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Restore Or Enjoy Patina???

darita

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Apr 17, 2013
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I recently acquired this wonderful vintage clock that has broken parts and lots of rust. I can repair the broken cast aluminum numbers, I think, but it's the rust that is concerning me. I don't want the rust to get worse, which is my main concern.
I like the look of it as is, but it would look pretty nice fully restored. I just can't decide whether or not to do it. It just looks so cool all rusted and faded. Again, that said, I don't want the rust to get any worse. Thoughts? IMG_0827_zpsrp0za6tn.jpg IMG_0828_zpsd8yffvaw.jpg
 

MikeDeB

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I would restore it. The center glass is beautiful and the clock would look super if the rest of it matched the center. This is that situation where the "patina" adds nothing to the look or the value of the clock.
 

leeinv66

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I agree with Mike, this one needs to be restored.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I recently acquired this wonderful vintage clock that has broken parts and lots of rust. I can repair the broken cast aluminum numbers, I think, but it's the rust that is concerning me. I don't want the rust to get worse, which is my main concern.
I like the look of it as is, but it would look pretty nice fully restored. I just can't decide whether or not to do it. It just looks so cool all rusted and faded. Again, that said, I don't want the rust to get any worse. Thoughts? IMG_0827_zpsrp0za6tn.jpg IMG_0828_zpsd8yffvaw.jpg
Leave it be!!!

And why on earth do you bother to ask??

Surely you know it's going to boil down to a the endless tiresome unresolved debate between those who want to restore everything and those that don't.

Please...do what you want.

Oh, do you want us to date the clock too?

RM
 
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scottmiami

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Of course I know better, but.

:whistle:


I'm with RM. A gentle cleaning, otherwise leave it be. Get it running, let it speak it's history.

my 2 cents.
Scott
 

leeinv66

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It is a legitimate question that he has every right to ask RM. Many of us are fluid in our thinking and our answer to the question depends very much on the particular clock. In this instance, it is pretty obvious that the clock needs work (missing hand, broken numerals, etc).

Scottie, The only history this clock speaks to is the fact that someone tossed it in a corner and left it there to rust away:p

While we are on the subject, I do not believe the word patina should be used when it comes to something that is covered in dirt, grim or rust. Patina does not come off when an item is cleaned.
 
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Chris Radano

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Do not repaint. I would apply Renaissance wax, or some type of paste wax (good quality wax for antiques). That's what I would do. Basically, a little clean and preservation. Most people would leave it untouched, which I disagree with because of further deterioration. The rust would be drastically controlled with wax, and the wax could be removed by someone in the future. I have no reason to believe that others I have waxed will remain controlled for many years, perhaps another lifetime.

I would not be happy with a repaint, most others would agree and what some would call "over restoration" would affect any resale value. So, you would be doing the repaint work, and it would not increase the value, and could very well detract the value. If total repaint is what you want to do just for your personal use, that's fine but others may not prefer this, so keep this in mind. I don't go nuts with restoring, I do not buy them if I don't like the overall appearance (they're not too far gone).

Good luck, nice piece.
 
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leeinv66

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It is an advertising clock. It is suppose to grab your attention.
 

dAz57

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well I consider a rusted neglected item like this is not patina, its a rusted mess, but it's your clock, depends what you are going to do with it, hang it in your house or in your man cave, if in the house then restore it, for the bar or man cave just stick it on the wall as is non functional and let it deteriorate.
 

bkerr

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I may not be able to tell from the pics but, the broken numbers (which look rusted) do not appear to be aluminum to me? Restore or not? It is yours do with it what you wish!
 

MikeDeB

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All to often people will call a rusty mess, like this one, "patina." And, obvious signs of neglect are often called "patina." This thing is a mess. Give it a second chance I say. :)
 

shutterbug

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I have no issue with restoration if you can do it well. I wouldn't touch the center section of it, but the rim and numbers could be re-done and make the clock a beautiful show piece again.
However, to a serious collector, restoration reduces value. Not so to the casual collector who wants to show it in their home. You could use the 6 as a model for the missing 9, and the other side of the 3 probably looks like the side that is still there.

Also, if you could post both before and after pictures on this site instead of Photo Bucket it would be good. That way they won't disappear, and will be available for people searching this site in the future.
 

leeinv66

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However, to a serious collector, restoration reduces value. Not so to the casual collector who wants to show it in their home.
That is true Shutterbug. However, a serious collector would not look to add a clock in this condition to their collection. Serious collectors look for original examples in pristine condition. I have been looking to add a similar advertising clock to my collection and have been keeping an eye on pricing. I am positive this clock would increase in value by at least a third with the rim and numerals restored.
 

John Hubby

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All to often people will call a rusty mess, like this one, "patina." And, obvious signs of neglect are often called "patina." This thing is a mess. Give it a second chance I say. :)
Exactly my sentiments. Aside from that one must look at the type of clock, age, maker, and many other aspects of wheither restoration will diminish or increase the value of a given clock. In this particular instance, my considered opinion is that restoring the outer case and numbers will significanly increase the value of the clock. The center should "not" be touched other than to be very carefully cleaned, and it's obvious a new minute had will need to be found or made to complete the job. With that done, this clock would take pride of place in the stairwell going up to my shop.
 

Chris Radano

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A debate I like to chime in on every once in a while. I will also consider what genre is the clock. A properly restored English bracket clock, French polish and all, for display... if a restored 200+ year old English clock can be purchased at the same price as a rough one (and many times they are), I'd often like the restored clock.

If it's a clock that was used in a factory or mill, or other public place or industrial setting...or even an antique clock that likely was run in a country house that was well used (subject to smoke, and damp climate for example)...those types of clocks I clean and preserve, to show that they have been used and are old (but still cared for in their previous lives). People have said "condition is everything"...to me, pristine condition is not absolutely necessary.

To me the clock in question fits more or less the latter.

I am picky about dials. I would definitely prefer to keep a dial unrestored. Most dial repaints don't look good to me. The exception would be the Dial House (sorry for the "plug"), they do an excellent job.

Like I mentioned before, I will pass on clocks if I don't like the way they look, they need more than I'd be willing to put into them. Or at least I know beforehand what I would want to do in terms of restoring. This includes "potentially" special or "valuable" clocks. That's just a little experience. As much as I may like the way a rough clock looks, it will either be a rough clock...or a restored clock. So, I keep this information in mind. This is a lesson learned. I like a lot of clocks that are out there. There will be others I haven't seen yet that I like.

Think about this...most people want a clock that hasn't been touched. If a clock needs to be cared for, it many times will lose value if it actually is cared for. It doesn't make sense. But that's the way it is. I suppose you could say our aim would be to care for our clocks, but try to make it appear that our clocks haven't been touched.
 
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Jeremy Woodoff

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I would be concerned about that blue tape that looks as though it has been recently applied to the back of the glass. If it is stuck to the dial paint, it may pull it off, even though it is supposed to be "painter's tape."
 

Cathy in Hawaii

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Well, the general consensus is collectors want to collect things with the original finish in pristine condition. Since the outer rim of this clock is in neither original condition nor is it pristine, I'd go ahead and restore the outer edge. A collector isn't gonna pay top dollar for it in the condition it's in and it's not as much fun to look at in the condition it's in, either. I'd leave the red center alone, though, that's in great shape. But, that's just me. It's your clock, do what you want. Which would make you happy?
 

darita

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Apr 17, 2013
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Hi. I'm the OP. I do collect hand planes, thus the Millers Falls clock. What initially caught my eye was the design of the clock, then the patina or rusted barn-find look. As with planes, I buy them when they are as close to original as possible, but in the best shape as possible. That said, I restore 99% of the planes I buy. That said, my most valuable planes are left as is, unless I can tell that any restoration work has been done prior to my ownership. Would I buy this clock if it were a plane...no. It's a rusted, broken mess and I would call it a boat anchor.
On the other hand, that rusted, broken mess looks soooo cool. I think I can restore this clock to look pretty close to original. I do still have the pieces of broken numbers, so those just need to be glued on. I guess I bought the clock mainly because I saw all the potential in that perfectly, untouched face.
That's why I'm here asking. I love to be able to just get it working, then hang it as is, but the restorer in me sees the potential. Dilemma at best...
 

mountaintimer

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This thread reminds me of many many discussions that have been posted to a popular Mustang Forum on which I participate:
The question shows up over & over again, should I repaint a classic car that has old faded, pitted paint, or preserve what is left the best I am able & let it remain a survivor?
Since there is no absolutely correct answer, here or there.........good Luck with your clock!
Ron
 

darita

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Apr 17, 2013
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Thanks...you're right about that tape. I'll get it right off of there...very carefully...