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Waterbury Arion octagon short drop without glass and bezel surround

I acquired this time-only Waterbury Arion from an older gentleman in Halifax, Nova Scotia a year ago. When he advertised it on a local online for-sale site the photo was so poor that I did not notice that it was missing a bezel and glass so when I arrived at his home and discovered it we negotiated a slightly lower price.

The oak cabinet is in unusually good condition as is the reverse painted glass sash. On the other hand, the paper dial is not in great shape but I have decided to leave well enough alone. I think it adds character to the clock. It is a strong runner and keeps very good time. I hung it up just above my computer so it became an office clock of sorts. Since it is only 19 inches tall it will fit just about anywhere in a home. A year has gone by and I like the clock so much that I felt it was worth spending a few more dollars on it.

Perrin, a Canadian clock supplier, is my go-to site for clock supplies. Once I measured the clock face I ordered a new bezel and glass. Naively, I thought the glass and bezel would come as one complete assembly or if not complete, a simple way of attaching the glass. Nope! What came were 4 brass clips, a hinge without screw holes, the brass bezel, convex glass sized to fit and a 1 1/2 inch long brass tab. Hmm, not what I expected!

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Original hinge prior to sanding and cleaning

I decided to tackle the hinge as my initial step into this project. I used the old hinge because I would have had to drill holes in the new hinge (which I could have done) but I did not see the need to replace the original hinge as it is in very good condition. First, I had to re-hone my soldering skills. What I discovered was this: soldering will only hold if the parts to be soldered are cleaned/sanded beforehand and petroleum-based plumber’s flux paste is used, plus I chose to use a propane torch rather than a soldering iron to get as much heat to the parts as I could. Capillary action is required to make the solder flow so there must be sufficient heat.

Here is the result of the hinge install. I am not the best at soldering but this, to me, is a strong bond. All I had at hand were Robertson screws to secure the hinge to the case which will be replaced with slotted screws at a later date.

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New bezel installed with old hinge

Next was getting the glass into the bezel. Not fun. Here is one of the clips that I soldered into place. There are 4 of them and each one was a minor frustration. If the solder bond is strong enough you can safely bend the clips and I was able to bend these with ease.

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Bezel showing a clip soldered into place

The high heat of a torch will discolour the brass but only on the inside as I discovered. I suppose if one uses too much heat the outside of the brass will also be discoloured. In this case the outside of the bezel is fine.

When pushing the tabs down to anchor the glass I put a small chip in the glass which cannot be seen once attached. Best to be careful and not use all ones strength to secure the glass in place. I did not want to put an anchor slot in the left side of the bezel which is what the 1 1/2 inch tab is for so I decided to trim it and use it as a bottom support for the bezel assembly. It is just under the number “6”. I don’t think it is very noticeable as you can see in this next photo.

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You can just see the support tab under the 6

In the process I also cleaned up the brass around the dial pan to match the new bezel/glass surround. Despite minor frustrations and the need to stop and think as I went the project is now complete and the clock looks much more presentable.

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Completed bezel project.

A great little project and I am now a better solderer!

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