Clock Cleaning & Oiling

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by jmclaugh, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
    4,739
    131
    63
    Devon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi,
    I am contemplating cleaning and oiling my clock movements myself to save some money. I am only looking at this stage to remove the movements, clean and oil them and re-assemble. Any recommendations on books that cover this in a practical way would be much appreciated.
     
  2. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
    4,739
    131
    63
    Devon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi,
    I am contemplating cleaning and oiling my clock movements myself to save some money. I am only looking at this stage to remove the movements, clean and oil them and re-assemble. Any recommendations on books that cover this in a practical way would be much appreciated.
     
  3. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
    14,364
    55
    48
    Calgary, Alberta
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Jonathan,

    Any books on clock repair that you might consult will show you the right way to do the job. And that will mean a considerable investment in tools and shop environment which means that, unless you are going to be doing enough clocks to amortize the investment, better to choose a good, well recommended shop, and have the clocks done by them. There is no such thing as an inexpensive, thorough, "dip-and-swish" method to servicing clocks. Cleaning is only part of the job! So, unless you are prepared to make a long term committment to servicing clocks, and are prepared to make the necessary investment both in expense and time, pay someone to do them for you. It's cheaper!
     
  4. Grouse

    Grouse Guest

    Tools should be considered an investment in learning and practicing Clock Repair. Teaching someone to repair their own clocks is a great means at encouraging them to be more active in the NAWCC and to become an active collector. I have seen people spend thousands of dollars on wood working tools, only to build a few bird houses.

    Welcome to the World of Horology!
     
  5. Charles E. Davis

    Charles E. Davis Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Life Member NAWCC Member Golden Circle

    Nov 6, 2000
    909
    7
    18
    La Verne, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If you are really interested in working on clocks, go for it. Find some local person who shares your interest and work with him or her. Better yet, find a clock class to join. They should have all of the tools, and supplies needed to get you on your way.The most needed repairs are cleaning, bushing and polishing pivots. The availability of precision bushings and a few simple tools should enable you to develope the skills and knowledge to completely rebuild a badly worn, but not abused movement , to good running order. Clocks were repaired long before workmen had ultrasonic cleaning machines and expensive bushing tools. Pivots can be polished with an improvised dead center lathe made from a large door hinge. Go to the professionals when more serious problems arise.
     
  6. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    1,227
    8
    38
    EE (spec. acoustics) now medicine
    USA
    If you have a lot of clocks (and enough time) cleaning, oiling, and doing minor repairs yourself is the only cost effective way to keep them going. And you're starting at exactly the right place- asking about books on the subject. You're in luck too, in that so many horological publications originate in England.
    Laurie Penman's books are very thorough and complete; his "Clock Repairer's Handbook" is filled with line drawings, which are often clearer than photos. He also writes a column for Clocks magazine on topics frequently useful.
    Philip Balcomb's "Clock Repair Primer" has a section on cleaning, and its sequel, the more advanced "Clock Repair First Reader" has other topics of interest, both also with drawings.
    Dr. David Goodman's "This Old Clock" is available from him- he's a moderator on this Board. It was written as an adjunct to his clock repair classes. It specializes in American clocks, but gives sage and practical general advice.
    John Wilding has written a number of good books, such as his 3 vol set "How to Repair Antique Clocks", "Hints and Tips for Clockmakers and Repairers", also one on small lathe use, and one on making special horological tools.
    Most of these books are softcover and fairly reasonable in price (in distinct contrast to horological books in general!) The first mentioned has been recently remaindered.
    You should beware of older texts, which might advise the use of certain chemicals now considered unsafe, or even illegal, or certain repair techniques no longer deemed acceptable, such as using the hole-closing punch. One of those techniques is the "dunk & swish" method of cleaning. This is now pretty much universally condemned, though I'm sure there are still plenty of shops still doing it. One of the other real advantages to doing your own work is that you can be sure it's done right!
     
  7. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
    4,739
    131
    63
    Devon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Bill,
    Many thanks for the encouragement and the useful info, I will try and get a copy of Penman's book to begin with. I do have quite a few clocks and I thought I might make a start on a Jerome Cottage clock, hopefully it will still be working after I have cleaned and oiled it!
     

Share This Page