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  1. #1

    Question Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement.

    Hi I am new to the forum and have been lurking for a week reading up on a few areas of cleaning /restoration.

    1. I have a question about cleaning up vienna regulator weights and brass bob. As you can see from the pictures they have not been cleaned in a long while.

    Would appreciate advice on the best way of tackling these for best results.

    2. Also I have the original rod which has had a poor previous repair undertaken. Is it possible to source a replacement wooden rod (if i utilise the existing fittings) or an entire assembly.

    cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1800.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: DevineTime)

    I like the look of "old" in my old clocks I wouldn't shine them up if it were me. If you want them to look shiny new, it's going to take a lot of work. The bob may have pretty thin brass on it. As for the stick, take a piece of the old one to your local lumber store and you'll likely find something very close that you can use to fashion a new one.

  3. #3
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: shutterbug)

    Well SHUT: It's a preference and it's not a dry goods regulator or Ingraham kitchen clock. It's a Vienna and he prefers the brass to shine as most Vienna owners do.
    As SHUT wrote, it is very tedious. First, it looks perhaps like maybe your bob is coated. First you'll remove any coating with an aggressive paint remover. Then those machining circles: I don't like them. If you like to see your bob look like a diffraction grating, you're good to go. Once stripped I use Tarn - X to remove tarnish. Then on to wet 'n dry abrasive. Start with 600 grit. I do this under running water. If that is not aggressive enough, go to 320 or 400. If you want to remove circles you will need to start with 320 or 400. When satisfied, start using progressively milder abrasives - 1200, 1500, 2000. Then move on to steel wool. Dry THOROUGHLY and finalize with any metal polish of your choice. Very much the same for weights, procedurewise. One weight cap looks pretty rough. Dents at the top also? Dress them best you can prior to cleaning. I also polish the pulley, dial bezel, and movemnt parts altho they seldom need as aggresive abrasives to begin. Usually Tarn - X followed by polish will suffice for those.
    As for that pendulum stick - show us a closeup of the repair. Again your preference but I would MUCH prefer a nicely repaired original to ANY repro I could make in a half hour.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ABOB 001.jpg   ABOB 002.jpg  
    Last edited by Scottie-TX; 02-03-2012 at 05:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: DevineTime)

    the weights bobs of Vienna's generally have a spun finish, thats how they came from the factory, I don't like them highly polished, it looks wrong to me.

    I find the best way for the bob is to polish it on the buffing wheel with tripoli then mount it on the lathe run at low speed and grain the brass with grade 2 emery paper, or a scotchbrite pad, the trick here is the spun finish must be nice and even, just hold the pad in the middle and slowly move it towards the edge.

    the weights I unscrew the hook, the top cover comes off, polish the hook, spun finish the top, I hold the weight in the lathe chuck with a piece of leather to protect the brass from the jaws and slow spin it to put a finish on the top half, then reverse the weight and finish the bottom half and base,

    clean with thinners and coat in a clear lacquer.

    for the pendulum rod I make my own, you can buy them but the new ones have a more rounded edge compared to the knife edges of the old rods, you need a piece of well cured straight grain timber, I made the last one from a scraped wooden Venetian blind, it was the pelmet piece that runs along the top, I cut a section out longer than I needed to the thickness and width, then I made a scratch block from a scraper with the profile of the old rod, clamped the piece to the bench and drew the scratch block along the rod until I got the right shape, turned it over and did the other side, a bit of sanding, and by the time I reused the old fittings and stained the rod black it was hard to tell the difference to the old rod.

  5. #5
    Registered user. Mike306p/Ansoniaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: dAz57)

    Welcome DevineTime. Good suggestions above. I kind of agree with Shut.
    Personal opinion here. I clean the dirt, dust off. Never scrub, polish or sand. Old school I guess. I like the old look , patina . Mike
    Former New Clock Acquisitions Moderator AKA Mike 306p/Ansoniaman

  6. #6
    Moderator leeinv66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Mike306p/Ansoniaman)

    No, no, no!!!! Vienna regulators are not to be looked on the same as their American cousins! Scottie is absolutely right!!!! Viennas are meant to have polished brass. Sorry, but it really gets under my skin to see a beautiful and elegant Regulator that has tarnished and dirty brass. Oh sorry that's patina for those that like it. The reason often given by the owner or repairer is "it takes too much work to clean all that brass and besides, I like them that way". Absolute rubbish!!! The second part of that statement is to justify not wanting to put the effort in to make the clock look right. Yea, I know I am in trouble now
    Cheers
    Peter R Lee: AKA (Pee-Tah) from Australia

  7. #7
    Registered user. Tony10Clocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Mike306p/Ansoniaman)

    Hello and wellcome. If you wish to replace with a new one try Here
    Too many clocks and not enough time, Tony

  8. #8
    Registered user. Mike306p/Ansoniaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Tony10Clocks)

    No, we are allowed to say what you want here. No problem. We obviously like different things.IMOO Mike
    Former New Clock Acquisitions Moderator AKA Mike 306p/Ansoniaman

  9. #9
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Tony10Clocks)

    If you do choose to replace the stick, after staining black - I use a marks - a - lot feltwriter, stick should be well sealed with a product of your choice. I use shellac. You could paint black also.

  10. #10
    Registered user. Tony10Clocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Mike306p/Ansoniaman)

    I think the finnish of a clock should be what the owner wants it to be. Iv'e seen good wall clocks turned into shabby chic style because thats what the owner wanted. Dosen't mean that i agree with it. It's just what people want
    Too many clocks and not enough time, Tony

  11. #11

    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Tony10Clocks)

    thanks for all the replies regarding the brass..... I appreciate some schools like to see the natural patina on brass but the brass on this particular clock has been badly neglected. Thanks for all the advice on getting these up to the required finish.

    Would there be any benefit in soaking the bob & weights in amonium based clock cleaning fluid?

    With regard the rod I would be too embarrased to show the repair undertaken on it as it is very poor and really replacement is the only way forward. Thanks tony for link to that uk site for the replacement rod and yes it will be getting a black shellac finish.

    While iv'e got you all one other question and it's regarding the dial.......

    the outer bezel is removable but unfortunatley inner dial and bezel are all glued to main dial

    Ideally i would like to treat the enamel and brass parts seperatley, however in this instance was wondering if ok to dip the entire assembly in the proprietry kitchen/ bathroom enamel cleaning products mentioned on the forum and subsequently polishing the inner ring manually in-situ?

    once again many thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1802.jpg  
    Last edited by DevineTime; 02-03-2012 at 07:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: DevineTime)

    Probably not a good idea as it is uncertain whether you could completely void the assembly of liquid trapped between the parts. Your best bet is to break that glue bond judiciously as possible, remove all traces of it and reassemble using either machine screws or taper pins as were originally used.
    The benefit from soaking in an ammonia based cleaner would be that of assisting in removing tarnish however if there is a coating, will have no effect.
    Last edited by Scottie-TX; 02-03-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: DevineTime)

    Quote Originally Posted by DevineTime View Post

    Would there be any benefit in soaking the bob & weights in amonium based clock cleaning fluid?
    nope, you really don't want cleaning solution trapped inside the bob, and the weights are filled with lead which reacts badly with ammonia

    either lacquer thinners or acetone will remove most finishes, if it's epoxy based then paint stripper.


    With regard the rod I would be too embarrased to show the repair undertaken on it as it is very poor and really replacement is the only way forward. Thanks tony for link to that uk site for the replacement rod and yes it will be getting a black shellac finish.
    see if you can buy just the stick, then reuse the original fittings

    While iv'e got you all one other question and it's regarding the dial.......

    the outer bezel is removable but unfortunatley inner dial and bezel are all glued to main dial

    Ideally i would like to treat the enamel and brass parts seperatley, however in this instance was wondering if ok to dip the entire assembly in the proprietry kitchen/ bathroom enamel cleaning products mentioned on the forum and subsequently polishing the inner ring manually in-situ?

    once again many thanks
    again because it's assembled its a real bad idea to soak this and the backplate is most of the time made of tin, keep the cleaning solution away from this.

    can you take picture of the back of the dial, generally the centre brass ring holds the chapter ring and dial centre to the tin back plate, it's only a matter of straightening the tabs to separate the dial.

  14. #14
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: dAz57)

    Alas, some doofus has glued the center ring and porcelain piece to the backplate.
    the outer bezel is removable but unfortunatley inner dial and bezel are all glued to main dial
    Also most numerals on chapters are fired into the porcelain. Not all are fired so be CERTAIN before introducing any cleaning solution to dial that yours is fired or you'll have a blank chapter ring.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cleaning Vienna Brass Bob and Weights (pic included) . and rod replacement. (RE: Scottie-TX)

    Thanks for all the replies.....some success in dismantling the glued up dial this morning. I carefully prized apart the tabs which very sticky! even the tin back plate was glued to the chapter ring....fortunatley not powerfull glue just grimy oily sticky which i was able to carefully release with an old butter knife!

    Some pictures are attached.

    You will see the glue on the rear of the backplate as a pin is also stuck too it ! (see 6 oclock)

    The numerals are v slightly faded but appear to be fired and there are no cracks on the dial. It is now going to be so much easier to clean up then in situ!

    I have also include a picture of the 'repaired' rod as requested earlier in the thread......as you can see replacement is preferable in this instance.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1820.jpg   IMG_1815.jpg   IMG_1823.jpg   IMG_1833.jpg   IMG_1830.jpg  

    Last edited by DevineTime; 02-04-2012 at 06:36 AM.

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