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  1. NigelW

    Removing bees wax in oak grain

    Difficult to be sure, but the light specks could be linseed oil putty which got trapped in the grain when adjacent blemishes or nail holes were filled. It doesn't look as if a polisher has tried to fill the gain with Plaster of Paris.
  2. NigelW

    Gear cutting

    366, to allow for leap years, would also be problematic: its highest prime factor is 61.
  3. NigelW

    Gear cutting

    Interesting. All primes up to and including 49 are catered for with the three division plates it would seem and the worm allows doubling up. Still problematic though for cutting year wheels with 365 teeth, whose highest prime factor is 73! The other problem I found with manual systems like...
  4. NigelW

    Removing bees wax in oak grain

    Are you sure it is all beeswax? It is quite likely that linseed oil putty would have been used to fill nail holes. This also softens with heat. An alternative and less invasive way of dealing with those would be to touch them up with a little oil paint. Another possibility is that the case...
  5. NigelW

    Gear cutting

    There should be plenty of rigidity there for wheel cutting in brass but for cutting steel pinions on arbors you would need support at both ends. This plus a tailstock should work. The downside of having to use dividing plates is the limited range of tooth counts. I would normally do wheel and...
  6. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Jim Most interesting and helpful, thank you. The first pic is the closest to what I had in mind, although the moulding round the arch is different. The lower element is neither concave nor convex, just a straight slope. The back view is fascinating too. These old makers were really economic...
  7. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    I just tried called the Colchester museum and they told me the Bernard Mason collection is closed to all visits until at least 2021.
  8. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Thanks for this pic and comment. I was wondering if the bottom element should have a reverse curve but it's sometimes hard to see from the photos. I was using this other Colchester clock of about the same date from the Mason Collection as my model. I have written to Colchester museums, who...
  9. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Now drawn up the caddy top full size and to scale (apologies for my circles - I didn't have a pair of compasses with me). I am minded to make a mock-up first to see if looks right.
  10. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    The United States has a drier climate than our damp little island here on the other side of the Atlantic. The recommended moisture content for mildly heated buildings here is between 9 and 13%. Modern central heating of course creates a drier atmosphere, which is why even antique furniture...
  11. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Indeed, but the question these days would be for how long. In theory quarter cut boards should be more stable but ones that go the whole diameter of the tree like mine can do funny things in the middle.
  12. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    I was assured that it was kiln dried.
  13. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Drove the length of Kent today to buy some oak for the plinth and caddy top. The sawmill, specialising in oak, imports from the continent and converts it for use mainly in timber framed buildings and joinery - not so much cabinetmaking. After rooting around in their sheds for almost an hour I...
  14. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    I agree that a caddy top would look good. This is my initial sketch: I think an extra component is needed in the cornice moulding to make it look right. I intend to make a mock up first. Because of the foreshortening effect of viewing it from below there is a risk that something which...
  15. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    The front moulding was very badly split from side to side, close to the top edge where it is very thin and unsupported by its backing, and hanging by a thread (I made it worse while removing it from the truck and extracting the nails). Part of the moulding on the right of the clock was...
  16. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Having decided to sacrifice the replacement plinth I sawed off the top two inches with the fragile original mouldings attached. This helps keep them rigid while I restore them and I will remove the remnants of the original plinth later. I have extracted most of the old nails and have started...
  17. NigelW

    French Clock Movement turns in the case

    I had this problem with a French movement in a brass case. There was no slot and previous restorers had made the problem worse by over-tightening the long bolts which fix the front door ring to the back one and hold the movement in place. Very irritating when you wind the clock especially...
  18. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    What a great story! Actually the damage to the hood is nothing like as bad as it looks and should all be fairly straightforward to fix. I was showing it off to fellow clock repairers during a Zoom call and put it back on the table behind me. As I sat down again in front of the computer I...
  19. NigelW

    Restoring a c. 1750 English oak longcase

    Step One has been to remove the offending plinth. Not an easy task as it was glued on firmly with PVA to the lower moulding (already in a fragile state) which in turn was crudely but firmly nailed to the trunk.
  20. 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...
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