To Buy or not to Buy

MikeBY

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OK,
Asking for input here. I know that it's really a personal situation decision, but I'd like some input here.
I looked at a GF clock over the weekend. Clock is mid-late 18th century based on the maker. 2 weight Strike and Time. It's a Tall case - I have to reach to touch the top. Owner says clock was running when stored.. they take care of their clocks, a 2nd clock, similar vintage has it's movement out for cleaning. I have a GF now, so this one would probably take it's place

Issue I have with this clock is with the case. The back is split all the way down. Looks like it was braced high and low some while ago. Also the front base of the clock has now has 2 open cracks. I need to know if this is repairable via simple glue and clamp, or if it means replacing wood and possible refinish of the whole, or good portions of the clock. There is an additional crack on the top of the glass frame.. I figure that should be easier to fix. Can't tell the condition of the painted moondial without running the clock, which is impossible while in the crate. Gut supporting the weights i'm figuring may need to be replaced, and I figure a cleaning, but (hopefully) not bushings.

Sorry for the poor quality pics.. I didn't have a lot of time to take careful pics for posting.
The seller is still not sure of what they want for the clock.. I think too much, considering the case. Now I know why there are antique movements out there without cases.


Thanks in advance for your 'yes' / 'no' or comments.

20150329_170701.jpg 20150329_170740.jpg 20150329_170831.jpg 20150329_170949.jpg 20150329_171042.jpg 20150329_171208.jpg 20150329_171250.jpg 20150329_171303.jpg 20150329_171404.jpg
 

Burkhard Rasch

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Mike,here's my 2cts.:It depends on what You get for what money,and wether You are content with it.I can tell You that both cracks in front and back board have something to do with the construction of the case and the shrinking of the different panels with its age.You won't find a case of this age without comparable cracks.The crack in the back doesn't realy matter,the cracks in the front can only be closed by gueing in strips of the respective wood,e.g. mohagony,sanding them flush to the surface and then re-shellaquering the panel.I wouldn't do that,too much an efford,and no garanty given that in a year or two another crack will not open beside it.As long as the case stands strongly and firm on the ground-with the upper back attached to a wall-it would be ok for me.Of cause the seller cannot ask for a price of a fully restored museums piece,so the price should reflect both beauty of the case and condition,not to speak of the mvmt.Look on evilbay for comparable clocks and their prices,then examine case and movement carefully and make an offer from the lower edge of the price scale.
Good luck!
Burkhard
 
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shimmystep

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Pretty much agree with what Burkhard expressed about the case. Many cases have cracks, of course some don't. Many stand up fine without repair, but often some strengthening would prob be required.
Have a good look at the movement too. These will run and run while in a pretty bad way, creating more and more wear. When they need service and repair it then is going to get expensive if you don't do it yourself. I have repaired/serviced these for others and it is a lengthy business. Just re-bushing the main wheel pivot holes at the winding end takes quite a while to do a proper, tidy job. What are the pinions like? and 99.9% sure some re-piviting will need doing if they can't remember it being repaired/serviced. These are a very time consuming movement to work on, and hence demand a much higher repair bill.

Long cases are not fetching a lot of money here in the UK, and to pay for a proper service and repairs, in the UK anyways, will cost £400.00 plus upwards. And can used to help negotiate price.
 
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Silver Forge Studio

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I know I'm new (VERY new) to the forums and clock repair in any form- but on the case- there are 2 easy tests for suitability and worthiness for the case.
1- brace the base on the right or left with a foot/toe and place your hand on the opposing corner of case-top/shroud and give a little "twist" of a push against your foot side... any noise or give- its structurally going to take a LOT of re-work. If it has ANY twist the integrity of the "Box" is compromised.
2- stand facing the side of the case- put your feet along front and back edges- give a slight nudge to the top front and then the top rear- any sway or noise indicates a base fault and you will be struggling to level and maintain that level in the box.

The cracks may not be the issue and repairs can be made- but if the internal stability/ribbing or bracing is compromised- fixing the "shell" will not help the internal case- and you will be chasing cracks and creaks as well as leveling and potential more serious problems later.

By the way- a "nudge" or a "small push" are enough to gently move the clock and shift its weight.

Hope this helps- Im NOT a clock guy- but have a couple of auctioneers who value/appraise furniture I deal with- this is their method for knowing if INTERNAL work needs to be done to a piece.

Hope it helps in your decision/journey.

Kerri
 

Burkhard Rasch

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good tests for the structural integrity of the case described,thank You,Kerri!
Also care for the movement as shimmystep says:If You depend on a clocksmith who is doing his job for his living,a general overhaul of an english 8 day longcase mvmt.comes close to the market price of a whole clock.
Burkhard
 

jmclaugh

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If it was me I want to know how much they want for it and as it hasn't been running that is a concern. As for the case as has been said as long as it is basically sound the existing cracks wouldn't over worry me.

I'm rather surprised the cost of a sevice of this clock would cost upwards of £400, I'm no expert on prices but I'd have thought half that, no idea what costs are in the US. If it is that much then that makes buying your average longcase clock if it needs a service pretty much prohibitive.
 
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shimmystep

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If it was me I want to know how much they want for it and as it hasn't been running that is a concern. As for the case as has been said as long as it is basically sound the existing cracks wouldn't over worry me.

I'm rather surprised the cost of a sevice of this clock would cost upwards of £400, I'm no expert on prices but I'd have thought half that, no idea what costs are in the US. If it is that much then that makes buying your average longcase clock if it needs a service pretty much prohibitive.
That's about the going rate for 8 day English longcase service/repairs in the UK Jonathon. Have a browse. It really is a different puppy working on those. They present with extensive wear.
The ones I've done have needed main wheel bushing through out. Many of the other bushings need doing, so required depthing throughout. there is always a couple of re-pivots. Impulse faces need slippering or a new anchor. Hammer arbour pivots often need re-pivoting. Sometimes pins on pin wheel need replacing.
Plus more...not to mention the truly awful repairs commonly found on these that need restoring. Don't know why but these movements seem to attract the hacker! Here's just a couple of examples I've found on these..
attachment.jpg attachment.jpg
 
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Tinker Dwight

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It is probably the high price of correct repair that
drives both the low resale values and the hacked
repair jobs.
Many will search for the lowest bid and this is what
they get.
The clock is a nice one, though.
The hoods usually slide forward. This makes inspecting
the movement not impossible, even in a crate.
Tinker Dwight
 

shimmystep

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It is probably the high price of correct repair that
drives both the low resale values and the hacked
repair jobs.
Many will search for the lowest bid and this is what
they get.
I'm not sure if people are aware or not of the cost, or what needs doing when they buy one. They are, though, not in vogue, as it were. They certainly don't suit the modern shoebox house. In the UK we have a low average floor area compared to the rest of Europe, and much smaller that those in the US and Canada. Hopefully they will have their day again.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Regardless of how you read it, it still says the
same thing. Poorly written, I agree but it still means
"possible".
"It is not impossible to send man to the moon."
It is correct English.
Tinker Dwight
 

MikeBY

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Yes, I saw another longcase on craigslist and they advertised what was spent to service it -- $750 and that was a few years ago. I'm also understanding that it can take months to get it in, as there is a backlog of work.
The people that have this one, also have a 2nd of the same vintage that is smaller and is in better condition. The movement was out of it being serviced, so I'm sure they have an idea of the costs. And yes, this one hasn't been run or serviced in years. I'm sure it too needs service. I'm not equipped to do bushings and my skills are not up to what this clock probably deserves (although I don't think I'd end up with parts looking like that hacker!).
If anyone wants more info with the idea of obtaining this one.. please PM me.

In the mean while - I need help identifying another - so I'll start another thread. There are people coming out of the woodwork to sell me their clocks..
 

jmclaugh

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That's about the going rate for 8 day English longcase service/repairs in the UK Jonathon. Have a browse. It really is a different puppy working on those. They present with extensive wear.
The ones I've done have needed main wheel bushing through out. Many of the other bushings need doing, so required depthing throughout. there is always a couple of re-pivots. Impulse faces need slippering or a new anchor. Hammer arbour pivots often need re-pivoting. Sometimes pins on pin wheel need replacing.
Plus more...not to mention the truly awful repairs commonly found on these that need restoring. Don't know why but these movements seem to attract the hacker! Here's just a couple of examples I've found on these..
Ouch is all I can say to £400!! Out of interest shimmey how much is a service for a 30 hour one, I only ask as mine could probably do with one in the not too distant future. Do I need to start saving now!?

I agree longcase clocks aren't in vogue and unlikely to be if servicing is that much though I agree most people won't have the foggiest about such costs, including in this case, me. It is a shame as it will mean more and more of them are just left not working or an even worse fate awaits them.

Tinker, I like the phrase "not impossible", it is perfect English and conveys a different meaning to "possible".
 
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shimmystep

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Ouch is all I can say to £400!! Out of interest shimmey how much is a service for a 30 hour one, I only ask as mine could probably do with one in the not too distant future. Do I need to start saving now!?

I agree longcase clocks aren't in vogue and unlikely to be if servicing is that much though I agree most people won't have the foggiest about such costs, including in this case, me. It is a shame as it will mean more and more of them are just left not working or an even worse fate awaits them.
.
Going rate for 30hr clocks is about £300.00, however I would say that it's likely that only so much work would be done for that. If it was riddled through out with issues, I would expect 'add ons'!. I'm not sure why they do in fact charge less because they are basically similar movements that are subject to all the same problems.
Maybe the lower price reflects the value, which can be less than an 8 day, certainly £400.00 as a cost to service a 30hr may exceed the value of the clock. However, time is time, work is work and folk gotta put pies on the table. and if it needs doing...
 
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harold bain

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Going rate for 30hr clocks is about £300.00, however I would say that it's likely that only so much work would be done for that. If it was riddled through out with issues, I would expect 'add ons'!. I'm not sure why they do in fact charge less because they are basically similar movements that are subject to all the same problems.
Maybe the lower price reflects the value, which can be less than an 8 day, certainly £400.00 as a cost to service a 30hr may exceed the value of the clock. However, time is time, work is work and folk gotta put pies on the table. and if it needs doing...
The last one I worked on, I charged $950, with more than half of that for work on the case, which was in danger of falling apart.
 
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Kevin W.

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Speaking of long case clocks. I purchased one at a good price i feel. I paid 400, all original. Only one fault the hood was stripped before i bought it. And its a 8 day clock as well, Bristish made.
The case on mine is in good shape, except need to match hood to case, colours. It is a pine case with a faux finish.
 

jmclaugh

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Going rate for 30hr clocks is about £300.00, however I would say that it's likely that only so much work would be done for that. If it was riddled through out with issues, I would expect 'add ons'!. I'm not sure why they do in fact charge less because they are basically similar movements that are subject to all the same problems.
Maybe the lower price reflects the value, which can be less than an 8 day, certainly £400.00 as a cost to service a 30hr may exceed the value of the clock. However, time is time, work is work and folk gotta put pies on the table. and if it needs doing...
Thanks for the info shimmy, looks like a service fund is in order though as it is single handed one I'm sure there would be a discount.:rolleyes:
 
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harold bain

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Thanks for the info shimmy, looks like a service fund is in order though as it is single handed one I'm sure there would be a discount.:rolleyes:
No discount, but you will need to find a one armed clock repairman.:whistle:
 

MikeBY

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Speaking of long case clocks. I purchased one at a good price i feel. I paid 400, all original. Only one fault the hood was stripped before i bought it. And its a 8 day clock as well, Bristish made.
The case on mine is in good shape, except need to match hood to case, colours. It is a pine case with a faux finish.
From your mouth to my seller's ears !!
Guess your faux finish is no longer faux, it's bare.
What is the age of the clock?
 

Randy Beckett

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Thanks for the info shimmy, looks like a service fund is in order............:rolleyes:
These clocks need a coin slot on the door to open them for winding. When the clock needs service or repair, the funds for it would be inside the clock.:whistle:
 

jmclaugh

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These clocks need a coin slot on the door to open them for winding. When the clock needs service or repair, the funds for it would be inside the clock.:whistle:
I could give the key to my wife, she could charge me a £10 deposit and a quid to get it back for each winding. On second thoughts I have a feeling the money may end up on a pair of shoes or a handbag.
 
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