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Afternoon Affair features "Time Will Tell"

The Montmorency County Tribune of Atlanta, Michigan

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Time Will Tell was the theme for this year's Afternoon Affair at Brush Creek Mill in Hillman on Sept. 15, where those in attendance learned the importance of getting their clocks cleaned.

John Schmandt, area resident experienced in clock repair, told the audience a majority of the time clocks stop working because they are dirty and need oil. Clocks should be oiled once a year, he said, and cleaned once every five years.

"Too much oil doesn't hurt. It just makes a mess," Schmandt assured. "By putting more oil through it, you're kind of cleaning it at the same time."

He suggests light oil like what is used for firearms or sewing machines. According to Schmandt, you can't wind a clock too much, either. Clocks that appear to be wound too tighdy, he said, are typically stuck with dirt and oil. He said he is usually able to release the tension in the clock, clean it, oil it and reset it.

Schmandt was a wealth of information, cautioning clock owners against moving the minute hands counterclockwise and emphasizing the importance of allowing Westminster clocks to go through their chime cycles when moving hands clockwise. In reference to annual time changes, he said there is really no reason to set the clock back an hour.

"As far as 'fall back,' just shut it off for an hour and wait," he advised.

Pendulums are adjustable, and moving them up makes them swing faster while moving the down slows them down. Snowbirds leaving for the winter should stop their clocks before they leave, Schmandt suggests, because the oil thickens in cold weather, causing the clocks to lose time.

"When you come back, lightly oil them, let them get up to temperature, jump start them and they should take off," Schmandt said.

Those attending the event brought clocks in to be analyzed and discussed. Some of the clocks present included 1800s clocks with all wooden working parts, a valuable porcelain clock and a Russian submarine clock.

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Original Publication Date: September 23, 2015

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