James Cameron, Selkirk, Scottish Long Case Info Sought

Col. D. John Mustard

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Sep 12, 2019
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Considering buying James Cameron, Selkirk, Scottish Long Case clock.

Rough condition. Glass cracked. Minute hand missing. Finial area broken and taped together (parts intact). No weights, or crank/ key. Two pendulums are loose inside the case, neither of which appear original. Movement mounting cracked, dial / faceplate not centered. Movement itself looks generally ok, was able to move crutch and activate second hand. No doubt the clock took a tumble?

Any ideas as to age? Guess as to adequate weights? Availability of minute hand replacement? Probable pendulum length or specs? Info or opinions on movement?

Basically is this project worth the $650 cost of the clock!

Thanks.

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jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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A James Cameron is listed in Selkirk 1832. Nice mahogany case with swan neck hood, the dial is a typical Scottish one whereby it is boldly painted all over, this one has the common four continents along with Princess Victoria aged 18 which she was in 1837. The missing minute hand would have matched the style of the hour hand. Weights would be cast iron and weigh between 10 and 16lb, a usual arrangement would be 12lb on the going train and 14lb on the strike train, it requires a seconds pendulum.

As to a worthwhile project at $650 that depends on how much you like the clock and no harm if you haven't in offering less.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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I think it is more than it would make here but might be ok where you are. You don't show a pic of the pendulum. Though my experience of white dial clocks is nothing like Jonathon's I would say run it on a couple of 12 lb cast iron weights. Replacement hands are available laser cut if you can find a match, or you could pick up a pair on ebay in the uk.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Check out Andrew Firth, he can generally do what you want in steel or brass and he is a really decent chap, incredibly helpful.

awf-clocks on eBay
 

oldcat61

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Dec 12, 2008
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I also have a long case marked Selkirk, but an earlier brass dial. Samuel Russel. Wonder what the history of clockmaking was in that area. It was in good shape: needed cleaning, new gut, finials & my husband made a piece for the strike. Paid $400 at a charity Facebook listing. Didn't want to haggle as it was for a school. Didn't really have a need or room for another LC but it felt like a puppy that should be rescued.

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oldcat61

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Dec 12, 2008
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Did a quick image search: antiques-atlas.com has good photos from a Cameron they're listing. Might help you with the hand style. Scottish_Antique_Longcase_Cloc_rc003a163z.jpg
 

Col. D. John Mustard

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Sep 12, 2019
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Thanks for all the replies and info!!

Still looking at this clock. (Perhaps this more detailed post belongs in the Clock Repair forum, but I'll try it here. Looked in the Repair Forum but couldn't find an answer.)

I've tried adequate weights on both trains. Pendulum swings. Seconds hand moves appropriately.

I can move the Hour hand and it strikes appropriately. I heard the Date hand "click" so I assume it may function.

The clock is missing a Minutes hand. If I turn the Minutes hand "stub" (flat on two sides, hole for the pin) I can get the Hours hand to move appropriately and it will, in turn, strike. However, even with the pendulum swinging and the Seconds hand moving, neither the Minutes hand "stub" or the Hours hand moves on it's own. I assume the Seconds hand, the Minutes hand, and the Hours (and Calendar) hand are part of the same train; the Strike being separate?

Question: could there be something as simple as a friction "clutch" or similar that, if tightened, would engage the Minutes hand and also get the Hours hand moving as the pendulum swings and the Seconds hand moves?

I'm not asking for a hugely in-depth education here! Just wondering if there is something simple I'm missing. The movement overall looks pretty good except for the lack of independent Minutes and Hours hand movement. Thanks.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes, there is a friction clutch and it relies on the pressure it takes to push the minute hand back rar enough to put the pin in. Even iif the pin is in place without the hand and the little brass shape in the centre you won't get enough pressure.
 

Col. D. John Mustard

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Sep 12, 2019
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Novicetimekeeper! Thank you... this exactly the info I was hoping for!

Does the group think this feasible: With a calipers measure the "stub" diameter and fashion or buy a ferrule type piece of metal to mimic that part of the (missing) Minutes hand that fits over it. Pushing this ferrule in and holding it there, hopefully the clutch would engage, and I would see the "stub" and/or ferrule, and Hours hand, rotate as the pendulum swings and the Seconds hand rotates?

In the absence of a properly mounted and secured Minutes hand engaging the clutch I can't imagine any other way to engage said clutch, and determine if the Minutes/ Hours hands rotate as the pendulum swings.

I am open to alternative ideas! (I want to buy this clock!!). Thank you.
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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Novicetimekeeper! Thank you... this exactly the info I was hoping for!

Does the group think this feasible: With a calipers measure the "stub" diameter and fashion or buy a ferrule type piece of metal to mimic that part of the (missing) Minutes hand that fits over it. Pushing this ferrule in and holding it there, hopefully the clutch would engage, and I would see the "stub" and/or ferrule, and Hours hand, rotate as the pendulum swings and the Seconds hand rotates?

In the absence of a properly mounted and secured Minutes hand engaging the clutch I can't imagine any other way to engage said clutch, and determine if the Minutes/ Hours hands rotate as the pendulum swings.

I am open to alternative ideas! (I want to buy this clock!!). Thank you.
I think that you can be pretty confident that the hands will be moving once you installed a minute hand, a fitting washer on top of it and a taper pin. Everything except the minute hand seems to be there. Just make sure that you have to push the minute hand down in order to insert the taper pin. Otherwise there wouldn't be the pressure needed to engage the clutch. Your approach will probably work.

Uhralt
 

Col. D. John Mustard

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Sep 12, 2019
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Uhralt, Novicetimekeeper, and the rest: It Worked!

After consideration I simply cut out a rectangular section of of a common plastic milk jug to use as a ferrule. I figured plastic would be easier to form than metal.

I wrapped the plastic piece around a needle nose pliers to form the circle, and continued to cut and fit it until it was the correct circumference and thickness to stick in and engage the clutch.

I hung my tool bag for a weight, attached the pendulum, and waited... I'll be darned... It started to rotate! Needless to say the fine people at the consignment shop think I'm completely nuts!!

Pics of the crazy milk jug ferrule and tool bag weight attached. Also pic of the clock back together in a temp. location in my house.

There is much cabinetry work to do, but what better project for the coming covid winter!!

I'm going to attempt, with a Dremmel tool, carving a minutes hand out of brass stock to which I will braze a ferrule. Oldcastl61, your link has great pics I'll use as a template! I'll gladly accept any ideas or encouragement, and will periodically post updates on my progress!!

Again, thank you all! What a wonderful resource this group represents.

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jmclaugh

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Good to hear and good luck with the rest of the project and if you need help I'm sure you only have to ask. As for winter coming that reminds me of GoT.
 

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