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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: RJSoftware)

    I am with you RJ. We have no idea who did some of these repairs that we think belong in the HOS. Way back when these were just utilitarian devices and if it stopped you just wanted to get it going again.

    I don't hesitate to use solder if I think it will make a robust reliable repair. What disturbs me more is the damage done by leaving the corrosive flux all over the place.

    Perhaps even in Bangster's solder 101 tutorial more emphasis could be placed on the correct selection of flux and the importance of removing all traces of corrosive fluxes. I wish I knew what make of flux I have. It can sit on copper or brass for years and not have any damaging effects.

    David
    David S

  2. #32

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron...

    Personally, I'm not focused on the person but rather the person's *repair*. Perhaps it's hard to separate the two but instances like this or like many (not all) of the entries in the "Hall of Shame" thread offer opportunities to learn. It's often said that you learn more from your mistakes. That doesn't mean that you can not learn from the mistakes of others as well. The mission statement of the NAWCC is as follows:

    Our mission is to provide methodologies, resources, and encouragement to inventory; and to preserve, repair, restore, and disseminate knowledge about America’s public clocks as a public service resulting in heightened visibility for, and a sense of satisfaction to, NAWCC, its members, and its chapters.

    To the extent that examples such as these are used as learning opportunities, I think they help fulfill the NAWCC's stated mission. If someone just want's to laugh at the work, well, that's their business too. Who am I to judge? I'm here to learn and to help others if I can.


  3. #33
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    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron...

    You guys are good guys and not to worry. But (for me) the logic of HOS is not really there.

    Take for example I could take a sludge hammer and bash a clock into pieces and then sell it as "Possibly repairable".

    Now, if you look at it in a positive light you might say to yourself, "Wow what a challenge, I wonder if I could actually fix the thing".

    Or

    you could say to yourself "Wow, I got to display this p.o.s. cringe worthy clock on the HOS".

    I know you see the difference. One way is more productive and positive.

    Now focus forward, a link to your good repair job gives your clock the honor it deserves. Some future newbian see's your repair and is inspired by it. Inspired to do it right, the way you did it.

    It is good when newbians leave bread crumbs behind of their experiences. Because when we forget later we can't relate. What becomes our "old hat" or second nature is taken for granted. So much is lost in translation/relation.

    Newbians should never hesitate for advise on any opinions or questionable repair. We can all respectfully disagree and that is healthy exchange.

    But, no shame, ever..!


    RJ
    Last edited by RJSoftware; 07-17-2017 at 11:48 AM.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: RJSoftware)

    Understood RJ and I hear what you're saying.

    Appreciation of antique clocks does require historical context. Maintenance of them probably should too.

    The problem is that in considering an "amateur" repair, there's just no way for us to know what the particular circumstances were. In most cases we don't even know how old the repair is. The clock is still in existence and so some argue that "The repair, although not very pretty, kept the clock in existence so it did the job. Can you do it any better?". That's fair I think.

    Professionals here sometimes lament the prolific work of some hack in their area. I'm no Professional but I can understand their anger or amusement with the work of "hacks" especially if they still have love for their field.

    So I just choose to focus on results and how best to improve upon them with what I can bring to the bench.

    I think that the best of the HOS entries are kind of a combination of your two examples. Even if the OP doesn't post his or her efforts to correct the issue, there are many excellent Horologists here who may be inclined to post their assessments or perhaps offer their advice to the OP or others (if asked) as to how to proceed with meeting the "challenge". I guess it comes down to what you want to put in/get out of the Message Board at any particular point in time. Humans can be a moody bunch, but we do like to laugh. To that extent, laughter at the work of some anonymous repairer of clocks doesn't advance the goals of the NAWCC but it can foster a sense of satisfaction if it prompts newbies to put in the effort to do better.

    For example, this discussion will prompt me to put more thought and effort into correcting a problem like this in the future because of comments and observations made in the thread, I now know that I could have done a better job. If, while working in isolation, I hadn't already known better I might very well have tried to use solder to fix it....::nervous laughter::

    Regards,

    Bruce


  5. #35

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: Time After Time)

    Another interesting thread. I can tell you as a newbie these threads serve two purposes for me. 1) To learn and learn some more about how to approach a repair properly and 2) They inspire me to do the best repair I am able. Without a doubt my repairs will get better as I go along but I know what the end goal should be.

    For example, I picked up this clock on the weekend. As I am breaking it down for evaluation, I see there is a large, rather ugly blob of solder holding the hammer arm to the plate. I mean, it's probably been there for decades and served it's purpose but I just don't think I can button it back up without trying to improve the job.

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  6. #36
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    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: woodlawndon)

    Well at least there isn't old flux all over the place...at least it doesn't look like it.

    When I encounter some of these repairs, I will often consult with the owner to see if perhaps there is some family history here. If the repair seems robust and reliable, even though perhaps not what I would recommend from scratch, we have sometimes agreed to leave it as part of its legacy because "Gramp", or "Dad", probably repaired it.

    David
    David S

  7. #37

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron...

    You bring up an important point David. Much of what I do involves working on my own clocks or restoring antique clocks that I'm proud to offer to the public. If you are doing work for someone on one of their clocks, everything pretty much begins and ends with their informed decision(s) beginning with their decision to bring the clock to you in the first place.


  8. #38

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron...

    A repair that, by current standards, is a disaster....is a disaster, no matter what the standards may have been back then. It's something to be avoided, not emulated because it was once peachy-keen.

    Isz what I think.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: woodlawndon)

    Quote Originally Posted by woodlawndon View Post
    For example, I picked up this clock on the weekend. As I am breaking it down for evaluation, I see there is a large, rather ugly blob of solder holding the hammer arm to the plate.
    I've seen many instances where solder has been used on the hammer assembly. I think it's always helpful to keep in mind that solder is not a structural material. Folks who keep adding blobs of it to "strengthen" the joint just don't understand how to use it properly. French Movements often employ solder but you'd be very hard pressed to see it. I don't blame you for wanting to clean up the mess. Have fun.


  10. #40

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    A repair that, by current standards, is a disaster....is a disaster, no matter what the standards may have been back then. It's something to be avoided, not emulated because it was once peachy-keen.

    Isz what I think.
    Hard to argue with bangster. The bodge the OP shared with us was a disaster in its own right, and a much larger disaster waiting to happen.


  11. #41
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    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: Time After Time)

    I can understand why one might punch a bushing to tighten
    it up ( I don't much care for the damage though ). I just can't
    reason why on a simple count wheel someone might hack saw the
    back plate to replace a mainspring.
    The thinking is so wrong, it just would never have been an option
    in my mind.
    Tinker Dwight

  12. #42

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    I just can't
    reason why on a simple count wheel someone might hack saw the
    back plate to replace a mainspring.
    The thinking is so wrong, it just would never have been an option
    in my mind.
    Tinker Dwight
    I've seen two of them so far, and hope not to see another!
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    A repair that, by current standards, is a disaster....is a disaster, no matter what the standards may have been back then. It's something to be avoided, not emulated because it was once peachy-keen.

    Isz what I think.
    I agree with your thinking on this matter, and as I some times say, "just because it ticks does not mean that it's fixed". Still one needs to consider the complete context of the situation. If I buy an old clock at a yard sale its mine to do with as I please according to my own objectives. If I end up creating a disaster its MY disaster and perhaps my punishment and lesson learned. The acceptable methods one might use to restore a museum piece can be significantly different from those one might employ to get a few more years from that $5 yard sale piece. Solder has a place in clock repair, perhaps a much smaller place in clock making. The important thing is to know the limitation of soldering and when it may be ok or not ok in a given situation. A solder job does not have to be a disaster and does not have to look like a disaster.

    My first clock was an Ansonia LaFrance iron mantel clock, a pretty ordinary clock that was pretty much worn out. My objective in 1967 was to make it run again and not spend any money having someone else fix it, didn't have any money anyway. Well, I got it running even though is sounded a little strange. Knowing nothing, I concluded the pallet strip (verge) needed to be bent to a different shape - bad move. Why after 100+ years would it need bending? Anyways I didn't know that these things were hardened so it busted in half! So I stuck it back together using something similar to JB-Weld. Nasty gob of stuff sure looked like a hack job but it the clock ticked and kept time. That was my objective, so objective accomplished and I learned about hardened pallet strips as a bonus! That was some decades ago and I have since rebuilt that movement using more acceptable methods............except that patched together verge. It runs fine and that was my objective so I just left that part the way is was. It my clock, my 'disaster' if will, I like it, I run it every day, and if anyone don't like it, well........... they can select a different method that fits their goals and objective. I wouldn't use that method today, don't want to end up in the HOS you know.

    RC

  14. #44

    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron...

    Putting the Devil's Advocate aside, I'm guessing you couldn't care less about the HOS RC. I do know that if your LaFrance came across my bench and I was trying to restore it to some semblance of an appropriately aged and well maintained antique clock, I wouldn't be happy about having to replace the MacGyver'ed verge, but it comes with the territory. If that clock did somehow come across my bench, I'm sure you wouldn't (and probably couldn't) care less about my state of mind, either. Bent strip verges do wear out so I'd get it done, and probably with an appropriately adjusted, pre-manufactured replacement. I wouldn't consider that to be a "disaster" and I certainly wouldn't equate it with the "repairs" which started this thread.


  15. #45
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    Default Re: Please step away from the soldering iron... (By: R. Croswell)

    My first attempt to adjust the depth of the pallets on a tall
    clock ( cheap Chinese clock ) ended in bending the escapement
    wheel teeth.
    Like you RC, it was a learning lesson.
    If anyone notices, the teeth show the abuse. It doesn't have
    perfect beat if you listen carefully. Still, I don't intend to clean it
    up and it runs fine otherwise. If the movement ever fails I'll
    most likely just replace the movement. The case is nice.
    Tinker Dwight

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