Which clocks will you NOT repair

bchaps

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A previous post referred to a long ago experience with a monstrosity GF clock that clogged my shop production for over three weeks, resulting in lost income. Several thread responses clearly indicated some of our members enjoy repairing Cuckoos, 400 day, and other what I classify as novelty clocks. That is what makes this forum so interesting! ....members who have a variety of horological interests and personalities. I know that I was very tense for three weeks while restoring the "clock from Hell". It was definitely technically far beyond anything I had encountered to that point in my Horological career. As I'm about (again) to venture into the world of repair, my purpose isn't money, (although I will charge something) but rather to keep me mentally active. Thirty years ago my employer retained a Shrink who met with all managers yearly and he thought clock repair was wonderful for "diversional therapy"; that is, something different than the normal stress experienced while on the job. So, that's what I'm attempting to achieve...diversional therapy! But, I do not want "diversional stress" which means no more highly technical, very expensive, irreplaceable or large clock projects. And I also promised my very understanding wife no more than ONE clock disassembled at a time. She doesn't want to call a dozen people telling them their clock is in pieces and boxed awaiting their pick up.

But back to the idea of diversional therapy. That means, at least to me, the work must be enjoyable, lightly challenging, and rewarding in the sense of "I fixed it", something good was accomplished. "For me", and I must stress that limitation, "enjoyable" rules out Cuckoos, 400 day, novelty, Hermle replacements, tall cases and battery powered... essentially leaving pre-WWII mantle, desk and wall clocks. Klossee, a very good friend and prior active member of this board had similar restrictions. On one occasion, he called me stating "don't refer Cuckoo repairs to me!"

So, my question to you is this... do you restrict your repair considerations due to clockwork environment (dining room table?), technical challenge, or interests?...or is it simply "Come one...come all?"
 
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wow

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A previous post referred to a long ago experience with a monstrosity GF clock that clogged my shop production for over three weeks, resulting in lost income. Several thread responses clearly indicated some of our members enjoy repairing Cuckoos, 400 day, and other what I classify as novelty clocks. That is what makes this forum so interesting! ....members who have a variety of horological interests and personalities. I know that I was very tense for three weeks while restoring the "clock from Hell". It was definitely technically far beyond anything I had encountered to that point in my Horological career. As I'm about (again) to venture into the world of repair, my purpose isn't money, (although I will charge something) but rather to keep me mentally active. Thirty years ago my employer retained a Shrink who met with all managers yearly and he thought clock repair was wonderful for "diversional therapy"; that is, something different than the normal stress experienced while on the job. So, that's what I'm attempting to achieve...diversional therapy! But, I do not want "diversional stress" which means no more highly technical, very expensive, irreplaceable or large clock projects. And I also promised my very understanding wife no more than ONE clock disassembled at a time. She doesn't want to call a dozen people telling them their clock is in pieces and boxed awaiting their pick up.

But back to the idea of diversional therapy. That means, at least to me, the work must be enjoyable, lightly challenging, and rewarding in the sense of "I fixed it", something good was accomplished. "For me", and I must stress that limitation, "enjoyable" rules out Cuckoos, 400 day, novelty, Hermle replacements, tall cases and battery powered... essentially leaving pre-WWII mantle, desk and wall clocks. Klossee, a very good friend and prior active member of this board had similar restrictions. On one occasion, he called me stating "don't refer Cuckoo repairs to me!"

So, my question to you is this... do you restrict your repair considerations due to clockwork environment (dining room table?), technical challenge, or interests?...or is it simply "Come one...come all?"
No cuckoos, no 400 days, no quartz, no electric, no watches. Must be wound. Weight or spring ok. Mechanical only for me.
 
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bruce linde

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i don't do this for money, and much prefer weight driven movements.... regulators, tall case movements, striking ok, chiming fine as long as they don't need much. :)
 

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I'm a hobbyist and my objectives are to (1) make it work again, and (2) learn as much as possible. I've taken on anything and everything, but finally drew the line last week on a Korean knock-off of a Seth Thomas two-train pendulum wall clock movement. It was so cheap, so flimsy, so crudely constructed, that I refused to work on it. As "Bones" McCoy said, "He's dead, Jim." I wanted to go wash my hands after touching it. I never thought I'd reach that point.
 

bchaps

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I'm a hobbyist and my objectives are to (1) make it work again, and (2) learn as much as possible. I've taken on anything and everything, but finally drew the line last week on a Korean knock-off of a Seth Thomas two-train pendulum wall clock movement. It was so cheap, so flimsy, so crudely constructed, that I refused to work on it. As "Bones" McCoy said, "He's dead, Jim." I wanted to go wash my hands after touching it. I never thought I'd reach that point.
The first Korean clock I rec'd was from a clock shop commercial client. To my amazement, pivot metal rubbed off as the burnisher was lightly applied. Now What!!! What do you tell the client:???: It's totally disassembled and the only option is to repivot how many wheels?? Never again!
 

Bohemian Bill

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A previous post referred to a long ago experience with a monstrosity GF clock that clogged my shop production for over three weeks, resulting in lost income. Several thread responses clearly indicated some of our members enjoy repairing Cuckoos, 400 day, and other what I classify as novelty clocks. That is what makes this forum so interesting! ....members who have a variety of horological interests and personalities. I know that I was very tense for three weeks while restoring the "clock from Hell". It was definitely technically far beyond anything I had encountered to that point in my Horological career. As I'm about (again) to venture into the world of repair, my purpose isn't money, (although I will charge something) but rather to keep me mentally active. Thirty years ago my employer retained a Shrink who met with all managers yearly and he thought clock repair was wonderful for "diversional therapy"; that is, something different than the normal stress experienced while on the job. So, that's what I'm attempting to achieve...diversional therapy! But, I do not want "diversional stress" which means no more highly technical, very expensive, irreplaceable or large clock projects. And I also promised my very understanding wife no more than ONE clock disassembled at a time. She doesn't want to call a dozen people telling them their clock is in pieces and boxed awaiting their pick up.

But back to the idea of diversional therapy. That means, at least to me, the work must be enjoyable, lightly challenging, and rewarding in the sense of "I fixed it", something good was accomplished. "For me", and I must stress that limitation, "enjoyable" rules out Cuckoos, 400 day, novelty, Hermle replacements, tall cases and battery powered... essentially leaving pre-WWII mantle, desk and wall clocks. Klossee, a very good friend and prior active member of this board had similar restrictions. On one occasion, he called me stating "don't refer Cuckoo repairs to me!"

So, my question to you is this... do you restrict your repair considerations due to clockwork environment (dining room table?), technical challenge, or interests?...or is it simply "Come one...come all?"
Hi Bill I am now just retired about a year ago from an Electric Utility. In the past, I could not say no…I would attempt to repair anything as a challenge but now I have no problem saying no. For some reason, I am not as patient than a few years ago. Today, I am a little more selective. I do not have a commercial clock shop. I work out in my garage and from inside my house. I only repair clocks from friends, past coworkers and word of mouth. It is a hobby and I really don't want a business or another job or career.

I don't like and will not work on cuckoo with music boxes, ATMOS, 400 day clocks, all electrics and especially clocks with platform escapements. I have worked on each of these and was not successful. The one reason because some else had attempt to fix these and really screwed them up royally and finally sold them. For some reason, I am a magnet for screwed up clocks. The other reason is replacement parts availability. It stressed me out that I could not fix it due to the availability of good original replacement parts that fits. For example, I would order a non-returnable part and it did not work and I am stuck for the cost of the $100 to $200 platform escapement. I could not and would not charge a customer anything if I did not fix the clock. I cannot afford it. Most replacement platform escapement now are Swiss generic made and have to be adapted to work. Repairing the original is possible if you can turn a staff and have jewels available and be able to burnish them in. You could spend a lot of time and still not work.

I like repairing the more common older American, German and French pendulum clocks. The later Hermle and Korean clocks, I will work on but don't care too much for them.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I don't repair anything, but looking at it from the other side...

I only have 30 hour longcase restored if they are special, either by maker or where they were made.

I have most of the rest restored, though as I hardly run any of them there is no rush.

I have a few options for where to get my clocks restored, depending a bit on what they are, plus I have access to a superb cabinet maker and an amazingly talented dial painter.

I have one restorer where I have to apply to have something restored, if he isn't attracted to the idea of restoring the clock he won't do it. This means longcase pre 1700, and verge lanterns, or early verge dial clocks.
 

Willie X

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I used to take in everything but over the years I've become leary of just a few, to include: anything with a platform escapement, round NH chimer, Atmos, and S-T 124s. if they look good I will usually take in even these, IF I'm not busy. I will give the customer a warning that their clock is a difficult clock to repair.

It's not a good idea to turn away a first time customer under any (but the very worst) conditions ... Willie X
 
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Bohemian Bill

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I don't understand the aversion to 400 day clocks.
Hi Ken.They are in my opinion they are a cheap novelty clocks. I seen that most have a lot of plastic in them except some of the turn of the century 1900's era clocks with a brass disc instead of the 4 balls. In my experience, the 400 day clocks are very time consuming to repair and taxing to my patience. The clock is prone to broken suspension wire. People tend to move or ship the clock without setting the rotation brake. It is hard to remove the lever and sand down the new replacement suspension wire and re install the lever ( tiny screws to clamp to wire) and get the position of the lever correct many times to get the clock to run and time out. How long will you have to let the clock sit on your bench to guarantee to run the 400 days. You will have phone calls and to be ready to troubleshoot and also set it up for people in their homes due to people put it on a flimsy rocking table and will stop. Also people forget to wind it yearly and the clock stops you will get a phone call. Too much trouble for what it is worth.
 

Jim DuBois

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No cuckoos, no 400 days, no quartz, no electric, no watches. Must be wound. Weight or spring ok. Mechanical only for me.
I am with WOW on this one. Never missed a meal and I repaired 2 400 day clocks and two cuckoos back when I first started. None since and I had ample experience as to why not to take those at all.
 

Jim DuBois

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Hi Ken.They are in my opinion they are a cheap novelty clocks. I seen that most have a lot of plastic in them except some of the turn of the century 1900's era clocks with a brass disc instead of the 4 balls. In my experience, the 400 day clocks are very time consuming to repair and taxing to my patience. The clock is prone to broken suspension wire. People tend to move or ship the clock without setting the rotation brake. It is hard to remove the lever and sand down the new replacement suspension wire and re install the lever ( tiny screws to clamp to wire) and get the position of the lever correct many times to get the clock to run and time out. How long will you have to let the clock sit on your bench to guarantee to run the 400 days. You will have phone calls and to be ready to troubleshoot and also set it up for people in their homes due to people put it on a flimsy rocking table and will stop. Also people forget to wind it yearly and the clock stops you will get a phone call. Too much trouble for what it is worth.
And imagine how much fun this would be

20211204_095514.jpg
 

Ken M

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They are pretty much all I've done. A couple electro-magnetic. a couple Flux motor clocks. a couple chimes and strike, but mostly 400 day.
 

Schatznut

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Too ignorant to be choosy, I started with 400-day clocks because that's what I had to repair. With so little of it available in the first place, I learned very quickly where power could be robbed in a movement and got pretty adept at diagnosing the various power thieves. Rebuilding gunked-up mainsprings, polishing pivots, pegging pivot holes, building new suspensions, setting the beat (ALWAYS setting the beat), reading and setting pallet drops, I've gotten to where I generally can overhaul a 400-day movement in 4-5 hours. I've never had a 400-day clock that required bushings, although I read reports of others that have. I learned an appreciation for precision and cleanliness in everything I do on a clock. I've spent more time undoing damage done by prior perhaps well-meaning clock butchers repair persons than anything else other than dissolving old oil that has turned into glue or polishing brass.

I feel fortunate to have learned first principles of clock repair with 400-day clocks. It has been kind of like boot camp, I suppose, because when I branched out into other kinds of movements, I found that (1) they have a lot more available power and (2) it will disappear in the same places and circumstances. But he principles are the same.
 

Willie X

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You won't see many (or any) disk pendulum 400-Day clocks. No plastic till around 1970 and then they changed quickly to all plastic battery items. My favorite is the Schatz 49.

Note, I built my business taking work away from people that turned up their nose at cuckoos and 400-days! :) My time sells for the same, no matter the value of the clock. In today's market not many clocks are actually worth repairing, from a purely monetary standpoint.

Willie X
 

Schatznut

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You won't see many (or any) disk pendulum 400-Day clocks. No plastic till around 1970 and then they changed quickly to all plastic battery items. My favorite is the Schatz 49.

Note, I built my business taking work away from people that turned up their nose at cuckoos and 400-days! :) My time sells for the same, no matter the value of the clock. In today's market not many clocks are actually worth repairing, from a purely monetary standpoint.

Willie X
I agree, Willie, re the Schatz 49. It's bullet-proof and a joy to work on.
 
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R. Croswell

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........ As I'm about (again) to venture into the world of repair, my purpose isn't money, (although I will charge something) but rather to keep me mentally active. Thirty years ago my employer retained a Shrink who .....thought clock repair was wonderful for "diversional therapy".......... So, that's what I'm attempting to achieve...diversional therapy! But, I do not want "diversional stress"........ That means, at least to me, the work must be enjoyable, lightly challenging, and rewarding in the sense of "I fixed it", something good was accomplished. "For me", and I must stress that limitation, "enjoyable" rules out Cuckoos, 400 day, novelty, Hermle replacements, tall cases and battery powered... essentially leaving pre-WWII mantle, desk and wall clocks.
For me, clock repair as a "business", that is, repairing any number of clocks that you repair for others and expect to get paid for your work, whether on the kitchen table or in a shop "downtown", isn't diversional therapy.

I started working on clocks in 1967. I had two clocks given to me (I still have them) and, after some effort, I made them run and it was rewarding. Then I began picking up clocks from local auctions a few at a time. Each one was a new challenge and I learned something from each one. I really enjoyed repairing and collecting old clocks. Pretty soon I had quite a few in my collection. I took whatever followed me home but really went for basket cases that went dirt cheap, anything I could carry including many that others avoid. Those were the most rewarding. I was working for a paycheck at a different fulltime job, and this really was diversional therapy.

Then, when I thought I was probably better than I really was, I thought I might as well accept clock work from others and get paid for what I'm doing, after all, I did enjoy what I was doing, and the extra money would help buy more clocks and better tools. Plus the experience would help me gain skills. Well, fast forward a few years and I reached retirement age. That meant that I now had more time to do what I want but less money to do it with. Then I found I was fixing more and more clocks for others and having even less time to fix my own stuff. So now I have a waiting list of people expecting to have their clocks fixed in a timely manner, and along comes a really hateful clock that I'm spending much too much time on, but I gave an estimate so looks like I'll be working for $0.50 per hour this week. This is NOT diversional therapy, at least not now, not for me. But I have a long list of customers that expect me to be there for their repeat business. I don't hate the work, at least not yet, but I can do without the stress and head aches and the demands that diversional therapy was supposed to relive. I found that it is very easy to let work take over my play time. My advice, all I can say is that it was much more relaxing when I just worked on my own stuff, worked on what I wanted to work on when I wanted to work on it, and if bust something of my own I don't haveto pay for it. Heck, I don't even have to tell anyone!

........ I also promised my very understanding wife no more than ONE clock disassembled at a time. She doesn't want to call a dozen people telling them their clock is in pieces and boxed awaiting their pick up.
I understand that. Now that I passed 80 and no longer buy green bananas, I keep a waiting list and call customers when I'm ready to take their clock. Two or three in the shop is enough now, and I just limit how many hours I devote to clock repair.

So, my question to you is this... do you restrict your repair considerations due to clockwork environment (dining room table?), technical challenge, or interests?...or is it simply "Come one...come all?"
The short answer is YES I do, but when you have an established customer base and a good customer brings a clock that I don't want to work on, it can be hard to say no. Because of the lack of mobility and decreasing finger dexterity I refuse any clock with a hairspring & balance wheel, and large clocks that I can't lift, and I do not make house calls. Everyone seems to have their own "hate list" but I think a lot of these clocks are hated because they are not understood. A few years ago, someone here said how hatful a New Haven 3-plate round chime movement is. The first thing I did was buy a couple of them on eBay to see for myself, that was diversional therapy. Now it's NOT diversional therapy when I see one come in the shop, but I now understand why. I recommend collecting as many different clocks as possible before fixing for other people. I'm al lot more comfortable when I have seen one before.

Enjoy

RC
 
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Bohemian Bill

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You won't see many (or any) disk pendulum 400-Day clocks. No plastic till around 1970 and then they changed quickly to all plastic battery items. My favorite is the Schatz 49.

Note, I built my business taking work away from people that turned up their nose at cuckoos and 400-days! :) My time sells for the same, no matter the value of the clock. In today's market not many clocks are actually worth repairing, from a purely monetary standpoint.

Willie X
Hi Willie..I have two disc pendulum clocks in my collection that I bought from a friend about twenty years ago.
 

leeinv66

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I have been a hobbyist for over 45 years. I mostly repair my own clocks and those of friends and family members. The only clock movement that has ever gotten the better of me was an ST 103a. But, I would still take on another if asked. My taste in clocks is pretty eclectic, ranging from the lowly Mi-Ken moving eye clocks through to a few nice Vienna Regulators. And yes I have my share of cuckoos and 400 dayers. I guess I see value in most, if not all mechanical clocks. Maybe I will get fussy now I am retired. But probably not ;)
 
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Mike Mall

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The first Korean clock I rec'd was from a clock shop commercial client. To my amazement, pivot metal rubbed off as the burnisher was lightly applied. Now What!!! What do you tell the client:???: It's totally disassembled and the only option is to repivot how many wheels?? Never again!
I'm not sure if you can sort them before taking them in for repair, but not all Korean clocks are junk.

I have found the Dae Woo round movements to be very well built. It is the same as the Tochigi Tokei Japanese movement, but the Japanese version is chrome plated. They have the unusual feature where the hour hand is on a clutch, as well as the minute hand. There is a flexible contact point, where the rack hits the snail, to prevent damage.

Easy to repair, excellent time keepers.
 
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Schatznut

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I'm not sure if you can sort them before taking them in for repair, but not all Korean clocks are junk.

I have found the Dae Woo round movements to be very well built. It is the same as the Tochigi Tokei Japanese movement, but the Japanese version is chrome plated. They have the unusual feature where the hour hand is on a clutch, as well as the minute hand. There is a flexible contact point, where the rack hits the snail, to prevent damage.

Easy to repair, excellent time keepers.
Mike, good to hear that there are well-made Korean clocks out there. The one I encountered was not one of them. Having worked on only one, I was not making a generalization about Korean clocks.
 
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Arthur Cagle

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Being an ignorant 80 year old amateur, I only work on my own (FEW exceptions for friends and family) spring and weight driven. I prefer antique American. Working on an Atkins and an Ansonia right now that have driven me to distraction!

I have picked up an Atmos (for $75) that I look forward to working on (hey, if I screw it up I'm not out much), but before that I have a bunch of Americans that I picked up cheap to keep me busy. Also have several cookoos that I'm looking forward to (also picked up for next to nothing). Both the Atmos and the cookoos will require study first.

The only clock I have no interest in working on is the electric. Have neither the knowledge nor the desire. Not much interest in 400 day, but will no doubt do at least one for the experience.
 

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I try to repair essentially everything repairable. But nobody pays me for that.

A few years ago my wife inherited a kitchen timer looking almost exactly like this one, a giveaway from the 60s or 70s by the local butcher. She asked me (as usual, if she wants to throw things away) keep or dump? I said keep, gave it a good clean, disassembled it, did what had to be done. Since then it is in frequent use again in the kitchen :).

Küchenwecker.jpg
 

shutterbug

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Please could you elaborate ? I have seen lots of disk pendulum 400 day clocks. Or did you mean something else?

JTD
I think Willie meant you won't see many coming in for repairs. They are usually picked up by collectors.
 

JTD

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I think Willie meant you won't see many coming in for repairs. They are usually picked up by collectors.
Thanks for the 'translation' - it wasn't clear to me. I guess that's what he must have meant.

JTD
 

Mike Mall

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Mike, good to hear that there are well-made Korean clocks out there. The one I encountered was not one of them. Having worked on only one, I was not making a generalization about Korean clocks.
After you get the springs serviced the rest is cake.
My favorite everyday runner is a "Made in the USA" drop octagon, with the Japanese version of that 31 day movement. Winding is never much of a thought, and it's incredibly accurate.
 

Harry Hopkins

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I used to work on about anything brought into the shop but over time I have become very selective. I won't work on any modern movement any longer (Hermle, etc) .. I won't even replace them. I don't do house calls so floor clock are out. I can be selective because clock repair has never been my main source of income. There is another local clock repairman that I send a lot of business to. He likes the extra work and in return he brings me parts to make or repair because he is not equipped to cut wheels or make repairs to barrels, etc. and I actually prefer just repairing or making parts at this point.
 

Dells

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I agree, Willie, re the Schatz 49. It's bullet-proof and a joy to work on.
I must admit I have a soft spot for all standard JUF’s/Schatz , I have 6 of my own, I have torsion clocks sent to me from all over UK because most clockmakers won’t touch them.
 

demoman3955

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Ive owned clocks for as long as i can remember and i blame my did for getting me into them. Ive had a lot and picked up a lot, but was always to scared to work on them until now, which i regret. Now that im old and retired, i dont feel i want to invest in the tools needed to do major repairs, just to have them all sold for next to nothing when i kick the bucket. Ill still work on my own as i get braver, and the first one i took apart was a 400 day. It still sits there dead in the water, but i havent given up on it, just taking a break from it. Ill try anything once, and have a few electric novelty clocks, but the ones i have seem to have the typical non repairable and no reproduction motors in them so i wont buy another. I did get really close to getting my Synchronome going with slaves, but i have to make a part for it that got lost, but the local repair guy tried to fix it and couldnt, so at least i got farther then he did. I can rebuild a Mopar motor, but clocks always intimidated me.
 

Mike Mall

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Ive owned clocks for as long as i can remember and i blame my did for getting me into them. Ive had a lot and picked up a lot, but was always to scared to work on them until now, which i regret. Now that im old and retired, i dont feel i want to invest in the tools needed to do major repairs, just to have them all sold for next to nothing when i kick the bucket. Ill still work on my own as i get braver, and the first one i took apart was a 400 day. It still sits there dead in the water, but i havent given up on it, just taking a break from it. Ill try anything once, and have a few electric novelty clocks, but the ones i have seem to have the typical non repairable and no reproduction motors in them so i wont buy another. I did get really close to getting my Synchronome going with slaves, but i have to make a part for it that got lost, but the local repair guy tried to fix it and couldnt, so at least i got farther then he did. I can rebuild a Mopar motor, but clocks always intimidated me.
A weight driven pendulum clock, is a good one to give it a try on.
You can pick up an Ogee for near nothing, and they are easy to figure out.
 
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demoman3955

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A weight driven pendulum clock, is a good one to give it a try on.
You can pick up an Ogee for near nothing, and they are easy to figure out.
I have around 3 OG. To be honest I have no idea how many clocks I actually have. Lol
 
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bchaps

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Thank you everyone! I enjoy reading your comments which reaffirms my idea that we clock people really are a diverse collection of individuals. But yet, find enjoyment in the sound of an in-beat movement or thrill that our spring wound clock is within 5 minutes at the end of a week. My wife reminds me her digital clock is precisely on time and I respond "who cares!" I think this attitude is due to the feeling that a mechanical clock seems to bring life into a home. I find real comfort in hearing the clock during that quiet nighttime hour when nature has stirred me from sleep to take care of last night's iced tea. The clock is an affirmation that all is well...life is good, ...as I return to bed...
 

Swanicyouth

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Nov 10, 2019
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As a hobbyist I’ll try to fix any clock I want that’s at the price I can afford. That doesn’t end at clocks: Victrolas, antique fans, & similar.
 
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R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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As a hobbyist I’ll try to fix any clock I want that’s at the price I can afford. That doesn’t end at clocks: Victrolas, antique fans, & similar.
Yep, "fix it or fix it so no one else can fix it" is what I say - (as long as it's your own clock or whatever). Go for it and have as much fun as you can afford.

RC
 

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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Any clock from anyone with a history of calling every few weeks to check on the status.
Vernon
But how do you tell until it's too late? ;) Gotta be tough on repeat business!
 
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rstl99

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Oct 31, 2015
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I had picked up a Seth Thomas mantle clock some years ago, probably paid nothing, and it just sat because I had zero interest in it. I decided to take the movement out to service it, to "get my hand in" as it had been a while since I had worked on a N-A clock movement. Get it running so I could give it away. The movement in it was stamped 7 42 and it was the cheapest movement I've ever worked on, cheap parts, cheap design, cheap springs, cheap everything, made to break, not designed to be fixed, probably meant to last 10 years then throw it out and put another movement in, bit like a Timex watch in the 60s. Abominable. Wasted a few hours on that one, cleaning pivots etc, that I will never get back, and didn't really learn anything, other than stay the hell away from them in the future.

Most of the clocks I've worked on in the last year or two are English or French clocks from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Well made, honest, built to last generations (as long as not abused by ignorant brutes, which sometimes happens).

But disposable N-A crap like that Seth Thomas, never again. N-A clocks deserved to go out of business in the XXth, coming out with crap like that. At least run of the mill German movements commonly found in mantle clocks from the 40s or 50s are much much better in comparison.

IMG_0616.JPG
 

Jess19721

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Apr 3, 2022
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I had picked up a Seth Thomas mantle clock some years ago, probably paid nothing, and it just sat because I had zero interest in it. I decided to take the movement out to service it, to "get my hand in" as it had been a while since I had worked on a N-A clock movement. Get it running so I could give it away. The movement in it was stamped 7 42 and it was the cheapest movement I've ever worked on, cheap parts, cheap design, cheap springs, cheap everything, made to break, not designed to be fixed, probably meant to last 10 years then throw it out and put another movement in, bit like a Timex watch in the 60s. Abominable. Wasted a few hours on that one, cleaning pivots etc, that I will never get back, and didn't really learn anything, other than stay the hell away from them in the future.

Most of the clocks I've worked on in the last year or two are English or French clocks from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Well made, honest, built to last generations (as long as not abused by ignorant brutes, which sometimes happens).

But disposable N-A crap like that Seth Thomas, never again. N-A clocks deserved to go out of business in the XXth, coming out with crap like that. At least run of the mill German movements commonly found in mantle clocks from the 40s or 50s are much much better in comparison.

View attachment 720065
Please forgive me I am in very new to clock repair, what does N-A mean?
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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I definitely agree ... that movement is difficult to repair.

But the clock in question is not representative of the original (pre 1931) Seth Thomas Company products. That one was produced by the General Time Co. who purchased the right to use the S-T brand from about 1931 till about 1968.

The S-T #124, that I mentioned earlier, falls into approximately the same category. :(

My 2, Willie X
 
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