Saturday, November 15, 2014

Post Tropical Cyclone or Polar Vortex

Our backyard
Whatever! Here is what our backyard looks like on November 15th. Typically we do not get cold weather at this time of the year let alone much snow.

Our climate is such that the only snow that stays with us comes after Christmas. At least we don't get weather that dumps mounds of snow on us like this little weather bomb did. We are told by our weather department (Environment Canada) that we can expect sub zero temperatures for the next 10 days. That means that our little 10 to 15 centimeter dump of snow will stay with us for a little while. Are we ready for winter? NO! I am certainly not ready. Heck, the lawn furniture is still out there. And the snow tires have yet to be mounted on the cars.

Please weather gods, give us some more fall!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Arthur Pequegnat oiling and cleaning

The Arthur Pequegnat Brandon (2nd Edition) is a wall clock and at at this time it is hanging in my home office as you can see from the first photo.  Typically it was used in schools and offices. It was likely a fairy accurate clock and because it is time only the movement was relatively simple and trouble free. You can see how small the movement is in the second and third photo.
The clock mechanism after taking the clock face off

When I got the clock it was making a slight rhythmic squeaking sound even though it seemed to keep good time. I surmised that it needed an oiling. I have clock oil on hand and have already oiled a few of my clocks so I have a little experience in that area. First of all it really doesn't take much to oil a clock and interesting enough generally less oil is best. Mantle clock are quite easy to oil because you simple take off the back panel and find the pivot points and apply lubrication again sparingly. Easy-Peasy. However, too much oil is problematic; too little is not enough; small drop of oil at each point will do.

Another view of the movement
The Brandon is like the Canadian Time clock that I have. To oil the clock you have to take the front clock face off after removing the hands. There are 4 small nails that pull out very easily.

I noticed that this particular clock has been oiled (or perhaps serviced) a number of times because the nails seemed to have been removed quite often. I suspect that wherever it was located it was maintained regularly. Luckily the hands have a screw mechanism that once twisted releases the hour and minute hand quite easily.

Anyway back to the squeaking. It continued to squeak after the oiling and I will wait for a little while to allow capillary action to allow the pivots to be completely lubricated. But I suspect that the squeaking will remain because as I was oiling the various areas of the clock I noticed that one of the bushings was badly worn; there was considerable play in the pivot. It was just one that I could see, there may be others. Since I am not one to replace / repair pivots I suspect that I will bring it in to a horologist to have some work done. I also suspect that even with a bad pivot  or bushing the Brandon will continue to tick; a testament to the quality of these fine old clocks.

As I had everything taken apart I touched up the case, cleaned the glass front and back and the clock face itself with a little soap and water. All in all it looks great!

UPDATE: One day later and the squeaking has all but disappeared. However I am delaying the inevitable. That pivot still needs to be fixed. Perhaps during the winter months.

Pequegnat Clock - The Brandon

Now hanging in my home office
 Just got this Arthur Pequegnat Brandon clock this past week at an antique store in Great Village, Nova Scotia. We were in the same store not three weeks before and did not see this clock; it had just arrived. The owner, a dealer, put it up for sale but had intended to keep it. Nevertheless the price was a little high and I then asked for any discounts to which the propriator said, yes, 20% and so the price was reduced. I then asked the store what would happen if I did not ask for a discount and they said their policy is to sell at the sticker price. Bottom line, no discount if you don't ask. Something to keep in mind if you are shopping for antiques as many stores sell by consignment.

A well preserved label
This is the Brandon model. It is the second edition made after 1917 although I do not know the precise year. I know for a fact that it is not older than 1941 because that is when the company closed its doors in Kitchener Ontario. Some Brandons  have a regulator decal on the bottom door. This one does not. Some were time and strike, this is time only. Some had Roman numeral dials; this has Arabic.

Face is in very good condition
The case is in very good shape although it appears that it might have been reconditioned later in its life. The finish is glossy. I suspect that originally the finish was more of a satin. Just a guess. The face has very little wear. There are some marks around the keyhole which are winding key "misses". Otherwise a small scrape on the top door left side and some nicks on the main case to the right which are not visible till one looks side on. The label is in very good shape for the age. The back is also in good shape. The bob is a little tarnished but in very good shape nonetheless and seems to be original.

The clock is making a slight squeaking sound which I hope to fix by oiling. To do that the clock face has to come off. Why, these were wall cloaks and were made to be adjusted and oiled in situ. In their work and school locations the clock had to be running at all times and could not be taken down and left in a shop for days unless serious work had to be done. But these were simple mechanisms and therefore very reliable.

Clasp mechanism for top door
I am told that this is my "early Christmas present".