Clocks, Watches/grand father clocl


When I pulled the chains to lift the weights, the right hand  side went up too far. The other two stopped at the top. Now the clock keeps the proper time, however the right hand weight doesn't descend and the center weight moves faster than the left and the chimes aren't working.

Raymond, it is a good practice to pull the chains until the weight tops are near the top of the door.  But pulling one higher doesn't mean that it is too far unless it jams in the movement seat board or something in that area.  It is possible that the failure of the chime stopping did not have anything to do with the winding.  Check in the back of the clock to see if one of the chime hammers might be out of alignment at rest, which means that it might have jammed when the weights went down.  If one is out of alignment, try pulling all the chime hammers back a little and gently rock the chime drum (with the tabs or pins that lift the hammers) back and forth a little.  That might free it up.  The way the chimes and strike work is that the chime function is tripped on each quarter hour and the melody for each of these quarters is played.  On the hour the chime completes its melody and trips the strike to count out the hour.  When the chime and strike play, each weight drops a little.  The chime weight is on the right (as you face the clock) and the strike is on the left.  Since the chime is not working, the right weight should not move, as you stated.  I do not understand why the left weight is dropping.  But if it is, it could be that you have observed it striking at one of the high hours such as 10,11 or 12. It will drop more than the time weight.  If it is at 1, 2 or 3 it will drop much less than the time weight.  If you wind all three weights to the same level, the weights will drop at different rates, but after 12 hours of running all weights will be at the same level again. Referring to the above statement that the weight should not move, some movements are designed so that when the chime and/or strike are/is silenced the weights will continue to drop even though the hammers are not striking the rods.  If you will look at the back movement plate and give me the information found there, I will be able to identify the movement and determine the chime and strike function.  After reading the above, get back with me with the movement information and let me know if you see anything different with the operation of the chimes and strike.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Newman


As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

©2016 All rights reserved.