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Well, it didn't last - I got a message within a day or two to say the Orchestra had stopped again. I emailed Tim, suggesting that the inner tube "rubber bands" must have come off. I offered some options as to what we do next. I said we really needed a new wheel or for the existing one to be refurbished. I found a source of supply for either nylon or cast iron wheels with rubber tread but these generally come with bearings (designed for castors). To use such a wheel would mean removing the bearings, probably needing to machine it out and to fit some sort of fixed centre with a 1/2" diameter hole for the shaft of the geared motor.

However, the geared motor is also "on its last legs" (bearings noisy, casing corroded and cracked). If I spend time and effort sorting a new wheel, when we come to renew the motor that wheel will be too loose (old motor: imperial 1/2", new motor: metric 12mm). trouble is there's a lead time on the motor so we couldn't effect a quick fix.

WEDNESDAY 27-AUG

Decision time: I bought a rubber-treaded nylon wheel and set about modifying it. Taking the bearings out left a hole around 30mm diameter. I found a piece of aluminium bar, made it fit and drilled out the centre to 12.5mm (didn't have 1/2" drill bit to hand). I drilled five angled holes and tapped them M5 to secure the wheel in the absence of a key. I left home at 5pm, taking the wheel to Birmingham. Accessing the Orchestra drive from a step-ladder, I saw that the inner tube was off the wheel and wrapped around the drive shaft; in fact it was melted on in places. I couldn't do much in-situ so I removed the whole assembly. With some effort I got the old wheel and bits of inner tube off. The new wheel wouldn't fit (that 12.5mm hole I drilled needed to be 12.7mm) so I filed the hole until it would go on. I refitted the assembly and powered on. The motor could be heard whirring but Orchestra stood still. I concluded that the gearbox must be broken so removed the assembly again. I sat on the plinth and started dismantling the gearbox. I quickly deduced that a shaft wasn't driving a worm gear and could see the remnants of a pin through the shaft.

It was getting late so I decided to take the assembly away as I needed access to a bench and more tools. Got home at 10pm so deferred to next day to continue.

Engineer

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Yet another update! We've put some serious hours in this week, building the clock in Birmingham (Millennium Point - access is free if you are anywhere near but read on to understand what you might

Another busy day but the end is in sight now. In fact I've left it running as a 'soak test' (albeit still a dry installation - they are planning to fill the pool tomorrow). I've overcome a few minor

Nope, not TT. On the matter of drinking, each day I've worked within that enclosure has been physically exhausting because of the heat and humidity - somewhere between a greenhouse and a sauna. Have

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Next day...

THURSDAY 28-AUG

Stripped the geared motor sufficiently to get the shaft and worm out. Washed the dirty grease out. Removed bits of the old pin; sourced and fitted suitable new pin. Reassembled gearbox, using threadlock liquid as necessary (don't want it vibrating loose and unlikely to dismantle again). Not able to test but should be good to go. Doesn't sound much but that was two hours there!

Plan to visit Birmingham tomorrow to refit.

Engineer

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FRIDAY 29-AUG

Took the geared motor assembly back - took 20 minutes to fit and it worked fine. Waited and watched three performances; it was still going strong so I returned home contented.

Now... A few impending events:

On Monday 08-Sep we are having a get-together in Birmingham of those involved in moving and renovating for display. Who knows, there may be a photographer there!

At the weekend 13/14 September there's a convention of the Emett Society, taking in the clock (Millennium Point) and all the other Emett "things" at the Birmingham Gas Hall. Anyone interested can probably find information on the Emett Society web pages.

In week commencing 15-Sep we have to dismantle the clock (I think Millennium Point need the space for something else). It has to go into storage but location isn't sorted yet.

After that the Society and I get time to do more work on the clock and you and I have to wait until sometime next year to see it up and running again in Nottingham.

The Engineer

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I use blue loctite thread glue on chainsaw screws and bolts, they never work loose and always come apart reasonably easy..If it can stand the vibration of a chainsaw engine/cutting trees down, it will stand anything.

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Today we visited the Millennium Point at Birmingham, specially to view the Rowland Emett Water Clock. The Clock looked absolutely Beautiful. Congratulations to The Engineer and Team for all the hard work you have put in. When we arrived, it was just after 3.15pm, so we sat and admired the Clock untill 3.30pm, when the show began! As the Petals opened up and the clock went into its magical action, it was a pleasure to see again. We look forward to seeing the Clock back home in Nottingham once more. Well done for all the dedication of the team who have made the Clock Sparkle as new again

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Thank you for the feedback Carni. I'm sure you'll agree that there will be renewed interest when the clock is back home, as it looks quite different from what people will remember before we removed it in February. Also bear in mind you've seen it dry - the addition of water will further enhance the impact. A visitor said to me "You can just watch it like fire or water."

Engineer

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As a fellow engineer, and one who remembers the clock when it was first unveiled, I have been following this story with great interest. I wish I was there to help you in your endeavors, but distance and airfares make that impossible. However, I can say that when the clock is re-installed in Nottingham, I will make the effort to bring my wife, and possibly my son, to see the clock in its full glory! They have both heard about the wonders of the clock, and how it would entrance children and adults alike with its wonders, but sadly did not have the same attraction in recent years!

I congratulate you in your efforts to bring this Nottingham monument back to its full glory. We may have lost Victoria Station, but at least we can hold on to the amazement of Emett's clock!

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Thank you for the feedback Carni. I'm sure you'll agree that there will be renewed interest when the clock is back home, as it looks quite different from what people will remember before we removed it in February. Also bear in mind you've seen it dry - the addition of water will further enhance the impact. A visitor said to me "You can just watch it like fire or water."

Engineer

I remember thinking what a waste of money this clock was when it was unveiled in 1973 but my view has changed over the years and I think the restoration is a real triumph for The Engineer. I moved away from Nottingham in 1976 but have returned on many occasions mainly for Goose Fair and visits to Meadow Lane but not the shopping centre for a long long time. It was only last year I took my wife into The Victoria Centre to show her the clock. It was hugely disappointing to see how run down it had become so I've followed this thread with great interest. From the pictures it would seem you have achieved a minor miracle and the good people of Nottingham should be indebted to you for your magnificent effort. I for one am ready to make a special pilgrimage to The Centre just to see your wonderful restoration first hand when it returns. Heartfelt thanks from a converted cynic.

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We took some photo's of the Clock at the Millenium Point yesterday and will put a couple on Nottstalgia around 5pm when my helper arrives! Of Course like The Engineer said "the clock is dry at the moment". When it arrives back in Nottingham next year, I will make a Bee Line to see it in action with the addition of Water.

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Thank you for the photos Carni and Enigma1st. And well done on a most fantastic restoration job The Engineer. It is marvellous to see it as it was and should be. I look forward to seeing it back home in Victoria Centre next year. Perhaps people didn't seem to have much regard for it in the latter years, but it was still a main focal and meeting point in Nottingham. I remember when it was first put in, and waiting for the music to start. On many occasion I'd be in Jessops (as it was then) hear the first strikes of the hour and rush out to watch the clock perform.



I would imagine it will be a major draw for visitors again next year and for some time to come.


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Indeed you did Fynger, sorry I missed you off my thank you's hellothere

It is lovely to see it restored to its former glory.

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Nice Photo Fynger,

I am sorry as well that I didn't say so. Haven't they done a Brilliant job on it! Afraid my photo is to small to see the detail, but you and Enigma have captured the magic for us all to view. :biggrin:

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Great pictures.

It looks like you were sitting astride the framework to take a couple of the shots.

Reading back through The Engineers posts it would seem the guy invested a massive amount of time and effort into this project. I think I remember him writing about the time he worked through the layers of paint on the frame to discover the original aqua green that was first applied, and then his efforts to find an available match. This is just one example of his dedication to restore the clock to as close as the original as possible. I think this guy was a Forensic Scientist in a former life! Absolutely brilliant. I hope he gets a mention on the plaque and a write up in the NEP

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Though I did the electrical uplift on my own in 2012, the work this year has involved several other people. My role has centred around electrical and mechanical engineering (including the saga I have blogged here of getting it all functional after assembly) but others have done metal fabrication/welding, paint stripping/blasting, powder coating, brass and copper polishing, butterfly fettling, and generally getting through buckets of elbow grease. Tim of the Emett Society has coordinated throughout, as well as managing the large exhibition of other Emett works on display at the Birmingham Gas Hall.

Engineer

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And just as important, Engineer, You have kept us updated and taken us step by step through all the phases of removing it from Victoria centre to rebuilding, restoring, and I should imagine it's long awaited return to it's home town in time. It has seemed almost as if we have been at your side throughout the operation, something which many will not have experienced. To some it will simply be, it was there, it wasn't, it's back "look how shiny it is"....but we know all the intricacies too. What a privilege for us Nottstalgians.

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What darkazana said - but I also know that, despite the frustrations, it will have been a LOT of fun and a major learning experience to work on the clock! Not to mention a chance to "get inside" the head of one of Britain's leading engineer/artists of our time!

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