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Antique Clocks/Regulating a Hamilton carriage clock


The problem is with a Hamilton skeleton clock (7 jewels, 8 day, West Germany, brass, circa 1960, about 4 inches tall). It runs way too fast, gains an hour a day. It's always been hard to regulate (for a couple of years), but recently gave it a light cleaning and lube (with clock oil), and now it goes nuts.  I've had experience over the years with larger clocks with good results.  What did I miss?  Thanks, Neal

Since you have a small clock, I assume it is regulated with a hair spring and balance wheel rather than a pendulum. I have, on occasion, gotten a droplet of oil on the hair spring which (glued) two turns of the hair spring together. It generally requires either jewelers loop or good magnifying glass to identify this. To correct the problem take a very small piece of paper towel and shear all the edges with a pair of scissors to prevent getting fuzz into the movement. Wick as much as possible into the paper towel. The spring may release when you do this. If it does not release, take a sharp needle and insert it between the turns of the hair spring. Be very careful when doing these two items as it is easy to destroy a hair spring.

The only other thing it could be is a defect in the escapement caused by wear. However, I doubt this is the case as the clock seems run fine other than gaining time.  

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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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