October 23, 2003 at 12:55 p.m.
“I was getting really tired of it,” she recalls.
After both parents passed away Scott found herself thinking about her life, her future and her passions.
She’d always wanted to earn a living doing something with her hands. So, she met with a career counselor who helped her embark upon-- of all things-- clock repair. This is a profession where the average age is 65.
Scott lives in Chisago County now and makes her living doing what she loves. She is a member of the Minnesota Clockmakers Guild and is near to being officially “certified.”
Her TimeCraft Clock Repair is based in Harris.
Scott said there is a comfortable connection between clock-work and her former profession as a conveyor of stories.
“Every clock that comes in... all of them have their own story,” she explained.
Sure the clocks are usually unique and sometimes even quite valuable; but it’s the people behind the clocks and the memories they evoke that get Scott out of bed in the morning.
She warmly tells of one customer sobbing upon hearing the repaired clock, that had belonged to a beloved family member, chiming once again.
She said the “infinite variety” of mechanical clocks also intrigues her.
There are clocks with bells or gongs, there are cuckoo clocks and grandfather clocks.
She said she recently brought a clock to her former professor to get advice in repairing it, and the 30-year professional had never seen that style before. Scott has done jobs ranging from installation of a $15,000 clock with a musical attachment resembling a pipe organ...to the lowly vintage travel clock owned by this reporter.
“There’s a very vibrant clock world out there,” she explained.
The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors publishes a glossy periodical that is a must-see. And, the history of clock making and design is fascinating. There are at least 18 different chime melodies that a clock repair person needs to be familiar with. Some clocks chime on a half others on the quarter hour...well, you get the picture.
Scott’s courses at St. Paul Technical College (the best around with this vocational offering) ran about a year and a half fulltime. Scott also interned with a Wisconsin-based professional before establishing TimeCraft in Harris. She located in Harris to live near her brother.
Scott does repair and restoration but she stresses that people really should maintain clocks before the more-costly repairs are your only option. An oiling every three to five years done correctly will keep a treasured timepiece going forever.
Another tip: remove the pendulum if you are transporting a mechanical clock. Jostling a pendulum unit can damage the sensitive attachment, throwing it off “beat.” Many also have “fast” and “slow” adjustments for the pendulum that are delicate.
For optimum time-keeping and life span, grandfather clocks and other larger upright pieces must be sitting level.
Scott always offers an estimate before doing any work, and averages about $50 an hour.
She can locate replacement keys for any model of clock, and will instruct you on what mechanism sets which function...in case you want the clock running but can’t tolerate the clock’s audible aspects.
Scott spoke to a group of visitors at the North Branch Library October 18. During her program she inspected clocks the audience members had brought along. With all her training and insight, though, Scott had to gently break it to one clock-owner that there’s nothing to remedy an ugly clock. But Scott said she could certainly get it working so it could be sold.