Longcase Crutch  repair

Longcase Crutch  repair

An early Longcase Clock came into the workshop and the lower end of the crutch was missing, this is how the repair was done

The two holes drilled in 1/16th steel plate, marked out
and ready for sawing

Sawing the slot

Rather than scribe out the crutch shape onto 1/16th steel plate and then work to the lines, I thought I would show a way that I find easier. It’s a bit of reverse engineering; the crutch shape is generated from the slot formed in the plate.

Most English LC clocks have the pendulum leader, around 3/16 inch thick so 2 holes 3/16 diameter were drilled on the steel plate, no attempt at marking out was done, I just drilled the holes at about  inch centres.

Both sides of the plate were rubbed down with 400 wet or dry paper to remove the burrs and one side is coated with some form of marking fluid, for these small jobs I like to use a red permanent marker pen.

A straight edge and scriber was used to draw 2 lines joining the outside edge of the holes, a piercing saw was used to remove the waste.

Having filled out the corners and tidied the slot, a set of dividers were used to scribe around the slot, this will generate the crutch shape.

I included a tailpiece for later joining to the original crutch rod and sawed out the crutch. I tidied the outside edges with needle files and 400 paper; I also rounded part of the tailpiece to match the rod.



Set up in a jewellers clamp for silver soldering


An angle was filled on the new part and the original rod, this is known as a scarf join, it gives a larger surface area for the silver solder and is stronger than a butt join.

Once the parts are joined, it’s just a case of blending the join with needle files and emery sticks or paper wrapped around a small file.

The long sides of the slot are filled and burnished with a radius to stop pinching of the pendulum in use, job done.

The finished repair