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Antique Clocks/Ridgeway grandfather clock


What would make the strike weight not stay up after it is wound up .You can hear the cable spool ratcheting like it is winding properly ,then when you apply weight to cable it falls downward.

This problem is generally caused by the click (rachet pawl)not fully engaging the click wheel. This is often caused by the lubricating oil oxidizing and becoming gummy. This can best be corrected by washing this with a solvent such as carburetor cleaner and relubricating it. Most household oils such a sewing machine oils can be used to relubricate. Another possibility is the click spring has become weak and is not capable of pushing the click to the root of the click wheel teeth. Sometimes these can be rebent. Merritts ( and Timesavers ( sell these springs. Or you can make your own using a piece of spring wire.

Another possibility is the click wheel is badly worn. Replacements are availble from the above mentioned websites. If you prefer, or cannot get one for your clock they can generally be redressed with a precision file so the click locks into place as it is supposed to.

If gumminess is the problem, I would recommend cleaning the entire clock and relubricating it. Of course, any spraying of cleaners will require the removal of the movement from the case as these solvents are very hard on the finish. Merritts and Timesavers do have special lubricants and cleaners, however, I have found the afore mentioned cleaners and lubricants work quite well for most purposes.

The cables on weight driven clocks are somewhat of a pain when removing the movement. You will probably not be able to fully wind the strike side after you reinstall the movement. Do the first winding with the face removed as this makes it easier to get the cable to wind neatly on the drum. On the time side you might find it easier to fully wind the cable and apply a small amount of tension with a rubber band while doing the service.  

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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Four patents.

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