clock pallet and repaired collet with small d-bitHere are some thoughts regarding your clock and its care. The winding of the clock is what you will likely be doing most, so we will start with that.

When winding, it is important to pull the chains straight down in the same direction that they hang. This prevents the chain from running up and over the wheel that it engages with. Wind the clock fully once a week for an eight day clock.

Regulating your mechanical clock is something every clock owner should master. It is easily done, but will require a long term commitment for the best results. If the clock is out of time at the weekly winding, adjust the pendulum bob screw in the indicated direction (at the very bottom of the pendulum). It is sometimes marked "advance" or "retard", or maybe "fast" or "slow".

If it's not marked at all, then the following should your guide. The screw will unscrew in a counter clockwise direction with the edge of the screw passing from your right to your left to slow the clock's rate. The opposite is of course true when advancing the rate.

A quarter or half turn of the screw is all that should be necessary to show a significant change in timekeeping over a week or two. Please make a note of which direction you move the screw. It gets difficult to keep track of minor adjustments, especially when you are reaching the limits of the clock's accuracy.

Once your clock is regulated within reason and settled into the home again after service, it should be stable for three or four years. A change in the time keeping and/or a slowing of the chime or strike features is usually a good indicator of needing service again. If you are running your clock daily, year round, a proper servicing every four years (about 35,000 hours of operation) should prevent much of the wear that will damage your investment.

old clock pulley and chain

If you would like the chimes to be silent, and there is no lever on the clock for doing this, simply allow the chime weight to run down and do not pull it up. Another method would be to remove the chime weight altogether. The same applies to the strike train. The chime weight is usually on your left while facing the clock. The strike weight is on your right, and the time weight is in the middle. The chime and strike should co-ordinate themselves within a few hours of turning the chime back on. If not, you'll need some help. If you get into trouble please get in touch and I'll see if I can help.

If you need to set the time ahead or back, the safe way is to move it forward by quarter hours until you reach the desired time. This may take more time than you want to spend. If you stop the clock you can wait for a time that is closer to the desired time then restart the clock. If you would like to do a rapid advance, I’d be glad to walk you through it. However the instructions are not for the faint of heart.

The long and the short of the rapid advance is to start the clock chiming the hour. Then move the minute hand ahead to a position following the hour just before where you want to end up. You must stop advancing the minute hand before the chime is finished its sequence, and you must stop in a position after the hour and before the first quarter. This is true only if you start the rapid advance thus starting the hour and before the first quarter chime. This is where the chime takes the longest to finish, thus giving you the most time to advance the time.

I'm quite sure that it would take a magician to follow those instructions but I thought I'd throw them in for the curious.

When moving your clock for any reason, please remove the pendulum so that it won't damage the suspension spring it hangs from. If you are shipping it to a different home, please call a professional. At the very least, get some professional help on the phone to help in not damaging the pendulum suspension.

If you have questions or trouble with your clock, drop me a note and I will do my best to see that your concerns are addressed promptly.