How to Oil a Clock

Clock Oil

For those interested in learning how to oil a clock, this tutorial will show you how it is done. The most important thing to remember is to ensure that you only use high quality synthetic clock oil. Using substitutes like WD40 can actually damage your movement. Please refer to the tutorial, "How to clean an antique clock movement," for more information about what happens when you use WD40. TickTockTony offers a clock oiling kit that comes with professional synthetic oil, a syringe applicator (shown on the left), and a detailed video walking you through the process. To purchase the kit, click the "buy now" button at the end of this tutorial.

Just like regular oil changes extend the life of your car's engine, regular clock oiling extends the life of your clock. Oiling your clock every two years will prevent expensive clock repairs and ensure that your clock will last for the generations to come. Imagine never changing your car's oil; it wouldn't take long for the engine to seize. Without regular oiling your clock will end up requiring a major service, or possibly a new movement.

Because we are experts in antique British grandfather clocks, let's talk about oiling a standard British grandfather clock. First, you will need to remove the clock hood. Never attempt to remove the hood without at least one weight being in place. The hood of most British grandfather clocks is removed by sliding it forward. Before sliding the hood forward secure the glass door to prevent it from opening while removing the hood.

Next, remove the time side (right) weight and then remove the pendulum from the crutch. Because the movement is held in place by the downward force of the weights, when you remove the strike side (left) weight the movement is susceptible to falling. While you unhook the last weight keep pressure on the weight cable, then remove the movement.

Clock Oil Sink

Finally, remove the hands and pull the four pins that fasten the dial to the front movement plate.Now that the movement is free from the case you will notice multiple oil sinks on the surface of each clock plate. Oil sinks are located where the ends of the steel arbor meet the clock plate. Please refer to the picture on the right showing an oil sink.

To oil a clock apply ONE drop of oil to each oil sink. Don't try and fill the oil sink, because the oil is held in place by surface tension. If you apply too much oil, the surface tension will not hold and the oil will run down the plate, leaving the bearing dry. Repeat the oiling process for all oil sinks on both the clock plates. Don't forget to oil the weight pulleys and the front plate posts.

Click the button below to purchase our clock oiling kit using PayPal's secure website. The kit comes with 15cc's high quality synthetic clock oil in an oil syringe applicator. We have created the video below that explains how to oil your clock. The kit costs $16.99 plus shipping. Unfortunatly we do not ship outside the United States.

I have a YouTube channel with videos walking you through the process of removing an antique clock's movement and the basics of clock oiling.

How to oil a clock