Every clock deserves a second chance

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by wcampbell, May 17, 2019.

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  1. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

    Nov 25, 2013
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    Good afternoon I just wanted to share with everyone this Gilbert my sister gave for Christmas. That Gilbert was the best present she could have given me because I could see the diamond in the ruff. Because of its condition I decided to take created license on its restoration. Its not what it was but what I envisioned it could become. Most people would have torn it down for parts but not me! Using Gilbert parts that I had, this is how it turned out. The finish is french polish. let me know what you think of the old girl. I only have one picture of its condition before my restoration My bad. IMG-20170912-WA0002.jpg 20180129_122035.jpg 20180226_094827.jpg 20180302_000109.jpg 20180302_094042.jpg 20180310_012307.jpg 20190517_184849.jpg 20190517_184904.jpg 20190517_184911.jpg 20190517_184944.jpg
     
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  2. Old Rivers

    Old Rivers Registered User
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    Oct 4, 2016
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    Very nice job!
    So you padded on shellac?
    How did you restore the badly damaged and splintered trim on the case top?

    Bill
     
  3. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

    Nov 25, 2013
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    I make and apply my own shellac. The padding is a process but the finish product makes it worth the effort. The splintered trim was hanging and if you look closely you can see the splinter followed the trims transition. a couple of well placed clamps closed up most of the fracture. a bit of blending and it disappeared. I was lucky the splinter was with the clock. the dents were removed by applying water to the dent and applying heat with my wife's iron. The steam generated swells the crushed wood fibers removing the dents. I told her i was ironing a shirt;) I also do veneer restorations as well heres a couple of examples.

    Regulator 08.jpg Regulator 09.jpg
     
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  4. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2006
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    Really nice job. It takes a lot of patience and care to get a finish like that.
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    It looks like it just came out of production! Beautiful!
     
  6. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

    Nov 25, 2013
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    Thank you Both.
    I have used the French Polish Method on everyone of my clock case restorations and it has not failed me yet. There are a couple of steps during the French polish process that really gives you best possible finish.


    I make a 2 lb. cut: I found this has the best application consistency for my use.
    when finishing new Veneer I after the sanding and 0000 Steel wooling the part. I will apply a coat of shellac to seal the wood before I pore fill.
    PORE FILLING: I can't stress how important this is. When done correctly your finished product will have a surface that looks like glass. When I pore fill dark wood Veneers I color my pore fill medium with a water based black paint. Because the pore fill is wet when I rub it into the wood pores The coat of shellac i used to seal the wood will not allow the pore fill to bleed into the raw wood and i try to clean off the excess before it drys this way I have little sanding and 0000 Steel cooling to do. Once this part of the process is complete The fun part of French Polishing can begin.


    Before I start using my fad to apply the shellac. I will brush on a couple of coats of shellac and 0000 steel wool between coats. this gives me a good base of shellac to work with and speeds up the padding sessions. I have done up to three session a day. The great thing about using shellac is as the alcohol evaporates during fad sessions you can actually touch the surface

    When I apply shellac with my Fad I will use olive oil as my lubrication. I have tried other oils but I have found olive oil is the best.

    Last but not least once I have attained that glass finish I will leave it alone for about a week.

    This this part of the French Polishing is the most important!

    Because you need a lubricant during the padding sessions your project will have a micro layer of olive oil on its surface of your project. I will lightly rub down the surface with a tee shirt. This will remove the oil but.... the surface may look a little dull.

    No worries your almost done.

    I will use a small tee shirt square and apply a good coat of Mothers California gold Synthetic wax.
    I apply medium pressure and rub it into the surface. this does two things it will remove the last vestiges of olive oil that remained behind and the Micro-encapsulated polymers will bring out a deep wet shine. let it dry and rub off using a clean tee shirt. re apply as needed.
    Here are a couple of before and after pictures of another Gilbert I restored for my collection.

    Normandy 01.jpg Normandy 07.jpg
     
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  7. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Dec 8, 2011
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    Gorgeous!
     
  8. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
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    Jun 6, 2016
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    First, my compliments on the beautiful finish on both clocks. I’ve been using 2 pound shellac on several cases that only needed a satin finish, which can be achieved easily enough without filling the grain. Well, maybe I should say will fill by the time I put on multiple coats of shellac. But, I have a case that would look best with a mirror finish, so your post caught my eye. What product do you prefer to use to fill the grain pores? I started a online search, but the number of products was a bit overwhelming and most seemed to be applied before stain, whereas in your post, you fill after a base coat of shellac.
     
  9. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Which raises another question in my mind. How do you apply it. With a cloth, or a squeegee like applying auto body filler?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  10. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

    Nov 25, 2013
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    Thank you
    As you know some woods can have tight grain like Mahogany versus oak who's pores are large. The traditional method when french polishing is to use pumice. its a volcanic micro medium and the goal is to fill the voids. Since all of my veneer repairs are on cases that are 100 + years old I want to preserve as much of the original stain and finish as possible. First I will clean the wood surface using TSP/90 this will take off the old wax fireplace soot etc.

    When using this product stick with the directions. More is not always better and you want to keep it away from labels and other markings that you want to preserve. Once the case is cleaned I will wait a day . I will replace the missing pieces of veneer and glue down the loose bits. Next i will lightly sand then 0000 steel wool the surface. All you want to do is cut the original shellac surface down a bit and preserve that 100+ year look that you can't reproduce if you sand down to the raw wood.

    At this time I will remove small dents using water and the hot tip of the iron to create steam that will penetrate and swell the crushed wood fibers. this is also a good time to fix scratches, stain the new veneer surface as needed give an even look to the finish.

    A lot of clock cases are covered with rose wood. If you take a close look at this veneer you will see the nice black lines flowing through the wood my ultimate goal is to blend the new veneer repairs so that they are hard to detect. I will stain to match.

    Pore filling the new veneer.

    I still have to pore fill the new veneer. I have tried several types of fill but the most versatile subsistence i found to use is....... Spackling...... Yes drywall spackling. it has the micro inert particles needed to fill. it drys very fast and the best part about it is you can colorize it using art Acrylic paint! for the perfect color blend. However as I said in my prior post before applying the pore fill to new unsealed stained veneer I just touch it off with a bit of shellac. This will seal the repair and will not allow the Acrylic color that you used to bleed into the wood. For rose wood veneer i will color the Spackling black. For other types of wood I will use a color that reproduces the darker grains in the wood because its harder to detect when looking at the repair. Once you have rubbed the pore fill into the pores try and work it in deep and keep rubbing so that all that is left is a small smear left on the surface. The less that is left on the surface the easier it is to clean up. I only use 0000 steel wool to clean off the excess.and then I will apply a couple of coats of Shellac to bring the surface up to the rest of the projects existing surface

    Now you are ready to French polish.
     
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  11. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

    Nov 25, 2013
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    For me I am a hands on guy I will use disposable nitrate gloves and push the pore fill in with my fingers. This does too things it helps wipe it in to the pores and you can control the amount you use. on large surfaces i will use the palm of my hand to spread fill and wipe at the same time.
     
  12. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
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    Jun 6, 2016
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    Thanks for the tips. I would never have thought to use Spackling.
     

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