Clockmakers Hall of Shame

RJSoftware

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Reality keeps changing slow
so the suspicious can't tell.
 
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Jim DuBois

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I have been a bit taken aback by some of the folks who get upset about this subject. Many of us post for sake of amusement, not really to belittle misdirected past efforts at clock repair. There are people who collect make-do repairs of many household items and respect them for what they are. Someone made-do with what they had on hand. Sometimes we see remarkable ingenuity, usually not. One might well assume that many of the really sloppy jobs we see were done by an owner trying to his clock back on the road.

Personally, where we should take serious exception is to some of the work we see done today by people who charge a bunch of money and do horrible work. Or just do horrible work, even for cheap money.

I recently saw a 3 train high-quality tubular chime clock movement that was corroded, rusty steel, and green brass, it had been dunked, in who knows what. It didn't run for than a few days when it came home. The repair bill from that fine craftsman? A mear $3000.
 

RJSoftware

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You have to admire their kahonees
 

D.th.munroe

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I recently saw a 3 train high-quality tubular chime clock movement that was corroded, rusty steel, and green brass, it had been dunked, in who knows what. It didn't run for than a few days when it came home. The repair bill from that fine craftsman? A mear $3000.
Unfortunately Jim, I have yet to have a nice tubular chime movement that was not treated this way for those prices, brought to me after for repair. A few really nice english fusee movements as well, maybe not rust, but alot of sticky goo (sometimes it hasn't turned green yet) and often what I call "high water lines".
Dan
 

Bruce Alexander

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I have been a bit taken aback by some of the folks who get upset about this subject. Many of us post for sake of amusement, not really to belittle misdirected past efforts at clock repair. There are people who collect make-do repairs of many household items and respect them for what they are. Someone made-do with what they had on hand. Sometimes we see remarkable ingenuity, usually not. One might well assume that many of the really sloppy jobs we see were done by an owner trying to his clock back on the road.
Hello Jim,

I think that was the crux of the debate on whether this Thread should have been renamed ("Shame" removed from the Title) or locked outright vs. being left as it was created by the OP. There was a Poll taken and most participants voted to leave the Thread alone. I think that the controversy has had a dampening affect on posts here though. Mark, David and a few others argued forcefully for the former. I understood/understand and respect their opinions but I think that the Thread can have positive, educational value if it is used properly.

We can speculate on the circumstances behind the unconventional repairs and maintenance that bring cases here but there's really no way to know. Was it some unethical shop, or some clueless "Mr. Fix-it". As far as the end result is concerned, it really doesn't matter and there is no benefit in pursuing all of the possibilities unless we want to engage in "barbershop" conversations/discussions/arguments.

Personally, I try to focus on the work, not the person(s) who did the work. There has been some conversation in a recent thread about folks being "self-taught" in the business/avocation/hobby. I did have a long-distance Mentor who got me started but I have largely taught myself through reading, watching videos and participating here. When I first started working with clocks, I "collected" at lot of different models to own and learn on. A lot of those early clocks I should have let someone else have but when the bug bites, we have fun acquiring and actually laying hands on clocks of all sorts. In any case, my intention was to learn on my own clocks and then turn around and hopefully sell them at a modest profit or at least break even having learned something in the process. I can now take in clocks belonging to others and do competent work for them...if I can find the time because I've still got too many clocks to service and sell. I got a little carried away. It was fun while it lasted though.

I have found that there's a lot of crap work which is hidden in the recesses of too many antique unwanted orphaned clocks that are floating around in the market. I sometimes find it irritating to have to reverse something that has been done in order to repair it properly using best methods as I understand them. It cost extra time and money to do so. RC counseled us to view these types of things as a way to get away from monotony and as an opportunity to learn additional skills. So I try to keep that in mind as I go forward.

I think that it's a fact that the more commonly found, mass produced clocks have lost 50% or even 75% of their market value over the last 10-15 years. I won't complain about the economics. Someone here might suggest that I get the eff out of the "business". The truth is that if I didn't enjoy the work, I would have gotten out a long time ago IF I had ever decided to get into it in the first place. It's just a lot more costly than I thought it would be. Hacked work makes it more expensive. No doubt that's why some have resorted to parting out clocks instead (another recent thread). As a matter of fact I watched with some remorse when what appeared to be a very nice Herschede Model 294 "Haverford" was just recently...within the last week or so...parted out on eBay by someone who calls himself a monger of clocks. He's really a destroyer of clocks and a monger of clock parts. As a mentor in another life once told me, now that you've discovered that you can't save the World, the question becomes, "Can you save yourself?".

If I decide to get the eff out of the business and liquidate our clocks, shop tools, equipment and supplies I won't do it that way. I'll sell most of our remaining clocks "as is". If I get a quarter on the dollar I'll probably be doing good. Auctioneers routinely offer lots of 3 or more clocks for a lot less money these days than one in good condition may have sold for a decade ago. Those of you who have made a career in Horology know the realities far better than I do.

I'll continue to try following RC's advice, but I still get irritated and often wonder "What in the hell....?" when I run across a resource consuming bodge that I just can't let pass through my shop as is. So, yes. I get upset sometimes.

Regards,

Bruce
 
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bangster

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I'll note in passing that a bodge is a bodge, whether done with the best of intentions or part of a scam. These bodges give us guidance as to what NOT to do. The shame is on the bodge, not necessarily on the bodger. The value of the thread is: Don't Do That.

Is what I think.
 

Berry Greene

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Hey Guys & Gals,
Check out this one. Not only would the solder put escape wheel out of poise but look at the tooth at the 1:00 position.
This should give a unusual printout on Microset connected to computer and set to record every beat.
Assuming it will even run. :?|

Keep these pics coming, I have over a hundred already. :thumb:
It looks as though a piece has been let in but how come one tooth is reversed. That's weird. Big lumps of solder could have been brushed off while still molten That's ugly!
 

shutterbug

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Just what ... not why ... but this thread has lasted longer and has had more posts than any other that I can think of. Good or bad, the fact is that it gets a lot of attention ;)
 
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Berry Greene

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I think its an excellent thread too Shutterbug. There's a huge amount to be learnt here and maybe even impart. I read Bruce Alexander again just back there and I am following in his wake when I look at the path he trod. I'm at that point where yes I often know the preferred way forward and then I wonder is this the only course? Would a well executed alternative "bodge" be accepted. On some of the rubbish I have kept going it really wouldn't matter except in terms of pride. One can always throw time & money at anything. In a way that's almost too easy. I'd agree though that for other people's property its the only way. But for my collection of dubious interest and value one can wonder how can I do this quickly and cheaply. You're right - yes I have probably crossed the line here & there. So what I say is keep it coming because at a minimum what Bangster says there is true. Not like that Berry - that's tasteless - but this way has a certain ingenuity and class to it.
To read of that rip off in Spanish comes out just the same in English. Spheres it may be, but that is beyond shabby and says and does nothing for the human race does it?
Hey what brought me back here was a poem. But where's it gorn ...:???: I write stuff sometimes more in humour than serious endeavour. It could be frustration rather than some deep rooted artist trying to get out!!
Regards, Berry G
 

Carl Alelyunas

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A little art on the barrel cap and back of the dial is not such a bad thing. It's the guy that scribes X's at the pivot holes he intends to bush that I'd like to throttle.
Yeah, that's just lazy. It takes one sharpee and a little more care to use a temporary marking on the plate. After the little x's or circles, it's there forever. And I've seen some plates where the guy goes and signs his name with the scribe, too.
 

R. Croswell

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I found this fabulous lantern pinion "repair" in a Welch, Spring & Co. Patti movement that I am currently working on. Ironically all the gobs of solder weren't holding anything. The trundles just slipped out easily with just a little pull. The area of the trundles in the shroud were however corroded where flux had penetrated but the solder didn't. Four of nine trundles had been replaced, and although they were a close match for diameter, I believe it best practice to replace all the trundles for uniformity. Not doing so wouldn't be a hall of shame issue, but I believe the solder mess probably is. I'm sure that repair worked, but anyone who had the "skills" to make that mess surely could have made a neater mess.

RC

pinion.jpg
 

Phil G4SPZ

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Here are a couple of pictures of a 1950s Reiner 400-day clock that I’m working on. The front plate is badly scratched all over, covered in dirty fingerprints, and a bush has been soft-soldered into the centre pivot hole. In addition, although it’s hard to see from the photo, three of the smaller pivot holes have been ‘punched-up’, something I’ve not seen before in a 400-day clock.
3BE92BD6-FF36-47E4-957D-14B6ACDA1263.jpeg 0DA60878-8A92-4BC6-9255-0A33CA051F24.jpeg
Phil
 

Dick Feldman

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As a matter of fact I watched with some remorse when what appeared to be a very nice Herschede Model 294 "Haverford" was just recently...within the last week or so...parted out on eBay by someone who calls himself a monger of clocks. He's really a destroyer of clocks and a monger of clock parts.
Have you noticed that same person recently has "parted" at least one more Herschede clock on eBay.
I thought it novel that the movements and tube racks were not offered for sale.
Fortunately or unfortunately I am in the market for a set of tubes.
Three of the 9 I have are cracked and a race car mechanic botched a repair on those.
I am ashamed to post pictures.
You can bet that the ones I have will be on eBay if I find suitable replacements.
Where is the morality?
Best,
Dick
 

brian fisher

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Have you noticed that same person recently has "parted" at least one more Herschede clock on eBay.
I thought it novel that the movements and tube racks were not offered for sale.
Fortunately or unfortunately I am in the market for a set of tubes.
Three of the 9 I have are cracked and a race car mechanic botched a repair on those.
I am ashamed to post pictures.
You can bet that the ones I have will be on eBay if I find suitable replacements.
Where is the morality?
Best,
Dick

a set of nine good Herschede tubes will probably set you back a grand or more on ebay.

i think the best way to sell the bells you have would be to sell the uncracked ones individually. i promise you there will be a good market for them that way.
 

Dick Feldman

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a set of nine good Herschede tubes will probably set you back a grand or more on ebay.

The first set of tubes for sale were scuffed but not cracked. The second set had fine cracks in three of the tubes. If I remember, the first set sold for about $700.00 plus shipping and the second set sold for $608.00 plus shipping.
It seems used Urgos tubes are down as well.
Herschede tubes are larger diameter (about 1 3/8" vs Urgos at about an inch diameter.)
Like Herschede and other high end clocks, the prices have slacked off a bit on tube sets.
Is there any news on the concern that bought the R and M Imports stock?
Dick
 

Bruce Alexander

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Have you noticed that same person recently has "parted" at least one more Herschede clock on eBay.
....Is there any news on the concern that bought the R and M Imports stock?...
Hello Dick,

No, I haven't been browsing eBay much lately. The Seller seems pretty prolific. I imagine he must be like a hunter/butcher selling meat for a living.

On the matter of R and M, the last I heard Moore Clocks was supposed to have bought out R & M's Herschede stock and tooling. I sent several e-mails to them early in this year with no response, courtesy or otherwise. This is the page they've set up on the Internet: R & M Imports Products - www.mooreclocks.com/ but they seem to be doing absolutely nothing with it. Maybe they've bitten off more than they can chew. :banghead:

Regards,

Bruce
 

steamer471

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In my short time of collecting I have been very fortunate that most of the clocks I have acquired have not seen many bad repairs. Till now. I bought the Kroeber Parisian, the case is in good shape with the glass pendulum. Well when I looked at the movement I couldn't believe the solder, epoxy and just plain mess that was made of this one. I love the tooth soldered on the escape wheel. Believe it or not it's running and keeping time. Doesn't strike though. 20201117_164850.jpg 20201117_164850.jpg 20201117_170838.jpg 20201117_171140.jpg 20201117_170842.jpg I
 

steamer471

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Sorry for the duplicate pics. I don't know if its the new stuff but I swear I posted these. Look at escape wheel tooth and notice they even soldered the suspension spring to the post. The springs look like stainless steel. Writing says France. 20201117_171112.jpg 20201117_171330.jpg 20201117_170947 (1).jpg
 

shutterbug

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It has all of the earmarks of a home tinkerer. Inventive and effective .... but ugly ;)
 

Bruce Alexander

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The Solder Fairy has been pretty busy with this clock. Most of those should be pretty easy (but time consuming) to clean up. You've got a few challenges there though. Recoils can be very forgiving, can't they? What are your plans going forward?

Regards,

Bruce
 

steamer471

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The Solder Fairy has been pretty busy with this clock. Most of those should be pretty easy (but time consuming) to clean up. You've got a few challenges there though. Recoils can be very forgiving, can't they? What are your plans going forward?

Regards,

Bruce
Not having a lathe, or the training to use one, this one is beyond my skill level at this time. I have yet to do this type of escapement work and the clutch worries me also I'll bet there is plenty of pivot work to be done. Stubborn sucker, still running and keeping time. I'm going to keep an eye out for a replacement movement at least for parts. Considering the condition of the case this reminds of the story I read on here about the guy "making antiques".
 
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