How to bend a new Crutch–without breaking it

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  • #50151
    winemaker1949
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 3

    Hello All
    New to the group and clock repair.
    I’m about to retire after a 40 year career as winemaker and have taken up clock repair-restoration as a hobby. So far, I’ve gotten 5 up and keeping great time.
    With nearly all of these I’ve noticed that I have what seems to be very sensitive crutch. The brass (I believe) wire seems to have lost its stiffness and bends easily. I remove the pendulum bob before I move the clock from my work area to its new spot in our home. Sometimes that works fine, others no.
    So, I’ve tried to make a new verge in hopes that the crutch portion will be stiffer and keep its shape. Every time I try to bend the new verge wire it snaps. What gives; I’m I supposed to heat the wire first.
    Or maybe I’m not interpreting the overall symptoms correctly. I’ve cleaned the disassembled works. Done bushing work where needed. Replaced some springs I felt were shot, otherwise just cleaned and re-greased the existing springs.
    I searched the site I did not see a topic on crutch work. Sorry If I missed it.
    Thank you-
    David M.

    #65093
    Anonymous
    • Topics Started: 14
    • Total Posts: 129

    Hello David & congratulations on your upcoming retirement!
    American movement? Sounds like that’s what you are dealing with. Always a good idea to post information or images of movement in question since the types of clocks are endless. If it is an American movement with escape wheel mounted outside the movement then the crutch should be bendable. I keep an assortment of American verges with wire crutches attached to use as replacements for worn verges or tired crutches. These assortments can be purchased from most US clock material supply houses.
    Hope this helps David
    Best Dan

    #65094
    winemaker1949
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 3

    Thanks Dan
    Its a Seth Thomas mantel clock.
    I have new verges that I’ve tried to bend at the bottom into the needed loop.
    Every time I’ve tried this the crutch snaps as if the metal is too brittle.
    Do I need to heat the metal first?
    Thanks again-
    David M

    #65095
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi David,
    Yes you are correct. I heat the bending point just to where it begins to turn red and then bend with a small pair of round nosed tapered pliers. You can make multiple bends when heated. Otherwise a bend or two can work harden the brass enough to break. Looks like your crutches won’t even take a single bend so definitely try heating to see how that goes.
    Welcome to the forum, good luck and most of all, Have Fun David!
    Bob

    #65096
    winemaker1949
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 3

    Hello Bob & Thanks You!!
    I’ll give that a try.
    Thanks to all-
    David M

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winemaker1949How to bend a new Crutch–without breaking it