Step 1: Disassembly
Once the halves were separated (photo 1), I carefully pried the clock hands free (photo 2), and un-clipped the remains of the neon light tube (which was broken, of course).
Next, I flipped the base over and removed the old clock motor and gear assembly and the transformer for the neon light (photo 3.
Step 2: Identifying the Problem(s)
The clock motor could be replaced with a quartz motor, but replacing the neon tube would cost much more than the clock was worth. So, I took a slightly different approach in replacing it.
Step 3: Replacing the Clock Motor & Light
To replace the circular light, I first considered replacing it with a fluorescent circular light. After all, the neon tube was 12 inches in diameter and 12 inch circular fluorescent tubes are readily available (along with ballasts), but I was concerned that the fluorescent light would be much too bright for the clock. So, I took another path.
I found a 3 foot rope light that just happened to fit inside the case by making two complete loops (photo 2). This would provide sufficient light to read the clock dial, but not so much that it would be blinding.
Photo 3 shows the new clock motor installed along with the rope light and power cord coming out of the back side of the clock base.
Step 4: Cleaning the Case
The latex paint removed easily with dried latex paint remover. The oil based paint, however, required tedious scraping with a razor blade. After all paint was removed, I polished the case with a metal polish.
Step 5: Putting It Back Together
The total cost of repairing this old clock was $5 for the quartz clock motor and $8 for three feet of rope light. The tools and supplies used were minimal: a screwdriver, pliers, scraper, razor blade, and some metal polish.
As you can see from the photo, I apparently finished this project at exactly 5:14, just in time to get cleaned up for the evening meal!