Tuesday, 4 February 2014


Have you ever noticed how jobs often come in batches? - A collection of longcase clocks may be followed by a bunch of carriage clocks, then maybe some French drum movements, - but for some reason they often do come in clumps...
Well, I had just completed a collection of drum movements and was working on the next bunch - several fusee bracket clocks when I broke my collar-bone! I think they will have to go onto the back burner for a while when I get back to work, and be replaced by the next batch which happen to be barometers... no 'heavy' work involved in these. :-)

On the subject of injuries, this is one I can seriously recommend avoiding if at all possible. It is not so much the pain (in my case this does not seem to have been a big issue after the first few days) so much as the incapacitation involved. I have worked perfectly happily while on crutches with a leg in plaster, but not being allowed to use one of your hands is very limiting! The biggest problem is likely to be preventing myself from overdoing it before the shoulder is properly mended...

On a different note (I use the word advisedly!) I was recently contacted by someone who said I needed a 'Performing Rights' license if I was to play any music in the workshop despite being a sole trader. While I am all in favour of musicians being able to earn a living wage, the music I (very occasionally) play is all stuff I have bought or been given, so I do not believe I should have to pay a license to play it to myself! I was very wary when I realised what organisation they were from as I had heard that they were intransigent and took no notice of the individual situation. The individual I spoke to seemed to justify this reputation, and they sent me an invoice. However, I rang them on receipt of the invoice, and reiterated that I did not feel it was appropriate as I only ever play music to myself, turning it off when a customer was with me; and this time they did listen and agreed to cancel the invoice - so they are not all bad!

An interesting little job came in the other day - an 8-day 'strut clock'. Not so unusual you might think, but this one had no apparent means of setting the hands. On the back was a captive winding bow screwed onto the winding arbor - and nothing else. There was no rocker-bar button to press, no bezel-setting mechanism, no unused hole in the back cover - nothing....
Nothing that is, until you took the movement out of the case when you could see that the previous 'repairer' clearly did not know what (s)he was doing at all! The winding arbor was supposed to be able to be pulled outwards (like a watch winding stem) and then the wheel would engage the hand-set wheels, but that twit (whoever it was) had deliberately fitted a brass bush on the arbor under the top plate preventing it from being pulled into this position.. - there are even a pair of V-groves on the arbor with a detent acting in them to locate it in each position and even that was not enough to stop the imbecile!

Another, similarly idiotic, person had replaced the date-ring on a 3-train bracket clock I have currently in for attention - but had set it up so that the tip of the tooth on the inside of the ring was in the middle of the time winding hole - so that whenever you tried to wind the clock it nudged the date ring round so the date was no longer central in the hole - and often often far enough for the indexing nib to butt onto the top of the next tooth and stop the clock... so that replacement date ring has now had to be replaced again (after adjusting the nib so that it left the teeth either side of the winding hole!).
Why do these people do it???

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