Don’t throw those old clock parts away

Don’t throw that old clock case or movement away. In this article, I will describe how I repurpose/reuse an old ogee clock case and how saving those old clock parts will come in handy someday.

Some time ago I responded to an ad on our local online for-sale site from an individual who had four clocks for sale, all for $20. I had no idea of the condition of the clocks but for the price I couldn’t lose but I knew it would be interesting. So, off my wife and set off for a 30-minute drive north of our home in Nova Scotia. The seller had them spread out on a table in an old barn. They had been stored in an attic for many years and were filthy.

None of them were in great shape but three came with mechanical movements which was worth the price alone.

They are:

  • E N Welch 30-hour Ogee movement and case,
  • Elisha Manross time and strike steeple clock, with 30-hour movement,
  • Ansonia Extra Drop time-only, 8-day wall clock with movement,
  • Waterbury mantel clock, replacement quartz movement.
That ogee case on the left was missing half of its veneer and would never be whole again

I managed to salvage two clocks from this bunch.

The Ansonia Extra Drop is hanging in my office and runs daily. The Elisha Manross steeple clock from 1843 has been cleaned up, serviced, and is now on display. The Manross clock has the distinction of being the only one in my collection with rare brass mainsprings.

A couple of missing pieces but looks good and runs well (reflection between 6 & 7)

Both clocks look great

Elisha Manross 30-hour steeple with brass mainsprings and new right finial & base

The Welch ogee and the Waterbury mantel clock were well beyond the due date they still had use as donor or parts clocks. I removed the brass bezel, strike rod block, dial face, rear door, and hinges from the Waterbury clock and tossed out the case which was not salvageable. Even the veneer could not be reused.

There was quite a bit to salvage from the Welch clock. I took out the movement, cleaned it, and put it aside to be used as a spare Ogee movement. I removed the pulleys, glass, hinges, iron nails, door catch and stripped the case entirely of its Rosewood veneer.

A new door made from the back panel of the ogee
Waterbury shot drop with new/old door

Talk to any clockmaker. Many save parts from clocks beyond repair for future use

Veneer from the ogee was used to make a new finial base for the Elisha Manross steeple clock
A section of old wood is glued to a missing section of the backboard for the Ansonia Extra Drop wall clock

Veneer from the ogee clock was used to cover the finial bases for an old Scottish tall case clock.

Talk to any clockmaker and you will find many that save parts from clocks beyond repair. Conserve, do not throw anything out, it may have a future use as a hard-to-find part for a repair.


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