Table of Contents
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Chapter 1: Introduction
This short chapter touches on the roots of clock making in colonial
America and notes the rising importance of inexpensive clocks as the
country shifted from an agrarian to industrial economy. The country’s
cultural and economic shift ushered in a period of rapid growth and high
production in clock making; a “Golden Age” during which the number of
makers and the variety of designs soared providing a wealth of interesting
clocks for today’s collector and restorer.
Chapter 2: Evaluating a Prospective Project (28 pages): Unfortunately, not every clock can (or should) be restored. Restoration of some clocks may not by justified by the final result or may be too costly or time intensive. This chapter presents a standardized methodology for evaluating a clock and reaching a realistic decision regarding the viability of restoration. A number of tools that are used in the evaluation are introduced and detailed. Factors that should be considered prior to making a final decision are discussed. The book’s project clock is first introduced at the conclusion of this chapter.
Chapter 3: Project Planning & Clock Documentation (27 pages): The focus of this chapter is to present methods to perform high quality research of a project clock to establish key information such as manufacturer, production date, clock type, relative importance and rarity. The chapter is also used to create a detailed list of each repair and/or restoration need for the clock. Suggestions for planning the actual restoration sequence are also covered.
Chapter 4: Case Repair and Restoration (71 pages): Step-by-step details for restoration of a clock case are presented. These include removal of the movement and related hardware, protecting labels, case disassembly, structural work, design and construction of missing pieces, working with veneer (original and new).
The goal of this chapter is to present techniques that are needed to ensure that a clock case is complete and structurally sound. At the end of the chapter, the project clock is repaired and restored using many of the techniques previously demonstrated.
Chapter 5: Case Refinishing (42 pages): The emphasis in this chapter is achieving a high quality, original type finish on the clock case. Topics include: Preparation of the case prior to finishing, the various types of stains, matching old and new veneers, hiding flaws and joints, determining the original finish type, finishing with shellac or varnish as appropriate. Proper mixing of shellac flakes as well as options for tinting the shellac to achieve a needed tone and shade. Special application techniques such as “French polish” are also covered in detail.
Chapter 6: Special Refinishing Techniques (66 pages): Special finishing techniques such as gold leaf work and creation of the ring effect on gilded clock columns are presented in detail. Creation of high quality faux finishes such as tortoise shell and wood grain are illustrated. Multiple options for creating painted wood grain effects are discussed and demonstrated.
This chapter presents many case finishing techniques that have not been previously published for clock work.
Chapter 7: Backboard Repairs (18 pages): This short chapter covers basic repairs to the clock’s backboard including the repair of cracks, professional restoration of worn out screw holes and correction of warping in the wood.
Chapter 8: Clock Label Restoration and Preservation (35 pages): This is a very important chapter in that the clock label is critical to accurate identification and dating of a clock and is subject to rapid deterioration due to the high acidity of the paper from which it was made. The chapter covers advanced techniques to clean and restore damaged labels, neutralize acidity and protect the restored label.
Information presented in this chapter is based on techniques utilized by professional document conservators and preservationists. Previously, little has been written regarding clock label treatment and much of the information currently in circulation among restorers actually does more damage than good.
Chapter 9: Case Assembly (25 pages): After disassembly, repair and refinishing of the various pieces of the clock case, this chapter provides direction for accurate reassembly of the case. The use of correct fasteners and adhesives is stressed. Several special tools and fixtures are presented to aid in assembly. By the end of this chapter, the clock case will be accurately restored, structurally sound and assembled square and true using correct period materials.
Chapter 10: Clock Glass (85 pages): This is a long chapter that presents detailed information on restoration or creation of the different types of decorative clock glass in use at various times. Topics include: sources for correct antique glass, the evolution of glass, restoration/creation of antique mirrors, etched glass tablets, glue-chipped glass tablets, painted stenciled tablets, litho-paper type tablets and direct-to-glass printed tablets. Additional topics include techniques for mending broken glass and an extensive section on color theory and color mixing. This chapter is far more complete and comprehensive than anything previously produced and includes several techniques developed by the author just for Extreme Restoration.
Chapter 11: Clock Dials (83 pages): This is another lengthy chapter that presents a broad range of information including: Dial materials, cleaning techniques, restoring various types of dials. Restoration techniques include: touch-up to retain as much of the original material as possible, totally repainting a dial including numerals and floral patterns, creating an accurate replacement dial when an original is unavailable. A number of special tools used for dial restoration are presented in this chapter.
This is an excellent chapter for the restorer who wishes to learn how to restore dials instead of sending them out.
Chapter 12: Movements (185 pages): This is a very long chapter that covers assembly/disassembly and restoration of the five major movement types in use on antique clocks (30-hr wooden works, 30-hr and 8-day brass weight-driven, 30-hr and 8-day brass spring driven). Repair techniques such as bushing installation and pivot polishing are presented along with options for cleaning the disassembled movement. A section on testing the repaired movement is presented along with a step-by-step diagnostic sequence to use when the restored movement does not run or run reliably.
This chapter provides all of the information normally required to repair and restore a brass or wood movement.
Chapter 13: Final Assembly of Clock (20 pages): This chapter addresses the final assembly of the clock case and mechanical components to produce the finished clock. Issues such as hardware are discussed with tips for locating authentic items such as screws, knobs, etc. The different techniques originally used for glass installation are presented so that the correct technique for a project clock can be utilized.
Chapter 14: Final Restoration Documentation (5 pages): In this final chapter, the importance of documentation is again stressed. Recommendations for creation a documentation package for the restored clock is presented along with forms designed specifically for this purpose.
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