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  1. #1
    Registered user. gleber's Avatar
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    Default Is it contagious?

    I just picked up a new old Jeromes and Darrow column and splat clock and am starting some restoration/repairs. Initial thread here: http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?1...-Jerome-Darrow

    Can someone tell me what this crusty stuff is, what created it and if there is a recommended procedure to remove it?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is kind of hard and crackly and crunchy. It is pretty obvious that it formed due to the accumulation of dust, but did it affect the paint causing it to split and peel or how did it grow and harden? I presume that if I scrape it off, it will be down to bare wood.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: gleber)

    Yes, you will have to sand the whole thing back to do it properly. It could simply be that something was spilled on it that reacted with the coatings but it is also possible that one of the various dry rot type fungi have been active at some time, in which case you will have to replace the piece.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: gleber)

    Start with something that won't have it down to bare wood unnecessarily. I would use GOJO waterless hand cleaner (without pumice) and a tooth brush, then see what you have under the dirt.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  4. #4
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: harold bain)

    Yes. It is best to always start cautiously. Sometimes it is an easy and simple fix.

  5. #5
    Registered user. MartinM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: roughbarked)

    Every clock has its own special life experiences.
    I got one from a lady that had what initially looked like what you're seeing, but it had it on the dial, as well.
    Turns out it's been in her bathroom for a couple of decades, never running. It was on a wall that was the perfect place for her 1970s/1980s self to be able to hit it with the hairspray and blow dryer. Imagine several thousand days of that along with the normal daily dust getting in on the action.
    Alcohol, vinegar and Murphy's Oil finally cleared it up.
    Living life at eight beats per minute.

  6. #6
    Registered User Sooth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: MartinM)

    It's likely caused by a combination of age, cleaning (oils/soap), dust, grime, changes in temperature and humidity, and the shellac itself. I have several clocks with the exact same thing, and I have just left it exactly as-is. It is normally in the "impossible to clean" spots, so it really doesn't bother me.

  7. #7
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: Sooth)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sooth View Post
    It's likely caused by a combination of age, cleaning (oils/soap), dust, grime, changes in temperature and humidity, and the shellac itself. I have several clocks with the exact same thing, and I have just left it exactly as-is. It is normally in the "impossible to clean" spots, so it really doesn't bother me.
    Depending on the situation there is always the leave well alone attitudinal approach. However, if you want to be frightened into changing something, then add dry rot to the argument. Wood worm, whatever.

    The general thing is, that restoration is the real reason most people on this forum actually are here for and it is restoration that makes the purchases.

    Some of us would buy fully restored watches or clocks, but I wouldn't. It is the challenge.

    eg: since I've been back at the bench, it is only about 18 months. I've not purchased a new quartz watch movement. I've simply repaired the ones that my predecessor tossed out by fitting new movements.

    On the American pickers TV show, restored pieces don't get the price that pieces in need of restoration get.

  8. #8
    Registered user. gleber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: Sooth)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sooth View Post
    It's likely caused by a combination of age, cleaning (oils/soap), dust, grime, changes in temperature and humidity, and the shellac itself. I have several clocks with the exact same thing, and I have just left it exactly as-is. It is normally in the "impossible to clean" spots, so it really doesn't bother me.
    Thanks Sooth,

    Given the extent, I think it is best to leave it alone other than a mild reduction to make it a little less noticeable (and then continued cleaning to keep it from getting worse). It doesn't look like there is an underlying problem that will fester away.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Registered user. gleber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: roughbarked)

    Quote Originally Posted by roughbarked View Post

    ...

    The general thing is, that restoration is the real reason most people on this forum actually are here for and it is restoration that makes the purchases.

    Some of us would buy fully restored watches or clocks, but I wouldn't. It is the challenge.

    eg: since I've been back at the bench, it is only about 18 months. I've not purchased a new quartz watch movement. I've simply repaired the ones that my predecessor tossed out by fitting new movements.

    On the American pickers TV show, restored pieces don't get the price that pieces in need of restoration get.
    I agree 100%. As a hobbyist, and not taking a wage, I tend to appreciate my clocks that have required the most care much more than the ones I bought in running condition. Maybe it's a Florence Nightingale-like desire, or a strange reverse Stockholm syndrome thing, or heaven rejoicing over a single repentant sinner, but more likely it's just the satisfaction of a challenging and successful experience.

    Tom

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: gleber)

    Might be just wax, dirt dust & shellac Baked in a 150 degree summer attic for a number of years. Touch a small artist brush or Q-Tip soaked with denatured alcohol, or Grain alcohol to it. If it melts away, then it's baked shellac.
    The man who knows how to make it work will always have a job, The man who knows why it makes it work will always be his boss. Website http://sailorsandsettlersantiques.com

  11. #11
    Registered user. gleber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it contagious? (By: BLKBEARD)

    Quote Originally Posted by BLKBEARD View Post
    Might be just wax, dirt dust & shellac Baked in a 150 degree summer attic for a number of years. Touch a small artist brush or Q-Tip soaked with denatured alcohol, or Grain alcohol to it. If it melts away, then it's baked shellac.
    Thanks Blkbeard,

    I'll test that. I suspect if it works, cleaning it will strip it back to bare wood though, so I'll have to see if I can go easy enough. The columns are square nailed from the front, so I don't even want to think about removing them to work in the crevice area between the column and the door.

    Tom

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