Spaghetti on the Legs - E. Howard

f.webster

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I am working with a group from Chapter #35 in Louisville to restore the E. Howard #2 that was in the L&N train station. Some of the restored clocks we have seen have had a simple pin-strip on the green base. Some have had fancy "spaghetti" (I call it that for a lack of a better term). An example of this spaghetti is on the E. Howard in the tower clock display at NAWCC (http://www.nawcc.org/museum/nwcm/galleries/tower/howard.htm).

The question we have is this: If we are restoring a clock that we believe had spaghetti on the legs, how do we put it back? Others have restored E. Howard tower clock and applied the spegetti. Where do we begin?
 

gvasale

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Most of the work ought to be handled very well by someone that does automotive pinstriping. Samples to copy, are of course, neccessary. Medallions with portraits as I have sometimes seen are a bit more difficult.
See if a local autobody shop can refer you to someone.
 

doug sinclair

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During the 2000 NAWCC tour of English tower clocks, we visited about 35 tower clocks. The only one that was highly decorated was the 1883 Gillet & Bland 3-train clock in the tower of the Royal Courts of Justice, London. It was nearing completion of a two year restoration project by Thwaites & Reed when we saw it. It was magnificent! The trim on it was all done with 22-karat (IIRC) gold leaf, not paint.
 

FDelGreco

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Legs were decorated to a varying degree at the factory depending upon the amount of spare time the painters had. When they were busy, simply pinstriping was put on. When business was slow, they painted on more elaborate decoration.

Frank
 

SamS

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Some professional tower clock restorers insist that the painting on Howard clocks are actually "decals" (and that is what they use). I don't agree with this. I have two Howard tower clocks. I was able to strip / clean / repair the original paint and pin striping on the #2,and it never had anything more than pin striping. I also have a #0 with the original, very fancy ornamentation. It clearly appears to be hand painted, and not decals.

Before I realized I could remove top paint from the #2 and actually expose the original pinstripes, I assumed I would need to strip and repaint, so looked long and hard for a way to "re-do" the ornamentation. I never did find anyone or anyway to do it. Clearly simple pin striping can be done by an automotive pin striping shop. If you want to add the more complex ornamentation, I would look for a local "folk paint" artist that might be able to do it for you. If you have a local art supply store, check with them for a "folk paint" artist in your area.

See Pics; first pic is with decals in clock restoration shop, second pic is a leg from our clock with overcoated paint removed exposing original paint and pintripes, third pic is our Howard "0" with original ornamentation clearly painted onto surface.

SamS
 

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f.webster

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Sam,

I know how some (including myself) might think that there were some sort of decals. I have attached images of our legs and base. Someone repainted over the fancy and added pinstrips. We would like to return to the fancy. Your images are a great example.

I will be on the search for a "folk paint" artist.

What process did you use to uncover the original?
 

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SamS

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I used the cheap labor approach! Many hours with magnifying glass, bright lights, cotton swabs, razor blades, finger nails and q-tips, acetone, lacquer thinner, paint thinner, and windex.

Take a look at this thread and it will explain what I did a little better.

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=46983

Your clock clearly shows the original patterns, so I would be very careful to somehow document that. Photographs, tracings, etc. before you remove it. I personally would be inclined to try to clean the existing paint the best you can (like I did), and then have someone repaint the patterns and pin stripes. What you found on your clock is what I was hoping to find, but didn't. Mine originally had the simpler pin stripe pattern (which I was able to preserve sufficiently to have a pretty nice look with a patina that can not be duplicated).

SamS
 

Tom McIntyre

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Here is a picture of my Seth Thomas right after I had restored in in 1974. Unfortunately I was too ignorant then to realize that removing all the accumulated grease made the clock vulnerable to the weather. When we moved to Massachusetts in 1978 we put it on our screened side porch where it proceeded to rust up pretty badly. Almost 34 years later I am still trying to work myself up to a re-restoration. The paint is still in pretty good shape, but the steel all needs a lot of work.

I have always called the painting on the S.T. "lace doily."
 

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f.webster

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Okay, I need to resurrect this thread. Chapter 35 has completed its design of the auto wind system to be used when the clock goes on display. Now we are ready to have the spaghetti painted on the legs and base. So I contact the artist that did wonderful preliminary work and samples and she said we took too long and she tossed everything. "Good luck with your project". So we are back to looking for an artist or patterns, or ....something to help us with getting a historically close restoration complete. HELP! Any ideas and suggestions would be a great help.
 

Jim DuBois

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You might try Astrid Donnley (sp?) In years past she did some work with tower clocks IIRC. Do not expect it to be cheap, she does great work and charges accordingly, still a bargain IMO. And no, I no longer have a phone number for her. Some of the folks on the east coast should have it, assuming she is still doing such work....
 

f.webster

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We are convinced that the legs were either painted over or something removed the gold. We only see the design when photographed with a digital camera. It is like catching ghosts. Someone suggested we talk to a tattoo artist to duplicate the design. Anyone have a lead on Astrid Donnley (sp?)? We are in serious need of some help.
 

Jim DuBois

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Try Astrid at 781-749-1441 She is located at 21 Mast Hill Road, Hingham Mass. I understand she is accepting work and remains active in the trade.
 

gvasale

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That artifact you want to recreate was very likely a "gold" painted surface. I have some pictures somewhere, but it is also shaded and has what I'll call "line art" in there as well. Looking " somewhat" like acanthus leaves on firearms.

Sorry, but I can't search for a photo today.
 

gvasale

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My photo of the most heavily decorated Howard I've seen is here.

Its frustrating that I can't convey the detail in the artwork.

This clock, in addition to the pinstriping, has medallions on the legs and on the frame as can be seen. The best of the medallions have portraits of women in their centers.

At this time, I cannot go back for another photo, which I'd like to do, because you can see the hot spots from the flash.
 

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f.webster

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Thanks for the images. They are a help. I am still looking for someone who is willing to apply the artwork. A tattoo artist and an auto painter are still being considered.
 

FDelGreco

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When we restored a Howard roundtop, we photographed the legs and just found a local artist. It didn't seem to be a challenge for her and we were pleased with the results.

Frank
 

klokwiz

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hi, I have been looking at your post at the pictures and patterns on the legs and other frames. It occured to me that a lot of the patterns look like stencil work, applied after pinstipping was done. Is it possible this is how some of these patterns were made? the leg shadows look a lot like stencil work they are very uniform in appearance. Much like wood clock case decorations. It would make sense in that it would speed application and uniformity. Patterns could be made from your photos. Joe.
 

f.webster

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Time for an up-date:

Here is our solution to the challenge of the spaghetti on the legs. We located someone that could make 22 karate gold decals. After sending as many images (thanks to all who showed off E. Howard clocks restored and unrestored) and several design adjustments, we had what we thought was close. Our inexperience might show; but, we gave it our honest try. This last weekend we finished applying the decals and have the base and legs ready for pin-stripping. We are a big step closer to completion of this project.

Logistics 004.jpg IMG_3365.jpg
 

gvasale

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I'd like to see a closeup of just one of the decals. Hard to judge with size limitations here.
 

Jim DuBois

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Pin stripping requires proper brushes, proper paint, and more than a bit of practice. A good source of brushes, paint, instructional DVD's and the like can be found at Eastwood.com (no affiliation). I am not good at it, but the DVD's help a lot, and practice with the right materials can yield the desired results.....a professional makes it look really easy....but that is true of a lot of skills....
 
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