I’m still a few years away from retiring, but the years pass fast- and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Retirement scares some people. What will they do, they wonder, when every day isn’t filled with the job that currently occupies their time? How will they define their value in the world? Some of these folks retire, then pass away a year or two later. Or sit in their house, watching sitcoms and gradually wasting away.
I don’t think I’m really like that. I’ve had things I want to do, things I want to learn and experiment with, for decades. Not to make money or ‘prove’ myself: that’s what a job is for in my mind, I guess. Just things that interest me, that likely produce little obvious value. I’ve even tried to work time for these into my life pre-retirement, but have never been able to balance them with my job.
I picked what I thought would be the least complicated clock to work on first. This circa 1913 Gilbert “gilt No. 115” clock has a simple time-only mechanism. Unfortunately for me, it is a small and “cheap” (mass produced) clock, meaning the thick brass and large pivots found in some of the other “fancier” clocks are replaced with pot metal and tiny parts that aren’t really made for easy repair.
What follows is sort of a journal of my experiences thus far in working on this clock. For anyone who doesn’t have at least a passing interest in clocks, it is probably advisable to skip reading the rest of this post. The short story: I successfully disassembled, cleaned, repaired the main problem, and re-assembled the clock. It still doesn’t work properly, and I’ve found at least one additional problem that I will have to fix later.
I’ve actually won five out of five auctions, achieving my objective of establishing a collection of various abused antique timepieces. Why would any sane person want broken clocks? Your first mistake is use of the word “sane” in reference to me. But I’ll try my best to explain what is going on here, since there is some logic to what I’m doing.
A few weeks ago I decided to start setting up a little place in the house where I can work on fiddling with clock mechanisms. I have discovered that there is some sort of strange and mysterious aura surrounding what I had originally thought was a humble and simple to acquire item: a suitable workbench.