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Antique Clocks/tune up & repair


I have mantel clocks circa 1790 - 1889, I would like to have them tuned up and cleaned.  Do you have any names of reputable clock shops in Orange County, CA?

Regarding the matter of selecting clock shops, my recommendation is to select one where the work is done in the shop. Many of the jewelry stores and those that deal primarily in watches send their clocks out for repair. I cannot recommend any particular one since I live in Illinois.

Generally, on clocks which are operational, all that is really needed is relubrication. You can do this yourself if you are reasonably handy. It is generally best to remove the movement from the case to oil it. However, sometimes with the aid of a broom straw you can reach the hard to access pivot points. I am a bit late in responding because of a camping weekend we just had. Oddly enough someone brought two clocks which did not run and I oiled them with 3 in 1 oil and now they run fine. I did remove the movements to be sure I got every point. The one clock had some oxidized (gummy) oil. I removed that with electrical parts cleaner in a spray can. I then allowed it to dry for about an hour and was very careful to oil everything that moves. I also got a thin film of oil on the brass side plates to keep them from corroding.

Organizations such as Merritts and Timesavers carry oils specifically for this purpose, however I find simple sewing machine oil works well. they even have a special heavy oil for the mainsprings.

Before I remove the hands from a clock, I prefer to write down or remember the time indicated first, then the hands can be reinstalled for proper chime action.

Some clocks can be lubricated by removing the hands and face. This is sometimes easier than pulling the entire movement. Again, be sure to get all of the pivots and gear meshes as well as the springs.  

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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