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Clocks, Watches/Harrington House Grandfather Clock


QUESTION: Hi Mike,  I am inquiring about our Harrington House Grandfather clock that we received as a wedding gift in 1993. Is oiling a grandfather clock a difficult job to do yourself?  We cannot find a certified grandfather clock repair professional that will come to our house in our area.  Can you send me directions on how to clean and oil a Harrington House grandfather clock?  Also, can you recommend a grandfather clock repair professional in the Syracuse, NY area that will do house calls?  Can you please recommend a "beginner/novice" maintenance book to purchase showing how to maintain, clean, oil, etc. grandfather clocks.  Thank you in advance for your reply Mike.  Lorie

ANSWER: Hi Lorie,
You can oil the clock yourself, cleaning is quite a bit more involved and I don't recommend doing that without supervision from a qualified clock repair professional.  I'm not sure how you access your clock movement. Can you get to the gears in the movement fairly easily? Sometimes there are doors on the side of the hood, sometimes you have to remove the hood.
I have a video showing how to oil a clock movement here:

I did a search on Google and came up with results in Syracuse. You can see them here:
You don't need someone with any certifications to clean or oil the movement. You can check the BBB or reviews you find online.
Please view my video and write back if you have any questions.

clock parts and repair

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

QUESTION: Hi Michael,

Thanks for u-tube link for clock oiling.  I sent it to my husband to view and also watched it myself.  Our clock does have the side panels that can be removed for cleaning/oiling purposes. I hate to admit this but our clock is over 20 years old and has never been oiled or cleaned; we did not realize that you we needed to oil it and only recently found out about it. It has been running fine for all these years but about a month ago it did stop but then my husband was able to get it running again. It does not seem too difficult of a procedure to oil the clock and it looks like it only needs a little drop in each piviot point according to your u-tube video.  What needs to be done for cleaning?  Since it has not had any maintenance in all these years, it would be nice to have someone come to the house and give it a complete maintenance check and cleaning; thanks for the link for the Syracuse area clock repair specialists.  Also, can you recommend a book for us to purchase for "beginner/novice" general clock mainteance procedures or is there a link on line that you can provide to us that will cover general maintenance procedures?  Thanks so much for all your help Michael.  Lorie

I'm glad that information is helpful to you. Cleaning of the movement is not done in the home. The clock movement is removed from the case and taken into the shop. The movement would be dunked in an ultra sonic cleaning machine filled with clock cleaning solution. We usually don't do this until the movement needs some sort of rebuilding (new bushings). The chemicals are very strong and actually attack the metals to some degree so you don't want to do this more than once or twice in the lifetime of the movement.
It may be more economical to replace the movement when that time comes (providing the movement maker is still in business and producing that model of movement).  Most of the movements were (are) made in Germany and a few of the factories are still in business. There should be markings on the back plate  of the movement indicating the make and model.  

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Michael Radi


Clock repair and clock parts questions.


I have been professionally repairing clocks for 17 years. I owned and ran a clock shop for 6 years and I am the owner of the clock parts supply company;

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors

High school graduate, some college, graduate of Niles Bryant School of Piano Tuning and repair.

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I perform about 20 clock repairs per week.

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