Wrecked shelf cuckoo

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by ballistarius, Feb 24, 2017.

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  1. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    #1 ballistarius, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2017
    Hello everybody again,
    It's been a long time since my last post here. Surely I've been busy with my other hobbies... :cuckoo:Anyway, now there are a couple of half-dismantled wrecked clocks on my desk again:cool:
    I catched this one via intenet. Too many parts missing fom the case (but, fortunately, there is a depiction of how it looked like on the reprinted D. N. H. & S. Brothers catalogue), the movement is a 'Fleig' one (rather rusty), bird and pipe/bellows are there (rather busted)
    The case is in process of being completed now and I've decided to share it here.
    Talla.jpg Leftside.JPG Back.JPG Rightdetail.JPG Front.JPG

    Glad to be back here again!!Nutjob

    Aitor
     
  2. timepast

    timepast Registered User

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    Very nice old clock ... Glad you are saving and restoring it
     
  3. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    #3 ballistarius, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2017
    Many thanks, timepast.:D
    There were so many missing parts that I could not have dreamt of restoring the case were not for the drawing on the reprinted catalogue: DNH&S Bros. Catalogue.jpg
    The original catalogue is 1914-15 in date, but the clock looks a little earlier, perhaps end of 19th century. I supppose that people in this MB will have more precise and authorized opinions on that matter.
    The birch planks strengthening the back, glue blocks included, and the removable one holding the wire gong were all gone.
    IMG_1767.jpg IMG_1761t.jpg IMG_1766.jpg IMG_1759.jpg
    To be continued...

    Aitor
     
  4. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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    COLLECTOR, RESTORER, PRESERVER, TRADER.
    Great clock...

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Many thanks, Jeff:D
    It will involve a big amount of work and money to return this clock near to its former glory, but it seems as if I have a penchant for this kind of challenges...:screwball:
    The clock you feature is the 'little sister' of mine in size. Does it house a GHS movement? The 'Fleig' movement seems rather lost in the vast emptiness of my case:rolleyes:, though it is the original movement for it. On the catalogue, this clock is advertised as having a 'powerful fusee movement' inside.
    From the catalogue drawing, I can reconstruct the missing parts, even the topper, but the bird door is not featured. I've chosen to repeat for it the carving on the sides of the front skirt:
    [​IMG]

    In the meantime, the case has returned from the cabinet maker with new back planks and the missing side door, veneered in oak. I've attached the side doors using correct size hinges, instead of the big 'ersatz' ones that came with the case. These hinges are always nailed to case and doors, but I've used tiny brass screws for the sake of future owners:whistle:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Regards,

    Aitor
     

    Attached Files:

  6. timepast

    timepast Registered User

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    Beautiful and and accurate restoration. I think most collectors love the the nitty gritty , time consuming process of restoratation and bring things back to life. And often it`s not a matter of time nor consideration of resale but of a job well done.
     
  7. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Many thanks for your kind words, timepast!:D
    I cannot but agree with what you say. It is always easier and often cheaper to buy old clocks in nearly pristine condition, but it is never so interesting or rewarding (at least for a nutty collector like me...:screwball:)
    I hope to be able to fetch some elements from the woodcarver next week. I'll post them here...

    Aitor
     
  8. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Design for topper. Help sought.

    Hi,

    I've just finished the 'blueprint' of the topper for sending it to the carver. I'd had liked to have a photo or even a better drawing than that on the catalogue, because I've had to take a few too many 'decisions' based on actual surviving carving to my taste...:confused:
    Has anybody in the MB seen anything like this 'in the flesh'?
    [​IMG]
    Many thanks in advance!:D

    Aitor
     

    Attached Files:

  9. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: Bellows.

    A pity that nobody here has seen any similar topper...:(
    While the woodcarver is doing his part, I've started fixing other issues. First the bellows and pipes.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Kaput, busted... specially the bellows. I cannot imagine the kind of environment in which this clock has passed a lot of years, but many iron wire parts are brittle and corroded to the bone. The marbled paper is detached and brittle. Fortunately, the pipes are functional and the wooden laths of the bellows are OK. The lead weights were MIA, unless the white powder everywhere was their last mortal remains...
    Even when new, the pipe and bellows were just run-of-the-mill (according with the clock overall quality, flashy and eye-appealing, but simple):
    The cavities for the leads on the bellow uppers were not carved, just drilled through. Glued paper sheets formed the bottoms. The pipes were directly screwed to the case sides. I don't like to have two BIG holes pierced through each pipe, but being an original feature, I'll live with it.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Bellows leathered (original stuff being paper) Thicker cardboard sheets forme the bottom of the lead cavities.
    [​IMG]
    New leads inserted, with double weight inside the right bellow, to make the first note of the cuckoo call sharper.
    [​IMG]
    New marbled paper for the bellows. I've chosen to leave the original marbled paper on the pipes.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Wires replaced and bellows attached to the case.
    Next step: the bird:exhausted:

    Aitor
     
  10. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Bellows.

    Aitor,

    MOST impressive work! I'm quite amazed at your talent, and am convinced that soon your clock will be up and running, and probably sounding a bit better that it ever did! Your attention to detail is fantastic as well. You are indeed a craftsman in every sense of the word!

    Best,

    George
     
  11. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Now, the bird...

    Many thanks for your kind words, George. (blush)
    I've just learned how to do a couple of simple things. Anyway, you're quite right about my nearly maniatic attention to detail:rolleyes:
    I've rescued the bird from the box where I had stored it when I dismantled the clock.
    A sheer miracle that only the wires forming the legs had disintegrated: The beak opens and the wings flap!Nutjob
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The body shows a longitudinal crack and a crude repainting over the badly flaking original paint. Looks like I'll have to repaint it all and it'll take me longer than 'scheduled':cuckoo:

    Aitor
     
  12. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Now, the bird...

    Aitor, I don't think YOU will have any trouble at all! I am always amazed at the attention to detail the cuckoo bird carvers went to. Simply stunning!

    Best,

    George
     
  13. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    George, this is/was a nice bird, specially not being an 'old' one:cool:
    Talking about troubles, I have eliminated the repaint using ethanol. It's been a little nasty to discover that the bird had been originally finished in shellac:bang:
    Fortunately, the bird had to be repainted, anyway...:whistle:
    The crack is puttied and sanded.

    [​IMG]
    I'm leaving for the woodcarver's to get the first batch of case components...Nutjob

    Aitor
     
  14. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Carvings

    I've returned from the woodcarver's workshop. He's done a good job completing missing parts in oakNutjob. He's started carving the topper too, but that will take him a longer time.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I cannot understand why, sometimes, photos upload rotated 90º:confused:
    Aitor
     
  15. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Carvings

    Aitor,

    First, your work on the bird is fabulous! I LOVE seeing the efforts of someone like you, who loves the old clocks and takes the time necessary to do a first rate restoration job. My heartiest congratulations!

    Second, you have found a woodcarver who is capable of doing the work correctly! Once the parts are stained, I'll bet that nobody will be able to tell what is new and what is old. You will have a truly wonderful clock there.


    Thanks for sharing your progress. I know others are as interested as I am in seeing the work documented as well as you are doing for us all. Many thanks! :clap:

    Best,

    George
     
  16. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Re: Carvings

    what he said!


     
  17. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Many thanks, George and smike! (blush)
    Unfortunately for me, no more cuckoos until next week...
    I have to dedicate a few days to a different 'hobby': I have to change nearly all the wooden laths of a park bench and a few other things at my mother's:rolleyes:

    Aitor
     
  18. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    The bird is repainted in its overall colours. I've retained the original red inside the beak and the yellow eyes.[​IMG][​IMG]
    I'm trying to repeat the original details as closely as possible. The bird's feet were depicted on the little wooden base (I think it will be easier to paint first and to replace the missing joining wires later)
    Usually, those feet are yellow in colour, but they painted them dirty white here.
    Now time to paint the black stripes.

    Aitor
     
  19. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Bird on its feet again!

    Black stripes painted and wire 'legs' inserted.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    This bird, like the other two coming from quality clocks I own, was finished in a glossy shellac layer, which I repeated.
    [​IMG]
    A slight artificial 'age patina' added to 'soften' the bright colours, the wooden base again attached and... voilá!:cool:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Aitor
     
  20. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Bird on its feet again!

    Another superb job, Aitor! The aging is particularly well done- a difficult task that I have often seen messed up! Congrats! :thumb:

    George
     
  21. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: Bird on its feet again!

    Many thanks, George!:cool:
    Surely a restorer would have done a better job, but it's been for free!;)
    Now I should continue with the case, but I'm 'playing' for a while with the little Austrian bracket movement. It's so cute...:love:

    Aitor
     
  22. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Bird on its feet again!

    Glad you're having fun! And, Aitor, I don't think a restorer could have done any better job than you did with that bird! :D

    George
     
  23. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: Bird on its feet again!

    Indeed, George: Having fun is basic with this our kind of hobby/insanity!:p
    I've stored the Austrian bracket http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?142075-Early-19th-century-German-Bracket-movement while somebody pops up and gives me some needed information.
    Meanwhile, I've partially reassembled the case and it is ready for a visit to the joiner, who will make and attach some minor decorative elements.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Aitor
     
  24. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Bird on its feet again!

    Wow, Aitor,

    The clock is coming along so very well! People like you, who really take the time (and spend the money) to properly restore a clock are rare these days. So often, we see "hack jobs" when it comes to repairs. Your work is truly astounding! :cool:

    My best always,

    George
     
  25. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Case update

    The case has returned from the cabinetmaker's. All the missing elements have been replaced in new oakwood (I 've not repositioned a few original finials yet, so, they are not missing as it would appear to be from the pics)
    The carver is still busy with the topper/pediment. He has promised to send me some pics of his work in progress:cool:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Aitor
     
  26. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Case update

    Wow, Aitor! That will truly be a very special clock when you have it all finished. Do you have plans about matching the new pieces with the old? I'd love to hear about how you're going to do this!

    My very best,

    George
     
  27. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: Case update

    Hi George, many thanks!:D
    It is not really a very special clock, but it is really showy and it will look great when finished:cool:
    My plans for matching old and new aren't very creative, just expensive...:rolleyes: I shall hire the services of a professional restorer. At the moment he is still lagging behind schedule with my former order, a Biedermeier ebonized and painted cuckoo case.:cuckoo:

    Regards,

    Aitor
     
  28. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Case update

    Hi, Aitor,

    Sometimes, including the services of a professional is the best way to go. However, you are quite talented yourself. I do understand, however, that with this clock you want everything to be perfect, and the woodworker you have employed has so far done an outstanding job! Looking forward to more! And, by the way, it is indeed a special clock to me! It would be considered a true treasure in my house!

    Best,

    George
     
  29. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: Case update

    Hi George,
    Though I can done some work by myself, I'm pretty conscious about my limitations. I'm far better as a designer or overall conductor.
    When I saw this one on eBay I thought it was still retrievable and it would be a shame if it would end totally ruined...
    This one is much more 'special', but it needed (and still needs) lots of work.:cuckoo:
    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?86674-Help-with-PHS-shelf-cuckoo-clock!

    Aitor
     
  30. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    A taste of things to come

    Now that the case is coming along, I've searched for the bone hands and numerals I ordered for this clock long ago and which laid stored and half-forgotten for years inside a drawer (Just for having patina grown on them:whistle:)
    The minute hand coming with the clock was probably from the original pair.

    [​IMG]
    But I couldn't help ordering something a little more 'showy':rolleyes: The numerals replicate the original celluloid ones, which were all but lost.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The celluloid numerals were nailed to the dial by means of small brads. I thought (in a stroke of insanity) of drilling the new bone numerals to make them fit the brads. Today I've realized that the bone numerals are way thicker than the celluloid ones were and the brads would't protrude from them in any case. Probably, it will be wiser to extract the brads and just glue the new numerals in place. Opinions?

    Aitor
     
  31. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: A taste of things to come

    Hmmm... I think that if it were me and the brads were original, I'd do both- drill and insert the brads for "looks" and authenticity, and glue the numerals in place as well, so that they would be secure. Aitor, do you have all of the original brads or will you have to find/match some? Also, the new hands are beautiful, but is the minute hand a bit too long?

    Just my thoughts,

    George
     
  32. ClipClock

    ClipClock Registered User
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    I'm very much enjoying following your restoration, its awe inspiring!
     
  33. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: A taste of things to come

    Many thanks for your input, George:D
    All the brads (headless ones) are preserved in position except one, which is MIA. The problem is that they are too short for the thicker bone numerals and, after having all that hassle done (including risk of breaking the numerals:0:) only empty holes would appear in sight. Then we'd be talking of extracting the old brads and inserting new ones. New numerals, new brads...:confused:
    I thought exactly the same about the lenght of the minute hand when I put it on the dial. Then i remembered that the would-be original minute hand was of the same length...
    [​IMG]
    I'll decide if I trim it slightly during the final steps of restoration/assembly.

    Sally,
    Many thanks for your kind words!:D
    I too have an eye on what you're doing;)I think thrice before I give up the idea of splitting the plates of a Paris movement :rolleyes:
    I like a lot that pendulum with that reverse adjustement system and engraving on the bob matching that of the backplate:coolsign:

    Aitor
     
  34. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: A taste of things to come

    Hi, Aitor,

    Well, I wasn't paying attention. I did not realize that you couldn't pull the pins, insert them into the new numerals just for looks, and then glue them in place without leaving exposed holes from the nails in the face. I was thinking that the new numerals would cover up the existing holes. Dumb me!

    As for the hands, I also did not realize that they were the same as the originals. I am not used to factory hands not matching the size of the dial nearly perfectly. More to learn on my part! Thanks for the education. Learning lots from this one clock!

    Best,


    George
     
  35. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Re: A taste of things to come

    Hi George, I'm afraid I was the one who wasn't paying attention...:whistle:
    Great idea this of yours :coolsign: The original holes would be totally covered by the new numerals and I'd only need to be NEARLY accurate when drilling, not TOTALLY accurate, which is not slight advantage! Many thanks, perhaps I'll try to extract the brads this weekend.
    About the hands, I'm just NEARLY sure about the minute hand's originality, not TOTALLY sure...:whistle:
    It's always a pleasure to chat with you:D

    Aitor
     
  36. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: A taste of things to come

    Thanks for the kind comments, Aitor! I'm a bit relieved to think I might not be going crazy! Do keep us informed of your progress. The evolution of this particular clock's repair is quite interesting, and I find fewer and fewer people willing to spend the considerable amounts of money it takes to properly restore a clock. You are indeed a rare bird, my friend, and I know that along with myself, others are thankful for and quite interested in your efforts!

    With great appreciation,

    George
     
  37. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Courting disaster...

    The brass brads holding the old numerals will not come out so easy...:confused:
    Anyway, I need them out if I want to put the new numerals in place, drilled or not.
    It seemed sensible to detach first the dry and brittle wooden dial from the case. It was held in place by a few thin nails, one of them already missing. Just a matter of straightening the shafts and hammering them slowly out.
    [​IMG]
    In the begginning, all went well, but a pair of nails, no matter how many times they were straightened, didn't come out. After an additional effort, came an ominous sound... and the dial cracked vertically apart!:bang:
    [​IMG]
    I've seen cleaner breaks, but his one is, fortunately, manageable.
    Anyway, lots of 'entertainment' seem to be awaiting in the extraction of those tiny and steadyfast nailed brass brads...:exhausted:

    Aitor
     
  38. ClipClock

    ClipClock Registered User
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    Oh no, that is bad luck. Hopefully it can be glued back together so the crack will be nearly invisible. I've found wax sticks good for filling any tiny seam eg Liberon do a range in lots of colours
     
  39. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Aitor,

    I'm so very sorry to hear of this incident. I well know the stomach-turning sound of splitting wood during a repair effort. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. Sometimes the little things, like easily bendable brads, seem to cause the most trouble! My heart is with you. :cuckoo:

    On the bright side, you have considerable skills, so hopefully you will be able to repair the face. If not, well, it is now part of the clock's history, and was certainly well intentioned. Here in the States, the Internet auction sites sometimes have offerings of large groups of Cuckoo dials- perhaps a suitable replacement will come along.

    And, I too have used colored wax sticks in repairs- they do an amazing job of filling small to almost medium areas and I highly recommend them. I keep a fairly large assortment of colors, and store them in a tightly sealed plastic zip lock type of bag to keep them from drying out.

    All my best,

    George
     
  40. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Mended!

    Sally and George,
    Many thanks for your kind words of support!:D
    Yesterday, I was in a rather low mood. Today, I've extracted all the brass brads before I've glued the dial fragments. Fortunately, the outcome has been good enough!Nutjob

    [​IMG]
    I shall leave the last details to the restorer in a a future.
    There are two different sets of nail holes in the dial and case. Those belonging to the nails I had to deal with and having signs of a sloppy work and another one of four holes (red arrows), empty (The corresponding holes in the dial had been plugged in) and forming a regular pattern. That can only mean that the dial was detached and reattached at sometime.
    [​IMG]
    Now that the old brads are out, I must decide if I take the risk of drilling the bone numerals for inserting new brass brads or if I simply glue the numerals to the dial...:confused:

    Aitor
     
  41. ClipClock

    ClipClock Registered User
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    Wow, nice job, that looks perfect!
     
  42. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Aitor,

    The job does indeed look perfect! I'm so relieved for you! :Party:

    At this point, I really don't know if I would push my luck or not. On the one hand, I do love authenticity, and the inclusion of 'nailed on' looking numerals would be a plus. On the other hand, it might be a bit too risky to drill and insert 'dummy' nails. I really don't have a recommendation on this one. :?| Just go with your heart, and our best wishes are with you. I think we ALL are really enjoying the restoration efforts on this charming clock! :clap:

    My very best wishes for success with this step,

    George
     
  43. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Many thanks again, Sally and George:D
    I'm happy with the result, but I must tell that a somewhat blurry pic always helps to improve appearance!;)

    About what to do with the numerals, I'll sleep on it, make some trials on old broken numerals, sleep on it again and try to decide...:glasses:

    Aitor
     
  44. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Well, it seems that bone numerals were seldom or never nailed to dials, just celluloid ones were. I've decided to glue the numerals in a future, without taking additional risks...
    My clock repairer says that the former batch of two cuckoos will be ready next week and I plan that the movement of this one will be the next one to go to the doctor.
    It is dirty, rusted but, surprisingly, not jammed:eek:
    I've put all the components (except the gong) together.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Everything seems to fit (in the end, flutes, bellows, movement and bird are original to the clock)
    A nasty surprise has been to discover that I made the wire 'legs' of the bird too long, not taking into account the less than generous door height... I'll have to dismantle partially the bird to shorten the legs, hoping that the old rusty wires will survive to the trial once more...:bang::mallethead:

    Aitor
     
  45. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
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    maybe they're flamingos? :cool:

    great work... really enjoying watching it come to life
     
  46. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Thanks, smike:cool:
    My grandpa used to tell me: 'measure twice, cut once':whistle:

    Aitor
     
  47. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Update

    Hello,

    Teh woodcarver finally delivered me the new topper in oakwood. That way, the case is complete again and maybe I'll be able to carry it to the restorer in autumn (if he has already finished my Biedermeier case by that date:rolleyes:).
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I would have expected a two-point attachment for each half of the topper to the roof, but there was only one narrow slit at mid-length on both eaves. Therefore, I decided to insert a narrow iron tongue to fasten each part of the topper. The result is not a marvel of steadiness, but I can always add a pair or two of iron tenons in the future, if really needed.
    [​IMG]

    The movement has gone to the clock repairer. Unfortunately he's ALWAYS far behind schedule. Let's see who wins the inverse race this time: The case restorer or the clock repairer...:exhausted:

    Aitor
     
  48. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
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    Re: Update

    Your woodcarver did a very good job. Very impressive!!
     
  49. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
    702
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    Bilbao, Basque Country
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    Re: Update

    I think the same, thanks!:D
    Oak is not an easy wood to carve details in. I look forward to see the other walnut topper he's finishing for my other Gothic shelf cuckoo:excited:

    Aitor
     
  50. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Oct 5, 2007
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    Re: Update

    Aitor,

    I am practically speechless over the restoration job that is being done on this clock! The woodcarver you have been working with is truly top notch, as is your most welcome attitude about restoring this marvelous piece. Few people would go to the trouble and expense that you have to restore a clock like this- you have my heartiest congratulations about this wolething!!! A job VERY well done!

    My best to you always, :clap: :clap: :clap: (A whole ROOMFUL of claps!)

    George
     
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