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  1. #1
    John Nagle
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    Default Learn Clock Repair

    Many questions continue to pop up on the message board that are easily answered in a good clock repair guide. It is not always a newbie either.
    I don't think people are reading good repair guides anymore. It is either because they have trouble grasping the approach, too cheap to buy the book{ they could borrow it from a library} or just too lazy to attempt self improvement.
    The books I often see cited as excellent repair guides are often the dregs of the repair world. I think people enjoy them because they have been written by someone with little knowledge of the subject and the reader already knows most of the material or likes the cheap approach in some of the suggested methods.
    I was looking at the activity levels of the various message board categories and one of those with the least activity is the one that could greatly increase your knowledge in clock repair, Horological books.
    The reviews are not always rosy praises and back patting. If a book is a stinker someone will eventually list it. Because there have been so many questions on case repair topcs I listed a slew of books dealing with that subject. Very few read the posts!
    We have many gifted restorers and historians participating on this board but not everything that is provided is from a knowledgable repairer. If you get involved in the study of the craft you will not only learn more about the work you will also be able to eliminate many of the poor techniques from your bag of tricks that were picked up from reading a bad response to a repair question.

    Suggested Books For The Beginner:
    The Beginner's Clock Repair Handbook - Laurie Penman
    The Modern Clock - Ward Goodrich
    Time and Timekeepers - Willis Milham
    The Science of Clocks and Watches - A.L. Rawlings
    The Best of J.E. Coleman: Clockmaker
    Any of the John Wilding Restoration Books
    The Horolovar 400 Day Clock Repair Guide

    The above are definitely not all inclusive but would be a great library for the beginner.

    Books to be avoided: These will get you off to a horrible start!
    This Old Clock - I forget the author's name but it is an embarrassment. A real laugher are the videos of lectures! An attendee asks a question challenging a statement made during the prersentation and is shouted down with verbage that was worthy of Wag The Dog!
    Pendulum Clock Repair - Hooey -A shame trees were wasted for this one!
    Anything concerning clocks and watches published by the Emerson Press. I often thought this company was a vanity book publishing company but never bothered to check. I will today!
    Anything published by someone who lists his life work in everything but horology.

    What still needs to be written?
    We definitely do not need anymore general clock repair books. It has all been said.
    I think Steve Conover is on the right track by focusing on individual types of clocks and construction projects. There are also others producing excellent construction guides.
    Anything on the historical end if it is researched new material and not just a rehash of other's work.
    Technical advances or work of individuals who do home experimenting like members of the Horological Science Chapter. Many are not real clock repairers but are from distinguished backgrounds with the knowledge to do serious study into the goings on of this field.

    The Advanced Beginner:
    The Watchmaker's Lathe - Ward Goodrich
    Wheel and Pinion Cutting in Horology - J. Malcolm Wild
    Know The Escapement _ Barkus

    From here you can go anywhere. Branch out into the history end of things, advance texts, or peripheral areas.

  2. #2
    Registered User lamarw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Good point John. Many of us are guilty from time to time. I do agree with you, and I think you grasp and retain a learning point better and longer if you research it vs just getting a quick easy answer. You also stand a good chance of learning something else new other than your question while conducting research.

    I do think there are those who would rather buy a cheap clock than a good reference book. I do not know whether it is being cheap or selfish.

    I bet the NAWCC library is under utilized. It is such a great resource and one of the most significant benefits to membership. An NAWCC annual membership is greater than any $65.00 clock I have ever come across.

    It is not a matter of literacy.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Hi John, et al,
    I couldn't agree more,research and read,but there is nothing comparable to a "hands on" environment that you will experience in a class setting.
    I have been attending Charles Davis' Clock Repair Class in Pomona,Ca.
    I made some mistakes but with excellent guidance, good equipment and a support group of knowledgeable people I was succesful.
    If you live in Charles area,attend this class it will be worth your time!!,and if there are similar classes offered in your particular locale,by all means sign up and attend.
    Bruce
    Es mejor morir de pie, que vivir de rodillas.....Emiliano Zapata Salazar

  4. #4

    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    I love it when our elder clockmakers write lists like this. It keeps my clockbreaking, er... clock repairing on-track. Especially as a novice in this field!

    Thank you guys!

  5. #5
    Registered User Reuven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    2 excelent books for the beginner (I am a beginner and I have read these Books)

    The clock Repair Primer and The clock repair first reader, both by Philip Balcomb

  6. #6
    John Nagle
    Guest

    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Elder? Yikes! I read everyday and I have been involved in this field at a variety of levels since the seventies. It sure compliments an education and experience.That is my personal reason for participating in the message board. I still learn things. It is now a hobby for me so I guess I am now a hobbyist!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Oh yes John! An Elder Hobbyist!

    The dictionary sayeth: An older, influential man of a family, tribe (horologist-added by me), or community (NAWCC message board- added by me again).

    So, there you go. There's no avoiding it.

  8. #8
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    I have This Old Clock.I thought it had some useful information in it.
    Not widely known in the U.S.A, John Plewes here in Canada is very good and my first clock repair book i bought.
    I also believe Steven Conover writes very good books.And i do attend clock repair classes put on by my local chapter, where i have learned the bulk of my clock knowledge.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Group,

    I think one of the best programs the NAWCC has is the Field Workshop program. This allows clock enthusiast to learn hands on from the ground up. Most of the Field Workshop classes are 4 days of intense hands on training. The classes are limited in size so that no one gets left behind.

    Now I must admit, I am an instructor for the Field Workshop program and my wife is a Field Workshop coordinator for the N. Florida, S. Georgia & Alabama area.

    For more information on the Field Workshop please check out thier website
    Click Here
    Jeff Hamilton, FNAWCC, Certified Master Clockmaker www.clockmaker.com

  10. #10
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Jeff, i think they are good courses too.But for me somewhat expensive for my budget.My chapter clock courses work well for me and the price is alot less.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  11. #11
    Registered User Jim_Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    John, were you at one time an instructor at the school in Columbia?
    Jim
    curious minds want to know

  12. #12
    John Nagle
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    Yes, but not the greatest. I guess I was adequate.

  13. #13
    Registered User Jim_Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    I thought the name sounded familiar. You were my instructor for the first class I took there. You must have been more than adequate because I went back.
    [edit=314=1172806266][/edit]
    Jim
    curious minds want to know

  14. #14
    clockdaddy
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    John,
    If I could throw in a few minor ideas.
    When I started out "attempting" to do clock repair, I ordered some of the video tapes that are available. Now, looking back some of these tapes were absolutely laughable. If nothing else, however, they taught me some basis concepts of clock repair and helped me to learn the terminology of horology. These spurred my interest enough to make me "want" to read more.

    One of the best things I did was to start reading articles by Steve Conover and subscribed to his newsletter. The approach to repairs that is shown in his books and newsletters is practical, broken down into simple explanations and are absolutely timeless.

    One of the worst things I did was to not have saved all the "stuff" I got from Steve, as well as other places. I thought I was so good that I didn't need that "help" anymore. Oh boy was I ever wrong...After making more than my share of mistakes, I went back over the basics, got myself straightened out (Well...some at least!!) and now look at everyday as a learning experience. Oh>> I also renewed my subscription to Steve's newsletter and keep ALL of them for reference.

    Fellas, you've got to learn the theory and practical aspects of horology properly if you ever expect to pass it on to the next generation. Some of the amazing knowledge available from people like John can be such a huge asset to you. Unfortunately you may not realize how much of an asset these guys (and Gals) are until they're gone.

    CD

  15. #15
    John Nagle
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    Default Re: Learn Clock Repair (RE: John Nagle)

    My list was not intended to be all inclusive. My goal was to provide a core group of books that would be a solid foundation for the beginner. From there it would be easier to recognize the difference between good and bad info.
    There are many great books. While many collect clocks and watches I pursued literature. Good and bad I have most of it and still read everything I can get my hands on.
    And, now in the cyber age there are and will be many great things happening in the web world!

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