In for repair is a Waterbury Kitchen clock. The clock was in pretty good shape and well taken care of when it arrived. The case, clock face, and hands were in very good condition. However, the chime rod was broken and the clock would not run. Like all my repairs, I do a trial run of the clock to validate the customer report. Yup, spot on. The clock would not run more than a couple minutes. Upon removing the clock from the case I noticed the clock was overhauled at least 2 times previously. The 1st time, the repair person used the pricking technique. This technique is not industry standard. When I see this repair, I immediately bush. The 2nd repair was done better. Bushings were installed on most of the pivot holes. Interesting in that each bad pivot hole had a scratched “X” next to the hole on the plate marking the hold that needed work. This also not a good repair practice. The “X” cannot be removed from the plate. It is there forever. What I use is an erasable marker. I can mark the plates both inside and out. Best of all, the mark comes off in the cleaner leaving no trace!
Here is the broken gong. It looks like it has been repaired once before. There is solder on the backside of the gong eyelet. The slot where the gong has been badly modified. Good thing replacement gongs are readily available.
The strike hammer leather was worn to a point where the leather was not protruding from the hammer head. The old leather was removed and replacement leather was installed. I do not say “new” leather, the leather strip I use is over 25 years old. That was when they made belts with real leather. I have had this piece of leather for 25 years with plenty of leather left for further clock hammers.
The image below is the clock reassembled and running on the test stand. 8 pivot holes were replaced.
Updates soon to come……..Stay Tuned
Almost every time I go to the Pinery south of Parker Colorado I see deer. They are common in Colorado but I always enjoy when I get to see them. This sighting came in the middle of the day only one deer is in this picture but there were 4 of them lounging on the grass to the right.
Here we have a 2 weight cuckoo clock. This clock is very characteristic clocks coming into the shop. Common because the owner really values their time piece, as if it was part of the family. This I take this very seriously. Also common is these clocks are very common mechanisms that are found in many households.
Now for a discussion of the clock. The image below depicks some of the fuzz between the wheels. This kind of stuff gets gummed between wheels and causes the mechanism to stop. When I see this kind of stuff, I know the clock has good karma. For a clock to run with this much debris between the plates is a very good thing. The circled area shows the debris in the movement.
The next image is the back of the clock. Two things to point out here. 1) The bent crutch. (arrow) This is the black wire running vertically in the center of the movement. It is bowed. 2) Worn pivot holes were marked with a green magic marker. There were 7 holes (front & back) in all that needed rebuilding. The holes wear from the side of the energy causing a misalignment of the wheels. They do not mesh properly. This improper meshing adds friction and in time will cause the clock to stop. Dirty oil adds to this by making a cutting solution and speeds up this wear process. When dirty oil is found in pivot holes, it is almost certain there is significant wear and needs rebuilding. The warn pivot holes and the dirty oil needs to be repaired and removed. This was accomplished.
(Below) The front side of the movement with all the levers taken off. The bad pivot holes were also marked in green.
This next image is the front plate with wheels removed. As you can see by the markings with arrows, there is an abundance of dirty oil in those pivots.
The clock is currently out of surgery and currently in the recovery room (Running on the test stand). The next step if all goes well is installing the movement back into the case and installing the bellows and hands.
After 3 days running on the test stand the movement was installed in the case with bellows, bird attached, & hands. Looks like it wants to go home. What do you think?
Not too many people know this, but Colorado has a rich horological history in this state. Orville Hagans was the founder of The American Horologist and Jeweler which is now called The Horological Times which is now the main publication of the NAWCC (National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors). Orville was also the founder of the United Horological Association of America, which later merged with the NAWCC. Click the picture to the left to see a detailed tour (47 minutes worth) of the museum. Very impressive. Although it is a silent home video, it is very informative. His most famous clock in this museum is found in minute 43:30. The mother of all clocks, known as the “Worlds Greatest Timekeeper” built by Christian Gerhard. A must see work of art and mechanical science. Before he opened his musuem in Bergen Park, he had a smaller location on East Colfax Avenue. Follow this link for more information on this location: http://www.thedenvereye.com/orville-hagans-clocks/ . Enjoy!
Today’s repair is an 8 day 2 weight cuckoo clock. This movement is a common Regula German movement. Upon arrival at the shop had an incorrect pendulum. This pendulum that did not match the wood of the cuckoo. In fact, it was partially plastic. A replacement pendulum was found and installed. The image below is of the finished repair.
This is a larger cuckoo with wonderful wood gingerbread.
The clock did not run Pictures are worth a 1000 words. The next set of images show the dirt in the pivot holes and markings of which holes were serviced:
Notice the bent crutch and the dirty oil buildup on the movement.
The image below shows all the pieces and parts……
Below are all the pieces above back together. Check out how clean the chains came out. Looks like a new movement.
Once repaired, cleaned, & back together the movement is placed on the test stand and ran until all is running well and adjusted to specifications.
While the movement was in it’s final stage of testing, the case was cleaned and oiled. Cuckoo hands and bird were cleaned.
The clock is ready to go home.
Here we have a Seth Thomas mantle clock made in Thomaston, Conn. Made in the U.S.A. in the early 1900’s. The clock strikes the hour and rings a bell on the 1/2 hour. A good looking clock.
The clock was brought into the shop for minor service and to replace the paper dial. The face was missing grommets on the winding holes. The image below shows the missing grommets and the cut off label at the bottom of the face. The face was replaced and grommets installed.
The movement was removed from the case. A check on the general condition of the clock is always performed. It was noticed that there was significant pivot hole wear. Upon initial observation, there were 12 pivot holes needing attention. With those warn pivot holes, there were 2 Rathbun Bushing installations. These needed to be removed and a proper repair made. The customer only requested an oiling and adjustment. Given the wear of the pivot holes and the Rathbun Bushings present, I felt it was appropriate to do the job right. Note these two videos demonstrating the wear. The first video toward the end shows the Rathbun Bushings in the clock movement.
Upon disassembly of the clock found that the mainsprings were original. This can be determined because “ST” (Seth Thomas) was stamped on the springs. Seth Thomas made so many clocks that they had springs made exclusively for them. In the 21st century, seeing the “ST” stamp is rather unusual. As shown above the clock needed pivot hole rebuilding. The original warn holes were reamed and a bushing was installed in each warn location. All clock wheel pivots were inspected and polished where needed. The image below shows the clock apart and warn pivot holes marked:
Further inspection of the movement showed the movement was in pretty good shape. The clicks were good, original mainsprings are still good, plates were flush, and suspension spring was in good shape. After the repairs were completed, the movement was ultrasonically cleaned and oiled with hi-grade clock oil. The movement was then tested.
As the movement was running the face got an additional “face lift”. The original replacement dial was removed and a new dial cut and sized. Installed with grommets. It came out very good. The case was a little loose in the joints. All nails were inspected and tapped back into place. Then the case was then cleaned, oiled, & fine polish was applied to the case while the movement and bezel were removed from the clock.
The hour strike hammer was missing the leather. This was replaced. A taper pin and washer was missing. This held the hands in place.
The image below is the finished product:
General information about the clock, the “Adamantine” finish, which is a patented laminate finish from the late 1800’s, is in good shape for its age. This “Adamantine” is a thin, soft laminate over soft wood which shrinks, cracks, fades and dents fairly easily with just normal use and handling over time. The finish on this clock was in great shape. Click here for the history of the Seth Thomas clock company.
Once the clock movement is put back into the case, the hour and 1/2 hour hammers were adjusted. The speed was adjusted to keep acceptable time.
Don’t forget Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 12th, 2017. If you have questions about your clock concerning this time change. Give us a call (720) 333-6309 or shoot us an email at email@example.com
Now for the technical stuff…..
By act of Congress, civil clocks in most areas of the United States are adjusted ahead one hour in the summer months (known as daylight time) and returned back one hour in the winter months (known as standard time). The dates marking the beginning and end of daylight time have changed as Congress has passed new statutes. As of 2007, daylight time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. On the second Sunday in March, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2:00 a.m. local standard time (which becomes 3:00 a.m. local daylight time). On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time (which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time). These dates were established by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. no. 109-58, 119 Stat 594 (2005).
Did anyone see the hand nut is missing from the cuckoo hands? I can see a sequel to this commercial. The dancing figurines, the women hitting the guy drinking beer, the guy playing the accordion wearing laderhosen, and finally those two animals watching the entire soap opera unfold.
Beautiful 8 day animated cuckoo. The problem description was winding the strike weight would always catch and was very difficult to get the weight fully wound.
Upon removal of the movement from the case which entailed removing the two cuckoo bellows, music box, and on/off lever it was found that the winding wheel click was stiff from the formulation of a little rust. The rust was removed and cleaned. There were no other problems found on this clock. Oil was applied to the click and spring. The movement was then re-installed along with bellows, music box, etc. All had to be adjusted. The case was cleaned and oiled then tested. All is well! “Time” to send it home.
In for repair is a small 2 weight cuckoo clock. The clock was purchased by the customer at a 2nd hand store. The only thing that came with the clock was the case & movement. The clock was missing the weights and pendulum. The case was very dry and looking at the movement, it needed bushings, a cleaning, & oil. The work was accomplished. There were 5 pivot holes that were warn. Bushings were installed and pivots were inspected. Those looked good. The movement and chains were cleaned and reassembled. The clock was oiled. The gathering pallet and cuckoo lifting lever where adjusted.
The case was oiled and weights and pendulum were located. The pendulum was not exactly the same color as the case but with a little stain and elbow grease, everything matched.
I did not have any pictures of this clock until the end. Here is the clock running just before it left to go home.