POUVILLON RESTORATION PROJECT - July 2012
Continue final finishing, lacquering,
crystalline waxing and reassembly of the movement
Next the sunrise/sunset
compound dial is assembled. The yellow parts are gilded and are
meant to hearken to the sun’s color just as the silvered movement parts of
the planisphere were connected to the silver stars. Total parts count for
this assembly 130.
Next we begin assembly of the annual cam pack as well as the various
linkages for that pack, the equation of time, and the moon phase and age
complication. The second photo shows a close up of the markings on the cam
pack drive wheel which enables one to keep track of time duration when
demonstrating the various functions driven by this system. This easily
enables the demonstration to be brought back to its original position.
The parts shown in the exploded version in the first photo of the prior
paragraph are shown assembled in the first photo. The next two photos show
the moon phase/age complication depicted in the lower left hand corner of
the first photo. Note the beautiful details Pouvillon put into this
assembly. First are the intricately turned pillars that make up the this
system, these parts are fire gilt. Next observe the worm gear arbor. Every portion is
tapered and carefully shaped; the entire part stands just over 6 cm or 2
inches. Next the completed moon phase /age assembly. The part housing the
moon had corrosion on its surface and the original bluing was largely worn
away. As with some of the hands which were also in this condition, the part
was cleaned of all corrosion and reheat blued.
The first photo shows a
conflict with the fusee chain used to power the Easter calculator rubbing
against the time train pulley. We will need to move the pulley wheel a bit
over to resolve this conflict since the chain must run through a hole in the
movement base plate and thus cannot be altered. We now continue with the
final cleaning and assembly. The rear of the main dial is a spotted plate
made of bronze, this part is lacquered. Shown here are before
and after photos. Buchanan mentioned the variety of finishes in the
different locations of the clock. This is not simply accidental or as a
result of the clock being built over a long period of time, but were
deliberate attempts to let each subsection of the clock have its own
‘theme’. Thus the silver for the planisphere, gilding for the sunrise/sunset
mechanism. Polished and gilt wheels in the orrery, grained frames for the
Next the ivory is
shown being fabricated into the orrery planets as well as the demonstration
and winding handles. Up to this point these parts were mockups made from plastic.
Next the finished cranks. The first photo shows a
comparison of blued verses regular screw head, where I decided for the blued
finish. The second photo shows the completed cranks. The larger for the
clock, the smaller for the orrery demonstration function.
two photos show the before and after of the wheels for the seven ancillary
dials on the base of the orrery superstructure.
Next we see several
brackets for the pair of three ancillary dials located on the base of the orrery
superstructure. Note the fingerprint impression on the second from the top
bracket. This is the bane of skeleton clock collectors and clockmakers. At
some point someone was careless and handled the clock with slightly sweaty
fingers causing a permanent mark on the brass surface. Given the location of
this mark it is probable that the print was made by a repairer at some
point; a most unfortunate and inexcusable lapse.
The two banks of dial
works are completed and assembled and are shown in their before and after
condition in the next four photos. Total 71 parts less dials and hands.
parts are cleaned and ready for reassembly,
193 parts for this section.
Next reassembly begins.
The first photo shows the detail of the enamel moon
orbital dial. The first set of script describes the orbit as 29 days, 12
hours and 44 minutes. The second script reads 'Orbit of the moon's travel'.
The two words separating the scripts translate as 'node'. The last three
photos show the completed wheel works for the tellurian complication.
The tellurian base has an additional 40 parts.
We now turn to the
final finishing and reassembly of the orrery which controls the orbits of
the planets past Earth. Total of 117 parts. Buchanan uses a dry lubricant
between the concentric tubes.
The wheel set shown in the second photo
are fire gilt.
The first photo shows
the orrery wheel pack parts nested together which were shown separated in
the prior photo. The next four photos show some
badly stained parts within the orrery support structure. Some is caused by
oxidation from old lubricants while the mottled cube-pillar in the fourth
photo appears to be old, flaking lacquer. These conditions cannot be
corrected with a light clean in the ultrasonic cleaner and will require some
slight mechanical cleaning. The trick is to not overdo these parts and thus
have to bring the rest of the structure up to the same level. The last photo
shows one of several parts that shows a chrome finish on some portion of a
part. In all cases the chrome portion is positioned in an area that is
covered. Obviously Pouvillon was not against re-using material and Buchanan
has indicated that chrome is very tough to remove from the surface of brass.
The entire surface would otherwise have to be planed down. Also notice the
fabrication pip and scribe marks on this part.