Antique clock help and information

If you need help with your antique clock, you may find the answer to your question here. If you still need help contact us.

The speed at which your antique clock runs is determined by the length from the top of the pendulum to the pendulum bob. Below or in the middle of the pendulum bob is a small nut which can be turned either way, moving the bob up or down.
To make the clock go slower, the pendulum must be lengthened so the bob will need to move downwards (usually turn the nut to the left) and to make it go faster, it will need to be shortened and the bob will have to be moved upwards (usually turn the nut to the right).
It is worth noting that different antique clock movements produce varying degrees of accuracy depending on the type regulation mechanism and whether it has additional mechanisms to assist accurate time keeping. It is also not unusual for some spring driven clocks to run slightly slower as the clock spring runs down throughout the week.

On a timepiece (that is one that does not strike or chime) you should be able to simply move the hands to the correct time.

Striking and chiming clocks are a little different, there two main types. On a rack strike clock gently move the hands around to the correct time as with a timepiece. If you pass 12 o’clock on the way you must stop and let it strike the full 12 notes before continuing to the correct time.

On a plate strike you must let the clock strike all notes on every hour and half hour.
If when you turn the hands and the clock strikes a different amount of notes to the correct hour then it is most likely a plate strike (see setting strike in sequence with the time).

Move the minute hand to the number 6 to set it striking the numbers. While it is still striking carry on moving the minute hand to just past the number 12. Then set to time.

If the clock strikes a different amount of notes to the time that the hands show there are 2 ways to remedy this.
Firstly apply gentle pressure to the hour (shorter) hand. If this moves independently to the minute hand move the hour hand to the hour that the clock has just struck. Then set to time as normal using the minute (longer) hand.
If the hour hand does not move independently you must use the next method. Move the minute hand to the 12 to set it striking, then as the clock is striking keep moving the minute hand round past the number 12 until the hour hand reaches the hour that the clock has just struck.

The beat or tick of a clock must sound even. That is the time between each tick tock must be even. Different styles of clocks have different methods of setting the clock on beat. In every case though the object is to move the crutch (the bit the pendulum passes through and swings from left to right) to the left or right to even out the tick.

Spring driven clocks – (for example mantle clocks, French clocks and German wall clocks)
Wind these clocks until the spring comes to a definite stop. A lot of people worry about over winding a clock however this is extremely unlikely to happen due to the amount of force it would take.

You may have one, two or three key holes for winding, for the chime, strike and time. Generally you must wind all three, only winding one may stop the clock and possibly in rare cases damage the strike. Weight driven clocks – (for example grandfather clocks, long case clocks and Vienna clocks).
Wind these clocks until the weight is just beneath the wooden platform the movement sits on. As with spring driven clock you may have up to three to wind, wind them all. Do not wind until it comes to a stop but leave a little bit at the top.

If you need to move an antique Longcase or Grandfather clock this should help you.  Steps 6 & 7 are really only needed to pack it for shipping.

1) Remove the hood of the clock by sliding it forwards and off.
2) Either let the clock fully run down so that the lines are completely off the barrels or if this is not practical you will need to let lines off the barrels. To do this find the click (the small ratchet on the wheel of the barrel) and hold this back slightly while holding on to the weight. Gradually let the weight drop until the lines are off the barrels. Doing this ensures that the lines don’t come off the barrels and get tangled in the clock.
3) Remove the weights from the pulleys
4) remove the pendulum. Ensure the clock movement does not tip forward and fall out off the clock at this point as it may become unstable.
5) The movement and face will be sat on a wooden platform. Lift the whole lot out of the clock. If the platform is nailed/screwed down at either side, just prize them up / unscrew. They aren’t usually screwed down though.
6) sellotape a rod or wooden beam on to the pendulum so it protrudes at the top, this avoids the suspension at the top breaking.
7) Pack the movement in a box, the best way is to wrap the lines around the movement, make sure the pulleys end up at the back so as not to mark the dial. Fill the bottom of the box with bubble wrap and / or polystyrene and lay the clock face down in the box. Ensure there is plenty of packing where the arbour which the hands fit onto protrudes the dial. If this gets a knock and there is a bush fitted on the rear it can push it out. Fill the rest of the box with packing so the movement is secure and can not move.