Antique Walnut bracket clock restoration

Walnut bracket clock

The small walnut bracket clock was damaged through a house fire, the case was badly damaged from the heat causing the veneers to burn and crack. Along with the glass to crack . The small brass movement with its porcelain dial was also damaged and would require attention.

The case had the 18th century movement made by Marriott of Fleet Street removed and sent on to the horologist to be looked at repaired and serviced, the heat had caused the movement to rust from the moisture and would need to be taken apart and carefully and looked at. The case had the doors removed and the brass side grills, along with its front brass bevel. The case wood then have its veneer removed , to see the extension of damage to the case from the fire. Unfortunately this showed up that the case and movement were a marriage, this wasn’t a grate surprise and can be fairly common with clocks and specially longcase clocks as movements were often swapped around. This would mean a little bit extra work for me during the restoration though. The heat had caused the case to become loose and the glue drying out, this would mean that I would need to pull the case apart and reglued and clamp back together before I could veneer the case . Some new European walnut burr was purchased and soaked and flattened to prepare for it to be veneered. Some of the case was to badly damaged and would require me to make a new top and new walnut mouldings. Theses were remade and fitted prior to it being veneered

I still use traditional method of veneering, using hide glue (scotch glue) and veneered by hand , not using a bag press like some people would use . Once the case and doors were done and allowed to dry, I was able to sand the veneer and prepare for the next stage that would be polishing. Once the case was ready for polishing the veneer was stain with a weak orange stain to bring out the colour of the timber. A light rub back and was then a thin coat of shellac applied to seal before I started to French polish using a white polish. This would take me a while as the veneer was new and would soak in the new polish and would take time, allowing for the polish to harden up before another body of polish was applied using a traditional rubber by hand and not a spray gun .once I was happy the case was then waxed and the brassware polished and lacquered before being fitted back into the case along with its new Silk. It was now ready for the movement to be fitted back in and then returned to my client.

Once the movement was finished and tested over a period of a week it was fitted back into its case . With its brass being cleaned and polished , the moment porcelain dial cleaned ready to go

Couple pictures of before and after, just to show how things can be restored and brought back , all work can be quoted upon and I can be contacted through my website @chapmanrestoration.co.uk

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