Opinions on weight cord

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by MLS, Sep 15, 2018.

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  1. MLS

    MLS Registered User
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    Feb 2, 2018
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    i need to restring a 2 weight Vienna soon and wanted to know what the consensus was as to material.

    Old gut came off the strike train and heavy monofilament off the time side.

    Is gut still used or braided line?


    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    You will find no "consensus" here, Ha.

    I prefer a tightly braided synthetic line. Most lines are sold by breaking strength plus (maybe) a small margin for safety. A Kevlar line for your application will have a rated strength of 100 to 200 pounds, nylon or polyester much less, probably 30 to 60 pounds. These materials will give you a safety factor of 20x to 130x !

    On synthetics, if you can find the actual diameter, that's the best indicator to go by, breaking strength is not an issue. Viennas typically need a line of about .030" or .75mm. You can easily calculate this ... there should always be a little space left on the drum when fully wound and about 3/4 turn left when the weight is setting on the floor.

    Monofillament is actually a pretty good choice. However, it can break if it is nicked or abraided and it's one of the worst at birdsnesting. However, neither of these should be an issue in normal operation.
    Good luck, Willie X
     
  3. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

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    I am with Willie on this one.
    Gut is an organic animal product (not from cats but sheep). It would be a shame to find some bug had chewed it in two or that it had deteriorated for some reason. Monofillament maybe, but it will birdsnest and is not UV resistant. It starts out kind of stiff and gets stiffer with age. Synthetic braids are flexible and strong. I have dyed them with shoe polish when necessary. I am dead set against brass cable. It is too big a hassle.
    Where are the purists hanging out this afternoon?
    Dick
     
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  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    That is curious, two synthetic people and no gut people yet. It won't be long. Willie X
     
  5. breeze

    breeze Registered User

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    Your preaching to the choir from where I'm sitting guys.

    Breeze
     
  6. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
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    I used to use gut, but the quality is not as good as it used to be, so I prefer braided fishing line, doesn't rot and much stronger
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I don't have much experience with Viennas other than the one I own. When I acquired it, it had a bird nest of monofilament. I initially used a Kevlar fishing line but it just looked too thin (although it was many times stronger than needed)and I didn't like the color. I also figured that a bit larger diameter would give the weigh a slightly better mechanical advantage. I ended up using a brass braided cable that has some sort of synthetic core which I purchased from Timesavers. It was very flexible and no trouble to work with and I liked the look. That was probably 9 or 10 years ago and it has never been a problem. In this day and time I just hate the thought of having animal guts in my clocks.

    RC
     
  8. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
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    I use Berkley Fireline 30lb test It's black for stringing these clocks.
     
  9. MLS

    MLS Registered User
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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I may order some synthetic of the same diameter or may try braided fishing line that I used to string an ogee......although I would need to dye it. Just gathering ideas!
     
  10. R&A

    R&A Registered User

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    You may find the braided line fills the drum up to fast because of the thickness. And may give you a shorter run time.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I am a traditionalist, but I don't have viennas.

    However I use high quality gut made by the people who make harpstrings.
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Following Scottie's practice, I use radio dial cord.
     
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  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I just bought some for a couple old radios that I'm working on. Was $0.89 per foot, and of course it does not have any strength rating. Where do you get yours, and how much does it cost?

    RC
     
  14. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Having worked with radio dial cord for many years when it was used in radios, I have a well-honed hatred of the stuff but I will readily admit that it would do a good job in a Vienna regulator if indeed you can find any. I've been favoring braided nylon chalk line from the home improvement store for re-stringing ogee clocks, and I used either that or Timesavers' white nylon cord for the only Vienna regulator I've worked on.

    For grandfather clocks, however, I'll probably have to stick with the brass cable because that's what the customers expect, hideous as it is to work with. They must have started using the brass cable when tall-case clocks got windows and shiny weights and pendulums.

    M Kinsler

    donating his kidneys to urology and his guts to horology.
     
  15. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    #16 bangster, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    That's outrageous. I've bought it by the spool for a few bucks. I'll see if I can find the source.

    See HERE for example.
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    They got shiny weights and pendulum bobs with lenticles and hood side windows in the 17th century, but those brass and steel hawsers turned up a couple of hundred years later. Having seen the damage they can do I won't have the stuff anywhere near my clocks.
     
  18. kdf

    kdf Registered User

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    Recent I used braided fishing line treated with bee wax on some clocks and it is satisfactory. Earlier I have used plastificezed steel cable (diameter cca 0.6mm) and it is also good but has bird nesting habbit. For my clocks I dont mind, but for customer clock should be reliable so braided fishing line is good option for now.
     
  19. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    I use Power Pro Super 8 slick, 80 pound test braided fishing line. The Timber Brown color looks good in a wood case.
    It is a little thin at .018 inches, so there should be plenty of room on the winding drum.
    Hangs straight, does not birds nest. It is a little slippery and can be tricky to tie; use a good knot so it does not slip.
     
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  20. MLS

    MLS Registered User
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    I went with the line Allan suggested above and I like it. I’ve been meaning to post this for 2 months but forgot!
     

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