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House Fire-adamantine clock

ticktock19852004

Registered User
Apr 5, 2007
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Hello!

I recently purchased a Seth Thomas adamantine black mantel clock. It belonged to a friend of mine and I always had an eye on it. About a year and a half ago his house caught fire and nearly burned to the ground. Before the fire the clock was in beautiful all original condition. The clock survived the fire with minimal burns to the case. Recently my friend passed away from a terminal disease, so I contacted his family and they were more than happy to sell me the fire damaged clock at little expense. I have spent many hours restoring the case: Polishing the burns out of the adamantine, cleaning the dial, and gold leafing the hardware (the heat melted all plating on the hardware). Now the clock looks as good as new. My concern is the movement, it is badly badly caked up with soot; not one spot of brass showing. This clock displayed evidence that the fire did get really close to it. Should I perform the cleaning as usual? I have never cleaned a burned movement before. Also, this clock orignally had an alarm at the bottom of the case (the family told me it got lost in the fire). The dial reads Seth Thomas Automatic Eight Day Long Alarm. Would anyone have a picture of one of these alarms or one available to sell?

Thanks

Neal
 

cmarkrichards

NAWCC Member
Nov 28, 2007
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on your movement, clean as you would any other movement. then throw out your solution and clean again with new solution. you would not want any fire contaminates in a solution which you are going to use again. yea it costs ya to throw out your solution, but if the clock was your own wouldn't you want to do it this way?
mark
 

shutterbug

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Oct 19, 2005
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Chances are that if the case survived, the heat inside was minimal. We had a house fire 4 years ago that completely gutted my daughters' bedroom. We lost our dog to smoke inhalation, but after the fire department allowed me to enter the house my first concern was for the other animal inside the room, a ball python that the firemen could not find. Her box was charred black, and I feared that she was suffering somewhere else. But, opening the box, I was quite surprised to see her looking up at me, alive and only slightly affected by the intense heat that was all around her!
The point - the movement is probably OK, and as suggested a good regular cleaning will help a bunch. You might check with a local Service Pro or other company specializing in fire damage. They might be able to offer a pre-cleaning solution that will save your clock cleaning solution.
 

Thyme

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Sep 18, 2006
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cmarkrichards said:
on your movement, clean as you would any other movement. then throw out your solution and clean again with new solution. you would not want any fire contaminates in a solution which you are going to use again. yea it costs ya to throw out your solution, but if the clock was your own wouldn't you want to do it this way?
mark
I would recommend a pre-cleaning before putting it in any solution. I suggest you get a container of citrus type waterless hand cleaner and an old toothbrush. Brush the hand cleaner into all areas of the movement with the brush and flush it off with hot water and the brush. Keep repeating if necessary, until all the soot and grime is off of everything. If it is oily, stubborn, gooey grime, soak it in an automotive degreaser. Again flush it off with hot water. When you get it free of all the filth, then try to clean it in your clock cleaning solution.
 

clockpoor

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
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"The dial reads Seth Thomas Automatic Eight Day Long Alarm. Would anyone have a picture of one of these alarms or one available to sell? "

These clocks are featured in Tran Duy Lys third edition pages 53-55, there are several pictures which include some of the clocks and there internal workings. I would assume you do not have this book, but you might be able to locate someone near you with a copy that you could look at?

CP
 

clockpoor

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
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I should have added that often you see these clocks on eBay (doesn't appear to be one listed today) and usually they will include photo's of the workings of the clock as well as the external photo.

Also possible that someone on this list has one and can post some photo's for you.

CP
 

ticktock19852004

Registered User
Apr 5, 2007
649
1
0
Hello!

Sorry for the delayed reply. So many clocks so little time. Thank you all for the suggestions on trying to save my clock solution. This has been a very interesting project. I will certainly use the suggestions. I restored the case outside so the soot would not contaminate my regular working area. I will try to find a copy of Tran Duy Lys book to look at the alarm movement. I am kind of doubtful I will find a loose alarm movement I could buy to put into this clock, but ya never know. When this clock is done it will be another nice one to add to the collection.


Thanks

Neal
 

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