SCHEDULE AND AVAILABILITY: This is an update as of 5/22/20. We will continue to update as July draws nearer.
We are still looking forward to re-opening for new business in July. What our lead times will be at that point is unknown, but it is looking like 4-5 months based on our progress on backlog so far (the best it has been in 20 years). We hope to improve on that and are working furiously to do so. Meanwhile, the next availability for projects remains July 2020 (getting closer!). Please contact us after that time, and we will schedule getting your clock into the shop for repair, restoration, or whatever other service it requires. This does not apply to warranty work, which is handled on an immediate basis as always. This does NOT mean we are refusing work. We simply are in a temporary situation where we don’t have room for more clocks. It will be cleared up in time.
Unfortunately, during these temporary periods when we don’t have room for more clocks, we must prioritize getting existing work completed. As a result, we are not offering any rush services at this time.
IMPORTANT: We are up and running in Broomfield, CO., actively servicing customer projects and have been for over 3 years now at this location. 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.
Our Story. 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, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, electric clocks, self winding clocks, and many 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, vintage and contemporary cuckoo 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. Pivots need to be polished to a glass-like smoothness, and holes rebushed so as to be clean and undetectable. Precision reamers are used to achieve exact pivot-to-hole fit and clearances. These are among the most important steps. Rebushing holes without polishing pivots leads to premature hole failure, and furthers pivot wear. Using traditional broaches alone to open holes can lead to geometrically distorted holes. Worse yet, leaving worn holes unaddressed is a sure path to unreliable performance.
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.
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 are sure there are 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 in 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, and we’ll get tired of unpacking and packing your piece!
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.
Our experience, custom replacement components, and equipment allows us to take a no-compromise approach with your restoration. 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. And of course, we stock the “raw materials” to fabricate parts that are not available. This includes the proper alloys of brass, bronze, beryllium copper, steel, precious metals, resin plastics, copper and resistive wire, other electrical components, etc.
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 unfamiliar 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. See our 25-Step Restoration Process for Style F document, which outlines the detailed process used for Self Winding Clock Co. Style F (the most common) movements. Or, learn more about the details of our SWCC Restoration Process for Style A/B/C movements.
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.
We are able to provide GENUINE silk-covered rewinds for Style A/B/C motor coils and resistors, which replicates the originals exactly! This reflects our continued commitment to improve the quality of our period-accurate restorations on these unusual and cherished clocks.
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 key-wound (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 a rotor through the shaft to oil it, with long life expectancy. That is partially true; but having disassembled many H rotors, we have observed that this is simply not near enough.
Internally, the oil inside these rotors dries into a varnish-thick sludge, and adding oil to varnished sludge or filthy oil 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 predictably to blind pressure (or any other kind of) oiling at all from the outside. 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, wear 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.
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 very 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. Simply installing a functional rotor into a dirty, sludged up movement is a sure way to wear out the rotor in short order.
Sessions, United, and General Time open frame motors require a unique approach. The sintered bronze bearings were originally vacuum oiled during manufacture. Seventy to 80 years later, this oil is long gone and the bearings worn. We fabricate and install new replacement bearings, lubricate internally, and the prognosis has proven excellent. We can also open these motors, fabricate replacement bobbins and coils, then reassemble with excellent results.
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” or sintered bronze bearings, output bearings and shafts. Coils cannot be accessed with these motors, so availability of replacements is a blessing.
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.
Yes, we service cuckoo clocks, contemporary and vintage. We have experience and expertise with restoring vintage cuckoo clocks, which are notably different than contemporary cuckoo clocks, and require a different approach. For example, ratchet wheels and other movement parts are often severely worn and require fabrication of replacements. We can replicate the originals exactly and bring any vintage cuckoo clock back to life again. We can repair worn music movements, returning the original tune to service. We understand that you love your cuckoo clock’s sound and want to return it to you with the same tune that you are accustomed to.
If your cuckoo clock has met with an unfortunate accident resulting in broken case parts and other damage, don’t worry. We can do case repairs and return your clock to its wall looking like new. We’ve restored damage to both vintage cuckoo clock cases as well as contemporary cuckoos.
We are equipped with precision machining tools, electronics assembly equipment, and a sophisticated plating area designed for small components. We perform restorations, case refinishing, and final system assembly in-house to ensure quality. We design our own replacement parts, No. 6 kits, winders, and closely monitor supplier quality. All products are proudly Made in USA.
Note on Plating Services: We no longer offer parts plating for those wishing to do their own restorations. We continue to offer plating for in-house restorations.
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. Consider our Pricing Blog before you judge what is expensive or not.
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.
Policies 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 (and contact us for assistance) before returning your unit. From historic experience, very few warranty returns are a result of anything we did.
As of January 2019, return shipping on restored articles will include requirement for Adult Signature. No exceptions. With the apparent upswing in porch piracy, we must take action before someone’s valuable piece is lost. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this might cause.
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 may alternatively apply a rush charge to your project in lieu of returning it, in cases of rudeness at our discretion. 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 or subtle derogatory comments about our “business practices.” We are attentive to your needs and will be more than happy to help you.