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  1. #1
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    Default Quality of Ridgeway clocks?

    I have a chance to purchase a Ridgeway grandfather clock at a bargain price but it means buying sight-unseen and paying a mover to bring it 1100 Km. I know Ridgeway use a German movement, this one is chain drive, and the clock is reported to be in "good working condition", was bought for $1800, and is selling for a couple hundred.

    I don't know if it is worth pursuing ........

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: DianneB)

    Dianne, your question isn't at all easy to answer.
    The Germans did make a whole range of different "qualities" of movements and
    some were not all that good, IMO.
    Most pre WW 2 movements from, say, Kieninger or Urgos are allright.
    Concerning post WW 2 movements, you really have to know what it is..., hope this
    doesn't make it much more complicated.
    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: soaringjoy)

    Dianne, without pictures, hard to advise. Like most makers, Ridgeway had both high end and low end clocks. Some cases had more particle board than solid wood.
    Being that it has a modern German movement, you may also be looking for a new movement for it, if it's been well used for 30+ years.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: harold bain)

    Dian,

    Need a date. 1800 bucks in the 60s would buy you a very nice GF. 1800 in the 90s would be a run-o-th-mill GF.

    "Good working condition" is standard verbiage. You probably already knew that ...

    Again, back to the date of manufacturer. Over 20-25 years old, the movement is toast.

    Hope this helps, Willie X

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: Willie X)

    I'd shy away from any sight unseen modern GF that has to be shipped. For one thing, the chances of it arriving unbroken are diminished if it's being shipped by someone who doesn't know how to prepare a clock for shipping. $200-$300 is about average for a GF around here, and I often see them in used furniture stores. I'd advise finding one you like the looks of, buying it outright, then if needed replace the movement with a new one. I'm thinking you'd be in the same price range of a shipped clock. My wife's Aunt shipped a tubular GF to us a few years ago, packed and professionally prepared for shipping. It arrived in excellent condition, but with a shipping cost approaching $500!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: shutterbug)

    Ok all you seasoned veterns please give me more information. I see on this thread and in a number of others where advice is given that if a particular movement is over a certain age it will be "toast" and should be replaced. Is this mainly advice for those trying to make a living repairing clocks and the amount of work doesn't justify? If a serious hobbyist has the time and enjoys repairing and getting them to work, are there other things that make it not worth while, or the outcome won't be satisfactory? I don't mind replacing pivots and bushings, but I can understand that if pinions and wheels need to be cut, then it may be come a labour of love, but not worth it in the end.

    David

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: David S)

    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    outcome won't be satisfactory

    David
    That's pretty much it.

    Willie X

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: Willie X)

    Come on Willie I am trying to better understand, because I will probably attempt to restore an old one, and would like to know what all I should be looking for besides what I think is obvious.

    David

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: David S)

    Thank you for the advice. Considering the risk, I will pass on the Ridgeway

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: DianneB)

    You've probably read about the plated pivots problem, which is the weakness in the modern movements. When they start pitting and flaking you either replace the pivot, replace the movement, or bypass the pivot completely with a Butterbearing, sold by Butterworth clocks. Any of those options will give satisfactory results, in my opinion (which is not shared by everyone here)

  11. #11
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: DianneB)

    David, when we're talking about "cheap" movements you should consider
    everything cheap.
    Thin plates, worn out bushings and pivots, wheels and pinions are the rule.
    Some makers had series with brittle (soilid) pinions, others used soft steel
    on them, resulting in tremendous pittings.
    You will get to know the differences when you've worked on them.
    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: soaringjoy)

    Jurgen. Thank you just what I wanted to know. So it pretty much all wears out at the same time....or if you fix the obvious, other things won't be far behind. It just bugs me when one small part in a big system wears out and you have to throw out the entire product.

    It's a great week when I learn something new.

    David

  13. #13

    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: soaringjoy)

    I've worked on a 1971 Ridgeway with the smaller Urgos chain driven movement in it. Very lanky movement design, and the exact one never worked well from the start.

    On the other hand, I own a pre-WW2 Urgos mantle clock, and this is so much nicer. Thick plates, solid pinions, and removable spring barrel plates.

    My advice: wait a while and find a better clock you know will be good.
    Justin A. Olson

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: chimeclockfan)

    David, if you have the time and desire, you certainly could make these into better clocks by replacing bushings and pivots as needed. It's mostly the lower wheels with the most power that are the worst. If the bushings are bad, chances are so are the pivots.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Quality of Ridgeway clocks? (RE: harold bain)

    Yes Harold I do have the time and desire. I am getting pretty good with bushings, and my couple of attempts at pivot replacement worked out well. But I haven't got down to the .5mm pivots or hardened arbors yet.

    I got a bunch of old movements from a guy on Ebay and once I fixed them, then I took some apart and busted pivots, gathering pins etc, to get more practice. And knowing that they worked prior to my breaking stuff, I had a reference to compare with when I did the new repair.

    You folks have been in this horology endeavour a lot longer than I have, so I am just trying to try and get caught up....well more informed at least and develop skills.

    I really appreciate all the time and advice that the folks on these forums are willing to share. I only hope that I will be able to give back.

    David

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