true of false

br3jlm

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I was in a antique shop recently
Yes me:bang:
And picked up a nice OG clock
The salesman told me that he was told by a long time clock repaier

"to put a little open container of kerosene in the clock case to keep it lubricated?

I just wanted to know from you guys and gals weather or not youve ever herd of this?

I found it kind of interesting:?|
 

lamarw

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Yes, most of us have heard of it.

No, it does not help or work.

Many believe it actually harms by attracting dust or grime. Lot of lower clock cases show evidence of it having been done with spilled residue in the bottom of cases.
 

Kevin W.

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I like the smell of the kerosene, always have. I always liked the Alladdin lamp burning on the dining table on a cold winter,s night.
Also maybe the kerosene would help keep spiders and other insects out of the clock.
 

shutterbug

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veritas said:
I like the smell of the kerosene, always have. I always liked the Alladdin lamp burning on the dining table on a cold winter,s night.
Also maybe the kerosene would help keep spiders and other insects out of the clock.
Well, now that's an interesting thought, veritas! Maybe it was used in areas infested with wood borers, to keep the buggers out of the clock and it got all messed up over time as newer generations embellished it. :?| Maybe some of our southern friends could test that theory! It would be great if it worked!
 

bangster

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As a general question: Is it possible that there could be a volatile oil capable of doing the job that kerosene was s'posed to do? Emit fumes dense enough to have a lubricating effect on the movement? :?|

If so, I'd hate to see the inside of the case after a couple of months.

bangster
 

RJSoftware

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Maybe they lit the little lamp in the bottom of the clock case. Might have been a good night lite.

RJ
 

Willie X

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Yes, heard it too many times.

However, very few people tell you the other, more important, part of the story ... the dial was removed about once a year and using a little brush made with a few chicken feathers bound with thread, the proud owner would commince to swab out the movement with kerosene.

This was very effective to both wash the dust out of the movement and at the same time provide some lubrication.

The house already reeked of kerosene, for the lamps, and everything else on the mantle had been repeadly splashed when filling the lamps, so the smell would not be noticed.

Doing this simple deed today would probably bring law suits, divorce settlements, guest spots on Dr. Phill, etc.

Willie X
 

R. Croswell

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Placing a container of kerosene or “coal oil”, or wad of cotton soaked in it, inside a clock as a means of lubrication, or “oiling & cleaning” the movement with kerosene on chicken feather is certainly is not recommended today but the practice was apparently quite common years ago. It seems amusing to us now, but do we really have any scientific proof that it didn’t actually work?

Bob C.
 

lamarw

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Well this may not be scientific, but I can relate from my memory.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a kid in farm country in both lower Georgia and in central Florida. This was in the days before air conditioning at least in their homes. Actually it was before the days of indoor plubing in their homes.

My Grandfathers kept a small dish of either coal oil or kerosene in the bottom of their clocks. I can not recall whether they brushed the movements are not. Anway, windows were open (some with screens and some without) doors were left open and etc (my friends it was hot in the deep South). The fields were plowed with mules. horse drawn Wagons came by the houses on a dirt road. There was an open well with a bucket and laddle for passer-by to stop and get a scoop of cool water. Chickens scratched in the bare dusty (grass free) yards. My point is with all this there was often lots of dust on hot summer days. My Grandfathers would blow the dust off the mantel clock while opening the door to wind. Needless to say there was a lot of dust in the air. I have handled one of those clocks in later years (Gilbert Eureka) and I have seen what the dust and grit did to the movement. I have also seen what the spillage of kerosene and oil did to the bottom inside of the cases and the labels.

Shall we say not scientific but rather first hand experience.

There is no reason for such when we can simply service a clock properly with high quality clock oils.
 

al_taka

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R. said:
Placing a container of kerosene or “coal oil”, or wad of cotton soaked in it, inside a clock as a means of lubrication, or “oiling & cleaning” the movement with kerosene on chicken feather is certainly is not recommended today but the practice was apparently quite common years ago. It seems amusing to us now, but do we really have any scientific proof that it didn’t actually work?

Bob C.
I think it all boils down to faith, we tend to fall in love with our things and want to take care of them. That little gentleman on the mantel has worked so hard for years and must need some kind of help to keep running. Its said by family and friends that a little kerosene will do the trick and after 5 or 10 years it seemed to have worked. It then becomes gospel.
Another person may choose just to let it run without service and gets 20+ years before it stops.
The rare exception would be the person that gets it serviced regularly, but back then I wouldn't be surprised if the clockmaker would put a little kerosene in it for good faith.
 

ogee_guy

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usually it is a wick in a jar of kerosene and the fumes are to go up and keep the oil in the pivots from drying up
 

bchaps

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I think Al is on target....it's a faith issue. Several years ago I was called to service an older person's beautiful tubular chime clock. I asked what the dish of liquid was in the case. The client assured me kerosene fumes kept the movement lubricated. I didn't disagree with the client if that's what she believes, but the movement required extensive bushing work. Based on the movement condition, my faith would waver.

Bill
 

bangster

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I wonder what a little dish of WD-40 would do?



:clap:
 

Kevin W.

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Just a guess, wd 4o would likely congeal into a blob, hopefully. :)
 

burnz

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Actually (although I won't be trying it), who knows-- since the WD stands for water displacement. :???:
 

RJSoftware

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Interesting story lamarw. Especially about the open wells for anyone to drink. How things have changed...

RJ
 

shutterbug

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burnz said:
Actually (although I won't be trying it), who knows-- since the WD stands for water displacement. :???:
That's a point, burnz ... and that's the reason it's useful as a de-greaser and and water chaser. However, nothing in the name signifies that it's a lubricant, and that is it's failing in clock work. Besides that, it's a horrible contaminate of your clock cleaning solution. Follow your instinct and don't try it :)
 

al_taka

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shutterbug said:
burnz said:
Actually (although I won't be trying it), who knows-- since the WD stands for water displacement. :???:
That's a point, burnz ... and that's the reason it's useful as a de-greaser and and water chaser. However, nothing in the name signifies that it's a lubricant, and that is it's failing in clock work. Besides that, it's a horrible contaminate of your clock cleaning solution. Follow your instinct and don't try it :)
WD40 has its place in my workshop as a penetrating oil and cleaner, never as a lubricant.
But WD says their product does many things and lubricates, here's the ad
http://www.wd40.com/faqs/#q6
click on the "3 in One Oil comparison".

Now I won't be able to sleep :bang:
 

chimeclockfan

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About that WD-40....

It didn't do a thing for thr UrGoS Mechanism I got, when, it was oiled with that stuff back in 2003. It still runs fine, remarkably.

About the Kerosene myth....

It doesn't work. All it succeeds in is making your clock smelly.

My grandpa had Kerosene in his 1970's "Emperor" longcase clock.... it still wore out after 29 years, though.
 

R. Croswell

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I serviced this clock last year. The current owner, and the previous (original) owner kept a wad of cotton in the bottom of the case to which they would occasionally add a little coal oil (kerosene). The clock ran for 78 years before needing (or before getting) bushings, so who am I say the kerosene didn’t work? Yes, it probably would have gone just as long without it but we will never know for sure. I discarded the cotton wad and told the lady that it wasn’t needed, but I wouldn’t want to take odds that there isn’t another one back in it by now!

Bob C.
 

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chrsvor25

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We have discussed kerosene before. I know my post is a bit late but I feel like tossing my two cents in anyway

It is an old custom/way of taking care of clocks. We have better oils now, so I would not recommend doing it.

I am not a hardened expert, but if people did it alot back then, I doubt it did too much harm if the clocks still ended up running daily for years.

Sadly, I must say, every once in awhile when taking apart a movemment, I will cave and use WD40 to loosen a nut or screw. I will only do it though if the movement is being cleaned right away by hand.
 

chrsvor25

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And my family emperor's grandfather clock has been running nearly non stop since 1975 chimeclockfan :)