RATHDRUM - That old phrase…“What makes him tick”, comes to life for Randy Hirst.
When this Rathdrum resident is not designing highways for the Idaho Transportation Department, he’s buried in his basement workshop… repairing clocks.
For the past 10 years, Hirst said he’s been interested in repairing clocks that have given up a last tick.
“Haven’t come across but a very few old clocks I couldn’t get to working, and working like brand new!” he said.
Hirst said he got started in his unusual hobby after visiting a now-defunct shop in Post Falls.
Trial and error and learning the various movements of his sometimes tiny subjects, Hirst said finding an inventory of parts to be the most challenging.
There are clubs and associations – some not far from the Inland Northwest – where he is successful in “finding some obsolete parts.”
He’s a card-carrying member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors – just returning from a meeting in southern California.
Also, e-Bay has proven a satisfactory location for parts, except, he said, “many times you have to buy the entire movement just to get the one little wheel or gear you need to finish a project.”
Hirst said he’s repaired a “sizeable number” of clocks over the past 10 years.
“Try to do, oh, maybe one or two a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, just depends on
“I do a clock for a friend, he refers me to someone else and so on…”
Hirst charges from $25 for a simple adjustment or two up to roughly $100 for a complete clock overall. Parts, if required, are a few dollars more, he said.
Clock parts are not very costly, Hirst noted.
His specialty is American-made clocks but is not afraid to tackle a foreign-made clock.
Like most hobbyists, Hirst had “a few” clocks in and around his workshop.
Finally, the chorus of tick-tocks, cuckoos, alarms, gongs and bells got “too much for his wife.
Hirst is reachable at 687-4176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.