• My clock is running beautifully - but I've noticed that the string has already managed to untie itself from the barrel (fortunately, not a problem, as it's held in place by the wound string) - and I'm also thinking it might end up looking a bit shabby in years to come as the string gets grubby from pulling it to wind the clock up. (Obviously, you can't use the 'handle' all the way without getting onto the floor!)

    Any thoughts about alternatives to the string provided - I was looking a some thin multi-stranded wire rope at the DIY store the other day - 1.5mm is too thick - but there are other, thinner grades, available online.
  • You are of course right, as the Septimus is wound by pulling on the string, it will in time start to become grubby, as the string is a readily available item, I would just replace it when you no longer like the look of it, it is quickly and easily done. Another solution would be to use a darker/black string. I can not say much about wire rope, apart from, the more strands the more flexible it becomes, but it would have to be very flexible to wind around the small diameter winding barrel.

  • Thanks - a friend has suggested looking at fishing wire - which I'll try and get some from colleagues - it should be very flexible, very durable and won't annoy the heck out of me with fraying (which string does).
  • I use braided fishing line, at less than .25mm diameter it will hold over 12 kgs and is almost invisible.
  • Wow - I wouldn't have dared to go that thin. Thanks for the tip - can it just be knotted like thin string?
  • Any simple knot works fine and seems to hold well, i built up a good winding on spool however as was worried it may have cheese cutter effect on wooden spool. Mine is coloured black but am tempted to try clear at around 3 or 4 kgs which would be around .15mm and truly invisible.
  • I forgot to mention do not use the common mono filament line, i tested some a friend gave me for sea fishing with a breaking strain of 50lbs and with a 4 pint milk container full of water it stretched about 4 inches in one night. The stuff i use is called soft steel braid from fox rage (no its not steel) probably made from Dacron or polyester. Also look up knots for fishing to attach as there are some very neat and strong ones out there. Finally you are best to use good sharp nail clippers to cut as scissors tend to fray but a brief touch on end with a lighter flame (yes i still smoke David) will tidy it up.
    Hope that helps.
  • Kite line would be another alternative - thin and strong and available in black so you can be as grubby as you like!
  • @George
    0.15 mm, that is thin! and of course 4 kgs holding strength would be no problem for a clock weight, plus if they specify 4 kgs then it will hold at least twice as much, especially as it is a constant pull and not the intermittent jerks of landing a Barracuda :-)

    But how is it with the haptic when used as a winding string, I know it is only the case of lifting 1kg (Septimus) but I would think the thinner the more it will cut into the hand, so Wembley if you do decide to go for thin fishing line, please let us know how it works out.

    By the way George, it seems to me, we will only kick the habit when we are no longer able to draw breath, a bit sad really.
  • I'm more worried about deformation of the string under stress, rather than it damaging the barrel assembly. Plus need to find someone who can sell me a relatively small length of the stuff - I've absolutely no need for 150m of fishing line!
  • My wife was in the curtain industry and has some cord used to make "roman blinds". It looks to be cotton but may be synthetic and is 1.3mm diameter. She calls it "Roman blind cord". Sorry I can not be more specific. My Sextus will wind 1500mm onto 25mm of drum. I think it looks nicer than the braided line I tried to start with.
    The curtain shop sold this cord by the meter
  • I finally replaced the supplied string this week - I kept having a problem (due to my lack of knowledge of knots) that when the clock had unwound fully, the weight, now pulling directly on the knots, kept deforming them and pulling them out through the holes in the barrel. Instead, I've now purchased some of this:
    And instead of having two lengths knotted on the barrel, instead used a single length which will rely on the friction of the barrel to prevent it slipping. This should be a better solution than having two separate strings.
    Only problem with this is that I brought the 1.5mm string - but it's much nearer to 2mm in diameter and while it works on the clock fine (and doesn't fray like three-ply string did) it's thick enough to not quite hang completely straight on the winder-side. I've ordered some of the thinner string to see if that's better.
  • Just an idea but either artificial sinue comes in different colours or waxed cotton cord. Both used for stitching leather. And easily available and cheap.
  • Hi All,
    Does anyone know if it's possible to use a relatively fine, brass chain instead of string?
  • I have only ever seen chains used on the drive of a clock when they have been run over a sprocket of some kind, so that the weight hangs off one side and the rest of the chain hangs on the other, then a simple pull on the chain loose end will rewind/lift the weight.

    Do not really see any advantages in using a chain instead of string on a normal winding barrel, depending on size I could imaging the barrel becoming pretty full, maybe even catching on the links still on the barrel as it unwinds?

    The only reason I could see for choosing a chain is if you really wanted to :-)
  • Many thanks, Dave. That all makes sense. Will investigate what size chain would be required to hold the weight, and then work out whether that size would become too bulky and/or catch on unwind. But I have a brass finish to parts of the overall clock in mind, and the chain would be the final flourish.........provided that it worked, of course! Will let you know. Thanks again.