New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC

Fifth Annual Horological Workshop May 17, 1997

by Brian Wilcox (see photos below)

The Fifth Annual Horological Workshop was held at Willard House & Clock Museum in Grafton Massachusetts on May 17, 1997. The Workshop was held in association with The Willard House & Clock Museum.

Chapter Eight is extremely grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Robinson and the Museum Trustees for the use of Willard House for the Annual Event. Willard House is a unique place to hold such an event in the same place where Simon Willard and his three brothers began their clockmaking and created the standard for New England clockmaking.

The event was limited to Members Only "in good standing" due to space limitation. Some forty eight members attended a program entitled "The Clock Inside and Outside."

The event was three ninety minute workshops lunch and a museum tour .The Guest Artisans were first class, and topics presented were "Pendulum Fundamentals", "Clockcase Restoration", and "Clock Bushing Techniques."

Three groups were formed and the workshops took place in various rooms in Willard House: pendulums in the basemen, bushing in the barn, and restoration in the long west room.

Joe Brown presented concepts, functions and practical applications for pendulums, with useful knowledge for adjustments and repairs. We began with the simple pendulum.Joe used a simple tool to demonstrate the various conditions and types of pendulum,a wooden grantry to hang the pendulum from."Joe's practical pendulum rack". Using this model he could display the theories of practical applications. We discussed suspension problems how to overcome bent and kinked springscrutch replacement. The presentation was first class from Galileo's experiment to Newton s Law of Motion what to do when the clock comes to the shop with no pendulum and understanding the theory to adjust your clock. Mr. Brown is currently working on the oiling and cleaning of the Willard Museum's Goddard watch collection. Joseph E. Brown, FNAWCC, CC; is a trustee of the Willard House and Clock Museum, corroborator for the Charles River Museum of Industry, and a Director and NAWCC Fellow member of Chapter 8. He specializes in museum quality restoration of 18th century clocks and watches.

Burt Kassap presented Clockcase Restoration in the west room no small task considering that we were seated, surrounded by top quality restorations -- Burt was not fazed, mainly due to the fact that Mr. Cusp is well experienced and knows his work; some of which he brought along to use in his presentation He discussed the need to repair and restore in an authentic manner within the period of the manufacture. and to perform the restoration so that it will not substantially reduce the value of the clock."Do it with integrity" Examine and assess, make a check list,research your clock, make a plan to determine who repairs me or the expert? Use some modern products to restore but results can be better achieved with the methods the maker used to produce authentic results,

Burt uses the NAWCC video library for his source if information on "how to". Burt's advice "don't rub against the grain a philosophy that could well stand in any workshop! or walk of life. Burt Kassap has been repairing and restoring early American clocks for the past ten years. He holds membership in NAWCC, AWI, GBWCC, MWA. Burt also has a Certified Clockmakers Certificate from AWI He has had articles published in the Bulletin of the NAWCC and has lectured on various horological subjects. He is a Civil Engineer.

The workshop on Clock bushing techniques took place in the Willard barn The morning session was postponed until the morning temperature had become agreeable. It has been unseasonable here in New England, but one wonders whether the cool morning would have deterred the Willards from an early start. Whilst we are not sure of the activities of the Willard Family we can be sure that the younger brother "got the wood in !"

When John Losch started his presentation the temperature was most agreeable and it almost appeared that John transferred his workshop into the Willard barn. In fact he had!! This was because he kept losing things on the bench!! However it soon became obvious that John is an accomplished, resourceful engineer. It did not take long to get away from the prepared presentationJohn's fund of tips, on tools and all sorts neat and nifty arrangements which are very necessary for the clock shop -- did you know you could make a wheel guard from top of a soup can.? We did, however, discuss bushings and pinions what type to use for each specific application and their differences. A good workshop not just for the restorer but something for everyone the person that sat next to me does not repair clocks -- he "just collects them"he also collects maritime art and I'm sure he took something away.

John Losch has been restoring pretwentieth century clocks since 1954, has restored unusual clocks from private collectionsassociated with the restoration of historical instruments at Harvard University. John attended Governor Dummer Academy and Hamilton College and trained in the toolroom at Howard Clock Company. He is a NAWCC Fellow since 1965.

The event was extremely successful due to the good planning of program chair Larry Chelmow and his committee., who proved pretty agile -- moving chairs and tables without anyone being aware that The Museum Trustees were also holding a Meeting at Willard House.

Burt Kassap John Losch

Burt Kassap

John Losch

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