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Rating of clock & miscellaneous - January, February 2022

Not much happened the first few months of 2022. January and February are combined here.

Buchanan writes:

The clock is running well. I have started a spread sheet for time recordings. I will see if I can organise a computer to get the timing machine working again. I have not had the clock stop once since the last time I reported it to you. After removing it from the safe, with the balance weights removed, onto a temporary stand, then moving the safe and reinstalling the clock in the safe, the clock has not stopped since. It is running fast, as you can see, not sure if I read the time wrong when I set it to time. Next reading will show us.

Buchanan writes:

 I missed a few days readings as I was away. I have an alarm set just before 12 h00 now and take the time at noon exactly.

I want to rate it when I wind it next as it is running rather fast. This is after a move and the balance balls removed. I may mark the balls and the balances as it seems to make a large difference to time keeping. I think I will also weigh each ball to see how close they are to each other.

I reply:

That’s interesting about the positioning of the pendulum balls. I remember asking you a while back if they were marked for position and you said they were interchangeable. They’d need to be perfect, but then again if they could be perfect you would be the person to do it!

Buchanan writes:

Here is the updated timing sheet.

The last three numbers on the bottom right tell the story for this week, not very stable! We are gaining 9min 10 min and 7 min a day. The difference per day is the bad news. I had way better before in the clock room, not sure why we are so erratic.

At this point Buchanan did mark the individual balance balls. He will also be checking all of the twenty antifriction wheels in the pendulum support and escapement structures for any bias, in other words for correct poising.

Buchanan writes:

The clock remained steady, just gaining a lot and running well. It turns out that after the clock was delivered and set up it ran five minutes consistently slow.

A photo of the timer and the machine within the special-built safe that was created over a decade ago to protect the machine from theft.

The clock seems to have steadied a bit in this screen shot. There really is no point at trying to fine tune the rating since the clock must be disassembled for shipping including both pendulums and the entire escapement assembly. So at this point the rating will wrap up shortly. We are really trying to see if there are any major eccentricities that need to be addressed.

In February I began to make preparations for the impending delivery of the clock. My initial checklist below:

1. Photo of what Buchanan has packed

2. Plane must have cargo hold that is climate controlled, can this be kept on the same plane throughout entire trip?

3. Get US Harmonized Tariff Table, find the number matching to lawyer’s letter

4. Copy of legal opinion Mayer Brown law firm. This is an opinion letter I had paid a highly recommended  legal firm specializing is customs matters, Mayor Brown in Washington D.C. to write for me to give US Customs in advance so as to head off any issues on duties that may arise. It is their opinion that it is duty free on the Federal level based on a precident of the importation of a working model of Harrison's HI a few years back (to which this has a passing resemblance). Given the valuation there is a significant amount of money on the line should US Customs decide otherwise.

5. Call insurance agent about insurance during delivery

6. Outer crate must be fully able to be dismantled, no use of nails securing the outer perimeter, or inner bracing.


There always seems to be just one more piece of metalwork that needs to be done. Here Buchanan turns a small finial to cover the four arbors upon which the duration hands are mounted. First photo shows the part being turned, next the arbor before installation of the finial. Once again we see Buchanan doing the right thing. It would have been easy to nip and grind off the arbor to be flush with the hand collet. Instead another beautiful detail is added.

A close up of the installed finial. A nice touch.

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