Need help with silk suspension

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by heifetz17, Jun 28, 2020.

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  1. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Hey guys, this is an 1850s French movement and my first time working with a silk suspension. Can someone point me in the right direction on where to find a replacement and how to repair it? These pictures are before my overhaul, so the movement has already been cleaned and oiled and is now functional, I just need to replace the suspension. Does this require a special pendulum bob?

    Also it’s missing the chime. Would this have been just a bell like normal?

    View attachment 597889 View attachment 597890

    69697322-9E2C-4801-A847-3FD7A8E55258.jpeg B5EB3635-AAF3-4F9E-AFC0-BAC5C1713D8B.jpeg
     
  2. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Can't view your pictures.

    Uhralt
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    The 'silk suspension' is just a loop of thread (nowadays usually cotton). One end of the thread is fixed to the static post and the other loops round the moveable post, to form a loop for the pendulum to be hung from. The loop can be shortened or lengthened by turning the moveable post, to get the timekeeping right.

    It would have had the usual French pendulum which you can get from the clock supplies companies.

    Yes, the strike would have been on a bell. These are also available to buy.

    JTD

    PS Your pictures are showing now, at least I can see them.
     
  4. Jaap

    Jaap Registered User

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    You can use the dental floss from jordan.
     
  5. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I suppose you can, but I think it is rather thick. I prefer to use button thread, which is very strong but also thin.

    But it is a matter of what you like best, I suppose.

    JTD
     
  6. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    I use Spidrwire, which is a thin Kevlar fishing line. Unaffected by humidity.

    RC
     
  7. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    That is a good recomendation Robert, the spider wire.
     
  8. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Thanks everyone! I’ll look into the spider wire for sure!
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    The only difficulty with Spyderwire is that the stuff is manufactured on the Planet Krypton: you can't cut it without a major effort. It's fine to use otherwise because it's a bit stiff, so it threads through holes and knots easily enough, but then you have to cut it off or you'll be sending the clock back home with a roll of fish line as an accessory. Wire cutters: nope. Pocket knife: nope. Razor blade: not really. I forgot how I finally got it cut.

    Now I have a whole roll of it minus five inches. It would make a great trip wire.
     
    Royce likes this.
  10. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I guess it's every man for himself, but I'm sticking to button thread. Super strong and never had a problem with it.

    JTD
     
  11. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I think I like your button thread, too. I just never knew what it was called. I'll inquire at JoAnn Fabrics, whose patient ladies have endured me for many years now in my searches for crochet hooks (splendid for helper springs) and assorted craft supplies that I mis-use for clock repair.
     
  12. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    According to the Internet of things, ceramic scissors work well. Blades can be brittle though.
     
  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    You must not be using the same product that I use. What I have is braided and green in color. It is quite limp and flexible. No problem cutting with a new single edge razor blade or a good sharp pair of scissors. The only difficulty is if you don't get a good clean cut it is hard to poke through a tiny hole. As you can see, the end cut clean with a razor blade.

    RC

    spiderwire.jpg
     
  14. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    What's wrong with silk thread?
     
  15. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Nothing that I know of.
     
  16. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I think the bell post is intact. If you're missing the bell you could probably find one on Ebay. Just measure the distance from the post to the hammer for an approximate radius.
     
  17. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Note that when you're done with your silk-thread suspension you'll have a pendulum that doesn't behave very well. It'll swing, but it'll wobble. That, I think, is why these were replaced by suspension springs, which I didn't appreciate prior to dealing with silk thread suspensions.
     
  18. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I've never found that with this type of suspension. Pendulum wobble is most often caused by something not lined up perpendicular one straight in line with the swing.

    RC
     
  19. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Hmm. I had a miserable time with the things. They seem to settle down okay. I'll ask for instructions if one ever comes by again. Thanks.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  20. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    They usually wobble for a while after you pushed to start the pendulum. After a while the pendulum will swing fine if the crutch is perpendicular to the pendulum rod.

    Uhralt
     
  21. Jaap

    Jaap Registered User

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    #21 Jaap, Jul 1, 2020 at 3:22 PM
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 3:34 PM
    A tiny drop of superglue at the end will help.
    Kevlar 250 lb braided fishing line 1mm thick works great for fusee clocks.
     
  22. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Sometimes cutting with a hot blade will solve the issue too.
     

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