Wood restoring

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by Nanyo, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Nanyo

    Nanyo Registered User

    Aug 10, 2019
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    Hello forum... I came across a Ridgeway grandfather clock over the weekend and couldn't pass buying it for the tag price of $35. At first the seller didn't know if it work, had all the parts etc. She just wanted to get rid of it at her thrift store.
    My instincts were, even if it's totally broken I'll just clean it and display it at my house. Luckily for me the clock works, I picked up a new hook for one of the weights that was missing and is up and running at my house. It looks like the clock was submerged in water at one point as there's some mold damage and there's a water mark all around the case, some of the wood split at the base. It could be flooding damage or moisture as the weather here in New Orleans is pretty humid.

    Should I remove the movement as I'm working on the wood case, I'm planning on sanding down the wood , probably stain it then a clear coat of varnish.
    I'm don't know much about clocks... first rookie mistake was lying down the clock for transportation in my SUV luckily no damage was caused by driving 10 miles to my home.
    I want to do this as a project instead of taking it to a repair shop.

    20190812_094427.jpg
     
  2. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2006
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    If you are going to repair and refinish the case you need to remove the dial, works, pendulum, as well as any hinges, screws, door and door knob. Before you do any sanding or any finish work you need to repair and damage to the case. Refinishing is the last thing to be done. Reattach any loose moldings etc. The case evidently was in water which may have damaged veneer and weakened the structure of the case. Get rid of the mold. All of that has to be repaired before even thinking about refinish.
     
  3. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
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    Yes, you are going to want to take everything out and off the case, including the door, before tackling any splits, loose trim, sanding or surface refinishing. Take off the pendulum and weights first, then follow the list JB posted. The screws holding the dial and movement are fairly obvious and not that complicated. If there are front screws holding the dial, be sure to place a towel to protect it while undoing the screws. If you're like me, the screw driver always wants to slip and mar the nice brass. Once that is all safely boxed, the case will be so much easier to work on.
     
  4. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

    Jun 24, 2011
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    A good soaking with Tiles or just bleach might be a good idea for the moldy area.
    But, you live in NOLA, you'probably know way more about that than I do.
     
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  5. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    For the mold try cleaning with 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Vinegar is a mild acid that should kill any active mold. The mold residue will be more of a problem. It will most likely leave a near black stain in the wood. You can make lighter, as suggested by MartinM, by using a 50/50 solution of bleach. Never ue bleach full strength, it will damage the wood. Even the 50% solution should be used with care. Apply only on the stain. It may take several applications over several days, but it should lighten the mold stain. It probably never recover its normal color. If its in an area that is not conspicuous it probably would leave the stain as it is.
     
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  6. Nanyo

    Nanyo Registered User

    Aug 10, 2019
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    Thank you for the info, I'm definitely looking up how to's so I can repair the case corners, replace the floor inside the case where the weight put a hole. I will be posting pictures of the work progress and probably asking lots of questions
     
  7. Nanyo

    Nanyo Registered User

    Aug 10, 2019
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    No front screws, 4 screws are located on the inside back of the wood holding the movement, quite easy to access them by removing the side panel glass. Thanks for the info
     
  8. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    your clock was most certainly involved in a flood. you can almost see the water line about 3 feet up. lots of times GF cabinets of this era are made from MDF. i cannot tell by your photos if this is the case here. mdf is not fixable once it gets wet. you will want to replace it if you have it on this clock. MDF that has gotten wet will usually look like a bunch of papers stacked together.

    all those details around the columns and base....you will probably need to be the most patient man in the world to sand those areas and not mess up the underlying wood. i think if it were me, i would find another cabinet to place those metal parts into. if i really needed to repair that cabinet for some nastalgic reason, i think paint stripper would be a better option over sanding.

    take all the metal parts and the door off. set up a pair of saw horses in your garage or workspace. lay this cabinet on its back on the saw horses to work on it. you will have a good number of hours invested in this one to make it look decent. i am happy to hear that you have taken on a project like this. definitely better to spend time on something like this than a lot of other things i could think of.
     
  9. Nanyo

    Nanyo Registered User

    Aug 10, 2019
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    Actually the back of the case I believe is MDF but after cleaning it couple of times with vinegar solution the line is less noticeable and it doesn't split anywhere. The main case is wood and I already started buffing some of the flat areas.. the columns with all that detail will be left for last.
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The last time I got a clock from a flood, it had fallen over and floated for a couple of weeks. I outsourced the case part of the job to a pro in the Amana colonies, which are just 30 minutes from me, and did the movement myself. The job was costly to the owner, but he was quite happy with the results. It was sentimentally valuable, so worth the cost.
     
  11. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Nov 18, 2012
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    How are you coming along with the case work?
    Ron
     

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