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Clocks, Watches/oil grandfather clock


we have no one in our town to oil grandfather clock so we are going to try and do our self I have bought oil for it , do we need to take off the dail to oil or can we go into the sides and do this, would like to hear how to do the easy way

Hazel, unfortunately there usually isn't an easy way to oil a clock properly.  There are many models of clocks that have various setups as far as the way the movement, dial and dial frame are assembled.  I don't know them all, but when called out on one I can determine how to separate the dial from the movement.  The easiest is the type with a dial frame (in front of the dial) that has two or four screws in it.  The hands are removed and the dial frame is slipped down and out the front of the clock after the screws are removed.  Sometimes the two movement mounting screws below the movement have to be loosened and the movement moved back a little to slip the frame.  Once the frame is removed the dial can be separated from the movement by rotating the four dial post latches.  Others have pins that have to be removed after removing the movement and dial from the clock case.  This sometimes involves removing the back panel of the clock case and removing the chime assembly. And it gets more complicated.  And then it has to be reassembled correctly.  The only thing I can really suggest is for you to send me a clear photo of the front of the clock with the door open and a closeup of the dial area so I can see how it is assembled.  My email address is below.  If you can remove the case panel and take a photo of the back of the movement that will help.  Also, if you have information on the model of the clock and the model of the movement (Found on the back plate of the movement) that will give me more to identify it.  When I reply to your email I will send you oiling instructions and a few representative photos of the oiling and greasing locations.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

Note concerning questions not related to Allexperts:  Because of my commitment to answering Allexperts questions within a prescribed time limit and the large backlog of clock work at my shop, I regret that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis, other than Allexperts follow up questions.  I will try to answer these emails as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.  

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, 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. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 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 in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. 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)

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