Double chain fusee 1/2 seconnd train
New Engliish lever balance wheel skeleton clock commision
1 of 2 Condliff style skeleton clocks I have started. This one is an English Lever balance wheel striking 8 day type.
Double chain fusee 1/2 seconnd train
3 train and 2 train skeleton clock frames started
Progress of clock parts made so far for the 2 train and 3 train skeleton clocks
images of wheels ,snail and parts manufacturing progress on the 2 Condliffs.
machined pinions for the chime and strike clocks so far.
While working as a clock restorer in England, 28 years ago, I was fortunate to get a James Condliff skeleton clock. The clock was 2 train fusee, balance wheel, employing a lever escapement with helical spring in a central balance cage.
I was fascinated by the large oscillating balance and what looked like a large chronometer, at a glance.
Unfinished Condliff inspired skeleton clock
I became driven to build my own clock on the close lines of the Condliff.
All the clocks i have seen with this type which is termed "2nd series" have a rectangular glass dome and a rectangular wooden base. They also have and integral English lever escapement. As far as I know Condliff never made chronometer escapements in these clocks. They are all lever escapements that from a distance look like a chronometer because of the helical hairspring.
Having worked on many marine chronometers I was determined to encompass into my clock the chronometer escapement. The idea was re-inforced when I serviced a Black skeleton chronometer
Left-Inside backplate of an original James Condliff second series balance wheel lever escapement skeleton clock. Note, all plain bearings.
Right-Inside backplate of my chronometer escapement skeleton clock.
Note, jewel bearings and ball beraing fitted to one side.
SO i designed the escapement with a Breguet escape wheel and his spring detent, escapement. A single beat escapement beating 7200 vibs/hr. The coaxial seconds hand actually shows seconds on the dial.
So this would be the only clock that looked like a Condliff 2nd series clock with a single beat chronometer escapement. It was a test of my skill.
Condliff never used an oval glass dome on his 2nd series clocks, he used a specially blown rectangular glass shade with flat sides and rounded corners. Initially I invested in the idea of making a rectangular dome, but this would cost a fortune and i wanted to get on with the clock. John Neilson, son of Brig. Neilson, the late well known clock dealer of tetbury agreed to make the oval base from an old mahogany cupboard he had. I gave him the dimensions and he did a superb job, it looked and felt form the 1860's.
Left- Inside backplate of original James Condliff 2nd series lever escapement skeleton clock. Note, plain bearings.
Right- Inside backplate of my chronometer escapement skeleton clock
Note, jewel bearings and ball bearing fitted to one side.
also note, the difference in the mid pillar scroll shape.
The original 2nd series lever clocks had cast brass plates of 1/8th thickness and seemed flimsy to me, no castings were used in my clock I decided to make mine from 3/16th thick leaded engraving brass that was all hand cut. Also Condliff used a gong in the base, tripped the striking train above, by a fine wire.
I decided a bell would have a much better sound, so i installed one in the base, I also installed Large jewels all through the going train. The exeption is the going barrel. This is fitted with a ball race to reduce friction.
I know from working on enough Condiff clocks that he DID NOT use jewels in the going train- just plain brass on steel bearings were used.
On all 2nd series clocks the frame around the 2 mid pillar positions is left with a circular shape to conform with the round washer.
On my clock I made the triangle scroll curved projection similar to the top pillar scroll projection to further refine the design.
Striking train parts for the new chronometer skeleton clock.
From left to right:
lifting peice, spoked star wheel and snail, roller jumper, hour rack and rack hook.
The clock I made was finished in 2000 and sold to an American collector and is now posing as an original James Condliff in a well know American collection.
My clock is easy to distinguish. It is the only single beat, Condliff skeleton chronometer with a "Breguet" french escape wheel. Also the going train is fully jeweled and the going barrel has a modern ball bearing fitted.
This clock was many years in the making but was worth it, I succeeded in making something unique.
19th century 8-day marine chronometer, by H. Hughes& son, London.
Chronometer dial work, which i previously silvered.
Hughes 8 day movement.
Work consisted of mainspring replacement and new balance staff.
*note* parts are unavailable for these, so they have to be made by hand.
Dutch striking, quarter chimming longcase clock by William Gibb, Rotterdam
Dial work of the dutch musical clock.
This restoration consisted of replacement of the musical train, including bells and hammers as these were missing.
New hammer and bells.
We have this Melhuish Bench recently arrived from the UK, and we intend on making a dozen examples in walnut, black cherry and mahogany. will take inquiries/orders, if you have any questions email me.
Here I am with my clocks at the NAWCC gallery in York, PA, which I attended with my wife, Amy.
I won 1st prize with my entries, and tied for 2nd.
These are working time pieces, with an industrial aesthetic to them.
The materials I used to create them are as follows:
sand-casted glass, machined brass, reclaimed metal and wood (for the bases).