Reply To: Slightly Destroyed

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Something I would like to ask about hide glue being attacked by bacteria, most of the old English clocks if not all were held together with hide or animal glues. Veneers were also fixed with animal glues. How come all our clocks have not fallen apart? Is it to do with climate or are some animal glues better than others?

this whole glue issue raises some interesting thoughts! if it were me restoring a valuable clock I would use an animal glue as the idea is to keep things as original as possible, this also gives future restorers/repairers the chance of re-fixing something. If you stick it with something more permanent which a lot of people do and a repair needs to be made in the future, the poor repair guy is going to have a hell of a job getting these joints apart.
Looking at it from another perspective we could say, well that clock is not that valuable so I can stick it with anything I like but then who’s to say it won’t be valuable in the future. You love it enough now to want to restore it and because you are going to put it back together it will be around for much longer than the clock belonging to average Joe as he don’t want to invest time or money doing it so it ends up as parts or in the trash.
There was a big argument on the NAWCC forum a while back about gluing slate clock cases together. Orginally they were fixed together with plaster of paris and wires, guys were saying they liked to use araldite, gorilla glue etc as it was more secure, trouble is you will never get these joints apart without further damage to the case. Why would you want to get the case apart? Put in a donor panel if one of yours gets badly chipped, yes there are repair methods for chips but none are invisible.
I think we should do what we can to keep things original, not just for the value of the clock but for the future generation of clockmakers. I already curse the “punch up pivot hole” clockmakers of yesteryear, I dont want the future clockmakers(if there are any :( ) to be cursing me for sticking cases together with glue that can’t be undone.
What do you think?