Skeleton Clock kit – Help Needed

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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I purchased this kit off of an auction site recently. I knew going in that it was not complete. I am hoping that the items needed to complete the clock will be relatively easy to make or purchase.

The kit appears to be made by Classic Clock (Clerkenwell) Limited from England. There is a stamp Classic Clock England on the back. It is a triple fuse with 9 bells.

Does anyone have this kit as I would like to try and get a copy of the instructions and/or photos of an unstarted kit?

Searches on the internet has turned up some photos of a completed clock but I would always like more. The plates I have are different compared to the online photos but the internal mechanism looks like it is the same.

Items I know that are missing from what I got:

- All the screws
- 2 of the main clicks
- the clicks for inside the fuse
- the hammers and mechanism for the 8 bells (There is one hammer for the 9th (main) bell)
- need at least 2 spacers between the plates (3 came with the kit)
- dial and hands
- gathering pallets

Any help would be appreciated


Alex

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Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Well I didn't think this kit was that rare.

I started to put the internal gears in place according to some photos I am able to find. It appears I am missing only the governors.

Now to look at all the linkages on front but I will need screws to start attaching them.
 

shutterbug

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It looks like a fun project. Keep us updated. I imagine the screws will me metric. You can probably find them at a larger hardware store.
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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It turns out the screws were metric. So now I am trying to source some metric brass cheese head screws.

I started to make a gathering pallet out of plastic before I try it out on a blank.

Then I saw a listing on that auction site for a kit that looks exactly like the one I have. This one had different plates but everything else looked the same. It looked like it had everything and it had the instructions included. I was lucky enough to win the auction so I am waiting for the kit to be delivered and hopefully I can use this to make new parts for the kit I have.

The recent auction listing said a Unbuilt / unmachined clock kit so it was not just something you assembled. The big thing I noticed was that a brass tube was supplied and from that you had to cut 3 lengths so that you could make your spring barrels. There are also other lengths of brass rod or tube that I was not clear on where they would be used.

So things have gotten much easier but I think I will enjoy having to make the parts. I will probably start a thread in the appropriate forum to show my progress.
 

brian fisher

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it looked to me that the ebay kit had most of the machining work done from the factory. the gears were already cut and there were a couple of other things that had been completed. i am sure there will be some machine work to do but that one should be fairly straight forward. personally, i was shocked at the final price. :eek:
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Yes the hammer assembly was missing from the first kit. As well as some smaller items such as main barrel clicks, fusee clicks, gathering pallets etc

I got the second kits and I thought things were set but going through all the paperwork there were no assembly instructions. Most of the paperwork was blueprints to make the parts from the raw material provided. It is funny because in this case I will use the first kit as reference to make the parts needed for the second kit.

The original plan was to use the parts from the second kit to make parts to finish the first kit. I could then sell the second kit to recoup some of my costs. However I don't think most people would have a machine shop needed to manufacture all the parts needed to finish the second kit. I might have to finish the second kit with some help from some local club members who have a better equipped machine shop then I do.

Things I will need to produce
Turn the barrel bodies and machine the inner hook
Machine the end caps (OD, ID, slot to pop off one end)
Machine the barrel arbors
Machine the pendulum bob for the slots for the pendulum rod.
Turn the 4 base legs
Turn the arbors for all of the levels
Turn and machine a bunch of other parts
All of the above was already done on the first kit. I didn't realize how much had to be made on the second kit until I went through the blueprints.

I have a Sherline mill/lathe so most of the smaller items should not be a problem. I am hoping a fellow club member will help with the Barrel bodies as he has a bigger lathe then I do.

The original buyer paid extra to have the plates drilled and tapped, the fusees cut and the gears cut. The fusee and gear cutting would be beyond what I would be able to do with the equipment I have.

So now it sounds like I have 2 projects to work on.
 

brian fisher

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assuming both kits are identical, i would put all the best parts together to make one clock. any missing parts, i would use the first kit as a pattern to make a complete second kit. then i would sell that one. there were other bidders on that kit besides you. presumably it would sell for a good price on the same venue. there are more than a handful of clock makers out there with amazing skills and equipment with the same glutton for punishment that you have. ;)
 

Joe Jones

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Sep 23, 2004
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Classic Clocks Ltd. of Clerkenwell produced those kits around 1980. These kits were produced with varying levels of machining completed, with the price reflecting the difference. I bought the three fusee bracket movement (rectangular plates not cut out). I gave it a cleaning this week and am on this site today looking for info about power in the chime train and came across your post. It sounds like combining the two kits resulted in your having all of the parts, but if seeing photos of the completed movement would be of any help to you, let me know and I will post what you need.
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Sorry for the late response as things have been quite busy for me.

Any photos would be very helpful as I have been scouring the internet trying to find photos and I have been partially successful but more photos would be nice.
 

Joe Jones

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Sep 23, 2004
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No problem. These kits take time to complete. Mine is the full plate version, not skeleton, but I think the layout of the parts is the same in both. I wanted it for a bracket clock I wanted to build, the one that is my avatar on this site. I dismantled the movement about two weeks ago for a cleaning and took a few pictures before beginning (you can see the dirt). I'll post the pictures here in the hope that they will help you with yours. I didn't think to take any "after" shots, with better pins and a clean movement. I replaced the strike bell with a larger one because I preferred the sound. I also used a brass strip that didn't come with the kit for the nest of bells. You will notice a piece of steel acting as a spring to keep one of the levers up, it is held by the screw at the base of the brass strip holding the bells. I don't remember what the kit used, but this strip works better. It is crude; I am a hobbyist, but it works. There are extra holes in the front plate because I moved the stop work. The chime train seems to be underpowered. Maybe something I'm not getting right. It works well when the fusee is on its last 4 days, but the first three are slow. I have 1/4 to 1/2 turn on the spring for the time and strike, but 1 1/2 for the chime. The chime can be heard in the room where the clock is located and, if all is quiet, in the adjoining rooms. The strike can be heard throughout. The chime select lever is tricky to adjust, so I keep it at eight bell chime.
Once the pallets were working at what seemed an appropriate depth, I added pins to the bridge to maintain the position next time I have to remove it.
Please don't hesitate to ask any questions or make any comments.

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Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Wow thank you very much. This will help a lot instead of me trying to interpret things through grainy photos. So far things look the same from your photos and from what I have been trying to figure out.

Thanks for the information on the pallets. I will keep that in mind.
 

Joe Jones

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Sep 23, 2004
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I've been wondering how you are doing with this project. I overhauled mine a few months ago and have the same problem I've had since day one. The chime train doesn't have enough power. I have 1 1/2 turns on the spring (before winding). That will power it for the first day or two, and the last three. During the days in between, there is not enough power to chime. Are you having the same problem? If so, how can it be corrected?
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Unfortunately I am nowhere close to complete yet. I have actually spent very little time on this hobby as normally a bunch of us normally get together Saturday morning for several hours to work on our clocks. With the pandemic we have not met for over a year and this has impacted how much time i have spend working on clocks.

I will have to make sure that the pivots and holes for that train are as good as I can make them.
 

Rich Newman

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Some members may recall my father, Walter, at NAWCC marts. He was a long-time NAWCC member and recently passed away at age 97. This weekend I moved his skeleton clock, my favorite, to my home. Pop built this clock in 1984 and actually visited Classic Clocks in the UK as part of a vacation itinerary and carried the kit home. I do remember clearly that he had a number of issues when building it and received guidance from Ray Fanchamps in England. Once finished, it was a good runner and reliable.

It has not been run in years because as Pop got older, he became worried about breaking the glass dome to wind it up (which he also bought from Classic Clocks with the clock kit). Anyway, I wound it up just yesterday and it seems to be running well. I do have the instruction book if anyone needs a copy.

Pop 4.jpg IMG_5163.jpg IMG_5166.jpg IMG_5167.jpg
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Rich

Very interesting story. The kit I purchased has drawings to make certain parts but did not have the assembly instructions. If I could get a copy of that it would be appreciated and go a long way for me to complete my clock.

Regards

Alex
 

brian fisher

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Some members may recall my father, Walter, at NAWCC marts. He was a long-time NAWCC member and recently passed away at age 97. This weekend I moved his skeleton clock, my favorite, to my home. Pop built this clock in 1984 and actually visited Classic Clocks in the UK as part of a vacation itinerary and carried the kit home. I do remember clearly that he had a number of issues when building it and received guidance from Ray Fanchamps in England. Once finished, it was a good runner and reliable.

It has not been run in years because as Pop got older, he became worried about breaking the glass dome to wind it up (which he also bought from Classic Clocks with the clock kit). Anyway, I wound it up just yesterday and it seems to be running well. I do have the instruction book if anyone needs a copy.

View attachment 653731 View attachment 653732 View attachment 653733 View attachment 653734

good on you for paying it forward.
 

Rich Newman

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Very interesting story. The kit I purchased has drawings to make certain parts but did not have the assembly instructions. If I could get a copy of that it would be appreciated and go a long way for me to complete my clock.
Alex, glad to help and hope I get to see your clock posted on this forum in the future.
I'm attaching two documents. One is a scan of the instruction manual. Dad made a few notes and perhaps they will be of help to you. The other just contains close-up shots of the figures within the manual that I thought may be easier to see. Good luck!
 

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ChimeTime

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Industrial supply houses, like McMaster-Carr and MSC sell metric cheese head screws in all the small sizes for about $7US for 100 pack.

Here's the "McMaster" page for M2.... CLICK HERE

You don't need to be anyone special. Just register on their web page and they'll send it to you.
 

Styrofoam_Guy

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Jul 21, 2008
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Rich - Thank you very much for the scans. I am getting back my enthusiasm to restart this project.
One of the more helpful information is the listing of all the hardware needed to assemble the clock.
I will certainly post progress photos in the forums.


Chime Time - Thank you for the information.
 

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