Hand-made replacement clock hands
We make replacement hands for quality clocks.
It is possible to buy replacement hands of various qualities from suppliers or makers but its impossible to buy correct off-the-shelf hands for early clocks. They have to be specially made, like the originals.
Cheaper replacement clock hands which are pressed out of steel sheet are suitable for certain types of clock but mostly you get what you pay for.
We only make hands for quality heritage clocks (usually English bracket or longcase clocks).
The design of clock hands and the material are critical; for steel hands we use high carbon steel gauge plate from West Yorkshire Steel Ltd.
We offer advice to the client on appropriate design and once everyone is agreed we start the work. The thickness of the steel is reduced from boss to tip and the client’s design is printed and pasted onto the steel blank.
The hands are roughed out of the blank by sawing with a jeweler’s saw and then filed smooth. The work is naturally slow and precise so the cost of a pair of good quality clock hands may be prohibitive or not economically justified for more mediocre clocks.
Once the outline has been filed and polished smooth, the top surface is engraved to create the composition of flowing curves in the neoclassical style.
The engraved hands are highly polished and then heated in a gas flame to a slightly indigo dark blue colour. The heat promotes a very thin layer of oxidation on the surface which protects it.
(Please Note; We received an email recently from somebody who was experiencing difficulty in achieving the correct dark blue using type 01 gauge plate. If you experience similar problems do contact us – But if you’ve been trying to use a fire-brick or similar, Do’nt. Just hold the steel clock hand in the flame; a fire-brick will release more heat after you remove the flame.
It isn’t unusual to find clocks where the steel hands have been polished and left with a steel silver colour. We have also seen “restored” clock hands painted black or even blue, in an attempt to mimic the art of heat bluing.
Contact us for advice about replacement clock hands and we will explain what is involved.
We can help with designs but we need to know quite a lot about the clock first because clock hand designs changed over the years.