Note: Presently we are experiencing a 6 to 7 month backlog on full restorations. For example, if you sent your clock or clock movement to us last June through August, we should be finishing the project this month or early next. If you send us a clock or clock movement today, we would be finishing it in the July-August 2018 timeframe. For smaller projects (eg small electrics or motors, oilings and adjustments), the backlog is 2-3 months depending on the work required. Warranty work is always first in first out (no backlog).
Please keep in mind that summer and holiday months are worst for backlog. Like you, there is more vacation, travel, and other activities between May and September (as well as December). While we strive to work our backlog down under 5 months, summertime and “life happens” occurrences take their toll and drive it in the other direction. Again, please recognize that we have NOT forgotten about you. Feel free to check in if you have concerns.
We do have a rush service offered at a premium price if you are interested in faster turn around but we only offer one such service per month. Please inquire if curious.
As a Gentle reminder: We realize and appreciate that wait times can be frustrating. But there is a limit to what can be done about it given the backlog and the specialized skills required to do this work, and we do everything possible to expedite projects. As a reminder, please scroll down and read our Policy on Rudeness, Bullying or Abusive Communication from Customers.
IMPORTANT: We have re-opened our shop, now in Broomfield, CO., and are up and running, actively servicing customer projects. PLEASE DO NOT SHIP ANY CLOCKS TO OUR OLD TEXAS LOCATION. If you do, we cannot assure they will be forwarded to us, or for that matter what will happen to them.
Ken’s Clock Clinic is the #1 choice when it comes to your clock restoration needs. Our services include restoration of vintage American and European wall clocks, mantle clocks, cuckoo clocks, electric clocks, self winding clocks, and others. We rebuild movements, restore wood or metal cases, touch up dials, or perform a complete clock restoration. All movement restorations are backed by a two-year warranty.
We service antique 8-day American clocks such as Ingraham, Gilbert, Lux, Sessions, New Haven, Seth Thomas, Herschede, Waterbury, and many others. We service Vienna Regulators, English bracket clocks, Crystal Regulators, Self Winding clocks, highly collectible alarm clocks, and vintage electric clocks. Our experience and techniques allow us to properly–and with the utmost standard of craftsmanship–service and restore clocks which are difficult to work with. A great deal of our work involves reversing improper or amateur repairs done over the years by others, resulting in an as-new clock that will be serviceable for many, many years.
A Note on “Full Restoration.”
We find that some folks are frightened by this term. We are sometimes asked to do “just a simple cleaning and oiling” on a 100 year old vintage movement. If we are presented with a relatively un-worn, newer (less than 10 year old) movement, things may be different. But a vintage, 100 year old movement is going to have many looming issues, always. Anything less than a full restoration is a piecemeal repair, and piecemeal work cannot be offered with any long-term warranty, if it works reliably at all. It is not the standard of craftsmanship we are known for.
A piecemeal approach results in call backs more times than not, which means the movement or entire clock will need to be shipped back and forth at least once. This alone will nullify any economic advantage to doing anything less than a full restoration. We don’t consider any clock that runs for only 6 months or year after a repair is done a successful project.
1. Movements that require cleaning and oiling need to be fully disassembled (down to the individual wheels, pillars, screws, etc). While disassembled, this is when wear (as well as previous botched repair attempts) should be addressed. There is no half way in dealing with these issues.
2. Removing the movement from the case always reveals more surprises than cursory inspections from the back (or front).
3. Mainsprings need to be removed from the barrels and inspected (possibly replaced) before anyone can judge their condition. If we send you back a clock where this has not been done, it’s a time bomb. Most clocks require full disassembly to do this. Once it is fully disassembled, again it is folly to do any less than a full restoration.
4. Once a clock is fully restored by us, it will generally run for perhaps 10-15 years or more with nominal maintenance (oiling and adjusting ever 3-4 years). After 10-15 years, more work may be needed, but this is variable. By contrast, simply oiling a 100 year-old worn out movement does not remove the wear or provide any longevity.
So, that’s the rationale behind why we generally recommend full restorations. Obviously, there are bound to be exceptions, but this is what we have found to be the case in a very high percentage of the vintage clocks and clock movements we see.
We don’t want to see your clock back here every 6 months! We know folks who use this as a strategy for staying in business. We don’t.
While we would love to help (and will), if you are set on a piecemeal repair, there are probably other houses that will engage on this folly. We’ve learned our lesson over and over on taking a piecemeal approach, and it ultimately doesn’t make sense for either us or the customer. You won’t be happy with piecemeal repairs long term.
Self Winding Clocks.
While these beautiful, cherished clocks are self-winding, they are not self-maintaining. Many owners seem surprised when a clock that has been working for 30 years suddenly stops. Inquiry reveals that the clock was never oiled, contacts cleaned, or even inspected for wear. It’s not unusual; self winding clocks manufactured in the early 1900’s were designed to be operated in fairly adverse industrial environments. Retired to the safe environment of the home, they tend to have longevity. Unfortunately by the time they make their way to our shop door, they are extremely worn and in need of a great deal of work due to lack of maintenance.
Mechanical wear must be addressed in a variety of ways. The challenge for the clock repair person is the level of custom machining and fabrication that is needed to carry out the repairs on self winding clocks. There is also the need to fabricate custom platinum contact replacements as well as assess and restore other electrical elements. We are fully equipped for this challenge, and have been from the beginning. Without this capability, one cannot restore self winding clock movements with routine success. In more conventional clocks, this wear is dramatically less since run time is often interrupted by weights or springs running down. And, of course, conventional clocks do not have electrical contacts and related elements.
We are the most experienced and equipped self winding clock service in existence today. We can fabricate any component of the clock, and often we need to fabricate replacement parts because the originals have worn so excessively. We stock many common wear parts (such as spring contacts, brushes, Style A/B/C hourly contacts and backstop springs) manufactured from drawings meticulously created from original parts by us.
Self winding clocks are generally powered by relatively weak springs–or no springs at all, so they tend to wear slowly. However, the flip side of this is that they tend to run for long periods of time without rest. By contrast, a conventional spring or weight-powered clock will run down and perhaps be left without winding for extended periods of time. Moreover, many self winding clocks were poorly maintained because most clock repair folks were not familiar with them and would either avoid them or could not professionally address wear specific to these clocks.
With Self Winding Clock Co. units, there was a tendency to use hole closing punches on both sides of the plates, which left the bearing surfaces thin and more subject to wear. We address these issues in every restoration, returning a clock that is virtually like new. Ask for our 25-Step Restoration Process document, which outlines the detailed process used for Self Winding Clock Co. clocks.
And yes, we now do indeed have the capability to fully restore the small German die-cast motors found in the more recent Broadcast Studio clocks. We can safely and harmlessly disassemble the motor, fabricate replacement commutators, bifurcated brush assemblies, and of course can re-tip the brushes with .004″ platinum (3x the original thickness!). The result is an all-original motor restoration with longer life than the originals.
Telechron, Revere, New Haven, Hammond, Sessions Electric Clocks.
We fully restore original electric clock movements such as Telechron, Revere, GE, Hammond, Sessions, Seth Thomas and others. We can rewind coils, fabricate replacement fiber wheels, and completely rebuild and restore Telechron rotors as part of the clock restoration. We NEVER replace movements with quartz or others, and we never take short cuts with rotor restorations. We may be the only service left on the planet that can fully restore a Sessions electric chime clock! That’s because almost 100% of them require new coils–which we can wind.
We have been asked if we service vintage New Haven electric clocks. The answer is a resounding yes! These are very rewarding clocks to restore (and are among our favorites), as many case styles were unique and fashionable in their time. Also, New Haven engineered many very clever features into their movements. These are often overlooked because the small size and stacked plates sometimes leave the perception of complexity, which scares many away. We can restore both New Haven electrics as well as the keywound (No. 380) triple plate chime or strike movements. We can fabricate replacement parts for these movements, and often this is necessary for a proper and thorough job. No issue with these is outside of our capability.
Electric Clock Rotor and Motor Restorations.
Yes, we do restore rotors and motors for customer clocks here in our own shop. We do not send them out, and we don’t buy rotors restored by others. And, just as important, we NEVER replace a rotor with one of the commonly available, short-lived and noisy Chinese rotor replacements. We have developed our own techniques which we have found to work most reliably. In fact, many of the methods claimed by others do NOT work. For example, there is a common claim that you can force oil into an H rotor through the shaft to oil it, with long life expectancy. That is partially true; but having disassembled many H rotors, we have concluded that this is simply not enough.
Internally, the oil inside these rotors dries into a varnish-thick sludge, and adding oil to varnished sludge does not lubricate well. Wear–or unreliable operation–will ensue. Further, if there is already wear, either the rotor must be serviced or replaced before oiling makes any sense. This cannot be assessed without inspection of the movement inside the rotor case. In fact, about half of the H rotors we see require a new output shaft bushing, and sometimes a new output shaft as well. This cannot be cured by forcing oil into the rotor capsule!
With the dried oil and caked-on grease present on the output shafts, how can driving oil through this shaft (from the outside in) do any more than pack varnish-hard oil back into the case containing the watch-like rotor movement? And how can this do any less than foul the rotor and stop it eventually?
Telechron B rotors simply do not respond well to pressure (or any other kind of) oiling at all. There is always wear, and it must be addressed. Again, output bushings and shafts are often worn, but internal plate holes are often worn, requiring extensive disassembly and repair.
Hammond rotors always require opening up, output shaft bushings (and sometimes new output shafts), and sometimes new wheels or other parts fabricated. They cannot simply be oiled and put back into service.
With the much newer M5 General Time rotor capsules (often used in later model Seth Thomas chime clocks), wear will be present, but sometimes it can be lived with. Other times, it is extensive and no amount of oiling will help. If an M5 rotor is still operational, it may benefit from oiling. The amount of oil forced into the rotor must be measured very carefully. Over-oiling these tiny rotors will flood the rotor and stall it, or cause drag that affects timekeeping. Yes, we can also open and service M5 rotors, rebush the plates, restore worn arbors, reassemble, oil, and seal them back up again perfectly.
Although we do restore Telechron rotors for our own clock restorations, we do NOT offer a rotor-only restoration service. If you are looking for an excellent Telechron rotor-only replacement or restoration service, we are pleased to recommend www.telechronclock.com for courteous, conscientious and economical service. Dave will disassemble, clean, rebush and replace worn parts (B rotors), lubricate then reassemble. He stands behind his work with a good warranty. We will consider restoring General Time and Hammond rotors, but prefer to do so only with the rest of the movement present, so we can assure the condition of both.
Synchron geared motors are used in many back lighted and neon clocks, as well as most “mystery” clocks. Sometimes replacements can be found. Most commonly, the 1 RPM RH motors (A43RA series) are still available. But most other shaft speeds are no longer available or are extremely difficult to find. We restore these motors by disassembling, fabricating replacement gears, bronze bearings and other parts to replace worn phenolic gears, worn “babbitt” bearings, output bearings and shafts.
Electric Clock Coil Winding.
While some stock of standard Telechron coils exists, we can provide coil winding services for unusual electric clocks such as Windsor, New Haven, Telechron NuTone, Sessions chime clocks, General Time, and others. The movement is needed for this rewinding service since we must design and produce a custom winding bobbin for each movement.
We are equipped with precision machining tools, electronics assembly equipment, and a sophisticated plating area designed especially for small components. We perform all restorations, case refinishing, and final system assembly in-house to ensure the highest quality finished product. We design our own replacement components, accessories, No. 6 kits, winders, and closely monitor supplier quality for replacement parts, dials, etc. All products are proudly Made in USA.
Pricing is commensurate with the amount of disassembly, restoration, and re-assembly required. However, we have a reputation for the highest quality work available yet reasonable rates. We back our craftsmanship with a standard 2 year warranty. Our extended warranty covers materials and workmanship for 5 years and includes one maintenance oiling during that period.
If you are considering restoration of low cost alarm clocks, please first consider our alarm clock forward. To arrange a quote after reading the Forward, please contact us. Minimum restoration charge for collectible alarm clocks (case and movement) is $250.
Policy on return shipping: Customer assumes responsibility for shipping and handling costs, regardless of reason. Restated, for clarity: Customer pays for return shipping and handling in all cases, including warranty returns. This is standard industry practice, and because we have no control over whether a return is a legitimate claim or not until the unit is inspected. Proper shipping and insurance can amount to a great deal of cost, so be sure you have a legitimate problem before returning your unit. From historic experience, very few warranty returns are a result of anything we did.
Policy on Rudeness, Bullying or Abusive Communication from Customers. We strive to provide your cherished clock with the utmost loving care possible. If, in return for that effort, you choose to call or email and become pushy, rude or verbally abusive despite our clearly stated backlog (yes we have had this happen), we do not want your business. We will return your project and wish you the best of luck. We understand you may be anxious to see your project completed; no one likes to wait including us. If you are anxious, please ask us, in a kind and socially acceptable tone, to elaborate on its status, avoiding unnecessary sarcasm. We are attentive to your needs and will be more than happy to help you.