Jeromes’ and Darrow Column and Splat

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Ronald Thacker, Apr 16, 2019.

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  1. Ronald Thacker

    Ronald Thacker Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 19, 2018
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    I couldn’t pass up the latest auction find pictured below. The latest violation of the - - “I’m only looking for one more clock, and its a (fill in the blank)” statement to my wife. Especially when this wasn’t the clock I filled in the blank. Wood works in my area are hard to pass up! Especially if the originality is what I’m hoping/think this is. I’m interested to get the board’s impressions on whatever aspect jumps out at them, and I have a few questions below.

    1. The splat appears to have been the victim of rough treatment before the auction. My plan is to size a period donor section of a chimney, reglue, and color to match. This is the 3rd wood works I have and each of them are the column and splat type (one is a J&D with minor marriage of parts, the other is a Henry C. Smith). All of them are similar in appearance, with faint stencil left on the columns, but faint to no stenciling on the splat. I see some on the message board and in books with matching splat stenciling and many others are as mine, without it. Any theories why the splats seem to fair so poorly?

    2. Judging by the door putty, the tablet and face glass appear to be original. Any ideas of what location is shown on the tablet? Looks like it may be outline shape of a church in the center area.

    3. The movement-to-rail pins in this clock are metal. I’ve seen metal and wood used. Anyone know for sure what material was originally used? Wood or metal?
    Similar question on the pins connecting the face to the rails - - wood or metal?

    4. I’m wondering if this movement is likely the original to the clock? Looking at the movement-to-rail pin holes, they align well.. There are no extra holes in the rails. Additionally, the face fits the rails well and matches to the winding arbor well. Darkening/shading on back board matches well with this movement. Does this movement type, look to be correct for this clock? Looking at Bulletin 208, I guessed it to be 5.12 without the alarm movement. The displaced-to-the-right upper right pillar seems to support this. Agree?

    5. Suspension spring post/hanger is broken at the split (shown in one of the pictures below). Previous repairer drilled it and the replacement spring and inserted a screw. I plan to replace it. I searched the message board, but was unable to find detailed info on that repair. It appears to be brass. I did find a reference stating the post appeared to be wood screw-type threaded into the plate. Anyone else ever dealt with a similar repair? Could it be as easy as using a brass wood screw modified to match existing hanger?

    6. Crutch is steel as opposed to brass, with a non-typical bend/radius. Anyone ever seen something like this bend before? Looks to me like a replacement, given its looseness in the verge. The pallets have minor ruts in them, which makes me think this is a replacement and maybe an attempt at replacing the crutch.

    7. One of the pictures shows 2 of what I would describe as metal staples in the floor of the case. Are these from the time the clock was made? What were they used for? I’ve seen pictures of them being used for weight cord tie points, but was not sure of their original intent.

    8. Any other observations are welcome.

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  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Nice find. As for the suspension post, all the ones I've seen were brass and just pressed in. I would begin by removing what's there. It should be pretty easy to slit a brass rod with a jeweler's saw and file the sides flat. If you have a lathe it will be easy to reduce the shank to match the original hole. I'm wouldn't use a screw. Not unusual to find a steel crutch but that one does seem to have an unusual curve. There usually isn't much room between the face and the crutch foot and there is sometimes relief cut into the back of the face. Try to ascertain if there is some reason for that curved crutch before straightening it. If the metal pins that hold the movement to the rails fit the holes, then they were probably metal originally, although the ones you have now may not be original. Can't help with the other questions, I'm mostly involved with making them run.

    RC
     
  3. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2005
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    Geologist, US Army Corps of Engineers
    Omaha, NE
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    I'll weigh in on a couple of your questions. The movement is actually a type 5.112. In addition to the type 5.12 only being found in an alarm movement, it also has a square hour shaft. Yours lacks the alarm and square hour shaft but exactly matches the characteristics of a type 5.112, which also can have the displaced upper right pillar that you noted. My normal response to a question asking "what building, church, house, etc. is this on my tablet?" would be that tablets from this period did not typically depict real features (there are exceptions). However, despite the paint loss, you can see that there's a lot going on in your tablet. The foreground may be a park or central square, with a street flanked by multiple houses leading to the church. The smaller tablet also has a lot going on. I'm tempted to speculate that these tablets are depicting real scenes. Of what exactly, I have no clue. I don't have any reason to believe either the movement or the tablets are not original to the clock. Even with the paint loss, I love the tablets and hope you plan to leave them as is. I also love the corner decorations on the dial.
    Mike
     
  4. Ronald Thacker

    Ronald Thacker Registered User
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    Dec 19, 2018
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    Thanks RC.
    I have a lathe, will do as you suggest and make a pin to press in front plate. Good to hear about the steel crutch, Given its ill-fitting in the verge, I thought it was an attempted replacement. I'll try to tighten up and test run it. It strikes me as somewhat small diameter and flimsy, making me wonder if it won't be somewhat spongy and absorb the impulse. My thought was to replace it with a brass crutch peened in the verge and put a bend as I've seen in pictures, but if it could be original, will test it and try to keep it.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. Ronald Thacker

    Ronald Thacker Registered User
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    Dec 19, 2018
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    Thanks Mike for the movement Id correction, nailing that down evades me sometimes. I thought the square hour shaft meant the square on the end of the shaft that engages the minute hand. Appreciate the tablet comments. Yes I plan to leave it as is. The remaining paint appears to be tight. I share your feelings about tablets - - true craftsmen and women! Intriguing to think this clock's tablets survived from the 1820/30's.
    What material for dial retaining pins have you seen more often in the clocks you have or have examined?
    Thanks again.
     
  6. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    I don't believe I've ever encountered anything but metal retaining pins. However, I rarely see what I think might be an original pin, so I don't think that's much to go on.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    I don't think you need to worry bout a steel crutch being "spongy" unless someone has replaced it with one that's extremely undersized. If you believe that to be the case, I would replace it with another steel crutch with the correct diameter. Steel is stiffer than brass so one would expect a steel crutch to be somewhat thinner than a typical brass crutch. The most common issue with old crutches is that the loop foot gets broken off, or the wire comes loose from the pallet strip.

    RC
     
  8. Robert Brinck

    Robert Brinck New Member

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