latest craigslist fusee... comments? thoughts?

bruce linde

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just picked this up off of craigslist.... it was located two hours away but they were visiting a friend who live's close to me... delivery included! :)

there are obvious issues, but i like the case, the movement, the hands.... i have not pulled the dial yet to see what lies underneath, and the pendulum is... odd... to say the least... although you can just see the top of the 'bob' through the window when it's running.

thoughts? comments? suggestions? age?


fusee1.jpg fusee2.jpg fusee11.jpg fusee10.jpg fusee9.jpg fusee8.jpg fusee7.jpg fusee6.jpg fusee5.jpg fusee4.jpg fusee3.jpg
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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just picked this up off of craigslist.... it was located two hours away but they were visiting a friend who live's close to me... delivery included! :)

there are obvious issues, but i like the case, the movement, the hands.... i have not pulled the dial yet to see what lies underneath, and the pendulum is... odd... to say the least... although you can just see the top of the 'bob' through the window when it's running.

thoughts? comments? suggestions? age?


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Agree. An English "dial" clock with nice inlay and carved "ears". Nice that the latter survived.

1860's?

That pendulum rod and bob look replaced? Overall, in somewhat rough condition?

Get your hands on a copy of Rose's book on English dial clocks. A very worthwhile addition to any library. If I were motivated and fully awake, would get up and look at it. But I'm not.

I'm sure that the knowledgeable people will be along to comment.

RM
 

novicetimekeeper

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I'm not 100% on the window in the case, looks later to me.

Other than that yes you seem to have got yourself an English drop dial.
 

Mike Phelan

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Nice. Pendulum and its spring beed replacing to look correct if nothing else - as it's run down it must have run down completely when last used. That gut or whatever it is needs replacing with a steel cord.
Is that soldering on the end of the crutch?
 

novicetimekeeper

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I would hope Bruce won't start replacing gut with steel.
 

Betzel

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Nice find.

I like the MOP against the wood and the fine line work. Is it a groove filled in with some sort of powder/paste?

What is the dial material, and do you think it might be original?

That just might be solder on the crutch, and in two spots? And, flat taper pins. You guys have probably seen these before, but I haven't. Wonder if it was a peened to get a pin that was too small to fatten out, or a style thing.
 

jmclaugh

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At first glance it looks like an Anglo-American. It's a nice drop dail and in particular the hands, well worth sorting. The pins in the window beading are odd.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I thought anglo american were american movements in English cases.

My first thoughts on seeing it were that it was American, but the movement is English. I've never seen a dial clock with red lead on the back of the dial but you do get it on painted longcase dials so that might be a pointer to the dial maker. The falseplate doesn't have any spare holes so looks correct.

It looks mid 19th century though I haven't quite worked out the bezel which looks like more recent than mid 19th.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Until you wind them up and they go BANG! :eek:
A decent quality gut line will long outlast the time between servicing. If you object to it on ethical grounds there are synthetic options available.

Neither gut nor the synthetic options will damage your clock, however any metal line used can.
 
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bruce linde

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multiple responses:

yes, my first thought was anglo american... but there are no additional holes in the wood bezel for the fusee dial... or for the bezel screws... which makes me think case and dial are original to each other.

yes, solder on crutch... as well as mainspring barrel click (even though not really soldering anything).... the screw is slightly stripped, which might explain the kludged setup there.

rm thinks 1860s, but rose seems to indicate earlier... see attached.

oh... there were no pins holding the movement to the false plate and the tapered pins were the only ones i could reach before dropping everything. they'll be gone soon enough.

nick - got a recommendation for gut? i'm open to considering it (even though was leaning (gasp!) towards steel). :)

i will service the movement and see if it's at all in the ball park with the funky pendulum and length... and also do teeth counts while it's apart in case i have to calculate.

overall, though, i think i'm pleased... should be a fun and worthwhile project. (i'll have to do some MB research for the right caulking material when i replace the bezel glass).

more photos:

fusee20.jpg fusee29.jpg fusee28.jpg fusee27.jpg fusee26.jpg fusee25.jpg fusee24.jpg fusee23.jpg fusee22.jpg fusee21.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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Nice find Bruce. You find some nice clocks in your area.
 

novicetimekeeper

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The falseplate looks a bit home made. The use of softwood in the surround is not something I have seen before either.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Early clocks the glass was held in by plaster of paris, I don't think you can go far wrong with that technique. Later clocks had a sprung in system but that might be inappropriate or more difficult to emulate.
 

Uhralt

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I'm not 100% on the window in the case, looks later to me.

Other than that yes you seem to have got yourself an English drop dial.
I agree, the window looks like an afterthought. The trim wood strips around the window are nailed on, I doubt that originally the case would have been made that way.

Uhralt
 

novicetimekeeper

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I agree, the window looks like an afterthought. The trim wood strips around the window are nailed on, I doubt that originally the case would have been made that way.

Uhralt
The windows are usually shaped too, so that they track the arc of the pendulum. Also they don't usually have beading round them at all.
 

Betzel

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Neither gut nor the synthetic options will damage your clock, however any metal line used can.
Amen, and (if I may) it is not a permanent alteration. I wanted natural gut for mine, but there was already a hole in the base from the last failure. So, I used synthetic (it says "synthetic gut" right on the stuff) and it has not stretched, etc. Happy enough so not a bad option...
 

bruce linde

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can someone provide a link to a recommended cable... synthetic gut or steel?
thx.
 

Betzel

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Bruce, I'm not against using the real thing, but totally agree with NTK on not using steel. I've seen grooves cut in a drum after the outer coating wears off: permanent, and not good.

Fishing line is widely rumored to stretch, so I stayed away. Since I only do occasional jobs, I got a handful from another BHI member in the UK. Maybe someone knows of a NAWCC/AWCI member in your area, or you can try a high-end tennis racquet restringing place, etc. I think there are various sizes, but most are around 1.2 and 1.4mm and should be OK. The one I used says "synthetic gut" right on the line itself. Maybe it's a brand...

If you want a whole spool here's one link: LONGCASE CLOCK SYNTHETIC GUT But, one of the US clock material houses or tennis racquest suppliers must carry this stuff. Maybe you will buy more old clocks with a spool of it? :cool:
 

novicetimekeeper

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Mike Phelan

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A decent quality gut line will long outlast the time between servicing. If you object to it on ethical grounds there are synthetic options available.

Neither gut nor the synthetic options will damage your clock, however any metal line used can.
Not that I need any, but the only non-gut lines I can find in UK clock repairers are bronze ones. There aren't many clock repairers left in UK as opposed to USA, though.
 

Betzel

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Ultimately, what to use is your personal decision.

My preference would be the real thing, and NTK's harp source for gut sounds ideal, but the material has to be monitored after a few years, because it does not last forever. Hence, the old "Wile E. Coyote" hole in my inner baseboard. And, with fine-quality flooring, the risks extend.

One of the restorers I use likes Perlon which is synthetic.
I have no direct experience with it, but have been told Perlon will stretch, but it's over time and does not (generally) break. You just get weights that drop farther and may have to tie off on the saddle board again. The synthetic gut (which I do have personal experience with) does not stretch, which is why I recommend it.
There aren't many clock repairers left in UK
Mike, although the US is larger that the UK, and many great American resources are out there, the UK --again in my personal opinion-- still has the best restorers, for English clocks in particular. The advertisements in the back of the BHI's Horological Journal (not public, I know) direct regular members to UK based resources who specialize in painted dial restoration, micro-TIG welding and re-shaping of of antique pinions, watch / clock case work, custom bezels, and a host of other unusual, specialized services most shops (who focus on regular work) might want to send out.

I'm sure you are near a number of good shops up where you are, but I can recommend a variety of folks based in the UK if you would like.
 

Mike Phelan

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Mike, although the US is larger that the UK, and many great American resources are out there, the UK --again in my personal opinion-- still has the best restorers, for English clocks in particular. The advertisements in the back of the BHI's Horological Journal (not public, I know) direct regular members to UK based resources who specialize in painted dial restoration, micro-TIG welding and re-shaping of of antique pinions, watch / clock case work, custom bezels, and a host of other unusual, specialized services most shops (who focus on regular work) might want to send out.

I'm sure you are near a number of good shops up where you are, but I can recommend a variety of folks based in the UK if you would like.
You are quite right - there are plenty of clock shops, Cousins, A G Thomas and others et al, some of who are within a short distance from me, and indeed I buy materials such as pins and mainsprings when I need them.

Also there are repairers; even a lady just across the road someone who restores painted dials.

However, as I only repairs of clocks for myself and relations or close friends and never for money, and am perfectly of repairing any part of any clock and have done for the last fifty years I need to call on others to do this.
As I said, there are fewer repairers in UK and those who are here can only do it at a cost, because of labour charges.
Most houses here never have 'proper' clocks, just quartz junk!

When I left school in the 1960's I wondered whether to go into radio and TV, or clock repair. As the latter was slowly declining I close the former.

BTW, I don't have a clock with a fusee! :emoji_tools:
 
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bruce linde

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thx, guys.

btw... i am a tennis player and have a reel of string handy... but tennis strings stretch... as do harp strings.

i will check out the synthetic...
 

bruce linde

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how much weight/pull do fusee cords need to be able to support? for example... i have some 1.4.mm braided nylon cord on a tall case clock supporting a 26 lb chime weight.

does anyone know?
 

Mike Phelan

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Not yet, anyway? Swap meet season approaches!
I'll resist the temptation! We've enough clocks in the house, mostly in use and running, the rest in the Round Tuit pile, and the only swap meets are abut fifty miles away so I don't have the time as there are so many other jobs that need doing - swapping a car body, pruning trees and checking camping stuff ready for use.
 

bruce linde

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did some research.... you only need 5' (actually, a bit less) for fusee clocks. and, here are some tensile strength numbers:

natural gut 1.2 - 1.4mm, Length: 5' SWL: unk
synthetic gut 1.4mm, Length: 5', SWL: 39lbs

galvanized wire 1.25mm, Length: 5', SWL: 22kg
galvanised wire 1.5mm, Length: 5', SWL: 36lbs

btw... this thread is about a fusee clock, so suggestions about sandbags in the bottom to protect the floor are... interesting. :)

and, you'll note that many fusee clocks (like this one) have a door in the bottom, which would allow a sandbag to fall through.... probably best to just put it on the floor underneath where the clock hangs. :)
 

bruce linde

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And… John Wardell sells 5 foot lengths of the synthetic gut so i ordered one... just over $10 including shipping.
 

novicetimekeeper

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did some research.... you only need 5' (actually, a bit less) for fusee clocks. and, here are some tensile strength numbers:

natural gut 1.2 - 1.4mm, Length: 5' SWL: unk
synthetic gut 1.4mm, Length: 5', SWL: 39lbs

galvanized wire 1.25mm, Length: 5', SWL: 22kg
galvanised wire 1.5mm, Length: 5', SWL: 36lbs

btw... this thread is about a fusee clock, so suggestions about sandbags in the bottom to protect the floor are... interesting. :)

and, you'll note that many fusee clocks (like this one) have a door in the bottom, which would allow a sandbag to fall through.... probably best to just put it on the floor underneath where the clock hangs. :)
He was talking about a longcase.
 

bruce linde

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yes, understood.... but i'm trying to collect insights into how best to work with fusees.

for example... it took some digging to ascertain the 5' length requirements, and the tensile strength numbers.....

on thing i'm still curious about is: why would a steel cable cause more wear than a chain? obviously gut isn't going to hurt brass (unless incidental damage is caused by cord breakage)... is it that chains distribute the weight over two bearing points instead of all of the force with a steel cable being focused on one central point (the roundest part of the cable)?
 

novicetimekeeper

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Chains don't fray. They have hooks to join onto the fusee.

This is damage caused by the frayed end of a cable

307149.jpg
 

bruce linde

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Chains don't fray. They have hooks to join onto the fusee.
This is damage caused by the frayed end of a cable
If one is not careful when securing the cable to the barrel, the end of the cable can stick out and cause that kind of damage as the barrel turns over time. it’s also possible to secure the cable in a way where the way it’s wrapped around itself rubs on the plate, causing the kind of damage pictured.…Imagine one of the curved edges of a knot rubbing against the plate.

I thought you were saying that somehow the cable would dig into the barrel or a few Z gear more than a chain and cause damage there. Either way, the synthetic gut is on its way and I will hold you personally responsible if it breaks in the next year or two. :)
 

Betzel

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I thought you were saying that somehow the cable would dig into the barrel
The problems with metal cables go on and on. Most are coated or perfect-when-new so everyone thinks things will be fine. And they are, until the coating goes away, metal hits metal, and the grind begins. Chains actually are better. That picture is the first I've seen of a frayed end; bad repair.

The material numbers are all good enough-- and gut is much stronger than you would think --until it gets old, dried out and breaks. Sandbags...

Much bigger PITA with stretched cord on a fusee than in a longcase. Ask the next time you go to a tennis pro shop. The synthetic gut may seat-in a racquet head, but (California sun in a car trunk and air conditioned extremes aside) it doesn't stretch much. See what they say? I think you'll be amazed during your next overhaul to see it's fine. TBD?
 

bruce linde

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i've been using synthetic gut in my racquets for years... and know that it continues to stretch over time. it's a bit different because you're continuing to whack balls with the strings, but you're also continuing to stress the strings when winding.

i'm sure it will be fine in the clock... which will no doubt need servicing again before the cable needs replacing.
 
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daveR

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Hi Bruce, firstly a nice clock. I like its colour which will look good when done up. You pondered on tuesday why the cable marks but not the chain. I thought about this too. I suspect that as it crosses over from the fusee the chain or cable is at maximum tension but as it winds on to the barrel it relaxes a little.. and wears the surface. The chain doesn't stretch so it just rolls onto the barrel surface. Sound plausible ?
David
 

bruce linde

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thx... and yes, the wood is kind of lovely and should clean up nicely. it's so nice, in fact, i wonder why someone would have added the lower window... oh, well.

as for chain vs. cable wear.... i think it has more to do with contact points. i just eyeballed and measured a fusee movement i have running outside of a case... see attached photo.

the design of the chain is such that it presents a flat surface to the barrel that is 1.31mm across... as opposed to the much smaller curved footprint of a steel cable that would end up applying maximum pressure to a much smaller/tighter footprint... obviously less than 1/10th of that of the chain.

also... for those advocating steel cable, check out this .pdf discussion of 'forensic cable wear'... yikes:

https://www.ropetechnology.com/bro_engl/wire_rope_forensics_a4.pdf
 

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