Replica 1830s New Hampshire Mirror Clock

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by Sooth, Jul 12, 2015.

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  1. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    Here is my newest clock. It was built entirely from scratch starting around Jan 3rd 2015, and I finished it just a few days ago (July 9th). It was initially "just for fun" to practice my skills: reverse glass painting, dial painting, gilding, and antiquing wood. I was originally planning to use an ogee clock movement in the clock, but the project eventually became more involved, complicated, and detail oriented.

    The clock measures 26" high x 13.5" wide, by 4 3/8" deep.

    The clock was built largely from old scrap wood, and everything else in it was entirely custom made for it. The clock is not a standard size, so everything had to be specially made for it. The dial glass was reverse painted (by me) using stencils, imitation gold leaf, bronze powders, and paint. The dial was dished (a stock banjo dial blank with existing numbers removed) and hand painted. Custom hardware includes a hand cut door hook, and hand stamped brass rosettes. The movement was made by Jim DuBois, and runs for 8 days (with a modified 20" pendulum length). I cast a 13Lb driving weight for the clock, cut custom steel hands, and modified some stock ST pulleys to look closer to originals of the period. The mirror is a salvaged antique. The rest is mainly just paint and faux finishes.

    I plan to make a custom paper label for the clock, but it's still being designed.

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    Questions and comments are welcome. If you'd like to see the entire clock project start-to-finish in great detail, you can see all the relevant posts on my clock blog at jcclocks.blogspot.ca
     
  2. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Mar 17, 2005
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    WOW!! You have utilized a wide variety of skills and created a beautiful clock. Really nice job on the reverse painted glass. I'm heading over to your blog to learn more.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Allan
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Very nice.

    I also recall that a few years ago you had purchased a home and were fixing it up.

    From the little bit I can see, it looks like that has turned out well, too.

    RM
     
  4. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nov 26, 2009
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    Yes, the house is coming along quite nicely.

    Nice mirror! Like the tablet and rope molding...like what you might find on a presentation banjo.

    I really like mirrors. I have a bunch of them. I justify the ones decorated with turned stenciled 1/2 columns as they do relate to ww clocks of the period.

    Otherwise, well...just like them. And the prices have come down so they are real period antiques often for reasonable $.

    If you ever wish to see pix, send me your email address via PM and I'll bore you with a few.

    RM
     
  6. David D'Apice

    David D'Apice Registered User
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    Mar 22, 2012
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    What a nice job! Congratulations. I'm working on a Chandler Mirror Clock at the moment -- in need of a good wavy mirror -- the original is long gone. Anyone have an idea where I could get a nice one that won't look brand new? Thanks! DD
     
  7. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    The mirror is the difficult part, because it's a huge part of the overall clock. A new mirror is also something that really ruins an otherwise beautiful antique clock. There are several options for mirrors. Hand silvering (with foil), chemical silvering on antique glass (you can buy a kit from somewhere like Angel Gilding), spray paint (Krylon looking glass spray paint - which gives a very dull grey mercury glass effect), and of course, salvaging a real antique mirror (which is what I did). There are also a few specialty glass shops that offer realistic distressed antique mirrors, but I've lost the webpage for that resource, so you'll really have to do some digging if you go that route. The majority of glass places distress new flat glass, and you really want old wavy glass with imperfections.
     
  8. David D'Apice

    David D'Apice Registered User
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    Mar 22, 2012
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    Couldn't agree more --- the wavy part is the secret -- I'll look around and see what can be found --- I did find R squared glass --- and they seem to have a product like that. I enjoy seeing your great projects!
     
  9. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    For what it's worth, if I do another one of these, I will buy the glass silvering kit. The materials are only about 40$, and you have enough to do multiple mirrors. I have a lot of old glass from salvaged windows, and with the texture, it would look the same as the real thing. I've tried silver leaf mirrors (these look great, but the seams of the leaves remain visible), and the spray paint (not reflective enough), so I want to try the kit next. It uses a tin solution and then a silver solution to produce a modern mirror finish. I can still add dots or distress it easily.

    There are a whole bunch of interesting projects and restorations on my blog. (link in signature).
     
  10. David D'Apice

    David D'Apice Registered User
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    Mar 22, 2012
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    That's a great idea -- I'll google around and see if I can't find a kit -- I'd love to try it too! I have tinkered with the leaf version, but always had seams -- and the spray makes it look not good. Let's see what happens!
     
  11. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Feb 12, 2011
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    Hi Sooth,

    I'm sorry that I missed this thread last year, but glad it came up now.

    Your workmanship is outstanding and your artistic ability is awe inspiring.

    Another example of some of the great talent available to us through this forum.

    Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
     
  12. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    Apr 26, 2005
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    I've been away for a while, so I was really happy to see this project clock ! It does my home state (NH) very well !!! As stated by everyone, very nice work Sooth ! I found some old wavy glass, and utilized it on a Tall Clock project back in 2015... It really adds a needed touch to a project like this, and is a definite MUST for a reproduction where the mirror is the visual key to the clock !

    Joe
     
  13. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    Thanks for the kind words, Joe. And yes, I'm quickly running out of nice antique glass. The majority of what I have left is "barely imperfect 1920s glass". I will need to source some more for antique clock repairs and for additional reproduction clocks I'd like to build.
     

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