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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 12:11 pm   #121
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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How does the clock man get all the brass items so clean and shiny?
Ammoniated clock cleaning fluid. Look up “Horolene” or the cheaper but excellent one that I use, “Priory Polishes No 1 Concentrated Cleaning Fluid”. These water-based fluids contain ammonia and oleic acid which removes tarnish and brightens brass with minimal polishing. They also work well on brass ornaments, lamp parts, Primus stoves etc etc.

The quartz movement sacrilege was widely discussed at the time. ‘Traditional’ clock repairers do seem to be wary of mains-powered synchronous movements and become unduly risk-averse, probably due to lack of knowledge of the basic electrical principles involved. However, as most of us know, such movements are perfectly safe when properly dealt with, and there is a wealth of information about them.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 1:48 pm   #122
G4XWDJim
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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Ammoniated clock cleaning fluid. Look up “Horolene” or the cheaper but excellent one that I use, “Priory Polishes No 1 Concentrated Cleaning Fluid”. These water-based fluids contain ammonia and oleic acid which removes tarnish and brightens brass with minimal polishing.
Thanks for that answer Phil - I was about to ask the same question. I have a Westminster chime clock which I stripped down about 30 years ago and could do with doing again. I used petrol last time and although clean it wasn't shiny.
I didn't strip the springs out of their barrels either to clean and lubricate them which is probably why I need to do it again. I found the original drawings I made and this time I have a digital camera so it should be easier.
At one of my two recent house moves I think the platform escapement became damaged by one of the removal men shaking it about. We'll see!

Jim
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 2:29 pm   #123
Mike Phelan
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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Are things taken to the buffing wheel off camera?
Lynton
Absolutely not!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ View Post
Ammoniated clock cleaning fluid. Look up “Horolene” or the cheaper but excellent one that I use, “Priory Polishes No 1 Concentrated Cleaning Fluid”. These water-based fluids contain ammonia and oleic acid which removes tarnish and brightens brass with minimal polishing.
Thanks for that answer Phil - I was about to ask the same question. I have a Westminster chime clock which I stripped down about 30 years ago and could do with doing again. I used petrol last time and although clean it wasn't shiny.
I sometimes use petrol if outside - IPA is quite good for that as well. If the plates and wheels are lacquered, which they probably are, Horolene will sometimes damage the lacquer.
Quote:
I didn't strip the springs out of their barrels either to clean and lubricate them which is probably why I need to do it again. I found the original drawings I made and this time I have a digital camera so it should be easier.
The first things that need cleaning are the springs. Keep a look of the holes in their ends as well, as they can be starting to split.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 3:33 pm   #124
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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The first things that need cleaning are the springs. Keep a look of the holes in their ends as well, as they can be starting to split.
Thanks Mike,

This clock is about 80 years old and was my grandfather's. Is it likely do you think that after all this time that the springs may may need to be replaced with new ones. As far as I'm aware I'm the only person to have repaired this clock.

I've done several gramophone springs since I did the clock last time and it's helped me realise how sticky the springs get and the amount of effort to clean them.

I'm in the middle of a few projects before I can make a start but I hope to do it this year.

Jim
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 6:07 pm   #125
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Not the Repair Shop, but Money for Nothing again. Today, a lovely old piece of mechanised gardening equipment that deserved to spend the rest of it's days in a quiet corner of a museum was heartlessly broken up to make two occasional tables from the wheels and guess what? a lamp from an internal cog with a candle bulb stuck in the top. Wonderful. I think it sold for some vast sum in a shabby-chic boutique. The Repair Shop is somewhat more acceptable. I do think there are some skilled people on there, particularly the clock restorer. I used to know a very skilled precision engineer who could fabricate all manner of tiny gears and parts in his workshop. Skills that are probably rapidly disappearing. As for criticism of the radio restorer? I don't know if I could appear on camera and make much sense either! And yes, I normally have better things to do than watch daytime TV, but sometimes I have to take the odd rest day off from work.
Alan.

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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 6:33 pm   #126
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

I saw a couple of the episodes today. Hated the radio as there was so much wrong with what was said.

However I do have to defend the ladies that do the bears. They DO know what they are talking about. I met them in person a few weeks ago and they have a bear of mine for some restoration.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 6:44 pm   #127
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Before getting too precious about the items on "Money for Nothing" it's worth remembering they are going in the skip otherwise. We should be horrified by the things being thrown away and the fact that the general public is forbidden from saving and using any of it.

The worst crime on that programme is the quality of the "makers", a good example being the old lighting man who basically rubs a bit of wax over the item and then has someone else do the creative bit. At least on the "Repair Shop" they seem to know what they are doing.

The formulaic, repetetive structure of these programmes is infuriating but it seems to be the way of television these days, one of the reasons I watch very little of it.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 7:07 pm   #128
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Yes, that's fair comment - the end result with the huge bear was excellent.

I thought the clock restorer seemed competent too, not that I'm qualified to say, but he was a tad melodramatic. He said something along the lines of: "Ah, just as I thought, the pinion is completely shot - that could be catastrophic". No it couldn't - the clock would just stop working. A 'catastrophe' is when an avalanche wipes out a village or a plane crashes killing all on board - not when an old clock stops working and can be mended. To give him his due, he did use the proper term 'wheels' not 'cogs' or 'gears', which the uninitiated tend to use.

I suspect that much of what they say and how they say it is words put into their mouths by the producers. As the saying goes, 'When the dummy talks, watch the ventriloquists mouth'. It's clearly a series that appeals to many, and for those to whom it doesn't appeal, there's the 'off' switch. Arguably in a troubled world, there's much to be said for light-hearted programmes that don't take themselves too seriously.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 7:25 pm   #129
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Hi Jim.
The springs will be German, unless Smiths / Enfield British, and may be OK.
You'll need to clean all the old grease off - don't worry about them being straightened, apart from the inner coil or two.
Have a close look at the outer holes as it will those with splits if there are any.
Clock grease or car gear oil is fine - lubricate before fitting in barrel.
Strike and going train springs are usually the same, chime spring is larger.
Goggles needed!
If you need more in-depth advice, feel free to PM me.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 8:52 pm   #130
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Hi Jim. You have a PM.

The use of the term ‘catastrophic’ to describe a gear train failure in a clock mechanism is not over-dramatic because the extent of the catastrophe is usually limited to the clock itself. I’ve heard the word used in phrases like “catastrophic gearbox failure”, “catastrophic engine failure” and so on in aviation, shipping, railways etc., meaning an instance where extensive damage is caused to the mechanism concerned.

A fractured pivot in a clock can cause the geartrain to become unmeshed, allowing the spring to unwind at an uncontrolled rate, usually severely damaging other components in the process. There have been cases in tall tower clocks where a train fault allowed the weights to fall unrestrained to the ground, causing structural damage - I think this even happened to the Tower of Westminster clock once.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 9:10 pm   #131
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

When I was about 9 or 10, I caused a catastrophic gear failure when I disconnected the "flying balls" speed regulator of what had been my late grand-dad's old wind up gramophone to see if it would go faster. The result was a puff of smoke and lots of small bits of flying brass as the steel worm gear destroyed the teeth of the matching brass pinion in about a second from the energy of a fully-wound spring!
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 9:26 pm   #132
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

I guess that a succession of such survivable accidents helped many of us learn our trade!

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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 9:47 pm   #133
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

The clock in what is now the Elizabeth Tower certainly did suffer a catastrophic failure - one end of the mechanism essentially exploded when it ran away, causing major damage. This damage was repaired, but I believe the clock is currently undergoing a total restoration concurrent with major work on the tower.
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 9:38 am   #134
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Not bad considering that it was designed in the early 1800's by someone who had never done it before! The chime fly arbor split in 1976 when it was fully wound, so the 4 ton weight hurtled to the ground.
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 11:13 am   #135
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

There's a good video here, before any current restoration started -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Elffjsjbio
I accept this talk of mechanical clocks is going way off topic.....

Andy
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 11:50 am   #136
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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Not bad considering that it was designed in the early 1800's by someone who had never done it before! The chime fly arbor split in 1976 when it was fully wound, so the 4 ton weight hurtled to the ground.
Wow. I think I'd be reading up on the 'Otis safety elevator' if I were involved in that!
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 8:16 pm   #137
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

I'm probably in the minority but I enjoy this program and the stories about the objects, clearly its staged and the restorers (experts may be able to criticise the restorers but most seem highly skilled to me) will be directed but it is an entertainment program not a technical instruction video.

Many of the items would probably end up in the bin so its great to see people fixing things on mainstream TV, hopefully it will encourage viewers to have a go.

John
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 8:53 pm   #138
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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I accept this talk of mechanical clocks is going way off topic...
Personally, I think it’s been acceptable so far, within the context of the thread title. It’s also nice to see that some vintage radio enthusiasts also enjoy horology. However we’d be wise to remember that the Forum is mainly concerned with vintage electronics and electrical matters.

I have of late been spending some time on the NAWCC Message Board, which is rather like this Forum but dedicated to clocks and watches. It is extremely good, well moderated and populated by some very helpful and generous people. There’s an American influence of course, but there are plenty of UK and international members on there. Other clock forums may be available but I doubt that they would be anywhere near as useful.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 10:09 am   #139
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

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Many of the items would probably end up in the bin so its great to see people fixing things on mainstream TV, hopefully it will encourage viewers to have a go.
Indeed. This is probably why electrical items like clocks and radios are shown as being complex or dangerous, to discourage people from having a go with something that could put them at risk.

For inexperienced people, replacing a mains clock movement with a battery one is probably the easiest and safest approach. And for electronic items (whether battery or mains powered) showing fancy test gear and mentions of replacing parts for safety reason will probably make people think it isn't something they can tackle.

They do have just 50 minutes to cover three restorations along with the back-stories, and overall I think they do so in an accessible and entertaining way. Way better than most day-time TV. More knowledgeable will obviously spot inaccuracies in the information given and staged moments and reactions, but that will always be the case with this sort of show.

If it encourages some people to try to repair things or to look into getting them repaired rather than dumping them, while being entertaining, then I think it has succeeded.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 1:03 pm   #140
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Default Re: BBC TV: The Repair Shop

Maybe the repairer was correct, the LW coil looks to be the wave wound coil on the righthand side in the early part of the program (I've not watched all of it yet), and appears to be connected to the correct switch contacts, maybe the ferrite rod assembly had been fitted the opposite way round (compared to the service info) at some point in the past?

Lawrence.

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