Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.
If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.
Depends on your budget but I would suggest buying an 18th or 19thC longcase at auction to restore that you like the look of. People will have different views but that's what I'd start with. They are pretty simple movements as they dont have springs and are pretty robust.
I think you've come to the right place.
I agree with all that has been suggested so far.
You might want to start by reading over the "Sticky Threads" which are located at the top of each Forum.
Lurk and learn to search the Archives when you have questions. If you have specific questions, don't be afraid to ask. We were all "newbies' once.
Here's another good resource area to explore: https://theindex.nawcc.org/Repair-Learning.php