Where are the rust issues? Arbors can be polished with superfine sandpaper, as well as some other steel parts for the strike side. There are also clear finishes, but fine polish first. Gears? Some people have painted them, but I don't think paint on the working surfaces is a really good idea. I suppose they could be polished too, but that would be extremely tedious. Do you have a humidity problem there? If you don't run the clock, I suppose some light machine oil would be ok.
the rust appeared on the steel wheels where the clicks are mounted, and the drum for the cable. I didn't get any rust on the pinions or arbors. I applied a wax finish to the painted areas, and a rust preventative treatment usually used for guns. I'll check back in a week or so to see if it worked. the room it's in is not heated, but neither are the steeples where these clocks usually live. so the climate is equal.
It's been 3 years and I'm anxious to install the clock, the State has stalled our restoration process at the building and as soon as that is resolved, we can install the new windows, then proceed with the plans to install the clock. I'll post pictures.
The only update is that when you deal with the State and try to use grant money, you better have a lot of patience. Especially when you deal with town Selectmen who don't really know what they are doing. It took them 3 years to approve the windows. Most of the work is done now, so we are doing some interior work, I'm hoping to start the clock install some time next year. I'll share and take pictures. Anyone passing through Central Mass is welcome to visit and get the tour. Look us up at the Narragansett Historical Society, we are on Facebook too, Templeton Museum (Narr Hist Society) Group page. I've got the keys, so it's an open invitation.
We are adding an new tower clock to the collection to go with the E. Howard. The Ipswich "John Hawting" from 1762 will be featured in our "Grange hall" to the right of the stage, the Howard will be to the left. This will make quite the display and a great history to go with them. Donn Lathrop will be looking down with a smile!