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How to clean a fusee cable

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roy entwistle19/09/2020 21:16:10
1255 forum posts

Hello fellow horologists ( bikers may be of some help also ) I have a skeleton clock to repair. The fusee cable has become detached at the spring barrel end. The trouble I have is that it has been well oiled. How to clean the oil off so that I can resolder the nipple. For any help from the biking community it's a steel Bowden type cable

Thanks in advance


Adrian Downes19/09/2020 21:48:43
13 forum posts
1 photos

As a professional horologist...... I would fix it with a new one.

old mart19/09/2020 21:58:17
1997 forum posts
151 photos

I'm always learning something on this forum, I thought fusees were little chains.

Steviegtr19/09/2020 22:14:58
1509 forum posts
163 photos

I would use cellulose thinners or Acetone. On the old bikes i used to use bakers fluid to tin before soldering the joint.

I guess back then i would have cleaned with petrol as it's all we had available.

A high wattage iron too. Unless you have a wee blowlamp.


Tim Stevens20/09/2020 15:03:46
1268 forum posts

On brake and throttle cables I have found it helpful to make a punch with an end boring to fit over the cable - just, and with a countersink. Mild steel will serve. Grip the cable in a soft-jaw vice, with the nipple above the jaws, leaving about 3-5mm between the nipple and the punch (depending on cable and nipple size), hold the punch dead in line and tap gently. With luck and/or skill the cable will open out into a tiny rosette. Keep tapping until the rosette expands to fill the nipple countersink, remove the punch and cut (or grind) the end of the cable and knock the ends down into the nest. Apply killed spirit, dip into molten solder, allow solder to set, and then into hot water where it can stay for a few minutes (to remove the flux).

And acetone or petrol is best to remove mineral oil - best done outside on a dry day.

Cheers, Tim

Tim Hammond20/09/2020 16:28:16
38 forum posts

Going off-topic slightly, when I was persevering with British motorcycles many years ago, I got so fed up with nipples pulling off clutch cables that I made up new nipples from mild steel and silver soldered them to the cables. Never had a problem after that.

Martin Kyte20/09/2020 16:36:07
2064 forum posts
37 photos

Treat it to a new cable or gut line.

I wonder if these day if it would not be just as well to fill the end of the nipple with araldite or similar after splaying the end of the cable into a nicely prepared conical recess. A lot of the tension on the cable is taken up by the right angled bend as it comes out of the barrel.

If you solder, as I have done in the past you do get some wicking up the cable which makes it less flexible and also a certain amount of discolouration which is unsightly. The other problem with cable is it marks the barrel.

regards Martin

roy entwistle20/09/2020 20:24:40
1255 forum posts

Thank you gentlemen. All I needed to know was how to clean the oil off the cable.


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