Making a small slice in brass to make suspension spring

Darrmann39

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I don't want to pay $65 for the longcase suspension spring and the only thing stopping me at this point is how to make this small slice in the brass. Shown in one already there in the pics.
Will a jeweler's saw work?

20210803_173424.jpg 20210803_173415.jpg
 

bruce linde

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yes... but why would the suspension spring cost so much? have you checked at timesavers?
 

Darrmann39

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yes... but why would the suspension spring cost so much? have you checked at timesavers?
Yes they have two, a basic one and a custom one that I want to try but don't want to try it for that amount.
I have the brass already. Just needed to know the best way to make that small slice.
 

Ralph

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A .005 slitting saw would help.

What I have done a few times, when I need a thin slit, is cut the slit in an oversize piece that will will make your part out of. Put a piece of shim stock in the slit and give it a whack with a hammer. Pull the shim out and make your part.

Ralph
 
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Ralph B

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Why not bend a piece of strip brass in the appropriate "n" shape, put the spring up inside it, squeeze it closed, and then rivet it with a driven taper pin ?
The steel spring will go right to the top of the brass "block".
Before squeezing it close put the required curve on the bottom.
Make the brass slightly wider than required and then file/linish to size when rivetted.
Don't try and make a rivet, simply tap a tapered brass pin through, trim to size, and then flatten.
If you first slightly countersink the hole you've drilled through the flattening will fill it and you can file it off for a perfect finish.
Anyway, that's what I've always done.

Ralph B.
 
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Darrmann39

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Why not bend a piece of strip brass in the appropriate "n" shape, put the spring up inside it, squeeze it closed, and then rivet it with a driven taper pin ?
The steel spring will go right to the top of the brass "block".
Before squeezing it close put the required curve on the bottom.
Make the brass slightly wider than required and then file/linish to size when rivetted.
Don't try and make a rivet, simply tap a tapered brass pin through, trim to size, and then flatten.
If you first slightly countersink the hole you've drilled through the flattening will fill it and you can file it off for a perfect finish.
Anyway, that's what I've always done.

Ralph B.
I see what your saying but I've already got the piece. I already drilled and threaded the hole for the pendulum rod. Just need to make the slice.
I have a jeweler's saw coming. Will be here tomorrow
 

Jim DuBois

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very thin brass or for that matter steel shim stock can be easily cut using conventional household scissors, or sharp metal cutting "tin snips." I have also cut long thin strips of steel shim stock on a paper cutter but it does tend to dull the blade fairly quickly.
 

shutterbug

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They also make thin files for cutting small screw slots. That might work too.
 

Uhralt

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I see what your saying but I've already got the piece. I already drilled and threaded the hole for the pendulum rod. Just need to make the slice.
I have a jeweler's saw coming. Will be here tomorrow
My experience using a Jeweler's saw for a cut like this isn't great. I have a very hard time keeping the slot straight and centered. A slitting saw does a much better job for me.

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shutterbug

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Show us a pic of a slitting saw, Uhralt. I'm not sure what one looks like.
 

Jim DuBois

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here is a slitting saw blade making a .015" slot in a screw head. I have blades down to about .005" inch that would serve the purpose nicely for making end block slots for the suspension spring.

1628091939830.png
 
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Darrmann39

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here is a slitting saw blade making a .015" slot in a screw head. I have blades down to about .005" inch that would serve the purpose nicely for making end block slots for the suspension spring.

View attachment 666003
I saw these after I ordered a jeweler's saw. At this point I have no lathes or anything besides hand drills. I was a carpenter turned newbie clock repair. Mainly my own.
Would that mount my grinding tool?

16280966955454496337264827230240.jpg
 

Darrmann39

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They also make thin files for cutting small screw slots. That might work too.
I have small files nothing in would make that small of a slot. I'll see if jeweler's saw works. Sounds like Uhralt had a hard time. If not I'll look more into slitting saw blade. Looks like a good thing to have anyways

16280969413104155222685255812157.jpg
 

Uhralt

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I saw these after I ordered a jeweler's saw. At this point I have no lathes or anything besides hand drills. I was a carpenter turned newbie clock repair. Mainly my own.
Would that mount my grinding tool?

View attachment 666013
Unfortunately not. The slitting saw shown above is mounted in a small mill or lathe.

Uhralt
 

Willie X

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With the block scribed where you want the slot. Use a jeweler's saw with a #6 blade. Start on one corner @ a 45° angle and try your best to maintain your cut on the line on two faces. If you make a good start just keep sawing, applying no pressure to the blade. Don't worry if the cut is a little wavey, as long as you can force the SS into position. Tight is good. To tight just retrace the cut from the other side, or go to a #5 blade. The bigger blade probably won't be necessary.

Unless you've used a jeweler's saw a good bit, some practice cuts will be necessary. Just remember, slow with no pressure, and the blade needs to be tight in the frame. I would expect a few broken blades on this one cut. :)

Willie X
 
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Vernon

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You might check what X-Acto has to offer. I found this...

1628112888850.png
 
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Jim DuBois

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If you have to do very thin cuts manually may I suggest using a razor saw? They are usually found at hobby stores that sell real balsa wood models and the like. Their blades are very thin and the teeth 20210804_164104.jpg are very fine. I use mine on both wood and brass but not anything steel.
 
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Darrmann39

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With the block scribed where you want the slot. Use a jeweler's saw with a #6 blade. Start on one corner @ a 45° angle and try your best to maintain your cut on the line on two faces. If you make a good start just keep sawing, applying no pressure to the blade. Don't worry if the cut is a little wavey, as long as you can force the SS into position. Tight is good. To tight just retrace the cut from the other side, or go to a #5 blade. The bigger blade probably won't be necessary.

Unless you've used a jeweler's saw a good bit, some practice cuts will be necessary. Just remember, slow with no pressure, and the blade needs to be tight in the frame. I would expect a few broken blades on this one cut. :)

Willie X
Thanks it totally worked first try. Been working on this 1800s longcase and after taking apart fixing quite a few things had it all back together and it was running fast 5 minutes a day. I was positive it needed the pendulum dropped and the but on bob was bottomed out. I added a good inch to the brass on suspension did everything you said. And it's now running a bit slow with lots of adjustment up for the bob.
Here's the pics of new one. And the modified longer one if you can tell. First two new one unmodified 2nd 2 modified

20210809_165546.jpg 20210809_165451.jpg 20210809_165231.jpg 20210809_165229.jpg
 

Willie X

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Usually you would shoot for the crutch eye to be near the middle of the lower block.

On yours, the crutch wire looks short?

Also, the top suspension spring block should be forward from the shown position.

Usually, there is an indentation, or notch, at the top of the hangernpost, to positively locate the suspension springs top block in the post.

Willie X
 

Darrmann39

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Usually you would shoot for the crutch eye to be near the middle of the lower block.

On yours, the crutch wire looks short?

Also, the top suspension spring block should be forward from the shown position.

Usually, there is an indentation, or notch, at the top of the hangernpost, to positively locate the suspension springs top block in the post.

Willie X
You know i was wondering why it wouldn't go back farther the suspension top that is. It's hitting the mount and can't go back farther. Not sure on crutch being in right spot but since doing this I've got it dialed in a lot closer. If I centered it on the brass by shortening the spring I couldn’t accomplish dropping the whole pendulum.
 

Willie X

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Did the original set-up put the crutch near the center of the block? If yes, all you needed to do was lengthen the pendulum rod by about 1/2" or so.

It's common for the threaded ends of these pendulum rods to be broken off. The rating piece (spike), at the bottom can also be broken off at the threads. Any of these defects will result in a short pendulum assembly. And that may have been your original problem.

Willie X
 
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Darrmann39

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Did the original set-up put the crutch near the center of the block? If yes, all you needed to do was lengthen the pendulum rod by about 1/2" or so.

It's common for the threaded ends of these pendulum rods to be broken off. The rating piece (spike), at the bottom can also be broken off at the threads. Any of these defects will result in a short pendulum assembly. And that may have been your original problem.

Willie X
Yes it was way closer to center with other piece.
I didn't think of the rod being broke I did contemplate lengthening the rod but couldn't figure out a great way to do it. Would you have just cut it added a piece the same size and soldered it?
Also would you take the jeweler saw and deepen that slot on the suspension mount?
I couldn't figure out why it doesn't go back further. This is the only type of one you can order. Maybe old one was thinner or something and it was more centered in the mount.

20210701_130337.jpg
 

Willie X

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Yes, some springs were only about 1/8" to 3/16" wide.

Deepening the slot might be your best bet? But spring stock is readily available and plain ole shim stock will work just fine too and can be cut with steel scissors. Pocket watch springs can also be used.

The rod can be easily replaced with standard welding/brazing rods, or off the shelf hardware store mild steel round stock. The size is 5/32" for most and both ends are threaded to fit the blocks. I've seen a few that were spliced but replacing the whole rod might be better, especially if it appears to be a replacement already.

Willie X
 
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Darrmann39

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Yes, some springs were only about 1/8" to 3/16" wide.

Deepening the slot might be your best bet? But spring stock is readily available and plain ole shim stock will work just fine too and can be cut with steel scissors. Pocket watch springs can also be used.

The rod can be easily replaced with standard welding/brazing rods, or off the shelf hardware store mild steel round stock. The size is 5/32" for most and both ends are threaded to fit the blocks. I've seen a few that were spliced but replacing the whole rod might be better, especially if it appears to be a replacement already.

Willie X
So I just deepened the slot on the bracket. I'm thinking there was a different type that was made for these then the ones offered like I got. The top of my bracket really looked like it should except a spring with a simple pin threw it. I deepened it and filed it to except the top block appropriately
The time is keeping dang close about a minute slow now and now to adjust up. So I think I'll just keep what I made with the suspension
I really want to fix things right I tend to over think things as in doing all that with suspension instead of duh get a new rod. But if it was working and you came upon what I did would you change it and say it should have a longer rod and shorter brass in the suspension. Or would you say eh it's done fine and leave it. Thanks
Here's the pic of fix

20210810_161918.jpg
 

Willie X

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That looks good.

It would probably be a good idea to go a bit deeper with the slit in the top post. Then make a small seat for the top piece, so it can't move around. A few strokes with a round (or 4 corner file) in the right place, will do it. This is not absolutely necessary but most clocks will have this feature and it's cheap insurance.

Willie X
 
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Darrmann39

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That looks good.

It would probably be a good idea to go a bit deeper with the slit in the top post. Then make a small seat for the top piece, so it can't move around. A few strokes with a round (or 4 corner file) in the right place, will do it. This is not absolutely necessary but most clocks will have this feature and it's cheap insurance.

Willie X
I did make that seat. It's hard to see. I'll go a little deeper and a little wider with it. Thanks I really appreciate your help
 

shutterbug

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If your movement came to my bench, I'd leave it. You did a good job. Took too much time though :D
 
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