Replacing original work - advice needed...

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by randall977, Feb 20, 2017.

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  1. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
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    I have a long term project clock and have done quite a bit of work to it so far. One area which I'm not sure about is the truck door - it is warped and has been reset at some point in the past to account for this. As far as I can tell the only way to make the door flat is to replace the base oak board and reapply the veneer and edge moulding. Should I live with this defect and accept it as patina or is there a case (no pun intended) to make straight this door?

    Also...I assume the glass side inserts are not original and these should be fretwork - if so what is the best course of action?

    And finally...the finals are old but not original to this clock - would it have had finals?

    Many thanks!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    How old is the clock? Is it a conversion? Whose signature is on the dial?

    It's a lovely veneer, are you sure there isn't another way or could you live with it?

    Whether it should be glass or frets would depend on how old it is and who made it.
     
  3. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
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    Thanks for the reply! James Th waites London - Loomes says C.1780 - doesn't seem to be that well know but nicely made, not a conversion and not a marriage...amazingly! I can live with the door but it's slightly annoying / dissatisfactory.

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  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It's certainly unusual, have you got a better pictiure of the dial?
     
  5. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
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    Obviously some of the parts were removed in the photo of the movement - a few pins had been damaged so I had them repaired. The hood fits the face perfectly and there are no unusual holes, marks etc and no signs of adaption...though I'm no expert and you might tell me something new... I think the seconds aperture has been re-secured, I can't image the two brass rivets would have been intended...or would they?

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  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    spandrels and chapter ring fit with your date, I've never seen a dialplate like that.
     
  7. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
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    I found a few similar examples...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Yes, they look a bit like bracket clocks don't they? Yours seems to have missed out on some of the design with just the signature on a plain brass arch.
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Have you had the subsidiary rings off in the arch? I was wondering what the matting looked like at the edges.

    Matting is said to have been done by a roller, and when you take the chapter ring off you can see the incomplete matting as a sort of feathering under the chapter ring. The design of yours and those others with the matted subsidiaries needs much finer control of that feathering. I wonder if they used a smaller roller or a different technique entirely.

    I rarely look at mahogany longcase as my interest is in early clocks but I do look at a lot of bracket clocks and the similarity in dial design is quite marked.
     
  10. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    I will have a look later and let you know, I was going to remove it but decided not to as it looked undisturbed... The clocks I usually go for are opposite to yours - early 20th century. I got into these as I wanted to know that what I was getting was original - this is much easier to tell on a clock that's only 100 years old - an the quality of the top end versions is superb. I've always wanted an C.18th musical (multi-tune) clock but the prices are prohibitive...this one was a project which I could afford (kind of!) - it's a bit like paying in instalments this way, plus I love restoring etc. The base has certainly been worked on - but this is fairly usual, apart from one very minor bit it's free from rot.

    I know this is not your specialist area but you do know an awful lot more than me - would you tend to leave the door or correct it? Would correcting it undermine it's authenticity? I guess I'm trying to weigh up originality against a defect which might detract from the overall enjoyment of the clock? If I did do the door would most people think ' what a shame to have removed its character'? As a musical clock I would assume side fretwork to allow the sound out - but that's just going on my newer tubular longcases.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    This falls between us, it's too new for my main experience and too old for yours!

    I'm struck by the similarity in layout with bracket clocks, that makes sense as they frequently have these complications.

    I can't really see how bad the door is but I wonder if there is a way of improving it without reveneering. I give case problems to an expert but I don't mind a bit of "character". I'm only now entering the veneered case domain, most of my clocks are in provincial oak cases, but I am currently having a burr walnut veneer on oak case worked on.

    The hood he is working on is a reproduction case from 1910, that has frets and he immediately said that needs changing to glass. I got the impression that frets were rare and where they were used they were of the highest quality, I think this had frets because that was seen as the norm in 1910, but it wasn't in 1700 when the design was originally made.

    A sound fret in the frieze above the door is much more likely. I think people liked to see the movement through the side window.
     
  12. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2016
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    The Door can likely be straitened out with warm water & weights. You may need to remove the mouldings and veneer to do this. The Hide Glue used will release with gentle heat. You may also need to sand the finish off the inside of the door so the moisture can penetrate. The best advise I can give you would be to put the warped door on the back burner for now. watch the flea markets, ebay, auctions for a junk piece of similar age furniture at a cheap price to use as a test case.

    Remember Newtons Law...... for every action there's an equal & opposite reaction.

    I have a revolutionary war period Grandfather Clock, I rescued from laying on its back on a heating customers concrete basement floor. (what a sin!)
    Someone at some point straitened the warped door by applying a 3/4" board to the backside of the door. It straitened the door, but now the weights ride the door.

    I've been contemplating sending the door through my thickness planer and bringing it down a 1/4". This morning a light bulb went off thinking.......Maybe I can move the point where the weight cords anchor into the seat board further back. I only need to gain a small amount of clearance.

    I think Thomas Johnson antique furniture restoration may have a Youtube Video posted dealing with warped panels.

    Good Luck
     
  13. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I would not recommend replacing the trunk door to eliminate the 1/2" or so of warping seen in your door. There is no guarantee the new door won't do precisely the same thing in short order, and the replacement door will never be acceptable long term as a proper repair. I have seen a number of folks attempt to flatten warped doors, have tried it a few times myself. Generally such efforts do not yield a permanent solution as what ever unbalanced stresses exist in the door causing the warp they are still present and as humidity and temperatures change, wood will move, and usually the warp comes back. I don't know that either glass or fretwork is more proper in the hood. I think some of the period stylebooks do show fretwork with silk backing in some very fancy clockcases. Personally I prefer glass, but it is a preference, not based on anything more than most clocks are so equipped and most look like they had glass for a very long time, if not originally. But, all that said, since yours is musical I would go for a fret with silk backing to better allow the sound out and about. Regards finials I would suspect your clock would have had wood finials, gessoed, and gold leafed. While this is not the correct style / period example I have seen what is believed to be original finials 3, wood gold leafed, on clocks of your style. I would at least consider something of that nature....
     

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  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I think this late it could well be brass rather than wood, also this is a London clock so more money and competition for status. One way to check is the mounting holes. Wood finials have larger holes and are push fit, if they change to brass they usually put a wooden bush in the hole to take the thread.
     
  15. randall977

    randall977 Registered User

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    Here's what's under chapter ring - I think I can make out Daniel Quare scratched onto the rear of the ring itself... :chuckling:

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  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    you normally just get a 12 scratched into the back of the chapter ring and nothing on the subsidiaries, but my Fennel has an F on all the parts other than the chapter ring.

    I was interested in what it looks like under the subsidiaries with a close up view of how the matting is controlled so accurately. I can see it doesn't extend far under the chapter ring but for some reason cannot enlarge the picture. Can you do close ups?
     
  17. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    I managed to enlarge it by clicking on the thumbnails (not the big photos), then, when the computer brings them up, click on those images and you will get the image with a little + sign, and click again, and the image is even more enlarged. Don't know if it will be enough for what you want, but it does enlarge it quite a lot.

    JTD
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Worked a bit (my chromebook doesn't appear to behave like normal computers)

    However you can see the matting runs under the chapter ring by more than the width of the subsidiaries, it must be very difficult to keep the over run to such a tight tolerance.
     
  19. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    As someone who does quite a lot of case restoration and antiques repairs I can tell you (my opinion) that I would never dream about trying such a drastic repair. The door looks pretty flat to me. I have seen some where one corner is about an inch away from the case (twisted) and that is a bit more of an issue, but the door is 100% original. You also run a lot of risk trying to remove and relay the veneer on new wood. Removing the old veneer is not often as easy as you might think, unless you're willing to soak the entire door several days in the tub.

    I'm fairly sure the clock would have had finials, especially a fancy musical clock like this. THOSE finials, probably not, but finials, more than likely. There are several styles and prices as far as finials go. They range from cheapo 20$ stamped brass ones up to about 120$ exact antique replicas (sand castings custom made, etc). There is always a chance that the original finials may have been gilt wood (as Jim points out), but the clock has a lot of solid brass details (column ribs and capitals) so I would lean towards brass finials on this particular clock.

    Regarding the sides (glass or frets) most tend to have frets, but it's possible that since it's a musical clock, it was desirable to see the movement. Either choice seems fine to me, so it comes down to what you prefer. The very plain rectangular openings with the same detail as the glazed front door seem perfectly suited for glass.
     
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