Saturday, January 17, 2009

Antique Clock Repair - How to Find the Parts You Need to Maintain Your Clock

If you love antique clocks but don't know exactly where to go to find out more about how to maintain them, this article should fill in some major gaps for you. From local shops to online sites, here is a basic list of information that could come in handy when you need it most.

First of all, I want to be clear that I am not a clockmaker nor do I build or repair clocks for a living. However, I have learned (the hard way) about how to find reputable dealers and information about antique clock repair. We inherited an heirloom grandfather clock and an inept repair person did significant damage to the clock. I blame myself because I could have easily avoided that situation by doing a little research online.

Don't make the mistakes I did. I suggest you start here: the American Watchmakers and Clockmakers Institute and then I'm going to immediately tell you that this organization is the basis for some controversy in the antique clock community - especially among those who repair clocks.

Here's why: Horology (the study of art and timekeeping devices) has a tradition of being learned through apprenticeship, observation and "hands on" (excuse the pun) training. However, the AWCI decided that there needed to be certification standards and developed courses to teach the basics. You could even take those courses yourself, if you wanted to really learn the basics. Go to the site and look around and investigate that possibility. Figure out what is included in training.

Personally, I think that years of experience, a good reputation and a proven track record in repairing and maintaining antique clocks counts for something, too...maybe even more than certification. But that is just my take because a "certified" clock repair person broke our clock. So I'm a bit biased. I'm sure there are some excellent, certified people out there, too.

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