Each clock repairer seems to have their own favorite method for cleaning their clocks. Some prefer mineral spirits; some like ammoniated cleaners; some like dish detergent. Because I’m just starting out, my particular cleaning process is evolving. This post covers my current process and recipes.Continue reading Cleaning a Clock Movement
Category Archives: Clock Repair
Adjusting the Count Lever on an Ansonia Clock Movement
While waiting for its case to be repaired, my craft-altered Ansonia Derby clock has been running on a test stand – off and on for quite a while. I noticed that every great once in a while the count lever failed to drop into the 8 o’clock slot, causing the number of hours struck to be incorrect from then on.
The problem was that the count lever needed adjusting so the lever wouldn’t hang up on the walls of the slot it was dropping into. In this post I describe my adventure of adjusting (bending) the count lever.Continue reading Adjusting the Count Lever on an Ansonia Clock Movement
The High Cost of Owning a Clock
…or why you should learn to maintain your own clock.
So you’re looking at that clock in the antique mall window. Perhaps it’s a lovely old Sessions Black Mantel clock, with lion heads and metal arches. It runs, and it’s only $90, so you take it home.Continue reading The High Cost of Owning a Clock
Clock Repair: My Meager Knowledge of the Hardness of Metals
It’s taken me a while to learn some basic metallurgy that I need for clock repair. When I started I scratched up my brass clock plates by cleaning with SOS pads – steel wool – because I didn’t know that steel is harder than brass. In this post I collect what I’ve picked up in this metals game of Scissors, Paper, Rock.Continue reading Clock Repair: My Meager Knowledge of the Hardness of Metals
Progress on My Clockmaker’s Bench
In August I bought an old, 7-drawer student’s desk at a garage sale. Since then I’ve been converting it to a clockmaker’s bench. This note is a quick update; I plan to write a full, how-to booklet once I’ve completed it.
I learned amateur clock repairers often make their own benches, starting from a solid writing desk. I bought mine at a garage sale.Continue reading Progress on My Clockmaker’s Bench
Repairing a Clock Case’s Stripped Wood Screw Hole
I’m repairing a cuckoo clock that has a commonly-seen problem: one of the screws mounting the movement to the case has stripped its hole. Normally, I’d try filling the hole with a wood filler, but this time I tried something different: “Bushing” the hole with a plug of new wood.
In digging around for clock case repair advice, I found a wonderful book, Extreme Restoration by T.E. Temple, which covers many clock case restoration methods. Its section on repairing stripped nail and wood screw holes in clock cases inspired me to try using a wood plug to patch the stripped hole, because that author has found wood plugs to be an excellent long-term repair.Continue reading Repairing a Clock Case’s Stripped Wood Screw Hole
My Clock Repairs So Far
Since I attended my first local chapter meeting of the NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) I thought I’d make a quick gallery of the clocks I’ve worked on so far.Continue reading My Clock Repairs So Far
Repairing a Cracked Plastic Clock Gear
While repairing the latest musical cuckoo clock I discovered a problem in the musical movement: a cracked plastic gear. I was at a loss as to how this could be fixed, but once again found the solution from expert posts on the message boards at the NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors). The whole story follows…Continue reading Repairing a Cracked Plastic Clock Gear
Building a Cuckoo Clock Test Stand
The family cuckoo clock I’m working on is being capricious about when it decides to play the music, so I’ve built a test stand that will let me see what’s going wrong.
After looking through the wide variety of weight-driven clock test stands on NAWCC.org. I decided to build a floor-standing U-frame.
TL;DR: There are links to rough drawings of my completed plans at the end of this post, so you have something to start your own design from.Continue reading Building a Cuckoo Clock Test Stand
Problems Adjusting the Cuckoo Minute Hand
Once I had the eBay cuckoo clock cleaned, adjusted, repaired, and running, I put the hands on. To my surprise, the minute hand kept slipping, no matter how I tightened the hand nut that’s supposed to hold it in place. The solution to this mystery lay in a troubleshooting video from a cuckoo clock seller in the Black Forest.Continue reading Problems Adjusting the Cuckoo Minute Hand