Tag Archives: Project

Removing Rust and Paint from the Vise

I wasn’t happy with how much rust remained after the vinegar treatment, so I decided to give the vise a treatment with Evapo-Rust – my favorite rust remover.

I also decided that so little paint was left, I’d strip the remaining paint off, either with paint stripper or a wire wheel, depending on whether the paint had lead in it.

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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 90 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 needing 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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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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Calculating a Clock’s Ideal Pendulum Period, the Sequel

In an earlier post I calculated the ideal pendulum period for the Korean clock by counting its wheels’ teeth (outer teeth) and pinions (inner teeth). This post is an update based on the errors I made while attempting to do the same for my second clock: the Ansonia kitchen clock.

What follows is a more detailed “how to” for calculating the pendulum period based on gear ratios.

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Clock Repair 101: How the Great Wheel Works

I just now learned how the great wheels – the mainspring gears – work, by finding they didn’t work correctly in my Korean clock. The strike train Tension Washer, that is supposed to hold the gear firmly against the ratchet, has come loose. …so I had to disassemble the clock, after it had run fine for over 11 days.

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The Second Clock: A Craft-Altered Ansonia Derby

Since I was making good progress on my first clock, I decided to haunt the antique malls looking for  a second one to repair. I wasn’t really planning to buy a clock until I’d finished the first, but I found the perfect second clock to work on.

I found it in an antique mall in Hillsboro (Oregon). It’s a mantel clock – a Kitchen Clock – similar to my family Seth Thomas clock that is my eventual target for repair (once I know what I’m doing).  It also fit the bill of a) not working well, and b) not worth a lot.

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