Found: Clock Maker!

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  • #49410
    fillipj
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 9

    Hello everyone! First I’d like to say I love this community. Not just on the forum, but overall the horological community seems to be amazingly friendly.

    Ok, so I live in a small town and there is almost no watch making/clock making presence within 65-70mi of here. Not even sales, apart from fashion watches sold in dept stores. I have discovered that there is at least one person fixing clocks, as my dad has a beautiful grandfather clock and was tired of out paying out of town fees to have it fixed. He asked some local jewelers and they gave him a local repairs’ number. My dad, knowing of my interest passed, me his number and I gave him a call. He was incredibly nice, invited me to his home, lent me a book (practical watch repair) and sat at talked with me (a complete stranger) for about 45min. He’s in his 80’s (sharp as a tac), but said he’d be willing to meet again and show me what he can, so here is my questions:

    I want to make the most use of my time with him, so as to not intrude too much. What kind of questions should a complete novice (I’ve been studying watches for a while, but am totally new to clocks) ask? How can I best maximize my time with him? Also, he said I could bring a movement to him and we could look at it (all of his were in different states of repair). Any suggestions on that?

    Thanks to all!

    #61350
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Wow, err… I dunno 😆 What does he plan on doing with his tools when he retires perhaps?

    Seriously though, what would you like to know? That’s an equally difficult question, but the answer is all yours. There is only so much you can do in a short time, and the amount information you can take in.

    Not sure what your plan is, do you intend to do this for a living or hobby? You could ask him if he would train you, maybe twice a week you could sit in.

    I know a watchmaker here, but when I go in to his shop, I kinda go blank because there really isn’t one or two things at that moment that I could think of. Now if I had his phone number, I would call him when I was stuck on something.. Maybe you could ask him that.

    Whatever you ask, I’m sure it will be a …. wise choice :geek:

    #61351
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    I would first sit down with him and say I am new to clocks how do I begin. I am guessing if you get him started you two won’t know where to stop. Like Chris I would ask him what his plans are for his tools. He tell you to buy them all.

    #61352
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey fillipj , what a opportunity, sounds like a nice fellow. I dont think I would start off asking him for his tools (if you were here and asked me that, I would be a bit ticked off and I would have to show you how the door works), If your going to befriend him and help him out as you learn then I think he would make you the offer, best thing at this point with the tools is to see what he does with what……Just my opinion of course….. you will find much more wealth by picking his brain. My only caution is whether he does good work or not. It will be hard for you to discern what is what in how he repairs until your into it for awhile (my biggest fear when I started was if I was learning the proper way) and I only say this because everyone I have run into in this area that repairs clocks would not have given me the best of information and techniques as I have seen and heard of some pretty crappy clock repair. SO, lets say he does fine work and strives for the best. like the other guys are saying, the questions will come to you if you spend some time with him, otherwise see and ask how he, does bushings, removes rust, repivots a arbor, cleans clocks and mainsprings, polishes items, blues steel, polishes pivots, makes a new tooth, types of magnification he likes, capturing mainsprings, where he gets supplies, how he makes adjustments ect…ect…take note of the tools he does have and ask him what he uses the most, although this would only be comparable to the depth he goes into repairing ……if he goes into restoration work further then there are sssssoooo many questions. Well, I will stop now, take a pencil and paper and offer to help him somehow in return, thats what I would do…William

    #61353
    fillipj
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 9

    Thanks all!

    These are great points. He told me he’s only going to be doing it for a couple more years, so maybe at that time I’ll ask him about his tools. There really isn’t anyone else in town doing this but him, so I’d love to step in behind him when he’s finished. I like the idea of offering to help and do small things while looking over his shoulder. Willofiam, great list of talking points. I’ll bring up some of those next time we meet. If anyone is interested I’ll post an update after our next meeting.

    #61354
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    always interested. William

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fillipjFound: Clock Maker!