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Refinished clock case

This clock has been sitting on my workbench for a couple of months. It is an attractive little Sessions tambour style mantel clock, very popular in the 1930s. I spent a little time refurbishing the case, have had good success making it look presentable compared to when it first arrived. The case was marred and it looked like it had been kicking around in a basement or a busy street (LOL) for a number of years. After a thorough ultrasonic cleaning and polishing of the pivots it is time to re-assemble the movement.

It was very inexpensive clock and a great one to hone my skills in clock repair and case restoration. One of my tasks was to use it for bushing practice but my Bergeon bushing machine is back ordered and it does not look like it will arrive until April. I really do not want to learn how to hand bush, I will leave that to the traditionalists. The bushings are in good shape and I am confident it will run but eventually it will need bushing work.

The first challenge after dis-assembly was to clean the movement and the springs. When I first pulled it out of the case, the time spring had completely let go as a result of a click failure. You can see the retracted spring in the photo below. Click failures are a common problem with Sessions movements. In fact, I have another Sessions Westminster chime clock with the same issue.

I cleaned and lubricated both springs. Everything went well until I tried to hook one of the springs to the winding arbor. After many tries I managed to massage the spring around the arbor with needle-nosed pliers and it finally hooked. The other spring was fine. Let’s hope it stays put and lets hope my click repair is successful.

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Click failed and time side will not wind

The next photo shows everything in place on the bottom plate. You will see some strange looking wires which appear to be added to the movement but they are actually helper wires installed at the time the clock was made, essential to allow retraction / movement of some of the levers.

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All gears in place and ready for the top plate

Getting the top plate on can be frustrating without the proper tool. One such tool is a pivot locator. It is a hooked device about 8 inches long that allows one to position the pivots into the bushings with minimal fuss.

Here is the assembled movement with the springs clamped for safety. You will notice the top plate appears to be dirty. In fact, this is some kind of lacquer residue. I am not into aesthetics and have chosen not to buff out the plates.  A repair shop might for appearance-sake. The important things is that the mechanism is clean, which, of course, it is.

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Assembled movement

As I have others things on the go I have not tested this movement yet though I checked the action of the time side and the count wheel and they seem to be moving without restriction.

The next phase is testing and if necessary, minor adjustments.

Leave a comment if you wish.

 

 

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