- Kelly's World- A View into the mind of Uber Geek, Kelly Adams - http://www.kgadams.net -

I’m becoming committed…

A month or two ago, I was involved with clocks. Now I think it is safe to say I am becoming committed. What has changed? It is a matter of degree…

Early in the year I bought a couple of clocks and started playing around with them. They fascinated me, and so I decided I wanted to learn more. As I said in my previous post, I’ve started collecting non-functional or damaged clocks with the intent of using them to learn basic repair and maintenance skills [1]. But that is just the start… in no particular order, here is the rest:

When I look back on the last couple of weeks I might ask myself: what’s with all the enthusiasm? Part of is undoubtedly the novelty: clock repair/restoration is new to me. I’m vastly ignorant, and I can double what I know in a matter of days. I haven’t become “smarter” at this rate in quite a long time. A few days ago, I couldn’t have told you how a gear is milled out of a chunk of brass or other metal: now I am aware of several ways it can be done. I had no clue what was meant by “curly” or “quilted” wood, but now I have a basic idea, and I can also grasp a bit about antique finishes like traditional shellac.

Another aspect of it is the largely physical nature of the work- there is math, and logic, but the result comes down to chunks of brass, steel, and wood working together in some fashion. You can’t wave off or ignore the basic fact that all the book knowledge in the world won’t make a clock suddenly start working. And as a hobby, it gives me a solid foundation of physics and mechanics along with a touch of art. I have really only completed one tiny “repair” in the past week, more of a jury rig in order to test out one my learner clocks, but it gave me a happy little thrill when the clock started ticking out the time. That is a nice feeling of joy and pride that I sometimes miss.

I still love computers and software, but clockworks are sufficiently different and yet similar that the concepts have fired off all sorts of normally dormant neural pathways. Who knows how long this will last, but I consider the money and time well spent. And as they say, it is the journey not the destination that matters.