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 old neon clock restoration

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battmann
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PostSubject: old neon clock restoration   Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:16 pm

i know this isn't a car project, but it is a piece for the garage. my father-in-law gave me this clock probably 6 years ago. i always hoped to restore it, but it wasn't a high priority. the clock was sitting outside in his backyard for who knows how long. when i plugged it in to test it, the inside neon actually still worked but the clock did not. here's a picture of the clock when i got it:

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in 2010 i started restoring this clock. i disassembled the clock and had a friend sandblast and primer the housing and marquee. then i painted the housing with Rustoleum hammertone spray paint. it doesn't really look like hammertone, but it's decent. it just kind of looks silver. maybe leaving the spray can in the garage over the winter messed it up. who knows.

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i found a company on the internet that sells parts for these old clocks, but it was a real pain placing my order. it took almost 2 months of emails and calls back and forth to get the parts ordered. i've never had so much trouble getting a company to take my money. it was ridiculous. anyway, i ordered all new internal wiring components, clock motor and neon transformer. after painting the housing, i rewired and installed the new internal components. i also cleaned up the clock face with Castrol Super Clean. i could have bought a new clock face, but for $80 i decided to just use what i had.

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here's a picture of a similar, all original clock. the color combination is different and there's no marquee, but you get the idea. these clocks came with either a silver or green hammertone housing.

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after that i needed to have a new outer neon tube fabricated and also make new wood letters for the marquee. i found a local neon sign company to have the outer neon tube made. it took them about 3-4 weeks, but they only charged me $75. i got pink neon to keep the clock looking period correct (from the 40's or 50's).

next i made all new marquee letters using the original ones as a template. i measured the original ones and drew them on a nice piece of hardwood. after that i used a scroll saw to carefully cut them out. they're not 100% perfect, but at least i can say i made them myself. progress pic:

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i originally painted the marquee the same hammertone color and the wood letters black, but i didn't like how it looked.

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i ended up making the decision to repaint the marquee blue and paint the letter faces white. i'm glad i did, because it turned out great. about 3 months after i started, i finally assembled the clock and everything worked!
the only thing i'm not super pleased with is my new outer neon tube. the original clock had the tube mounted right on the face of the clock bezel. i couldn't do that because the guy didn't bend the tube "legs" at the right angle. the tube is mounted with stand-offs. it doesn't look bad, but i know it's not exactly how it should be.

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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:38 pm

This clock looks better in person! Great Job Clint!

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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:47 pm

Nice work on the clock, it looks great! Do you have any history on where it came from originally?
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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:32 am

Don't know the history unfortunately. My mother-in-law bought it at a garage sale for $1 (so she said). She gave it to her husband and he just had it stored outside in the woods next to his garages. I kept asking him about it and eventually he gave it to me.

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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:33 am

That looks nice. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:28 pm

Sweet Clock!
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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:55 pm

Wow! fantastic job on the clock. It looks awesome! I totally dig advertising clocks specially that type. Well done. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: old neon clock restoration   Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:40 pm

Thanks guys.

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