Time is something there is never enough of and the clocks in our lives are becoming more high-tech with features to keep us on task and moving forward. It is not that time has changed, it is the way we look at the time that is different. Restoring an old clock to its original condition won't change the time it keeps but it sure can be a rewarding project that might have you seeing time differently.
Inspecting The Clock For Damage
If you are considering restoring an old or antique clock, you need to take the time to inspect the whole thing, including the cabinet or case, the movement or parts, and all the small pieces that are on the clock. If a part is missing, you may not be able to find a replacement if the clock is very old. In some cases, a clockmaker might be able to find or make the piece required but it is better if you start with a complete clock, not one that might have all the parts.
Disassembly and Cleaning
Most old clocks were mechanical and filled with many moving parts called the clock works. These pieces all move and work together to maintain the time and move the hands on the face of the clock. Cleaning and lubricating the pieces are important but disassembly f the clock works can be difficult and confusing if you are not familiar with the way it works. If you even a little apprehensive about this part of the process, take the clock to a professional at a clock shop, such as John Gill Clock Repair, and have the work performed there. They can pull the works apart, clean and lubricate them, and reassemble them for you so that all you need to do is put them back in the cabinet or case.
Restoring The Case Versus Cleaning It Up
Depending on your goal for the clock, you may want to refinish the clock case or cabinet and make it look new again. In some cases though, leaving the case in original condition will better retain the value of the clock so cleaning up the wood and adding some wood polish to it may be as far as you want to go, If you want the cabinet refinished, sand the wood to remove the old finish then refinish the material with stain that is close to original as possible. One the case has been stained, it can be clear coated to protect the finish for years to come. If a more natural finish is your goal, a coating of carpenter's wax will seal and protect the wood naturally and give the wood a more satin look than the high gloss of the clear coat.