• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Silas Hoadley Pillar and Scroll - Scroll Replacement

thm1946

Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
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I am preparing to replace the scroll on my Silas Hoadley pillar and scroll clock. This clock is one of the ones with the misspelled label i. e. Hoadly. There was an article about this clock in the 2020 Cog Counters Journal. In preparing that article, I realized that the scroll had been replaced at some point and was not correct for the clock. The current scroll is one piece with no plinth in the center, has the grain running horizontal, and does not extend all the way to the corner blocks. It looks like the original scroll was cut from the clock leaving the small original tails at the ends. I plan to make a new two piece scroll with a center plinth, vertical veneer grain and match the finish to the rest of the clock. I am assuming that whoever made the replacement used the original scroll as a pattern and that the center plinth should be the same width as the corner blocks, but that is just a guess on my part. If anyone can help with dimensions from other Hoadley P & S clocks, or advice, I would appreciate it.

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thm1946

Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
9
7
3
I have completed making a new scroll for this clock. I removed the existing scroll, corner pieces, and returns. The corner pieces are the only original parts and will be reused. I used a picture of an authentic Hoadley P&S clock to make a full size pattern of the scroll and cut it out of a piece of poplar. Honduras mahogany veneer was then applied to the new scroll with the grain vertical as the originals were made. Returns and a new center plinth were also made in the same manner. After grain filling, the pieces were stained with a medium brown dye stain to match the color of the clock case and top coated to match the gloss of the case. The new pieces were attached to the case using glue blocks. New caps for the corner pieces and plinth were made and finished the same way, attached to the clock and the finials reinstalled. The new, hopefully more authentic scroll, is definitely more elegant with those bigger circles between the plinth and the scroll points.

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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
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Very nicely done. Is there any veneer on the top, or is that still poplar? Can you post a photo showing the front and top?

Tom
Look @ the last 3 pix. Looks like veneer applied then stained.

Nice job.

Old scrolls tend to warp backwards with age. Over time, that will happen.

This illustrates the difference between appropriate restoration and "modification".

RM
 

gleber

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Jun 15, 2015
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Look @ the last 3 pix. Looks like veneer applied then stained.
Yes, I see the veneer on the front face of the scroll. I guess I should have been clearer. I was asking about the exposed curved edges of these pieces - are they just exposed poplar or do they have any veneer on them?

Tom
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
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Yes, I see the veneer on the front face of the scroll. I guess I should have been clearer. I was asking about the exposed curved edges of these pieces - are they just exposed poplar or do they have any veneer on them?

Tom
It is correct that the edges are not veneered. The originals weren't either

I will have to go around and check, but I believe the scrolls were made from pine rather than poplar. I believe the use of pine in New England would have been more typical, though poplar was used up there too.

Often with replacement scrolls, there's something about the proportions and look that's often just NOT right. Many times even an old or "aged" restoration can be spotting from a distance. Not here. Got it.

Again, nice job!!

RM
 

thm1946

Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
9
7
3
Thanks for your comments. I did not veneer the edges. That would have been very difficult and the original makers would probably not have spent the extra money to do that. The back of the scroll is not veneered but stained like the front. I would have liked to use "old" wood for the scroll so the back could have been left unstained, but I didn't have a piece that was big enough. I used poplar for the scroll based on the description of how these were made in Tom Spittler's book, American Clocks An Introduction. The veneer is Honduras mahogany, laid with the grain vertical and then grain filled. Here are a couple of pictures of the back and edges.

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Bill K

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Aug 4, 2019
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Very satisfying to see what the results can be when someone takes the time to do it right. Slip shod veneer work is the bane of my existence as an Empire furniture collector/restorer; what some people pass off as "repair" defies understanding. Not too much of a problem with my similar vintage clocks. Though usually in dire need of restoration, the cases have been mostly left alone, thank heavens! Am currently working a similar restoration on an Ives triple decker which is missing the entire splat, both chimneys and one return. I hope it turns out as accurate as yours did. Yellow poplar was a good choice for your base wood, similar characteristics to the tight grain, old growth white pine. I have occasionally had to use vintage long leaf pine on furniture carcasses where it won't be seen since salvaged white pine is impossible to find here but I have found that poplar is by far a better solution, especially for the finer work with clocks. It was nice to see a post detailing a clock case issue of this vintage. Somewhere up there a clock case craftsman from the early 1800's is looking down at what you've done to his case with a nodding head and an approving smile on his face. Well done!
 

Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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I thought I replied to this thread , but must have failed to actually do it. The question came up about the edge being veneered. The answer is no, but it does have a treatment. The treatment is that the edge is beveled about 10-20 degrees or so, on the backside. It gives the scrolls a thinner, more elegant look.

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Ralph
 
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