How To Remove Brass Housing.

Kieran McCarthy

Registered User
Dec 15, 2020
23
2
3
Country
Hopefully, I have this in the correct forum, rather than General Clock Discussion.
Please see the photograph of a small French mantle clock, timepiece only. I am trying to remove the brass housing from the wooden case without doing further damage. It came to me partially mangled and I do not wish to add to its woe.
I have tried freezing it overnight at minus 28 degrees centigrade. When that failed, I blasted it with a very warm flow of air from a hairdryer for several minutes and it simply will not budge. I suspect it to be circa 1920. I have considered cutting the metal and silver soldering or brazing later but before I do something as drastic as that I am hoping someone has the "right" solution.
The movement is in tip-top condition so if all else fails I can look out for a suitable case. Thank You. Kieran

French Mantle.jpg
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,047
514
113
63
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Are there any tiny nails or screws on the inside holding it. I had a Swiss clock that was very similar to this.
 

Kieran McCarthy

Registered User
Dec 15, 2020
23
2
3
Country
Thanks, Kevin, yes, there were two such tiny brass pins which I managed to remove but still, it would not budge. Kieran.
 

S_Owsley

NAWCC Member
Jan 24, 2011
231
51
28
67
San Francisco
Country
Region
Have you tried applying rotational force? Perhaps make a jig that will apply pressure at the right points, and a light tap or more with a hammer to see if that will break it free without damaging the surrounding material?
 

Tim Orr

National Membership Chair
Director
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,470
267
83
Boulder CO
Country
Region
Good evening, Kieran!

Someone (including perhaps, the maker) might have glued it in. Some people claim to have good luck with putting white vinegar on a joint and letting it soak to loosen the glue. Trouble is, there's a huge area that might have glue on it. And, the vinegar could do something to the wood or the finish around it. Might not, but might. Sounds, though, like you don't have a huge affection for the wooden part, if you're considering finding a new case.

Can you get a thin blade between the brass and the wood, if only to open up a channel for the vinegar?

Good luck!

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

Ralph

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 22, 2002
5,138
265
83
Country
The wood shrunk. It will be difficult to remove.

Ralph
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,112
1,757
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I think you'll need to cut a large hole in a plank to support the case close to the brass. Then try to find a person with a wood lathe to make you a round piece to fit over the back of the brass ring so you can whack it a couple of times to drive it out. If it's been glued in, you might need to apply heat (pretty high heat, more than a hair dryer could likely supply). But I'm with Willie. Unless it absolutely has to come out, work around it.
 

Betzel

NAWCC Member
Dec 1, 2010
323
49
28
Country
Region
I'm curious as to why it needs to be removed
As I get older, I keep hearing (and ignoring) questions like this in my head.

If we knew the ultimate goal, maybe there's a more clever way to get there?

Also, the doors stick quite a bit in the winter. I think it's ambient humidity. Would it simply slide out on a sunny, dry summer day?
 
  • Like
Reactions: disciple_dan

Forum statistics

Threads
164,706
Messages
1,432,945
Members
85,757
Latest member
akrampe64
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,863
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff