GB skeleton

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by lesbradley, Jan 30, 2010.

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  1. lesbradley

    lesbradley Registered User
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    #1 lesbradley, Jan 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
    Just acquired this one, plenty of work to do though.

    Standard GB skeleton with matching pendulum no. 2131671. I have been after one of these for sometime, but this was the first to become available at a sensible price.

    It's tired and tatty, but surprisingly runs quite well as bought, despite a poor set up. I do have the suspension guard, just removed to get it running.

    The whole clock is going to need a strip, clean and rebuild.

    The base is showing signs of age and wear and tear and will need re-laquering. It was originally made of two pieces of wood, and there are also traces of separation between the two, which will need to be rectified.

    The pendulum has been dropped and dented, plus a poor repair. Has anyone experience of anealing and repairing a damaged disk? Any useful knowledge would be appreciated.
     

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  2. ivancooke

    ivancooke Registered User

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    Congatulations Les,
    this should make a great addition to your collection.


    Ivan.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Very nice! I guess you'll have to disassemble the disk to see if it's a solid piece. I really doubt it, since it dented so easily. Perhaps you'll be able to hammer out the dents, like a dinged up pocket watch case?
    LOL! Don't know where that link came from! Rest your cursor on it and wait for it :D
     
  4. lesbradley

    lesbradley Registered User
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    It's your standard GB pressed item, and its already been poorly knocked out. I think I'm going to have to aneal it and roll the rim to get a sensible result.
     
  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Les, that's exactly what I do when repairing a dinged rim. In addition to rolling I use the rounded edge of a hardwood damping tool (ordinarily used for smoothing out watch cases) to smooth out any creases without compressing the brass. If you compress too much it will bow outward and that's difficult to bring back to the original diameter. Good luck!
     
  6. marylander

    marylander Registered User

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    Les and John, some photos in the past showed that the clock equiped with a skeleton pendulum. Did GB use different pendulum on their skeleton clock?
    Ming
     
  7. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #7 John Hubby, Feb 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    Ming, GB made four production runs of skeleton clocks starting in early 1910 and ending in 1911. Following is some info regarding the pendulums used for each production run:
    • The first run occurred in January 1910, and includes all skeleton clocks that have serial numbers of the series "2131XXX". The lowest number I've documented so far in this group is 2131305, most likely this series started with 2131301. ALL the clocks in this series were fitted with a standard GB No. 23 disc pendulum, six pillar gallery. The only versions of this pendulum found to date with matching serial numbers I have classified as No. 23C, 23C+, and 23E. The highest number I have recorded to date is 2131896. My estimate of total production for this run is 600 clocks.
    • The second run was made in February 1910, and includes all skeleton clocks that have serial numbers "2135XXX". The lowest number documented in this group is 2135312, once again I believe the first clock probably had serial number 2135301. The first skeletonized pendulum No. 17 in the Repair Guide (sometimes called the "chandelier" pendulum") has been found with clock no. 2135362. About half the clocks in this production run have been found with this pendulum, the other half with the standard No. 23 type disc. The highest serial number documented to date for this run is 2135801. In total, this run would have been at least 500 clocks.
    • The third run was made about January 1911, and includes the serial number series "2185XXX". ALL the clocks documented to date in this series were fitted with the skeleton pendulum No. 17. The lowest serial number to date is 2185374, possibly the first number in the series may have been 2185301. The highest number recorded to date is 2185525. My estimate is that 300 clocks were made in this run.
    • The final run was made in 4th quarter 1911 near the end of the year. All of the clocks documented in this series were fitted with the skeleton pendulum No. 17. The lowest serial number to date is 2227510, so possibly the lowest number would be 2227501. The highest number found so far is 2227759, my estimate of total production in this run is 300 clocks.
    Please note that there is NO question the first run used the standard No. 23 pendulum, as the large majority of the clocks documented to date have matching serial numbers for both the clock and pendulum. The same holds true to the other production runs, original pendulums with these clocks all had the same serial numbers etched in. On the skeleton pendulum No. 17 the serial number is found underneath on one of the decorative radial arms that form the top of the disc.

    Also there are distinctive differences in the design of the dials used for each of the runs, and other differences that distinguish one from the other. I won't list those now as this note is already long enough. The main point to make is that of the total of some 1500 skeleton clocks produced, about half of them have the standard disc pendulum and half have the skeleton pendulum. When you find one with a standard pendulum, check the serial numbers and if they match then that pendulum should remain with the clock.

    Unfortunately the information in the Repair Guide leads to the erroneous conclusion that all GB skeleton clocks are supposed to have skeleton pendulums; this has led to original standard disc pendulums being tossed and home-made or mis-matching skeleton pendulums substituted, thus destroying the historical integrity of the clock.
     
  8. lesbradley

    lesbradley Registered User
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    What is your experience of annealing the brass used on these clocks. I know the opposite of steel is required. i.e. quench after heating to soften and cool slowly to temper. Is water OK to quench, and does a normal air cool restore the temper? Also how hot do you need to change the temper, red hot or white hot, or somewhere between?
     
  9. marylander

    marylander Registered User

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    John, Thank you very much for your answer in such great details. I am sure that any one read this will not toss away the matching pendulum in the future.
    Ming
     

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