Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

It Does Make a Difference

Often I hear "I took my clock to the repairman down the street and it kind of worked for a little while, now it doesn't work at all"  or  "My neighbor, who works on clocks, told me my movement is old, worn out and needs replaced" or my favorite "A friends father works on clocks and he cleaned mine with brake cleaner and it just does not work right now.

There is a difference between a "Person that works on clocks" a.k.a. a "Tinkerer" and an actual Horologist.  A tinkerer has a rudementary understanding of clocks and can sometimes get them running.  An Horologist has an in depth knowledge of clocks, their history, metallurgy and how it affects operations of a clock, an understanding of classical architecture to know how best to restore a piece back to its appropriate period appearance, as well as an expansive knowledge of engineering and what makes a clock movement operate properly.  I am an Horologist.

Below are two photos or a clock movement that was cleaned with brake cleaner.  Brake cleaner is a very alkali product that, while it does remove the dirt and oils on a movement, corrodes the movement causing the bearings and pivots of a movement to not operate as freely as they should.  Note how the color of the movement is a red/orange color, this is what happens when bronze is exposed to a corrosive atmosphere.  The second photo shows how half of the back plate of the movement has been polished to remove the corrosion.  Not only do the front and back plates need an intense polishing, but also all of the bearings, oil sinks, pivots, and gearing to ensure accelerated wear does not occur due to the corrosion.



I realize that sometimes you can save a few dollars by dealing with the tinkerer down the road who works on clocks, but I beseech you, please utilize the best person available for your project.  Pine Knoll Clock Shop receives clocks from all over the United States and the world monthly, our reputation is solid.  Should you not want to send your clock to us, please locate a repairman in your area that has a sterling reputation to ensure that:
     1.Your clock will not be damaged
     2.You will not be disappointed in the work
     3.That your piece can continue to be enjoyed by future generations

Remember buyer beware and you get what you pay for.  Due diligence in your search for a repair shop is your best ally.

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