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What is this block for? Waterbury Alps clock

f.webster

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What are we looking at?

This view is the inside of the bottom from a Waterbury enameled Alps clock. The gong and its base have been removed (note round indentation). I am fabricating a new bottom. This old one has a "special" odor and is broken.

What is the purpose of the block glued to the bottom? It is affixed cross grained to the bottom board. It is the same thickness as the bottom board. It isn't used for aligning. The bottom board set inside the case enameled sides. Does it dampen the ring of the gong resonating through the bottom board? Should I be including this detail in my fabricating of a new bottom board?

Thank you for your wild guesses, wise counsel, and/or enlightenment.

20210924_162615.jpg
 

shutterbug

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I'm not sure why they would want to dampen the sound, but it must have a purpose. It would be interesting to make your new board and leave it off to see how it sounds. It looks like something that would be easy to add later if needed.
 

f.webster

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I haven't seen it in wooden cased clocks. Even with the added height, a key dropped in the bottom of this case would be hard to reach through the round rear door.

Please look in the bottom of your enameled clock cases to see if this is a manufacture specific thing. Maybe there is a patent?

Things that make you go...Hmmmm?

20210701_132757.jpg
 

f.webster

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I have made the new bottom for this case and installed the movement. Gong it does !

Still wondering what was that block for? I thought of making the block and affixing it to the bottom with a couple of screws to see what effect it has.

Any guesses?
 

PatH

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What an interesting find. Did you try removing the extra piece to see if the wood beneath it was damaged, causing someone to doubt the integrity of the original bottom? The grain of the wood along the lower edge of the "repair?" looks different, so just wondered how it looks in real-life.
 

f.webster

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Pat,
There doesn't appear to be any damage that might cause concern. The added block was glued to the case bottom. I will now look into the bottom of every enameled clock I see to find if this is a usual or an unusual thing.

Before and after:

20210405_162205.jpg Complete 2.jpg
 

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