• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

New hobbiest & clock, needing some advice & info

Andrew Bannister

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Jul 14, 2020
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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and hobby so reaching out for some advice on a clock I've purchased from the learned collective. It's in a bit of a sorry state and looks to have been stored over the last few years, previous to that perhaps used as a clock in a working area. I'm an engineer by trade so this is for my enjoyment, not for profit
The clock is 184cm (h) x 25.5cm (w) x 14.5cm (d) and clock face is 17cm. There is a round glass in the door, but also an odd second glass pane that can be lifted into position or left down (Question 1, what is this for?). The clock was very dirty and movement caked in some kind of heavy oil (dried out) so I've stripped and cleaned it with some clock cleaner (came up well). The movement is single train and single weight driven by chain, but no weight exists (question 2, how do I work out what weight is needed? The movement is brass and I'd hazard a guess at around 1900 (although have nothing to reference this against). The pendulum rod is flat and approx 90cm, no pendulum exists (question 3, will a standard 4-5" bob fit and work?). It's a nice little clock so I'm keen to restore, but also would like to know more about it if possible and appreciate any advice/info given. I'm bases in the UK, thanks all Andrew

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Kevin W.

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When you say you cleaned the movement. Did you take the movement apart to do this? Nice looking clock.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Hi Kevin,

Yes I took the brave step of stripping the clock into it's individual components, took me a while to work out the cogs when it fell to bits... but I guess that's how we learn. The movement was covered in thick congealed grease/oil, looking good now though (excuse the pink gloves !!) - just need to look at the case now

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JTD

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As for the moveable glass panel, I am guessing that something was kept behind it. Perhaps a user's manual or a service record book or some such.

I like it very much.

JTD
 

Andrew Bannister

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Thanks JTD,

I hadn't thought of that - makes sense.

I can't seem to find anything like it to compare, there is no makers name or numbers so I've been scratching my head. I have a couple of granddaughter clocks (with mantle clock movements) and clearly it's nothing like them
 

rgmt79

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Judging by the stickers on the inside of the door, it was often opened or perhaps left open at times. Maybe if was used as a form of clocking on/off in a workshop and employee cards were kept behind the glass panel. Maybe the stickers can give you a clue and what does the WAITING HOUSE ARTICLE tell you?

Richard
 

Kevin W.

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Thats great you made the plunge and took it apart to clean it.
 

Jeremy Woodoff

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The movement and hands look to me to be a weight-driven equivalent to English fusee dial clocks of the late 19th-early 20th century. Same detailing and high quality. But I also have never seen a weight-driven version, and the case is sure unusual.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Thanks Kevin, I tried to enrol on a local clock restorers course but due to covid it was cancelled, the instructor did take the time to contact me and just advised me to jump right in - whilst I'm confident in my engineering skills I equally don't want to clumsily damage something that needs fixing (not breaking) - but given the condition I had no choice - what's the worst that can happen right:???:
 

Andrew Bannister

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Hi Richard,
Nice spot with the articles and it's funny how you can become a detective with clocks... guess this happens a lot. The stamp appears to be American (1983), article from Honiton UK (Devon) and period currently unknown, and ticket also unknown - presumably all just from travels. I'll keep researching...

Stamp.jpg Newspaper cutting.jpg Ticket.jpg

Thanks Andrew
 

rgmt79

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Yes Andrew, that's one of the great joys of working with old clocks and using clues like this to establish their history. How did you come by this clock? Good to start with the previous owner, maybe Mr Loveridge in Honiton? Can't imagine why anyone else would cut that article from a local paper and stick in someone else's clock!

Good luck with your research and come back and let us know if you find anything.

Richard
 

Andrew Bannister

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Hi Richard,

Well I've certainly enjoyed working on the clock and the detective work so far - I guess the clock repair bug has caught me !!

I purchased from ebay (one of those take a punt things), the seller was listing for his deceased father and didn't know anymore info. It appears to have been stored for some considerable time, the dust & spiders suggesting perhaps in a garage or similar

I'll oil and reassemble the movement and then tackle the case with some careful cleaning and hopefully return it to it's previous splendor (whilst trying to keep the patina/character)

I still need to work out a weight for the pendulum and guess I just try different progressively heavier weights until the clock seems happy - does that sound about right?

Thanks, Andrew
 

rgmt79

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I still need to work out a weight for the pendulum and guess I just try different progressively heavier weights until the clock seems happy - does that sound about right?
I think others will give you better advice than I can on this, but your approach seems right to me so long as the movement is restored and the train running freely. It's tempting to use more weight to overcome any issues with the train, which would only exacerbate wear over time. I have no experience with missing weights and/or missing pendulum, but I would tackle the weights issue first and then the pendulum. I'm sure other more experienced members will be all over you in no time:), you certainly came to the right forum.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Richard
 

jmclaugh

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Interesting and unusual clock with a tall, utilitarian style case and it does look early 1900 or so. I'd imagine a 9lb weight and a standard sized bob would be fine but no harm in trying less weight. I haven't seen one like it before so my comments are just opinions.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Thanks, that's a great starting point for me, the standard bob being 4 or 5"?

Right I'm off to purchase said items and give it a try !!
 

NigelW

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Most interesting clock which has been through a few changes in its life I imagine. The movement seems to be of very good quality - very sturdy pillars, hand filed crossings and a Graham deadbeat escapement for example. The combination of the deadbeat (a quality feature) and a 30-day style chain weight (used for cheaper clocks) seems incongruous to me but this type of clock is not my speciality. There are quite a few unused holes in the front plate indicating that it has been altered and probably re-cased as there appear to be a second set of holes for dial pillars. There are also at least two unused pivot holes, but what these were for is not clear to me - could one be a click for a maintaining power ratchet perhaps?

As for stripping and cleaning, I suggest a couple of things. It is generally considered good practice to keep each screw in such a way that it goes back into the same hole - pushing them into a piece of card with a picture or sketch of the clock is one way to do this. In the days when screws were hand cut they often only fitted their particular hole. Secondly be very sparing with oil. Use proper clock oil and only put a tiny drop on each pivot, the faces of the pallets and a few other moving parts. Never oil the wheels or pinions, The reasons for being so sparing is that old attracts dirt and dirt causes wear.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Hi Nigel,

Thanks for the post - whilst I hadn't thought of the fact that it's probably a mix, I had noted the additional holes and wondered if there had been some re-use. Good to know it's a decent clock though, making it worth the effort of repair (shame not to really as it's a lovely little clock). I have no idea what 'maintaining power ratchet' is/does but I guess I'll figure that out at some point :) The cogs (and Graham deadbeat you mention) are certainly a marvel of engineering and worth showing off in their own right (almost a shame to lock away inside a clock)

I'll follow the advice on cleaning and laying out of parts, although I automatically did this from years of engineering practices (and scared of losing anything) - oddly enough though the screws seems to be different for their individual purposes, so pairs of different shaped/sized screws. I've read plenty about the art of oiling so I'll try my best to resist adding that extra drop (that I'm sure every newbie does). I did take lots of photos of the de-install, which is a little difficult when you're covered in old oil and cleaning fluid !!

Thanks, Andrew
 
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NigelW

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I have no idea what 'maintaining power ratchet' is/does but I guess I'll figure that out at some point :)
Deadbeat escapements don't like going backwards, which can happen when the power is taken off during winding, so clocks fitted with them, especially high quality ones, often have "maintaining power" - a device to continue to provide power during the winding, albeit briefly. One of the more common is that invented by Harrison, of "Longitude" fame. This has a spring within part of the winding barrel assembly with its own separate ratchet.
 

jmclaugh

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30 hour weight driven clocks invariably use the Huygens endless rope/chain system which provides maintaining power while most 8 day clocks don't have maintaining power.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Hi both,

Thanks for the explanation - so the same as my 30hr grandfather clock chain/weight system - although of course this little clock only has one train, so it's a little more simple...
 

NigelW

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30 hour weight driven clocks invariably use the Huygens endless rope/chain system which provides maintaining power while most 8 day clocks don't have maintaining power.
The Huygens system requires two wheels, with the ratchet on a different wheel from the going train if I understand it correctly. In a two train clock this is achieved by putting the ratchet on the strike train. I can't see a second wheel in the pictures and the ratchet seems to be on the going barrel.

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One thought I had was that the mechanism may have started off life as an 8 day clock with a winding barrel and maintaining power, but looking again at the pictures there does not seem to be enough room for a barrel given the space between the plates and the layout of the train. There must therefore be another explanation for the empty pivot holes.
 

jmclaugh

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My comment about Huygens and maintaining power was a general one and not specific to this clock which is an unusual one.
 

Andrew Bannister

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Well I certainly appreciate the advice and if anything it’s giving me lots of info on my grandfather clock which does have this type of working and a general insight into clocks. It also adds more intrigue into my little clock....
Thanks all
Andrew
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Sorry just found this thread... a really interesting and beautifully preserved clock. Well worth more research. at first it looked very reminiscent of Whitehurst of Derby, but also maybe John Holmes with the asymmetric crutch and wood rod pendulum. Looking at the wheel crossings it really reminded me of a journeyman clock with the deadbeat escapement. They were often relatively short duration and wound in this way. All very cool. I love the tickets and stickers and hope they all get to survive. If you can get hold of the Whitehurst book maybe worth a look.
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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In the images before cleaning, there is evidence of something running across the top of the frontplate? Is that a strap for holding in the case or other component missing?
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Clock will only ned a relatively light weight, the going train has very little work to do, 3 or 4 pounds? As you say, begin with less and gradually work up. When testing make sure clock is fixed to the wall to get it to run properly. Yup, clock very cool, deff worth pursuing the Whitehurst line ut this may be earlier. I wondered about the painted dial. I have seen dials like this that were engraved and then painted over. I am not saying of course to remove the paint!!! The opposite in fact, please preserve as much as you can. Might be interesting to see a photo of the back of the dial.
 

Sooth

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Welcome to the hobby/group. I warn you it's extremely addictive.

You have found what I'd consider to be a superb clock. Very unusual, quality made, and a perfect clock for a beginner as it's a simple timepiece and weight driven (no complicated levers or striking arrangements, and no dangerous springs to work with). I thought it might be a watchman's clock at first, based on the style of the case, but it's a simple timepiece with a plain dial. I would guess it was in a workshop or work space.
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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No maintaining power. It would be interesting to have a look between the two layers of the dial plate if the screws could be sensitively removed?
 

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