Introduction: Adapt a Vintage Electric Wall Clock to a Battery Powered Movement Using the Original Clock Hands

About: Technical Editor for two magazines. Software tester for the computer controlled electronic brakes of Locomotives.

I have had this vintage GE 1F608 "Inwall" clock for years and eventually the grease in the rotor dried up and the motor quit. So I purchased a "rebuilt" rotor. That expensive part only lasted 3 months! So, I decided to convert the clock to a battery powered movement.

Now, this has been done many times before but because of the vintage hands, there are no reproduction hands available that fit the modern battery powered movements. So, the only thing to do was make the vintage hands fit the battery powered movement. I did not want the repaired clock to look like a standard battery powered conversion with the Click, Click second hand, so I purchased a "Silent Running Continuous Sweep Clock Movement" from from the Ronell Clock Company on Amazon here:

You will also need a set of side cutters and some Super-Glue.

Step 1: Remove the Factory Electric Movement

Since each clock is different, you basically have to remove everything to get down to just the backplate directly under the faceplate. Then the battery powered movement is installed and tightened down to the faceplate with the supplied nut and washer.

Step 2: Now Adaption of the Original Hands to the Battery Powered Movement Begins

You have to make sure the original hands mounting holes are larger than the battery powered movement's hands are. If not then they must be drilled out larger. As you can see the battery powered movement's hands have been shortened with the side cutter and SuperGlued to the underside of the original hands. This allows the hand to mount to the battery powered movement's shaft via the new mounting end but all you will see on top are the vintage hands.

Step 3: Lastly the Second Hand Is Modified in the Same But Different Way!

The new second hand is cut so the only thing remaining is the center pivot post. The original second hand's pivot shaft is either filed down or ground down on a grinder. You must have a smooth surface for the new center pivot to be glued to. Again a dab of Superglue and carefully align the new pivot on the underside of the vintage second hand as shown.

Step 4: When You Are Thru With the Last Step This Is What You Should Have.

You have your modified hour hand, minute hand and second hand (shown upside down here). And the discarded pieces from the new donor hands.

Step 5: Install the Modified Hands Onto the Battery Powered Movement's Shaft

Flip the hands over and align and install the Hour Hand. Same for the Minute Hand. Then install and carefully tighten the provided nut to hold the hands in place. Finally push the Second Hand onto the battery powered movement's shaft.

Step 6: Install the Faceplate and Bezel Ring

Install the faceplate and bezel ring. Insert a AA battery and test the operation of the rebuilt clock.

Any clearance problems are generally due to the shaft being too long. A washer on the back side, holding the battery movement box further away from the backplate will generally solve any clearance problems, other than the hands clearing each other as they move around the dial.

Step 7: Set the Time and Mount the Clock

Congratulate yourself on putting a vintage clock back in operation. No one will be able to tell the original electric movement is missing with the continuous sweep movement installed. I did go back and using a bit of Red electrical tape, I covered the back side of the power outage red warning hole to show red thru the front after the picture was taken for a bit more authenticity.

I don't want to hear from any purists out there that I ruined a vintage clock. I tried the rebuilt route already and 3 months out of an expensive rebuilt rotor vs $15 for a continuous sweep movement that perfectly mimics the original, I would do it again!

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