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Antique Clocks/Perivale mantle clock stopping


I have a Perivale mantle clock bought 1950. Pendulum swings for 30s then stops,if i remove pendulum clock runs but very fast, chimes both hr and quarters ok. Pendulum is not touching anything and clock is level.How can this be.

Clocks like cars need periodic lubrication. If it has not been lubricated for 5 years or so, all the pivots are probably getting dry or gummy. This makes the movement sluggish be increasing friction.

Some clocks can be lubricated without removing the movement from the case. Most household oils such as sewing machine oil seem to work quite well for this.  Although, there are clock oils available from organizations such as Merritts and Timesavers. and

Be certain to get every pivot point in all three gear trains. Those immediately behind the clock face are difficult to reach with the movement in the case, hence it is usually necessary to remove it. Before removing the hands, make a note of where they are pointing so you do not lose the coordination between the chime and the hands.

If the clock is especially dirty, it is quite easy to clean it with spray carburetor cleaner. This is especially true if you have gummy pivots.

I generally prefer a heavy oil for lubricating the springs. Automotive engine oils work quite well for this although there are special spring oils available for clocks.

If the clock still does not want  to run it may be necessary to raise one end or the other as sometimes either the pendulum rod or verge rod may be slightly bent. The way to determine the level the clock prefers is to listen to it tick. Both beats should be equal. If they are not the simplest thing to do is raise one end or the other with folded paper, cardboard or even a wood wedge. A better way is to bend the verge rod but this can be tricky and you have to be sure you bend it the right way so as to not make the situation worse. Again, the idea is to get both beats equal.  

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Tom Williams


I can not think of any questions I cannot answer in regard to repairing antique clocks or radios. However, I am sure there are a few I have not heard and may not be able to answer. If I cannot, I will say so. I have been repairing them since I was a young child.


My experience includes repairing CooKoo clocks, Westminsters, BimBam, almost all antique clocks. I do a bit of repair on battery clocks where the value is sufficient to warrant working on them. I also repair antique (tube type) radios - all makes.

Indiana Historical Radio Society, Illinois Valley Antique Car Club, Military Vehicle Preservation Association

BEE from Cleveland State University

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