Banjo Clock Brass Side Arm Duplication

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by eskmill, Apr 15, 2012.

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  1. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Aug 24, 2000
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    #1 eskmill, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
    Faced with a desire to preserve a very collectible banjo clock that had lost its left side arm. I decided to reproduce a mirror image of the existing right-hand side arm. This to preserve the as-found condition of the timepiece.

    A search for a readily available side-arm of the same style and length proved fruitless. Instead of having the reproduction laser or water abrasive cut. I simply traced the existing side arm on a piece of 1/8" thick solid brass plate and hand cut the item using a combination of chain-drilling, sawing and hand filing.

    It is 0.015" thicker than the original, thus obvious to the critical eye. Cutting and filing the piece was an all-day long task for five days.

    Would I hand-cut another? Nope. Have an exact machine-language drawing made and send the job to a laser or water cutting shop.

    Attached Files:

  2. Paul Arsenault

    Paul Arsenault Registered User
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Jan 21, 2007
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    looks GREAT...nice job
  3. Thyme

    Thyme Registered Users

    Sep 18, 2006
    metro NY area
    You did a beautiful job and I fully appreciate how long doing it takes. However, it is apparent by comparison that it is not of the same material as the original.

    If you keep searching on FleaBay you might eventually find a junk case that has the arms intact.
  4. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Aug 24, 2000
    Region Flag:
    Thank you for the complement Thyme. You are correct, the original side arm is an original cast brass with various thickness although obviously draw filed flat both sides and to an extent, the edges but shows some casting exclusions.

    My hand sawn copy on the left leaves no doubt that it is not original and is so noted on the back side. I considered using aluminum colored by anodizing but I had the 1/8" brass on hand. In time it will assume a matching patina but will never be identical or mistaken as original.

    The timepiece has no provenance but absent the hand made side arm and pendulum restraint has every character of one made under the tutelage and in the period of Willard in the Boston Neck. Other than the side arm and pendulum restraint, I have not plans other than to preserve the clock as found.
  5. tbonjour

    tbonjour Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    It looks like an early clock that had the throat attached with small external bolts. I would like to see the rest of the clock. The replacement sidearm looks very good. Did the original sidearm have a brad through the center diamond?

    Tom Bonjour
    Blackford County
  6. the 3rd dwarve

    the 3rd dwarve Registered User

    Nov 3, 2000
    Hi Les,

    The side arm came out well. Once it oxidizes a little it will look like it has always been there.

    I sent a small job out to be water jet cut 2 weeks ago. They did a great job but machine time was $125 per hour with a one hour minimum plus engineering time to enter the data. We’re trying to get away from plasma cutting as it changes the molecular structure of the metal adjacent to the cut and that makes the chances of a flaw in the weld higher but the cost of water jet for small jobs is high. The cost of laser cutting is just as high if not higher.

    Besides, there no craftsmanship in pushing buttons. I know you feel good about making it the way the original was made and having it turn out so well.


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