Technical Advice - Door
Covers are the
part that give a chime its style and most of its decorative character.
Many of the early chimes have covers made of wood, sometimes integrating
a clock. There were also covers made of early Nylon and a few precious
models with catalin covers in the prewar years. The early plastic
covers often took advantage of the translucent nature of the material
and with the additional of a low powered light bulb, created a glowing
night light effect. After 1960, styrene plastic was the predominant
material of choice, giving way to some truly distasteful simulated
The things that
go wrong with covers are 1. they get broken, 2. they get beat up,
3. they get lost. A common request I get is for missing chime covers.
I generally tell people who are hoping to replace a lost or broken
chime cover that almost anything is possible in the eBay age, but
the likelihood of finding a specific cover would extend the envelope
of the virtually possible (with the exception of the relatively
common NuTone Jefferson). Better to improvise. Think of a missing
cover as an opportunity to create something unique that would match
your taste and decor. After all, the cover is just a cover and could
look like just about anything. Make a cover from scratch, from an
old clock case, from stained glass panels, from a box decorated
with wall paper, an old hub cap, a picture frame, a radio case,
a mirror …
The other possibility
to consider when a cover is missing is to enjoy the the vintage
look of the technology and and show it off proudly in all its naked
beauty-- sans cover. Once a mechanism is cleaned up, my sense is
that it is really quite interesting looking and attractive.
To address a
very FAQ: I do not ever sell stray covers. Vintage covers
are the first thing to get lost or broken, hence the rarest part
of old chimes. If I had any strays I would build a chime around
it.. and it would be insane for me to break up a complete chime
to sell the cover seperately. Don't ask.
For items that
are just beat-up, repair may be in order. Repairing a wooden housing
is just like repairing or refinishing any other old wood item. For
those in need of just a little freshening up, any number of finished
wood cleaning products will do, then quench any bare, scratched
or worn bits with Minwax natural sealer. For rough items in need
of a major rescue, it’s the standard program of strip, sand
on its problems, can be imminently restorable if problems are limited
to cosmetic issues like dullness, scratches, paint slop. Cracks,
breaks, warps, burn marks make for a very poor prognosis for plastic
covers, although I have salvaged shattered plastic covers.
are easy-- strip off the old, spray on the new.