Medford Clock Shop

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Barometer Service Page

Medford Clock Shop can provide any level of service required to repair or fully restore your antique barometer. Although most of the work we perform is on mercury barometers (both wheel and stick) we can also provide full service to aneroid barometers. If you are not sure which type of barometer you have you can go to my frequently asked questions page to hopefully get an answer.

List of Services:

  1. Complete restoration
  2. General restoration
  3. Dial refinishing
  4. Calibration
  5. Tube replacement
  6. Barograph repair

1. Complete restoration

A complete restoration would consist of placing the barometer in the condition it was the day it was made. This would include stripping the case, and refinishing, re-lettering or filling the dial engravings resilvering the dial and scales, replacing the barometer mercury tube (if equipped) and calibrating the instrument. An example of this can be seen at Finn
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2. General restoration

A general restoration would be placing the instrument in good working order. This would be tube replacement, or draining, and refilling the existing tube, and calibrating the barometer to give accurate readings.
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3. Dial refinishing

Dials can be refinished to look like they did originally. This process includes turing the dial in a lathe to remove what is left of the original silver, refilling the engravings with a special wax, and then resilvering the dial. The dials are then coated with several applications of beeswax to maintain the finish. Thermometer and hygrometer scales are restored the same way.Click for sample.
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4. Calibration

Both aneroid and mercury barometers need to be calibrated from time to time. Aneroid type can easily be adjusted buy the owner but mercury barometers require the draining and refilling of the mercury tube, usually with new mercury. These tubes can be filled using a capillary tube or a vacuum pump.
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5. Tube replacement


Most barometer tubes are one of two types. "j-tube" or cistern tube. "j-tubes" were fitted into wheel or banjo type barometers where the reading is taken from a dial and indicator hand from the front of the instrument. Cistern tubes were fitted into stick barometers and the reading was taken directly from the tube and a corresponding scale. Certain marine and Fortin barometers were fitted with boxwood cisterns which are permanently attached to the tube.
Click for photo of a mercury "j-tube".
Click for photo of a mercury "cistern tube".
Click for photo of a " boxwood cistern tube".
New j-tubes are available for replacing the existing ones. These tubes are pretty standard in size and can be shipped empty or filled. To determine if your tube needs service, tip the barometer 50 degrees or so. You should hear a distinct tap. This is the mercury hitting the top of the tube. If this "tap" is not heard the vacuum in the top of the tube has been lost and accurate readings cannot be obtained. Also, if any air pockets are observed in the tube service is required.
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6. Barograph repair


Barograph drums have clock movements in them which will wear out in time. Routine maintenance is suggested, but it seems owners don't have it done until the movements stops. These movements then require complete disassembly for cleaning and overhauling. We can provide all of these services.
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Medford Clock & Barometer, Dixontown Road, Medford, NJ 08055
Phone: (609) 953-0014, Fax (609) 953-0411
E-mail: jim@medfordclock.com
Copyright 1999 - 2003 Medford Clock Shop. All rights reserved.