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Antique Clocks/Uneven weight drop


My father bought my mother a grandfather clock back in the '70s. Mom always took care of the clock, raising the weights as needed, resetting, etc. She passed away over a year ago and Dad has discovered that the center weight drops much faster than the other two. Mom always told him the weights had to be lifted at the same time, so if they are not all three down at the same time, he is not wanting to raise them. It is not on silent mode, but he also noticed a part lying in the bottom of the clock. It is a long piece of metal with a half inch "hump" in the center. Both ends are curved in such a manner that it looks like each end should "snap" onto some part of the clock mechanism. He seems to feel this piece is the reason the center weight is dropping so quickly. He wants to try to fix it since the clock reminds him of mom and he enjoys hearing it chime. It is a Colonial of Zeeland serial # 7308627, if that helps. I would appreciate any guidance you could give me. Thank you, Vivian

It sounds to me like the block pulley for the time drive is fowled. If the cable jams between the arm and the pulley, the two to one differential between cable speed and weight speed is lost. This causes the weight to drop twice as fast as it should. Simply wind the clock until the center weight is within reach and check the cable where it passes over the pulley. Be careful to keep tension on the cable at all time as it may fowl at the drum end and necessitate even more work. Try to keep the weight as low as possible to minimize the amount of cable wrapped on the drum.

Fowling of the cable at the pulley is generally caused by allowing the clock to run all the way down so it becomes slack. If you have any other questions or if this does not work out, please contact me.  

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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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Four patents.

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