New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC

Saturday, May 14, 2004, 8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Highlights by Dick Trepp

Losch, Sanborn, and Gow warm up a workshop on a chilly spring day.

A full house of about 50 members attended our 13th Annual Workshop on May 14th, at the Willard House and Clock Museum in Grafton, MA. The all-day seminar was expertly handled by three Chapter 8 members. John Losch and Steve Sanborn have presented many previous workshops, and David Gow, Willard House Conservator, gave the group an interesting and thought provoking viewpoint on conservation.

For this educational program, Losch covered mainsprings. All aspects of the subject were well presented with emphasis on safety in handling. John also touched on determining size, length, and strength. In addition, he talked about various mainspring winders that are on the market, pointing out the pros and cons from his viewpoint. Not overlooked, was barrel spring removal and installation, the inexpensive way, by hand.

Steve Sanborn based his program on wood movement repairs. He talked and demonstrated with a movement, the disassembly and a systematic approach to examine and correct all the "weak links" that prevent optimum operation of the clock. Steve gave many tips for repair without leaving ugly scars on the plates. Finally, he reassembled the clock and synchronized the strike, holding the clock with one hand and deftly getting all the wheels and lever in place with a tweezers in the other hand. This graceful reassembly is something to see!

David Gow was the final speaker. His presentation covered his feelings about what a conservator does, and more important what he does not do. Conservators are somewhat like doctors in that their main objective is to do no harm. Most horology repair people face these issues in the normal course of their work. However, most are not dealing with priceless museum pieces. The Willard House has 95% of their clocks in working order. Should they be restored to running order and then not run? Just one of the interesting thoughts David tossed out to the audience.

Following the workshop, members toured the Willard House Museum, always a delightful experience.

-- Dick Trepp

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Saturday, May 14, 2004, 8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Willard House & Clock Museum, 11 Willard St., North Grafton, MA 01536, 508-839-3500
See web site for directions.

We invite you to attend this year's one-day workshop at the Willard House & Clock Museum. The This bargain-priced registration fee of $45.00 covers three excellent presentations, morning refreshments, a delicious box lunch, and access to the museum's fabulous collection of Willard Clocks. Space is limited, so please sign up promptly.

THIS YEARS WORKSHOP: We are pleased to have three speakers who have appeared many times before and are outstanding presenters. They are noted for their knowledge, experience, and their ability to give interesting talks. Even if you do not do many repairs, you will benefit as a clock collector by gaining a better understanding of what is behind the dial in your own clock case.


8:00 a.m. Registration and morning refreshments
9:00 a.m. Intros: Burt Kassap, Pres.t Ch. 8, and John Stephens, Dir. of the Willard Museum.
9:15 a.m. Presentation by John Losch
10:30 a.m. Coffee break and snacks
11:00 am. Presentation by Steve Sanborn
12:15 p.m. Catered box lunch
1:00 p.m. Presentation by David Gow
2:15 p.m. Tour of the Willard Clock Museum - John Stephens

9:15 a.m. MAINSPRINGS - John Losch, FNAWCC
This talk is about mainsprings in both American and European clocks. John will explain the most widely accepted means of measuring, judging condition, and choosing springs for clocks. In addition, he will demonstrate the use of a spring winder, alternatives good and bad, and he will review some things to look out for when working with springs. He will also discuss and demonstrate some practical repairs to mainsprings.

Time and strike plates, wheels, teeth, arbors, pivots, repairs, adjustments, replacement, and maintenance. A complete examination of these wooden movements.

1:00 p.m. CONSERVATOR OF CLOCKS - David Gow
What the job entails, skills required, and challenging clock repairs, including a discussion of restoring pewter hands. An inside look at this part of horology.

If you have never been to a Willard House Workshop And you are interested in the topics listed, this is an outstanding opportunity to hear from three exceptionally talented and skilled people in a setting that is “up close and personal.” The Willard House is in a beautiful rural area. You will also get to see a priceless collection of Willard clocks in the museum.


John Losch - John has been repairing clocks for over 50 years. He worked and trained at the Howard Clock (Products) Co., Waltham, Massachusetts, and studied with the late H.J. Olsen of Watertown, who learned clockmaking in Roxbury and Boston from the men taught by the Willards. He was associated for 35 years with the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University as a restorer of clocks and early scientific apparatus. He has run his own clock and instrumentation business from 1954 to 1997, with a short interlude as an instructor at the NAWCC School of Horology. He now maintains a full working shop and performs specialized repairs and restoration upon request.

Steve Sanborn - Steve grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts where, starting at the age of 10 years old, he apprenticed to a clock and watchmaker. Upon the death of his mentor, Stephen inherited all the tools and parts of the business and continued it, at age 14, after school. He also worked for various clock repair shops in New Hampshire. After obtaining a B.S. in Business he was employed for a time in the Banking Industry, only to return in 1976 to his true love - "clock restoration". Today, he and his wife Debbie run the business in Sunapee, New Hampshire. Stephen was sponsored for membership in NAWCC by Brooks Palmer, and has been active since 1959. He has given numerous lectures and workshops, and was President of New England Chapter 8, from 1993 to 1994. Having been named an "Old Timer" in the Association in 2001, he currently is engaged with his wife, in restoration work for private collectors, historical societies, and museums.

David Gow is the proprietor of “David G. Gow, Restoration of Fine Antique Clocks” in Shrewsbury. He is also the Conservator of the Willard House Museum clock collection in Grafton. He has had close to 30 years of experience in restoration and repair work.

Registration for 2005 Willard House Workshop

Registrations @ $45.00 each                        Total enclosed $______



City, State, Zip:___________________________________________


Mail by May 7 with check payable to "NAWCC Chapter 8" to Burt Kassap, 112 Bullough Park, Newtonville, MA 02460

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