Longcase hood questions

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by ChrisCam, Apr 4, 2019.

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  1. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2017
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    Hi, I bought a longcase clock in bits with the mahogany hood badly damaged. Having said that I look on this as a learning experience that will be of future benefit.(The clock has no significant value)
    I have stripped off the broken wood, removed the old putty (no glass) and remade some parts to replace those broken.
    What I would like to know is;
    1. Am I right there should be a top yo a hood to stop dust entering the movement? There was no top that came with the clock but I am making one.
    2. Is 2mm glass correct and is it always none reflective glass?
    3. what putty should I use and can it be aged. ) have read an article where custard powder was added to the putty mix:???:??
    4. I am using Titebond hide glue, is this appropriate?
    Regards
    Chris
     
  2. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Chris, post some photos of what you are describing. If we can see the damages and the parts you need to replace/repair it will be easier to give advice. Hide glue was used in most all of the old clocks. Using that is a good choice but be careful, pre-mixed hide glue has a maxium shelf life of six months. The putty is not the modern glazing putty of today, but a mix of plaster-of-paris and a binder of some type to harden it. The 2mm glass is a good choice. You can also use picture frame glass available at most big box hardware stores.
     
  3. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Joseph, really helpful advice especially with the 'putty'...will look into this when you say a binder to harden it you must mean to stop it cracking up. I see what you mean about pre mixed hide glue it gets increasingly difficult to squeeze out and as you said has a short life. maybe you could through some light on the slot in the bottom of the hood frame. Now I know this clock is a bitsa so I wondered is the slot for a purpose or just a piece of wood handy at the time that had a slot. I would guess its there (or at least was) there for a reason ...any ideas?
    Chris

    slot in hood.jpg
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's for the hood door catch. The door would have had either a hoop or an L which would engage with either a wooden or metal turnbuckle or a metal sliding bolt. It means that you only need one lock and key to secure the time setting and the weights and pendulum from unwanted attention. Key would be held by the butler or head of household. Often all that now remains is the fitting on the door but there should be evidence in the case of how it worked.
     
  5. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Nick, I hoped you would know.
    Chris
     
  6. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Chris, the slot would have has a lever going through it to lock the hood door closed. It would have been accessed by opening the case door and reaching up and shifting the lever to open it. The putty is actually, back then, "whitting" crushed and ground fine stone. You probably will not be able to find it on the market today at any kind of reasonable price. Plaster-of-paris is the best substitute available. Mix it with boiled linseed oil (the hardener) to a thick paste that you can kneed in the palm of your hand. You can also add coloring either in a powder form or liquid. This mixture will take up to two weeks to harden. After its hard you can clean the glass and use sand paper on the putty to clean it up and improve its looks. For your hide glue I would recommend you find at a thrift store a mini crock pot or mini dipping pot. No temperature control but you don't need one. The mini crock pots use a fixed temperature that is just right for hide glue. Buy the dry hide glue and mix up only what you will use in the next six months in a 16oz. Mason jar. Set the jar in the crock pot and fill with water up to the rim. I don't know if you hjave anything like that in England but that is what I use here in the US. You can keep it in the ice box to extend it's life. The dry will be good for years if kept sealed in a moisture free environment.
     
  7. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Joseph all really useful, never would have guess plaster of paris, why didn't they use putty they at least i think must have had whiting and oil, was it to hard to remove? Anyway I have one rogue (or apparently rogue) bit that was in the bits of broken wood and weights and brass ware and it is this approx 2 inch copper looking pendulum. Does it in anyway relate to this clock.... i doubt it but I'm still learning!
    Chris

    pendulum.jpg
     
  8. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Chris,
    That pendulum bob is for an American shelf clock, AFAIK.

    Aitor
     
  9. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks B, now if it is it might well add to the story of this clock only speculative but still interesting, especially considering the movement plates which shows the plates have many many old bushes filled. I believe in the US brass became very expensive at one time. A lot of clocks crossed the pond I believe.
    Chris
     
  10. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Joseph do you know what they used to use to fill in gaps around wooden joints...plaster-of-paris with linseed oil and burnt umber or :???:
    Chris
     
  11. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Chris, when the clock was made and they needed top fill small cracks or close joints they would use fine saw rust or sanding dust and mix it with glue. I never go that far, I just use a good quality wood filler. The plaster-of -paris and boiled linseed oil mixture was used to make a glass glazing putty.
     
  12. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Joseph useful advice as always. Nearly finished the missing piece of molding from the longcase , I had 2 goes and learned from the first mistakes. If you have a table saw, rotary rasp and corse grit sandpaper its a 3 hour job. The mistake first was to create the concave first then cut the straight lines.
    Chris
     
  13. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Chris, I understand about making a mistake and having too start over. Been there done that lots of ntiomes. The most important thing is that you learned from your mistakes.
     
  14. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Chris, just for your information, whiting is easily available in UK and very cheap - you can get it on Amazon and from builders merchants. It is finely ground chalk and not the same as plaster of Paris, which is finely ground gypsum. Chalk is calcium carbonate, gypsum is calcium sulphate.

    Whiting was traditionally used in glaziers' putty, together with linseed oil, and some people still make it themselves.

    Just thought it might help to clarify the terms.

    JTD
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I had been wondering about why plaster of Paris would need a hardener. PoP is as you say ground gypsum which is itself a partially hydrated Calcium sulphate. (I'm too old to acquiesce to American spelling demands I'm glad they made it optional again)

    You don't need a hardener with PoP, you just mix it with water and then let it dry out. It was used to hold glass in early dial clock bezels. Much easier to deal with than oil based putty.
     
  16. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Plaster-of-Paris by it’s self is way to soft. I know I’ve tried it that way. It will work if you put several coats of shellack (or boiled linseed oil) over it. You are in effect adding a hardener after putting the pop in.
     

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