Odds are good I’ll post more photos about the clock and I still owe a full write-up about the restoration but that might bore the majority of you so I’ll just post a few collages.
The restoration had a number of interesting twists …
I ended up buffing out the damascened that had been applied to the arms of the escapement. The original looked like an after-thought and rushed. Re-applying a circular one would not have fit with the “simplistic” design of this clock (this clock was never of the design quality of a Seth Thomas).
The pilot face and the manufacture’s name plate would have originally been cast brass. I designed the pilot face and nameplate on the computer and then we transferred the data to a CNC. The finish was done with a 30/1000ths tool to give it the minor radius that would have occurred from casting. Lastly, it was media blasted to “age it”. I created a custom font for the job to replicate an old / simple casting. You will notice the numbers do not have perfect symmetry. This was a challenge to get something that did not look too perfect while also not looking like a child’s drawing.
Throughout the project, I got the feel this clock was somewhat of a “trial” for the creators. As such, it was simplistic in many places. I tried to keep that feel – while at the same time trying to refine it a bit. One example was the counter-weight to the Harrison maintaining power. You’ll recall it only had a cut piece of steel. This was replaced with a machined “barrel” of brass – made in two parts that thread together. The barrel duplicates the needed weight but looks more appropriate.
Eventually I’ll add the motion works to a 24″ face above and to one side. I picked up a small motion works rather than consider the monstrous one that belongs to the clock.
Right now it is keeping exceptional time – easily within 5 seconds per week. It has about 40″ of fall and I get 32hrs of run. Winding once a day is all it needs.
I definitely want to do this again. I’ll take my time to find the right project but I enjoyed the process and the results so much it will be hard to be patient !
Sometimes a picture is all you need …
More clock related news ….
The Arnold & Lewis clock had its ‘minutes’ clock face (called the pilot face) replaced at some point or it never got its final face. The clock had a simple hand stamped brass blank. This was probably not the original plan. Based on seeing an old photo of a similar clock and referencing other clocks, the pilot face should have been cast brass piece.
These days, finding a foundry to make a single piece is costly. But the clock really needed it. Fortunately there are talented and creative craftsmen (gender neutral usage here folks). The machinist I hired thought he could build the piece using a CNC* machine. I created a custom font to resemble cast iron and he programmed the face. The last step was using a thirty-thousandths cutter (0.0030″) to emulate the variances that casting would have produced. It took some trial and error *but* he was ultimately successful.
I liked the resulting part so much, I had a duplicate made as a desk display. The machinist did the same <grin>.piece.
*CNC = Computerized Numerical Control
Zen and I (or probably more accurately, the Arnold & Lewis clock) hosted “Return to the Center” author, blogger, and photo artist. In addition to catching up after far more years than we care to admit, we had a great time discussing the clock, the research process that went into the restoration and the presentation of the clock. It was a great visit ! We also had a surprise interruption by the machinist stopping by to get some final measurements for the replacement hands (for the seconds and minutes faces).
Lots of photos were taken and I can’t wait to see the results. I got my first hint in this blog post. (I’ve added a thumb to this post as a teaser.) And a Tabblo has been created !
The clock is running. For me, part of the enjoyment is the sound. But for most, the initial fascination is the visual aspect of the clock as kinetic art.
Continue reading ‘A little FLASH’ »
The clock is back together and I’m starting to tune it. I’m laboring at the “keeping it running” stage. It is running a bit sluggish and frequently the escapement arbor does not advance quick enough causing it to skip a beat (sometimes even two).
I suspected friction so I went through it three or four times – cleaning and adjusting the exact seating of the arbors, stands, etc. Continue reading ‘Making up lost time’ »