Wednesday, April 20, 2011

tick tock, an aaron willard clock

4/12/2011vvi spent parts of the last couple of days reconstructing the base of a client's aaron willard tall case clock ... aaron died in 1844 so it's been around for a while ... i love a good repair. they are challenging and engage the creative process in powerful ways ... like a good puzzle, you can, and often have to, work on them over time, allowing your concentration to wonder off to other more pressing things ... perfect for the ay dee dee mind ... click the photos to enlarge them ...
my client emailed to tell me that one of the the 20 pound weights that drives the mechanism had snapped it's string (or, as it looks by the red arrow in the photo above) or the weight's hook broke. regardless, it crashed to and through the floor of the case and smashed the base of the clock ... it was easy to see upon disassembling the base that it had been poorly repaired several times in the past ... just cleaning the clots of glue off the pieces was a real challenge ...
everyone else in the shop was doing their thing and as this was an unexpected project, i squeezed it into my work week, working a couple minutes here and a couple hours there until today, it was 'back on its feet' ... ha ha ... above i started with the biggest piece and did some small glue ups to the obvious pieces monday ...
tuesday i puzzled out the side pieces and added back a few missing pieces
planned my strategy ...
until it was ready to go below at the end of the day .
wednesday i added the sides
and clamped the front feet to the rest at the end of the day
this morning i added the back foot supports and the missing glue blocks
and it was ready to go .... somehow, and it is still a mystery to me why, i needed to add a 5/16ths shim to the front right foot and an 1/16th " shim to the front left to get the case to sit level and plumb ... i measured all four feet; all were 3" tall ... but i knew it wasn't a new thing because in the container of broken pieces there were two newish shims with my handwriting on them that i added to level the case when the clock originally arrived several years ago ... now they are officially attached to the feet ... the last thing i have to finish tomorrow is to fit up a new brass piece that was missing in action ... fortunately we had some 3/16ths x 1/2" stock on hand and with a little patience tomorrow, it will be fitted up and in place ...
we'll deliver it next week and meet with the british clockmaker, ray bates and/or his son sometime soon to fix the weight and set the works and bonnet properly ...
in closing, i can say that a good repair to a worthy piece is a fine thing to take on ... there's the challenge to execute it properly, to get it to look right and function correctly, and to change what you are working on from 'not so good' to 'good for another 100 years' ... most rewarding ... and, highly recommended as a study of classical construction methods ...
all done ...
4/20/2011 ...
the clock is home now, in this beautiful room ... we made two pairs of the fancy old glass doors for this same room a few years ago. i started a blog post about them but the process was soooo complicated, it was, in the end, undescribable. at least for my writing ability ....

the worksthe dial

1 comment:

niceguy45ca said...

Absolutely Beautiful Work Dan! I dropped in from LumberJocks to have a Look See.

Glad I did that!! I Look forward to Visiting more often and seeing some of it on LJ's

Rick