I have had this Arthur Pequegnat Maple Leaf fan-top clock for several weeks now and have decided to keep it in my collection. I was not satisfied with the condition of the case when I first saw it and knew that something had to be done. After several hours of work on the case I can finally say that the results have been very good…not excellent because there are one or two things I would have done differently. For example, I originally used a cotton cloth to bring down the finish and ended up rubbing too aggressively in some sections. Looking back I would use 0000 steel wool from start to finish.
This shot is a comparison between the original finish and taken after hours of restoration.
As you can see in the second photo the oak grain is natural and pronounced; the mottling has disappeared. As mentioned there were one or two spots where I was a little too aggressive with the steel wool which I may address later on but for the moment I am going to live with it.
I applied four coats of Amber Shellac and between coats I rubbed the finish with 0000 steel wool. Shellac is the proper approach for case restoration as that product would have been used at that time. The clock now looks very close to what it would have looked like at the time it was made which would be about 1910. The next photo shows the clock fully re-assembled and on display and the next, how it looked when I brought it home.
Although I am able to dis-assemble, clean and oil a clock mechanism there is a problem with the center arbor not engaging the strike side of the clock. It is off to Doctor Clock in Halifax for repair and cleaning of the movement.