American Clock Cleaning

After a clock movement has been repaired, it should look like it has always been well taken care of, and not show obvious signs that it has been “repaired”. As part of this, the cleaning process should not be harsh. For typical American antique clocks, I use “Historic Timekeepers” cleaning fluid (available from Timesavers as part #17863 and #17864). I scrub brass parts such as plates and gears with a fine brass bristle brush (stock #16.310 from R & M Imports). This results in a uniformly clean finish that is not too shiny (some repairers polish the brass parts with metal polish, but this leaves the parts looking too shiny, and American clock parts never looked this way when new. It is customary to polish the back of the back plate of a round French movement, and Vienna regulator movements look great when polished).

Some repairers use an electric motor powered rotary brass brush to polish the brass parts. I DO NOT like the way this makes the movement look, and so I am opposed to this practice.

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