Robert Youell Grandfather Clock Restoration



This Robert Youell went out this week. Total the job concerned restoring the face fully and the motion obtained a great service and tighten up usually. Issues put on and the odd washer is required right here and there in addition to resetting sure elements to permit for connecting face put on. We turned this round in I believe underneath 4 weeks, however to be sincere I did it rapidly as a result of I couldnt wait to get caught into it.

My favorite grandfather clocks, as readers of this weblog will know, are the machines from 1690 to 1730. For me that is when it actually was all rock and roll – the enlightenment was ongoing and our scientific bedrock was being laid. This exhibits within the clocks.

As soon as the lengthy case clock will get getting in about 1660 issues are fairly fundamental. It takes about 50 years for a guild system and agreed design normal to be accepted and used. The clocks begin small in 1660 primarily as cage based mostly actions. These are pushed by a single weight driving the 2 important trains for a chiming clock. By 1690 the 2 plate system with 3, 4 (generally) and 5 pillar stantions to create a rock stable base, had emerged. Operations for chime administration had been moved to the entrance of the ahead plate protecting issues organised, accessible and modular. This transformation and modularisation of the design, in my view, catalysed extra innovation.  The clocks whereas largely the identical mechanical design, typically featured improvements corresponding to shut off switches and chime set strategies / gateways.

This Youell is a properly made and has the next improvements.

  1. It has the countwheel that controls the sequence of chimes mounted instantly onto the barrel. It one of the simplest ways to do it however means engineering the unit with about 8 or 9 hand fitted elements. You are able to do it with half that utilizing a standard barrel and and externally mounted countweel. This has been finished on this clock simply to maintain all of it contained, neat and tidy. High quality craftsmanship and values.20190524_010420
  2. The escapement cog is within the ‘improper’ place. All the opposite clocks have yet another gear within the gear prepare. This has one much less. Meaning the escapement cog is mounted close to t he centre of the plate. It additionally signifies that the ability to the escapement is an entire gear larger than on an equal clock with the identical weight however the “proper” quantity of wheels. Its sensible. The machine runs on a weight about the identical as two cans of baked beans, the clock has not been rebushed, but maintains its integrity across the pinions as a result of they’ve merely lasted longer underneath much less strain. Perhaps this clock is a few form of skunkworks black tasks analysis clock. Certainly should you get an innovation like this it will be adopted extra usually as a result of I merely cant see any draw back with it and appreciable apparent benefits.
  3. The third isn’t an innovation however factors towards the general mindset of the chap who designed it. The triggering mechanism of the drive prepare is borrowed from its lantern type cage motion predecessor. Having stated that he has really taken the cease mechanism from a cage clock and linked to the aforementioned triggering mechanism. So, he’s been ok to take the perfect of two designs and blend them fantastically into one thing that’s higher than both.

It exhibits this chap to be a courageous and intelligent maker.. The motion demonstrates a want to supply one thing lovely mechanically – tidy and exact, at the price of complexity and the important use of superior crafting expertise together with geometry and arithmetic.

Engineering this tight means fairly thorough design and exact development. I imply a few of it may be finished as a customized match progressively however the majority of the clock must be very precisely constructed as a result of thats the best way the chap needed it to look. I ought to in all probability stress at this level that that is the primary clock Ive seen like this and I see perhaps one clock in 50 the place you say “hey now thats actually attention-grabbing”.  When the job is a restoration that is all the higher as you get to know the clock very properly.

The  dimensions (11″ which strongly signifies 1690 to 1700) and format of the face are sometimes London however have delicate variations. The half quarter markers are summary versus fleur de lys and it doesnt say Fecit Londini after his identify which was the shape on the time. So its a little bit of a contradiction as a result of I believed that almost all of high quality makers able to the early improvements beforehand talked about had been working out of London at that interval.

I wouldnt have anticipated these mechanics in something sooner than 1760 or so. However the clock face and notably the centre chapter ring are very typical of an early clock. Its additionally a sq. face. This in itself doesnt date the clock particluarly precisely as clocks had been made with arch part or sq. face from 1700, however arched solely after 1700. So a sq. face is what you’ll count on on a clock with all the opposite pre 1700 options. It seems to be like a extremely superior clock from 1690-1700 to me. The opposite factor that pushes me closely in direction of this date is that the fittings on the again of the face plate are completely proper and authentic. Handcrafted nuts for the spandrels which might be distinctive to every spandrel and never interchangeable. Ive discovered that tthis dissapears or modifications to a neater design largely after about 1730. Those on this clock actually look “handcrafted” – you may see the file marks and the slots are off centre. Its the little issues like this that give the perfect clue to a clocks authenticity and age.

The face may be very properly engraved. Theres not plenty of it however what there may be is exceptionally top quality. The identify and different script might have been written with a fountain pen its so stylised.

It was a pleasure to revive this one because it had not been finished for I might guess about 100 years. Within the meantime a layer of laquer had been utilized and a few areas had aged badly. We managed to revive it with conventional hand strategies to close its former glory though we left the guilding on the spandrels intact and easily cleaned and lacquered them. The chapter ring, date wheel, and seconds chapter ring had been all re-silvered to good impact after which sealed with oxidation resistant lacquer.