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Antique Clocks/cleaning a Janch clock that is not running


A Janch  86. 2   grandfathers clock is not running.  I believe the works are dirty.  The works are in an open case.  The case does not have a top and the sides are widely spaced latice type wood. Over time the works became dirty.  Also the unit was next to an area when work on the plaster wall was being done.  The plaster dust made the works dirtier.

What chemicals do you recommend for cleaning?  What lubricant do you suggest I apply after the cleaning?

Following the cleaning and oiling I will close in the works to slow down the dirt build up.  
Thank you for your assistance.

Ed Kelley

If the movement is clean enough it will not require disassembly for cleaning, carburetor cleaner seems to work quite well. Use the little straw that comes with it to blow the dirt out of the pivot points and gear pinions. Be certain to do this in a well ventilated area away from ignition sources as this material is extremely flammable. For a lubricant I have found the household oils work quite well, such as sewing machine oil.  Be certain to get oil in all of the pivot points and all of the gear pinions. The entirety of the brass plate should also have a very thin film on them, but wipe off any excess with a cloth or towel which leaves very lint which might cause problems in the future.

I agree protection is needed for the movement, especially overhead. Side protection can be afforded with Plexiglass or ordinary glass if you want to view the movement when the clock is running.  

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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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