Rollins School Tower Clock Restoration 1993

Description of Clock: 1893 Seth Thomas double 3-legged gravity escapement striker. Zinc tube temperature compensating pendulum. Mechanism located approximately 40' below the dials.

Scope of Work: The City of Lawrence requested a "museum-quality restoration," which entailed the following:

Construction of 4 new sets of hands from straight grained redwood. Old hands used as router templates. New hands tapered, painted and riveted (solid copper) onto hubs. Counterbalanced and reinstalled.

Reconditioning of all dial gears and planetary gears. "Frozen" gearing freed up and repaired. Glass bead blasting used to remove 100 years of encrustations. Cast iron parts painted, brass buffed and re-laquered.

Restoration of thin walled shaftwork connecting planetary and dial gears. The original was corroded and bent through in several places and had been replaced with heavier, smaller diameter iron pipe. Internal coupling pieces turned from maple on lathe.

Repairing of mechanism frame, sub-frame, and various cast iron components replicating the original two-tone, green and black color scheme.

Gold leaf stripes applied.

Complete disassembly of all parts of time and striking trains. Removal of all crust and rust. Buffing with two compounds to a gloss and relaquering. Some parts painted (as per original) with gold leaf paint.

Complete disassembly and restoration of temperature compensated pendulum. Bob (approximately 100 lbs.) repainted green with black horizontal stripes.

All pulleys disassembled and reconditioned, and repainted. Missing pulleys replaced with similar types.

All weights wire brushed and repainted.

Missing weight hangers replaced.

All cable replaced: time train required 110' of 1/4" and striking train required 250' of 5/16"

Illumination Regulator restored. To be used for switching of lights inside dials.

New minute hand for small dial on mechanism fabricated to match original appearance.

Old electric weight return modifications removed and restored, not reinstalled. Clock restored to its original hand-wound mode of operation.

All striker linkage restored and reinstalled. Hammer return spring re-arched. Hammer and long transverse pivoting shaft refinished. Hammer axles rebushed. Hammer raised to strike proper spot on bell, new half-turn buckles fabricated.

Bell cradles wire-wheeled to remove rust, primed, repainted.

All components properly lubricated and synchronized. Pendulum length adjusted to proper running rate.

This clock is extremely accurate, very rarely needing any adjustments.

Before Rrestoration
(more pictures)
After Restoration
(more pictures)