Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Mina - A Short Film

 Recently Pine Knoll Clock Shop was chosen as a shooting location for the film "Mina" by students of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.  It was a true pleasure working with this talented group!

This is not the typical type of post for my blog, but I am asking for your help for these students to finish this movie.  During this COVID19 pandemic, fund raising is challenging to say the least, and time is of the essence.  If you could go to their INDIEGOGO page using the link below and donate any amount you can, I am certain it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Dorrin K Mace, Horologist, Certified Antiques Appraiser
Pine Knoll Clock Shop & Appraisals

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Video Tour of Pine Knoll Clock Shop

Many of my world wide readers have expressed an interest in seeing more of my clock shop.  Below is a brief video highlighting the showroom and repair area of the shop.  The "Log Cabin" room is a customer favorite as you can view me while I repair and work on clock movements, clock cases, and other repair projects.  I hope you enjoy this tour.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Changes to the BLOG

First I want to thank every one who visits, comments, and shares my blog posts.  That said, their have been several recent inappropriate comments left on the blog as well as pirating of my blog posts by those who want to pass my work off as their own.  Therefore I have limited comment posting to only those that are members of this BLOG.  Should you not want to be a member of the BLOG but do indeed have a question, comment, concern, kindly email these to PINEKNOLL@ZOOMINTERNET.NET

I am sorry that this step had to be taken, but as we are at over a quarter million readers, I find it difficult to keep up with policing the comments that do not belong.  I hope my readers and followers understand.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Auctions coming in June, July, August

Huge clock (and other collectible items) estate auction.  Many quality pieces!  Something for everyone interested in clocks.

No photo description available.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Business Journal Interview at Pine Knoll Clock Shop

Recently the Youngstown, Ohio Business Journal stopped by Pine Knoll Clock Shop & Appraisals to talk about the shop, how I began this journey, and where I see the business going.  Here is the interview:  Please click on the link below

An interview at Pine Knoll Clock Shop & Appraisals by The Business Journal

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tower Clocks

Arguably, the most famous tower clock is "Big Ben" in London.
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster
in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower.  The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally just The Clock Tower, but it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II

This 4 faced clock was completed in 1859 and stands 315 feet tall.  An imposing structure.

But what is a tower clock?  A tower clock is also referred to as a turret clock; in its purest this is a large, weight driven mechanism, designed to display the time one or more large dials.

Because of what Movies have conjured up as well as the ability of a persons mind to run wild, many people think a tower clock movement must be some giant mechanical monster 20 feet high with gearing 5 feet in diameter.

Truth be told, most tower clock movements average about 5 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 5 feet tall for a time only unit.

The carillon or bell playing portion of the movement can be much larger as it must control the sounding of several bells at different intervals and with different melodies.  The melodies are played by utilizing a pinned drum that activates the hammers striking the bells.  The drum is driven by a weight or electric motor and is activated and stopped via levers on the clock movement.

Sadly, the majority of tower clocks have gone from being a weight driven unit that is wound by hand to an electrically wound or worse yet electric clock movement.  
Even Big Ben is now electrically wound (but still weight driven).

An electric movement has the advantage of a minimum of maintenance, but only hums from the electric drive instead of hearing the pleasing tick tock as the pendulum swings and the verge arrests and releases the escapement wheel.
An electric movement is small in size and easy to maintain, but I like the large mechanical units.

I love tower clocks, their appeal is their size and sound.  I have been and will continue to be on the search for a tower clock unit to repair and display in my shop for customers and visitors to enjoy.  Someday...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Pine Knoll in the Business Journal

The article appears below, here is a link to the original printed version.

Youngstown Business Journal Pine Knoll Clock Shop

One correction; my street number is 1749 Mercer Grove City Road.

Company News

Work Keeps Ticking Along at Pine Knoll Clock Shop

MERCER, Pa. – For horologist Dorrin Mace, an interest in clocks stretches back to the Revolutionary War. His personal story starts a little closer to today, but the items that caught his attention go back to the founding of the nation.
“In 1969, my grandfather died. They had a house that was granted to them after the Revolutionary War, so about 1780. They never threw anything away and one of the summer kitchens was full of every clock that house ever had,” Mace says from his workshop. “I was just fascinated. I wasn’t very old, but I was fascinated enough to know that’s what I wanted to do.”
Today, 50 years later, that fascination has grown into Pine Knoll Clock Shop, 1479 Mercer Grove City Road in Mercer, Pa.
Inside his workshop, Mace repairs and refurbishes clocks of all ages, styles and conditions. In one corner is a red and white Coca-Cola clock from the 1980s, while a piece made in France in the mid-1800s sits on a cabinet across the room. Leaning against the cabinet is one of Mace’s rarest finds to date: a McClintock master clock. The clocks were once used by banks and courthouses to control individual clocks throughout their offices via electrical pulses that went off every minute.
“It played four different melodies so you knew exactly what time it was. Instead of playing four parts of a melody, this one had four distinct melodies. It played off a drum over electric pickups to the main clock,” he says.
What makes the find so exceptional isn’t its condition – most of the clock is “in a million pieces in a bag” – but that it’s just one of three Mace knows to still exist. Used largely in the 1920s and 1930s, the McClintock master clocks were between 12 and 15 feet tall with large amounts of brass and copper. When the United States entered World War II, many were scrapped to aid the war effort.
“I don’t know how this one survived, but I know there are three of these and none of them work. I’m more than excited to have this,” Mace says of the clock he found in a California junkyard. “I don’t know the value on this and it doesn’t really matter.”
In his eyes, all clocks are equally valuable. He’s worked on pieces with just a $10 price tag and pieces designed by L.C. Tiffany. Just as much care is given to the $10 clock brought in by a boy who received it as a gift from his grandfather as is given to the one designed by the man best known for stained-glass works for Tiffany & Co.
“It may be a $10 clock, but to him it means everything,” Mace says.
Among the larger projects Mace has had is a clock weighing about 700 pounds from Bultman Funeral Home in New Orleans, the oldest funeral home in the city before it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mace purchased the clock from another clock repairman based in Michigan and brought back into working condition. He estimated that had the work been done for a customer, it would have been a $10,000 repair.
Today, it sits outside Pine Knoll.
Mace started repairing clocks as a hobby, eventually offering help to others when he was about 18. As the years went on, it turned into a side job before coming into its own as Pine Knoll Clock Shop in 2001.
“I started in the basement and then the basement took over the dining room, which took over the living room. It was overwhelming and we bought our first building, thinking I’d work 20, 30 hours a week,” Mace says. “I was at a year and a half wait on repairs, which you shouldn’t do. That really said to me it’s time to leave [my other job].”
Today, his backlog is usually around 12 weeks, with the time largely depending on the degree of repairs needed – small adjustments can be done in his workshop – and the availability of parts. When Mace started working on clocks, he says, there were 15 parts suppliers, down to just two today, which can make sourcing replacement parts a challenge.
“I have a huge group of people that follow me – our blog has about 200,000 followers – that include repairmen in Israel, South Africa and around the world that I can contact,” he says. “There are some things that you can’t quote, that you have say ‘I’ll call you back when I find the part.’ But cleaning, oiling, adjusting suspensions, we know how long it takes to do that.”
In his arsenal of tools, little is specific to clocks, he says. Among the ones he uses most often are Phillips head screwdrivers – about a dozen because of the wide variety of screws used in clocks over the past couple centuries – and dental picks. One of his more prized tools is a set of carbide bits made in France in the late 1800s.
“You use them as files to clean out pivots. They’re great in small areas,” he says. “Nothing here is a high-end tool.”
Dorrin Mace uses dental picks to clean out oil buildup on clocks.
After repairs are made, he lets clocks run for up to a week to ensure that there aren’t any more problems with it and that everything is running smoothly.
Beyond fixing clocks, Mace has also gotten into selling them. The front portion of Pine Knoll Clock Shop is full to the brim of pieces repaired or built by Mace, ranging from cuckoo clocks to towering grandfather clocks. There’s also the Green Line, developed by Mace as a way to recycle discarded materials.
“I saw so much waste. My wife and I are hippies, for lack of a better term,” he says with a laugh. “We saw flooring that couldn’t be used and had some worn damage but once it’s sanded, it’s just gorgeous. Fencing that’s been damaged by weather can be beautiful. You’re saving resources.”
He’s turned old records into timepieces, as well as hubcaps, pieces of tin ceilings and, at one point, even gears from Harley Davidson motorcycles.
And even with the increasing use of smartphones and watches, Mace says business is as good as ever. His clientele stretches across generations as younger people, he observes, fall in love with one particular aspect of clocks.
“It’s the sound of a clock ticking. There used to be an advertising slogan: ‘The heartbeat of the home.’ People are remembering that,” he says. “It’s like reading a book. Having an e-reader is fine, but there’s the tactile feel of the book. Watching the hands ticking is just phenomenal.
Pictured: Dorrin Mace, owner of Pine Knoll Clock Shop, with his McClintock master clock, one of three he knows to exist.