I can only see it under a black light.
I will shop around for the parts. Thanks again!
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
10,703
251
83
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
Almost always it will have had pulleys, otherwise either (a) it won't run for eight days, or (b) there would need to be an extra wheel in each train which it doesn't have.

Will need a strip and clean!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beameup

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
48,544
2,536
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
If it had pulleys, the original weights will be too heavy. Running it without pulleys would require reducing the weight by half. How heavy are they?
 

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
10,703
251
83
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
To me, they don't look heavy enough apart for the fact it will only run for about four days.
Not too difficult to make weights from either lead or steel.
 

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
If it had pulleys, the original weights will be too heavy. Running it without pulleys would require reducing the weight by half. How heavy are they?
The weights I am currently testing with are 8 and 9 lbs. The other set that also came with the clock are roughly 11 &12 lbs.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
16,272
2,485
113
You will need to get it all together and running to answer that question.

Did you find the holes in the seat board for the tails of the cords to go through?
They should be there somewhere unless the seat board has been replaced.

Willie X
 

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
You will need to get it all together and running to answer that question.

Did you find the holes in the seat board for the tails of the cords to go through?
They should be there somewhere unless the seat board has been replaced.

Willie X
I did not see the holes but I will check again and take better pictures. Thank you.
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
11,796
1,175
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Do you recommend the 11/12lb weights with pulleys, or would I need heavier?
That's pretty standard for an 8 day, if it won't run on that it needs attention, as when recently serviced they will run on less. English longcase are incredibly over powered.
 

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
You will need to get it all together and running to answer that question.

Did you find the holes in the seat board for the tails of the cords to go through?
They should be there somewhere unless the seat board has been replaced.

Willie X
I took another look at the seat board and I did not notice any additional holes (other than the large openings for where the cords come down from the winding barrels) for the end of the cords to go through.

20220129_203003.jpg
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
11,796
1,175
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Seat board looks replaced to me, Have a look underneath, sometimes you will find hooks
 
  • Like
Reactions: Willie X

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
Seat board looks replaced to me, Have a look underneath, sometimes you will find hooks
Thank you for that idea. I attached a photo of the underside of the seatboard. It seems there could have been hooks at one point.

I can either find strong enough hooks at a hardware store that will support the weight or I can drill new holes after I figure out the proper placement.

20220130_102209.jpg
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
11,796
1,175
113
Dorset
Country
Region
I worry about the hooks approach, I do prefer the line to go through the seatboard and after that there are two equal options to my mind, tie it around a dowel or make a hank and a couple of half hitches.
 

Jevan

Registered User
Jul 31, 2014
99
54
18
I may be being dumb here but if the clock is still fixed to it isn't that seatboard upside down, the visible trace outline of clock plates on the underside, which looks to be formed over many years, may confirm what novicetimekeeper says and the seatboard may be replaced or rather sourced from another clock.
 

Jevan

Registered User
Jul 31, 2014
99
54
18
The base that attaches to the movement was upside-down which would have caused the cables to rub against the movement base - I flipped it back to how it should be so there is no contact.
Apologies for my previous post, I wish I'd read the opening post more carefully.
 

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
Apologies for my previous post, I wish I'd read the opening post more carefully.
No need to apologize. I appreciate all responses, and you helped confirm for me it was upside down. Thank you.
 

Beameup

Registered User
Feb 10, 2021
9
0
1
38
Country
I set up the pulleys along with stronger line. Turned out there were two very small holes in the seat board that I couldn't see until I cleaned everything up. Lines barely fit through and i made two hanks to tie to. Using the 11/12lb weights and running it for a while to see how it does.

Thank you everyone!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
173,738
Messages
1,517,031
Members
51,916
Latest member
JT123
Encyclopedia Pages
1,062
Total wiki contributions
2,969
Last update
-