Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
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Dragon Clock & Camera
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 

I visited with Cliff Lint, owner of Dragon Clock and Camera, located at 836 11th Street SW in Bandon. Cliff works out of his garage, which houses an impressive collection of clocks and cameras in all shapes, sizes, styles and ages. I asked Cliff how he got started in the clockmaking business. He replied, “When my wife and I first got married, I wanted a clock for the fireplace mantle, so I found an old one at a yard sale, played around with it and got it working, and I realized I should probably know how to take care of the thing. So I got certified as a clockmaker through the American Watchmakers/Clockmakers Institute, and got into this business full-time for a number of years.

Cliff’s shop is stocked with everything he needs for repairing clocks. “I know how to use a jeweler’s lathe, how to hand-make small parts like screws, click springs, etc.,” said Cliff. “In my shop I have three lathes, a wheel cutting engine, a pinion cutting machine, a vertical milling machine...so I can make most of the parts, re-bush plates, put new bearings in, replace wheel teeth on the gears...whatever is necessary.”

Cliff Lint, owner of Dragon Clock and Camera, shows some inner workings of a clock currently at his shop.

Not only does Cliff repair clocks, which is his main emphasis, but he also sells them. “On occasion I pick up old clocks, repair them, and resell them, but mostly I’m in the clock repair business. Right now I’ve got some cuckoo clocks, a banjo clock, some other odds and ends for sale. I’ve got a floor clock in my personal collection that was made in England around 1790.”

The typical person brings in everything from pocket watches to floor clocks to Cliff’s shop for repair. “I service anything that’s got wheels and gears in it,” he said. “I just came back from a service call in Port Orford where they had a grandfather clock that was less than 20 years old that needed repair, so it’s not just older items that I’m repairing. But I’ve also repaired some clocks that date back to the 1700’s and 1800’s.”

I asked Cliff if he has seen any difference in the quality of workmanship throughout the years. “It’s a whole different genre today,” he replied. “So much of the stuff being made now is all molded plastic, battery-operated, pretty much throw-away stuff. Some of the older battery clocks (less than 10 years), stop working, but the clock itself is in a nice case that fits someone’s decor...those little battery movements, when they go bad, there’s nothing you can do with them. So I give them new parts, and the customer basically gets a new clock, and keeps the look they like. I do a lot of retrofits on newer products.”

Cliff sees people coming in frustrated with trying to find someone just to change their watch battery. “I’ve got the case-opening tools, and I carry a good supply of watch batteries,” he said. “Just give me a jingle and let me know you’re coming, and I’ll change your watch battery out, no problem.”

I asked Cliff about the camera repair work he does. He replied, “Back in the day, when they made real cameras...the digital stuff they’re making today, quite a bit of it, when it goes bad, you heave it, there’s nothing else you can do. Number one, you can’t get parts, and they’re not even designed to be taken apart because they’re made out of plastic. Once in a while somebody will be at the beach and they’ll drop their point-and-shoot camera in the sand and it’ll jam up the mechanisms. Sometimes I can get it apart and save the camera, but most of those plastic parts, when they break or jam, they’re done. But I do still get an occasional good-quality camera for repair.”

Cliff was enthusiastic when I asked him about advertising in the South Coast Shopper. “I get results from the Shopper! I think about 95% of calls that I get from people are because of that paper.  Your coverage area is great and I get a lot of business because of the ads that I’ve placed.  I’m really happy advertising in the Shopper,” he said.

Don’t put off getting that clock or good quality camera repaired! Cliff works in the afternoon from about 12:30 to 4 pm, and any day of the week is fine as long as you call ahead at 541-404-4488.  He’s originally from northern California, but has been living in Bandon for about 11 years, and loves it. “I enjoy what I do, and I’m happy to be here doing it,” said Cliff.

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