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Howard Miller long case clock: 'baseboard' replacement (part)?

Kelly

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Jul 15, 2009
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I moved a few months back and, despite best efforts, one of my grandfather clocks was damaged. It is a Howard Miller model 610-672: the most obvious issue is that the board upon which the mechanism sits ('baseboard'? ) has been broken.

I probably have the terminology wrong, so here's a couple of pictures:

1630254267918.jpeg
1630254377181.jpeg

You can see the crack in the board along the lower right. The rest of the case seems fine- it is hard for me to judge the condition of the mechanism until it is straightened out.

I reached out to a local clock shop and they said they were going to order the parts, but it has been four months now with no progress. I want to get a professional to work on this, but I also want it done before the snow flies.

Does anyone know where can I get a replacement for this i.e.: Howard Miller case part replacements? If pre-made replacements aren't available, does someone make these 'custom'?
 

Jim DuBois

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Technically your "baseboard" is called a seatboard by clock folks. If your clock was here I would suspect the seatboard could be repaired by a simple re-gluing of the break and reassembly of the movement back to the seatboard. No big deal, something some fair number of us have done before. I don't think there is much of a chance that you can obtain a new seatboard specifically for your clock. Of greater concern is what happened to break the seatboard and has the movement survived in working order?
Custom making of a seatboard is no more than a few minutes, at least in my shop. Others can do it readily too.
And if the clockshop you are dealing with has strung you along with the old "parts on order" on this needed repair you may want to find someone who knows what they are doing or wants your business.
 

Kelly

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Jul 15, 2009
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Lower Mainland, B.C., Canada
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"Seatboard": Thank you, Jim! I'd seen that term used, but wasn't sure.

Re: Re-gluing- would that be strong enough? Or would I be better cutting/shaping a replacement board using the original as a guide?
  • Note that I've rebuilt a couple of simple time-strike clocks as an 'amateur', including mechanism disassembly, re-bushing/pivot polishing/cleaning, reassembly and minor case restorations e.g.: gluing and gentle refinishing. I want a pro to work on this grandfather clock mechanism if it is damaged (although maybe it is cheaper/smarter to just find a replacement?) as I feel I lack the expertise, but if I can get the obvious casework done maybe that is a start.

Re: your greater concern about mechanism damage: I agree 100%! I know exactly how the damage occurred- the movers disconnected the safety strap, wrapped the clock in a packing blanket, then left it standing until they came back in the morning. The clock fell over while wrapped. That impact broke the seatboard and could have definitely bent/twisted the mechanism e.g.: shifted the front and back mechanism plates. The seatboard is broken and the metal brackets that attach the mechanism to it are bent, for sure, but it is hard for me to judge whether the mechanism itself has been knocked off true

I don't blame the clock shop I'm dealing with. Other than the lack of followup, they were really helpful and informative back in May when I started this process. The seatboard they presumably ordered on my behalf was probably 'disrupted' by the pandemic situation, and they refused to take a deposit so- no harm, no foul.
 

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