Waterbury 30 hour Ogee clock – servicing Part II

Waterbury OG clock
30-hour Waterbury Ogee with a beautiful veneered case

This 30 hour Ogee clock was purchased in the fall of 2017. I was eager to add this clock to my collection as it is the one particular style of clock that I do not have. From my research on Waterbury clocks I determined that it was made in or around 1870.

I decided to turn the worn trundles inward and seal them with Permatex (medium strength thread-locker) so they are fixed rather than rolling; not ideal but reversible

While the case is in remarkable condition for the age of the clock the movement has suffered the ravages of time.

Simple 30 hour movement, top plate removed
Simple 30 hour movement, top plate removed

Testing over the course of a day or so revealed that clock would not run for more than a few minutes. The movement was taken out of its case and inspected to determine what needed to be done to get it to running condition.

I expected punch marks and there were a number. In the old days clock-makers would attempt to address pivot wear by closing the pivot holes with a stake or punch. Not ideal but a common practice. Bushing work was definitely required. The pivots, on the other hand, were in very good shape and polished up nicely.

Punching the bushing home
Punching the bushing home

My first task was to address the bushings. Ten bushings were installed, 5 on each plate. The front bushing work included the escape wheel bridge, always a challenging spot to bush. Next I addressed the other serious wear issue – the trundles on all of the lantern pinions.

Lantern pinions on the escape wheel
Lantern pinions on the escape wheel

The trundles on the lantern pinions were in bad shape as you can see in the photo above. The wear seen here was identical on all 4 lantern pinions. Notched trundles were not what I expected.

The trundle work was certainly the most interesting part of the repair. My experience with lantern pinion work is zero. After some research the method I selected was to hand drill through the top shroud to release the worn trundles.

Drilling through the shroud to release worn trundles
Drilling through the shroud to release worn trundles; I used a smaller bit than the one pictured here

After releasing the worn trundles I used 1.10mm pivot wire which is ideal for this purpose and matched the worn trundles precisely.

Test fitting of pivot wire before the wire is cut to proper length

I began with the fly. I drilled into the top shroud. I then cut 1.10mm pivot wire into the required lengths then rounded the ends with a cut-off disc on a  Dremel. After the fly was completed I addressed two more lantern pinions in the same way. I staked the shroud ends to seal the trundles inside.

With three done the escape wheel lantern pinion was next and that is when I ran into a snag. The escape wheel shroud is reversed (see photo below), so I cannot drill into the top shroud without a lot of guess work. Using needle nose pliers I decided to turn the worn trundles inward and seal them with Permatex (medium strength thread-locker) so they are fixed rather than rolling. This is not ideal but it is reversible.

There does not appear to be a definitive answer as to whether the trundles should be free-moving or fixed although I suppose they are designed to roll with the gear teeth. At some future point the trundles on this wheel will need to be replaced.

So, how do you get at those trundles?
So, how do you get at those trundles?

The clock did not come with a pendulum bob so, a new one was attached. The suspension spring and leader was replaced to address a crimped spring that resulted in a wobbling pendulum bob. I used .09mm suspension spring in the correct length. The clock now runs well and it has completed a number of 30-hour cycles.

I suspect that this will be a clock that will not be run daily, the inevitable hassle of constantly winding a 30 hour clock but I am pleased that it is back in running order and I will ensure that is runs on special occasions.

5 thoughts on “Waterbury 30 hour Ogee clock – servicing Part II

  1. The escape wheel lantern cage can probably just be separated to replace the trundles, but you would need a few special tools: namely a hollow punch to fit just over the pivot (I use ones from a staking set) and special anvils (the ones that are split down the centre with different sized holes.

    You would basically need to support the top “cage cover” (the one farthest from the wheel) from around its preimeter, then tap the arbour down (using the punch to avoid bending or breaking the pivot.

    Since all the parts are just a friction fit, the cover should slide up, and the trundles would then be loose.

    To close it again, you’d do “sort of” the reverse, but supporting under the lower cover, and using a hollow punch (or a drilled piece of wood dowel) that would cover over the entire arbour.

    It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s doable.

    As for “not winding it daily” I find that a bit sad, but mostly because I’m so used to winding about 14 of my clocks daily. It’s a routine for me, and a lot of my nicest clocks are 30 hour ones, so I can’t imagine not using them. The main drawback to them is if I’m away from home for more than 24 hours they all need to be reset and re-wound when I return.


    1. Thanks JC. As I build up my supply of special tools I can tackle this again in the manner you suggested. I have only 2 30 hour clocks; as I acquire more I may get into the routine of winding daily.


      1. There are always work-arounds, too. I don’t own a split anvil but I will sometimes just use sections of scrap metal to do the same thing. I should just make one or buy one, but I don’t tend to need the tool very often.

        As for 30 hour clocks, I have always bought the clocks that needed the most work, because they were cheaper, and a lot of the cheaper clocks tended to be 30 hour ones. As a result, I have about a DOZEN ogee clocks, and many shelf clocks. There are also a small number of wooden works, which are all 30 hour (the 8 day versions exist, but they are rare, and generally near-or-over 1000$, so over my budget).

        Definitely look for more ogee clocks if you like the shape and style of them. There are SO MANY nice ones out there, and often for cheap or nearly free. I’ve bought at least 4-5 of them for less than 40$ a piece.


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