Missing parts

bikerclockguy

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Jul 22, 2017
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I bought a Seth Thomas 8-day shelf clock with a lyre movement off of Craigslist today, and I could use an extra set of eyes or 2. The thing is in remarkable shape overall; just a few nicks on the case and the reverse-painted glass is nearly intact. The guy I bought it from picked it up at a thrift store for 6 bucks, and pulled the hands and dial off of it thinking he might be able to get it running, but(wisely and fortunately)decided not to go any further. I've been studying this thing, and it's definitely a unique contraption. The pendulum bob and key are MIA, and there is something like an extra external click missing from the winding arbor on the strike side. The alarm mechanism looks to be intact as far as I can tell, although I can see I'm definitely going to have to do some straightening on that linkage and the hammer rods. So, I need to know what the click thing is called, and if any of you spot anything else I'm missing I'd appreciate a heads-up.

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kinsler33

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Very nice clock. The one-finger wheel-thing missing from the strike-winding arbor is part of the Geneva mechanism that's there to limit the number of times the winding arbor can turn. This lets you know that the clock is wound up adequately, and I think it helps keep the spring on the flat part of its torque vs. revolutions curve. As fine as the arrangement is, it wasn't used in a great many clocks and the clock will work perfectly well without it. It's the sort of part you might consider making yourself sometime, for great accuracy isn't needed, and the historical context is interesting: they used Geneva works when spring-powered clocks were new and weren't as accurate as weight-driven clocks. Eventually they learned to use longer, thinner springs.

Pendulum bobs and keys are Timesavers stuff unless and until you get a self-regenerating junk box. Neither are expensive, though. I go through keys with wild abandon because so many clocks are put away with either the wrong key or a worn-out key or a tiny key that only Superman could use to wind the clock. Maybe three bucks each, I just include the new key without charge.

Mark Kinsler
 

bikerclockguy

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Thanks, Mark. I wasn't sure exactly what that was, and wondered if it was a non-critical part, because the spring is partially wound now and staying put. This thing is a lot different than anything I've tackled yet, so I'm going to read up a bit on lyre movements and alarms before I take it down. I'm not as excited about it as I was this morning, though. I was thinking I got a steal at 40 bucks and could make some nice coin on it, but looks like the bottom has fallen out. I looked at Horton's while ago, and clocks like that one sold in January's auction for 50-75 bucks. I'll probably just fix it and sit on it for a while.
 

Fitzclan

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This is a nice clock and you did get a good deal at $40.
Not all Ogee clocks will have a lyre movement and the stop works are usually missing, and of course the tablet is not always so nice.
You will want an adjustable pendulum, probably a simple lead one would be original because it doesn't show, but a brass covered pendulum is only a few bucks. You don't show the dial. Did it come with the clock?
 

shutterbug

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You'll just need an adjustable bob.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Nice clock even if you don't make money on it. The Alarm movement also has a Geneva (or Work) Stop set up. Just like for the mainsprings, it restricts the small Alarm Movement Spring to the middle of its Torque Curve. Without it, a fully wound Alarm movement would run so fast as to "rattle" the Cup Bell and eventually slow down to a full stop. I'm told that folks would only half-wind their Alarm movements not so equipped to keep them from ringing too fast as well as on and on and on.... It's a nice "extra" feature that you don't see often. I'd suggest that you wind it up and trip the alarm. In rapid real time you'll see exactly how the set up works. If I were working on the clock I'd fabricate a replacement for the missing part. As Kinsler mentioned, they don't require a high degree of precision and you have one to serve as your template. With a nice restoration there's no reason you can make a profit on this example but your hourly rate probably wouldn't impress Wall Street Traders. Enjoy anyway. It's not too often that you can get paid to learn.
 
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breeze

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I agree 100% with Time After Time. You have a very nice clock that has the bonus of a learning opportunity. You may even get the chance to pick up a couple of donor cases and get the chance to learn veneer repair. After you do that you may not be in a hurry to sell. Good on you Bikerclockguy!

Breeze
 

Willie X

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Don't be surprised if the new pendulum bob swings about half below the bottom edge of the door.
Willie X
 

bikerclockguy

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You don't show the dial. Did it come with the clock?
It did, and here it is. I think it's probably original, but I don't know for sure. It has a couple of red stains that look like lipstick or cherry Kool-Aid that I haven't tried to remove, and I'm not sure how it was originally mounted in the case. The dial pan is metal with some sort of overlay glued to it. It has a glossy finish and feels hard and durable, but I don't know if it's paper with some sort of coating or what. Also, there are remants of glue along the edges which look original, and screw holes opposite the 9 and 3 which don't. I'm guessing the glue deteriorated and the screw were a farmer's fix at some point. If anyone has any good cleaning tips or do's an don'ts, that would be apprecialted. I know not to use any household cleaners or ammoniated products, but something tells me the red stuff is going to be tough to get off of there.

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Bruce Alexander

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:eek: I don't know who thought it was a good idea to tape the hands over the dial like that but, if you haven't already done so, getting that off without damaging the dial would be my first concern. o_O
 

Bruce Alexander

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Regarding the red stains, really hard to say without know what the stains are and what the finish of the dial is.
I would start with very conservative methods, materials and gradually increase to more aggressive methods until the stain is removed or the dial starts to become altered.

I would suggest Dawn detergent "suds" and Q-Tips to start with. Only work on the stain itself. Try to avoid "cleaning" areas adjacent to the stain as you may end up brightening them.

If, or when you move up to a more aggressive method, you might want to test a small area first. A corner or around the edges of the screw holes.

In reviewing the archives, I see mention of a kneadable artist eraser material to gently remove surface stains on a paper dial. I have no experience with it.

Good luck.
 

Fitzclan

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IMG_1185.JPG IMG_1186.JPG IMG_1188.JPG IMG_1190.JPG IMG_1191.JPG A kneadable eraser is a good idea. About.75 cents worth at any art supply or craft store like Michaels.
It looks to me like someone glued a paper dial to the existing painted metal dial. The original would probably feature some sort of floral painting at the spandrels.
Most I've seen are attached at the top and rest on "L" shaped wires that protrude from the seatboard.
Depending on how far you want to go with this, there are several ways to go.
1. Try to clean it up as well as possible and leave as-is.
2. Purchase a new metal painted Ogee dial. (These are not bad, but obvious replacements as I have seen only one style that is offered.)
3. Remove the paper dial from the metal and replace it with a new paper dial. You should be able to get better results than what you currently have.
4. Create a new one with a new piece of sheet aluminum either saving the one you have or stripping it and starting over using the metal over again.

If you choose to make your own, first strip the old dial or cut your own new one. A soak in water will get the paper and some paint stripper with a scraper or steel wool will remove old paint.

Spray some white primer on dial & follow up w/ a couple of coats of white or off - white spray satin finish.

On a small dial, say 5" or smaller, you can purchase dial transfers for the time ring. Unfortunately anything larger than that, you have to make your own time ring. Not as difficult as it sounds. I use a sharpie or mechanical drawing pen attached to the arm of a record turntable to create the 2 time ring circles, then draw out the minute increments in pencil then go over with a ruler & pen.

The numerals can be purchased from Timesavers and Ronell. Timesavers doesn't sell time rings. I find that the sizes Ronell offers are usually closest to the size of the original numerals, however Timesavers transfers are a better quality and more user friendly.

If you carefully lay everything out, you will be much happier with a painted dial than paper in my opinion.

Attached are some photos of an original ST dial and newly made replacement, a re-used smaller dial and kneadable eraser. As they get dirty from use, you knead them to get a clean part to use.
Hope this helps
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hey Tom, how's it going with the dial? Any progress or have you been busy with a "life"? ;)
 

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