What is this metal thing?
January 9, 2010 7:17 AM   Subscribe

What is this metal thing, and where can I get another one?

This metal part, and an identical piece, were attached to the back of a large, heavy wooden clock built by my industrial design professor in the early 90's. The other metal part (not pictured) broke when I attempted to move the clock for cleaning, and it looks like this one is also suffering from some metal fatigue as well. The hangers (if that's what they are) are made of (I'm guessing) aluminum, about 2 inches long and fairly thin. No hardware store I've taken it to has any idea what it is, both big-box stores and mom-and-pop places. I'm guessing it's some sort of heavy-duty specialized part that my professor re-purposed for this clock- the hole at the bottom with the little flanges on it is big enough to fit a big lag bolt that holds the parts of the clock together. Give this, I'd be hesitant to try replacing it with a different hanger- it seems like it's pretty integral to the clock itself. I've searched all over the web for it, but haven't found a suitable replacement. Any ideas?
posted by 40 Watt to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I doubt you'll be able to buy a replacement in a local store, but it looks simple enough that a machinist would be able to churn one out for you easily. Maybe try taking it to a machine shop and see if they can fabricate one for you.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:29 AM on January 9, 2010

It looks home made. The larger hole has been made or enlarged with a torch. You won't find it in a store, but you'll find something that can be modified. Easy peasy to make a couple even better than this. Find a handyman.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:30 AM on January 9, 2010

I would go to a local hardware store, not a big box Home Depot type, and ask the old man behind the counter if he could make you a fastener that does the same thing as the one you have in your hand.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:57 AM on January 9, 2010

Response by poster: Just to clarify- the appearance of torch marks on the large hole are actually the metal fatigue I was talking about- the other piece broke along the darker areas you can see in this picture. The piece has been flexed a few times during various moves from city to city over the years. Also, the bolt that goes through that area is a dark metal, so I'm guessing it's just rubbed off on the hanger. I doubt my prof. would have cut this himself- he was economical and wouldn't make something when there might have been an off-the-shelf solution instead. :) Not that I would object to having a part fabricated if absolutely necessary, but I thought there may be an easy way to figure out what this part is.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:02 AM on January 9, 2010

If you have tools or a handy friend it looks pretty straightforward and easy to make. Big box stores and maybe even your local hardware store or even McMaster-Carr sell the stock you need. I'd bend it in a vise and drill a few holes.
posted by fixedgear at 8:03 AM on January 9, 2010

Best answer: Um, it's a metal clock hanger. $1
posted by cda at 8:18 AM on January 9, 2010 [22 favorites]

If it was me, I'd redesign it (or find one) so that the weight of the clock sits on a lip rather than hangs off of a bolt or weld.

Or, I'd bet that you will find remnants of the broken piece under the lag bolt.
posted by gjc at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2010

Response by poster: Um, it's a metal clock hanger. $1

Shit, so it is. Uh... *sheepish grin*

Guess I was so fixated on finding a non-obvious part that it never occurred to me to search for an actual, you know, clock part. Thanks, cda.
posted by 40 Watt at 2:44 PM on January 9, 2010

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