Reply To: “The Herschede project” our new old family clock

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chris mabbott
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Modding, improving or modernizing anything vintage/antique has always been a hotly contested topic, based on emotion and personal preference. The arguments are valid from both sides, but personally, if I was going to purchase an antique for my own pleasure, lets say a clock, that had fallen into disrepair, something that I planned to keep for myself, and if the upgrade would be beneficial to the mechanism and provide many more years of trouble free operation, then I would go for it, because I would not be concerned about resale value, only that it ran well.

My ex father in law was into restoring old cars, when he would do his restorations he would try to maintain the original look but he would use modern parts and techniques, as in using new style braking systems, modern electronics, material and replacing spindles with bearings. This didn’t take away the look of the auto, but it did greatly improve its function, it ran better than the originals which were prone to many failures. His customers never questioned his practices as they wanted something from this era that was reliable and fun.
I look at anything mechanical in the same way, an improvement over an old technique is just that, an improvement.
It reminds me of the battle between watchmakers who were against jewels, then those that were against more than 7, 15 jewels etc

The nice thing about mods, is that they are usually reversible, the next temporary owner can put it in the order that suits him, maybe originality is more important than functionality or possibly the interest is purely financial.

What ever the reasons, none of them can be counted out because it is personal preference, again LOL

personally, I would use needle bearings in any clock movement, for mostly radial loads they are perfect as the load is distributed over a greater surface, lubrication wise, they also hold light synthetics very well at low speeds, whereas ball bearing contact areas are much less, and if the speed is not high enough to whip the lubrication around the race, it will eventually migrate out. On ball bearing fitted industrial equipment that has low rpm, a heavy gear oil is usually used as is adheres to the rotating parts parts better and maintains a film.. For these older slow moving ball bearings, probably a Teflon based lubricant would perform better as it has high film strength and shear limits.
Correct application is the key to success of any mod or new design.

chris mabbottReply To: “The Herschede project” our new old family clock