By Edwin U. Sowers III
Published by the NAWCC. Copyright 2012. Full Color. Paperback, 136 pages. ISBN 978-0-09823584-6-7.
Available for $18.95 plus shipping through the NAWCC Museum Store.
Order through the Museum Store.
Review of Challenging Repairs to Interesting Clocks
Those of us who love clock repair share a common thought: clock repair is fascinating! After thinking about a difficult repair problem, we experience a sudden inspiration about how to solve it. Then we plan the work and carry it out. We go to the workshop first thing in the morning to check whether our movement is still running on the test stand. What’s next? It’s on to the next problem, of course.
Ed Sowers was a retired mechanical engineer who enjoyed clock repair as a second career. Approaching it as a business, he still enjoyed every minute of the work, and he didn’t begrudge the time it took to repair every clock properly. His concept was to repair the entire clock, including case retouching if needed. Escapements were a particular interest for Ed, who was able to study and adjust every aspect of these mechanisms. He was a master at veneer repair, and he could cast and finish replacement case carvings. But the task he loved the most was an interesting movement repair.
Challenging Repairs to Interesting Clocks is the compilation of Ed’s writings for three publications, NAWCC’s Watch & Clock Bulletin, AWCI’s Horological Times, and my monthly Clockmakers Newsletter. Ed was busy editing his articles into book form in the months before he passed away in February 2011.
Ed began every repair by studying how the mechanism worked. For example, he marveled at a “Terry’s Patent” calendar device: how could so much functionality be achieved with so few parts? When a part had failed or been improperly repaired in any clock, he was able to design a replacement or an improvement that assured a long-running clock.
Many types of clocks are featured in the 32 articles presented. Ed Sowers covers a lot of ground in his 136-page book. Along the way, you’ll learn how this master repaired cuckoo clocks, Atmos clocks, grandfathers, electromechanicals, American clocks, clock cases, and above all, escapements.
—Steven G. Conover
Atmos Timekeeping Adjustment (CN)
Removal and Replacement of Atmos Balance Suspension Wire (CN)
The Atmos Clock Winding System (CN)
New Life for a Banjo Clock (WCB)
A Troubled Barr Clock (WCB)
Fabrication and Replacement of Brocot Escapement Pallets (CN)
Movement Carrier (CN)
The Jacob Guthart J-Hook (CN)
The Herschede Two-Weight, Five-Tube Movement (HT)
Restoration of a New Haven No. 1 Office Clock
The Ingenious Poole Clock (WCB)
The Fascinating “Terry’s Patent” Calendar Clock: How It Works (WCB)
Using the Bushing Machine (CN)
Repair of a Cone Cup Screw (CN)
Cuckoo Music Movement Repair (CN)
Fabrication of a Cuckoo Clock Chain Wheel Locking Spring (CN)
Rebuilding Deadbeat Escapement Pallets (CN)
Closing a Deadbeat Pallet (CN)
Adjusting Drop with a Recoil Escapement (CN)
Multiple Repairs to a Mainspring Barrel (WCB)
Maintaining Power (HT)
Hour Wheel Tooth Repair (CN)
Creating a Six-Tooth Segment for a Tall Case Hour Wheel (HT)
Ratchet Teeth on a Tallcase Date Wheel: A Novel Repair Technique (WCB)
A New Face: Successfully Installing a Paper Dial (HT)
Practical Repair and Restoration: Clock Case Repair (WCB)
A Case Study—Reproduction of the Missing Rosette (WCB)
Clock Case Veneer Restoration (WCB)