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Clocks, Watches/Ethan Allen Grandfather clock


A friend wants me to see if I can get his clock working. The first thing I found was the key springs were wound to tight and seem to be locked up. Is there a away to relax the springs?

Hi Kenneth,

Yes, there is a way to unwind the mainsprings. It will take a lesson and it is dangerous to do this without knowing what you are doing.

However....that is not the problem. I have found very few clocks that were "wound to tight." I actually found something that was stuck in those cases, a physical problem that had nothing to do with the springs.

The problem may be dirt, lack of oil, wearing of the pivot holes, or the clock is out of beat.

Ethan Allen is an older GF clock. If the clock has been running for years and years the problem could be wear. If the clock has been sitting for a long time the old dirt could be hardened in the movement causing the clock to stop.

Just to see if the clock will go....get some Mobil One or any other synthetic oil and place a "drop" in each of the pivot holes. Take the pendulum off and see if you can make the pendulum leader move fast without the pendulum on. This will loosen up any dirt in the movement.

With spring driven clocks the springs have to come out and be cleaned and regreased. This is a job for a professional.

Perhaps the best thing is do is to take the clock out of the case and purchase a new movement for the clock. Since you feel that you want to repair the clock you may be able to put a new movement in this clock. Now you will have the original case and a new clock movement.

The movement numbers are on the back of the movement on the lower right side. Those numbers usually have a date on them such as "78" or another number that tells you the year it was manufactured.

If you need more help write back.

Hope this  helps,
The Clocklady

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Marilyn Bellotti


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.


29 years repair experience

Certified Horologist

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