Maintaining tension on weight cables while moving grandfather clock movements

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by kinsler33, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    It might have been a year or more ago when someone posted what sounded like a good method of maintaining tension on grandfather clock cables when the weights are removed. The idea is to prevent brass cables from bird's-nesting on the cable reels, and the solution was to place some sort of an object under the seatboard and then wind the clock until the cable pulley contacted said object, serving to hold object in place and maintaining tension on the cable on the cable reel. Once the weight is in place, the mystery object--I tried a polyethylene foam block from some computer packaging, and it didn't work well--can be removed.

    If anyone remotely understands what I'm jabbering about, can you point me to the original post _or_ suggest a solution from your own experience. One fairly practical solution in the past has been to unwind the clock completely, remove the pulleys, and then nothing will tangle. But many gf clocks are very difficult to let down because the clicks are inaccessible.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I wind them up and then put tape on the barrels, but I never have metal cables so I have less of a problem.
     
  3. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    For 2 weights a take old American clock springs and make clips to go around the barrels to retain the cables.
     
  4. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Registered User
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    Wrap masking tape around each pair of cables about every foot or so. When weights hung again, cut tape off.
     
  5. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I keep twist ties from grocery store in my weight carrying tote and twist one around the cables on each spool. Twist them together and slide them up to the spool or seat board. Keeps cables tight on spool.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I believe it was Willie who suggested those long float sticks for kids. Split them, cut them to 6 or 7 inches, and wind the pulleys up to them so they're held firmly. They are cheap and work great.
     
  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Yep ... 'Pool Noodles' ... they work like a charm. I usually use pieces about 3 1/2 inches long.

    Leave the weights on, compress the noodle a little (side to side) and hold it verticaly between the cables, crank the pulley snuggly into the hole, take the weight off, your done.

    You can make shallow (1/8 deep) slits on each side of your noodle pieces with a sharp knife. The cables will pull into these slits and make for even more stability.

    The noodle bits are easy to remove and can usually be reused several times.

    Noodle on, Willie X
     
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  8. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Thank you, and I'll try the pool noodle. I sure wish it was easier to 'let down' most of these grandfather clock movements.

    M Kinsler.
     
  9. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Just let them run for a week, Mark :D
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I have a very long narrow screwdriver to press on the clicks.
     
  11. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    This I do not understand
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Masking tape wrapped around the cables just under the spool might do the trick. Every foot or so might be overkill. ;)
     
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  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Rubber bands and cup hook(s). Screw cup hook(s) to back or bottom of cage. Stretch rubber band from cable to cup hook.If you don't have long enough rubber band, link several together.

    When done, remove cup hooks.
     
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  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    #14 Willie X, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    That's a good one, if you like to transport with cables/cords down.

    Try putting a single small hook (you will rarely need more than one) out of way of the weights. This way you can leave it in place for next time. An old fashioned #6 carpet tack is good for clocks made with real wood. Many old clocks used these kind of tacks to secure stuff to the case, so they fit right in when you leave them in place. Drive them in at an angle and the rubber band/s won't slip off.

    I have used thumb tacks but they don't hold too to well and they look 'tackey'. :) Ha Ha
    My 2, Willie X
     
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  15. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I've never used more than one hook. Note that this approach also works well with Ogees.
     
  16. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Bangs, try the carpet tacks on OGs. This will give you a good excuse to buy a tack hammer. Willie X
     
  17. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    When I purchased the tubular bell floor clock from Hermle, it arrived with 3 square cross section, cardboard tubes about 4 inches long positioned between the pulleys and the underside of the movement platform. As above, the cardboard tubes had then been held firmly in position by cranking the pulleys up. The cardboard tubes had been made to allow the cables to enter grooves on either side of each tube. Very effective. I therefore have been making my own and use the same set over and over again. I like Willie's idea too - sounds very effective.
    At one time I used to rely on the cable guards holding the cables during delivery - I used to find that bunching the cables together, leaving the pulleys in position, and then tying with string, was very reliable. I deliver all clocks laying flat so the bunched up cables/pulleys just flopped backward over the movement platform and its own weight kept the cables firmly in position. It was only when I saw how Hermle had secured the cables that I decided to do things differently. Have to say though that I never had any issues doing it the way I used to do it!
    Wow - I also quite like your method too but is it not a little tricky when it comes to securing the time train cable?
    :)
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    There are ideas here I might try, but please don't transport any English longcase without removing the movement and dial. Even if some previous owner or helpful repair person has fixed the seatboard in this is not a safe way to transport them.
     
  19. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Yes, the results can be sad indeed. Especially if it falls over in transit! I've seen several clocks totalled in transit. One customer had paid a 'crateing service' $750 to build a beautiful crate and $900 to the moving company. Unfortunately it was loose in the box and shipped upside down. The clock case and movement had broken into many pieces, some of which had sifted out of holes punched in the bottom (actually the top) of the box. Oh well, Willie X
     
  20. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Yes, I used to ship the floor clocks in custom built wooden cases which I made myself. I shipped them all over Europe! However some were delivered upside down, some had been smashed due to heavy objects being placed on the boxes, glass smashed, weights damaged, movements damaged etc! It got that bad that I quit using couriers and now do nationwide personal deliveries here in the UK. I have lots of interest in other countries such as France, Switzerland, Amsterdam etc but I'm not really interested in travelling any further! Never again will I use a courier!
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I prefer moving long case clocks with their back down. You're asking for trouble if you transport them standing up. And you can't trust people in the shipping business. I've seen them throwing packages into trucks!
     
  22. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Yes, that's the way I deliver them Shutt, clocks placed back down! Never had any trouble in all the years i have been trading since 1990. I have never removed a movement from a clock and never experienced any problems. I just ensure that the platform is well fixed and likewise the movement. I place the clocks flat onto soft blankets which offer lots of padding and overall protection. I always drive carefully too.
    As you say I have seen boxes literally thrown and kicked across the floor! I once took a clock in a properly made wooden packing case to Essex to be shipped to Malta. The box was unloaded and all went okay. As I drove away and got to the end of the road I happened to look through the rear view mirror and I could see one of the workers at the place actually laying flat on top of the box! It really annoyed me, but that one actually found its way to the customer without damage!
    Anyway, I wouldn't use a courier anymore - I'm done with them!
     

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