Antique Clock Repair Tips

Antique Clock Movement

Many stopped clocks can be easily repaired by the owner. Here is a list of common problems that are simple to repair. Although the following instructions specifically apply to antique British clocks, they will also work for many other clocks.

Keep in mind that while some repairs can be repaired easily, sometimes it is best to let an expert repair your clock to help avoid additional damage. For information about repairing your clock, contact us.

First, make sure your clock is wound up. I have been on numerous service calls where the clock only needed winding up. Before spending money on a service call make sure the clock is wound up. For a tutorial explaining see how to wind your clock.

Make sure the clock hands are not touching the glass. A clock minute hand that touches the glass will stop your clock. To repair, bend the minute hand towards the dial and away from the glass. Advance the clock twelve hours to make sure the minute hand does not catch on the hour hand.

Have you recently moved your clock? The reason a clock pendulum often stops swinging, after being moved, is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then it did at its former location. Don't worry about making your clock absolutely level with the floor and don't use a level. Simply start your pendulum swinging, then listen carefully to the tick-tock sound. Move the case slightly left or right until the tick-tock sound seems more balanced. A clock is "in beat" when the tick and the tock are evenly spaced.

A clock that is "in beat" sounds like tick...tock ...tick...tock. A clock that is "out of beat" sounds like tick..tock.................tick..tock. When you hear an even, balanced beat, secure the clock to your wall with a bracket, or shim your clock feet. To have us come to your house and adjust the beat, contact us.

Clock Pendulum

Your clock has been stopped for several days and now reads the wrong time. How can I make it show the correct time? If your clock has a "silent lever", activate it and then move the minute hand clockwise until the clock reads the correct time. If you do not have a "silent lever", move the hands clockwise, pausing every chime or strike cycle, until the correct time is reached.

Ensure the clock hands are not touching each other. When the hands are touching it usually means they are stuck and your clock will not run. Look at the hour and minute hands closely. If they are touching the "time train" may be jammed which prevents the pendulum from swinging. To repair, push the hour hand slightly towards the dial in order to clear the minute hand, but make sure it doesn't touch the dial. If they still touch, you can bend back the minute hand slightly towards you, allowing clearance.

If your moon dial does not show the correct phase of the moon, determine the date of the last new moon . Next, calculate how many days have elapsed since the last new moon until today. Applying a small amount of pressure to the moon dial, move it clockwise to indicate a new moon. Now move the dial clockwise one clock per day for the correct number of elapsed days from the new moon to today.

If the date indicator advances at noon, instead of midnight, all you have to do is advance the clock 12 hours. If the clock dial shows the wrong date, remove the hood and using light pressure move the dial clockwise until the correct date is displayed.

Please visit our frequently asked question page for additional hints and tutorials. If you have a question, please contact us.