An Ugly Repair Job Corrected

This is a good looking Seth Thomas oak kitchen clock.

Seth Thomas Oak Kitchen Clock

Date stamp on back
Date stamp on the back reads 7981 which translates to the year 1897.

Movement Before Repair

Showing the soldered on Rathbun bushings
Front of movement showing two crudely soldered on “Rathbun” bushings (on pivots T3F and T5F). This type of work is done by someone who does not like to take the movement apart.

Showing the Rathbun bushing on the back of the movement
The “Rathbun” bushing on the back of the movement (on pivot T4B).

Movement After Repair

Movement after repair
The movement after repair. The previous repairer had gouged the brass very deeply. I didn’t want to remove too much material, so the gouges are still visible.
Back of movement after repair

Movement Assembly

The lift/warning lever and turnback lever
Showing the relationship of the lift/warning lever to the j shaped turnback lever. The turnback lever is riveted to the back plate. Its function is to hold the warning lever in the correct resting position so that the minute hand may be turned back past the numeral “12” without damaging the movement.

The gears on the back plate
Partially assembled movement showing the gears and levers.

Clock with no dial

Share this post:



  1. I have a Seth Thomas Kitchen clock. It appears to be the same as the clock in this article. My clock has a level imbedded in the front of the base. The date on the body back is 4981 K I would like to get the movement cleaned and repaired if needed.
    This clock has been in my family since it was purchased. It was purchased in St. Louis in the late 1890’s by my great Grandfather. I’m a retired craftsman but I don’t know enough about clock movements to do any cleaning or repairs on this clock movement.
    I would like some advice from you.

    Thanks for your time
    R.W. Hensiek
    [email protected]

  2. Hi there, I have almost an identical clock to this one, the only difference is the design on the glass. Do you know what year that clock was made? Or have a ballpark? I would love to have an idea of how old my clock is.

  3. It is quite possible the clock is just out of beat.It does not take much to be out, and the clock will not run.

  4. The thing to check is the suspension rod (the rod with a thin flat spring at the top, and a hook at the bottom that the pendulum hangs from). Make sure that the top of the flat spring is in the brass post with a thin slot in it at the top rear of the movement. Sometimes it can fall out when moving the clock. Also make that the rod is near the center (not touching the back or front) of the brass loop near the center rear of the movement.

  5. Good Evening,
    I have a seth thomas mantle clock like the one on your site only it has 2 columns.
    I decided to bring the clock upstairs. I was extremely careful. Set the clock on the mantle and leveled the clock. Now the pendulum won’t work at all. So, I have a clock that will not work. Had the clock serviced last year for maintenance and everything was well. What went wrong?
    Thanks much for you help!
    Tom (Reading, PA}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.