Anglo American Short Drop Facelift

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by WIngraham, Oct 19, 2019.

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  1. WIngraham

    WIngraham Registered User
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    Apr 19, 2019
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    Hello everyone, since a few posts a couple of months back about 2 new clocks, I have been doing a lot of reading on here. With the help of information found here I was able to give a recent clock purchase of mine a much needed facelift IMO. I am currently digesting 2 of Steven Conover's books, so at the moment it is just case work for me. I dont have anyone to discuss this work in my personal life right now so I figured I would post it here for comment and to document my progress.
    After getting a quote for a dial repaint that surpassed the clock purchase price, I decided to try it myself. I didn't feel comfortable with a total repaint as I didn't want to lose the placement of the chapter ring and the numbers so I opted for a "touch-up." With a fine point ink pen and a compass I redrew the chapter ring and refilled the numbers. A previous owner had filled a few in with a pencil. After that I used a few different shades of acrylic paint to attempt to match the aged color. (the pic with the flash shows my blending attempt) In normal light condition it blends pretty well. (what do you guys think?)
    The brass bezel was nearly black so I attacked that next with some simichrome and extra fine steel wool. Added some new brass grommets to match. I did not like the look of the spade hands? so I looked around in the bay for an antique pair and settled for the ones in the picture. They came to me extremely rusted, after reading here about handling that, I settled on soaking in Evapo-rust and then tried my hand at cold bluing. It is definitely a little uneven. I tried to get a mirror finish on them first like suggested here but could not get some pitting? removed. I'm pretty sure bluing with heat would have produced better results but I was not confident enough to attempt something like that. My next problem was getting them to fit the movement.
    The bushing? on the hour hand was a fit but the square hole on the minute hand was too large. After the fact I found out that you could make the square hole smaller by staking it. Not sure if this is the right use of that term. Instead I took a brass washer with a round hole and enlarge it with a combination of square and triangular files until it was a good fit. I then used loctite to attach this to the front of the hand and pinned them on.
    Most of these clocks that I have seen have "wings" on them so that was my next task. There was markings on the side of the case that showed that some had been there before. As I do not have any woodcarving skills, I purchased a pair of wood appliques that I thought were fitting, including small finials for under the bottom door. I stained them to match and then made my first attempt at using shellac (after much reading here, thank you). Since it was such a small surface area, I decided to try premixed shellac (I know). I checked it for freshness as suggested and decided it would be ok. I applied 5 light coats, I did use steel wool after the first heaviest coat (not sure if it accomplished much) but seemed to even it out a bit. They came out too shiny to match so I put a coat of wax on them and buffed them til it matched to my eyes.
    I wanted a different pendulum so I hunted around for one that caught my eye. I had to cut and attach a new leader for it. I was surprised at that success. After all this I thought that the pendulum and its window needed some attention so I attempted to use a transfer on the glass. The first two attempts were complete fails. After some reading on here, I figured that the transfers might be dried out so I warmed it and the glass up under an incandescent light and it turned out ok. I decided the backdrop needed some red velvet to match what was behind the fretwork at the bottom. I wasnt sure the best way to do this so I ended up stapling a piece of red velvet to some cardboard and sliding it up into the case. Cheap fix and you cant even tell with the door closed.
    I am not sure if anyone will take the time to read this but I wanted to thank everyone here for all the information that I have gleaned from this message board. It was a huge help and inspiration for me. On a sidenote I wanted to know if the New Haven 9 1/4 movement is in the novice range to work on, after I have finished digesting the two Conover books, as the striking is inconsistent. Any comments or suggestions, both positive and negative, are welcome. Thank you for your time.

    William 0913191724a.jpg 0916191222.jpg 0924191401a.jpg 0913191725.jpg 1019191953.jpg 1019191955.jpg
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    William your restored clock looks great, well done.
     
  3. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Always good to see a clock in need of tlc being restored, it looks lovely, well done. I used to own one not unlike it.
     
  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    A very nice job - I would not have dared to do the dial and you have succeeded with both case and dial. Well done!

    JTD
     
  5. WIngraham

    WIngraham Registered User
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    Apr 19, 2019
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    Thank you all for the compliments, they are words of encouragement. I will start a new thread when I get to tearing down the movement and cleaning it, and try to address the striking issue.
     
  6. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
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    Great job :clap: I am impressed with the dial, obviously you already had some painting skills before the attempt! If you don't mind me asking, could you go into a little more detail regarding how you did the paint blending? Did you airbrush? I'm asking because I can use some tips myself.
     
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  7. WIngraham

    WIngraham Registered User
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    Hi Chris, I cut several angled pieces of sponge out of a much larger one. I used Testors acryclic paint, they have a set of muted colors that I mixed with white. I mixed 5 or 6 different shades with the acrylics, it really just took some experimentation. All of them were in the same range, a few lighter a few darker. I alternated them, the acrylic dries really fast, switching between lighter and darker until I blended them close to the aged color that is there. I use an airbrush at work so maybe that helped with having an eye for color blending. I would have never thought to use it on a clock dial, thats an interesting idea, it would have a very similar layering effect. Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it.
     
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  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yes, an excellent job, but you're holding back on us... How did you do the details like the chapter ring? I can do okay matching colors, but can't come close to how well you did on the fine lines. That's a skill is like to learn, or at least tips to improve.

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  9. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    #9 Chris Radano, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    Thanks Wringham. I have dial that was already touched up over some deep chips. The touch up was glossy white, and stood out like a sore thumb. Here is the clock, with a pic of the dial:
    My Black Lincoln.
    I matched of the general color of the aged paint with a sample from Home Depot. Then I bought a sample size of the color, flat finish. Painted it on....lo and behold, the color was off. Doesn't match the sample, either. I really don't feel like buying another sample at this time, and risk the same thing. But I never had a paint not match the sample before.
    On the dial of the Seth Thomas, there's some craquelure. To achieve a similar effect, I used a sharp lead pencil lightly pressed to mimic the lines of the fine cracks.
    But I don't know if I should try to fill in the depth of the chipping. Probably leave it. The unmatched color is too distracting to me. The good thing, is I can try again. Definitely I would like the keep the dial original as much as possible.

    I've had success strengthening dial chapter rings with a fine tipped pen that can be purchased at an art supply store. With a fine tip appropriate pen, the chapter ring can be touched up freehand...you'll have more control with the correct tool. For the numerals, use a straight edge as a guide. Do the outline of the numerals first, then fill in the middle of the numerals with a thicker tip pen if you like. if the touch up isn't perfect, that's OK. The dial isn't perfect if it has age wear. As long as it's not distracting. Light lines are usually better than heavy lines.
     
  10. WIngraham

    WIngraham Registered User
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    Tom, I used varying diameter inking pens with a thin steel ruler and a lot of patience. Like Chris, I outlined the numerals first and then filled them in. I laid it on a piece of plywood and used a large compass, that I taped the pen to, in order to get a nice chapter ring. The numbers themselves also have a curved line at the bottom and top, I constantly shifted the ruler as I was doing that to get close to a matching curve. On a sidenote, you have a great website with some useful info for a beginner like me. Your dial restores look great to me.
    Chris, your clock is awesome. I love an ebony finish especially against brass or nickel. That pendulum is really cool. If I were you I wouldn't fill in the chipping, I think it would be too easy to make it even more distracting. I think you may have better luck with a few different shades than just one, your eyes could match the color better than anything Home Depot has, in my opinion. The paint set I used is from Amazon, item is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA1KVW6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 hopefully this link works. I also purchased pure white to add to the mix. I experimented with eye droppers on the tray that came with the paint. The acrylic dries really fast so you can interchange the colors without too much mixing on the sponges. I found starting with a darker shade and lightening it up with subsequent coats of lighter shades worked for me. These aged dials have sooo many shades of colors in them.
     
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  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    WIngraham - Thanks for the description, and the compliment. As I mentioned, I can color match pretty well, but drawing a straight line, even with a straight edge, and a curved one with a compass or french curve is difficult for me. Another issue is keeping the thickness of the line consistent, and I even took drafting in high school. :oops:

    I have updated my website with more recent "after" pictures and in the interest of adding to this archive for future reference, I have created this post Some Dial Restorations - Examples and Techniques in the Reverse Glass and Dial Painting section. Hopefully people will provide critiques and share their techniques and tips.

    Tom
     

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