Flea Market Find

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by ScotSun, Apr 23, 2018.

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  1. ScotSun

    ScotSun Registered User

    Nov 28, 2017
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    I found this at a flea market this weekend for $35...

    upload_2018-4-23_12-53-24.png

    ...I was amazed to find that it appears to be in perfect working order with the original pendulum and key. I have not yet pulled the movement to look closer.

    What I was wondering, as I am still fairly new to this, is what can be done to the case? It is a duller wood tone with little visible grain and a wide variety of scuffs and abraisions. I am not sure if the spindles are not replacements as the seem taller and more elaborate than other ST steeple clock pics I am seeing on the web. I also do not think I have any where near the skills to try and touch up the dial face damage.

    But any suggestions on "refreshing" the case finish would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    #2 Bruce Alexander, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
    Congrats ScotSun.

    Nice pick for not much money. After a good clean up with Murphy's Oil Soap for Wood, consider applying "Old English Scratch Cover for Dark Woods" as a minimally invasive approach to cover or blend out scratches, scrapes and nicks in a finish. It's an inexpensive, easy to use polish. Walmart carries it. I'm sure other retailers do also. A little goes a long way. After that has dried, I would finish up with a coat or two of a good furniture paste wax.

    Regarding the finials, I do not think Seth Thomas let this clock out of their Factory looking like that. It kind of reminds me of a WiFi Router. All a matter of taste I guess. Personally, I don't care for the look. If you search on Seth Thomas Steeple Clock (I believe the model is "Sharon") you'll see the original finial size. It sounds as though you probably already have and so you know what to look for. If you turn or know someone who turns wood, maybe you/they could either make the appropriately sized finials or turn the ones that came with your clock down to the appropriate size and shape. The exact measurements I can't provide but you should be able to derive the approximate dimensions from a good photo's proportions.

    The dial/face I would leave alone unless the paint is still flaking off in which case I would try to stabilize it to prevent further loss. Some folks use several very light coats of Satin Polyurethane or Lacquer but you have to be careful as whatever goes on and dries will probably not come off without taking the underlying paint with it. Look to the Reverse Glass and Dial Painting Forum for good guidance.

    Pull the movement for a closer look. At the very least it could probably use a re-oiling. In all likelihood it would benefit from more.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  3. Coalbuster

    Coalbuster Registered User

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    Rubbing with very fine steel wool dipped in alcohol will revive the finish. Once the finish is softened you can wipe the residue with paper towels. You can take it as far as you like, from complete removal or just the top layer. Once you're satisfied with the finish, you can re-shellac for an original look or wax it for a more contemporary finish. What I like is that both techniques are reversible. I no longer use linseed oil because it does add color. When I feel the need to add color because of sun damage, I mix a very weak dye and use that. I wouldn't touch that dial.
     
  4. ScotSun

    ScotSun Registered User

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    Re...the finials...that is what I thought. The finish is also a little darker than the other examples I have seen. And the one on the right has slightly split the pedestal that it is inserted into... My father-in-law is a wood turner and has done similar things. I will reach out to him.

    thanks!
     
  5. bikerclockguy

    bikerclockguy Registered User
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