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  1. #1

    Default Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple"

    When I was in school, I was never very good at doing book reports. So, this will not be "indepth" by any stretch of the imagination!

    Book Title: Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple
    Author: Tom Seaman
    Copyright: 2007
    Number of Pages: 137 (8.5" by 11" sheets)
    My Cost on Ebay: $46.75 ($39.95 + $6.80 S&H)
    Binding: Spiral

    I purchased this book on Ebay. It came directly from the author, Tom Seaman. But, before I purchased it, I contacted the seller/author, explained my experience level, and asked him if he really thought I would find his book to be that big of an aid to me. Mr. Seaman emailed me back and said that the book would be easily understood and, "You will not be disapointed." Please keep this in mind as you read my comments; especially the last paragraph!

    The print in this 137 page book is HUGE! Had the print been reduced to a more "normal" sized print, the book could probably have been shortened to around 50 to 75 pages! And, several of the pages consist of a single picture and only two lines of print. The pictures are all black and white. But, each picture is very crisp and clear.

    A Regula movement is used for an example. Though there are detailed pictures of the movement, there are only a few of the parts that are pointed out and given names. But, step-by-step directions are given as to how to remove/re-install the movement.

    As for disassembly/reassembly, there are directions as to how this is done in a chronological manner. The reader is instructed to use a sharpened file to scribe ID numbers such as T1, T2 and such on the wheels of the time train, and S1, S2 and such on the wheels of the strike train. These numbers are used to identify the location and order to re-install them during the reassembly process. But, none of the wheel names are given. Nor is there any information that would be useful for an individual to take a disassembled movement and reassemble it. And, none of the functions are given for the wheels.

    There are rather shallow, bare bones directions given concerning how to rebush a movement and polish pivots. And, there are even more shallow directions given as to how to replace bellows tops. There are absolutely no directions about replacing bellows leather.

    There is a "troubleshooting" section in the book. But, in my humble opinion, it is a joke! The problems and their solutions that are covered in this area are problems that most people with a bit of common sense would quickly figure out on their own.

    Most of the information that I read in this $46.75 book was information that I had already learned by replacing bellows tops and removing and cleaning a movement (without disassembling it) on my own! And, I figure that what I learned about rebushing a movement is just about enough for me to really screw the job up!

    So, needless to say, the book was a disappointment to me... and, my wallet is not going to let me forget it anytime soon!!!!

    As a kid, there were many times that my father would tell me, "Son, a fool and his money are soon parted.

    There are three lessonss that I have learned from this book. First, unless you know absolutely nothing about cuckoo clocks, it is a waste of your time and your money. Second, asking an author if his book is really going to help you out that much is tantamount to walking on a used car lot, pointing to one of the cars on the back row, and asking the salesman, "Is that one a good one?" Third, and finally, my father was quite right... this fool and his money were definately soon parted!!!!

    Robert

  2. #2

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    BTW, harold bain, I will definately be getting a copy of "The Clock Repair First Reader"!!!!!!! That's what I should have done in the first place! If you would like (harold bain only), you are welcome to kick me for being so stupid!!!!!

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    No kicks, Robert. Sorry to hear you weren't happy with this book. Too bad no one else had a copy of it to tell you about. Maybe the author will offer a refund.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  4. #4
    Registered user. waricks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: harold bain)

    I am also very sorry to hear that you were not happy with Mr. Seaman's book. I have wanted to buy one for some time but I have not been able scrape up the cash for it. I also contacted the author via ebay and was told the same things that you were. It pumped up my interest for sure but it did not pump up my finances so I have not purcahsed it yet. Thanks for your honest report on this book it helped me and I am sure it will help others.

    I will tell you that I have both of Balcombs books and I really like them. I do not have a huge collection and I do not do many repairs but I found both of these books helpful for general knowledge both for clocks and tools. In fact on one of his books he describes how to convert a pair of cheap pliers into a tool for removing pins. I made the conversion and the tool works great!

    Both of these books are available through the NAWCC book store on page 2 and 3 of this link http://www.nawccstore.org /bin/category.asp?category=31

    If you are an NAWCC member you will get a discount if you give them your member number. However both of these books are cheaper than Mr. Seamans book even with out the discount.

    Thanks again for your information on this book and I hope that you are able to get a refund.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: waricks)

    Thanks on the book report.Glad i did not buy this book.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  6. #6

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: Kevin W.)

    Thanks for the condolences guys! I have sent an email to the author. Here is a copy of it:

    "Mr. Seaman,

    I got your book yesterday (Saturday, December 27). Within about an hour, I had thoroughly read it through. I have to tell you that I was not pleased with it as you promised I would be. Yes, it is simple to understand. But, most of the information was information that I had learned by replacing bellows tops and removing and cleaning the movements (still assembled) on my own. And, the section on rebushing and polishing pivots was covered in such a shallow manner, that I feel I now have just enough information to be dangerous to a movement. And, the information in the trouble shooting area only covered things that most folks with a bit of common sense could figure out on there own. It is because of the afforementioned reasons and at the suggestion of a few members of the NAWCC that I am asking if you would consider giving me a refund (with the return of the book, of course).
    Please let me know what you decide.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Garner"

    I don't know if I will ever hear anything back from him or not..... maybe! If I don't, I will probably try to just chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned. At first, I considered offering it on Ebay again. But, I just can't bring myself to do a "newbie" that way. Hey, I got to sleep with myself at night!!

    Bill, you are quite right. I could have gotten both of Balcom's books shipped and still had a tad over $5 left over! And, though I've not read either of his books, I feel reasonably sure I would have much more and higher quality information than what I got from Mr. Seaman's book.

    I will really be surprised if Mr. Seaman offers any kind of refund at all. But, as I said before... maybe! I'll let you guys know what happens.

    BTW, Kevin, I'm glad I saved you the fifty bucks!!

    Robert

  7. #7

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    I just thought I'd let you guys know that I heard back from Mr. Seaman. First, he informed me that I was the very first of many hundreds who have read the book and did not find it helpful. He even said that experienced repair persons had found it helpful. Then, he told me that if I would ship the book back to him (at my expense), he would refund my purchase price only ($39.99). So, by the time PayPal charges me to receive the funds and I pay return shipping, it will have cost me $12.95 to look at this book and find that it wasn't helpful to me. But, that is still a far cry from loosing the whole $46.75!!!!

    Bill, trust me when I tell you that I will be putting a few dollars with what I have left out of the refund and will spend it on Balcom's books from the NAWCC bookstore!!

    Robert

  8. #8

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    Few authors or publishers will say that their printed matter is not worth the flush. Or should be expected to. The publishing world is inherently blurbish.

    But then again, one of the greatest benefits of being an NAWCC Member is having access to what is the world's finest horological library, the NAWCC Library & Research Center. And a sub-benefit is the opportunity to preview volumes through LARC's Lending Library before purchasing a personal copy.

    A quick look through the Library's on-line search facility indicates that LARC has five copies of the Seaman volume available for lending, with 4 out of the 5 still "in."

    Regards,
    Zep

  9. #9
    Registered user. waricks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: zepernick)

    Hi Robert,

    I am glad to hear that you were able to get the refund. That does help soften the blow a bit.

    Happy Clocking!

    Bill

  10. #10

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    Quote Originally Posted by beebiz View Post
    When I was in school, I was never very good at doing book reports. So, this will not be "indepth" by any stretch of the imagination!

    Book Title: Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple
    Author: Tom Seaman
    Copyright: 2007
    Number of Pages: 137 (8.5" by 11" sheets)
    My Cost on Ebay: $46.75 ($39.95 + $6.80 S&H)
    Binding: Spiral

    I purchased this book on Ebay. It came directly from the author, Tom Seaman. But, before I purchased it, I contacted the seller/author, explained my experience level, and asked him if he really thought I would find his book to be that big of an aid to me. Mr. Seaman emailed me back and said that the book would be easily understood and, "You will not be disapointed." Please keep this in mind as you read my comments; especially the last paragraph!

    The print in this 137 page book is HUGE! Had the print been reduced to a more "normal" sized print, the book could probably have been shortened to around 50 to 75 pages! And, several of the pages consist of a single picture and only two lines of print. The pictures are all black and white. But, each picture is very crisp and clear.

    A Regula movement is used for an example. Though there are detailed pictures of the movement, there are only a few of the parts that are pointed out and given names. But, step-by-step directions are given as to how to remove/re-install the movement.

    As for disassembly/reassembly, there are directions as to how this is done in a chronological manner. The reader is instructed to use a sharpened file to scribe ID numbers such as T1, T2 and such on the wheels of the time train, and S1, S2 and such on the wheels of the strike train. These numbers are used to identify the location and order to re-install them during the reassembly process. But, none of the wheel names are given. Nor is there any information that would be useful for an individual to take a disassembled movement and reassemble it. And, none of the functions are given for the wheels.

    There are rather shallow, bare bones directions given concerning how to rebush a movement and polish pivots. And, there are even more shallow directions given as to how to replace bellows tops. There are absolutely no directions about replacing bellows leather.

    There is a "troubleshooting" section in the book. But, in my humble opinion, it is a joke! The problems and their solutions that are covered in this area are problems that most people with a bit of common sense would quickly figure out on their own.

    Most of the information that I read in this $46.75 book was information that I had already learned by replacing bellows tops and removing and cleaning a movement (without disassembling it) on my own! And, I figure that what I learned about rebushing a movement is just about enough for me to really screw the job up!

    So, needless to say, the book was a disappointment to me... and, my wallet is not going to let me forget it anytime soon!!!!

    As a kid, there were many times that my father would tell me, "Son, a fool and his money are soon parted.

    There are three lessonss that I have learned from this book. First, unless you know absolutely nothing about cuckoo clocks, it is a waste of your time and your money. Second, asking an author if his book is really going to help you out that much is tantamount to walking on a used car lot, pointing to one of the cars on the back row, and asking the salesman, "Is that one a good one?" Third, and finally, my father was quite right... this fool and his money were definately soon parted!!!!

    Robert
    Your best bet on doing Cuckoo clocks.Have 2 movements the same and us one to put the other together.If your going to work on these clocks then look forward to FRUSTRATION.The Regula movements are very simple movements to take apart and put back together.You may seem overwhelmed at this point,but just dig into them and it will get better beleive me.After you take it apart.Tear it down again and again and again.And when you think you have it do it again.Rack and snail movement are all rack and snail movements.The machanics don't change much.How can you change 1-12,sorry you can't.Hour and half hour sorry that can't change either.You can change the question but you can't change the answer.
    So go for it.I was made to work on Cuckoo clocks for over a year befour I was able to work on anything else. The guy that taught me told me if you can get past these you can work on anything.They will either brake you or make you a clock repairman.And if you think that is going to happen in an afternoon or one weekend or 2 or 3 Cuckoo clocks your barking up the wrong tree.And he was right.Now I have been at it for 32 years.I still hate Cuckoo's ,but I get them to work.
    Good luck.Books can't help you with frustration.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: Heritage-Clocks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Heritage-Clocks View Post
    Your best bet on doing Cuckoo clocks.Have 2 movements the same and us one to put the other together.If your going to work on these clocks then look forward to FRUSTRATION.The Regula movements are very simple movements to take apart and put back together.You may seem overwhelmed at this point,but just dig into them and it will get better beleive me.After you take it apart.Tear it down again and again and again.And when you think you have it do it again.Rack and snail movement are all rack and snail movements.The machanics don't change much.How can you change 1-12,sorry you can't.Hour and half hour sorry that can't change either.You can change the question but you can't change the answer.
    So go for it.I was made to work on Cuckoo clocks for over a year befour I was able to work on anything else. The guy that taught me told me if you can get past these you can work on anything.They will either brake you or make you a clock repairman.And if you think that is going to happen in an afternoon or one weekend or 2 or 3 Cuckoo clocks your barking up the wrong tree.And he was right.Now I have been at it for 32 years.I still hate Cuckoo's ,but I get them to work.
    Good luck.Books can't help you with frustration.
    HC, thank you for your input! I believe every word and syllable that you typed! And, I will definately follow your advice!!!

    For some odd reason, your post struck me as funny... so funny, that I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! I really needed that this morning! So, thank you... thank you very much!!!!!!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I do not take your advice lightheartedly. I was just reminded of when I started working on small engines. Chainsaws and weed-wackers (especially weed-wackers) are a royal pain in the "you know where" to work on! And, back then, virtually no "shop" would work on them. Being new to small engine repair, guess what I got stuck with most of the time. That's right... weed-wackers!! Working on weed-wackers created such a frustration in me that I almost ditched the idea of ever working on small engines! But, I guess I'm a bit more hard-headed than they are cantankerous! So, I kept at it. And, I got rather good at working on them.

    So, it sounds to me as if cuckoos are to clock repairmen what weed-wackers are to small engine mechanics. And, I guess that was what "struck" me so funny!

    Thanks again!! And, Happy New Year to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Robert

  12. #12

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    Quote Originally Posted by beebiz View Post
    HC, thank you for your input! I believe every word and syllable that you typed! And, I will definately follow your advice!!!

    For some odd reason, your post struck me as funny... so funny, that I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! I really needed that this morning! So, thank you... thank you very much!!!!!!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I do not take your advice lightheartedly. I was just reminded of when I started working on small engines. Chainsaws and weed-wackers (especially weed-wackers) are a royal pain in the "you know where" to work on! And, back then, virtually no "shop" would work on them. Being new to small engine repair, guess what I got stuck with most of the time. That's right... weed-wackers!! Working on weed-wackers created such a frustration in me that I almost ditched the idea of ever working on small engines! But, I guess I'm a bit more hard-headed than they are cantankerous! So, I kept at it. And, I got rather good at working on them.

    So, it sounds to me as if cuckoos are to clock repairmen what weed-wackers are to small engine mechanics. And, I guess that was what "struck" me so funny!

    Thanks again!! And, Happy New Year to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Robert
    Your right.Get past Cuckoo's and you'll have it.But then again there are some clocks that will take you there.But by that time you'll have more knowledge under your belt and it will be a breeze.Remember any clock repairman that has't had to repair from his own mistakes.
    Is not a true repairman.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: Heritage-Clocks)

    I forgot to mention.The plastic wheels or gears, in cuckoo or any other clock for that matter.By no way shape or for do they like curtain chemicals.Like acetone,ammonia.carburetor cleaner, starting fluid.white gas.or gasoline, or any other pratrolium product.Some of these chemical will make the plastic brittle or soft. Like you don't clean the verge in allot of the new movements for the very same reason. And never put them in a dryer and leave them .It will melt them down to a puddle.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: Heritage-Clocks)

    HC, thanks for the additional information. Fortunately, another member had already warned me to be on the lookout for plastic parts in some of the newer cuckoo movements. But, reinforcement of such a warning was quite welcomed!!

    Thanks again for all your input!

    Robert

  15. #15

    Default Re: Report on Tom Seaman's "Cuckoo Clock Repair Made Simple" (RE: beebiz)

    Well guys, I am happy to report that Mr. Seaman sent me a refund. But, since he sent it as a "payment" rather than a "refund," I was charged the normal 3.5% to get the money! But, it is still better than nothing! And, guess what... even after having to eat the shipping both ways, and paying the PayPal fees to receive the money, there was still $38.49 left over. Just a few minutes ago, I ordered both of Balcomb's books from the NAWCC bookstore. I only had to add $2.84 to the refund to cover the cost of both books plus shipping.

    I guess one way of looking at it is that to finally get the books I need, it will have cost me a total of $49.59 (amount paid for Seaman's book, plus the extra $2.84 to get Balcomb's books). That's $8.26 more than it would have cost me if I had done the "smart" thing to begin with!!

    But, there is some consolation! First, $8.26 is not that huge of a price for a lesson well learned! Second, there are two members who I know I have helped avoid making the same "boo-boo" that I made! Third, if Mr. Seaman had refused to make the refund, my "boo-boo" would have been much more expensive! Lastly, I will finally be getting very good books to help guide me in learning to repair clocks!!!!

    A great big heartfelt "Tennessee" thank you to all of you for your support, kind words, input, and advice!!

    Robert

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