Clocks, Watches/chime

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Question
The clock won't chime anymore.  It used to work perfectly.  I was wondering if when winding, one could could take the weight too high.  I thought I did just that, but not sure.  Also the manual mentioned oiling every so often.  Where and what would you oil.  Please advise....

Thank You

Answer
Hi Ronald,

In my 28 years of repairing clocks I don't see many clocks that have stopped because they are wound to high or too tightly. I have seen this in the older clocks dating at about 1940's or so. In that case the hook of the weight is stuck on something. Take a look at that anyway. The middle weight is the one that runs the time. The right weight is the chiming and the left weight is the striking of the hour.

Clocks get dirty and the holes where the gears sit get worn out and become oblong rather than round. When winding a clock the tension is taken off the gears for that moment and the gears shift in their holes. The gears can shift enough to stop the clock if the clock is worn too much.

You can oil your clock and I suggest it. It may give you a little more time with the clock. If your clock is 15 years old or less this oil will soften the hardened dirt in the pivot holes. Then you should clean the clock when the dirt is loosened. Once cleaned you need to oil the clock again.

There are many different discussions on clock oil. For your case, oil then clean in a few months, I would suggest you get some Mobil One or any fully synthetic oil and use that.
If you want to, you can just get some Nano oil. This oil can be used on dirty clocks and once cleaned  you can use this oil again to oil the clock. It's a good oil but it's costly.
Nano oil can be purchased from Butterworth Clocks (563) 263-6759.

It would take me too long to discuss how to oil a clock but there are many videos on youtube that show how and where to oil the clock. Here is one. I really didn't watch it but there are many to watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaW8hnuW0YI

If your clock has a "bonnet" that pulls off from the front to expose the clock mechanism I would oil the clock inside the movement unless you think you can take it out and put it back.

If you have a clock that has side panels it is more difficult to oil in the case. You can use a wire dipped in oil (I prefer a needle and syringe with oil in it) and oil every pivot hole you can see inside the clock movement. The chime side is on the right side so you can get many of the pivots. The middle train is almost impossible to oil every pivot inside the case.

Only a drop of oil is needed for every pivot hole.

Once oiled you may want to push down on the weight a bit to help move the gears to let the oil get in the pivot holes. Sometimes you need to wiggle the gears to get the clock chiming.

Again, this method will loosen any dirt and then the clock will wear more since the dirt is abrasive and the brass is soft.

If your clock is 20 years or older you will really need a new movement or a complete overhaul on the clock. If it is pre 1970 you will want the clock overhauled and not replaced.

Hope this helps,
Marilyn
The Clocklady  

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Marilyn Bellotti

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This is for advice only. ~Most~ repairs need a professional. If I can help you with an adjustment that can set your clock back in order I will try. I can not write a chapter on clock repair. I will point you in the right direction and you will have to do your own research on how clocks work for more intense repairs. -No Watches -No Appraisals. Search ebay for past sales for that information.

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29 years repair experience

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Certified Horologist

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