English Tall Case

armyguber

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Oct 8, 2019
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I’ve just acquired this tall case clock. It doesn’t look to have run for several years but I have high hopes to get it going soon. Two questions to the forum: first, thoughts about its age. The back of the faceplate is marked “Walker, Hughes, Birmingham.” This gives me an initial window of 1812-1835. Unfortunately the works themselves have no evident marking of any kind, either on the flat faces of the front and back plates or on the edges of the same. Any thoughts/insights/guidance? Second, the clock has catgut of unknown age. More critically some of the gut is not frayed, but it has ‘untwisted’ in spots. I’m leaning towards testing it with the original weights (perhaps with a pillow inside the base) and see what happens. Can catgut be re-lubricated? Thoughts?
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bruce linde

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replace the gut with chocolate brown nylon braided cord... 1 - 1.2mm in diameter.

note that there are differing opinions on this... but 1) really easy to work with, 2) peace of mind (no weights dropping due to cord breakage), 3) no damage or wear to movement
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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certainly replace the gut, though nothing wrong with replacing it with gut.

Your falseplate has some extra holes and your dial seems to have had a poor repaint.

Your case is interesting, is that pattern medullary rays or paint finish? I've never seen oak like that.
 

armyguber

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Oct 8, 2019
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The clock is intriguing. The case is oak with medullary rays (the pattern shows on both sides). The back of the faceplate clearly gives me a window of 1812-1835, but the works themselves have no markings at all. The clock had had some rough times as cloth material was heavily wrapped around some of the arbors, the catgut was significantly aged and suspect, and the falseplate on the back of the facing had, at some time, been cracked in half and rewired together through holes and around between-plates struts with a flexible wire the gauge of clothes hanger wire. Everything was there with the exception of the weight pulleys, which I have ordered and am awaiting delivery. I have been able to run chiming gears using finger pressure and have gotten favorable response on the other side also with finger pressure. I think it will all work. The impression is that it was not a high-end clock when made, but is durable. I only wish the works had some identifiable markings.
 

novicetimekeeper

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It's very unusual to have any makers marks on an English longcase movement.
 

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