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Antique Clocks/Modern Grandfather clock


I recently moved my modern Grandfather clock to another house. It's level. And its doesn't have weights (just decorative ones). It does have a pendulum though.
When I engage the pendulum, it won't continue to swing at all. On inspection of the movement, I can see that the escape wheel doesn't turn when the anchor hits it. It just moves slightly back and forward, without ever moving over a tooth. Do you have any suggestion on fixing it? Thank You

All the grandfather clocks I have worked on have been either electric or weight powered. It is possible you have one that is spring powered. If this were the case you would have winding arbors in the dial like a mantle clock. If the escape wheel is not powered it will simply move back and forth as the pendulum swings.

Assuming this is a spring powered clock, you should be able to feel a small amount of force being applied to the escape wheel by the time gear train. Try swinging the pendulum through a very large excursion. It is possible the adjustment of the pallet is incorrect and it is engaging the escape wheel too deeply. Also, try moving the escape wheel manually as you stroke the pendulum. This will determine if the escape wheel and pallet is correct. It is unusual for this adjustment to be incorrect but things like this can happen when moving a clock.

In my collection I do have a decorative weight clock, however, it has main springs to power it.
You might send me a picture of the movement so I can more accurately determine what you have

After thinking on your question I have something to add.

Another possibility is the verge is of the self adjusting type and it has been knocked out of adjustment by the move. These are adjusted by allowing the pendulum to swing freely considerably beyond its normal travel. this is normally slightly less than case side to case side. However, this may be harmful to the clock if the verge is not of the self adjusting type. You can determine if it is self adjusting by seeing if you can move the pallet fairly easily in and out of the escape wheel teeth as the self adjusting type uses a spring loaded slip clutch between the verge staff and the verge arm. Many of the newer clocks use this principle. They will center the pallet regardless of whether the clock is level and even make it so it will not run when the clock is level unless the pendulum is again swung such as to adjust the pallet.  

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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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