Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rosewood Seth Thomas (Thomaston) Ogee Clock - Part 3

I have yet to finish this series (as well as a few others). This is part 3, which covers some of the final details of the restoration.

Part 1:
Part 2:

In this part, I tacked an extremely unusual problem. For whatever reason, this ogee clock was NOT BUILT CORRECTLY. When I was finished working on the movement, I had trouble fitting it into the case properly, especially with respects to the dial. The hands would not clear the dial. This is a paper thin zinc sheet dial with a raised ring (which is standard on ALL older Seth Thomas clocks). The hands would not clear even in the centre (flat) portion of the dial.

I decided to take out the runners and set up the movement clearances correctly outside of the case.

In normal cases, the winding squares should be just a hair below the dial surface.

Playing around with tongue depressors (or popsickle sticks) I found that the movement would need to be raised at least 1/4 inch. HOWEVER, with the movement moved forward this far, the hand shaft would hit the glass, and you wouldn't be able to close the door.

Curiously, the seatboard had already been partially shimmed on the back side.

The real problem, however, was that the depth of the rails was wrong. I could see that the dial mounting tabs had actually gouged into the back of the door (the door was closing tightly onto the pins), because they were too far forward. Normally these rails are about 2 1/4" to 2 3/8" deep. These were almost 2 5/8". Nearly 3/8" too deep.

So the solution was simple. Trim the side rails (on the back) and reinstall them. I did not cut them down the full 3/8". I trimmed them only by how much I needed to shim-up the movement (the amount of popsickle sticks), so about 1/4 inch.

Once that was done, everything went back together just fine (I used old and new square nails), and the dial and movement fit perfectly, with proper clearance for the hands, and perfect clearance for the door (the door is no longer rubbing up onto the dial or pins).

I still need to post multiple photos of a half dozen restored or repainted dials. This was the fully repainted dial (before antiquing).

After antiquing:

Another case repair that I needed to do was to repair the worn out hole for the movement hold-down. The chip-out was puttied, and the area was colour-matched to hide the repair.

Hole patch from the interior. I used poplar for the plug since it will last a bit longer than pine (which is softer).

The final part will just be final photos and before and afters of the clock. Not too sure when I'll post those, but you can see most of the completed clock in Part 2.

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