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  1. #1
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Question Wood Movement Securing Pins

    Hello, Beloved Clock Collecting Friends!

    I have a hopefully simple question. A wooden movement in a David Dutton clock in my collection has unusual pins securing the plates together. Instead of the usual wooden toothpicks or wood slivers holding them, the plates are put together with odd brass pins of a sort I've never seen before.

    They look like standard taper pins used to hold the hands on the minute posts of most movements, but these are large and threaded on the ends. The threading looks to me to be a bit primitive. So, my question here is what exactly are these pins? Are they used for something in the clock repairing world, something else, or could they be original?

    I have no idea what was originally used to hold movement plates in place, as almost all of the movements I've seen have used modern toothpicks or much newer wood slivers. I have one movement with large hollow cactus thorns employed, but I really don't think these are original.

    I know that in the early days of wood movement clocks, brass was expensive, so I'm pretty certain that these pins are not original, but I'm curious to know what they are. All four pins on the movement match, and I do know that the movement has been disassembled by a prior owner/repair person. The pins do, however, fit perfectly in the holes in the movement posts.

    Looking forward to thoughts and opinions!

    Best always,

    George Nelson
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: George Nelson)

    George,

    Although I have never seen pins like these, out of curiosity, are they all the same length?

    If not, then perhaps fashioned out of some other tapered stock.

    Regards,
    Dick

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: Dick C)

    These are, as you suspect, not original. I've had hundreds of movements in hand, and a few still have their original pins, which are wood, and very nicely made. George Bruno once told me that he thought perhaps a few were fitted with honey locust thorns, suitably modified to make a blunt pin. I haven't seen any of those that I know of.
    NAWCC 25131

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    I'm curious. What does an original pin look like? I don't think I have ever seen one, or at least that I recognized. Picture? Thanks,

  5. #5
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: MikeA)

    Hi, All,

    Dick C., yes, the pins are all identical in length.

    Peter, I too, would LOVE to see a picture of an original pin or two for my "originality files". I keep a file on genuine, original parts as a reference. A picture of true, original pins would be most welcome!

    Best to all,

    George

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins



    Here is a picture of a pin from a Silas Hoadley 8 day wooden tall case movement. Note the differential oxidation. This pin is just 1" in length, and is representative of what I've seen over the years. (it's about 2.25 mm thick at the top)
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  7. #7
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    Ah, Peter, thanks SO MUCH! It is amazing how much work went into our old wood movements- that pin looks like it was carved, and I can't imagine how much time it must have taken to put out a bunch of them. Much more finely finished than I had imagined. Lets see... five pins per movement, likely more than 100,000 movements produced over the years (probably much more) equals a minimum of 500,000 hand whittled pins out there at one time. Half a million pins!!! Mind boggling to me.

    Thanks for being so prompt and continuing to help us all learn,

    George Nelson

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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: George Nelson)

    Thank you for the info.

  9. #9
    Registered User tom427cid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: George Nelson)

    Hi George,
    The pins-tapered brass with some sort of thread on the small taper-these are dial pins. I have seen them mostly on high grade German movements,can't say for sure if the americans used them. They also had a brass knob on the large end. They are a lot easier to remove than a hammered in taper pin.
    Hope this helps.
    tom
    "keep 'em runnin' "

  10. #10
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: tom427cid)

    Tom,

    My- it certainly DOES help! I was certain the pins were not original, but had never seen any like them. Thanks so very much for answering my question. So, these pins are used to secure a dial, from the back, I'm assuming, on German-made movements. Thanks to you, I have just learned something I did not have a clue about before. Your kindness and time are most appreciated.

    Warmest regards,

    George Nelson

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: George Nelson)

    Why would dial pins have this mutilated coarse thread at the end?
    They look like brass wood screws that have been turned or filed down into taper pins.

  12. #12
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Movement Securing Pins (By: Bill Ward)

    Hi, Bill,

    This is just a guess for me, but my thinking is that the "rough" ends would cause a bit of friction, and thus be less likely to back out of position as a movement vibrated during striking or winding. Just a bit of speculation, but it seems logical to my simple mind. Anyone else have any ideas about this?

    My best to all,

    George

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