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   Bringing us closer paul Email :
My other love apart from "er" in doors, is clocks, not that I get any time to make them. I find that the winter is too cold to be standing in the shed cutting out lumps of brass and steel, I tend to find that my toes drop off. And in the summer I am too busy doing other things like playing with the kids, paragliding, gardening etc.
But over the past years I have managed to make two clocks, they both don't work properly (and never properly will) but they look good, The first one I made was the Congreve which works ok but doesn't keep the time, it also needs stripping down and re-polishing then re-lacquering and then it would  be ok. The second one I made is the Merlin clock that one goes for a few days at a time then decides to stop for no apparent reason, I have stripped it down many times to find the problem but as far as I can see there is no problem, but it still stops after a day or so. When I first built it, it ran ok, week after week and month after month then the time that it would run for, got shorter and shorter. one day I will get it sorted if I'm not too old by then.
The third one is still in production, (sounds good that) what I mean is, its in a box in the shed where its been for the past year now ,I have made all the gear train and front and back plates and the epicyclic gear, in fact most of it is made, I was about to make the escapement when I got fed up with it, but I will carry on with it someday.
Pictured above is the Congreve rolling ball clock I made it  all made from brass either cut out from sheet brass or turned from brass rod, it is 13 inches wide by 13 inches deep and 16 inches high. The clock took me 11 months to make including the case and the making of a wheel cutting engine, I made everything except the ball bearing.
I managed to make it in such a short time as I spent most evenings in the shed, much to the wife's annoyance and the other factor of the short time was I had no kids back then in 1988.
This was the first clock I have ever made and with no knowledge, I made most pieces 2 or even three times before I got it right and a few times I got so down in the dumps I nearly gave up.
This clock is the Merlin band clock, it is a worm driven type clock, it is wound every 8 days. There is a  unique way of building this clock, you must first buy the dome, then turn the wooden base to fit the dome, this is because the clock doesn't have a front and back plate like most clocks, its plates are firstly the top ring that you can see in the photo and then the wooden base is the equivalent of the back plate held apart by the 5 pillars. When making the base you must first acquire the wood and before mounting it in a lathe you slice the wood up into 1 inch strips, then reverse every other strip then you stick it back together again, this is done to prevent any warping in the wood. When I made this clock I had troubles all the way and I now find it hard to believe that the original clock made by Merlin was done so in the 17th century without any electricity and power tools etc.

This last example is one that I have been given and not made. It was very kindly given given to us by a friend of Carol's Granddad. We know its an American  shelf clock and was made about 1850 by J.C. Brown who was a clock maker in Bristol, Connecticut U.S.A. The house on the front of the clock was the original Hartford State House it was built in 1796 and was used until Connecticut's Capitol Building was built in 1878