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  1. NigelW

    Restoring matting on brass dial clocks

    Is it possible to restore the matting on old brass dial clock? The dial on one of mine has had some later holes plugged but the restorer left some scratch marks in the matting and one small area of matting is slightly flattened. The scratching is very light and only visible when the light...
  2. NigelW

    Equation clock using wheels not a cam to generate the curve

    It has always been my ambition to build an equation clock. As an excerise I designed the wheel work for one in Fusion360 which relies on a kidney cam but have decided that this is too simplistic. The fourier analysis of the equation curve show that summing two sine curves gets you close and...
  3. NigelW

    One that got away

    Auctions have been rare things since the start of lockdown but one clock caught my eye - a rather sweet early 18th C lantern clock by John Buffet of Colchester. The engraved side doors look original but the finial on top clearly isn't and the bell may not be. The hand looks wrong too, but a...
  4. NigelW

    Reopening clock and watch workshop post COVID?

    As a trustee of a horology centre just outside London - an educational charity run by volunteers which operates as a membership organisation - I have been asked to chair a working group to determine whether and how we can safely reopen our clock and watch workshop which has been closed since the...
  5. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    My clock case has a number of faults which need correcting. The most glaring is a replacement plinth which was not attached straight, giving a Leaning Tower of Pisa effect. The top of the hood does not look right to me either: If it had any superstructure I think it would have been more...
  6. NigelW

    Hazards of showing off one's clock on Zoom!

    During a Zoom discussion earlier today with fellow members of my clock club I though I would talk about the oak case of my c. 1755 Nathanial Hedge of Colchester longcase (a restoration project yet to be started). After talking about the hood and showing it closer range to my PC's camera I...
  7. NigelW

    Williamson Equation Clock

    I came across this clock yesterday in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, which was labelled as an equation clock but with no technical description. The movement was not visible. It was going and the hands on the main dial were showing Greenwich Mean Time. I looked long and hard at it and just...
  8. NigelW

    Finishing pivots

    My inexperience in horology is taking its toll. Yesterday I nearly ruined my third attempt at making a replacement arbor with integral pinion when turning the pivot on one end. Fortunately my tutor stepped in to help. The arbor is made of silver steel. I left the pivot oversize when I...
  9. NigelW

    Articles on the composition of 17th and 18th C clock brass?

    I am currently having difficulty finding a foundry I can trust to cast parts in the right colour brass. I have just received some casting from one firm which are far too pink, having been assured that they would look the same as "yellow clock brass". In reply to a (very polite in the...
  10. NigelW

    Thread sizes and pitches on early English clocks

    Were there any standard thread pitches on old English clocks (early 18th C)? I have been trying to work out the size and pitches of those missing from mine by threading some peg wood into the holes. Most common seems to be 32 tpi, with a 1/8" diameter, but there are some which seem to be 60...
  11. NigelW

    The joy of filing

    I was filing a square on some silver steel rod at my club yesterday to make a fly cutter blank which will fit into an arbor used on one of their milling machines with what I thought was a normal sized file (left in picture). This was proving to be a slow process so I rooted around for...
  12. NigelW

    Clocks not subject to capital gains tax in the UK?

    I have been wondering what the tax position would be if I bought a clock, restored it, and sold it on for a profit. If I was doing this frequently Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs would no doubt want to tax me as a business, but in general they don't like granting hobbyists business status...
  13. NigelW

    Moral dilema

    Researching clocks by the maker of my current restoration project I came across a reference to a clock in the "stolen" section of a horological journal dated nearly 20 years ago, together with a police crime reference (in the UK). A clock fitting the exact description sold at auction last year...
  14. NigelW

    Making a brass pendulum bob for a verge clock

    I need to make a bob pendulum for a verge bracket clock. I believe these were made of solid brass, unlike longcase pendulums which are generally brass shells filled with lead. The bob needs to be adjustable by sliding up and down the squared end of the pendulum rod and held in place with a...
  15. NigelW

    Making new bells?

    With the demise of the Whitechapel bell foundry there is, as far I have been able to discover, no manufacturer left who makes sets of domestic clock bells. Making my own could be the solution. I need a set of three for a quarter repeating clock, tuned roughly to be a tone apart - i.e. to sound...
  16. NigelW

    Gut pallets?

    I believe I heard or read somewhere that verge escapement clocks were sometimes fitted with gut pallets to make them quieter. Is this true, and if so how were they made? I quite like the idea of keeping my quarter repeating bracket clock next to my bed when (if?) it is eventually finished...
  17. NigelW

    Working hardened steel arbors and pivots

    I am currently struggling a little with the arbors and integral pinions I am making as part of the restoration of my early 18th C bracket clock. I am making them from silver steel which I am hardening by taking them up to cherry red (after soaping and binding in iron wire) before plunging in...
  18. NigelW

    Nathaniel Hedge of Colchester c. 1755 oak long case

    Thanks to a tip off from Novicetimekeeper I am now the proud owner of this clock. Outrageously inexpensive for what it is, in my opinion - £210 hammer plus buyer's premium - barely more than the scrap value of the brass. I believe the movement, dial and case to be right, but one can never know...
  19. NigelW

    Some basic questions about wax chucks

    I have been reading about wax chucks in de Carle's Watchmaker's and model engineer's lathe with a view to upping my game, especially in turning and finishing components on a smaller scale than I am used to. One problem I have been having is facing and finishing my wheel blanks. In the past I...
  20. NigelW

    Henri Marc clock - need to replace washer which holds hands in place

    One of the problems of being a largely self-taught clock restorer is that you have to learn more by making mistakes that if you were learning at the feet of an established master. A mistake I have now made more then once is not to secure the taper pin holding the hands in place sufficiently...

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Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff