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Clock movements


Chris Head

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I'm wanting to carve a clock for Sarah for Christmas but can't seem to find a suitable movement and know nothing about the subject. I've looked on Craft Supplies website but the movements seem too cheap and shoddy for what I want. I'd like some nice solid brass hands and a quality movement....any ideas?
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I may be able to help you there, it's one of my many hidden talents, clock and watchmaker.

Give me some better idea of what you want, I may have one that fits the ticket in the grenier. Then I can post a photo or so, and you can have a look, all old and mechanical.

I have a lot of clocks as well (thought that I'd slip that in).

Chris

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Nice outfit, Louise - just for the season, or a permanent thing? 

Re these clock sites, how is it you can buy anything under the sun these days online in the USA and the UK, yet French online websites are so limited by comparison?  Do you think it's down to the cheque book v. credit card imbalance here, due to the banking system charges?

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[quote user="chris pp"]

I may be able to help you there, it's one of my many hidden talents, clock and watchmaker.

[/quote]

You don't still do work as a watch / clockmaker do you?  We would love an old grandfather clock (one of those things I have wanted since I was about six!!) but don't really know where to start looking or (if I find one) where to get one repaired / or a new movement.  My dad gave us all (my siblings and I) some money a while back (think I posted about it - worrying about IHT!! - he doesn't have that much and I would far rather he spent it but...).  Anyway I put it in my 'clock fund' - but still haven't found a clock....

Kathie

 

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P.S Have you heard of them Chris PP?

I have indeed, there's a few suppliers of parts in the UK, have to say that some of the replacement bits are a little, how shall we say, lacking in any real quality, more like re-pro quality than the real thing.

All the people that I know work for the professional antique watch and clock trade, plus some collectors, often with items worth many thousands of pounds, they make their own parts by hand as well as having vast amounts of old spares and salvaged dials, hands etc.

Depends on what a person requires, horses for courses.

I'll take some photos soon and post them and I'll come back to this thread later when I've eaten.

Chris

 

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    I agree Chris PP you just can't beat old tools (parts also i guess). They are so mass produced now, but there is no alternative unless, as you say you can make your own or buy old ones. Which i guess is essential for restoration of antique pieces.

Thanks cassis............... i'll let you know!

Louise

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I want to relief carve a clock face. The timber would start at about 50mm and the backing I guess will end up at 35 - 40 mm. I guess I'd have to recess the movement into the back but it's the relation of the hands to the numbers that is important, I can't start carving until I know the proportions I'm dealing with. I don't want black on Oak, I want brass...ornate or not doesn't really matter to me, the hands will determine how the clock finishes up. I really know nothing about clock movements.

Thanks for the offer Chris, your guidence would be appreciated!

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OK, I'll try and do this with words, tomorrow I'll take some photos which will be easier to understand.

What you have to take into account if it is to be relief carved is that the centre pinions that the hands are fitted to are rarely very long, therefore the depth of wood in the centre of the dial has to be designed with that in mind and any carving has to allow the hands to turn without them being "bent" to far out at an angle, which would look odd. Normally clocks have a relatively flat dial and it is the surround that is ornate or carved. Another factor is that different movements are effectively designed to take different length hands, and of course the proportions of the hand lengths and dial diameter in relationship to the case or surround are very important.

If a mechanical movement is to be used, then there must be some kind of "back-box" which the carved "front" would be fitted to, this back-box would normally have hinged side doors fitted to start the pendulum. The front would need to be fitted to the back-box in a manner that allowed for it to be removed, if and when it was necessary to gain complete access to the movement..

It would be much the same with a quartz movement as access would be required to change the battery, unless the back was left completely open with the quartz movement attached to the back of the carved case.

*    *    *    *    *    *

Yes, I do still do the odd clock for people, usually those that I know, as I don't really have much time for it and it gets done when I have "a space" to fit it in. French long-case clocks, as most people probably know, are nothing at all like English ones, but I'm always happy to help where I can.

Just to nick a bit more of CH's thread, the difference even between machine made clocks & watches of 100 years ago and now is vast, this is a photo of a machine made watch from around 1910 made on Swiss machinery for the French market, high quality, multi time zone. Todays production, sadly, is poor quality.

Chris

 

 

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[quote user="Cassis"]
Re these clock sites, how is it you can buy anything under the sun these days online in the USA and the UK, yet French online websites are so limited by comparison?  Do you think it's down to the cheque book v. credit card imbalance here, due to the banking system charges?
[/quote]

Interesting point. I have been quite involved in E-Commerce and E-Biz for some time.

I have to say that US businesses, as normal, were far quicker out of the blocks. I also find them far more willing to ship to Europe. Can't imagine most UK businesses agreeing to ship to the USA!

For example, I needed a new cutting deck for one of my Rallye ride-on mowers. Originally made by an American company American Yard Products Inc, which like so many other agricultural/garden firms was bought by Electrolux. After giving up trying to find anyone in the UK who wanted to assist with the spare part, and wasting hours trying to track Electrolux's correct division down and sending enquiry emails, I resorted to Googling the original manufacturer's name. Found a US businesses who very rapidly responded and referred me to one of their client companies: who not only had the part, they responded in hours with a price shipped to the UK! And furthermore, they even posted a dedicated page on their E-commerce website for me, so that I could order this one-off spare, securely by credit card!

By the time Electrolux finally deigned to reply to my email, (telling me that if they could source one it would cost £250 +VAT, at least! And they would come back to me. They never actually did, of course!), I already had the part which included shipping by DHL, cost me just £87!

Personally, I think the sluggish approach to embracing E-commerce by French organisations is simply that they don't feel that they need to!

Probably that's why Amazon.com is not French.............

 

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[quote user="chris pp"]..... the difference even between machine made clocks & watches of 100 years ago and now is vast, this is a photo of a machine made watch from around 1910 made on Swiss machinery for the French market, high quality, multi time zone. ...

Chris       [/quote]

 

I LOVE this watch!!... I could do with one of them to keep track of time as I have relatives and family all over the globe.

As today I dearly want to ring my son in Armenia to wish him Happy B'day but I can't remember if its 4 or 5 hours ahead.... I am bound to wake him up or disturb him at work!! ...

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Just to illustrate a little further....

Lets say for example that this is the slab I want to carve, the numbers would be carved in between the two circles but obviously I can't do anything until I know the length of the hands....

I could always recess a quartz movement into the back of the clock to allow the 'pinion' (I think) to reach through to the hands.

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/chrishead/DSC01120.jpg[/IMG]

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  • 3 weeks later...

[quote user="Chris Head"]I'm still not sorted yet.[/quote]

Chris
You may like to try this one http://www.ycbclocks.co.uk/  Theres no link to the actual page but if you look for Quartz movements, then Hermle Standard Sold singularly you will get this information:-

Hermle quartz movement choice of short, medium, or long spindle.

Short 10mm spindle suitable for   (1mm - 4mm Dial material thickness)

Medium 16mm spindle suitable for   (5mm - 8mm Dial material thickness)

Long 21mm spindle suitable for   (11mm - 13mm Dial material thickness)

 

I know I have others with diagrams, but just can't seem to find them at the moment.
Hope it's of some help

 

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Thanks for taking the time George.

So do you think I'll be able to recess a movement and fix it into the back of the timber pictured above? I want to carve the hands to the clock as well, how easy would it be to attach the spindle to the hands or would it be better to stick to the bought ones?

 

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[quote user="Chris Head"]

So do you think I'll be able to recess a movement and fix it into the back of the timber pictured above? I want to carve the hands to the clock as well, how easy would it be to attach the spindle to the hands or would it be better to stick to the bought ones?

[/quote]

hi Chris
I'm no expert by any means, but have always been interested in these things and wish I had time to get more involved.  (Now have my tools and workshop in France and spend most of my time in UK - have got something wrong somewhere)

My thoughts would be,  recessing  with a router between say 6 - 12mm  thickness should be no problem, but doubt you could carve hands thin enough to fit on the spindle left? and not sure if the movements would cope with the weight. 
Whatever you do, would love to see how you get on. 

 

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[quote user="Chris Head"]

I'll post the clock when it's done, and if it doesn't work I'll blame you if that's OK?

[/quote]

hey No problem, I'll blame you for getting me interested again ;-)

Cheers for now

(if I can find the other details will gladly post it)

 

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