Home Forums General Discussion Forum Pivot replacement wooden arbor clock

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      Another newbie question. I am working on a wooden geared shelf clock. The pivots on some gears are much smaller than the rest and I think might need to be replaced. Are the pivots press fitted into the wooden arbors? I’m also having trouble deciding how much slop between pivot and (wooden) bushing is too much and which of these should be rebushed. My plan was to rebush using a plug cutter and Forstner drill to place an oak plug into the wooden plates. Also wondered about any references that might contain material on wooden clocks. Many thanks

      Bob Tascione

        Hi John and welcome to the forum!

        There are many people out there that know much more about wood clocks and their repair than I do. I can pass along what I’ve done in the past but really don’t know if it’s the best way to go about it. Anybody that can add to or correct me please do.

        I’m not sure whether the steel pivots are just pressed into the wood arbors or if they are secured in some way. I don’t think I’ve ever had to replace any that ran in wood plates due to wear though.

        I have used a Forstner bit to drill wood plates for wooden bushings. I don’t drill all the way through the plates though but rather mount the plate on a drill press and after centering with steel hole plugs, drill (from the inside of the plate) partially into the plate and then insert a wood plug. I then drill a hole for the pivot through the plug while centered in the same setup and then saw, chisel and file off any excess material on the inside of the plate. This way the bushing doesn’t show from the outside of the plate. Again I don’t really know if this is considered a good repair or not but it works well for me and looks good. As for determining the hole wear and need for a bushing I just do it the same as with any brass American clock as covered in the clock course.

        For wood clocks that use brass bushings such as German cuckoos or clocks that use Ivory or bone bushings I try to repair them as close to original as possible using bone in place of Ivory. I made a few bushings out of bone over the years and was surprised at how easy they are to make with just a lathe, file, sand paper and a drill. They’re fun to make.

        I hope this helps John,

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