All posts by Brad Needham

Restoring a Rusty Vise – it Begins

WARNING: I don’t know what I’m doing!

On a whim I bought a rusty, Ace brand 3 1/2″ (say 89 mm) vise at a garage sale. I’ve watched a few vise restoration videos, so I think I have a chance at restoring it…

How it started: I’ve been watching a lot of Matthew Read’s excellent clock repair videos (Open Clock Club Archive, How to repair pendulum clocks, and How to Repair Pendulum Clocks – LIVESTREAM). Lately he’s been repairing an early 19th century clock, doing a lot of metalworking in the process. Inspired by that work – and needed a vise for my clockmaker’s bench – I decided to buy a rusty vise and attempt to restore it. This post covers the first step in that restoration.

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Adjusting the Count Lever on an Ansonia Clock Movement

While waiting for its case to be repaired, my craft-altered Ansonia Derby clock has been running on a test stand – off and on for quite a while. I noticed that every great once in a while the count lever failed to drop into the 8 o’clock slot, causing the number of hours struck to be incorrect from then on.

The problem was that the count lever needed adjusting so the lever wouldn’t hang up on the walls of the slot it was dropping into. In this post I describe my adventure of adjusting (bending) the count lever.

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Needhamia Emmigrates to a new Needhamia.com

Due to an attack on the old, out-of-date Needhamia.com web site, I’ve rebuilt the site on a modern host, rebuilding from LibreOffice files of the old posts to avoid transferring any infection from the old site.

The longer story

I created the old needhamia.com in 2014. The web provider has considered that site “legacy” for several years. Unfortunately, that status meant the site became vulnerable to attack due to obsolete versions of software: 3 times in the past few years the old needhamia.com was compromised, usually by modifications to its .htaccess file, among other things. I finally got fed up with the attacks and decided to create a new, modern site. To avoid reinfection, I’m not doing a simple backup of the old site and restore to the new one.

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Clock Repair: My Meager Knowledge of The Hardness of Metals

It’s taken me a while to learn some basic metallurgy I need for clock repair. When I started I scratched up my brass clock plates by cleaning with SOS pads – steel wool – because I didn’t know that steel is harder than brass. In this post I collect what I’ve picked up in this metals game of Scissors, Paper, Rock.

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Building a Quick Router Table Cabinet

In converting a desk into a clockmaker’s bench, I wound up buying a router and router table to make the drawers. The router table has been taking up space on my workbench ever since.

I decided to make a rolling cabinet to mount the router table to, using scrap plywood and some drawers left over from a bathroom remodel.
The project is a good example of a thrown-together wood project, and a few lessons in “measure twice; cut once”.

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Choosing and Buying An Electric Car

In January 2020 I started shopping for an electric car, buying a Chevy Bolt at the end of March. This post is a summary of the resources and methods I used to choose that car among the – happily – several likely electric cars on the market.

Years ago when I bought my 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid, I wanted an electric car, but it wasn’t quite their time yet. Happily, today there are several affordable, long-range electric cars and loads of charging stations around the USA – it’s time!

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