Date: 2 September 2018. Fixing a
A couple years ago I met the
nicest fellow. He had a clock marked with 24 hours. I thought it was
neat. The problem was the dang thing no longer worked. Thus I replaced
the works, then gifted it back to him. Here is the tale of how you
can fix a clock three times for less than $10.
Using a brass brush I cleaned off years of cleanser
residue. Some patina I left intact.
I have fixed this clock three
times. Initially the clock was spotted on the bulkhead of a
Hatteras. The battery powered clock mechanism no longer worked.
Replacement of the battery did not solve the issue. I brought the
clock over to Seaweed for tinkering.
It is my belief
that anything broken cannot be made more so. Therefore tinkering
might actually help. Loose wires are often the problem in powered items.
The additional benefit is that I sometimes figure out how something
functions. It's a learning process.
Once in a while I
have success and everything works as before.
The clock was bought years ago for
this ↓ 50' Hatteras.
This is a triple-cabin motor yacht
↑ with a cockpit
extension for fishing. Hatteras named this model the Yachtfish.
But I digress.
The owner of the clock also had one of those cheap clocks sold at
the discount stores. It too was battery operated. I took the clock
mechanism from the cheap clock and inserted it into the 24-hour
clock from the Hatt.
All was well. The clock worked
fine. Then we got the brilliant idea to install it on the bulkhead of
a second boat he owns. Mounting the clock to the bulkhead failed.
Before it was fully secured the
clock crashed down into the galley. In the process the glass front
broke in two pieces.
At this point the clock owner was
ready to throw away the unit. I chose to bring it back to Seaweed for a
final repair. I like clocks and have been fascinated by them for
First I needed to fix the bezel. I simply glued the two pieces of
the glass back together. It was a clean break without shards. A
heavy line of glue around the edges set the glass front back into
Friends of ours named Joe and Bobbi owned Boot Key Marina in
Marathon many years ago. Joe was a true clock aficionado. His
house, after he *swallowed the anchor, was filled with chiming
clocks. I loved being there on the hour and half-hour.
*Swallowed the anchor means moved off a boat and
Joe had carriage clocks
that were from the 1700's. Though I had read about such clocks in my
Regency romance novels I confess to not realizing they were in
fact around so long ago. Wikipedia says standard pendulum clocks
were invented in 1656 though they were preceded by other
time-keeping devices back into the 14th century.
Though I liked Joe's chiming clocks another one fascinated me most of all.
The clock was about 2' across and
a bit taller. It was a One-Armed clock. I loved that clock! Son
and I were equally intrigued by it. That last week Son lived he
and I spoke about that particular clock yet again.
To this day I admire one-armed clocks.
After the 24-hour clock fell down
into the galley and cracked I attempted to find another battery
powered clock I
could cannibalize for parts. Alas, I needed arms that were a maximum
length of 5¼". The clocks sold at
Walmart had arms that were either too long (6") or way too short.
found a clock at a thrift store that would suffice.
This Westclox was the perfect size. First I attempted
to remove the paper from the front of the unit.
The paper was chipping off. Fortunately the clock
worked fine when tested with a fresh battery.
Getting the clock arms off was a bear. I had a
terrible time removing them.
The faceplate of the 24-hour clock
came off easily.
Though I'm calling this a 24-hour clock I suppose it
is simply the numbers on the face that make it so.
To my mind, this is the
24-hour clock. An expert may well have a different name for it.
Whatever this clock truly is, I believe it to be interesting. As it
was a part of the Hatt owner's history, I wanted him to be able to
enjoy it again.
If this clock is more commonly
known by another name, please do let me know in the Comments.
After freeing the Westclox clock mechanism from the original
POKED IT ↓
through the center of the 24-hour clock face.
The problem was the clock mechanism
did not fit flush against the face of the clock.
The mechanism would vibrate because of THE GAP
when underway. I had to fix that gap.
To close THAT
↑ GAP I used a piece of
green felt my stash of stuff.
I utilized a
POKEY STICK to start the holes when fastening down the clock
face to the frame.
I did a wonderful job fastening
the clockface down to the frame. Unfortunately I did it upside
down. Some projects do go together a bit better than others. This is
one of those where Murphy's Law took precedence.
Frankly using the old parts to
save a dollar was not one of my smarter moves. This took far longer
than it should have. Because I saved money by not buying a new clock
mechanism I paid in time. What's that rule?
You can have what
you want either cheap, fast or good. Pick any two of the three.
This is a Pokey Stick. I found it at a thrift store
for 19 cents.
The Pokey Stick had a coolness
factor that was nearly off the charts. Made of stainless steel, it
had potential. Actually it is supposed to be used to draw pictures
in cream topped coffees that some connoisseurs enjoy.
I believe this item
makes a great boat tool.
When I want to start a screw I use
this to poke a little hole and mark the spot. It's a gizmo and a
girl's got to have her gizmos. Aboard Seaweed it is my new awl of
After screwing down the clock face and permanently
mounting it to the frame I inserted the battery.
There was a problem. I did
a wonderful job putting it all together upside down.
The secondary problem was that when
I took apart the Westclox mechanism
I could only get the hour hand to re-install.
and SECOND HANDS would
↑ secures the clock mechanism to the faceplate.
The minute and second hands did not
The hour arm did go on perfectly.
Because I know how a true
one-armed clock tells time, I can easily determine the time shown
on the clock pictured above. Think of it this way: That is the hour hand you see in the
preceding picture. It is
half way between the ten and eleven. Thus the time displayed is
Can you tell what time is shown in
this ↓ picture? Please respond
below in the Comments section.
No matter that I can tell the
time, the intended recipient wanted a regular clock. He had never
inspired by the one-armed clock I had seen so many decades ago. It was
back to the drawing boards for me.
As described in the
Screening My Hatch (eBay advice)
article, I do like a bargain. I had attempted to buy clock works
previously from eBay with poor results. The clock hands did not come off and go
back on properly in the least expensive models I tried from China.
I knew Walmart had clock works for
sale in their craft department and took a chance. The one from
Walmart cost $5. It worked perfectly. The hands/arms came off and went on
with ease. I should have gone retail in the first place.
Quicker than lightning the old one-arm version was removed and the new unit installed. It
With the installation of the new
clockworks from Walmart, the 24-hour clock now tells time exactly
the way it did all those many years ago when the clock was new. Best
of all the owner is again able to use it aboard his boat.
As for me, I am happy. To me this clock has Character with a capital
"C". That is a good thing in my book.
I did make a mistake spending so much time and effort trying to find
an inexpensive used clock to replace the mechanism on the 24-hour
clock. Sometimes I am penny-wise and pound foolish. I should have
spent the $5 right away and fixed the clock properly without the
months it took messing around trying to make-do with parts I had
In the future I may give up more
quickly than I did with this project. Maybe.
The 24-hour clock is not perfect. It
tell time and that is all a clock needs to do.
As for the rest, that's for
another day. Suffice it to say I'm pondering how to make my own
one-armed clock using the mechanism from that old Westclox. I might
just have a cool clock by my dinette one of these years.
We will not discuss the Weems & Plath 8-day ship's bell version that
is broken and sitting in my bilge. Not today anyway. My friend Joe
probably could have fixed it but he had the audacity to die. I miss
him. To be honest, Joe would probably be too busy to fix mine and
I would not have imposed on him in any event.
But golly, don't
you miss the folks who possessed all sorts of skills now lost to
mass manufacturing? I know I do. As for skill sets, it seems every
day my Seaweed offers me a new opportunity to learn something.
From me to you, thanks for reading.
Do you know what time is shown in the clock with just
And, have you ever seen a clock that piqued your interest/made you wish
you owned it?
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