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  1. #1

    Arrow BOOKREVIEW: Temple: EXTREME RESTORATION (2nd Ed)

    Extreme Restoration

    The comprehensive guide for preservation and restoration of antique American clocks

    An e-book by Tom E. Temple

    2nd edition, published 2006, by the author; 1 CD in container, containing the full text (681 pages, 2 700 illustrations, in Adobe PDF format, plus copy of the Adobe reader program. More information and electronic order form at http://xrestore.com ; suggested retail price $49.95 plus shipping.

    Many of the existing books on horological collecting touch tangentially on how to restore clock movements or clock cases. But there are few titles that specifically and exclusively deal with clock restorations and virtually all of them are European (either in language other than English or dealing with the subject from a British perspective. Tom Temple’s new “book” definitively fills a void. I am aware of only one other recent title (Craig Burgess, Clock Case Refinishing and Restoration, 2004) on the subject, and that is only a slim 60 pages, and can not really be compared to this comprehensive book.

    Of course there are numerous excellent books around on woodworking in general, as well as on furniture repair and restoration, but they completely ignore not only movement restoration, but also such themes as the preservation and repair of dials, hands, labels and reverse painted glass tablets. On each of these special subjects (and their sub-specialties) there are excellent guides in the form of articles spread over decades of pas issues of the NAWCC Bulletin. (And thanks to the comprehensive online index to BULLETIN Articles at http://24.104.50.30/BulletinIndex/bulsrch.htm, in connection with the Library in Columbia Pa. lending or selling past Bulletin issues they can even be located). But –to my knowledge- no other American-style-clocks specific text of this depth has ever been published on clock restoration techniques.

    This e-book still shows that the author had initially set out to produce a conventional (i.e. printed on paper) book, and only toward the end of the process reached the conclusion that the cost would have been prohibitive for a 600+ page volume with thousand of color images, which would be of interest to only a few hundred enthusiasts. So it became an “e-book” published on a CD in Adobes pdf-format. The advantage is relatively low production costs for the publisher. The disadvantage is that few hobbyists will want to consult their computer screen in their dusty workshops, and will have to bear the printing and binding costs themselves if they also want a paper copy. That this was initially not expected to be an e-book is underscored by the fact that the navigational tools common within e-books (or on websites) are not fully developed, although much has been improved in this regard since the first edition. (E.g. there are generally no cross-reference links to other passages with related content). If one intended to create a text that is to be used mainly on screen, there should be an electronic index, and a glossary, that would make jumping around easier. Also the navigational tools available in the Adobe Reader format, such as separate windows for tabel of contents etc have not been used.

    While the subtitle mentions both preservation and restoration (and the introductory part explains the difference between the two well) the heart of the author clearly beats for restoration, and the serious horological collector who is set to preserve an artefact (i.e. maintain the current status of the timepiece for study far into the future) will not find much useful information in this text. The author also deals with the controversy of “over-restoration” and rightfully concludes that this involves personal judgement calls, in the eyes of this reviewer if in doubt the author usually over-restores. That may be partly because the actual projects he describes step-by-step are not minor restorations, but concern what he calls “Extreme Restoration” (what I call “basket cases”) where there is very little to preserve, but which he strives to resurrect to a “like new from the factory” status. As long as the people who enjoy “rebuilding” clocks using a large or smaller number of parts original components do so for their pleasure there is nothing wrong with that, as long as they are aware that their activity has little to do with preserving horological artefacts.

    Another limitation the possible purchaser of this publication needs to be aware of is that it deals nearly exclusively with and applies to factory-made, wooden-cased clocks, produced in Connecticut in the middle and late 19th century. There is only limited information in the text applicable to e.g. craftsmen-made (one-of-kind), pre-industrial clocks, or to metal cased clocks, alarm clocks, electrical clocks and many other more specialized timepieces.

    Within these limitations however the text is very through, comprehensive and easy to follow. It is superbly illustrated with many detailed pictures explaining the procedures step-by-step. There are worksheets and checklists that will make such a complex project manageable. While it helps to have a general grounding in woodworking or cabinetmaking skills, I believe that with this text in hand even a complete novice in the field, if he is careful and deliberate, and has some manual dexterity, can achieve impressive results. The text is uncommonly thorough and touches on all aspects of an “Extreme Restoration”. Woodworking, case finishing (including stenciling, gesso and faux wood), reverse painted glass tablets, label preservation, case assembly, dials, hands, movements and setup are all covered. Even if 180 pages are devoted to “Movements” (making this the single biggest chapter) this reviewer considers that part the relatively speaking weakest part of the text. A novice will be well served with this book, as long as he has a standard, fairly common, run-of-the mill movement to deal with that has no unusual faults. But clearly restoring any kind of special mechanism, such as unusual escapements, special striking setups, unusual alarm configurations, repeating mechanisms, animated dials, calendar mechanisms etc. is clearly above and beyond the scope of this book, and will require studying the specialist literature.

    The author’s website (http://xrestore.com) not only provides a good summary of the content of this publication, but also provides several specialized message board type forums where readers can ask questions and discuss details of all subjects covered in the book.
    Altogether “Extreme Restoration” by Tom Temple should well fill a niche in the horological literature, and could be considered a “must buy” for anyone attempting his or her first complete rebuild of a standard, wood-cased American factory made clock from the 19th century.

    Bookreview by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ
    October 30, 2006
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

  2. #2

    Default REVIEW: Temple: EXTREME RESTORATION (2nd Ed) (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Extreme Restoration

    The comprehensive guide for preservation and restoration of antique American clocks

    An e-book by Tom E. Temple

    2nd edition, published 2006, by the author; 1 CD in container, containing the full text (681 pages, 2 700 illustrations, in Adobe PDF format, plus copy of the Adobe reader program. More information and electronic order form at http://xrestore.com ; suggested retail price $49.95 plus shipping.

    Many of the existing books on horological collecting touch tangentially on how to restore clock movements or clock cases. But there are few titles that specifically and exclusively deal with clock restorations and virtually all of them are European (either in language other than English or dealing with the subject from a British perspective. Tom Temple’s new “book” definitively fills a void. I am aware of only one other recent title (Craig Burgess, Clock Case Refinishing and Restoration, 2004) on the subject, and that is only a slim 60 pages, and can not really be compared to this comprehensive book.

    Of course there are numerous excellent books around on woodworking in general, as well as on furniture repair and restoration, but they completely ignore not only movement restoration, but also such themes as the preservation and repair of dials, hands, labels and reverse painted glass tablets. On each of these special subjects (and their sub-specialties) there are excellent guides in the form of articles spread over decades of pas issues of the NAWCC Bulletin. (And thanks to the comprehensive online index to BULLETIN Articles at http://24.104.50.30/BulletinIndex/bulsrch.htm, in connection with the Library in Columbia Pa. lending or selling past Bulletin issues they can even be located). But –to my knowledge- no other American-style-clocks specific text of this depth has ever been published on clock restoration techniques.

    This e-book still shows that the author had initially set out to produce a conventional (i.e. printed on paper) book, and only toward the end of the process reached the conclusion that the cost would have been prohibitive for a 600+ page volume with thousand of color images, which would be of interest to only a few hundred enthusiasts. So it became an “e-book” published on a CD in Adobes pdf-format. The advantage is relatively low production costs for the publisher. The disadvantage is that few hobbyists will want to consult their computer screen in their dusty workshops, and will have to bear the printing and binding costs themselves if they also want a paper copy. That this was initially not expected to be an e-book is underscored by the fact that the navigational tools common within e-books (or on websites) are not fully developed, although much has been improved in this regard since the first edition. (E.g. there are generally no cross-reference links to other passages with related content). If one intended to create a text that is to be used mainly on screen, there should be an electronic index, and a glossary, that would make jumping around easier. Also the navigational tools available in the Adobe Reader format, such as separate windows for tabel of contents etc have not been used.

    While the subtitle mentions both preservation and restoration (and the introductory part explains the difference between the two well) the heart of the author clearly beats for restoration, and the serious horological collector who is set to preserve an artefact (i.e. maintain the current status of the timepiece for study far into the future) will not find much useful information in this text. The author also deals with the controversy of “over-restoration” and rightfully concludes that this involves personal judgement calls, in the eyes of this reviewer if in doubt the author usually over-restores. That may be partly because the actual projects he describes step-by-step are not minor restorations, but concern what he calls “Extreme Restoration” (what I call “basket cases”) where there is very little to preserve, but which he strives to resurrect to a “like new from the factory” status. As long as the people who enjoy “rebuilding” clocks using a large or smaller number of parts original components do so for their pleasure there is nothing wrong with that, as long as they are aware that their activity has little to do with preserving horological artefacts.

    Another limitation the possible purchaser of this publication needs to be aware of is that it deals nearly exclusively with and applies to factory-made, wooden-cased clocks, produced in Connecticut in the middle and late 19th century. There is only limited information in the text applicable to e.g. craftsmen-made (one-of-kind), pre-industrial clocks, or to metal cased clocks, alarm clocks, electrical clocks and many other more specialized timepieces.

    Within these limitations however the text is very through, comprehensive and easy to follow. It is superbly illustrated with many detailed pictures explaining the procedures step-by-step. There are worksheets and checklists that will make such a complex project manageable. While it helps to have a general grounding in woodworking or cabinetmaking skills, I believe that with this text in hand even a complete novice in the field, if he is careful and deliberate, and has some manual dexterity, can achieve impressive results. The text is uncommonly thorough and touches on all aspects of an “Extreme Restoration”. Woodworking, case finishing (including stenciling, gesso and faux wood), reverse painted glass tablets, label preservation, case assembly, dials, hands, movements and setup are all covered. Even if 180 pages are devoted to “Movements” (making this the single biggest chapter) this reviewer considers that part the relatively speaking weakest part of the text. A novice will be well served with this book, as long as he has a standard, fairly common, run-of-the mill movement to deal with that has no unusual faults. But clearly restoring any kind of special mechanism, such as unusual escapements, special striking setups, unusual alarm configurations, repeating mechanisms, animated dials, calendar mechanisms etc. is clearly above and beyond the scope of this book, and will require studying the specialist literature.

    The author’s website (http://xrestore.com) not only provides a good summary of the content of this publication, but also provides several specialized message board type forums where readers can ask questions and discuss details of all subjects covered in the book.
    Altogether “Extreme Restoration” by Tom Temple should well fill a niche in the horological literature, and could be considered a “must buy” for anyone attempting his or her first complete rebuild of a standard, wood-cased American factory made clock from the 19th century.

    Bookreview by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ
    October 30, 2006
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

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