The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 20, 2017, 11:46:00 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Antique mantle clock - need advice.  (Read 4141 times)
Siliconous Skumins
Server Monk
Governor
Rogue Ætherlord
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« on: June 15, 2009, 02:58:19 am »

OK, so I have this french black marble mantle clock from the late 1890's, it's a bit rough but has most of it's original parts.  The clock movement is by a fairly decent name - Jappy Freres. However it is a non runner, well, it can weakly run when face down with no pendulum attached (pendulum cannot be attached anyway, seems to be missing the suspension spring on the movement) - but it needs lots of work and a couple of new parts.

The movement was jammed by a bent locking pin (used to hold the mechanism together), which I found after digging out around 40+ years of dirt and fluff. Sadly it seems somebody in the past has had a go at DIY repair, and also tried to force the clock movement to "unstick", which has resulted in the hour hand gears no longer turning correctly (no damage to the gears, just are not being driven).  After a lot or dirt removal, and a quick soak of WD40 (yes I know...) the clock is now able to weakly tick under it's own power - just.  So there *is* still hope for it.  Undecided


So, my main question is this: this movement needs a full strip-down, and at least three replacement parts that I can see. It also needs a new set of hands as the originals are missing.  Should I have this fixed, is it worth it?  Or should I just unscrew the movement from the original clock face, and install a modern / cheap movement to the old face (or bodge it with a quartz movement...  Lips sealed  ).  Can't really justify a lot of expense on a clock that isn't worth all that much (probably around £120 at most)....


If I did swap the movement out, the old movement would not be trashed - it would be kept in the bottom the clock case, to keep everything together for a later repair / restoration.

SS
Logged

[Server Prayer]
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
phileas
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Professor of Tea


« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 02:22:52 pm »

I don't know if it would work for clocks, but I have fixed the shutters of some old cameras. When they jam it's just a case if removing the whole assembly and submerging it in lighter fuel or meths*. Then brush it with a small paint brush then leave it for a few minutes and repeat, then take it out and leave it to dry and see it it works. I'll say again, that might be the completely wrong thing to do for clocks, so don't try it if you're not sure.

*For any Americans, that's denatured alcohol, not methamphetamine.
Logged

clockdug
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 04:54:15 pm »

Hands and suspension springs are pretty cheap at timesavers.com.

If it is that level of stuck it is unlikely a "swish and dip" cleaning will be effective.  The movement will need a full take down so that the pivot holes may be cleaned properly and so that damaged pivots may be dressed.  It is almost certain that the some of the pivot holes will have been ground out of round; especially after using WD40 to get the abrasive gunk stuck in the pivot holes moving again.  That means that the holes will need bushings.  Luckily that's a much easier job in a clock than in a watch.
Logged
Siliconous Skumins
Server Monk
Governor
Rogue Ætherlord
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 06:22:26 pm »

Yeah I'm aware that the clock is in need of a full rebuild - no doubt about it, you should have seen the state of it (it was one of two found in a barn about 30 years ago...).  The WD40 was just used as a solvent to remove the build up of dust, dirt and oil / tar (tar as in tobacco smoke, or coal fires), sprayed on, then worked in with a stiff brush. It's still dirty, but clean enough that the cogs can be seen, and free enough to turn - which is all I was aiming for, just wanted to see if it *could* move.  I'll leave it up to a pro to fix. Smiley

The clock was originally jammed because a bit of metal was jammed in between two gears on the hour hand cogs (which was easy to fix), all the damage I describe has been done with a DIY attempt at clock repair, many years ago.  Looks like they tried to force the hour hand to move, as the shaft driving the cogs for the hour movement, is now simply spinning inside the cog, rather than turning it.
Apart from that, it looks like it needs a suspension spring, new hands, a replacement bell or gong (original is missing) and possibly a small cog is missing from the chime mechanism - although it strikes OK, it just doesn't stop....  It also needs the numbers to be repainted on the clock face, as they are badly faded / missing (although I can do that bit myself).

I think I'll take it to a local clock repairer and let them have a look - I'll let them decide if it's a worth while venture, or if I should cut my losses and buy a new movement - though I think I know the answer (my mother had a modern clock that was in far better condition repaired - and it cost £60...).  Undecided



Interestingly, during a further clean, I found the movement is signed and dated - can't quite make out the signature, but the date reads 727 " 19 " 10 " 99, which I'm guessing is movement number 727, and a date of 19th Oct 1899 - which would fit right in with the style of the clock. Smiley

SS
Logged
clockdug
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 07:08:27 pm »

While the motion works may need to be re-staked the wheel slipping actually sounds like it may be correct.  Otherwise the hands would spin wildly about the dial when the clock is wound.

As to the striking mechanism not stopping I doubt any wheels are missing.  I don't know if the mechanism is a count-wheel or a rack and snail striking mechanism but if the mechanism is that gunked up I would expect either to behave that way.  I have a few Japanese barn-finds of the same age that are just as filthy and strike till they wind down.  Once they get cleaned up and I put new springs in them they'll be like new. 

If the motion works are ok it should take very little extra labor to repair your clock than it did to service your mom's if the repairman did a standard service on your mom's clock.  And if your mom's is modern your clock is higher quality.  But I understand the balance of ost to item value.  Wouldn't it be nice to be rich?
Logged
Siliconous Skumins
Server Monk
Governor
Rogue Ætherlord
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 03:44:33 am »

While the motion works may need to be re-staked the wheel slipping actually sounds like it may be correct.  Otherwise the hands would spin wildly about the dial when the clock is wound.

...But I understand the balance of ost to item value.  Wouldn't it be nice to be rich?

True, but in this case, when the clock is set in motion, only the minute hand cogs are turning, the hour hand cogs don't. I removed the escapement and let the main spring unwind (carefully) through the rest of the mechanism - this confirmed that the hour hand would not be turning at all.

The main spring may also be a little weak, and it has been left fully wound for who knows how long - I believe it was actually found in this state.
By applying a little pressure from my fingers, to the main spring, the clock begins to tick as I would expect.

As for the rich thing - Yeah, it would be nice. I'd send my butler to have the clock fixed.   Cheesy  Wink   


After a little thinking, I figure I'm willing to spend up to £100 on restoring the clock movement & case - this is roughly the value of the clock, and as it was free in the first place, it would be no different than if I'd paid for an allready working one. Smiley  But for the moment, I can't justify a large expense, so I think for now I will temporarily replace the movement with a modern one (quite possibly that spare quartz movement I have in a draw... bleugh!) just to get a working clock.  As soon as I can spare the cash, I'll have the clock fully restored - I like the idea of saving this clock after all those years.

SS
Logged
clockdug
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 04:00:17 am »

I like the idea of saving the movement and restoring it later.  That is much better than tossing the original movement and replacing it outright, which would destroy any value the clock might have had.  I would consider going the quartz movement direction; especially if you can do it with no added screw holes in the case.  Extra holes bring the value down even once you get the real movement fixed since it raises the question as to whether the movement is original or if it has been swapped out.  There are a lot of "marriages" in antique stores where a case with a non-running movement has had it's soul removed and another clock's movement has been slapped in its place.
Logged
Siliconous Skumins
Server Monk
Governor
Rogue Ætherlord
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 03:52:43 am »

A little update:  Now keep in mind I know *nothing* about clock repair - but I have a very mechanical mind, so I figured I should be able to work it out as I go. With that in mind, I partially stripped the clock movement, and was able to fix the damage (mostly misaligned gears and a bit of adjustment). The movement still needs a propper overhaul by a pro, but it is now fully working, and it even chimes on the hour and half-hour (well it would if it actually had a gong...).  Smiley

It's ticking better than before, but it still seems a bit too weak, and seems to vary in the ticking speed - so obviously there is still some issues with the bearings or main spring. However there is no slack or play in the bearings, so they may just need a cleaning and greasing.  It also still requires a suspension spring for the pendulum.  Other than that, the clock is is pretty decent shape now, and should be an easy task for a repairer, and it shouldn't be too expensive.  Grin 

I will see about getting it fully fixed, shortly. One nice thing is that all the parts have the same matching serial number, so it's all original. Smiley

SS
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.071 seconds with 17 queries.