Cleaning Clock Hardware

derwiener

Old Timer
Aug 8, 2009
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I have a Gilbert clock with outside metal hardware [or whatever the correct terminology is - picture below] that is badly tarnished and needs to be cleaned. I am not sure what the metal is, possibly brass, but I soaked it in clock cleaning solution, but no luck. I am hoping there is some soaking solution that would clean it, rather than hand-cleaning each piece. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!

Thank you very much.

Paul

Gilbert Hardware.JPG
 

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
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Looks like spelter which was originally gilded or painted. I don't think the parts are tarnished, it is just that the original finish has worn off over the years. What you have now is the base metal which you will have to re-gild (very expensive) or re-do in another way.

I would go for Rub-'n'-Buff. It produces very acceptable results on these items, I have used it quite a lot and always been happy with the result.

Hope this helps.

JTD
 

Elliott Wolin

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Nov 18, 2019
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I had the exact same problem on a 1915 Ingraham table clock. As JTD noted, all the brass/gilding was gone, only the base pot metal was left (took me a long time to realize this!).

Rub-n-buff (one of the gold ones, don't recall for sure, perhaps antique gold) worked great:

20200731_202705.jpg
 

derwiener

Old Timer
Aug 8, 2009
120
4
18
Looks like spelter which was originally gilded or painted. I don't think the parts are tarnished, it is just that the original finish has worn off over the years. What you have now is the base metal which you will have to re-gild (very expensive) or re-do in another way.

I would go for Rub-'n'-Buff. It produces very acceptable results on these items, I have used it quite a lot and always been happy with the result.

Hope this helps.

JTD
Thank you very much. Ill give it a try.
Paul
 

JimmyOz

Registered User
Feb 21, 2008
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It may be a bronze finish that the clock had originally, look at the back of the feet as this should have some remnants of the original finish.
 

Gage_robertson_collector

Registered User
May 4, 2021
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West Hartford, Connecticut
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I have a Gilbert clock with outside metal hardware [or whatever the correct terminology is - picture below] that is badly tarnished and needs to be cleaned. I am not sure what the metal is, possibly brass, but I soaked it in clock cleaning solution, but no luck. I am hoping there is some soaking solution that would clean it, rather than hand-cleaning each piece. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!

Thank you very much.

Paul

View attachment 680687
Try using a soft brass wire brush. They can found at a hardware store for a fairly cheap price, and they are useful for many other things clock repair related too. If that does not work you may try using 0000 steel wool to polish them back up, or consider painting them over with a gold paint. I have different mediums I use for this. Sometimes I use spray paint and sometimes I apply by brush it is all really based off personal preference
 

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