So, you like clockwork steampunk jewelry? Know how to work metal pieces together, can rivet, solder and cut? How about gear harvesting? Say what?!
One of the biggest problems that steampunk enthusiasts face is the acquirement of gears. Sure you can buy them online, but they are soooo expensive, so why not find them yourself? The best places to look are at thrift shops, antique malls and small abandoned shops pushed in the very back of the district. No really its true, the dustier the better!
I found this little beauty
in a large antique shop in San Francisco over the summer during a steampunk supplies trip, and have been having fun with it ever since. The first thing you do with any of these antique mantel clocks is to safely remove the glass enclosing the face and remove the hands. This is because once you attempt to remove the movement, if the hands are still in place, nothing will happen and you will be left yanking on the movement.
Once the hands and face are safely removed, place the clock on its face and go get your Dremel or some other cutting tool. Unlike so many other clocks, the movement on this baby is bolted to the encasement, making it impossible to remove the movement, short of cutting the whole thing out, it’s not going anywhere. The movement is bolted on all four corners so it will stay in place and each corner must be carefully cut through, (don’t forget your safety goggles, and a tarp!). Once the bolts are all cut, you can then safely remove the movement from the mantel frame. Don’t forget to have a pair of bolt cutters on hand because the movements are often held in place beyond the four bolts and a small sturdy bolt cutter is enough to cut the whole thing loose. Watch for the springs as they will sometimes come undone and pop out at you, another reason for the goggles and even safety gloves to protect from rusty cuts.
In the end though, the trouble is worth it as the movement is now free and ready to be torn apart! My next blog post will be exploring the safe ways of opening a clock movement.