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John Stevens’ skeleton clock

There are now three more pictures in my skeleton clock album

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Sam Stones07/07/2011 04:36:46
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698 forum posts
260 photos
Gentlemen,

I have added three more pictures to my album of thirty which shows various parts in the construction of John Stevens’ skeleton clock with lever escapement.

With the help of John Parslow’s approach, (thank you John), and under the skilful and selective eye of my wife I’ve combined Tasmanian oak beading, shellac lacquer (French polish), and a layer of dark blue cloth which has extra padded thickness. The shellac has produced a brassy colour which we believe compliments the brass of the clock.

A trip to the glazier’s shop will be the next step in making a glass case to protect the clock. I plan to glue the glass panels together with clear silicone, aiming to produce a near invisible joint. If the refractive index of the silicone was similar to that of the glass, I could imagine that the joint would be hard to detect.

Any thoughts?

Once the case is complete, I can then strip the clock down to its individual parts ready for a final clean-up, another polish, and then apply my version of lacquer to the brass. It was interesting to discover that the British Museum don't apply lacquer to their exhibits, but I'd rather not have to go through the cleaning and polishing bit again.

One last thought. From my super-gluing experiments, I wound enough length of balance spring to make a couple more springs if needed. Judging from the quality of the one presently controlling the clock's accuracy, a better one would be more satisfying.

Regards,

Sam

Edited By Sam Stones on 07/07/2011 04:37:44

NJH07/07/2011 12:40:22
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2314 forum posts
139 photos
Hi Sam
 
Looks good!
I'm not sure about the "near invisible" joint but I await your result in hope - and with interest as it may be of use to me.
I imagine you will silver the chapter ring? I can still remember the first time I did this - I didn't really think it was going to work - then - pow, like magic, it did!
 
Regards
 
Norman
John McNamara07/07/2011 13:20:22
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1311 forum posts
113 photos
Hi Sam

Having wrestled, coached and cajoled such an elegant mechanism from pieces of raw bare metal, you can now look upon it as no other can. Knowing that by your hands and mind you overcame all the difficulties the project put before you.

I am in awe of your creation.

You mention the family name Parslow in your post that brings back memories of my childhood at Yellingbow Victoria near Melbourne Australia.

Cheers

John
blister07/07/2011 21:01:22
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28 forum posts
3 photos
Incredibly John, the Parslow name brings back yellingbo memories for me too. Chris Parslow was a good friend of mine. My formative years were in Hoddles Creek.
Apologies for this not having anything to do with clocks.
 
Phil
Sam Stones08/07/2011 05:20:32
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698 forum posts
260 photos
Norman,

I very much doubt that the silicone which the glazier will use, will have a similar refractive index to glass, but we'll see. Unless we have more window-shattering storms, it should be ready early next week.

Re: 15 day skeleton timepiece by J Parslow

To John (McNamara) and Phil (blister)

How remarkable, and what a small world. As the crow flies, the two villages you have each mentioned are only 3.5 miles apart. Could it be that you knew each other as you grew up?

On my 2004 disc there is an address of C I Parslow

2100 Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road
YELLINGBO VIC 3139
5964 8203
 
Could this person be the very same Chris that you knew?
 
I've emailed John Parslow to ask if he has any connection.
 
Regards to all,
 
Sam
John McNamara08/07/2011 05:35:21
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1311 forum posts
113 photos
Hi Sam and Blister

It was a long time ago......
I lived in an old Tudor style house with a slate roof a bit of a landmark around there. I was around 8 when we moved. I did not know John Parslow. But my parents knew the family.
My Uncle lived nearby Family name Seymour he raised a big family there.

It’s a small world

Cheers
John
blister08/07/2011 08:53:53
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This is all a bit bizarre.
Sam, I am very confident that the address is one and the same as when I was a lot younger Chris was picked up from his house for a school excursion or maybe we were going on a school camp (it was a long time ago). Chris and I were in the same class in high school.
 
John, I can remember the Tudor style house but not your name although the Seymour name definitley rings a bell
 
Chris lost his leg in a horseriding accident around about 1975 if that helps.
I moved from the Yarra Valley in about 1988 and now live in Ballarat Victoria or perhaps I have moved to bizarro world...who knows
 
Once again I apologise for not using this thread for your clock Sam but this is all a bit incredible
 
Regards,
Phil
 
ps My last name is Thorn
Philip Rowe08/07/2011 09:31:47
176 forum posts
14 photos
Hi Sam
On the subject of having to repolish the clock components at some point in the future, my own findings reflect those of the British Museum.
Just over twenty years ago I completed a skeleton clock (my own design) and it was given a final clean and polish and placed under a glass dome sitting on a hardwood base. After all this time the finish on the brass is almost as good as the day it was finished. Not absolutely perfect but still more than good enough for display purposes, I must admit that after my initial enthusiasm I soon got fed up with winding the clock every few days, so the glass dome is rarely removed so the air inside the dome remains the same.
With this rate of tarnishing of the brass I don't think it is something to worry too much about.
 
Phil
Buster08/07/2011 10:09:09
20 forum posts
I can second what Phil says but be carefull of silicone fumes, they have a rapid ageing effect on brass, ask me how i know, David
Ian S C08/07/2011 10:55:14
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7468 forum posts
230 photos
Sam, for assembing the glass work there is a glue used in making aquariums, it is activated by UV light (sun light is OK), its strong and, invisable. Ian S C
Sam Stones08/07/2011 23:24:22
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698 forum posts
260 photos
Gentlemen,
 
Personally, I have no problem with this thread going the way it has wrt the name Parslow, so long as it doesn't offend others.
 
Phil T and John Mc, I've sent you a PM which says a little more wrt Yellingbo.
 
As for the silicone issue and the brass of my clock, I suspect that what is evaporating from the silicone is ammonia. At least that's what it smells like. I wonder if the amount of silicone left between the glass after trimming with a scalpel will be sufficient to hassle me!?
 
Regards,
 
Sam

Edited By Sam Stones on 08/07/2011 23:25:33

Pat09/07/2011 02:18:03
94 forum posts
1 photos
Hi Sam
 
The silicone sealant is available in a specialised form that does not give off acid making fumes and it is used for the potting / sealing of delicate electronic equipment. As far as I am aware these are all two part mixes. There are some one parts that are low fuming and may be better than the aquarium designated one that gives off detectable levels of acetol For fish keeping the important feature is the absence of any bacterial preventing compounds now common in most sealing products as acetic acid is readily removed by washing with water prior to fish introduction!
 
There are other glass clear glues but I have had difficulty with ICI's Tensol as it is difficult to apply without bubbles. But I did not try degassing the glue as I would have done for a two part mix as it looked free from bubbles prior to application.
 
Regards - Pat
 
PS the DIY mirror adhesives are reasonably free from acetol  and there are construction adhesives suitable for use on aluminium which might offer a water clear solution.  The ones I have used have been translucent rather than clear and did not smell or cause discolouration of copper or attack silvering on uncoated mirror backing to glass.   

Edited By Pat on 09/07/2011 02:22:33

Sam Stones09/07/2011 06:29:35
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698 forum posts
260 photos

Hi Pat,

Your comments are most informative and would be applicable if I were making the glass cover myself. Unlike my rather slow progress recently, it appears that I moved too quickly with regards to making the glass case.

I handed the glass part of the project to a local glazier who told me the job would be ready this coming Monday or Tuesday. However, I will certainly keep your details in mind, and trust that your comments will also be of use to others. When I suggested a smell of ammonia, perhaps I was wrong, and maybe it was acetic acid.

Many years ago, I became involved in moulding parts from silicone moulds. I used RTV (ie. room-temperature vulcanising) two pot mixes. The work was critical enough to warrant buying and using a high vacuum pump to de-aerate the mix. It was quite surprising to watch the mix froth and grow in volume by about three or four times, as the air beaten in during mixing, came to the surface as bubbles. I can’t say one way or the other if there were volatiles being released at the same time. Overall, it was a very satisfying process, but certainly needed a de-aeration stage wrt the silicone.
 
Thanks again for your help.
 
Best regards,
 
Sam
Sam Stones12/07/2011 23:05:57
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698 forum posts
260 photos
Hi John (McNamara),
 
You may have missed my PM's!?
 
Sam
 
 
 
John McNamara12/07/2011 23:50:33
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1311 forum posts
113 photos
Hi Sam
I hope you got mine?
Cheers
John
Sam Stones13/07/2011 00:18:39
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698 forum posts
260 photos
Hi John,
Yes I did, and am jotting down some details.
I thought you might want to chat directly, hence my email address.
Best regards,
Sam

Edited By Sam Stones on 13/07/2011 00:19:34

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