Old English Longcase Clock

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  • #48271
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Ok, I really am going to stop buying clocks now, this is the last one!

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    This was bought on ebay for just £125.00
    Good points – It is all original, nothing has been messed about with on this clock as with so many longcase clocks these days it has its original movement and dial, no wood worm and the oak case is in very good condition.
    Bad points – No pendulum,, no weights, no hands, no bell, bits of veneer missing, bits of wood trim missing.
    So what I need help with is the pendulum and weights. How do I go about making a new pendulum? I would imagine this had a plain wooden pendulum rod and a cast bob, it might have had a brass covered bob but I am not worried about that. How do I work out the length and bob weight and size?
    Secondly the weights, where do I start with those? I can mold new lead weights, that is not a problem, do I just keep adding weight until it will run?
    The movement as you can imagine is in pretty bad shape, it doesnt look like there is much of a wear issue, so far the pivot holes dont look too worn and the pinions and wheel teeth all look good. All the steel work is quite rusty but not as bad as some I have seen. I will add pictures as I start to strip and clean it.
    I have an old westclox alarm clock in pieces at the moment and at the same time a square cased kundo 400 day clock that is having a complete refurb as most of the laquer was missing and the brass looks nasty, not to mention having to remove lots of gloss paint that has been spilled all over the case, as soon as I have these two out of the way work will begin on this beasty.

    #51729
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Beautiful clock! You sure find GREAT deals Paul!

    Yes you can add weight until it runs but there is an easier way. If you purchase a spring scale (hanging scale) up on ebay or Amazon you can determine the weight very easily. Secure one end of the scale to the bottom of the case or if this isn’t possible just put a bunch of weight in the bottom of the clock case and tie it to the scale and then attach the top of the scale to the pulley hook. You can then begin slowly winding the clock while moving the pendulum back and forth. When there is sufficient tension to run the clock just add a little bit more tension and check the scale. Should get you close enough to then go out and locate a weight. They can still be purchased from supply houses. Here’s a pdf just for reference: http://www.aberle-stahlguss.de/downloads/aberlestahlgussenglish.pdf
    Of course when doing this test the clock needs to be in the best shape possible. Any bushing, pivot and pallet polishing etc. should already be done.
    The pendulum shouldn’t be a big problem as it’s just a seconds pendulum. A few good pics of the back of the movement (and escapement) would help to determine what type of pendulum is needed. When you decide to tackle the job we can go back and forth up here with some ideas for determining bob weight, suspension spring length and strength etc. It will be a fun project!
    Might be able to find some hands for it but making them with a jewelers saw and files isn’t too tough and is a fun project. The style can be determined from the calendar hand. Brass??
    Research on this clock might help narrow down the style of weight and pendulum so I’ll check a few books here and will romp around online later today. You’ve probably already begun scouring the internet and may have found some good info on it so please pass it along if you have some.
    Again…really nice clock!!
    Bob

    #51730
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Thanks for the help bob, what a great idea with the scales, I have some for fishing that will do the job perfectly!
    I couldnt resist it, I have put the other clocks away and gotten started on this one already. I have taken pictures of the movement before I have started to dismantel it and taken some notes to help me put it back together. I would quite like to have a go at making the hands. The calendar wheel is steel, when I saw the picture on e-bay I thought it was brass. The dial is in bad shape but I have a friend who is an amazing artist, he is going to clean and restore the dial for me. He does this to oil paintings he buys and sells at auction so has plenty of restoration experience. The best bit is I get this done for free. I have promised to do him a nice clock in return :)
    I will get some pictures posted up soon. I am looking forward to getting this back to a running state, it has had a couple of bushes in the past but otherwise looks completely original :)
    Finding info on this clo;ck is going to be quite difficult I think, as usual there is nothing on the movement and the name that was painted on the dial is missing, polished off but for a few small black lines. I am going to start with local makers signatures and see if I can match these lines up, if that doesnt work I will start moving further out. This is going to be a tricky one but I love a challenge, there is hopefully just enough left to be able to match it to someone although knowing my luck they probably only made a few clocks and the chance of getting a match will be very slim.

    #51731
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hi Paul,
    That should be a fun project for you!
    Some good pics of the movement should be enough for you to get everything up and running. Having more info about the clocks original weights and pendulum would be nice just to make it as original as possible. I didn’t have a chance to search around yesterday as planned so will try right now.
    Good luck with the research on your end too.
    Bob

    #51733
    jim1228
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 75

    Wow Arutha, That looks like a fun project. Those are the kind of projects I love to do as well. I ‘m sure with your talent it’s going to turn out beautiful.

    Good luck :D
    Jim

    #51734
    kybill2011
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 64

    Hey Paul, Bill here. Boy,right now I envy you. What you are doing is one of the main reasons I decided to get into pocketwatch and clock work. Really not sure if I going to work on wrist watches or not. I have already bought several non-working watches and can’t wait to start working on them. I have just about got all my tools and supplies together, really just waiting for my desk to arrive. It should be here around the 10th, it was on back order for almost 4 weeks. As I have said before I have been doing jewelry repair for over 25 years and my intentions are to open a Jewelry store w/ jewelry,watch and clock repair. I’ll have to wait a little for that because we just bought my wife an Insurance agency and that set us back a little bit. She’s been doing insurance work also for about 25 years. I’m hoping to have a good selection of watches and clocks to put in the store when I open it. It will be a while before I try to tackle a job like what you are working on, you know, baby steps first. Good luck with the project, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    #51735
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Thanks Jim and Bill.
    This is taking a long time to clean up and it is the first longcase movement I have ever had my hands on. I hurt my back a while ago and had to look for something not too physical to do. My sister in-law owns a jewelry shop and she suggested clock repair. I have had a dabble with watches but for the time being I am going to stick with clocks. I am just on the verge of starting a business and have my first paying client when I get back from holiday next week so I will keep you posted on how it goes. I love horology and now cant imagine what I would do instead.
    Thanks again for the comments, Bill I hope your desk turns up soon, it can be so frustrating waiting for stuff you need to arrive, you get used to dealing with that on a weekly basis once you start ordering parts for jobs, you will find you have clocks and watches apart all over the place until the part turns up, keep good notes because if you are anything like me you forget very quickly!
    I now use a cheap digital camera to takes pics of movements as I go, especially if I come to something I have not seen before and might have trouble with if the clock remains apart for any length of time. Even if you dont need to go back to a picture it is always nice to have the option.
    I will keep you all posted on my progress with this clock. I have some work to do on the case as it has various bits missing so this should be an interesting project :)
    Paul.

    #51736
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hi Paul,
    Nice clear pics! (I downloaded them and will re-size to upload to the forum server. My concern is that if the links to your server were ever changed or the pics accidentally lost or deleted your thread would be rendered useless, and this one is going to be a popular one! I back up all forum data daily and also have the forum set up on another server just in case this server goes down.)

    Looks like a lot of us wish we could be there with you working on your restoration project!

    That hour wheel bridge may still be salvageable if it isn’t made from a casting. If it’s a casting then will probably crack when bending back. If not then the pipe is most likely riveted onto the bridge and can be removed, straightened and replaced. In fact you may be able to straighten it while together. Can’t tell from looking at the pic.

    I think there’s a good chance that it had a steel pendulum rod. This should be easier than it first appeared as most of what you will need can be purchased almost ready to go! I’ll post some links below to some places that sell these parts just to give you an idea of what’s out there. The Bob should also be available as it’s pretty easy to locate the ones used for seconds pendulum clocks with recoil escapements. The rods that are available are threaded on both ends and are about 32 inches long. They can be threaded into the brass block which is part of the suspension spring assembly (also available as a unit..link will be below).

    I’ll go dig up some links and will post them up here ASAP!

    Bob

    #51737
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Got really lucky. Looks like Perrin has everything! Probably a lot of other places too.

    The following page shows the threaded rod. If you scroll down a bit you’ll also see a Bob (not a good selection but there are many up on eBay etc.) a Tall case Suspension assembly and just above that the Threaded “Spike” that fits inside the Bob and has the regulating nut on the end.
    http://www.perrinwatchparts.com/product/3135.aspx
    You can also check ebay by putting “tall case pendulum bob” or whatever else you can think of into the search field.
    As far as the Bob weight goes…I have to admit I go by trial and error! Getting the movement in really good shape will help you figure out the Bob weight that you’ll need as well as the Weights that we talked about earlier. I usually go for the heavier end when it comes to the Bob. Light enough for the movement to handle it yet heavy enough to keep the arc in it’s intended operating range. Also adding or subtracting weight to the Bob will effect rate change by raising or lowering the center of gravity (oscillation) so finding a comfortable balance is the goal. Not nearly as hard as I’m making it sound here though.

    Hope this helps Paul!
    Thanks for starting such an interesting thread for all of us!!

    Bob

    #51738
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Thanks for all the help Bob, I will check out those links now.
    I use photobucket for hosting my pictures so I would imagine my pictures are fairly safe, I have been using them for the past 8 years and fingers crossed have never had a problem, and its free :) Never any harm in backing up though!
    I will make sure the mechanism is spotless and running smoothly before I get to the pendulum and weights, dont worry about that Bob.
    I have wanted a longcase clock ever since I was a little boy, there just seemed to be something magical about them. I hope you all enjoy my progress and I will make sure I keep this thread going with updates as they happen.
    The hour wheel bridge is a casting but like you said, if it cracks when I straigten it then I will turn a new one up and rivet it in.
    The funny thing about the pendulum is that one of the main parts of your videos that has stuck with me is the pendulum section.
    I am away for a short break this week so not sure about internet access, if I go a bit quiet for a few days you will know why.
    You all be good and I will be back soon.
    Paul.
    p.s. there are a couple of longcase steel rod type pendulums on e-bay at the moment, I will be keeping a very close eye on them ;)

    #51739
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Paul, here is a idea on the maker name, Geo Monkes, Prescot, 1770
    William

    #51740
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Oh how I wish it was that early but I doubt it. Is there any way you can get a pic of that signature up for me to look at William?

    #51741
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Paul, I dug this name out of a book called “Britten’s, old clock and watches and their makers” seventh edition by G. H. Baillie, F.B.H.I. Has a extensive list of former clock and watchmakers. Looking at the pic you put up with the faded name this was the only one I found that would match. I just had a local lady give me another book on long-case clock history, I thumbed thru it quickly and noticed they have a movement comparison using several old movements which looked a lot like yours but I have not looked at it closely yet. I will let you know later what I come up with there. Have fun, William
    P.S. I charge customers extra if I come across spiders. :D Looks like their might be some in that oldy but goody.

    #51742
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    This baby had spiders aplenty, a few woodlice and enough dust and fluff to stuff two pillows :)
    Looking forward to seeing that info and thanks for taking the time to look :)

    #51743
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    This may seem like a very dumb question but what is the pulley for? There was only one with the clock, I am thinking I need another, I have done a bit of a search but I am not finding much info.
    Is there any specific gut line I should be looking for, I have heard some people use the synthetic stuff they use to re-string tennis racquets?

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aruthaOld English Longcase Clock