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  1. #31
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: R. Croswell)

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Croswell View Post
    This goes to defining the objective - repair, restoration, or conservation. True conservation is less concerned with whether the clock runs at all than maintaining strict originality.
    I've always had a problem with this theory. Not the part about keeping it strictly original ,but not repairing it so it will run. Originaly it DID run.
    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  2. #32

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Jay Fortner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Fortner View Post
    I've always had a problem with this theory. Not the part about keeping it strictly original ,but not repairing it so it will run. Originaly it DID run.
    Originally it didn't have worn out parts. If you replace those with new replicas, in order to make it run, is it still "strictly original"?
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  3. #33
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: R. Croswell)

    If I open up a box of Cracker Jack, reach in and pull out Fig Newtons, it might be an improvement. But that really depends what I was in the mood for...

    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  4. #34
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Again y'all are thinking of taking the repair TO far from from the original design.
    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  5. #35

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    Originally it didn't have worn out parts. If you replace those with new replicas, in order to make it run, is it still "strictly original"?
    “Strictly original” - no. Sometimes one must extend the logic to understand the conclusion. Suppose you replace two parts, or eight parts, is it still original? Take it a step further and suppose you replace all the parts, is it still original? Obviously it is not. If one replaces all or the parts, most of the parts, a few or the parts, or just one part, in the piece is not strictly original anymore. It’s like being pregnant, either one is or one is not. One cannot be just a little bit or partly so.

    I’m not suggesting for a moment that there is anything wrong with replacing a broken part or that there would be anything wrong with replacing a broken part with a better part. But the clock will no longer be strictly original.

    The same issues that apply to replacing movement parts also apply to refinishing and replacing case parts. Some of the things we do may result in a stronger more attractive piece to hang on the wall, but using modern glues and replacing that darkened alligator finish will almost always reduce the value of the piece. It simply cannot be strictly original and altered at the same time.

    RC

  6. #36
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: R. Croswell)

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Croswell View Post

    The same issues that apply to replacing movement parts also apply to refinishing and replacing case parts. Some of the things we do may result in a stronger more attractive piece to hang on the wall, but using modern glues and replacing that darkened alligator finish will almost always reduce the value of the piece.
    Hmmm, that brings up another ? If you reflow the original finish(shellac) wouldn't that constitute as being original? You've removed nothing and applied nothing other than alcohol that is going to evaporate. I keep hearing the word "patina" and patina in the form of age is acceptable but patina in the form of neglect and damage is not. People come in and buy clocks and they always go for the ones that look old but clean,the ones that look ratty and rough stay on the shelf no matter how good it runs. As clock nuts we like them all, but as a business cleaned up is better,so it seems. I had a kitchen clock that was alligatored and half the dial was not readable,it sat on the shelf for more than a year. I reflowed the shellac,steel wooled the dial pan and reproduced the dial and it was gone in a month.
    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  7. #37

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Jay Fortner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Fortner View Post
    Hmmm, that brings up another ? If you reflow the original finish(shellac) wouldn't that constitute as being original? You've removed nothing and applied nothing other than alcohol that is going to evaporate. I keep hearing the word "patina" and patina in the form of age is acceptable but patina in the form of neglect and damage is not. People come in and buy clocks and they always go for the ones that look old but clean,the ones that look ratty and rough stay on the shelf no matter how good it runs. As clock nuts we like them all, but as a business cleaned up is better,so it seems. I had a kitchen clock that was alligatored and half the dial was not readable,it sat on the shelf for more than a year. I reflowed the shellac,steel wooled the dial pan and reproduced the dial and it was gone in a month.
    I don’t have an issue with reflowing old shellac, but in the strictest sense of “original” it’s probably questionable. I’ve done that to several of my pieces, and then over coated it a few light coats of fresh shellac to help seal veneer that was ready to fall off, which I’m sure would raise the hackles of any conservator. I think it really depends again on one’s objective, be that to preserve the value of the piece (as a part of history, not just its monetary value) by conserving it in the state it’s in, or making it like it was when it left the factory. From a purely business perspective, it is sometimes more profitable to dismantle the clock and sell the parts…….I hate to see that done but I’m afraid it is done all the time on flea-bay.

    RC

  8. #38

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: R. Croswell)

    I think "antique value" may be something a little different from what we've been talking about. As I understand it, the antique value of an item depends (apart from rarity, etc.) mainly on two things: its condition, and the extent to which it has not been changed by human hands. And I suspect that the latter is most important: that is, better that it be unaltered than it be in "original" condition. That's a generalization, but I think that's generally how it goes.

    I'm not sure the same standards apply to clock collectors. My impression is that what matters —to a certain class of collectors— isn't WHETHER a clock has been restored, but rather how well restoration conforms to the original, and whether a particular alteration was necessary to the goal of making the clock (a) run, and (b) look nice as it originally did. Strict originality is of less importance, if it would interfere with those goals.

    But if I'm right, then the sort of improvements Jay mentioned at the start of this thread would not be acceptable to those collectors. The clock might run better, but it wouldn't run the way originally intended: it the earlier analogy, it wouldn't be a restoration, but a hot-rod.

    Is what I think.
    1. Check out the REPAIR HINTS & HOW-TO's forum! Click Here.

  9. #39
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: bangster)

    Ran into another scenario today. I've got a 1911 Ingraham black mantel clock "Adrian" and here bout three weeks ago I went to wind it up and POW the time side MS blew. I turned the clock around,pulled the access panel off and there was the spring hanging out and the second arbor pretzled,uttered a slew of four letter words,put the panel back on and figured I'd get to it eventually. This afternoon I got a chance to break it down and survey the damage,fortunately only the 2nd arbor was bent,put it in the lathe and straightened it out.
    On this clock ole Elias put pins on the strike side to keep the spring off the 2nd and hammer arbors but only one for the hammer arbor on the time side. My intention is to add the second one up just below the 2nd pinion on the back plate so if this ever happens again the 2nd arbor won't take a beating again. It won't be original but it will be better I feel.
    Oh yeah, the reason for this minor catastrophie was a cheap imported MS that wasn't annealed far enough back from center.
    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  10. #40
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Jay Fortner)

    Hey Jay.
    (that rhymed...).

    That sounds like a highly reasonable improvement with very minimal invasivness. If it could be invisible all the better. But even though it wont still sounds like a good thing to do.

    But,,,,,, I would watch out that it would not rob the clock of full 8 day action. Maybe you should let it run 8 days before installing the stop to determine exactly how far away from the barrel it should be.

    You might want to double and triple check overall functionality, cause it would be rare that the old clock designer/engineers back then didn't think of that and had a reason for the lack of one there.

    I'm sure back then clocks where big buisness and the clock makers ran a tight serious ship. Might be as hard to improve one as it would be to improve a laptop. (that might be a bad example, but you get the point hey).

    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
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  11. #41
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware View Post
    Hey Jay.
    (that rhymed...).

    That sounds like a highly reasonable improvement with very minimal invasivness. If it could be invisible all the better. But even though it wont still sounds like a good thing to do.

    But,,,,,, I would watch out that it would not rob the clock of full 8 day action. Maybe you should let it run 8 days before installing the stop to determine exactly how far away from the barrel it should be.

    You might want to double and triple check overall functionality, cause it would be rare that the old clock designer/engineers back then didn't think of that and had a reason for the lack of one there.

    I'm sure back then clocks where big buisness and the clock makers ran a tight serious ship. Might be as hard to improve one as it would be to improve a laptop. (that might be a bad example, but you get the point hey).

    RJ
    I've considered that and I think this morning before I drill a hole,make a pin and peen it in I'll assemble the time side minus the verge,wind it up and see where the spring expands to after the mainwheel makes 9 rotations. Maybe use a small c-clamp to simulate my pin, Without the center shaft and strike train installed I should have plenty of room to work in.
    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  12. #42
    Registered user. Jay Fortner's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Jay Fortner)

    Well I made my measurements from the top of the plate down to center and from the inside of the H on the strike side pin and put my mini c-clamp at that spot,had just under 10 turns before the MS hit the clamp. Made the pin,center punched the mark,drilled a .093" hole and peened it in nice and tight. I'ts not absolutely identical to the other trhee but it looks good and will save the arbor(hopefully) if the MS ever pops again.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wise men speak when they've got something to say whereas fools speak just to say something.

    http://rosewoodregulators.com/

  13. #43

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Jay Fortner)

    Oh my gosh! Sacrilege!
    Actually, looks quite good, Jay. Nice job.

  14. #44

    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: Dean Williams)

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm so glad for this thread! Many of you have enlightened me as to saving something w/o changing a thing.

    30+ years ago I picked up two tall clocks that had been in a high dollar clothing store when it burned down. One is this pinwheel French clock. I even found a photo of an identical one when I visited the NAWCC library several years ago. I had planned to restore it as a retirement project.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I guess I shouldn't have started to build a new cabinet for the Winterhalder 9 tube hall clock that came from the same fire, but we all learn from our mistakes, right?

    I just had a thought - now that's dangerous!

    Maybe I could sell these clocks as one of a kind examples with heat treated finishes. I'm sure there aren't any duplicates.

    Boy, ya'll saved me so much work I'm eternally indebted.

    To avoid starting a firestorm, let me add that I am just poking fun by showing that if carried too far, preservation becomes ridiculous. IMHO
    "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison
    Best wishes to Ya'll. Sincerely, Jim

  15. #45
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is it OK to make it better? (RE: jhe.1973)

    Jim, I guess you have to know when it's too far gone to be worth trying to bring it back. As Clint Eastwood would say, "A man's gotta know his limitations"
    harold bain, Member ch 33
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    let me "tock" to it"

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