C.F. ROCHLITZ Berlin selfwinding church clock

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by pidragos, Jan 13, 2018.

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  1. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Hi Everybody,
    I have a new big challenge in my area, an interesting self winding church clock made by the German manufacturer C.F. Rochlitz, according identification plate.
    The clock is complete and looks functional after few trials, but the main point is to get it cleaned.
    My big concern is the restoration of the dials. I have no experience with glass dials and back lighting. The dials have to be repainted and new numbers too...
    Looks hard to dismantle them from the fixing points; What kind of paint to use and any indication for number templates?
    I need some directions please! Thanks

    PS In the past the clock was connected to a master electrical clock placed in the city-hall, but not available anymore. Excepting the electrical staff used for winding the weights, rest of the wires etc were used for the master clock.
    Last picture shows the automatic switch for the winding system.
    Dragos

    IMG_1779.JPG IMG_1784.JPG IMG_1786.JPG IMG_1802.JPG IMG_1803.JPG IMG_1806.JPG IMG_1807.JPG IMG_1808.JPG IMG_1825.JPG IMG_1827.JPG
     
  2. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    and by the way, I found no info on internet about Rochlitz manufacturer in Berlin Germany, only the fact that they still exists, starting 1824...and nothing more
     
  3. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User

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    You find all the great projects. I'll be following this with great enthusiasm!
    As for the glass dial painting, I think you need to seek a Sign Maker who specializes in storefront window letter-painting. If you drive around a city or town & see some nice work, stop in and ask the proprietor for a reference & referral.

    I don't think there are many Sign-Makers left who hand paint lettering on glass, but there's a few.
    Most use computer generated vinyl lettering.

    Best of luck!!
     
  4. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    I have a reprint of the 1893 Rochlitz catalog and your clock appears to be a No. 4 or some variation of it. I have a No. 10.

    Frank
     
  5. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Thank you!
    This project is about 7km far away from the previous Eduard Korfhage project. People in the next village were and are still spending money on precious and useful items, like this clock for example.
    unfortunately, as you mentioned, less people skilled you can find around...
    I am thinking not to restore the old dials, but replace them with new ones. New round glass dials and brass numbering....

    by the way, is anybody thinking to change the mercury switch (last picture) with a modern one? I would say I will keep the original switch for winding the weights!
     
  6. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    village mayor told me the clock was ordered and installed in 1933; can you please provide me a copy of the catalog?
     
  7. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    I have the Rochlitz catalog in digital form. If you send me your real email address, I can send it to you. It's 26MB, so I have to send it in two emails as my provider doesn't allow more than 20MB. BTW, the catalog is in German.

    Frank
     
  8. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    you have my contact in a PM.
    is also a serialization available in the catalog? this clock mechanism has #7998 following the id plate
     
  9. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    Hard to tell. The catalog is in German which I don't read or speak.

    Frank
     
  10. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    not a problem, I will handle the German. Thanks
     
  11. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Update: January 21st, A.D. MMXVIII

    When I start a new project and such interesting like this amazing Rochlitz, it might happen to have an unquiet sleep, thinking and thinking....

    and this unquiet sleep is because of the dials. Therefore I jumped into my car together with my colleague for a Sunday visit to the church... Have to say the last 30km until the arrival are like a fairy tale, unique mountain winter views as seen in the picture with my friend!!!

    So reason of the trip are the dials, how to start…as the place of the dials and the way they were installed is strange. The tower did not have the locations for the dials, therefore they created some holes in the wall like seen. There is only one way to assembly, from outside. The hole behind is made just enough to have access to the dials mechanism, you cannot take the glass dials out from there, only if they are made of 2 parts, semicircles.

    So our intention is to make the dial from 2 parts (2 semicircle of glass). Paint the numerals and then the background and fix each half into the dial frame.
    There are 4 dials in total, only 3 of glass (2 complete round dials + 1 made of 2 half) and the 4th made of metal. Diameter: 1150mm, glass thickness 6mm, numerals height 150mm.

    As scootermcrad mentioned in his thread “Tower Clock Restoration Unfolding and New Guy”, the numerals are not so special, font cannot be identified.

    In the catalog provided by FDelGreco, I could find this (right dial with Arab numerals ), which probably I will use for the new dials .
    Meanwhile I got in contact with Mr. Klaus Lumbeck from Berlin, probably the administrator of the actual Rochlitz company that still in service today. I provided him pictures and dimensions of dials and numerals. He is trying to provide me the right font and maybe the template for the dials. This will be great...let's see

    Finally I add few pictures taken on this Sunday.
    coming back to you soon...

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  12. Mr. Time

    Mr. Time Registered User

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    Again.....WOW!

    As a previous member stated...."you find all these great projects"!.....not only that but you take them on as a challenge and that's a good way of approaching it.

    Good Luck on this project and I there is no doubt that I am sure it will come out looking just as fantastic as your last one you posted about.

    Great!....and I am looking forward to the updates, pictures and videos of your progress.
     
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  13. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    thank you, this is really big challenge, hopefully the church administration will accept me and my team services.
    I will keep you all posted...
     
  14. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Update March, 02nd A.D. MMXVIII
    gladly to announced that the Church Council accepted my proposal to restore completely the German clock.
    therefore I will keep you posted starting in few days, hopefully the weather will become + and snow will stop; unfortunately bad weather everywhere and hard to drive in that area with forest, hills and dangerous serpentines...actually this road is a link to the famous Transfagarasan road! keep in touch
    Dragos
     
  15. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Update April, 20th A.D. MMXVIII
    Work started, unfortunately did not have time to post anything. There were more discussions (10th of April) with the church administration as they asked mw for a new clock!
    I said no, as long as this can be repaired. And more, they can be proud of this timekeeper, it could be a unique one in our country, custom made! For a new clock I am in partnership with PERROT Germany (since 1860) that are able to manufacture very professional tower clock equipment...but now is not the case.
    Nevertheless the restoration started.
    14th of April: we did a deep clean of the dust, checked the electrical connections, tested the automatic winding, did some adjustments to the remontoir gearing, anker and anker wheel and the result is shown into the attached movie... see you soon

     
  16. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    Does the film show the clock before your maintenance?
     
  17. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    what the film shows is after maintenance. The clock was not operational at the first view and check...
    we do this usually when the clock situation permits, in order to identify any other unseen damages in the clock mechanics at the first view. And this is a nice and complete automatic clock.
     
  18. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Update Status April, 29th A.D. MMXVIII
    on 20th of April, mechanism has been lowered from the tower, few elements disassembled before, especially pendulum and all electrical staff (including the mercury switch), weights removed. All were transported by our "special vehicle" to the workshop for restoration.
    on 28th of April we took out 2 of the dials, one was made by 2 parts but the other could not be recovered in good condition, 12mm thickness glass fixed into the metal frame. we tried to cut it in half with a special tool, but unfortunately it has cracked in wrong direction. We took for restoration in workshop the bevel gears and 2 of the motion works behind dials...
    keep in touch.

    IMG_2616.JPG IMG_2618.JPG IMG_2625.JPG IMG_2632.JPG IMG_2638.JPG IMG_2692.JPG IMG_2701.JPG IMG_2707.JPG View attachment 474128 IMG_2733.JPG
     
  19. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    additional pictures working on dials...

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  20. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Update Status July, 18th A.D. MMXVIII
    dear all, I have been too busy in the last 2-3 month to be able to make any posting.
    What I can show you is below in pictures and tell that now I am working at the dials and gearings of dials + bevel gear restoration. it was a hard working period as there was a serious issue on one shaft that had to be reworked by the ends.....then cleaning and some painting activities.
    here also a short movie after setting the remontoir gearing, weights and pendulum position.



    meanwhile I need advise on painting the dials. I have the dials prepared: 3 glass dials cut on half, 8mm thick. I ordered dials in half as there is no way of installing from inside.
    paint I can find the best like the car body paint, I am waiting the templates for the dials from a local supplier, to be used for numbering painting and gradation. I am not sure if the car body paint is the best and do not know if will stay on the glass if I will not use a primer...what do you think?

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  21. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    I would use self sticking plastic foil in white colour and stick it from inside. It would be better than paint. First order the grafic cutted from the black foil and apply on the glass and then apply the white one on all the surface. From inside of course... Don't paint it, too much unpaid work...;)
     
  22. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Thanks for the advice. This was already discussed a week ago with a local company that is handling publicity business. We tested a special foil sticked from inside but it does not adhere too much on the glass even if it is with adezive. and it can be very easily removed even by mistake during assembly... the foils are much expensive then the paint itself. We have equipment to perform the painting and it was also adviced from few friends of mine in UK ... we still search for solutions. Thank you
     
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  23. scootermcrad

    scootermcrad Registered User
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    Thanks for the updates on your project. Great rehab!

    I always love watching those differential type Rementoire assemblies.
     
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  24. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    It is the special foil with a very good glue for foiling the cars. In my country I pay 50 Euro for the complete foil for one glass face... If you want to paint it, first sand the glass and make it matt to make the paint adhesive better.
     
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  25. kevin h

    kevin h Registered User

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    I really enjoyed this , I would love your job
     
  26. pidragos

    pidragos Registered User
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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Dear all,
    Nice "to see" you again, in 2019.
    I have to apologize, I was so busy as did not get chance to make any post....
    Finally:
    Update Status February, 5th A.D. MMXIX
    Rochlitz clock is fully functional (starting September 16th, 2018).
    No other words, just pictures with the mechanism and painted glass dials. I will add later few pictures behind dials...

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