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Date: 2 September 2018. Fixing a 24-hour Clock.


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 decades.

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 the opening.


Memory Lane: 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 living ashore.

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 5". The clocks sold at Walmart had arms that were either too long (6") or way too short.

Finally I 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. Thanks. J.

After freeing the Westclox clock mechanism from the original faceplate,
I 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 clock face 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 has got to have her gizmos. Aboard Seaweed it is my new awl of choice.

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.

The MINUTE and SECOND HANDS would not reattach.

GREEN FELT ↑  secures the clock mechanism to the faceplate.

The minute and second hands did not reattach.

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 10:30.

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 been 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 is perfect.


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 aboard.

In the future I may give up more quickly than I did with this project. Maybe.

The 24-hour clock is not perfect. It does
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 one arm? Link HERE.
And, have you ever seen a clock that piqued your interest/made you wish you owned it?

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