• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Advice on Which Clock to Buy

David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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Good day to all of you
I am about a new to this forum as all of your were when you started. So for give me if I sound like the total newbie that I am. I am trying to decide between two 1970 era grandmother clocks.

One a clock made in Fredericksburg VA by a cabinet maker with a West German movement. It is gorgeous made with Black Walnut in the Colonial style. The movement manufacturer and condition are unknown beyond that. It does run and has Westminster chimes. Price 200.

The second contracted by the Ethan Allen company, same small stature clock, West German movement, lighter wood case, with Westminster chimes, and paperwork. Some cosmetic issues, missing finial. The man who is selling it, removed the back and took photos Price 100.

I have been doing some research on buying clocks and the dire warnings from some about cheap clocks disturbs me, but due to my limited budget and space where I can put a clock of this size makes arguments for better quality clocks out of the equation.

Basically I would like advice about which clock is a better buy.

Black Walnut Clock
Black Walnut.jpg

Ethan Allen Clock
119182150_10157848105711859_8221255001638146915_o.jpg 119577562_1008370486308325_4975828035682997898_n.jpg 119199082_327792911768505_8594780688564952358_n.jpg
 

brian fisher

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welcome to our corner of the internet david. well...if they both run and the first clock is made of solid wood, i suppose i would pick that one. most likely the ethan allen's cabinet is some sort of particle board.

i think either of these would make decent first choice for someone just getting started in the hobby. to be honest, your choice between these two should probably be based on movement condition. i would guess that both have similar mechanicals. just so you know, the movements in these clocks are technically fixable, but because of the cost of labor, they are generally considered unfixable. it is considered much less expensive to just buy a new brass lump and replace rather than fix. assuming both movements are original to these clocks, they could be at the very end of their life cycles.

i am not trying to upsale you, but you might consider looking for an 1800's english grandfather clock. it won't play westminster, but it will be an easily fixable heirloom that should be around in another 150 years. i would think you could find a clock of this type for somewhere in the 400.00 range.

IF....either of the two clocks above need a movement replacement, you will have more than that invested and the clock will still only be worth 1-200.00 when you are done.
 

new2clocks

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Welcome to the forum.

Without seeing the movement, we can only provide our opinions on a piece of furniture, which is not what I believe you are requesting.

For a similar price or a bit higher, you can find a real antique clock with a movement that is of a much higher quality and desirability.

Regards.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I have to say I agree with Brian, for not a lot more you could get something nearly as old as the USA, but if not the first one.
 
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David Paul Medici

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Solid wood is my first thought, but I have no idea about if the "works" are in decent condition or not.
The Ethan Allen (Included photos) and he ran it for me. I now that at least from what I heard its functioning.
 

David Paul Medici

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welcome to our corner of the internet david. well...if they both run and the first clock is made of solid wood, i suppose i would pick that one. most likely the ethan allen's cabinet is some sort of particle board.

i think either of these would make decent first choice for someone just getting started in the hobby. to be honest, your choice between these two should probably be based on movement condition. i would guess that both have similar mechanicals. just so you know, the movements in these clocks are technically fixable, but because of the cost of labor, they are generally considered unfixable. it is considered much less expensive to just buy a new brass lump and replace rather than fix. assuming both movements are original to these clocks, they could be at the very end of their life cycles.

i am not trying to upsale you, but you might consider looking for an 1800's english grandfather clock. it won't play westminster, but it will be an easily fixable heirloom that should be around in another 150 years. i would think you could find a clock of this type for somewhere in the 400.00 range.

IF....either of the two clocks above need a movement replacement, you will have more than that invested and the clock will still only be worth 1-200.00 when you are done.
I think I deleted something by accident. - So I know that in all hobbies there are the folks that are looking for the best of the best, have the money to invest and those folks are usually very knowing of the headache and bottomless hole that embarking on a hobby can bring. I have been doing research on Grandfather Clocks and how long the modern ones last, etc. Both of these may be at end of functional life. A hard decision.
 

Isaac

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You'll find that a lot of mid-range German grandfather clocks from the early 20th century will be made quite robustly and are decently priced. These makers include Junghans, Gustav Becker (Some of their clocks would be considered premium), Kienzle, Mauthe, PHS (Phillip Haas & Sohne), Badische, and more. With proper servicing, they'll continue to last through your lifetime.

Premium makers are Lenzkirch, Winterhalder & Hoffmeier, LFS (Lorenz Furtwangler & Sohne), RSM, Mathias and Tobias Bauerle clocks, as well as others. They're all extremely robust (in both the case construction and movement construction). You'll likely need to pay more for these types of manufacturers.

Price can also come down to what type of grandfather clock you want. A T&S only grandfather clock (whether it be on a coil gong, rod gong, or bim-bam chimes) will be cheaper than a tubular bell grandfather clock with multiple chime options (Westminster, Whittington, Trinity, etc.). Some chime on rod gongs only, while others chime on coil gongs and bells.
 

jmclaugh

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On what's available to see and no one has identified the movement details in the 2nd clock I'd go with the one you like the best.
 

gleber

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Hi David,

My advice? Keep looking and scanning the usual for sale sites. I bought each of these over the last 2 to 3 years. Maximum paid? $100. Two were free other than the cost to drive and pick them up. Most are probably larger than you are looking for if you only have room for a grandmother clock, which will reduce the options for you. All of these have been posted in the Latest Acquisition section of this forum.

Good Luck!
Tom

A. Sliman
primary.jpg
American Chime Clock Co

primary.jpg
Claude E Readinger
primary.jpg
John Wanamaker
primary.jpg
Unsigned
primary.jpg
W Campbell
primary.jpg
Waltham
primary.jpg
 
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David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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Hi David,

My advice? Keep looking and scanning the usual for sale sites. I bought each of these over the last 2 to 3 years. Maximum paid? $100. Two were free other than the cost to drive and pick them up. Most are probably larger than you are looking for if you only have room for a grandmother clock, which will reduce the options for you. All of these have been posted in the Latest Acquisition section of this forum.

Good Luck!
Tom

A. Sliman
View attachment 612890
American Chime Clock Co

View attachment 612892
Claude E Readinger
View attachment 612893
John Wanamaker
View attachment 612898
Unsigned
View attachment 612895
W Campbell
View attachment 612896
Waltham
View attachment 612897
Hello Tom,
Those are some impressive clocks at an impressive price in my opinion. I especially like the last one and the first one. The A. Sliman for its large clock face and sloping glass seems highly unusual but then again, my experience with case clocks is minimal. My curiosity is not however, just my budget, and knowledge. I wish you lived closer to help ferret out some decent beauties to have. It is true my cottage is small, which is why I almost leaned toward a mantle grandfather, but I wanted the majesty of the larger style.

I decided and purchased the clock that the previous owner showed through photos and a video that the clockworks were working, while the other person had no interest in doing either. So I went with the late 1960's-1970 Ethan Allen grandfather clock for a starter clock. Round trip 107 miles, but it was worth it, I hope. So far the things that a noob like myself would want is there. Chiming on the quarter hours, and hour was part of the magic for me.

NewOldGrandfatherClockSept2020.JPG
 
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Raymond Rice

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Congratulations, enjoy your new clock. It's a cheap way to get some experience and if you enjoy the hobby, you can always upgrade when the opportunity arises.
Ray
 

David Paul Medici

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Congratulations, enjoy your new clock. It's a cheap way to get some experience and if you enjoy the hobby, you can always upgrade when the opportunity arises.
Ray
Thanks Ray. I just discovered a few minutes ago that the clock was not level and found out why. Because my house has some age on it (almost 70 years) the living room floor is not level. After discovering that the clock was not level by about 1/4 inch I found out that one of the leveling feet seem to be missing in the front, while the leveler in the back was in place. I slide a slider under the front that compensated for the floor and unscrewed the leveling foot in the back and now its much better.

Question:
I have some questions on the armature and the spring that holds the pendulum arm then seem to be twisted slightly making the pendulum swing a bit forward in back as it goes through its arc.
 

gleber

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Congratulations on your purchase.

Just so you know, none of the clocks I showed above was my first. I bought at least 4 other GFs in the same price range $100+/- that were all about the same vintage as yours. They are all nice clocks, but I much prefer older ones for their craftsmanship and artistry, especially after getting my first (the unsigned one above). It's hard to duplicate that at a reasonable price in the era of mass production, cost cutting, lower demand and cheap modern electronic alternatives - As witnessed by the declining number of manufacturers.

Enjoy your clock and your new hobby. Be prepared to run out of room in your cottage. It's addicting.

Tom
 

brian fisher

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your suspension spring probably got messed up during moving or perhaps when the pendulum was removed or installed.

it probably could use a replacement at some point, but as long as it it working and keeping good time, i would just leave it as it is.
 

David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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your suspension spring probably got messed up during moving or perhaps when the pendulum was removed or installed.

it probably could use a replacement at some point, but as long as it it working and keeping good time, i would just leave it as it is.
Tom - There was a slight bend, and I think I compensated for the bend by bending it back. Now it seems to run much better and no longer clanging against the weights.
 

David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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Congratulations on your purchase.

Just so you know, none of the clocks I showed above was my first. I bought at least 4 other GFs in the same price range $100+/- that were all about the same vintage as yours. They are all nice clocks, but I much prefer older ones for their craftsmanship and artistry, especially after getting my first (the unsigned one above). It's hard to duplicate that at a reasonable price in the era of mass production, cost cutting, lower demand and cheap modern electronic alternatives - As witnessed by the declining number of manufacturers.

Enjoy your clock and your new hobby. Be prepared to run out of room in your cottage. It's addicting.

Tom
Gleber - I think you are the doctor of Clock fetishes. My cottage is small but my curiosity and love of clocks has always been strong with me, since a child. From early childhood it has been a secret passion of mine. There is a clock shop in Lake George, NY that specializes in Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and boy do they ever. The largest and most ornate to the smallest and compact, they have it all. I loved going in there to look at them and imagine which one I would realistically want. All out of my price range when I was in my 30s and 40s and even now I would be foolish to spend those prices today. Besides the hunt and great find for something that has some history and age on is much more interesting. How do you feel about that?
 

David Paul Medici

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congratulations david
Brian - Thank you. I have had some success in tweaking the time to run correctly by moving the pendulum and making sure that the clock is as level as possible on my unlevel floor. So that makes me happy so far. I was wondering, do they need to be oiled? I fiddled with Cuckoo clocks and the size and way the clockworks were they often had dust surrounding partly exposed pins that when oiled make the clock work like a charm for a good while.
 

brian fisher

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it most certainly does need oil. i bought a quart of mobile 1 full synthetic in the lightest weight possible which i believe was 0w-15. i loaded a little up in a small medical syringe and then put a little drop on each pivot of my movement. it will require removing the movement and the dial. setting it on a bench or your kitchen table. i think you should find many threads here on the forum about this subject.
 

gleber

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How do you feel about that?
A man after my own heart... I too always liked clocks, but never could find room in my budget and didn't know much about how they worked (other than as an inquisitive kid taking apart an alarm clock and ruining the balance spring). Our first real clock was an Emperor Grandfather (mother?) clock I helped my father-in-law build from a kit. We inherited it when he passed. My first real experience (infection? addiction? :eek:) with a successful repair was in 2015. I bought a non-working anniversary clock for $5 at a yard sale. I figured $5 was a reasonable price of admission and I would get some sort of education in the process (either how to fix clocks or where I should NOT my spend money :)). I now own about 100, the majority of which were non-working when purchased but other than a few in the queue are running now. Most have been posted here. And this site is the best resource and the people I've met here virtually or in-person are wonderful. My tastes were anything with a winding arbor, but have narrowed to either ornate or grand. My favorite sub-collections are my figurals, cuckoos, tall clocks and regulators. I think my ITR master and slave set are museum worthy compared to the one I've seen at the NWACC museum. (my collection is posted here: gleber's Clocks; examples of my work are in the link in my signature).

I went to school, met my wife and used to live in upstate NY (Canton/Potsdam area). The Cuckoo clock store in Lake George sounds cool. I was unaware of it, but I'll have it check it out. Do you live in that area? Good luck with your clock (collection).

Tom
 
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David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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it most certainly does need oil. i bought a quart of mobile 1 full synthetic in the lightest weight possible which i believe was 0w-15. i loaded a little up in a small medical syringe and then put a little drop on each pivot of my movement. it will require removing the movement and the dial. setting it on a bench or your kitchen table. i think you should find many threads here on the forum about this subject.
Since I am new, where would I go for such advice?
 

David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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A man after my own heart... I too always liked clocks, but never could find room in my budget and didn't know much about how they worked (other than as an inquisitive kid taking apart an alarm clock and ruining the balance spring). Our first real clock was an Emperor Grandfather (mother?) clock I helped my father-in-law build from a kit. We inherited it when he passed. My first real experience (infection? addiction? :eek:) with a successful repair was in 2015. I bought a non-working anniversary clock for $5 at a yard sale. I figured $5 was a reasonable price of admission and I would get some sort of education in the process (either how to fix clocks or where I should NOT my spend money :)). I now own about 100, the majority of which were non-working when purchased but other than a few in the queue are running now. Most have been posted here. And this site is the best resource and the people I've met here virtually or in-person are wonderful. My tastes were anything with a winding arbor, but have narrowed to either ornate or grand. My favorite sub-collections are my figurals, cuckoos, tall clocks and regulators. I think my ITR master and slave set are museum worthy compared to the one I've seen at the NWACC museum. (my collection is posted here: http://mylcocks.site/users/gleber; examples of my work are in the link in my signature).

I went to school, met my wife and used to live in upstate NY (Canton/Potsdam area). The Cuckoo clock store in Lake George sounds cool. I was unaware of it, but I'll have it check it out. Do you live in that area? Good luck with your clock (collection).

Tom
Tom - What a great look into your addiction and subsequent satisfaction. I live in Ashland, VA now, but bred and born in ADK.
 

David Paul Medici

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Sep 17, 2020
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A man after my own heart... I too always liked clocks, but never could find room in my budget and didn't know much about how they worked (other than as an inquisitive kid taking apart an alarm clock and ruining the balance spring). Our first real clock was an Emperor Grandfather (mother?) clock I helped my father-in-law build from a kit. We inherited it when he passed. My first real experience (infection? addiction? :eek:) with a successful repair was in 2015. I bought a non-working anniversary clock for $5 at a yard sale. I figured $5 was a reasonable price of admission and I would get some sort of education in the process (either how to fix clocks or where I should NOT my spend money :)). I now own about 100, the majority of which were non-working when purchased but other than a few in the queue are running now. Most have been posted here. And this site is the best resource and the people I've met here virtually or in-person are wonderful. My tastes were anything with a winding arbor, but have narrowed to either ornate or grand. My favorite sub-collections are my figurals, cuckoos, tall clocks and regulators. I think my ITR master and slave set are museum worthy compared to the one I've seen at the NWACC museum. (my collection is posted here: http://mylcocks.site/users/gleber; examples of my work are in the link in my signature).

I went to school, met my wife and used to live in upstate NY (Canton/Potsdam area). The Cuckoo clock store in Lake George sounds cool. I was unaware of it, but I'll have it check it out. Do you live in that area? Good luck with your clock (collection).

Tom
For what ever reason i am not able to find your site was it supposed to be http://myclocks.site/user/gleber ?
 

David Paul Medici

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Hello everyone -
I am unsure if this is the proper place to give an update on my new clock ownership or not since my last entry was back in October. Now that it is December I would like to update my experiences and see if they are aligning to any of yours?

My grandfather clock has been working pretty well as far as I can tell it chimes, keeps reasonable time for a relatively inexpensive clock. The pendulum hanger is a bit bent which I have not been able to resolve as of yet. I am not sure if that is more of a "looking good" thing or my OCD is kicking in and I want it to "pendulum" correctly. Keeping time and chiming on the quarter, half, three quarter and hour is part of its charm for me and part of the eventual secondary issue that I am sure many of you face. Proximity to a chiming clock to your bedroom. Some nights I do not hear it and others it seems I hear the clock and my sleep is disturbed to the point that I think it is a problem. There is a way to shut off the chimes which is cumbersome as you know if you do not have a switch on the face. I like the tick tock, and the chimes during the day, and my students that I teach online accept it as part of Mr Medici's class. I have accepted it as a nice re-assuring sound in my house. It's just some nights I think my sleep is suffering.

Questions:
1. Is there a way to rebend the pendulum hanger to not be canted?
2. Is there any functional reason why I would need to change out the hanger for one that is not bent?
3. Silencing the clock by pulling the string at its source requires that I take the top off every day. I see wear issues being an issue? Any solutions?

Overall I really like the clock and glad I have it. I am looking forward to hearing from all of you and your esteemed advice.

David Medici
Ashland, VA
 

JTD

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It is a long time since we have seen a photo of your clock. Now that you have it running, could you post photo(s), particularly of the bent pendulum that is worrying you?

There should be no reason why the bend cannot be corrected, but it would help to be able to see it.

As for the problem of the clock striking at night, as this is a modern clock I would expect the strike silencer mechanism to be accessible without taking off the hood. Some clocks have a long thin wire that hangs right down so that you can access it by opening the front door. You mentioned that your clock has string - might it be that there is a little hole in the hood for the string to come through?

I am not very familiar with modern long case clocks, but it seems to me that it should be possible to attach a long thin wire that you could access through the front door.



JTD
 
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David Paul Medici

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Hello JTD
I my clock while I think of is older I have a tough time thinking that it is modern. The clock face is smooth, not a switch or a level to be found, however there is a silencing cord for both Westminster and the quarter, half, three quarter hour. I have included the photos and repositioned the chords with ring attachments back to where they probably should have been. It seems to be after I fiddled a bit that if I hang a weight from these rings that would work as well. The question is, was that what the manufacture of the clock works intended? And if that is the case, what weights should I use?

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Hello JTD
I my clock while I think of is older I have a tough time thinking that it is modern. The clock face is smooth, not a switch or a level to be found, however there is a silencing cord for both Westminster and the quarter, half, three quarter hour. I have included the photos and repositioned the chords with ring attachments back to where they probably should have been. It seems to be after I fiddled a bit that if I hang a weight from these rings that would work as well. The question is, was that what the manufacture of the clock works intended? And if that is the case, what weights should I use?

View attachment 625789 View attachment 625790 View attachment 625791 View attachment 625792
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Are you sure these two lines are in fact meant to silence the chime and strike? It seems to me that they could be meant for synchronising chime and strike when necessary. But I can't enlarge the photo enough to see how/where they are attached.

In any case, they certainly shouldn't be outside the case in the way they are shown in the photo - they would get fouled by the hood. They should hang down inside the case where you can access them via the front door.

Others may know more.

JTD
 
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David Paul Medici

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Are you sure these two lines are in fact meant to silence the chime and strike? It seems to me that they could be meant for synchronising chime and strike when necessary. But I can't enlarge the photo enough to see how/where they are attached.

In any case, they certainly shouldn't be outside the case in the way they are shown in the photo - they would get fouled by the hood. They should hang down inside the case where you can access them via the front door.

Others may know more.

JTD

They are indeed for silencing the chimes. I wonder what kind of weight I can use
 

David Paul Medici

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Are you sure these two lines are in fact meant to silence the chime and strike? It seems to me that they could be meant for synchronising chime and strike when necessary. But I can't enlarge the photo enough to see how/where they are attached.

In any case, they certainly shouldn't be outside the case in the way they are shown in the photo - they would get fouled by the hood. They should hang down inside the case where you can access them via the front door.

Others may know more.

JTD
If you see in the later photos I did just that.
 

JTD

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If you see in the later photos I did just that.
I wonder what kind of weight I can use

Perhaps I am missing something, but the only photos I can see have these two lines hanging over the edge of the case where the hood would slide on.

As to hanging weights on them, I don't think they were ever meant to have weights.

But I am not so familiar with modern clocks (by that I mean second half of 20th century) so perhaps other can give better advice.

JTD
 

David Paul Medici

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Its the last photo but you can't really tell unless you look close. I have fed the strings through the clock head and down into the pendulum box. I think I may try some salt water weights on a paper clip. That may do it. I just want the option to sleep a little longer when I need it.
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Its the last photo but you can't really tell unless you look close. I have fed the strings through the clock head and down into the pendulum box.
Yes, I see it now, but it is the first photo in post #41, not the last! That was what confused me.

JTD
 
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