New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC

Highlights and Pictures of 1999 Spring Meeting
by Brian Wilcox

Past President Bob Merrill (left) presentinmg Service Laureate Award to Joe Brown
Program Chair, Bob Frishman, at podium in background

Morning workshop presenter Donald Mathias
with his Travelling box
Afternoon workshop presenter John Metcalfe
"French Without Tears"

The spring Meeting was held at The Holiday Inn, Boxborough Woods, Massachusetts on Saturday April 10, 1999

There were 239 members and guests and 74 mart tables plus regular tables representing Chapter Eight, Willard house and the silent auction. According to reports, trading at the mart was very good despite the below average turnout. Members were also anxious to view the efforts of the new Council and particularly the program Chairman Bob Frishman. They were not disappointed in the day's program.

Past president Bob Merrill presented a Service Laureate Award to long time Chapter Member Joe Brown in appreciation of his dedication to our National Organization and long service to Chapter Eight. He is a NAWCC Fellow,.is a trustee of The Willard House and Clock Museum . Joe is also a past president of GBWCC, a founder, charter member and past director of Chapter 87. Joe has held every office at Chapter Eight , a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter to Chapter Eight and has published several articles in the NAWCC Bulletin and is currently researching and documenting the records of watches made by The American Watch Company from the records at the Harvard University Collection.

The morning workshop "Conservation, Restoration and Refinishing Methods on Wooden Cases", was presented by Don Mathias, who brought along his "portable bench" from his shop in Andover Mass. The box contained everything one would need to restore a wooden clock case,all labeled with long and unusual names ,guaranteed to attract the attention of an environmentalist but if used with care and according to the instructions, should be quite safe.--"always use rubber gloves " -Don uses the surgical type for better value.. The use of products available today Fillers ,tinting and shellac finishes. that would produce a shellac or a crackle finish and restore the stain to its original condition. Experience is also important criteria, "Use A flight plan--start with a small area" Don has 40 years experience designing and building furniture. He also an expert on the repair, restoration and conservation of antique period furniture. The question of conservation or restoration and the value of the piece was also discussed. The workshop soon became a forum with everyone asking questions and some providing their favorite recipes and methods for restoration work. Don is the owner of Andover Family Craftsmen Country Woodwright's Shop and is Senior Conservator at Trefler & Sons Antique Restoration Studio in Needham, Mass. He lives in Andover Massachusetts.

The luncheon speaker was John David Metcalfe, Bob Frishman, the educational Chairman had us wondering why he had invited an Englishman to speak about French clocks to a group of New Englanders!!? His presentation" A history of French clocks", left no doubt that French clocks are his passion. Metcalfe arrived from New York via Amtrak, which delighted the new Chapter Treasurer Wayne Paskerian !!! Metcalfe began at the beginning, when clocks were made for monasteries, churches and castles. The transition began in the Village of Morbier during the restoration of a wooden monastery clock. When the work was complete, the clock would not tick, until a long pendulum was added, which was folded for easy transportation. His slides suggested that in general the French were not interested in Horological detail but regarded the clock as status and wealth., which were more to "impress rather than inform".-.. The partisan choices between the French and English Royal Courts were discussed and the French influence on American clocking making after The American Revolution. The history of French Horology is "bottomless" and Metcalfe was still going when it was time to serve lunch.

For the afternoon workshop" John changed hats to present the afternoon workshop "French Without Tears", a talk about basic repairs on French clock movements. Metcalfe had underestimated the size of a Chapter Eight workshop, expecting "a handful of so" was surprised but not overwhelmed by some sixty or so members all waiting to learn something new from this Englishman from New York.

Metcalfe keeps it simple. Some of his suggestions raised a few eyebrows-he does not use an ultrasonic cleaner, cleans his parts -"until its clean" but maintaining constant vigilance to ensure cleanliness. Recommends no diagrams or marking parts during dismantling,"you will learn about the movement as you reassemble the clock."!! Does not approve of plastic containers to store the parts but favors a sturdy box screwed to the bench!! This will avoid any frustrating searches for small parts on the shop floor. Metcalfe "confessed he does not own a bushing tool Uses hand broaches and wire for bushing work. and winds his springs without a coil winder! It was a very good presentation enjoyed by all and members were pleased with the Program Chair Frishman's " first day on the job!" John David Metcalfe began his training at The British Horological Institute in United Kingdom He has worked at the British Museum and had his own repair shop in London. For six years he was Conservator at the NAWCC museum in Pennsylvania, has taught clock repair and now operates his Antiquarian Horology shop in New York.

If you have not attended a Chapter Eight meeting recently, we HAVE missed your smiling face, to you and new members, we extend a welcome to join us at our Chapter meetings.

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Holiday Inn at Boxborough Woods, Massachusetts

Holiday Inn, Boxborough Woods, Massachusetts. The Hotel is located on the east side of Route 1-495 at exit 28. Those desiring overnight lodging should contact the hotel directly at 978-263-8701.

The Chapter hospitality suite will be open on Friday 9th, at 5.00pm -- ask at the front desk.

Registrations before April 3, 1999 are $18.
Registrations received after April 3, 1999 and "walk-ins" will be $25.
As always, registration includes your luncheon and is required for participation in any of the meeting activities.

7:30 AM Registration name tags available for those members who preregistered.
Registration table open for "walk-ins".
8:00 AM Mart area open for setup by table holders. Security on duty.
8:30 AM Mart opens.
10:00 AM Morning workshop: Don Mathias,
"Conservation, Restoration and Refinishing Methods on Wooden Cases".
11:30 AM Mart room closes for luncheon break. Mart security remains "in place"
Luncheon "History of French Clocks"
The luncheon speaker today is John David Metcalfe
1:00 PM Afternoon workshop: "French Without Tears",
presented by John David Metcalfe, (basic repairs on French clock movements). This also will be an opportunity to ask questions about his lunch time presentation.
3:00 PM Mart closes - Mart security ends.

Chapter Eight's SILENT AUCTION !
The silent auction had its debut at the last Chapter meeting, plan to bring a Horological item (s) and sell it by auction.

We will provide a "Silent Auction" table and a bid sheet for each item displayed. Sellers, pay $5 for the bid sheet, write the item description and a minimum bid.

Buyers can then write larger bids. At 11:15 when the auction ends, Sellers and high bidders settle directly.

The Presidents Corner--Larry Chelmow

I would like to begin my first message as president by saying your Officers and Council will strive to continue to deliver high quality meetings.

We are constantly looking for feedback as to how we're doing. Don't hesitate to speak with the Chapter Officers and Council Members at meetings. Our goal will be to provide something for everyone at a reasonable cost. Obviously, we're concerned about rising costs and we are looking at ways to hold the line.

Sorry some confusion. with this years' meeting dates, the revised list is shown below. At the risk of being repetitious, we are always looking for volunteers to help with chapter activities.

My telephone number is (781) 828 - 1626 if you need to speak with me.

PRIZE DRAWING -prize :- one meeting registration and one free mart table.

Prize drawing to be held at the meeting (lunch time). The drawing open to all registered members. (no walk-ins). Winner must be present to win --non-transferable.

Don't forget to vote in 1999 NAWCC Election.

Who's who and what's what at the April meeting.

Don Mathias of Andover, Massachusetts, has 40 years experience designing and building furniture. He also an expert on the repair, restoration and conservation of antique period furniture. He is the owner of Andover Family Craftsmen Country Woodwright's Shop and is Senior Conservator at Trefler & Sons Antique Restoration Studio in Needham, Mass.

John David Metcalfe of New York City completed British Horological Institute training in England. He worked at the British Museum and at his own repair shop in London, and for ten years taught clock repair evening classes. For six years he was Conservator at the NAWCC museum in Pennsylvania and now operates his Antiquarian Horology shop in New York.

Program for 1999:
June 5,1999
-Seventh Annual Horological Workshop at The Willard House & Clock Museum at Grafton Massachusetts
June 12,1999 Chapter meeting; at The Holiday Inn at Boxboro MA.
August 7 1999 Chapter meeting; at The Holiday Inn at Boxboro MA.
The Fall Educational Symposium, date and location still open.
October 9 1999 Chapter meeting; at The Holiday Inn at Boxboro MA.a

Mark your calendars now

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