What do you need to know when buying a Wooden Works clock?

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by jeremy_icu812, Feb 10, 2007.

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  1. I've been looking into these and really don't care if it’s an 8 day or thirty hour. I have found a fairly nice Ephraim Downs wooden works. But, I am a little gun shy. It’s listed as not having any broken teeth and the seller has told me it "It is not serviced and in running condition. It will tick and strike when pressure is applied. That is all I promise." I understand you can’t stand 100% behind something that you haven’t had serviced. I guess what I am looking for here is what should I look for and or ask? The clock looks 100% complete it just needs a few minor repairs that I can see from the get go. I am mainly worried about the movement though. I have no problem tackling projects or learning new things. I just don’t want to get too far in over my head on this one. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    In general, many of these are repaired poorly. I recently bought just a movement for one, which I knew had a few repairs, but it needed about 7 sections or more, of teeth redone. It also needed a complete cleaning, pivot polishing, and a previous "repairman" bushed the plates with thin brass bushings, which are now all corroded and need to be removed. I plan to rebush the clock with WOOD as was originally intended.

    All this to say: Buyer beware. The movement may look fine, and sure it may run. Mine runs as-is, but with those awful brass plugs, I don't want to run it in that condition.

    Another wooden works that I own has teeth throughout, that are in mint condition, BUT, it too, has been brass bushed, which have also corroded and need to be removed.
     
  3. Hmm I think I've seen the brass bushing you are talking about on a few other wooden works. Is it safe to assume that you could tell the bushings were replaced form a front view of the movement? I seen to remember seeing new busshing on the fronts of these before. I would need a picture of the back to be 100% sure though. I just dont want to get burnt bad on my first big clock purchase for myself. heres a picture of the front of the movement. I dont have a back view.
    http://www.pittspeed.com/uploaded/movement.JPG
     
  4. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    BEWARE the, "it ticks when pressure applied" routine. That has become an ALL-TIME favored catchline for sellers of eBay movements! I have one here I could list (won't), "ticks when pressure applied". I garran-gum- tee ya! The damn thing would not continue to run. It does tick when pressure is applied. If seller can't say something like, "guaranteed to run"; "tested for a week", reliable here for a year, etc. - simply regard, " ticks when pressure is applied" as: UNTESTED. ( probably doesn't work either )
     

  5. Yeah I think I might have to pass on it .. the movements are going for crazy money on ebay and it doesn't look cheap to get one overhauled. (I don't have the tools to do it). In the sellers defense he did warn me that it has not been serviced so he can not guarantee it. He seemed pretty stand up to me. If the clock was cheaper I'd be all in but I can't have the future wife mad at me.
     
  6. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
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    I don't know.

    Thier not impossible to work on. Sooth has recent post where he fixed broken gears. You could (if need be) follow his steps.

    What I look for is indications that the seller is experienced trying to pawn off the clock as he is in-experienced. Certain terminology/expressions that a total newbie would not relate is the giveaway.

    As Scottie says applying pressure to produce a tick is one of the ebay seller clock tricks. But this still could be an honest comment.

    Some people just don't have any interest in clocks....! You should search his selling history and see is clock involvement. Then ask why he had not bothered with repairing the clock.

    Being a newbie he would most certainly not have a clue as to where to order parts from.

    For a trick question to reveal his experience, tell him you would love to bid on the clock but have no idea where you could get parts for it. Tell him that you don't want to buy parts from ebay. But need to know if there is any different sources.

    If he knows it's most likely an old project that he got discouraged with.

    RJ
     
  7. Its not a clock on ebay.. It's listed on a website that does clock sales. Now heres the thing.. It needs a strip of veneer for the door and thats about it unless the movement is bad. Its listed as a yardsale clock(are these project clocks or discount priced clocks?) I am going to guess project since he mentioned it in his email today. This is what he told me..

    "You do understand this is a project clock. It is not serviced and in running condition. It will tick and strike when pressure is applied. that is all I promise. I'm selling these clocks for a local collector who has bad health and is trying to liquidate some things. This is not one of my clocks that I restore and stand behind."

    Guess I'm gonna have to think about it before I commit to buying it. I could see spending 300 on a clock with getting it cleaned and what not factored into the price. But if it needs a whole new rebuild I wouldnt want to put the couple hundred or so into having the movement overhauled... actually I wouldnt mind but the future wife would give me an ear full for a long long time. Guess I'll be taking my chances on what ever clock I buy.
     
  8. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Just seeing the photo of the movement, I can ay that it APPEARS to be okay. However, the verge is a replacement, and the escape wheel definitely needs cleaning.

    It's definitely a nice clock, but any clock of this age will need to be cleaned and serviced before using it. Many collectors of wooden works clocks do not run them, because they are very old, and somewhat fragile.
     
  9. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Well; Here's my take on these and how I proceed. If the price reflects a parts movement with no guarantee, often I'll accept the risk and buy.
    If the price reflects a working clock with no guarantee - no. Too expensive a risk.
    This' the other one I love ( and don't get )
    Seller writes or states, "Clock is working."
    Near the end, with all the disclaimers, he writes, "no guarantee of working condition - being sold as is, parts only."
    I can't help asking, "is it working or is it not?"
     
  10. I agree Scottie - I have thought about this most of the day and have decided that I will hold off on buying a wooden works clock until I can find exactly what I want and hopefully feel a little more comfortable with what I am buying.
     
  11. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    This kind of crap-0la: Why don't he just say, "it doesn't run" or "I don't know if it runs"?

    up for bids is this very nice antique vienna regulator 10 inch porcelian dial and the movement.the porcelian dial is very nice as you can see in the picture's,as you can see in the picture about the 9 position a a couple of very ting chips on the very edge and thats i can find thats not perfect.the movement looks to be original to the dial and its very clean,the sping is very good also,i dont have a vienna regulator to test this movement,but when i hold it it tics away.i just stuck these hands on the clock to show the dial better,i do not have hands for this clock movement.i fella bought this over and ask me to list it for him,he said it ran when he put it up,but there is no promise it will now,but i do think it will,i do know the little wire that holds the minuter hand on did break off in the end of the shaft,but the shaft is not broken at all,it needs to be punched out,this outfit is sold as is,so ask question's,this is a very nice vienna regulator dial and movement,you just dont see them this nice when they are this old,this is not a reproduction,this is the real MCcoy.i did not see a name on the back of the dial,there might be something between the dial and the movement,i did not take it apart and i dont see well enough anyway.but i can promise you,this is a vienna regulator dial & movement
     
  12. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    For Vienna regulators you really need to see a lot of pics.

    I'm puzzled here. Don't most people here like to restore clocks? I agree pics of the movement are needed.

    I'd want a movement + case that are COMPLETE, or restorable (for me, not too far gone. Part of the appeal is the age of the clock. My youngest large clock is ca. 1915- some younger alarm clocks. So, I don't want to replace too many parts). If the clock is running or not...if the movement is complete, that is more important.

    For a clock guaranteed to run, the dealer route may be considered. A lot of do-it-yorselfers will balk at the prices.

    If you are looking for a wooden movement, do a lot of reseach. Make sure you are comfortable with what you seek. Look around at what's available.

    Here is a disappointing story- I saw a nice pillar + scroll (Luscious Bradley). It was being sold at an auction, and was listed on ebay. The top door glass was cracked, but the bottom tablet was the most beautiful original painting. I placed an absentee bid, and won for a reasonable amount! I've noticed the prices for pillar + scrolls have increased since this time.

    Everyone I talked to on the phone from the auction, and UPS Store, were friendly. So, the clock was shipped to me.

    Opening the clock, I saw the bottom tablet was shattered. The bell screw became loose, and rattled inside the case. Talk about a heartbreaker :mysad: Since the glass is puttied, I will remove the glass, and have the painting reproduced. As soon as I have the heart to do it. It will be a great looking clock, but still.....
     
  13. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Chris, NEVER ship UPS. They are the absolute worst shipping service I've ever dealt with. Every single clock I've had shipped by them has arrived in pieces. I've also read storied of delivery people THROWING boxes onto people's doorsteps, or purposefully dropping boxes.
     
  14. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I use UPS most of the time. This was the fault of someone not packing the inside of the case. At 170 years old, no wonder the heavy bell was shook free. Live and learn!

    Sooth, I'll take your word about UPS in your area. Around here, UPS is very good (believe it or not). Fed Ex is not so good around here. Priority Mail is also good. But, large clocks are best suited for UPS. Certainly, the different carriers have different performance in different areas of the Continent.
     
  15. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Well, the clocks I buy always get shipped across the USA, one was from texas, and one was from Maine(?), etc.

    This one, though... explains what I mean:

    Birge1.gif

    Worst of all, UPS REFUSED to make good on the insurance that was put on the clock. They have a notoriously bad reputation for not honoring their insurance claims, even if the claim is legitimate.
     
  16. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Yep, For large clocks, 95% is packing. Bubble wrap, and foam peanuts are not cheap. Frequently, inexperienced packers simply will not, or can not, pack a large clock proplerly. Anymore, I am very selective choosing sellers. I've shipped a Seth Thomas World to Manitoba via UPS, the buyer was happy. That is because it was packed correctly. I've had UPS pay me for broken glass for a clock shipped to me a couple years ago. If I am buying, I will communicte with the seller regarding their packing before I pay them. It is not an easy lesson to learn, but I do what I can to stop breakage.
     
  17. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Don't be puzzled CHRIS. Of course we love restoring clocks, but we also LOVE knowing whether it's all there - whether it's restorable within reasonable parameters. Ask LAB! He'd say, "It's a matter of a PINION!"
     
  18. missouri

    missouri Registered User

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    If you are a member of the NAWCC I recommend ordering video #558, "Mastering Wood-Work Clock Repair", by George Bruno. It is a fabulous lesson on repairing wood works clocks given by a master of the trade. Consequently, it addresses and illustrates almost anything that can go wrong. It also shows how you can accomplish a good workmanlike repair without a lot of fancy tools. After looking at this video, you will have a much better understanding of wooden works and know what to look for when buying one.
     
  19. clockdaddy

    clockdaddy Guest

    Jeremy,
    You mentioned that this was being sold, but is it being sold on-line or by some individuals?

    If you can, PM me and let me where it is and the asking price. I'd like to contact them if you decide to pass. I need a wooden movement for a case I've got and I don't mind having to do some repair work.

    CD
     

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