(Page updated on December 2015)
Chapter 124 offers the following classes and workshops as a service to members. A central mission of the Chapter is to provide quality education in professional repair techniques and historically accurate clock and watch restoration. Classes offered are useful to Chapter members wanting to maintain their personal collection, for those wanting to improve skills acquired previously or for members who wish to start a clock or watch repair business. Thanks to the contributions of dedicated volunteer instructors and low overhead costs these educational experiences are offered at a modest price. Upcoming classes are listed on the Chapter 124 web page. Click on Education and then Workshop Schedule to find the calendar list of classes.
In the Chapter catalog classes are arranged in categories and have a course number and prefix to help students identify course content. Typically classes are offered at both the basic and advanced skill levels. The numbering system (100, 200, 300 and 400) refers to the skill level needed to benefit from the class. Classes in the 100’s and 200's teach fundamentals, while intermediate to more advanced classes are number 300 and 400. Pre-requisites are identified in the course descriptions. Some classes address repair of working mechanisms while others focus on restoration of cases, statues and dials. Clock and watch repair classes are taught separately. The education program also offers instruction in the fundamentals of operating tools used in clock and watch repair.
Course Sequence Suggestions:
Mastery of repair skills requires accumulated knowledge and experience. Students are asked to take foundation courses (CR-100 and CR-200 or WR-100) before attempting more advanced instruction. Even those with considerable experience in clock and watch repair will benefit from taking the foundation classes. Once the foundation classes are completed, students can build additional skills by taking more advanced and specialized courses. Skills to work on specific categories of clocks can be acquired through classes covering specific types of movements such as Fusee clocks. Clock Case and Dial Restoration classes are less reliant on prerequisites and may be taken whenever the student has interest. Basic classes are offered once a year while the more advanced classes typically are offered in a two-year rotation. If you have questions about upcoming classes and whether a class is appropriate for your skill level, contact the instructor or Education Director. Instructors’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses are listed on class announcements. The Education Director’s contact information is listed in the Education section on the Chapter web page.
Tools and Supplies for classes:
Clock and watch repair require specialized tools and most beginning students have a limited collection of these tools. In recognition of the expense involved in acquiring specialized equipment, Chapter 124 maintains an assortment of tools for student use. These are available for use during repair classes and open bench workshops to lower the initial cost of working on clocks and watches. Eventually many students acquire their own tools as they learn to recognize the value of specialized tools in repair work. Class announcements list tool and material requirements for classes. Typically instructors forward class information and tool lists to students upon registration. Most materials used for projects are supplied by the Chapter. Occasionally a nominal materials fee is collected in addition to the registration fee.
Registration can be done online via the Chapter web page and payment made with credit cards or through PayPal. Log onto the Chapter 124 web page and click on Education. Find the class of interest, access it, click on registration and follow the instructions to register. An alternative registration method is to send a request to the Education Director along with a check to reserve a place in the class. Some classes are in high demand with limited enrollments so timely registration is encouraged. Please call or e-mail the Education Director concerning any registration questions.
Location of Chapter 124 Classes:
Most classes are held at the Founders Building, 701 South Main Street, Grapevine, Texas 76051 (This is not the Chapter 124 mailing address. Address for Chapter officers and the Education Director are listed on the Chapter web page.) On occasion alternative class locations are used. Check the class announcement for class location.
CR-100 –Kitchen Clock Repair. Four Days (9 AM. to 5PM.) This introductory clock repair course covers repair and adjustment of the open mainspring, eight day, time and strike movement typically found in American kitchen and mantle clocks. Focus is on disassembly, cleaning, repair, reassembly, lubrication and movement adjustment. Nomenclature will be taught as well as the theory of time train calculation. Specific skills taught include mainspring letdown, disassembly, cleaning, bushing installation, mainspring replacement, pivot polishing, escapement and strike train repair. Pivot polishing equipment will be provided. Students must bring an American open escapement clock and minimum hand tools to class. This course is intended as a clock repair foundation class for those who want to maintain their own collection and those who plan to take more advanced classes. Pre-requisites: none.
CR-200 – Spring Barrel Clock Repair. Four Days (9 AM. to 5PM.) This class focuses on clocks with movements incorporating two enclosed spring barrels, time and strike. Many of these wall and mantel clocks were produced in the 1800’s and early 1900’s in America, England and Germany. Students are required to bring a clock with closed rather than open springs. (Do not bring a French clock; covered in a separate class. ) Preference is a rack and snail strike mechanism, but count wheel movements are acceptable. Skills learned will build on those acquired in CR-100, including movement disassembly/ re-assembly, cleaning, pivot polishing, use of mainspring winders, calculation of appropriate spring lengths, and the use of rate timers. Students are asked to bring minimum tools from a list provided upon registration. A lab fee may be collected to defray material costs. Pre-requisite: CR-100.
WR–100 – Beginning Pocket Watch Repair, Part A. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This introductory class is for those who are interested in watches and want to learn basic pocket watch repair, for watch collectors who want to maintain their collection, and for those wanting to take more advanced watch courses. A focus will be on Elgin watch nomenclature and functions, but different watch styles and types also will be discussed. In addition to disassembly, cleaning and re-assembly of the 16 Size Elgin 3/4 plate, Model 291 pocket watch, students will learn the basics of watchmaker tools, mainsprings, balances ,inspection and cleaning of jewels and pivots, proper lubrication and putting the watch in beat. Case basics, including crowns, stems, sleeves and crystal replacement will be covered. Students will be provided an Elgin Size 16 for class use, but are required to bring basic tools and an elevated, desk-top watch repair bench to class. A tool list will be provided upon registration. Pre-requisites: none.
WR-200 – Beginning Pocket Watch Repair, Part B. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This class is for those who want to continue learning basic pocket watch repair and focuses on Waltham Model 1883, full plate, 18 size watches. Topics covered include disassembly, cleaning, evaluating mainsprings and balances, inspection and cleaning of jewels and pivots, proper lubrication, re-assembly and putting the watch in beat. Case basics including crowns, stems, sleeves and crystal replacement will be covered. A tool list will be provided upon registration. Pre-requisite: WR-100.
CR-300 – Chime Clock Repair. Four Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) Here the focus is on repairing clock movements with three arbors, that is three-train spring barrels. These are chiming and striking movements. An example would be a clock which plays the Westminster melody and then strikes the hour. The mainsprings must be housed in barrels, not open springs. The class is designed to provide instruction on the more complicated chime trains which utilizes various designs. There are numerous examples of three mainspring clocks produced in America, England, France and Germany during the 1800’s and early 1900’s which make good student projects for this class. Instruction will be given in disassembly, problem assessment, repair, assemble and synchronization of the chiming movement. Students will review skills learned in CR-100 and CR-200 in addition to learning new skills repairing and adjusting complicated chime mechanisms. Pre-requisite: CR-100 and CR-200.
CR-400 – Weight Driven Clock Repair. Four Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) Covers various movements with one to three weight-driven trains. Clock movements with 1 to 3 weight driven trains, such as American and European Grandfather and wall clocks, make good repair projects for this class. Focus will be on teaching correct movement disassembly, cleaning, troubleshooting, repair, and re-assembly. These movements may have either count wheel or rack-and-snail strike and chime systems. Students will review concepts and skills acquired in CR-100, CR-200 and CR-300 in addition to learning problem analysis, repair and adjustment of complicated weight driven chime and strike mechanisms. Pre-requisites: CR-100, CR-200 and CR-300.
SR-100 – French Clock Repair. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This class focuses on repair procedures unique to French clocks with pendulum movements. As this work is more advanced, students must have taken one of the prerequisites listed below prior to registering for this class. Students must bring a complete French pendulum clock movement to work on in class. The course consists of lectures, specific instruction on pivot replacement in hardened arbors, and the designs of different French clock movements. Also covered are dead beat and recoil escapements, analysis of time trains and count-wheel and as well as rack and snail strike systems. Ample time is given for the student to disassemble, analyze their movement and make repairs and adjustments in class. The student is required to bring certain tools to use in this class and a tool list will be sent to students upon registration. Pre-requisite: CR-200 or FSW F-102.
SR-200 – Adjusting Common Clock Escapements. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) A class designed to introduce students to the adjustment of strip recoil and deadbeat (including half- or semi- deadbeat) escapements used in many American and European clocks. Through lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice, the workshop will teach students how to differentiate between escapement types, how each works, and how to adjust for accurate clock operation. Focus will be on learning to adjust both strip recoil and deadbeat escapements, correct escape wheel irregularities and troubleshoot verge problems. Students will be provided with an American style, single-train kitchen clock movement to learn basic escapement functioning. Students must bring an operating American open mainspring clock movement to work on in class. Movements should have an outside-the-plate escape wheel and verge (strip recoil or half deadbeat) and include all working parts – pendulum, springs, suspension, etc. Students are asked to bring tools recommended for CR-100 and CD-200. A complete class tool list will be provided upon registration. Pre-requisites: CR-100 and CR-200.
SR-201 - Fusee Clock Repair. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This course covers the analysis, disassembly, cleaning, repair, adjustment and reassembly of one- and two-train Fusee clock movements. The movements which are available today were mainly produced in England but sometimes in Continental Europe during the 1700 and 1800’s, although the earliest examples date from the 1500’s. Elements of operation and repair procedures unique to Fusee movements will be covered. The student is asked to bring a 1- or 2-train Fusee movement to work on in class. Students need to bring tools required for CR-100 and CR-200 classes and a complete tool list will be provided upon registration. Pre-requisites: CR-100, CR-200 and CR-300.
TE-100 – Jewelers Lathe. One Day (9 AM. to 5 PM.) A course designed to provide basic skills in operating the Jewelers Lathe for small tool construction and repair projects. Demonstrations will be given on how to disassemble, clean, reassemble and adjust a Jewelers lathe. Students will be shown how to make properly sharpened gravers. The instructor will demonstrate correct use of gravers to turn both brass and steel. The student will learn basic turning, facing, drilling and tapping operations on the lathe. Accurate measurements of turnings on the lathe using rulers, calipers and micrometers will be emphasized. Students will be given plans to make small tools as a class project, such as a brass, double-sided abrasive tool. Information on how to assess and buy a good lathe will be discussed. Students do not need to own a Jewelers Lathe to take the class, but if they own one they are asked to bring it along with any attachments, a 50mm. collet set, micrometer and 6-inch metal, inch-scale ruler. Additional equipment to bring includes magnification (such as an Optivisor), a pin vise, table lamp, and bench block. The instructor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Jewelers lathe in contrast to the Microlathe for those interested in purchasing a lathe. Pre-requisites: none.
TE-101 – Micro Lathe. One Day (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This class is designed to instruct the student in the basic skills of operating a small (Micro) lathe such as the Sherline or Unimat. Instruction will be given in the setup, adjustment, available accessories, and use of a Micro lathe. Students will learn turning, boring, facing and drilling operations on the lathe. Class projects include sharping cutting tools and making a die tool holder for the lathe. The student is asked to bring their lathe and attachments. A limited number of lathes are available for the student to use during class. Please contact the instructor for availability. The instructor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Jewelers lathe in contrast to the Micro lathe for those interested in buying a lathe. Pre-requisites: none.
TE-102 - Advanced Micro Lathe Projects. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This class allows students to continue developing lathe skills and finish projects started in the Jewelers Lathe (TE-100) and Micro lathe (TE-101) classes. The student may select any of a number of projects to complete under the supervision of the instructor. The instructor will provide drawings and specifications for additional projects such as: turning a tapered pivot pin, drilling and installing pivots on shafts, making a steel shafted grinding wheel, making steel punches and practice using a graver. The student is asked to bring their lathe and attachments. A limited number of lathes are available for the student to use during
TE-103 - Microset Precision Clock Timer Class. One Day (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This class provides instruct on the functions and operations of the Microset Clock Timer - Model 2 and Clock and Watch Timer – Model 3. The focus of this class is on assessing clock functions. Topics covered include: overview of Microset functions, measuring clock rate using acoustic and optical sensors, speaker functions, blanking window, averaging, pendulum error and adjustment, beat error, strike mode analysis, count and rate finder modes and tachometer mode. Students will learn how the Microset can be connected to a computer to measure clock functions over time. This class does not cover watch analysis using the Microset-3. Students are not required to own a Microset to attend the class, however, information provided in the class should assist the students in deciding if they want to invest in this clock analysis tool. Those who do own either a Model 2 or 3 Microset are asked to bring the instrument and all the accessories they have to class, plus a working clock that can be analyzed. Pre-requisites: none.
CD-100 – Wood Clock Case Restoration. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) The goal of this introductory level class is to teach historically accurate restoration of wooden clock cases. Many wooden mantel, wall and tall-cases clocks made in the 18th and 19th centuries now require restoration. Students will be instructed in the assessment of case finish and appropriate corrective procedures. Techniques ranging from cleaning and waxing to total refinishing will be addressed. Where finishes are severely deteriorated, instruction will be given concerning color restoration and appropriate top coat application. Because many of these early clock cases had shellac top coats, the class covers applying shellac and French Polishing using period materials and techniques. Most supplies and sample projects will be provided to practice restoration techniques in class. Additionally students are encouraged to bring their own wooden clock case without the movement and glass to begin assessment and restoration work. Limited information will be provided concerning wood stabilization and veneering. Pre-requisites: none.
CD-101 – Workshops in Dial Restoration. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This is a series of two-day workshops covering various aspects of dial restoration. Potential topics include: dial painting, re-silvering and wax replacement. Topics vary depending on sufficient student interest and instructor availability. Pre-requisites: none.
CD-102 – Workshops in Tablet, Statue, and Case Ornamentation Restoration. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This is a series of two-day classes covering various aspects of clock case and ornamentation restoration. Potential topics include: statue repair and refinishing, reverse glass transfer painting, molding and casting, stenciling on wood and glass, tablet painting, veneer replacement and gold leafing. Topics vary depending on sufficient student interest and instructor availability. Pre-requisites: none.
CD-200 – Wood Clock Case Restoration II. Three Days (9 AM to 5 PM). This workshop is the second of a two course sequence designed to teach historically accurate restoration of wooden clock cases. In the first class (CD-100) students are taught to assess case finish and given projects designed to teach appropriate restoration. The goal of this second workshop is to assist students in applying and enhancing skills learned in CD-100 to restore their own wooden clock case. The first class day will focus on veneering and repairing the structural aspects of the students’ cases. The next two days will focus on restoring color and topcoat finish. Students are asked to bring a shelf, wall or mantel clock that can be restored in the three class days even if not totally finished. Students should avoid clocks that have very unique restoration needs like gold leafing, missing columns, faux finishes such as tortoise-shell, finishes that require gesso and where parts would require turning on a lathe. Students will be given instruction and may practice making missing molding by hand, but this will be limited given time constraints. It is best to remove and not bring the clock works and faces, which could be damaged. Supplies and tools needed for restoration will be supplied. Once enrolled, students will be given a list of optional tools they may want to bring. Given this a more advanced class, there will be ample opportunity for student to share knowledge about restoration. If the student has special case restoration needs or questions, please contact the instructor via e-mail or phone. Pre-requisite: CD-100
OW-100 – Open Bench Workshop. One Day (9 AM. to 3 PM.) All Chapter members are welcome to attend this series of open bench workshops. Members may bring a clock or watch movement and receive expert advice on how to clean, conduct repairs and make adjustments. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own repair tools but can also use Chapter equipment. These free flowing workshops are designed for fun, fellowship, learning and mentoring. The workshops are held quarterly and upcoming workshops are listed in the Chapter calendar. Because these are informal, members can arrive and leave whenever they choose. Registration is not required but a small fee is collected during the workshop to buy pizza and soft drinks. Fees also contribute to maintaining Chapter equipment. Pre-requisites: none.
OW-101 – Evening Open Bench Workshop. One Evening (4 PM. to 9 PM.) These open workshops are similar to OW-100 except they are shorter and offered in the evening. Typically they meet on the second Tuesday of each month. Upcoming workshops are listed in the Chapter calendar. Pre-requisites: none.
OW-102 – Pocket Watch Workshop. Two Days (9 AM. to 5 PM.) This workshop offers the beginning and intermediate student additional skills repairing and troubleshooting pocket watches. Students in this workshop must have taken a basic watch courses, such as the NAWCC F-301 or Beginning Pocket Watch Repair (WR-100 and WR-200), or have comparable watch repair experience. Students should have the knowledge and skill to disassemble, clean, re-assemble and adjust an American 18 Size pocket watch. Assistance is offered by one or more experienced watch repairers, but formal instruction is not given. Students are asked to share knowledge with each other and each student learns by watching the experienced watch repairer help others. Students are asked to bring their own basic tools and one or more American 18 Size watch to repair. Pre-requisites: NAWCC F-301 or 124 Chapter Beginning Pocket Watch Repair (WR-100 and WR-200).
These specialized Workshops are intended to provide instruction on specific clocks and restoration techniques. The topics vary depending on sufficient student interest and instructor availability. More detailed descriptions of the course contents will be included in the class announcements. Most are two day classes and have basic clock repair classes as pre-requisites. Please check the class announcement for lists of required tools, types of clocks to be brought to class and workshop pre-requisites. Upcoming workshops will be listed in the Chapter calendar.
SR-101 – Cuckoo Clock Repair. Covers 2- and 3-weight cuckoo clocks, some of which may be very old, but many of which were manufactured after the 1930’s. Topics covered include evaluation of the clock’s condition, identification of movement types, movement disassembly and reassembly, and repair of music boxes and cases. .
SR-102 – Self Winding Clock Repair – SWCC. Covers assessment and repair of clocks marked “Western Union” or “Self-Winding Clock Company. ” Only “F” type movements are covered.
SR-103 – 400 Day Clock Repair. Includes instruction in fundamentals of operation, demonstrations of assembly and disassembly, repair of broken mainsprings, cleaning, lubrication and adjustment of 400 Day clocks. Students are encouraged to work on their own 400 Day clock and a discussion of the “Kaiser” will be given as time allows.
SR-104 – Wooden Gear Clock Repair. Covers the evaluation and repair of wooden gear clocks such as the Terry #5. Many early wooden gear clocks were made in Europe and also in American from 1806 to 1847. The workshop covers assembly and disassembly, re-bushing, verge adjustment, pivot replacement and tooth repair.
SR-202 – Floating Balance Clock Repair. A basic workshop for repairing the floating balances used on several types of clocks. A good example of this type is the Hermle 340-020 movement.
SR-203 – Carriage Clock Repair. Covers the unique requirements in the repair of both time-only and strike carriage clocks. Focus will be on French carriage clocks with a self-contained platform escapement. Time allows only minor cleaning and repair of operational carriage clocks. If a balance staff is broken or a jewel is cracked these repairs are beyond the resources of this class.
TE-103 – Clock Repair Troubleshooting. Troubleshooting is covered in the Open Bench sequence of workshops (OW-100, OW-101, and OW-102). The workshop also may be offered on demand as a standalone class focused on a specific problem.
TE-200 – Jewelers Lathe II. This workshop is designed to give the student additional skills in operation of the Jewelers lathe and is to be taken after completing the Jewelers Lathe I class.
TE-103 – Advanced Micro Lathe Projects. This workshop is to allow the student to gain more lathe skills following completion of the Micro Lathe class (TE-101). The student will have a choice of working on several project designs provided by the instructor.
NAWCC sponsors a series of classes offered under the label of Field Suitcase Workshops (FSW). Some of these are offered at the National NAWCC Headquarters in Columbia, Pennsylvania and others are offered locally and sponsored through Chapter 124. To view a list of available FSW courses, course descriptions and courses currently scheduled, go to the NAWCC website, type “FSW” into the search area and click the search button. Then click on FSW Info – the NAWCC and FSW Course List and Description – the NAWCC. Some of FSW classes have titles similar to local Chapter 124 classes such as F101 – Introduction to Basic Time and Strike…The American Kitchen Clock. In the past Chapter 124 has offered F200, F201, F202 and F501. The classes offered vary depending on sufficient student interest and instructor availability.