View Full Version : Watch and clockmaker's book?

05-05-2004, 01:36 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

05-05-2004, 02:17 PM
Haven't seen that one, but if you are interested in clock making, consider the two bound volumes of "The Clockmaker" available from Tee Publishing. Here's a link to their clockmaking book list:

I'm currently making Steve Conover's foliot clock; just finishing my wheel making jig and getting ready to cut the first gears.



05-05-2004, 02:49 PM
The clockmaker, I believe his name is Bill Smith, who has had articles published in the "Home Shop Machinist", has several books & videos on the art of clock making.

05-05-2004, 04:05 PM
I took a clock repair class a couple of years ago. The instructor recommended "The Modern Clock" by Ward L. Goodrich, written in 1950. I got a brand new copy, printed in 1997, for $10 on ebay. Good book. There's one available right now.


Gary Westfall
05-05-2004, 08:38 PM
I am sitting here with a 16th Edition of Britten's. It has a lot of the math, tables, and other data that are useful in creating your own clock. It is very light on the "how to make a clock" part of the business (non-existant). However, I have found much data in it that I have been unable to locate in any other venue. It has some good diagrams on several general classes of clocks and watches, but don't expect instructions on tuning up a Seth Thomas. In all - it is a nice general reference.

JM2C as a clock-making AWI and NAWCC member.......

Spin Doctor
05-05-2004, 08:43 PM
While this may be a little off topic the film done for A&E and one of the British networks about three or four years ago about the invention of the chronometer by Harrison is outstanding

05-05-2004, 11:17 PM
I'm not familiar with the Britten book, but years ago I got one of the videos by Smith that bikenut referred to. If you are new at machining and hand work, the material might be useful. I was disappointed that it wasn't produced nearly as well as I expected and learned very little, if anything, from it (I had been working for years as a musical instrument repairman and had gained some fair machining chops by then). However, I gave the tape to a guy who told me he liked it and learned a lot from watching it.

05-06-2004, 08:15 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

05-07-2004, 06:59 AM
I agree that Bill Smith's books are excellent. He uses modern methodologies in the context of a traditional craft. He is an excellent craftsman. John Wilding's books (from England)are also excellent.

I feel Britten is more of a reference for a clockmaker/restorer than it is a "how-to" book.

Goodrich's book is an excellent starting point for overview as are all of Britten's books. Each of the books offers something different.

A recent book by J. Malcolm Wild contains just about all you will need to know about cutting wheels and pinions for clockwork.

Bills Smith's books are available via the web (http://clocktools.com/wrsmith.html). Arlington Books (http://www.arlingtonbooks.com/)is a great place to find just about any book about clocks. The sell many inexpensive reprints; many of the original titles can be pricey. The following site is a nice general reference: http://www.ubr.com/clocks/index.html


05-07-2004, 07:07 AM
IMHO: I saw most of the Clockmaker articles when they were presented as a monthly magazine. These are essentially reprints of old construction articles. As I recall (it's been 10 -15 years) the drawings were poor and the instructions were not helpful unless you already knew what you were doing (as a clockmaker and not machinist).

I think one would be much better off with a Bill Smith book.


05-07-2004, 02:44 PM
I've got the two bound volumes of the first two years of 'The Clockmaker'. It's true that there are some old reprints in there, but also lots of other construction articles, including some by John Wilding. Several tool construction articles too: depthing gauges, wheel cutting engines, etc.

Some of the old reprints have drawings that are a little dodgy, but I found most of the drawings to be OK.

I have some of the W. R. Smith books; I agree they are very good.

05-08-2004, 07:47 PM

Funny, I don't remember John Wilding articles in the issues of Clockmaker I saw.

Are the volumes with the John Wilding articles the Tee Publishing reprints you referred to above? If they are, I'll probably buy them.



John Stevenson
05-08-2004, 08:02 PM
Bit out of my depth here guys as I know squat about clocks, even have trouble tellin the time http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I was down at TEE publishing in Hinckley about two months ago and they had shelfull's of Clockmaking magazines.
Could be worth a phone call or email if there is anything specific you wanted.

John s.

05-10-2004, 06:36 PM

Yes, the very first issue, volume 1, has a Wilding article on reconditioning a skeleton clock. It's in the Tee reprint; I purchased both volumes from Tee within the last month.

05-11-2004, 06:32 AM
Thank you for the info guys!