How to clean streaks from Herschede clock face

Timing Out

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Apr 27, 2021
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I recently acquired a 1905 Herschede hall clock, model 105 and I have the movement scheduled for repair and overhaul. Unfortunately, the repair person does not restore the movement to like new by polishing the components. I don't particularly care if the gear train and movement parts are not "like new" but there is black streaking on the face that I would like to clean. It appears to be possibly corrosion on the surface, not scuff marks from striking the hands or something. Is there a safe method of removing these streaks and returning the face to "like new" condition without harming the surface? I have the same question for the five tubes and pendulum. The repair person does not like to touch them to avoid damage as well. 20210427_093811.jpg 20210427_094145.jpg 20210427_094044.jpg
 
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Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Question: You have a nice looking old clock there, why do you think it should look "like new"? :oops:

Don't mess with that dial.

Dial police, and witness to large numbers of screwed up dials! Willie X
 

shutterbug

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It would require re-silvering and painting. It would be tedious and/or expensive. I agree with the others - it looks fine for its age.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hello Timing Out. Welcome to the NAWCC's Forums!

You can carefully, and safely clean silvered dials with a paste of cream of tartar and a soft, clean cloth (if they are not lacquered or otherwise sealed). It's not expensive. You can get Cream of Tartar in just about any Grocery Store's Spices aisle.

I wouldn't do anything beyond that and don't expect miracles. It will only slightly brighten the silver (which does tarnish over time). It's no an abrasive, which you definitely do NOT want to apply. Any type of cleaner or polish will quickly ruin the thin silver plating on most clock dials.

As it is, it looks like someone attempted to polish the silver just past "20" on the moon phase dial. Fortunately they stopped before they had made a real mess of things. Some people just don't know when to quit. You might be able to re-silver that small area. It will make it less conspicuous, but it won't disappear without a complete and total re-silver of that part of the dial. TimeSavers.com sells dial re-silvering kits, but they ain't exactly cheap. Dial Silvering Powder

If you want to learn how to silver dials, I would suggest to you that this is not a case to learn on.

The Dial House would charge you around $900 to give your clock a face lift. Prices | dialhouse

The more I learn, the more I tend to leave well enough alone. It doesn't look like your clock has been badly damaged, neglected or abused.

If you get a moment and have a photo or two of the clock fully assembled, please share them with us. I really enjoy Herschede Tubular Bell Clocks. Congrats!

Again, welcome!

Bruce
 
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