Is it contagious?

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by gleber, Feb 28, 2017.

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  1. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    I just picked up a new old Jeromes and Darrow column and splat clock and am starting some restoration/repairs. Initial thread here: http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?140798-Usual-Questions-about-a-Jerome-Darrow

    Can someone tell me what this crusty stuff is, what created it and if there is a recommended procedure to remove it?

    20170226_092520.jpg

    It is kind of hard and crackly and crunchy. It is pretty obvious that it formed due to the accumulation of dust, but did it affect the paint causing it to split and peel or how did it grow and harden? I presume that if I scrape it off, it will be down to bare wood.

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Yes, you will have to sand the whole thing back to do it properly. It could simply be that something was spilled on it that reacted with the coatings but it is also possible that one of the various dry rot type fungi have been active at some time, in which case you will have to replace the piece.
     
  3. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Start with something that won't have it down to bare wood unnecessarily. I would use GOJO waterless hand cleaner (without pumice) and a tooth brush, then see what you have under the dirt.
     
  4. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Yes. It is best to always start cautiously. Sometimes it is an easy and simple fix.
     
  5. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    Every clock has its own special life experiences.
    I got one from a lady that had what initially looked like what you're seeing, but it had it on the dial, as well.
    Turns out it's been in her bathroom for a couple of decades, never running. It was on a wall that was the perfect place for her 1970s/1980s self to be able to hit it with the hairspray and blow dryer. Imagine several thousand days of that along with the normal daily dust getting in on the action.
    Alcohol, vinegar and Murphy's Oil finally cleared it up.
     
  6. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    It's likely caused by a combination of age, cleaning (oils/soap), dust, grime, changes in temperature and humidity, and the shellac itself. I have several clocks with the exact same thing, and I have just left it exactly as-is. It is normally in the "impossible to clean" spots, so it really doesn't bother me.
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Depending on the situation there is always the leave well alone attitudinal approach. However, if you want to be frightened into changing something, then add dry rot to the argument. Wood worm, whatever.

    The general thing is, that restoration is the real reason most people on this forum actually are here for and it is restoration that makes the purchases.

    Some of us would buy fully restored watches or clocks, but I wouldn't. It is the challenge.

    eg: since I've been back at the bench, it is only about 18 months. I've not purchased a new quartz watch movement. I've simply repaired the ones that my predecessor tossed out by fitting new movements.

    On the American pickers TV show, restored pieces don't get the price that pieces in need of restoration get.
     
  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Thanks Sooth,

    Given the extent, I think it is best to leave it alone other than a mild reduction to make it a little less noticeable (and then continued cleaning to keep it from getting worse). It doesn't look like there is an underlying problem that will fester away.

    Tom
     
  9. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    I agree 100%. As a hobbyist, and not taking a wage, I tend to appreciate my clocks that have required the most care much more than the ones I bought in running condition. Maybe it's a Florence Nightingale-like desire, or a strange reverse Stockholm syndrome thing, or heaven rejoicing over a single repentant sinner, but more likely it's just the satisfaction of a challenging and successful experience.

    Tom
     
  10. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2016
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    Might be just wax, dirt dust & shellac Baked in a 150 degree summer attic for a number of years. Touch a small artist brush or Q-Tip soaked with denatured alcohol, or Grain alcohol to it. If it melts away, then it's baked shellac.
     
  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Thanks Blkbeard,

    I'll test that. I suspect if it works, cleaning it will strip it back to bare wood though, so I'll have to see if I can go easy enough. The columns are square nailed from the front, so I don't even want to think about removing them to work in the crevice area between the column and the door.

    Tom
     

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