DeKalb High School Tower Clock Installation - 2

We staged all of the parts and materials in the future career center across the hall.  The school was very accommodating to the installation.  Without their assistance we wouldn't have been able to install the clock so quickly and efficiently.  We worked 12 to 14 hours a day for seven straight days.  It was great having all of the supplies so close.

 We created a small work area at the door into the tower.  This is where we did all of the custom fabrication required for a tower clock like this. 

Our drill press and other tools,  The door to the clock tower is at the left edge of this image.

Our work tables

The proper caption..."What are we thinking?"

DeKalb High School Tower Clock Installation - 1

Getting ready to reopen the create

A quick peek.
(07.30.11) We shipped it freight for insurance purposes so there was a bit of added anxiety to see how well the movement had traveled.  Of course it traveled just fine, the crate was built by an architect. :)

It was in good shape.


Boxing It Up for Shipment

We wanted to ensure the safest possible shipment back to DeKalb. After removing all of the fragile or vulnerable parts we bolted the clock to the pallet and built the crate around it.
The clock was shipped July 25th 2011.


DeKalb High School Tower Clock - Running Strong!

Right now we are running the clock using very little weight. We can do this now because the clock isn't really doing any work...yet. We won't know how much it's going to take until the final installation and the clock is under the actual working load. We are expecting to use two to three times more weight for the installation.

This clock was built to run with a second and a half swing. It is keeping pretty good time now but again until the clock is working under the planned load I'm sure we will have to do some adjustments to get it to keep good time.


DeKalb Tower Clock - Tick Tock

After nearly fifty years the DeKalb High School tower clock is ticking and tocking again.


DeKalb Tower Clock- Final Assembly

After nearly nine months of restoration the clock is back in one piece.

Bolted down atop its new stand. It's so tall we needed to remove some of the wood plank to make room for it up in the rafters. There is room enough for the pendulum to swing freely and weights to fall within the frame work. The ornament on the frame work are elements of prairie style design which were also evident in the architecture of the new high school.


DeKalb High School Tower Clock - Minnesota Clock Makers Guild

(06.02.11) The Minnesota Clockmakers Guild made a visit. About a dozen of their members held one of their scheduled meeting at the shop to see the progress that had been made. The guild was instrumental in helping to determine the proper procedure in restoring this clock. Special thanks to the Minnesota Clockmaker Guild for their expertise and advise.

Refinishing - The DeKalb Tower Clock

This video shows a few of the steps that were used to refinish one of the larger brass wheels on the clock. After some experimenting with some different techniques, we found the way shown to create a very nice consistent finish. We built a turntable to work with our lathe, this would come in handy when it came to painting the inside faces of the wheel.



DeKalb Tower Clock Dial

The Dial weighs about 65 pounds and will be hung from the glass in the new school's clock tower. This shows the condition of the dial as it was found.  Where the two numerals are broken and missing.  Adjacent to the missing numerals there is a definite flat spot at the outside edge of the dial.   This was likely the cause of the damage.  Our guess is that the dial fell and hit a floor surface.  The fall would have put excessive force on the numerals causing them to break.

The clock was cleaned up a bit and replacement numerals we incorporated.

The dial was then sand blasted to remove all of the rust and corrosion.
The dial was then painted and clear coated.  What is amazing to me is the pride and respect that everyone has had who have helped along the way.  For instance all of the painting of the larger pieces were done outside of our shop.  They love to tell us of the great care they took in doing the work.  Some have even thanked us for letting them get involved.  I think that this is all evident in the results.