Thanks Pat and I like that idea. In that case, these have wonderful patina!
Tom, Thank you. These clock are a few of my favorites. I have quite a few more of these slate clocks weighing down the house. Ill post some more photos in this thread soon. Their origins very over many states and many years. A lot of them have been acquired online at eBay but there are several others I have road tripped to obtain. Its quite the addiction. The white granite one in particular was actually shipped to me from California but i liked it so much i tried to ignore the shipping cost, haha. Most of the time when I get them they are in need of complete restoration which is one thing I love to do with these french slates, its exciting to bring them back to life.
I have two, not as elegant, but I like them a lot. One I restored, the other I am not sure how to do it because of the marble and incising (which looks like it has white and gold). I've posted this Bailey one before.
This is the one I don't know how to approach. On the Bailey, I used Curator Slate Black and Rub-n-Buff for the incising, but I'm afraid this one is more complicated and beyond my skill level. I also had a hard time with the Rub-n-Buff. I felt like I was just pushing it all over the surface instead of wiping it off. With two incising colors, I think it would be a disaster.
Do you have any tips or suggestions? I too really like to do the restoration work, and especially learn how to do new things.
Can you post dimensions for these and any you add?
Great Clocks Tom. I enjoy the shape of the Bailey a lot. Most of the ones I have are quite large, making moving them a lot of fun, haha. I have tried slate blackening as well when I was first starting with them but have since moved onto something of a different treatment that I'm sure any purists may not care for. I'd be happy to share that with you if your interested but just know its not as conventional as the slate blackening.
My method does allow you very nicely to do blacken and shine multi-rock style clocks, like your second one (love the open escapement). All of my have been blackened and polished by me.
Here are a few more (many more to come):
This one is about 15" wide and 19" tall (clock only).
This one is about 19" wide and 13" tall.
This one is not as old but is a slate bottom elevator clock. Its neat!
The width of the white and black drumhead in the first post is 22" with each garniture about 6" wide. It certainly fills a shelf!
Here are a few more: (This hobby is and HEAVY, haha.)
This first one was actually spray painted black when I first received it! It's all natural now:
Here are a pair of Marti slates that actually almost match! But differ in the gold etched design.
Heres a Seth Thomas and Ansonia example respectively:
And last, heres one I have not yet cleaned and shined:
As you can see I'm a huge fan of the open escapements!
Heres my typical procedure for refinishing them:
1. Use No. 0000 steel wool and a solvent called Goof Off (you can buy this in bulk at home depot etc.) and scrub all case parts and creases to polish and remove old grime, oil, blackening, etc. Clean well!
2. Let dry very well (solvent smells so make sure windows are open or do this on a nice day!) and the clock will then almost look gray after the removal of all the past treatments.
3. Touch up any gold inlay or etchings and let dry.
4. With a LINT FREE cloth (extremely important) apply a thin coat of a product called Penetrol (again found in bulk at HD) and allow it to soak into the stone. You can apply a second THIN coat if you feel its not as black as you'd like or that you missed a spot (get into those corners!). The advantage of Penetrol is that it is clear and can be applied thinly to the entire clock without any problems. This includes the various colored marbles.
5. Let the clock the dry completely in a room with NO DUST or pets or foot traffic for a couple days.
6. Apply a coating of your favorite car wax and reinstall the movement and then you're set to go!
Again, this is my not so conventional method but I lasts for a very long time. I have never had a problem and some of my guys are going on 10 years post treatment. Just dust with a microfiber weekly and give a coat of wax every once in a while.
As you can imagine I have had many of these with the tops loose or disconnected completely either during shipping or from someones poor choice of a lifting point. That said I have but do not typically use plaster to repair loose pieces. I normally use water to remove all of the old plaster between the pieces to be reconnected and then use Liquid Nails to to re-adhere to pieces to one another, I think that has far superior bonding capabilities and could prevent a future catastrophe by someone else moving them if its not me.