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Clocks, Watches/grandfather clock chain


QUESTION: I have a 1770's Barnard of Newark 30 hr grandfather clock. The chain has broken or opened a couple of times and was repaired by me.
I may need to replace it.
The chain link makeup is --
35 links per foot (each link is fairly soft steel, easily bent  with pliers, formed to an oval shape but not welded.
Link stock about 1/32" dia
Link width about 1/4" out to out
Link length about 3/8" out to out
Where can I purchase chain to these specifications, or a suitable equivalent?

ANSWER: Michael, I am not familiar with the Barnard clock.  I have checked my stock and do not have anything near it.  I can inquire to my Internet Clocksmiths Group and see if anyone has something like this.  However, I would like to have you check something.  You list the links per foot as 35.  I do show a supplier listing for one at 36 LPF with a 1.8mm link diameter which is about 1/16".  You had shown the link diameter as 1/32".  That is about .03" or .8mm.  I cannot remember seeing a GF clock having links that thin. That's about the thickness of a paper clip.  When you confirm these dimensions, I will pass it on.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you John,
I have rechecked the link measurements as best I can. the link stock is indeed much closer to 1/16"dia. than 1/32"dia. I have measured various foot lengths of the chain and these average out to much closer to 36 links /foot than 35. I may be looking at the original chain and, if so , it may be some type of wrought iron material that has stretched over the years. So your spec of 1/16 and 36 links/ft. may work well in the clock

Michael, for some reason the Allexperts questions on my computer are showing up out of order.  I am pretty sure I have andswered the questions on your chain upt to date now.  If not, get back to me.  Please reply to  my email adddress below, as I am close to my Allexperts question quota already for the day.  Thanks.

John Newman
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 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)

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