A white Prairie and Maintaining Mechanical Clocks.

By: plapman , 11:59 AM GMT on March 28, 2012

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Today will be mainly cloudy with a 60% chance of flurries early this morning. The high will be 5C(41F). UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight will start partly cloudy then becoming cloudy late this evening. The overnight low will be 0C(32F).
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Wow the ground is all white again. :( Yesterdays snow event will sure help moisten the ground for the farm industry. It doesn't look like it will stay white for long though.
I never took Abbey out yesterday due to the miserable conditions outside.
I did get the movement out of the coo coo clock without damaging it. I hope I can remember which side the bellows go on or it will be a funny sounding clock. It's no wonder the thing wouldn't run. It looks like it hasn't be cleaned in years. Maybe today I'll get out to the garage and soak it in cleaning fluid. I don't want to do it in the house as the cleaning fluid is highly flammable and a spark or the furnace pilot light could ignite the fumes. Once it's soaked for a day I'll use a small brush to clean any remaining goop. It must have been oiled with regular oil at one time. Clock oil is specially made and doesn't collect dust and gum up.
If I can get it clean enough to run I'll oil it using a pin to place a small drop of oil on each shaft where the go through the brass plates. I hope the dirt trapped in the bushings haven't worn the out of round or it will be another addition to the scrap metal yard.I've never been able to enlarge the holes exactly centered and place a bushing in. The old time clock makers sure did precision work. When the antique clocks were made I guess all the work was done by hand whereas now a computer guided drill could drill out the tiny holes in exactly the right location with no problems.
A mechanical clock should be cleaned and re oiled every 2 years just as you regularly change the oil in your car. I can see why clock repair people charge up to $200 to clean and reoiled an antique clock. To do it properly the movement should be taken apart and each hole and shaft end cleaned
then reassembled and oiled. If properly maintained a clock will outlive the owner.
People often ask me why my clocks aren't running, The all will, but to properly maintain a dozen or so clocks would be time consuming and expensive. When the antique clocks were made they were inexpensive and throwaway items like today's quartz watches. I've seen the same model of clock I have hanging on a wall sell on EBay for over $1000. I'm not sure what my entire collection is valued at. I've recently seen an add in the local newspaper where a gentleman is will to pay up to $1200 just for the movement of Mantle locks working or not. I have 3 mantel clocks, dating back to the early 1900's or late 1800's, and they'll all run when wound. Before I put them in a shelf I disassembled them, cleaned and oiled them. A gentle shot of of compressed air will blow the dust out of them and they'll be ready to go.

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3. unclemush
6:29 PM GMT on March 28, 2012
Hi Tony.Don't listen to Alley.She wants a good snow storm.:)
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
2. Alleyoops
12:44 PM GMT on March 28, 2012
Good morning Tony, don't you dare send that white stuff to us down here in SW Ontario. Please send it to Ottawa, its so full of hot air there that it should melt before it hits the ground....LOL

Sunny, windy and temps up to the mid 60s today then it drops again tomorrow...oh what fun it is to ride the roller coaster of temps these days.

Anyways have a great Wednesday. Sounds like your keeping busy and out of mischief...
Member Since: April 18, 2007 Posts: 190 Comments: 29458
1. shoreacres
12:07 PM GMT on March 28, 2012
Morning, Tony,

When I was in the process of getting my mom's floor clock repaired and running, I read an article about those bushings, and how to repair them. It is quite an operation. Since her's never had been serviced, they definitely were out of round, and that's why I had such a nice bill!

But, the nice clock dude told me exactly what you said here - properly repaired, cleaned and reassembled, the things will outlive us. And the next generation, too. All of this computer chip stuff is fine, but there's something satisfying about being able to fix something. Cars, for example. Now that they're so full of electronic this and that, the shadetree mechanics are getting harder to find - they don't have the cars to work on!

The snow's not that much of a surprise, but after all the warmth, it's always hard to go back. You're right, though - the moisture is always welcome (unless it's washing your house off its foundations!)
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288

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Retired and loving it. If I'd have known about retirement befor I started my 40 year career with the government of Manitoba I'd have retired first. :)

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