French Morbier Comtoise Grandfather Clock. ca 1850/60. (movement and face only)

This Morbier Comtoise Grandfather Clock is obviously a marriage of an original Comtoise Morbier movement and a newer hand crafted case. I purchased this clock mainly for the case. Which is exceptionally well crafted.  It appears to be a handmade case of the highest quality.Morbier Comtoise Grandfather Clock

The movement was fitted with a single bob pendulum that was also fashioned specifically for this case.

When I inspected the movement I noticed upon attempting to wind the clock that the winding arbor on the time train side would spin without engaging the ratchet wheel and the weight would not raise.

Upon closer inspection, I found a serious problem! The steel winding arbor (that the winding key fits onto) had sheared away from the brass barrel that holds the weight and weight cord. I dismantled the movement (see photos) and removed the winding arbor and barrel assembly.

My dilemma was that this could not be repaired the same as it had been manufactured because the barrel was originally ‘staked’ to the winding arbor. Now, there was too much worn metal to restake it. In addition, some other repair person had done a poor job of soldering it previously and the repair had failed.

Morbier Comtoise Grandfather Clock

Morbier movement repaired and assembled

The solution was to manufacture a small brass bushing to slide over the steel arbor as a press fit, solder it flush to the barrel, and then solder the other end.

I used a 98% Tin 2% Silver solder with a melting point of 450 degrees. I do not have any machine tools to manufacture bushings. I made the bushing from a discarded ratchet wheel I had as a spare. All the fabrication was done with files and vice.

The repairs went as planned and the clock was rebuilt. It now runs fine. I will undertake a more thorough restoration of the movement at a later date.

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