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Clocks, Watches/1982 Colonial of Zeeland Grandmother Clock

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Question
We recently had this clock shipped from Phoenix to Minnesota.  When the clock arrived we found it had not fared the trip well.  The face plate was leaning back into the inside of the clock at an angle, the bottom of the clock had been knocked almost apart from the body with screws and the minute hand in the blanket used as packing material.  The weights were placed together with nothing in between and wrapped in a packing blanket, and the list goes on.  I would appreciate it if you could tell me the proper technique to move such a clack as well as how we determine if there is damage done to the working part of the clock.  The company that manufactured the clock is no longer in business.  Thank you for your expertise.

Answer
Kathy, I'm sorry to hear about the damage to your clock.  I will give you the procedure in which I pack a clock for shipping:

The pendulum should be remoned and packed it in a box with protective material over the front of the pendulum, and then secured in the box to keep it from shifting.  If the original pendulum and weight boxes are available, I pack in those boxes.  If not I provide boxes.  I remove each weight, and if not labeled, I use a small marker and put L, C and R for left, center and right according to how they hang.  I pack each one in padding and pack in a box to keep them from shifting.  There are different configurations with chains or cables.  On cables, one method is to use Styrofoam blocks with slits in them to hold the pulleys when the cables are cranked up.  On older clocks, the cables should not be left loose when removing the weights.  Other methods are to secure the cables with a combination of rubber bands and string tied to a hook installed on the clock case under the bottom of the door.  Chains can be done the same way.  Padding should be put between vibrating and stressing during transporting.  This will cause them to become weak and break off.  The chime and strike hammers should be secured (I use the long pipe cleaners (chenelle ties) to keep them for banging around.  I secure the pendulum hanger with the pipe cleaners.  Remove all the loose parts, such as the finial on the top of the clock and the door and winding keys.  I would put them in a container and keep it with  you rather than packing it with the clock.  I have run into many missing parts because they get thrown away with the packing.

On these clocks the face is usually attached to the movement, however, they are sometimes attached to the clock case itself.  So it could be that the movement itself has become loose.  As I don't know what instructions were given for actual packing and shipping, but it seems to me like the people that did it would be responsible for damages.  It almost seems like it was dropped at some time during shipping.

If you have any more questions, get back with me.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

Organizations
NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Publications
Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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