Fusee cable thickness

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Ron751, Jun 26, 2019.

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  1. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    The cable broke on my fusee movement - it is .043" thick.
    I have some nice brass multi stranded brass cable that is .063 Thk.

    That is only 1/2 of a mm difference.

    Can I use it as a replacement ?
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    What nationality is it? All mine are gut apart from one chain.
     
  3. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    How old was the cable? Gut should last a long time (30 + years) if it is not mishandled or frayed.Maybe a thicker cable is needed if it was not very old. Metal cable tends to mark the barrel, but I will leave it to others to discuss if the brass fatigues more at the thinner end of the fusee with the tighter curves. (this has been suggested to me in the past, but I don't know the answer)
    David
     
  4. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Some guy prefer gut. I replace with brass cable. Yours is only .020 difference and it shouldn't matter you would be fine. Last one a did had steel cable and I replaced it with brass. Just remember to tie it off properly to the barrel.
     
  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes I have a really nice bracket clock that ran for around 250 years with gut no problem at all, then somebody put brass on it leaving the end sticking out and it wore grooves in the plates for the next 30 years until I replaced it with gut again.
     
  6. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    Like a said tie it off properly to the barrel
     
  7. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    I wound a piece of that cable that I had, onto the fusee cone. I found out that it had a steel core making it less supple than the old brass one. It sits well in the grooves, but I am not thrilled that it has some slight kinks that may cause issues in running mode. Too good to be true !
    I think it is English. This movement is from the late 1700s - early 1800s. It has a crown escapement. I bought it from a fellow who could not finish the project. It keeps perfect time. I don't know how old the cable was - it broke a foot from the end - frayed.
    My other fusees have chains so I am not familiar with gut.
    I am not concerned with any marks made by the cable on the barrel.

    I found Red Rooster UK as a seller of all fusee cable type.

    >> Is gut easy to knot at the ends ?

    Thank you all for the help.
    2.jpg 1.jpg
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It certainly looks English, though it has a very unusual plate design. Verge bracket clocks made it into the 19th century but only just, so it is more likely to be 18th century. The case and dial would give further clues to age.

    Yes, gut is easy to knot.
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    What a fine clock. I know nothing about fusee clocks except for the operating principle. Apparently the coiled mainspring is contained inside the cone, which I didn't realize. Is there generally damage if the cable or chain breaks?

    I will say that I've tried to stay away from brass cable completely for weight-driven clocks ever since I re-strung a gigantic English tall-case (ten feet tall, in point of fact) and worried about bird's-nesting the whole time. I've used braided carpenter's chalk line for wall clocks ever since, and I think a plastic monofilament (is this the same as 'artificial gut'?) would work well if I ever have to deal with higher tension applications.

    My theory is that brass cable didn't become popular until long-case makers began putting glass windows in their case doors around 1900 or thereabouts. That's when the brass weight shells and polished pendulum bobs appeared, and the brass cable looked fancier. The brass cable I've seen always seems to have a cotton or nylon thread at its core, for flexibility I suppose. But I think that gut or monofilament does a better job.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  10. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    Thanks, Nov - There was no dial or case. So just the era will have to suffice.
    Actually, I run this & 3 other fusees w/o cases. I bought them that way & they run happily on platforms & I love to just watch & listen to them. Being a mechanical guy, I feel their beauty should be displayed :)

    Maybe you can date & provide info on my latest ..... (poor pic from seller BEFORE servicing)
    s-l1600-8.jpg
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Mark,

    No, that isn't the case, the cone is solid, with the great wheel at its base and is driven via the chain/gut/cable by the mainspring in its plain barrel.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Hi Mark, you are just about there ! The mainspring is contained inside its own (separate) barrel. The gut or chain is wound onto the barrel and when the clock is wound up, the line winds onto the fusee which is a solid piece of brass which slips in one direction against the wheel attached to it and drives in the other.
    Depending on how much loose end there is , if it breaks there could be quite a lot of damage as it whips around.
    David
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I'm guessing broken cable or chain can do more damage than gut, I have only had one break so far. I was sat eating breakfast when I heard what sounding like a gun being fired and then this really loud and brief rushing whirring sound. I thought it must be a clock so got up and walked all around the house they were all still ticking. On my way back to my breakfast I walked past the dial clock in the kitchen and noticed it was no longer ticking, I opened the access door and the pendulum was still swinging but not enough to make a noise on the escape wheel. there was a big mess of gut around the barrel.

    I know fusee watches often have a post to stop the flailing chain doing any damage, I have not seen that in clocks. Perhaps they just have more space so damage is less likely?
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Most 18th century brackets have side windows, so you can see something, but they also have beautifully engraved backplates that you rarely see at all. I know that some had revolving platforms so they could be shown off, and that others probably stood in front of mirrors, but they were also carried from room to room by servants so perhaps the decoration came into play there as your servant carried your prized possession past your guests and displayed your wealth and scientific engagement.

    This one looks later, but a side view of the movement always helps. I wonder if your first one might be provincial rather than London.
     
  15. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    I think it's more to do with the greater fragility of the balance assembly.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Thanks, everyone. I was looking for a separate barrel but with my superior powers of observation couldn't find one.

    I was also wondering if this might have been what I think is called a 'wagon spring' clock, which has a flat mainspring like the leaf spring on an old Ford pickup truck, plus a fusee. Those would have spring insufficient travel (I guess) for an 8 day clock (or you'd need a high gear ratio.) But they always intrigued me.

    When I was 17 my father had a round fusee school clock that might have been English, but I don't think we ever took it apart. It felt weird to wind because the torque needed to turn the key stayed constant.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    That
    That's exactly what the fusee is for.

    Uhralt
     
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  18. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    Right on, Uhralt !

    Novice > here are some more pics of that double fusee I asked you to peruse

    3.jpg . 2.jpg 1.jpg
     
  19. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    I went and ordered a piece of gut from RedroosterUK. It will be easier to knot & handle + this is my oldest fusee mvmnt and I'm sure it had gut when it was made, so know it will correct.
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  21. Ron751

    Ron751 Registered User
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    Thanks !

    Ron
     
  22. Probox

    Probox Registered User
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    I know this is late but it may help someone else ......the main issue in changing from chain/wire/gut and the guage used is determined by how well it rolls onto the fusee and fits into those grooves. Some fusee's have square grooves while others have round grooves. The other consideration is how much room you have on the mainspring barrel when the spring power is down and all of the chain/gut/wire is on the barrel. You want it to wrap nicely and in order on the barrel. When putting on a new chain or wire I usually tape it in neat order to the barrel before setting my pre-tension.
     
  23. Probox

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