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Smiths Enfield or just an Enfield?


Bearman
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This is my next project. Arrived last Saturday, complete bar the key, didn't cost very much and I've always wanted to have a go at fixing up a pendulum clock. I'm guessing it's from the 1930's but was wondering if it's a Smiths Enfield or just an Enfield clock even though is doesn't say Smiths on the face?

Anyway, after examining it for a while I was intrigued to see if would run. Making an assumption the last owner fully wound it, found it wouldn't run then packed it away. I applied some oil to the pivots that were easily accessible and after a while waiting the oil to soak in it started to want to run. Long story short it is now running only at a jaunty angle in the picture keeping pretty good time. Result.

I still need to dis-assemble it to give it a good clean and look into why it only runs at an angle. My guess it was probably moved in the past with pendulum attached.

I was wondering, does anyone know what key would fit this particular clock?

Also, what would be the best way on tackling the case restoration? Before I find the wire wool and sandpaper. As you can see in the picture the finish has gone a little crispy in places. 

Thanks in advance

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It is not a Smiths I have just looked on a site and Smiths never made a timepiece wind up. From what you have described I would say the movement is out of beat. A good clean and use Windles clock oil. The case looks like it has been exposed to heat and has hardly seen decent wax polish. You need something to nourish the wood. 

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Keep us posted on the case. I've seen a few like this and I'm never sure of the best way to tackle it - wax or oils? definitely don't sand it back or you'll lose all it's patina and history.

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10 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Smiths never made a timepiece wind up

They most certainly did, I have at least 4 wind up pendulum mantle clocks, a couple of floating balance mantle clocks and a wind up balance wheel carriage clock, all marked either "Smiths" or "Smiths Enfield" in my work room right now.

According to this site Smiths used Enfield movements from 1932, acquired Enfied in 1933 (slightly at odds with Smiths own web site which states 1934) but didn't use the Smiths Enfield name until 1949.

According to the above site Enfiled only started production a year (or two) before Smiths bought them up. I would say that you have a pre 1949 Smiths Enfield.

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Thanks all for your help and discussion it was most intriguing. I'll keep you posted on how I get on with it. I think my biggest challenge is the case. I've never tackled something like this before though I have restored some wooden carpentry tools in the past.

Been contemplating where to start. Probably with a damp cloth and soapy water in view to gently removing the grime. I have a feeling the crispy flaky bits will likely come away though. See how that goes and maybe move up to giving it a wipe over with white spirit.

In terms of feeding the wood would a mix of boiled linseed oil and white spirit be the way to go?

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I have been looking around for clear proof that Smiths did make timepieces with a key wind at the front and a pendulum movement. I'm sure I have had the pleasure of repairing them. Here is what I was looking for. Why that site doesn't mention the wind up timepieces that I posted before heaven knows.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_2012-8028-3

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It's really puzzling.

I've looked at the links and I wasn't aware the Smiths company was still going, adapting over time. The British museum picture foxed me at first, something differed, then realised it's a mirror image of my one. Would this be a distinguishing feature that would narrow down the age? 

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I'd drop by and let you know how I've been getting on as it's been a while. Dismantled the clock and gave it a clean in clock cleaning solution. Here's a couple of photos of the before, a little dirty but could be a lot worse.

Clock_Before_2.jpg

Clock_before_1.jpg

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Now here's a couple of photos during reassembly (much cleaner) and under test. I'll confess I chickened out of removing the main spring from it's barrel. I saw too many video nasty's including one where a gentleman spent time cleaning it all only to get brass shaving's sprinkled all over the inside of the barrel when he shoved the spring back in. It's my first go at a clock after all and the goal was to have it running better and get familiar with it. I'll have to look into building a mainspring winder.

One issue I did have was the removal of the "S" shaped piece of wire. It snapped when I was removing it. However I found a bit of wire of the same diameter to replace it. Is there a particular clock makers wire for this?

Clock_under_test.jpg

Clock_reassemble.jpg

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Finally the case. This was never going to be perfect. I started by gently cleaning it with white spirit and one of those green pan scourers. This removed the filth and didn't abrade the surface to harshly. I have seen a number of clocks where it looks like someones taken a belt sander to it.

This was followed up by applying a 50/50 mix of white spirit/boiled linseed oil. Forgot how many coats I put on. Then finally applied the boiled linseed oil oil neat and wiped off any excess after allowing time to dry. Then is was two/three coats of clear wax and plenty of elbow grease.

I'm no furniture restorer, but I think the results are pleasing on my humble little clock. 

Clock_finished_2.jpg

Clock_finished_1.jpg

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Thanks oldhippy, it was quite an enjoyable restoration. I forgot to mention it keeps good time to. 

The "S" shaped wire is probably not immediately obvious in the photo. It's sitting atop the centre wheel holding the the silver star shaped spring down. I'm hoping I've described that right. 

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That is just a steel clock pin shaped into an S you bend it  like that to prevent the pin from slipping out. With clock repairs you need steel clock pins of different sizes and brass clock pins you can buy very good assortment of both. If you are repairing Longcase clocks (grandfather clocks) you will need the very large extra long steel pins which good clock suppliers keep.  

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I'm intrigued by boiled linseed oil - do you boil linseed oil or can you buy it pre-boiled? and what's the advantage of boiled over just normal? The more I get into clock repair the more I'm finding that the case work is as much an effort as repairing and servicing a movement. I enjoy it though and feel it's an essential part of servicing albeit a bit of a dark art at times so any tips are gratefully received.

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Hi the "S" shaped wire is just a fairly hard wire bent to fit and hold the spring clutch together nothing special, brass wire I would say is a bit soft.   Boiled linseed is best to feed the wood, I have used orange oil but seems hard to get now. If you apply the first few coars of wax with a000 grade wire wool it helps to flatten the surface and build up a nice surface.

clock-parts-terminology-clocks-ticking-and-chiming-in-2019.jpg

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Thanks all, 

oldhippy thanks for the tip I'll shall be hunting down some clock pins for the next project. Watchweasol, next time I'll use your suggestion of a000 grade wire wool too. It was quite satisfying seeing the finish beginning to shine. Though I've not come across orange oil. My next problem is where to put my clock, sadly I don't have a mantle piece.

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