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  1. Apologies if you have, but have you tried putting a small stiff strip of metal (or a flat bladed screwdriver) under the setting lever (plate) as close to the cross-threaded screw as you can, and then gently applying a constant pressure to lift the plate upwards, as you turn the screw to unscrew it? I've often found that re-engages the screw and thread and allows the former to be removed.
  2. I've recently acquired a Tag Kirium, probably year 2000, for which I'm buying a contemporary WL1116 electric blue dial, as I'm not particularly keen on the existing greyish one. There's nothing else wrong with the watch, which has had a fairly recent service and is running very well. I'm in west Essex, UK. Can anyone recommend a Tag specialist (preferably close by me) who might do the job and still leave me with a little spare cash to pay my mortgage? Thanks, Tom.
  3. If empathy is helpful, a torsion clock I spoke about a few weeks ago suffered badly bent teeth when the mainspring let go, at some stage in the past (well before I laid hands on it, I'm pleased to say). The pictures aren't brilliant but you can see the mashed up teeth between positions 6 & 7 o'clock on the wheel and at 8-ish o'clock on the barrel. I straightened the barrel teeth out OK, managed to find a spare in place of the damaged wheel and (after sorting out former a repairer's 'adjustments' to the pallets and fitting the correct suspension spring) the clock's now fine.
  4. Not mad, better to say courageous. I'm not an expert, but I'd say it was an early 19C, fairly standard, 30-hour chain-driven longcase movement with striker and repeat. The base parts of the dial have some quality but the 3 silvered inserts (silent/repeat etc.) are all over the place, in terms of the font sizes and styles, which I'm afraid looks very amateurish. Neither of the hands are original. I have no idea how the 'music' side of things marries up to the clock but there are obviously plenty of bits to fit in there :-) Good luck - I'll be following progress with great interest.
  5. I love blued items on a clock and it's great to see that colour emerge when you reach the right temperature. If you don't mind me adding to the subject, I'd tried various ways of doing it, particularly for steel longcase clock hands, (including the selenium bluing compound) when someone suggested an electric hot air blower (the type used to strip paint). That would still be heat bluing, but less fierce and more controllable than a flame. You need a lightish touch, but it now works fine for me every time.
  6. It's a good looking clock which, though old, I'd think still has years still left in it. If it's running ok, then you're right to leave the anchor well alone. I've just fixed one which had been 'repaired'. That took ages to get right, partly because it took a long time for the results of each adjustment to show (the longest took about 2 hours between setting the clock going and it finally deciding to stop, though it's fine now). Others may comment on how true it is, but I've been told to lightly grease (as opposed to oil) the mainspring, as this tends to stay in place better and for longer. A new suspension spring of might be a good idea to speed the clock up, although I notice that both Terwilliger and Passmore (mentioned below) say the thickness for this model is 0.0038" which leads me to wonder if there's something else wrong (weak mainspring, excess friction in the going train or a tightness of the hands?) Then there are the oddballs: As a quick mention (though I suspect it doesn't apply here) someone I know recently had trouble getting a small 1940s deadbeat movement to run. He tried all sorts, before finding that he'd replaced the mainspring endplate the wrong way around. It was made to be domed slightly outwards and by incorrectly fitting it with the inward curve against the mainspring he'd reduced the power to the train. It still ran, but not for very long. Changing the plate around cured the problem. In addition to Old Hippy's suggestion of the Terwilliger book, which I have, I've found Mervyn Passmore's thin though informative book "Anniversary lock Adjusting" to be quite useful for the practical aspects of restoration work. On cleaning old brass, there are sometimes some persistent marks which polish seems reluctant to remove - it's almost like there's some staining taken place under the surface - I don't know what that is (some suggest that the zinc and copper migrate in part through the alloy with age). In those cases, I've had to resort to a slightly stronger abrasive. Fine wire wool sometimes works well. Old Hippy's tip about the traditional method of chalking brasswork is a good one. It's something I'd only recently been told about and it works very well. There are some micro-waxes that I'm told you can use to protect brass but I've not used one myself yet.
  7. Thanks for the good advice. I was already hesitating because of the reputation the clock has if it's not in 100% order and, if I was to buy, I was thinking I probably buy from an established dealer in the UK who would give a guarantee, and I could at least go back to in person if needed.
  8. Thanks for that, Bod. Having done one torsion clock (see thread above) a friend then popped out of the woodwork with another. I got the clock to go but it wouldn't keep time, no matter how the weights etc. were adjusted, so I had to do what Clockboy suggested earlier and thin the spring down a shade. That was 3 weeks ago and it's been fine since, so I'm hoping any problems are permanently cured. I'm currently doing a BHA/Becker, but this time for myself. The movement's been fine but a lot of cleaning's been needed to get it looking anything like it should. I'm afraid rightly or wrongly I've now set my heart on a JLC Atmos clock and I think I'm going to have to save up hard for one. They're priced quite reasonably in the US (because a lot more were exported there?) but on this side of the pond, where I'd avoid hideous postage costs and import duties from UK customs, they're at least a couple of times dearer. Decisions, decisions ……...
  9. And this one - from the same maker - which is enough, I think, to give me some nightmares if I'm not careful. See: http://www.marcus-wilkinson.co.uk/melting-clock-sculptures/ No more, I promise.
  10. My reaction was: 'It shouldn't be allowed' but am I being a traditionalist stick-in-the-mud? See: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/323699767134?ViewItem=&item=323699767134 What's your thoughts? The clock is still being produced and does have a high-end price. No disrespect intended to the maker, but I'm not sure about the value of the Hermle movement
  11. Other clocks of his clearly survive. See: www.sellingantiques.co.uk/333369/georgian-moon-phase-longcase-clock-by-edward-powell-of-bristol/ and www.antiques-atlas.com/antique/georgian_moon_phase_longcase_clock_by_edward_powel/as579a295 (same clock I think but better picture and a price given - though subsequently reduced). The retail price is obviously in excess of what a seller would get, sometimes ridiculously so. A more realistic source for guide values is often eBay. If you check on longcase clocks pre-1900 for a day or two you should get a reasonable idea of values of very similar timepieces. Regards,
  12. I spent some of my early life in the north-east of England (industrial County Durham). In the pub one evening, an old but still serving coal miner said to me (I have no idea how the topic came up) that it was time to 'boil the alarm clock' as it was becoming 'a bit unreliable'. I had no interest in clocks then, but I was startled to hear something so drastic and asked him to tell me more. It seems they were in the habit of immersing their alarm clocks in a large pan of boiling water on the stove, leaving it a few minutes to clean out the dust 'and other gunk', and then drying it out above the fire. I've since thought he might have been pulling my leg but he seemed perfectly serious, and one or two other miners I raised this with afterwards were completely matter-of-fact in confirming it was quite a common thing to do. In a similar vein, another seasoned drinker in that area once told me that, when first deciding in the 1930s the recipe for a very popular local beer (it's still around today), the brewers had put in 'a secret ingredient which gave the drinker a headache'. "Why would they do that?" I asked. The old boy looked at me as though I were a fool. 'Why man, everybody knaa's thoo hasn't been drinking a proper beer unless tha' weks up the following morning wi' a decent headache!'
  13. And I'm there with a clock mob on Thursday afternoons. First joined over 10 years ago but, after a year, work commitments changed and I hadn't time to carry on. When I retired last year I joined up again and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.
  14. Thanks, I received a copy of the 10th edition through the post on Friday and very good it is too. As a tailpiece, over the weekend I came across an empty cardboard Horolovar spring label in amongst the packing the clock was sent to me in the other week. It had .0037" - .094mm stamped on it. I'm assuming this was the packet from which the spring I've just discarded came from, which would confirm that was weaker than the .004" recommended.
  15. I acquired (another) old fusee wall clock the other week. Smuggled it into the house and swore blind, when asked, that 'I'd had it forever but it had been in the garage waiting to be sorted out'. Anyhow, when I'd set it up it turned out to have a disconcertingly loud tick, so much so that it seemed to take over the whole room. It kept excellent time and was a dream to set in beat but, oh, that tick. I'm no expert, and I can appreciate some of you may know what I'm about to say, but I'd remembered being told to check the residual tension in the spring, which is meant to allow fusees to work right to the end of the chain. I did that, and found someone, in setting it up in the past, had given it at least 8 initial turns (and maybe another one 'for luck'), which meant there was a lot of tension in the spring, even when it was supposed to be fully unwound. I let the tension down to zero and then gave it a turn-an-a-half initial, followed by a wind on the fusee itself to get it going. The clock still ran perfectly, but the tick was reduced to a whisper. Maximum winding to full fusee hasn't changed the volume and the clock's now a very welcome and unobtrusive visitor to the dining room. As I said, some of you may already know this, but I felt it was worth posting for any of you who didn't.
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