LongCase Hood Repair

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by ChrisCam, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    1,080
    19
    38
    Male
    England
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi, the hood to my longcase came when bought in bits and damaged damaged, no glass and with fragments of wood. As the clock is not of significant value I will attempt renovation myself. The hood is mahogony. I have poked around a bit and have come up with using 'hide glue' which is dark in coulour and reversible and wipes away easily with water. I have found an article suggesting 2mm glass is appropriate and that new while putty is too new looking for such an application.

    Any hints / tips / suggestions as always gratefully received.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,711
    377
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    glass is usually held in with pins, no putty.
     
  3. oricko

    oricko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    34
    0
    6
    Male
    retired
    grass valley, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    My 1820's English hood glass is putty, looks old, but who knows if it has been replaced.
     
  4. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    3,889
    45
    48
    Cabinetmaker
    Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    As far as I know, most early glasses were held in place with putty (up to around 1840). I wrote an article about colouring putty to match any historic colour required. Most tends to be coloured either a brown, a dark orange, or a mahogany (reddish brown) colour. Unfortunately the photos are currently unlinked/unavailable due to image-hosting issues. Here is the link to the article: Clocks & Clockmaking: Making Your Own Custom-Tinted Glazing Putty

    And here's a sample image showing two colour variations to match existing putty on two clocks:

    p9270212_38201865531_o.jpg
     
  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,711
    377
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:

    You can't apply the word early to 1840!

    I have looked at a lot of 17th and early 18th century cases and I have rarely seen putty. Many of the early cases had wooden frets on the sides before the glass was put in, and that may be why the pins continued. It certainly makes it a lot easier to replace the glass and the early glass was very thin and far more easily broken. When dial clocks with brass bezels first appeared they used plaster of paris to secure the glasses, which does rather support the idea that clocks and putty didn't originally go together.

    I detest the stuff.

    It is interesting, though, that Lenticles always seem to be puttied in to me, those that I have seen. I wonder if this is because the glass was generally thicker, and the position made it far less likely to get broken.
     
  6. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    3,889
    45
    48
    Cabinetmaker
    Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Generally, most longcases (the boring regular types commonly found) from about 1780-1830 tend to have puttied door glasses. Side glasses in the hood may use pins or wood strips, but putty makes a far more rigid and structurally sound construction as it basically cements everything together. That said, I have images/sources for clocks from the 17th century (Fromanteel, Knibb, Quare, etc) in both table clocks and longcase clocks that show puttied glasses as well as some with wood strips.
     
  7. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    3,889
    45
    48
    Cabinetmaker
    Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Here is an example of a Joseph Knibb table clock (roughly 1665) with puttied rear door glass:

    Joseph Knibb silver mounted table clock 02.jpg
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,711
    377
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    you don't know that putty was always there though Sooth, and given there are so many without putty that clearly never had it in it does support the idea that it may have been a later repair.

    I have seen putty in a bracket clock with side windows where the putty was covered in velvet. This was clearly contemporary with the putty, but the case may well have had frets originally.

    While late longcase are not something I see a lot of I have dealt with a few provincial ones from the last quarter of the 18th century and they didn't have putty either.

    I'm seeing the cabinet maker I use in a couple of weeks hopefully and I'll ask him as he has restored more clock cases than I will ever see in my lifetime.
     
  9. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    3,889
    45
    48
    Cabinetmaker
    Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It sounds like you're mainly trying to plead your case because you just don't like puttied glass. I used to be in your shoes, but I've come around on that topic. I also said this was ONE example. I have several others.
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,711
    377
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    No, I'm telling you what I have seen, my experience is in longcase from before 1740 or so, both provincial and London. I'm happy to raise it with the cabinet maker who has more experience than any of us in this field and has a better idea of what was done and when. I learn from him every time I see him so I welcome any opportunity to visit him or have him visit here. He has an eagle eye too, far better than my old eyes.
     
  11. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    1,098
    116
    63
    Male
    Retired
    Atlanta, GA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I've been repairing these clocks for the past 47 years and I have to agree with Sooth. In my experience putty was used on high end clock cases where the integrity of the structure was important to maintain. Putty was used in the hood doors and on glass in case doors. That is especially true where there may be an arch or curve in the glass. Quality and structure integrity was as important as mass production back then. It would be very rare that a subsequent repairman could remove putty and put it back exactly the same as was done originally. There is usually any number of tells indicating the R&R of the glass and putty. More often than not I've seen putty removed and replacd with wood strips. I have a wall clock made by S. Fournier c. 1855 that has a glass in the door. It is 4'4" x 12 3/8". The wood frame is 1 7/8" wide. The glass was put in with putty. No pins or wood strips could possibly maintain the integrity of that door frame without it coming apart. I also have two late 19th century OG clocks that have the upper dial glass put in with putty and the lower put in with wood strips. Both are original to the clock.
     
  12. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    837
    89
    28
    It seems to me that you would be unlikely to replace putty with pins and or battens, while you may well replace pins / battens with putty - so putty could well have been added later. It also seems that experience on one side of the Atlantic is different from the other. That being said, my understanding and experience, limited as it is, tallies with novice, that most early clocks did not use putty. Of the two I have here that date before 1820, the longcase uses pins and the bracket clock uses battens, despite the curved shape of the door.
     

Share This Page