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Moon Mechanisms - A Restorer's Guide

Ansomnia

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Sep 11, 2005
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Back in February, I answered a question posted by Sooth about identifying a "Woolfenden" longcase clock and discussed a missing wheel in the moonphase motion work. I also have an early longcase movement with a calendar dial plate that some foolish person mangled a long time ago and I located a very useful book to help me reconstruct the motion work for the calendar dials.

Unfortunately, the book I had found was the only copy from the bookseller. Now, I notice other people are also asking about how to restore English-design longcase calendar dials so I did a bit more digging and located an interesting website hosted by the book publisher. You can order your own copies of the book by visiting his website. Here are some specifics about the book:

TITLE: Moon Mechanisms - A Restorer's Guide, First Edition
AUTHOR: Peter Grimwood
PUBLISHER: Orreries UK
FORMAT: softcover, 10-1/2" x 8-1/4", 72 pages, table of contents, no index
WEBSITE: http://www.orreries.co.uk

ADVERTISED PRICE: £19.95 (UK) or $36.50 (US)
ADVERTISED POSTAGE COSTS: UK £1.50, EU £2.50, USA/Canada £4.50

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction ..................page 9
Dial construction ............page 11
Glossary .......................page 15
Square dials ..................page 19 .....6 variants
Brass arch-top dials ........page 27 ....14 variants
Painted arch-top dials .....page 43 .... 14 variants
Day, date and month ......page 59 .....9 variants
Bibliography ..................page 71
I'm not into doing book reviews although I have a fair number of horological books. I mostly use my books as references and once in a while I am lucky to read one of them from cover-to-cover. I have not yet read this one from cover-to-cover so please keep that in mind as you read the rest of this review.

What I can say about this book is that it is extremely practical. The author uses a plethora of diagrams and photos to illustrate the workings and layouts of each design variant. IMO, the information is better laid out than any other clock book I have because this one is very practical. It is written very much like an owner's manual except that it describes clock dial designs rather than user operations.

If you work on old English/American longcase/tallcase clocks with extra features on their dials you would be nuts not to own a copy of this book if you can fork out the £25 to £30 for the book and postage. It will more than pay for itself in saving you time and grief figuring out old clocks missing their astronomical components.

I would have preferred a hardcover version because the book is quite a pretty one with its many photos, diagrams and neat layout but I suspect the author (and self-publisher) wanted to keep costs down, especially when considering the exclusive nature of his intended audience.

BTW, if you are also curious about or a fan of orreries / astronomical toys, you'll get a kick out of visiting the publisher's website.


Michael

P.S. I apologize if there are any typos or grammatical errors - what has happened to my time? :(
 
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Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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Sep 23, 2001
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... I located a very useful book to help me reconstruct the motion work for the calendar dials.....:(

Indeed the book you found:
-----------------------------------

# Title: Moon Mechanisms
SubTitle: A Restorers Guide
# Author: Peter Grimmwood
# Publisher: Orreries UK
Keywords: dial / hands movement
Other Keywords: moon lunar phase date
ISBN: 0 9551336 0 2
Language: ENG
Notes: One of very few monographs exclusively dedicated to variations of the mechanisms driving lunar phase and calender displays in (tall case clocks. Has detailed function diagrams of 43 different ways to drive the moon disc in a british style tall case clock. Written as a "guide" to restorers facing a movement with missing or damaged parts of the moon/date train. Little theory or history, just many different examples documented neatly and completely. Many line drawings. Glossary.
Edition: 2005 First edition -- Copyright: 2005
Kind: Book
Type: Floor clock
Geographic area: United Kingdom
Topic: Restore
Organization: NA/other
Pages: 72 -- Height in cm: 27
Print Status: 1 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
Entered By: FMM
BHM ID: 7435
-----------------------------------

is one of very few books on the subject. The NAWCC library has several copies and will lend them to members if you are stuck on one of the,m.

Fortunat
 

Ansomnia

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It's good to know the NAWCC library is so well-stocked. It's a nifty way to preview a book if you live nearby. I have done that with my public library for a number of my books.


Michael
 

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
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Sep 23, 2001
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It's good to know the NAWCC library is so well-stocked. It's a nifty way to preview a book if you live nearby. I have done that with my public library for a number of my books.


Michael
The NAWCC library -within reason- will purchase 2 copies of any newly published holological book they are aware of (OR ARE MADE AWARE OF). Only if they have two copies will they lend a book out to membes, onre copy books must be consulted on premises.

borrowing by mail in the USA is not fast, but cheap. You pay only for postage, and libraries enjoy low rates for domestic mail.
 

Scrapyard Guitar

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Nov 29, 2012
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Thank you, thank you, thank you... just ordered it. Kindest Regards John
 

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