Not my idea of the best bushing technique

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by claussclocks, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    I friend of mine sent this to me asking how I would handle this supposed repair if it came in like this. I have used these screw on bushing plates a few times where there was some reason that makes a normal bushing difficult or impossible but I have never seen the entire clock done this way. I suggested he remove them and bush it correctly however, that will leave a number of screw holes in the plates. I open this up for observation and discussion.

    Also, does anyone recognize this clock. It has a Sessions movement but he could not find it in the resources he checked. That could mean it's not a Sessions or one that is not documented in the regular books. Does anyone recognize it.

    Curt1.jpeg Curt4.jpeg Curt2.jpeg Curt3.jpeg
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I dont use screw on bushings. If i encounter a movement with holes i plug them. Too me its reallly sad when i see people using screw in bushings and also te ones screwed on to the plates.
     
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  3. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    Yuk. As mentioned, its probably best to replace the bushings with the modern accepted method and plug the screws holes with brass.

    Another approach might be to just find another movement on ebay.
     
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  4. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

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    If it were up to me, I would replace the clicks/ rivets and the click return springs as well. Usually those clicks are rocking on their rivets. The return springs are made from brass, which is not a good material. With age, those get brittle and break. I would use spring steel return springs. Also check the ratchet wheel teeth to see if they have already been chewed up by ill fitting clicks.

    Best,

    Dick
     
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  5. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    In my opinion, this is the worst possible way to bush a clock, as has been said when I encounter one of these I remove them, plug the screw holes with brass, and bush properly, never any excuse to use these or screw-in bushings.
     
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  6. wow

    wow Registered User
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    These Rathbun bushings are a way for someone to get a clock going without disassembling the movement. I’ve never seen that many on any movement. The other style people use to avoid disassembly is screw in bushings. They make a worse mess, in my opinion, than the Rathbuns. A big hole is cut and threaded around the pivot, and a large hole is left when removed. You almost always have to fill in the hole with a brass blank and drill a new pivot hole. I think it is easier to do it right than to use either of these methods.
     
  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    There is a twist in terminology going on here.

    A screw in bushing is just that, a threaded bushing with a screwdrivwr slot. It is screwed into a precut threaded hole to porovide a new wear surface. They are an abomination in clock repair and are not easy to replace because the original center is almost always lost. The threaded hole has to be reamed out larger and plugged. Then the original center can be relocated and a new pivot hole drilled. This is not easy and requires special skils and tools.

    Then there are the pictured Rathburn (sp) bushings. They are held in place with a nasty little sheet metal screw. I think claus might have a record holder here. That's more than I've seen and those little round disc are added too. Maybe they are superglued or soldered?

    I would do as you mention remove them all and rebush in the normal manner. I usually leave the old holes but smooth up the ragged edges with a small snap on flexable rotary sanding disc.

    Funny thing, when I see a lot of these on a clock, I usually have to rebush only about half the holes! Go figure.

    Is that roachey bug poop on that last pictured Sessions kitchen clock?

    Willie X
     
  8. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    When I first became interested in clock repair around 18 I was sent to Marshall Swarthchild in downtown Dallas. They sold me a package of Rathburns and a screw in bushing tool. I never used either one. Shortly thereafter I was introduced to Southwest Clock Supply owned by Hugh Overton, (now out of business). They were a great source for quality clock supplies and Hugh was a great help to a fledgling clock repair enthusiast. The only good use I have found for a rathburn was when someone drilled out a hole for a pivot too large. Used the rathburn with loctite to check for center, plugged the hole and re-drilled for bushing. Loctite comes off with acetone.

    The owner has approved the bushings to be replaced so my friend is going to give the movement to repair it deserves.
    I also think that calendar wheel is either a replacement or an add on since it is screwed to the plate instead of riveted

    Neither he or I know for sure what the black goo is but he hopes it comes off in cleaning or may have to be buffed off.

    Thanks for looking at the never ending stream of messes that come in masquerading as clock repair.
     
  9. wow

    wow Registered User
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    FYI, the proper spelling of these bushings is Rathbun. How do I know? I have an original pack in their original envelope with the name on the envelope. I acquired these from the family of a recently deceased 93 year old clock repairman’s parts bin.
     
  10. Jim Hartog

    Jim Hartog Registered User
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    Hello Claussclocks,

    The glass is a Waterbury design that they used in 1906 in the Henson, page 435 of Tran Duy Ly's Waterbury Clocks and Watches, Arlington Press. The door frame looks to be Waterbury, too. However, the case is not to be found in either the Calendar Clocks, nor the Mantle Clocks: Wood Cases section of Trans books, Vol 1 or Vol 2.

    The case is not in Tran's Sessions book, either.

    Jim
     
  11. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Thanks for the correction. Apparently they have been around for quite some time.
     
  12. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    This has all the earmarks of a "Frankenclock".
     
  13. Curt Lefferts

    Curt Lefferts clefferts.net
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    Thanks to all for the input and advice. I will post some photos of the finished product. Thanks to Clauss Clocks for helping a new guy with the message board.

    Curt Lefferts
     
  14. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Y'all say Hi to Curt. He's part of the NAWCC chapter here. Has been taking the classes and working on clocks for a bit now. He wants to learn how to do things right and has a real desire to do quality work and he is already doing some really good work.

    DPC
     
  15. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Welcome, Curt. You have a good mentor in Clauss. By the way, Clause, where are you in Texas? We may be able to get together and talk clocks. I’m in central Louisiana. Is Kurt a Texan?
     
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  16. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Hello Curt.

    It looks like you've been a silent member of the Message Board for some time now. According to your website, you are a certified Horologist so you're no newbie.

    That's one heck of a hot mess you have on your hands there. Even though "Rathburn" is not a correct spelling, it is descriptive none-the-less. I look forward to seeing some of your before and after photos. Unless this is a labor of love, you most certainly will have to charge for all of the extra time needed to reverse the Raths and Washers by properly bushing the original holes and plugging the screw holes (if you choose to do so). Willie's observation that many of the holes so "bushed" require no bushing at all once the things are removed. I imagine someone with a really big hammer seeing phantom nails popping up everywhere. Perhaps it was common practice to place these things to shore up pivot holes and reduce wear. Someone was really trying hard to do a good job.

    I wouldn't be too quick to assume this is a "Frankenclock" unless there are extra mounting holes or any of the usual hints to be found. Tablet patterns can be found across different manufacturers. I've seen one example on a New Haven "Merchants Line" Wood Case that used the same pattern often seen on the Seth Thomas "Eclipse" model.

    See: 225: New Haven Merchants Line "B" Oak Mantle Clock on LiveAuctioneers

    and: Wall Clock; Seth Thomas, Eclipse, Walnut, 8-Day, 27 inch.

    It's a very nice looking clock, in my opinion, and well worth the effort to properly service. Absent any sentimental value, though, I doubt it would be valuable enough to set "right". Reversing prior fixes often takes excessive time and there have been many opportunities for things to go wrong with a century old antique.

    Good luck with it and thanks for sharing.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
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  17. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    I am on the East side of Dallas County and Curt is in North Dallas County. We will both have tables at the Regional in Mesquite in March. I attended the Regional in New Orleans two years ago but family issues and other hindrances have kept us from coming back so far. I also go to the Houston Regional in August. Would love to meet up with you. If you come to the Regional in Mesquite look us up or if you are going to be in this area let me know.
     
  18. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I was at he New Orleans regional two years ago. Had four tables. Perhaps we have already met. I hope to make the Mesquite show in the spring. There are no chapters anywhere close to me. I am three hours from New Orleans and 5 hours from Dallas. Wish there was a local group near me. Maybe we can get one going. Hope to see you guys in Mesquite.
     
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  19. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Could be. I bought a little French Time only ceramic for my daughter there. I remember someone having several table in the center isle toward the exhibit end. If that was you I saw you but not sure we ever talked.
    DPC
     
  20. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Yep. That was me. Sold several low end clocks and some tools. Had fun.
     
  21. Curt Lefferts

    Curt Lefferts clefferts.net
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    Bruce

    Thanks for taking the time to articulate some helpful thoughts here. The clock belongs to a Houston customer that I know through the day job. It belonged to her father who recently passed so it is of great sentimental value to her. Originally, it was a repair to the broken ornamentation at the top of the case. I figured I would do a service on it while I had it. When I removed the dial pan I found the Raths as you call them. I prefer to do things correctly so I will be removing them and filling the screw holes. The customer would like it to be repaired correctly.

    On another note, I believe this work was performed recently as it looks very fresh and they had it worked on by a jeweler / watch shop in Houston.

    Curt
     
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  22. Curt Lefferts

    Curt Lefferts clefferts.net
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  23. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Yikes! It would seem someone is working very hard towards misguided goals. Hopefully, they are not charging by the Rath.
    It's a nice clock. Glad to hear that it has a new lease on life.
     

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