Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

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

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.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Torsion Pendulum Clock

The torsion pendulum was invented by Robert Leslie in 1793. The torsion pendulum clock was first invented and patented by American Aaron Crane in 1841. He made clocks that would run up to one year on a winding.





Mr. Crane also attempted to make precision astronomical regulator clocks based on the torsion pendulum, but only four sold.

A torsion pendulum clock, more commonly known as an anniversary clock or 400-day clock, is a mechanical clock which keeps time with a mechanism called a torsion pendulum. This is a weighted disk or wheel, often a decorative wheel with 3 or 4 chrome balls on ornate spokes, suspended by a thin wire or ribbon called a torsion spring; also known as a suspension spring. The torsion pendulum rotates about the vertical axis of the wire, twisting it, instead of swinging like an ordinary pendulum. The force of the twisting torsion spring reverses the direction of rotation, so the torsion pendulum oscillates slowly, clockwise and counterclockwise. The clock's gears apply a pulse of torque to the top of the torsion spring with each rotation to keep the wheel going. The wheel and torsion spring function similarly to a watch's balance wheel and hairspring, as a harmonic oscillator to control the rate of the clock's hands.


Torsion clocks are capable of running much longer between windings than clocks with an ordinary pendulum, because the torsion pendulum rotates slowly and takes little energy. However they are difficult to set up and are usually not as accurate as clocks with ordinary pendulums. One reason is that the oscillation period of the torsion pendulum changes with temperature due to temperature-dependent change in elasticity of the spring. The rate of the clock can be made faster or slower by an adjustment screw mechanism on the torsion pendulum that moves the weight balls in or out from the axis. The closer in the balls are, the smaller the moment of inertia of the torsion pendulum and the faster it will turn, like a spinning ice skater who pulls in her arms. This causes the clock to speed up.
One oscillation of the torsion pendulum usually takes 12, 15, or 20 seconds. The escapement mechanism, that changes the rotational motion of the clock's gears to pulses to drive the torsion pendulum, works rather like an anchor escapement. A crutch device at the top of the torsion spring engages a lever with two anchor-shaped arms; the arms in turn alternately engage the teeth of the escape wheel. As the anchor releases a tooth of the escape wheel, the lever, which is fixed to the anchor, moves to one side and, via the crutch, gives a small twist to the top of the torsion spring. This is just enough to keep the oscillation going.
The Atmos clock, made by Jaeger Le Coultre, is a type of torsion clock which doesn't need to be wound or powered at all. The mainspring which turns the clock's wheels is kept wound by small changes in atmospheric pressure and/or local temperature, using a bellows mechanism. Thus no winding key or battery is needed, and it can run for years without human intervention. 

The German Anton Harder apparently independently invented and patented the torsion clock in 1879-1880. He was inspired by watching a hanging chandelier rotate after a servant had turned it to light the candles. He formed the firm Jahresuhrenfabrik ('Year Clock Factory') and designed a clock that would run for a year, but its accuracy was poor. He sold the patent in 1884 to F. A. L. deGruyter of Amsterdam, who allowed the patent to expire in 1887. Other firms entered the market, beginning the German mass production of these clocks.
Although they were successful commercially, torsion clocks remained poor timekeepers. In 1951, Charles Terwilliger of the Horolovar Co. invented a temperature compensating suspension spring, which allowed fairly accurate clocks to be made.







Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Ogee Clock

Dating and popular from the early 1800's to the early 1900's, the Ogee clock was a statement piece.


From the Encyclopedia Britannica: Ogee clock, clock design that originated in the United States in the 1830s, distinguished by a case the front outer edges of which are curved into an S-shape (ogee). This shape is formed by the union of a convex and a concave line. A mass-produced variant of the shelf clock, the ogee clock stands about 30 inches (75 cm) high and is usually weight-driven. The movements were usually made of brass and were made to run for 30 hours or eight days.

From Merriam Webster: Ogee clock, a 19th century U.S. shelf clock with S-curve molding.


Both the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Merriam Webster Dictionary treat this clock as a run of the mill, rather boring example of an American clock, it is far more than that.

The ogee style clock was one of the earliest mass produced, affordable clocks for the masses.  Similar to the Model T by Henry Ford, the ogee was not a perfect clock, but was more than acceptable and very reliable.


The cases were typically veneered in beautiful rosewood and fit with robust weight driven movement.  Movements were 1 day or 8 day run and could be fitted with an alarm mechanism.

The movements in these clocks were easy and inexpensive to manufacture.  Manufacture varied from a very simple and cheap brass strap movement that was riveted together, to a punched brass movement with impressed oil sinks, even to a fanciful lyre shaped movement with pressed in bearings.



The dials of the clock were manufactured from pressed metal or carved wood, both types painted and embellished  to suit the taste and style of the time



This was often the first and only clock possessed by a family.  This was a good looking piece, that ran well, was easy to maintain by the owner, and was a possession to be proud of.  The ogee style clock was born out of the early part of the industrial revolution when manufacture processes became more streamlined and items became more affordable.  The ogee style clock could display the time and have artwork on the lower tablet of the door, or even a mirror in the lower tablet to reflect more light into the room.  This was a revolutionary and important piece.  To relegate the clock to a simple statement of "a clock that was manufactured with a simple s formed case"  does not do justice to the early American clock makers and their ingenuity in manufacture.

The Ogee clock is an American classic.  An example of American ingenuity in addressing a problem/situation and working to create a solution.  The Ogee clock  was born out of the industrial revolution and help to establish the American clock making industry.