How much to clean a clock

€165 to clean a bracket clock?
Is that pukka ?
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On 09/12/2013 14:36, fred wrote:

Assuming it is by a genuine professional horologist I would say it is very reasonable. Mine cost me £200 or so last year.
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Peter Crosland

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+1
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On 09/12/2013 14:36, fred wrote:

Very reasonable, if it's done properly. Movement out of the case, let down the springs, take it all apart, ultrasonic clean (usually) the plates, wheels, and all the bits and bobs of levers. Clean out all the pivot holes in the plates with "pegwood" (like cocktail sticks). Brass brush everything. Take the springs out of the barrels (horrible job), clean all the crud, check them for cracks, grease them, get them back into the barrels, clean up the blood. Cleaning will often include rebushing some of the holes in the plates, and burnishing the pivots (bearing surfaces on the end of each arbor).
Put it all back together, setting it all up so that the strike and chime mechanisms are synchronised to work together. Regulate it to keep time over the full eight days.
There's usually a few more odd jobs while it's apart: new suspension spring, freeing off regulating nuts, dealing with the last bodger's handiwork.
Then deal with the old biddy who insists you've done something awful to it, cos it only runs for a day. The find she can only put half a turn on the winder. Or the old bloke who'll think £300 for his MoT is a bargain, but a clock's first service for forty years should be tuppence.
Or just dunk the whole movement, intact, in the ultrasonic tank, splash a bit of oil around, and hope you never see it again.
I've retired from it.
--
Kevin


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On Monday, December 9, 2013 10:23:04 PM UTC, Kevin wrote:

a

ection is active.

Kevin, many thanks for the details. I had a feeling it wasn't expensive as the clock repair man works in very humble surroundings.
I've sent SWMBO a copy of you email in order to enlighten her. She thought it sounded too expensive !
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More than a clean then if re-bushing is needed and springs need to be stripped. Thanks for the interesting summaries.
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DerbyBorn

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On 10/12/2013 13:18, DerbyBorn wrote:

I'd hope to spot before I quoted if it needed extensive rebushing, and quote accordingly, but you can't always be sure until the movement is at least separated from the dial. Whether you accept that some will need a couple of bushes, and live with it, or ring the customer to explain what ideally needs doing, and how much more it will cost, is always a tricky one. If you're working on the builders' principle of "cover your costs with the contract, make your money on the variations", you'd charge for every lever you had to straighten, but doing clock repairs - as with many other repairs - is a bit one-sided, and the customer needs to trust you. I did used to warn people about the possibility of cracks in the ends of springs: once you see a crack beginning, it would be daft to put it back together in the hope that it had taken thirty years to show, so it might last another thirty. If a spring lets go, it can do so with a hell of a bang, and strip teeth and bend arbors through the movement. Explain this, and most customers were happy to accept that I might have to add a few quid to the bill.
And if you don't clean and regrease a spring, you'll get those awful clunks as the clock runs down and the spring coils stick-slip.

My pleasure.
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Kevin


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On Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:19:46 +0000, Kevin wrote:

Ha! I have that with the clockwork radio!
Pity you're not in business...I have a clock that (I would guess) needs cleaning. It stops nearly every time at 10:55. Not my field so I'm not goung to touch it. The place it went 20 years ago is a way away and I can't find out if they are still there without going all the way over there.
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More than a clean then if re-bushing is needed and springs need to be stripped. Thanks for the interesting summaries.
--

DerbyBorn

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a) You can maybe blame quartz crystals and microelectronics for that. Prior to their arrival, watch and clock making represented the pinnacle of a tradition of precision engineering going back 400 years, to which tens of thousands had devoted their working lives.
b) Before the advent of quartz a mechanical chronometer would need to lose no more than +/-3 seconds on average per day over an extended testing period before being granted a certificate. However nowadays even the cheapest quartz watch or clock can be expected to lose only +/- 1 second per day on average.
As a result of a) there are very few skilled repairers around any more which pushes up costs while as a result of b) unless a clock or watch is of collectible or sentimental value, the cost of cleaning will usually exceed the market value i.e the replacement cost of the clock or watch.
I don't have any direct experience but if the clock is of sentimental value it may be possible to swap in a quartz movement while keeping the original hands and store the mechanical movement away somewhere for when you win the lottery.
michael adams
...
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On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 2:31:35 PM UTC, michael adams wrote:

Well I bought it because I wanted a mechanical clock. About 20 years ago it cost me around £600. The clock repairer reckoned it was well worth savin g. Incidentally I had brought it to him because it had initially stopped ch imimg and then stopped completely. All my fault. When re-setting it I did n ot pause at each hour to let it ring out. Result was the chiming mechanism got jammed. You learn something every day. (Probably common knowledge when such clocks were more common.)
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This is what I did with my F-I-L's retirement clock.
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It seems absurdly cheap. I'd expect to pay £500ish.
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wrote:

I wonder why. Why isn't it possible to use ultrasonic cleaner - or stand it in a bath of solvent - and then carefully lubricate the main parts. After all - we don't strip down car engines to change the oil. Sorry if I sould like a pleb - but trying to understand why such a cost is required on a fairly substantial bit of mechanism. I realise the movement would have to be removed from th ecase and face.
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wrote:

I wonder why. Why isn't it possible to use ultrasonic cleaner - or stand it in a bath of solvent - and then carefully lubricate the main parts. After all - we don't strip down car engines to change the oil. Sorry if I sould like a pleb - but trying to understand why such a cost is required on a fairly substantial bit of mechanism. I realise the movement would have to be removed from the case and face.
--

DerbyBorn

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On 10/12/2013 09:51, DerbyBorn wrote:

If you read my previous reply, you'll see an outline of what's involved. Yes, you can just dunk the movement in an ultrasonic tank, and it comes out looking cleaner. It doesn't, in practice, clean the holes in the plates, even if the clock is fully dismantled, let alone if there's a pivot still in there. Then there's the springs. If it's an American movement, or an alarm clock, with "open" springs, the ultrasonic cleaner will clean the springs. If it's most other sorts, the spring - several feet of spring steel, perhaps 0.045" thick, and anything from 3/4" to a couple of inches wide, is coiled tightly inside a brass barrel, perhaps a couple of inches in diameter. All the ultrasonic cleaner does is to fill this barrel with mildly corrosive mucky liquid, which is damn near impossible to clean out without - you've guessed it - dismantling the movement.
What's a reasonable hourly rate for a clock repairer?
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On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 9:51:56 AM UTC, DerbyBorn wrote:

it

s

That's what I did to mine. My brother-in-law is an horologist and gives me used up cleaner an a bonfire accelerant as needed. Clock works fine now, st ill needs a bit of regulating. BIL also said it wasn't worth the cost of hi m doing it. I did find an excellent You Tube video which showed how to lubr icate the american works I had. I wouldn't do this on a good clock.
Jonathan
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