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Antique Clocks/mantel clock problem


I recently inherited an antique Ingraham mantel clock.  It has a pendulum which is accessible through the front door and two winding key holes on the face.  It runs great for about 4 or 5 hours and then the pendulum stops.  When I restart the pendulum it will run again for 4 or 5 hours and quit again.  Do you know what would be causing this and how to correct it?  Thanks.

It sounds like your clock needs to be oiled. To do this, you will probably have to remove the movement from the case. I have found household oil such as used for sewing machines works quite well for this. Be certain to get all the pivot points. The reason for removing the movement is to get at the pivot points on the front of the movement. If the movement is dirty, you might be able to clean it with a spray can of carburetor cleaner. Sometimes the old oil will turn gummy and causes increased friction, hence the need to use the carb cleaner. When using carb cleaner be certain to have good ventilation and keep the entire process away from sources of ignition such as water heater pilot lights.

If this does not correct the stopping problem, you may have to rebush some of the pivot points, however, in most cases lubricating will fix the problem. Be certain to inspect the pivot points by turning the third wheel on the time side of the gear train back and forth and look for excess movements of the staffs. However, the fact that the stopping occurs after a time period rather than not running at all is a sign of lubrication need.

Good luck!!!!

Antique Clocks

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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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