How to clean a black enameled wood clock

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by dhat, Apr 18, 2017.

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  1. dhat

    dhat Registered User

    Apr 17, 2017
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    I have a black enameled wood clock with about 50 or 60 years of dust and crud on it. I've done some cleaning but I'm afraid to ruin it. Any tips on the best way to clean it up? It does have a top
    I just have not done a picture with it yet.

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  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2005
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    I am not sure if you are asking about cleaning the entire case including the hardware, or just the wood. To me the wood looks not too bad. I would remove all the surface dust with a soft cloth and then use a clock case cleaner which you can buy from the clock supplies companies. After that you can use a good quality furniture wax (preferably one without silicone) and you should get a good result.

    The best would be to remove the hardware, so that you can polish all over, and then replace the hardware. If you are wanting to do something with the feet and the lions heads, they are probably made of spelter that was gilded over. You can make quite a good job of restoring them by taking them off the case, cleaning them carefully and then using one of the products sold in artists' supply shops. There is one which called Rub-n-Buff which comes in various shades of gold, brass etc. You don't want your clock hardware to look as if it had just come from the hardware supermarket, so try to choose a color that is not too brassy - you can mix them, if you buy the same brand.

    Your clock seems to be missing the bezel and glass. Not much you can do about that unless you find a replacement. The dial is not too good, you can replace it with a paper one if you wanted to.

    Hope this helps a little.

    JTD
     
  3. dhat

    dhat Registered User

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    Thank you JTD for your reply. I appreciate your thoughts and I will be taking your advice. It will be a slow process for me as I have no experience in clock repair. I did use Murphy oil soap on it and hope I didn't make matters worse. It has a couple of paint spots on it. Any advice on getting rid of the paint spots? Right now I just want to make it look nice. I did find a bezel and glass used on eBay. The top is sitting on it but not attached. I think it was glued and the glue dried up.

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  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2005
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    No, you haven't done any harm with Murphy's soap. Many people use it, just don't get the case too wet. Getting rid of paint spots is a pain (why do people never seem to move or at least cover their clocks when decorating?!). It they are not too big, use a sharp blade and try to lift the off from the edge. Sometimes they will just pop off, it depends on the paint. Other times you have to scrape a little. If necessary, after the spot has been removed, you can touch up any scratch marks with black paint.

    The fact that you have the top piece means that you won't have to worry about the flat top of the case so much, since no one will see it. You can clean the top piece up in the same way I have described. You can glue it back with wood workers glue.

    JTD
     
  5. dhat

    dhat Registered User

    Apr 17, 2017
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    Phew thanks for letting me know it's O.K to use Murphy's. Are the Lions glued on? What is the best way to remove them?
    Thanks JTD.
    Dave
     
  6. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2005
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    The lions are not glued, they are probably screwed on with a small bolt. You will need to access that from inside the case (take the movement out, then you can get your hand inside). There will probably be a screw with a nut on it that holds the lion onto the case. If you undo the nut, you can pull the lion off (the screw will remain attached to the back of the lion.

    JTD
     
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