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Wm. L. Gilbert Dove Face repair/replace

Fredinaz

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May 24, 2020
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Newbie questions...

I was recently given my deceased brother-in-law's Wm. L. Gilbert Dove clock. Photos attached.

It needs to be cleaned up and the face replaced. Any source for parts?

Also attached is a picture of the back label. Per another website I checked, this was the style label the company used circa 1850's. Any way to verify its age? I suspect it wasn't nearly that old.

Thanks!
Fred

GilbertDoveFront1a.jpg GilbertDoveOpen1.jpg GilbertDoveBackLabel1.jpg
 
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bruce linde

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it’s way more desirable and collectible as is. The dial looks like it’s supposed to look for its age. Do not replace it. Do not try to clean it. Leave it alone.

Mechanical clocks need to be serviced every 5 to 10 years for optimal lifespan. If you don’t know when it was last serviced, it needs it. Unfortunately, these kitchen clocks are probably not worth as much as the cost of servicing. Your best bet is to find someone local, perhaps an NAWCC member from a local chapter.
 
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woodlawndon

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Hi Fred. This period of kitchen clock is likely circa 1880. It's a nice one with an alarm but as Bruce says, please don't replace the dial. It doesn't look that bad at all, it looks like it should. Enjoy it, especially because it came from family.
Don
 
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Fredinaz

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Thanks Bruce. I'll heed your advice. Looking at the dust on the wood, I suspect the clock has been sitting in somewhere unused for a very long time. The movement is ticking away right now.

What suggestions do you have for sprucing up the case?

Am I correct about when it may have been made in the mid 1800's?

Thanks!
Fred
 

Fredinaz

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Hi Fred. This period of kitchen clock is likely circa 1880. It's a nice one with an alarm but as Bruce says, please don't replace the dial. It doesn't look that bad at all, it looks like it should. Enjoy it, especially because it came from family.
Don
Thanks Don! I was wrong about it working. I wound it up before posting my message. Clock only ran for about 30 minutes. Any "how to" on some light maintenance to get it running smoothly?

Fred
 

woodlawndon

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Thanks Don! I was wrong about it working. I wound it up before posting my message. Clock only ran for about 30 minutes. Any "how to" on some light maintenance to get it running smoothly?

Fred
Under the Hints & how-to section a poster named Bangster has been kind enough to document many of the common problems with clocks. I would start with Beat Setting 101 and go from there. Beat Setting 101
Don
 

klokwiz

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Fred, Nice clock. One item you should know is the label is a very important part of the clock. Yours is in great shape and you should take care not to damage it. As for the case it looks pretty good. I would take a soft bristle paint brush and just brush off the dust and dirt. Many a clock has been ruined by a new refinishing job on old wood, just clean it for now. You have gotten good advice on the dial, even though a bit of it is work off, it looks far better than any modern replacement ever will. A new dial is like a sore thumb, you'll wish it never happened.

As for your movement if you intend to run it daily, it should be taken apart and cleaned and oiled properly. If you do not intend to run it why bother. First you need to see if it will run which you have, but now you need to figure out why it stopped after 30 minutes. there can be a lot of reasons. I would check out the tutorials in this message board starting with setting the beat on your clock to make sure it doesn't need adjustment. If you remove the dial you can get a better view of the condition of the movement, look at the places where the gears ride on an axle (pivot they are called) to see if dirty and dry. hope this helps, Joe.
 

RJSoftware

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A few simple tricks for you.

But first an introduction.

Your clock, like many Gilbert clocks, is a most excellent, all original, established, verifiable and enjoyable clock to experience. Gilbert clocks have that certain something.

Gilbert clocks are like Americana, they have a soul. Transported by merchants in covered wagons. Can you hear the whip cracking? The dusty prairie and the whistling wind of "The Good, the bad and the ugly"?

This clock has lived a long time and guess what, it will probably outlive us too.
So who owns who?

And when we pass, much like the eligibility of a beautiful woman, we see her boarding on the next train as we become part of the past. She was so fine, even when she was leaving. A gentleman helps her aboard as she folds her umbrella.

So it's beautiful because it's old or it's old because it's beautiful? Such a question, hey..!

The way I see it, we are servants. For the price of imparting our energy we are granted moments of time travel fantasy. Those unexplainable energies from sight, sound, smell and patina that if only for a split second we are there.

A kind of bliss, as if trying to jog the record player needle of time.

The first trick.

Lean your clock till she ticks with pride, then adjust her crutch to that high side. (details in tips and tricks).

The second, small drops of oil on palettes tips.

Third is how to set your alarm. The small dial is used to set the alarm. What ever time is on that small dial directly under the hour hand is the next time the alarm will ring. Dont wind the alarm is the off.

Enjoy.!
 
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Fredinaz

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May 24, 2020
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UPDATE - After a little amateur poking around, wiping down, dusting off and some itsy bitsy dabs of very light oil the clock has been ticking steadily for over an hour on my work bench. I even heard it chime a couple of times. After I removed the hands and face, the movement looked very clean to my unprofessional eyes. It may have been serviced, probably in the last half century. I found a tiny sticker on the back of the clock from an out of business clock shop in San Bernardino.

Am I correct that there's an alarm in the clock and that little dial in the center of the face is for setting the alarm?

GilbertDoveOpen1.jpg
 

shutterbug

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Yes, that little dial sets the alarm. Set the alarm time in line with the hour hand. Don't wind it too much, because there's no good way to stop the alarm when it goes off.
 

Fitzclan

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Gilbert changed names several times along its duration. I believe it became the William L. Gilbert Clock Co. around 1872.
 

Fredinaz

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May 24, 2020
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Yes, that little dial sets the alarm. Set the alarm time in line with the hour hand. Don't wind it too much, because there's no good way to stop the alarm when it goes off.
Thanks for the tip. Which way to wind? Clockwise? I noticed that I could turn the key either way and gears moved but I didn't see the spring tighten. Not something I want to ring anyway.

Any recommendations on treating the wood? This clock had a lot of dust on it. I used a soft brush, a can of compressed air and a lightly damp rag to work all the dust out of corners and crevices.
 

shutterbug

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I've heard that Goop hand cleaner works pretty well on wood. Your alarm sounds like the spring has either broken or or come unattached.
 

PatH

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Congratulations on acquiring such a nice example, complete with a good label! As always, if you're going to try anything beyond what you've already done to clean the case, test in a small inconspicuous area first to avoid surprises.
 

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