Rope Access Clock Projects

August 15, 2019 Church

Our latest recruit, Jason Budd, means we can complete clock dial restorations and rope access work even more efficiently than before! Jason is an IRATA level 3 supervisor, meaning he can lead our rope access work without the need for an external operator. This was recently put to test on a dial restoration in London, where team completed a dial restoration.

Apprentice clockmaker Mitchell Eaten worked alongside Jason at St Lawrence Church in Morden to restore the 4ft copper dial from rope access equipment. Mitchell, who is IRATA level 1 qualified, led the restoration process whilst Jason ensured it was safety first on the ropes.

The team started by setting up the ropes and then scaling the tower to work on the dial. The clock hands were removed ensuring that they could also be restored and the dialworks could be stripped and cleaned. The clock dial was then abraded back to it’s base so the restoration process could begin.

Left: The ropes set up ready for the team. Right: Mitchell abrading the dial from the ropes.

The team applied a zinga primer undercoat to the clock dial, ensuring that the restoration will last for many years to follow, followed by two coats of high-quality black gloss paint. Size was then applied to the minute track and numerals before the 23½ carat English gold leaf was added.

Left: Mitchell applying the black gloss paint. Right: Mitchell completing the gold leaf process on the clock hands.

The clock hands were restored whilst they were removed from the dial. Like the dial they were abraded back to their base before sizing and gold leaf was applied. Upon completion the team returned to the ropes to reinstall the hands before commissioning the clock.

About the author

Sam Welton: