Author Topic: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock  (Read 822 times)

cable ulysses

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Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:54:55 PM »
There's no accounting for taste, but this clock has appealed to me for years ever since I saw it in a 1929 Revere "Observatory Time" catalog that came to me along with an auction lot of Telechron/GE catalogs.

I was pretty sure I never would see one.  Silverdollar Productions only made fleeting mention of it (scroll down four clocks):

http://silverdollarproductions.net/rc-id-2.html

One appeared last week on Shopgoodwill, out of Sacramento.  Although I had to give towards the high end of the range I had estimated, it was only a couple of hundred dollars more than a price that would have been a steal, so I was happy when I won.  (I had put in a preemptive amount, and it could've gone much higher and still I would've won it.)

It arrived a few days ago and was better than expected.  For starters, it works fine, even the chimes which are in tune, even, and all hammers operating.  It appears to have been worked on in 1975, from a sticker on the inside back door.  It has a later aluminum B rotor.  The case needs a little work because the wooden face has been refinished, with drips.  That won't take much work.  There is only one small chip near the "8".  The zebrawood is nice.  The catalin feet and ornament may have started out lavender, but they are now marbled butterscotch, which I won't be working to change.  I need to work a bit on the numbers; someone painted over them with silver paint.  But it looks pretty good (from 10 feet!) so that's not a priority for me.  I'm just going to put it out and run it and enjoy it.

It is missing the chime key, but I already ordered a replacement.  There is a short chime shaft sticking out of the between the "11" and the power loss flag hole.  That had not been apparent in the pictures I've seen. 

It has the standard large Revere movement with a serial number in the 138,000 region.  So I take it that it was most likely first sold in 1930.  (Many references to Revere serial numbers on the Internet)

This is a fabulous clock, although I can imagine it's not for everyone.  I'm really glad it survived and glad I will be able to enjoy it for its next 90 years.

Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 09:35:22 AM »
Good work C/U.
It's a great and very rare clock.  Are you a collector of Revere clocks?
I'm glad that it went to a good home.
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Timezoo

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 01:33:39 PM »
Unique and stylish, I like it!!  This was a very expensive clock even in it's time.  More than twice the cost of the Telechron Model 431 Modernique. 

skruft

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 06:45:45 PM »
Thanks for posting. I had never seen one before.

cable ulysses

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 11:41:15 AM »
I finally got around to sprucing up the Revere R-138 mantel clock that I got last Spring.

It was in need of some straightforward cosmetics:  The satinwood inlaid numbers had long since perished and the cuts for them had been painted in, not too neatly, with silver paint.  Same with the chapter ring.  There was a small chip on the edge of the veneer that wanted repair, and the varnish or poly on the front looked as if it had been ladled on with a trowel.  All of the mechanicals were fine; in fact it has been running in our living room since April.

After a good bit of thought and research, I concluded that it would have been far beyond my ability or patience to try to cut new inlaid satinwood numbers, etc.  Every number was different, had been hand-designed, and  probably cut by specialized dies when made.  I could think of no technique available to me to get that done with the exceedingly close tolerances required.  So I concluded to removedthe silver paint and varnish on the front and to repaint the numbers in a gold paint that was reasonably close to the original satinwood in tone.  I used Citrus-Strip and it went well.  I was careful to only work on the front, as the varnish and "Spanish highlighting" on curved side was in good shape and I didn't want to mess with that. 

I cleaned out the old silver paint and as much as the remnant veneer glue as I could.  A good bit of the glue remained as it was very hard and bonded to the substrate, and I was reluctant to be too aggressive with the fine chisels and scrapers that I ground for fear of damaging the sharp outline of the numerals or chapter ring.  It was much improved, though not perfect.  I bought the finest detailing brush I could find, which only put on about a drop of paint at go, and I took my time.  It was tedious, but the paint went on well and the inevitable touch-ups for thin spots and holidays and missed edges viewed from different angles and in different light blended nicely.

A small patch of veneer took care of the chip, and after cleaning up and fine sanding/finishing the zebrawood face, and rejuvenating the wood with Kotton Klenser wood feeder, I put on a thin coat of satin-finish Wipe-On Poly.  I polished the hands like new so that they would be more visible on the somewhat busy zebrawood finish.

The finial on top took some thought as the one that came on it was a foot cannibalized from the rear and that foot replaced with a  close match.  However, from the photo in the Revere catalog (see OP) the finial was supposed to be slightly smaller in diameter.  I finally settled on a jade-colored marble (try to find a lavender marble that doesn't look cats-eye hideous) and affixed it.

In all, I'm please with how it came out.  It's gone from being a 10-foot clock to being one that will withstand somewhat closer scrutiny.


Larry

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 12:40:49 PM »
Beautiful (%$

Larry

Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 12:54:23 PM »
C/U,
Thanks for posting pictures of the restored clock.  It turned out great, and I'm glad you saved it.

Pat L.

ps: please check your p/m
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cable ulysses

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 05:07:35 PM »
There was a question about the attachment of the finial on the top of the clock.  My clock has a hole that is drilled about 1/2 inch deep and is about 1/8 inch in diameter.  It doesn't look to be threaded though there are very light thread marks in places where one of the feet had been screwed in.  I assume the finial was on a short stud and might have been a press fit.

I an attach an image showing the hole.  I also attach an image of an alternative finial I made out of a jaspar-colored marble.  I still need to cut down the screw I epoxied to it--it sticks up a tiny bit too high.  The feet are 3/4 inches in diameter, and I believe the correct size for the finial is 9/16 inch.  The jaspar one pictured here is a little too large:  5/8 inch.

Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2018, 06:12:07 PM »
C/U,
Here are some pictures of my R-138.  The mounting for the finial is just broken-out, so installing a new bead attached to the end of a small dowel might work.  Also, there's a picture of the spare beads next to one of the feet.  The replacement beads are 0.615" in diameter, so they are pretty close in size and color.

Pat L.
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cable ulysses

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 07:28:28 PM »
That's one sweet clock.

I'm thinking that at one time my finial mount (is it a "plinth") might have broken out they way yours did.  If you compare--and it doesn't even have to be an especially careful comparison--yours is taller than mine and more nearly matches the catalog illustration.  I'd noticed before that mine appeared more squat than the illustration, but wrote it off to a design change in production.  Looking carefully a second time, I still can't detect a repainting so I guess my forensic skills are lacking.

I was looking at beads as a solution...there's a hole already there which is nice, but I was stymied by the fact that there was another hole which would've been right on top.  Maybe filling it with plastic dust and glue and polishing it down would work as it often does in flaws in wood.

Your clock is worth getting fixed up perfectly, IMHO.  It's nice.

av8rcain

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 11:39:49 PM »
Great looking clock, I wish I would have seen it first!
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Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 03:37:03 PM »
C/U,
Here's another picture of the R-138 after a quick polish with Howard's restore-a-finish (neutral) followed by "Pledge" and with the top finial bead installed.  Also, a picture of the R-140 is attached.  You can see that a previous owner went over the numerals with silver paint.   
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Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 04:32:44 PM »
Here are a few other uncommon Reveres:
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Pat_L

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 04:35:43 PM »
And one more along with a copy by Bulova with Hammond movement:
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cable ulysses

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Re: Revere R-138 Mantel Clock
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2019, 09:42:12 AM »
C/U,
Here's another picture of the R-138 after a quick polish with Howard's restore-a-finish (neutral) followed by "Pledge" and with the top finial bead installed.  Also, a picture of the R-140 is attached.  You can see that a previous owner went over the numerals with silver paint.   

Your R-138 Westminster mantel clock is amazing.  I'm glad you got it dialed in.  It's probably heresy, but I'd give up many, many of my GE/Telechrons for one as nice.  Your R-140 looks to have been spruced up by the same guy who did mine before I got it:  silver paint in the numerals, not too neat. 

All of the pics you posted are fantastic.  Thanks.

 

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