Home Forums General Discussion Forum Clock case cleaning Reply To: Clock case cleaning


    Ok so surfing the web has given me a bit more information that I thought I’d share. This clock has a date code on the bottom of 6? 981A The 6? is because I can not be sure it is a 6 but it looks like it under magnification. According to research on the following site: http://clockhistory.com/sethThomas/index.html this case dates to January 1896…Very cool!! I used my thin CA(Cyanoacrylates) to fix a cracked bottom plate as shown in the photo. I was a bit sloppy, please learn from my mistake. This was before I knew the age of this case/clock not that that should make a difference because I should always be careful…. I hope I did not detract from whatever value this clock has. This picture does not show the date code as well as I’d like. Anyway, from the same site I learned what adamantine is:

    In the 1860’s, French clocks in slate, onyx or marble cases became popular in the United States. These cases were expensive, so the American clock manufacturers produced similar looking cases made of iron or wood. These clocks have become known to collectors as “Black Mantel Clocks”, and were popular from 1880 to 1931.

    Seth Thomas made clocks in marble cases for a short time, from 1887 to ca. 1895. They also made clocks in iron cases finished in black enamel, from 1892 to ca. 1895. Seth Thomas is well known for their “Adamantine” black mantel clocks, which were made starting in 1882. Adamantine is a celluloid veneer, glued to the wood case. Adamantine veneer was made in black and white, and in colored patterns such as wood grain, onyx and marble.

    Adamantine veneer was developed by the Celluloid Manufacturing Company of New York City, and was covered by U.S. Patent number 232,037, dated September 7, 1880. Seth Thomas Clock Company purchased the right to use the Adamantine veneer in 1881.

    I have also determined that the gold metal trim is held on with tiny wood screws so I am going to remove these pieces so that I may clean the case and these trim pieces easier and do a more thorough job. I think for the initial cleaning, I am going to use Goof Off 2, a water-based, safe on plastics, milder version of Goof Off.

    To Polish the case, I think I read on the NAWCC site several people recommended Flitz polish which is also safe for plastics.

    On a different subject, something that is note worthy however is the fact that T5 had a worn pivot:
    When the clock was together, you could not tell that it was worn this bad. It looked normal and had very little movement. At first glance this was a simple cleaning job. It was only after I disassembled the movement, that I discovered this.

    I repaired this pivot by silver soldering to fill in /enlarge the pivot, then using stones and a lathe, turned the pivot back down shown here: In addition I also re-bushed that side of the plate since it is obvious that something got into the bushing to wear the pivot that much.