Building American antique clock

July 21, 2019 1:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Building an American antique clock replica

Between 1900 and 1945 the Americans made many clock movements with the same themes in common. The most produced USA clock movements during this era were time and strike 8 day units. Here 80 years later and these movements are no longer produced in USA for these popular clock styles. India introduced replica movements into the market that matched the antique American units by measurements and functions.

Avoid building a mantle clock

The mantle clocks are not easy because of the dial / bezel / glass requirements that are unobtainable in the modern market. The more complex the dial requirements the less chance of obtaining such a thing in the modern market. Mantle clocks such as Tambour style and Adamatine have dial bezel glass combinations that all fit together like a glove. This increase of complexity makes it less obtainable from the start without even getting into drilling the holes to wind it. Clocks with this style dial requirement is the least likely to come out successfully.

Nice clocks to build

Other clocks are good to build such as the kitchen units and the long and short drop clock kits. Be aware these kits do not include the wood case or instructions on creating a case. We are only offering the internal components of these kits for the craftsman. The plans would need to be obtained elsewhere or replicate an existing clock.

clock case measurements

When planning the clock case to build for the new movement it is best to consider the depth and height requirements. The depth would be determined with the hand shaft length in mind. The height would be dependent on the pendulum length of the new movement and how much height overall it would take. These antique clock cases were mass produced so it would not be hard to find a case to duplicate. The idea is to examine an existing case to build ones own clock with a unique personal twist.

Pendulum length

The pendulum length on the American movements and therefore also the replicas is called the drop. The drop is the pendulum length from the shaft that the clock hands go on, down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. This measurement is approximate and will vary if a lighter / heavier pendulum bob is used. Building an American antique clock replica case is best done by duplicating the basic measurements of an existing clock.

Hand shaft measurement

This is the length of the shaft that the hands go onto. It is measured from the front plate of the clock movement and all the way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. This would need to be considered when creating a clock case and figuring out the depth to make it. When planning the clock case the best way to be sure all will fit ok is the get the movement first. With the movement in hand it can be measured in whatever way to create the best wooden enclosure.

The dial

Clock dials are not what they used to be in the antique world. The dial bezel glass combinations are pretty much obsolete. What is still on the market is modern looking instead of antique. Best to stay away from clocks with this dial requirements such as mantle units and banjo clocks. Kitchen and steeple clocks are better to build because we can supply a 6 1/2 inch dial that is drilled to wind the clock. These dials are not already drilled, however clockworks drills them out before we shipping. Dial grommets are installed in the winding holes after drilling so the holes are pretty. This dial that is provided with the clock kit is optional to use. It is possible for the customer to do whatever alternate dial solution that is in mind of course.

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